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Worship

Sunday 5th July 2020

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use whilst we are unable to use Methodist Church premises.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.

 

Opening Prayer

Jesus, I come to you to celebrate your love and to receive your word.

You taught that we must worship God in spirit. I long to worship with your people, but I know you are with me, in these difficult times. Amen.

Hymn: Love divine, (StF No 503)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CNfpUrKzpM

Love divine, all loves excelling,

joy of heaven to earth come down,

fix in us thy humble dwelling,

all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesu, thou art all compassion,

pure, unbounded love thou art;

visit us with thy salvation,

enter every trembling heart.

 

Come, almighty to deliver,

let us all thy life receive;

suddenly return, and never,

never more thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,

serve thee as thy hosts above,

pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,

glory in thy perfect love.

 

Finish then thy new creation,

pure and spotless let us be;

let us see thy great salvation,

perfectly restored in thee:

changed from glory into glory,

till in heaven we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before thee,

lost in wonder, love, and praise!

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

 

Let us pray together:

Lord God, I am in wonder at the world you have created and the life you have given me. I thank you for that gift of life and the joy of sharing my life with others.

 

I have not always lived my life as you would wish. Yet, even as I confess this to you, I know your forgiveness by the suffering and death of your Son, Jesus Christ, my Saviour.        Amen.

Reading Romans 7. 15-25a

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

Time to Reflect

28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Jesus’ says that he is offering a new way to God. Like the old way, it aims for salvation, but He offers us strength and comfort on our path to God.

He calls us to accept the need for forgiveness, and the salvation He offers to us. Then we can receive the Spirit to follow God’s way with the knowledge of His Love.

Jesus says people criticise him for not conforming to their expectations. Those who fear his message point to how he lives his life, as they had done regarding John the Baptist.

If, through our calling, we receive or fear such criticism, we must rise above it. Seeing others we should look to what their words and actions mean for us, rather than judging their outward appearance.

It is reported that when Sydney Carter wrote the well-known hymn “Lord of the Dance” he expected the Church to dislike it because it was different. Happily, it was accepted, perhaps not as quickly as it deserved, and is now a familiar celebration of Jesus’ life. 

Jesus speaks of the word of God being hidden from the wise, of those who allow wisdom or knowledge to hide the love of God, and who see the detail of the Law as overriding God’s calling that we should love God and our neighbour. 

In the tale of the ‘Good Samaritan’ it was a priest and a Levite (someone who would assist the priest in the Temple), who would know the Law, who walked by.

In writing to the Romans, Paul speaks of the conflict between following the Law and accepting the call of Jesus.

This does not mean that we can disregard the Law. Indeed, often the Law shows us how to love our neighbour, but the love God shows us is not following a set of rules but a supreme act of love through suffering. Our call to respond should also be through Love.

All this is through God’s love for us, shown in the grace we are offered when he sent His Son to die for our forgiveness and salvation.

Take a time to sit quietly

A time of prayer

I thank you Lord for the gift of your Son: for His life, His sufferings and death and for His Resurrection and Ascension, for the witness, salvation and hope He gives.

I thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit to those who have come to you, and especially for the gift of that Spirit in your Church.

I rejoice in the work and witness of your Church and pray that it may continue to strive to fulfil your work and proclaim your Love.

I pray for the needs of the world, thinking especially at this time of those affected by the Coronavirus, but remembering too all who suffer including those whose plight seemingly goes unnoticed. Be with all those suffering in any way. Especially be with……………(people known to me)

Be with those whose lives impact others: leaders in government, or the workplace, health care workers, teachers, emergency workers and all those on whom people depend. Grant them the wisdom and the strength to know and to follow your way.

Lord, I commend all men, women and children to your unfailing love through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.    Amen 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father ……

Hymn: Listen to “Lord of the Dance” StF no 247 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLGqavkDszU or sing a verse of a hymn that comes to mind

I danced in the morning

when the world was begun,

and I danced in the moon

and the stars and the sun;

and I came down from heaven

and I danced on the earth, at Bethlehem

I had my birth.

 

‘Dance, then, wherever you may be,

I am the Lord of the Dance.' said he,

'and I'll lead you all wherever you may be,

and I'll lead you all in the Dance,' said he.

 

I danced for the scribe and the pharisee,

but they would not dance

and they wouldn't follow me;

I danced for the fishermen, for James and John;

they came with me and the Dance went on.

 

I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame:

the holy people said it was a shame.

They whipped and they stripped

and they hung me on high,

and they left me there on a Cross to die.

 

I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;

it's hard to dance with the devil on your back.

They buried my body and they thought I'd gone;

but I am the Dance and I still go on.

 

They cut me down and I leapt up high;

I am the life that'll never, never die;

I'll live in you if you'll live in me;

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

Sydney Carter (1915-2004)

 

A prayer of blessing

May the blessing of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit rest and remain with each of us sharing His worship today and always.


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