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Worship

Banner Cross 26.7.20

Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim his greatness. Be glad that we belong to him; let all who worship him rejoice. Go to the Lord for help and worship him continually. Psalm 105

Singing the Faith 610 Best of all is God is with us,

God will hold and never fail.

Keep that truth when storms are raging,

God remains though faith is frail.

 

Best of all is God is with us,

life goes on and needs are met,

God is srongest in our weakness,

Love renews, will not forget.

 

Best of all is God is with us,

hearts are challenged, strangely warmed,

faith is deepened, courge strengthened,

grace received and hope reformed.

 

Best of all is God is with us,

in our joy and through our pain,

till that final acclamation:

'life is Christ and death is gain.'

 

Best of all is God is with us,

as we scale eternal heights,

love grows stronger, undiminished;

earth grows dim by heaven's lights.

[based on John Wesley's final words]

Prayers Father, we bring you our prayers, through Christ, the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.

Thank you for our part in your Church Family, with its times of inspiration asnf fulfilment, and

the ordinary times of patient obedience. All that we enjoy is your free gift to us. We can neither measure your love nor number your blessings

Merciful God, who forgive all who are penitent, pardon our pride and self-centredness, our attempts to excuse our sins and criticise others, and our ingratitude for the kindnesses we

reeeive from people who share our lives. Give us such confidence, such peace, such happiness in you that we may be equipped for every good work, witness to your saving love and glorify your name in our lives. Help us to treasure your gifts and share them with others until all know your love. For the sake of Christ, who emptied hmself of all but love. Amen

 

Todays readings are Romans 8:26-39 & Matthew 13: 44-52

Reflections Lord, guide us as we explore your word. M ay we study it sincerely, may we hear you speak to our hearts and minds and act upon it in our lives, so that your love may be made real and your truth be made known through us. We offer all that we do in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Our Readings encourage us to think about what happens if we take God seriously – and vice versa.

Recently the BBC announced that, in a poll, the nation's favourit hymn is Jerusalem. Probably Parry's setting deserves some of the credit, but the choice does show that there is still some idealism in our psyche, along with our traditional belief that Our Lord was a fair-haired, blue-eyed Englishman at heart – as seen in Victorian stained-glass windows.

Now we know that Black Lives Matter and that our King looks like a Palestinian, as we await up to 3 milion new fellow-citizens from Hong Kong. The Kingdom of Heaven does not impose any colour-bar but offers a welcome to all Christ is to be our Elder Brother and we are joint-heirs with him of God's promises. In Romans Paul shows us the wonder of being adopted into God's family - words we can ponder throughout our lives, even in time of crisis. By grace Christ binds us to him inseparab;ly. We don't have to qualify for membership – we can't ! However, we are warned that we have to take our citizenship seriously.

Years ago, in two different places, I remember hearing two Deaconesses giving their testimony. One told of her shock and awe when she decided to commit her whole future to God: “What a thing to say to God !” The other described the risk we take in making such a decision, “trembling lest our prayer be answered !” The blessed Martyrs know that life in the Spirit is costly and dangerous. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oscar Romero and many others known only to God have lived in daily danger because they take God seriously.

How we need God's grace to have any chance of keeping our promises:”For better or for worse, in sickness and in health...” St Francis adds “For richer or poorer.” In Gethsemane, Christ threw himself on his Father's mercy. In church, Holy Communion shows us his sacrifice and invites our response. In Matthew Our Lord tells us that giving everything for his Kingdom is right – because it's worth it !

We need all the help we can get, but Paul assures us that, like Christ, the Spirit prays for us.

“Dear Father, we praise and thank you that in your goodness you are strength in our weakness, light in our dakness, comfort in our sorrow and peace in our anxiety. Help us to show our thanks in our lives, by sharing your gifts with others, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Prayers Eternal Wisdom, whom we partly know but are afraid of where you may lead us. Eternal Justice, whom we sometimes acknowledge but never wholly obey. Eternal Love, whom we love a little but tremble to let you take full possession. Open our minds to understand, our wills to obedience, our lives to your soul-filling love.

We bring you those for whom we are specially concrned at this time: Rachel and her famly.

Bob Mellers Jackie's brother-in-law Neil Pat's oousin Philip Hazel's sister Joy and nephews Jonathon and Andrew Steve, Brenda, Richard and Brian in care homes

[details of these peopl's needs may be found on the Church Website or via our Church Leaders]

In the wider world,:

Political leaders and those who influence many lives. People suffering from Covid 19 and their families. Those suffering from other illnesses who feel neglected in the crisis. Carers who

are Christ's hands and feet – and may they know they are cared for too New Christians who are finding their way into new life Those who need to know that their lives matter

May their eyes may be opened to your loving presence in their need........

...

We ask your blessing on those who need your gift oif sight, including ourslvs:

blind to their own needs through habit or complacency..............

blind to your mercy, because of their sense of guilt...........

to the real meaning & purpose of their lives, whether hidden by the cares, riches or pleasures of this world.

blind to the needs of others around them, througy selfishness or lack of sensitivity....

blinded by ambu=ition, prejudice or hatred: ....

blind to your hope, through disappointrnmt, /bereavement, despair............ :

So, for others & ourselves: Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

Lord's Prayer

. Singing the Faith 563

O Jesus, I have promised, to serve you to the end;

Lord, be forever near me, my master and my friend.

I shall not fear the battle if you are by my side,

nor wander from the pathway if you will be my guide.

 

O let me fee you near me; the world is ever near;

I see the sights thaty dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear.

My foes are ever near me, around me and within,

but Jesus, now draw nearer and shield my soul from sin.

 

O let me hear you speaking in accents clear and still,

above the storms of passion, the mirmurs of self-will;

O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;

Lord, speak and make me listen, O guardian of my soul.

 

O Jesus, you have promised to all who follow you,

that where you are in glory your servat shall be too.

And Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end;

O give me grace to follow my master and my friend.

 

Blessing Lord God, may each one know your love around us, your peace within us,

oyour hope before us, for your holy name's sake, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen

 


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