Sunday Worship -Open our hearts, our minds and our eyes

Opening Words

Let us open our hearts, our minds, and our eyes to see the generous gifts of God and respond with praise and thanksgiving.


Hymn Knowing you Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxpPIa-BskY


Prayers and Lord’s Prayer

Generous God, we come, individually and together, as your people to be resourced, inspired and blessed. We come, thankful for the self-giving love of Jesus. Inspired by his example, may we be generous and giving, with no reward other than knowing we are doing your will. We ask this in his name. Amen.

Eternal God, you call us to this time and place, to still our minds and gather our thoughts, to see the immensity of your giving to us. You are the giver of life in all its fullness; the giver of gifts beyond compare; the giver of more than we can imagine or comprehend. We come before you now. Amen.

Lords Prayer


Children’s address - illustrate giving using biscuits

Three volunteers, each are given plates with different amounts of biscuits (3, 2 and 1), I take the same from each plate (1 biscuit). Two people are still left with biscuits but one has given me everything.


Hymn Above all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_cxhf5ISeg

Notices

Bible Readings:

1 Kings 17.8-16; Mark 12.38-44



Hymn I surrender all

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW8EA7DEQ2M


Prayers:


God of all creation, you ask us to care and not to destroy; to share and not to abuse what you have given to us. You ask us to cherish the earth not to abuse it and to use earth’s resources fairly and not to waste them. Forgive our failures and renew our commitment.

God of all creation, May we use your gifts wisely and care for the earth.

Generous God,

you have placed us in community

in our churches, families, schools and neighbourhoods

where we learn that we are stronger together.

You created people in your image,

so amazing and capable of so much that is good,

yet also capable of going choosing the wrong thing.

Give us ears to listen to one another,

hearts to care for each other’s pain,

and hands ready to heal the hurts of our world.

As world leaders meet to discuss climate change,

may your Spirt of truth and justice lead the way to a more compassionate, a more equal and a simpler way of life.

God of all creation, May we use your gifts wisely and care for the earth.

Generous God, you give us all that we need for life. May we learn to live with the same generosity that you show to us, using resources for our need and not our greed, and offering what we can to improve the lives of people who struggle. May we never be closed to the parts of the world that are troubled, or closed to the sufferings caused by our greed in the developed world. Give us and our world leaders generosity of spirit, so that we can walk in another person’s shoes. May we begin to see that we share one home. and that our actions can improve or damage life chances for others.

God of all creation, May we use your gifts wisely and care for the earth

Generous God, you count the hairs on our head and care for the smallest of the creatures on earth. May we live as though our days belong to you, using the gifts of our time and our talents to serve our neighbour, and make a difference in the world. May we hear the cry of those in pain. We place into your hands people who are ill and we ask for your healing…

May we also pay attention to the cry of our earth for healing,

and the fears of the peoples in areas most at risk including:

Lagos in Nigeria; Yemen; Haiti; United Arab Emirates; Manila in the Philippines; Kiribati; Japan; the Netherlands; India and Sri Lanka and so many more…

We hold the peoples of these areas in our hearts together with the hopes and dreams of children and young people.

God of all creation, may we use your gifts wisely and care for the earth.


Prayer Book


Hymn Take my life and let it be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf11rReeWIs


Talk


This week’s message is really about giving, in the light of cop 26, I thought it was important to pause an just think about how we interact with each other and how we give not only to others but also to God himself. In both of the passages we have read this morning the emphasis has very much been on giving, the women in the stories gave to the very nth degree.

In our reading from 1 Kings 17 the widow barely had enough for herself and her son, yet when Elijah went calling, she was persuaded to use the very last of her ingredients to bake some bread which would feed Elijah and her son. In her own words the woman believed this would be her last meal, it was all she had, yet she freely gave it to Elijah. That is some generosity.

In our second reading, the very well-known story of the widow’s mite, is recounted. this woman equally opened her purse and found the smallest denomination available, it was the only coin she had and like the widow above, she gave her last coin to God. the contrast between the woman’s gift, simple and small but everything, was contrasted by Jesus as the large gifts given by the religious leaders were given out of the vast wealth that they had. The amounts they gave could not be compared, in monetary terms the religious leaders gave more, but in actual terms the woman gave everything, the religious leaders gave out of their wealth, they had more at home, she had nothing.


Jesus watching the Widow giving all she had
The Widow's Mite

When we give to God, whether it be our money or time, our skills or other resources do we give him a part of our abundance or do we give him everything. This is really the meaning of today’s talk.

How do we see generous living or giving? During lockdown and even before that people in our Country, one of the rich countries of the world were finding it hard to make ends meet. Many people were turning to Food banks, which first appeared in the US in the 1960s. In the UK, they were rare until the early part of the 2000s, becoming much more widespread after the economic collapse of 2008. According to the Trussell Trust, more than 14 million people in the UK – including 4.5 million children – are now living in poverty. And there are more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK offering support – usually about 7 days of food at a time. The Trussell Trust is founded on Christian principles, and bases what it does on Jesus’ words in Matthew 25.35-36.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’


This was my impetus in agreeing to start what became known as Blaby Elves, during its time this organisation has helped around 10 individuals or families on a regular basis with food vouchers. In addition, at both Christmas and Easter we created 45 boxes and bags to support wider families and individuals at these times. We do still have around £600 available to carry on with this work. Blaby Elves will then cease to exist and will be subsumed into CBT, hopefully with money from a grant that I have submitted on their behalf. We will continue to work within the community and produce the Christmas and Easter goodie boxes and bags. This church also contributes to the Foodbank at Countesthorpe via the box at the back and I know that people in this church also contribute to a local homeless charity. As a church we also have regular coffee mornings all the money of which goes to charities, I have been proud of this giving, but since lockdown disappointed with the lack of support for this, hence the need to find a different way to give via our after church coffee donations.


When does giving stop? The saying ‘charity begins at home’ is often used to limit what we give or do, and to whom. But, as the 17th-century clergyman Thomas Fuller said (and others since): ‘Charity begins at home but should not end there.’ Charles Dickens amended it another way: ‘Charity begins at home, but justice begins next door.’ We are not an island, we can not work in isolation, we have to consider others. The way we live effects not only those around us but also in th