Sunday Worship 17th January
This week our service at 10am will be led by Paul Baxter
Opening words Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Hymn 367 Jesus is Lord.
We have come together into the presence of our Lord. So, let us quieten our hearts and minds, put aside our concerns and distractions. Let us open ourselves to listen for God’s voice, for the word God has for his people.
Almighty God, you speak to us in so many ways. Help us, in our worship today, to hear your voice and know it is you. Speak to us in the silence, through Scripture and by the Spirit. Speak through others and through your creation, through images, experiences, music and encounters. Speak in ways that we can understand. So, speak, Lord – and help us to listen. Amen.
Creator God, how awesome you are! Our lives were known to you before we came into being. Marvellous Lord, Everything we do, think and say – you know about.
Such infinite wonder! Eternal, loving Lord, Ever helping us to see and be more like you.
How awesome you are, glorious Lord. Everywhere we go your hand is with us, Always guiding and Revealing your blessings – as we praise, listen and act. Amen.
Hymn 506 O Lord my God
Bible Readings: Mark 1:9-13 and Mark 1;14-20
Hymn 352 I’ve found a friend
Paul has spoken Julie with a brief outline of his sermon for this week and this is presented here.
Paul will focus on faith with the strength of God. The Bible readings are the stories of the Baptism and Temptation of Jesus and his calling of the four fishermen to be Disciples. These are at the beginning of Jesus's ministry when he was surrounding himself with friends to support him and assist him with spreading the message of God's love to build people's faith.
Paul will talk about the pandemic and how that is affecting people and use stories he has heard from University students who are Christians and their response to the pandemic and how they are helping others and keeping up their faith at this time.
As always Paul will bring flowers and talk about them and link them to his theme.
Hyacinths grow from bulbs and flower each Spring, the bulb gradually flowers and then the flower deepens in colour. When we become Christians and just starting out, we too will gradually flower in our work for Him, our faith will deepen over time and so more of the colour (God in us) will come out. The change is gradual, imperceptible but over time our faith does grow.
We should all be doing all we can to gradually grow in Jesus.
Paul will also use the Hedgehogs in his garden to explain how we need each other at this time.
Paul has built a chapel in his garden for creatures and hedgehogs to use as shelter. Normally seen as individual creatures, they will gather together for comfort and warmth when it is cold. They will gather in the chapel Paul has made to keep warm and for comfort, it seems they are not solitary creatures after all!
We too need the church, and although we can’t be close together, sometimes just seeing another person and sharing a building with them, doing some activity together even if it is apart can bring comfort to those who live alone and need the church to offer some comfort for their mental well-being.
We all need to find the strength at this time to keep going, keeping safe and helping and supporting each other. We need to look outwards as Jesus did to the need of others and in meeting their need we will be strengthened by God and will grow and deepen in both our faith and our relationship with Him.
We pray that we will all be given the strength to continue in our faith despite the hardships that we face, let us continue to pray for each other and for a deepen relationship with God our Father, through Jesus the Son.
Hymn 1008 The Lords my Shepherd
A prayer of confession
Lord, we come before you to say sorry. Sorry for all the times we’ve let you, ourselves and others down. Sometimes, Lord, we’re so busy talking and doing that we fail to hear you. We miss the still small voice saying, ‘Stop. Listen.’ Lord, we’re sorry for being too busy to hear you. You speak in so many different ways, Lord, one being through other people – but very often we take no notice and continue in our own way. Help us to tune in to your voice.
Lord, as you use others to speak to us, so you use us to draw people to you. But speaking does not always require words. People see our lives, our attitudes and character. Lord, we’re sorry for the times we’ve let you down in these areas – when we pressurise others to conform to our ideas, or fail to listen and give others the space to draw closer to you. Lord, as we spend these few moments in personal reflection, we ask you to speak to us. Show us anything for which we need to say sorry – and change our ways. Lord, we lift our confessions to you, in your precious name. Amen.
Come and see, and join in praying for the people of the world waiting to hear good news.
Loving God, we pray for the states of America to be united in the days and weeks ahead. We pray for an end to violence, for wisdom and protection for President-elect Joe Biden and all who will take office in a few days’ time. We pray for those threatening to disrupt the inauguration, and for the police force and those entrusted with keeping the law and peace. Lord, hear our prayer and draw us all closer to you.
We pray for those around the world at the mercy of extreme weather conditions. We pray for the people of Japan, of Indonesia, especially those rescue workers who died trying to save others, for those bereaved in the plane crash, for those in our own country without power and heat. We pray for those tackling the climate change challenges of our time and for our own response in our day to day lives. Lord, hear our prayer and draw us all closer to you.
We pray for all who are pushed to their limits at work and at home, for Intensive Care Staff, for all in the emergency services, for GP's, teachers and school staff, for parents and students, for all whose mental health is at breaking point. We pray for our Government and all whose decisions affect millions of lives. And we pray for one another as we respond to the restrictions locally and nationally. Lord, hear our prayer and draw us all closer to you.
We pray for those whose businesses are closed, whose shops are locked up, whose rooms have no guests, for those whose money is running out, for those on the brink of despair. Lord, hear our prayer and draw us all closer to you.
We pray for your church, entrusted with the good news of Jesus, and charged with serving all those in need. We pray for hospital chaplains, for those ministering to the bereaved, and for one another as we seek to share our faith and our hope in Jesus Christ. Lord, hear our prayer and draw us all closer to you. Amen.
Prayers for those on our prayer list and any other individuals or situations known to you.
Hymn 799 All I once held dear