Sunday 31st January 2021 -Stop, Look, Listen, Live !

Today our service is led by Mike Furborough at 10am, for those unable to attend, the service is reproduced here and has been emailed and posted to members.

Communion will take place during the service and will be self served, the wine has been prepared at least 72 hours in advance and everyone should bring their own bread.


Traffic lights used as Stop Look Listen sign
Stop Look Listen sign

Call to Worship


Jesus invites us to a way of celebration,

meeting and feasting with the humble and poor.

Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus beckons us to a way of risk,

letting go of our security.

Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus challenges us to listen

to the voices of those who have nothing to lose.

Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross,

where despair is transformed by the promise of new life.

Let us walk his way with joy.


Hymn: MPC 422. Light has dawned and ever shall blaze


Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving


Intimate God,

we praise you because you know each one of us;

the worries that nag us, the achievements we are proud of, the hopes and expectations that we hold,

half-recognised, in our hearts.

We praise you for what we know of you;

the ways in which you have welcomed and met us,

your quiet, constant, presence in our lives.

And we praise you for what we do not yet know;

the mysteries of your creation,

the questions that baffle us,

the wonders of discovery awaiting us.

Unknown God,

may we be open to meet with you in unexpected ways; discerning your presence in what is strange to us,

and seeing the familiar with newly-opened eyes.


We say together the Lord’s Prayer


Reading: …..Psalm 25 v1-9


Hymn: MPC 564. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Reading Romans 8 18-39


Sermon: Stop, Look, Listen, Live !


Jeremiah 6 vs 16 This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;

ask for the ancient paths,

ask where the good way is, and walk in it,

and you will find rest for your souls.


Stop, look and listen was one of my favourite programmes on TV when I was teaching. It hit the right spot when getting children with learning difficulties to read.

It was also a useful mantra when getting children to pay attention and behave how I wanted them to.


It’s not a bad mantra for us today. This passage of scripture, written by Jeremiah is teaching the Hebrews much the same, at a time when they needed reminding of what was happening in their lives and history.


Stop…..stand at the cross roads.


Well we are certainly being told to stop at the moment, told to stop and made to stop. All the things that filled our lives has been taken away….not just covid, I had my big toenail removed in December and I was not expecting it to put such a big “stop” to my life as it has. No walking, no allotment etc


It never does any harm to take stock of where you are and this enforced “stop” could be used as an opportunity to do just that.


Look, when you reach a cross roads (and this is certainly one, individually and collectively) its best to stop, look and listen. Remember the two hedgehogs and the road safety commercials of the 8o’s.


As a car driver I stop, look behind ,look carefully left and right and then ahead.

We have an opportunity now to look back…probably recalling the good times, but there were some equally as bad as today. We need to look from side to side…just assess where we are and acknowledge the situation we are in, again some good as well as the bad. We need to look forward into the future with trepidation but through faith with hope and confidence.


Listen…why can we look forward with hope and confidence…because we listen to what God has to say to us. God knows our past, present and future and he has been with us, is with us and will be with us.

He has promised.


God speaks to us in a wide variety of ways and each of us hears his voice in our own way.

What we do know, through the testing of our lives, is that his word is trustworthy and true whatever the situation has been, is now and may come we need to Listen to what God has to say .

“Ask where the good way is(then listen to God’s answer!) ,walk in it and you will find rest for your souls…”

The road safety hedgehogs added another word to Stop, Look and Listen. The word LIVE

Stop,look,listen LIVE


The situation we are in at the moment can be very depressing, make us despondent and question our faith and our very being. We might feel like ‘giving up’.


We do indeed stand at a cross roads, all the more reason to Stop,Look listen and LIVE.

Live the life that God has offered us and promises us in the future

We will find rest for our souls and we will celebrate our life in Christ because “ I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Music for reflection : MPC 22. All the way my saviour leads me


Prayers of Intercession Trusting in God’s care for his children,

we pray in the name of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

For those who are sick

We pray for those who are unwell due to the coronavirus: in your compassion, grant them strength and healing.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For our health workers

In the day of trouble you answer us, O Lord, and you protect us; you send us help and give us support.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For the anxious

We pray for all who are anxious about loved ones, friends and neighbours: enable them to trust in you and be steadfast in hope.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For the lonely and the isolated

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

you are with me.

We pray for all those who feel isolated or alone, that they may experience your loving presence.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For the strong and the vulnerable

Lord, you raise the poor and lift the needy.

We pray that you would inspire those who are strong to care for the vulnerable. and to serve them in love.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For those in authority

We pray for all in authority who face difficult decisions that affect the lives of many;

grant them wisdom and courage.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For those who face hardship

We pray for all those facing financial hardship

that you would support and sustain them.

We remember also those who seek to fulfil Christ’s command to love one another through the work of foodbanks and charities and through acts of simple kindness.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For the departed

With sadness, we remember those who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus

Give us thankful hearts for the privilege of knowing them

and strengthen our faith in your Son who died for us and rose again in glory that we might share in his victorious life.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


For the Church

How can we sing your song, O Lord, in these strange times?

We pray for your Church who longs to praise you throughout this strange and confusing time; through your creative Spirit

fire our imaginations to proclaim your unchanging love in new ways.

Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.


Lord of life,

in this time of crisis for our families and communities,

our nation and our world, we turn to you in faith,

to seek your guidance

and receive your blessing,

knowing that nothing in all creation can separate us from your love

made known to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We ask this in the name of him

who took our infirmities and bore our diseases,

who suffered the cross and rose again triumphant,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

Amen.


Hymn: As we are gathered Jesus is here


Invitation


This is the Lord’s table.

It does not belong to you, you are a guest here.

It does not belong to us, we are guests here.

This is the Lord’s table.

You are a cherished guest here. We are all cherished guests here.

This is the Lord’s table.

You are a person for whom Jesus gave his life.

Guest of God, you are welcome at the table.



[The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed

took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said: ‘This is my body which is broken for you.

Do this is remembrance of me.’

In the same way he took the cup also after supper, saying: ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup,

you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’]

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Therefore we pray

that through sharing in his death and resurrection

we may know his power made perfect in our weakness. May his broken body and his blood poured out

be a sign of healing for the nations,

and may your Son, once tortured and despised

free us from all hatred and oppression

and bring us to the kingdom of his justice

where all his children shall be free

to sing the new song of your saving love

through endless ages.

Amen.


Sharing of Bread and Wine


Dismissal

Let’s go and be

a people of grace

a people of hope

a people of justice

a people of love

A people for the world. A people for God. Let’s go!


Hymn: Guide me O thou great Jehovah


Blessing

"All the way my Savior leads me

What have I to ask beside?

Can I doubt His faithful mercies?

Who through life has been my guide



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ABOUT US

As a Church we have been worshipping in Park Road for over 90 years. Our Sunday morning service is from 10am to 11am.  

ADDRESS

Blaby Congregational Church

Park Road

Blaby

Leicester

United Kingdom

LE8 4ED

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