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Worship

A SERVICE FOR SEPT 20 2020 PERHAPS EVEN A HARVEST FESTIVAL?

Call to Worship: Isaiah.25:6-9: The Lord Almighty will prepare a banquet for all the nations of the world – a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine. He will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow that has been hanging over all the nations. The Sovereign Lord will destroy death forever ! He will wipe away the tears from everyone's eyes ...The Lord himself has spoken ! When it happens everyone will say: “He is our God ! We have put our trust in him, and he has rescued us. He is the Lord ! We have put our trust in him, and now we are happy and joyful because he has ssaved us.”

StF 103 God is Love: let heaven adore him.

God is Love: let earth rejoice.

Let creation sing before him;

and exalt him with one voice.

He who laid the earth's foundation,

He who spread the heavens above,

He who breathes through all creation,

He is Love, eternal Love.

 

God is Love, and he enfolding

all the world in one embrace,

with unfailing grasp is holding

every child of every race.

And when human hearts are breaking

under sorrow's iron rod,

then they find that selfsame aching

deep within the heart of God.

 

God is Love, and though with blindness

sin afflicts each human soul,

God's eernal loving-kindness

holds and guides and keeps them whole.

Sin and death and hell shall never

o'er us final triumph gain;

God is Love. So Love for ever

o'er the universe must reign.

PRAYERS Adoration & Thanks: God of Creation, holy beyond our imagining, mighty beyond the reach of our minds, we lift to You our heartfelt praise & gratitude. In You, Father, our lives find meaning: we find unconditional love, & strength for the journey of life. When we meditate upon You, we are filled with wonder that You, who are so great, care for us who are so humble & ordinary. So with hearts overflowing, we say:: Thank You for loving us...saving us...guiding us...feeding us. Thank you, Father, that we do not live by bread alone, but by the true bread from heaven, your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you, in his name.

We make our

Confession for ourselves, the Church and the World: God of love, You have made a beautiful world, & we have failed to preserve it; You have truly blessed us & we’ve failed to respond in our lives.

You have made us One Family, & we have failed to share your love. In a world of hostility & fear, we have failed to accept & open our hearts to our neighbours. Where corruption & greed have brought ruin, we have failed to build a just & generous community. People starve & we’ve failed to feed them; people are homeless & we’ve failed to give them shelter. Generous Father, forgive us if we forget that You invite everyone to the feast of your love & mercy. Forgive us when we think that “everyone” means “ everyone who is like us”.

Father, You never fail us. Give us wisdom to care for your world & restore its beauty. Forgive our sins, as individuals & as a community, & teach us to be obedient & faithful, so that we can be with You as your children forever. Father, You love the world so much that You gave your only Son, so that we may believe in him & know our sins are forgiven. Thank you for the promise of victory & the hope of eternal life, through Jesus Christ Our Lord Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

Old Testament lesson: Exodus 16 verses 4-18 Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16

StF 159 Not far beyond the sea nor high

above the heavens, but very nigh

your voice , O God, Is heard.

For each new step of faith we take

you have more truth and light to break

forth from your holy word.

 

The babes in Christ your Scriptures feed

with milk sufficient for their need,

the nurture of the Lord.

Beneath life's burden and its heat

the fully grown find stronger meat

in your unfailing word.

Rooted and grounded in your love

with saints on earth and saints above

we join in full accord,

to grasp the breadth, length, depth and height

the crucified and risen might

of Christ.the incarnate word.

 

Help us to press toward that mark,

and, though our vision now is dark,

to live by what we see.

So, when we see you face to face,

your truth and light our dwelling-place

for evermore shall be.

 

Sermon In the name of the Fatherand of the Son & of the Holy Spirit: Amen

Strange readings for a Harvest Festival ? When did you last enjoy.manna & quails ? The Gospel reading is actually about the grape harvest, to produce wine - not suitable for all Methodists ? The story of the Vineyard seems a funny way to run a business – uneconomic (risking bankruptcy ?), & unfair to the hardest workers ? It could be a sketch for The Two Ronnies & John Cleese: “I’m one of the First Workers: I’ve borne the burden & heat of the day: so I look down on him because he only turned up at 2 pm – but I look down even more on him: he turned up at the last minute !” Last Worker: “ I know my place.”

At our worst. we all like to find someone to look down on.... & we'd resent last workers being paid first AND all getting the same wages. & Where were the last ones hiding when the owner looked before ? !

A strange story altogether: How to run a firm today ? –

Does it seem any better as a story at the Church level:?

II. Church. What kind of workers are we ? Methodism was one of the last parts of the Church to appear ! But we can be reluctant to welcome newer kinds of Christians. These incomers are changing our ways of worship & everything – But we've always done it this way – and of course we're right ! Once two leaders of different churches were debating. The older man tried to be tolerant: “We must agree to differ. You worship God in your way – and we worship Him in His !” If we're honest, do we prefer a church full of PLU”s ? i.e. People Like Us !

Or are we grateful to meet people who can teach us new things about God, and are we brave enough to/ welcome change ? If our ways are really worthwhile, we can share them and share new gifts

together.

  1. Kingdom of Heaven But NB whatever kind of workers we are, we can’t earn our place or our

reward – nothing we can do guarantees preferential treatment – because this is God's Kingdom & we all depend on his generosity. He works through us – to produce his harvest. -In the Gospel the: Owner’s real purpose to find as many people as possible & give them work & daily bread. Each has all they really need: Exodus:The ones who gathered much or little didn't have too much or too little. Christ replaces Manna with our daily bread.

We’d have to be God to make this “business” work ! To care for people rather than profit. To give the newcomers the same chances as the first. The Owner, going out again and again to bring people in

is like the Father of the Prodigal Son, looking out for him every day, never accepting that his son would

not come home, running out to meet him.

So we shall not be jealous or resentful, but thankful that our Father is generous - & that we can work with him. And to his Name.we shall give eternal praise. !

Intercessions Loving God, we commend to your fatherly goodness all who are anxious, or distressed in mind or body. Especially those whom we remember in our Saturday prayers & all we name in our hearts, that they may be very conscious of your loving presesce. Father, comfort & relieve all your children according to their need, give them patience & courage in their sufferings & bring good out of their troubles. :Lord. You made us one family, help us to share your love.

Thank you, Father, that although we are not worthy even to gather up the crumbs under your table, your nature is always to have mercy, on which we can depend. So we pray alongside those who find it hard to pray, or to recognise you as a loving Father. Those who are always at the back of the queue, or on the outside looking in at the good gifts you have given.

We commit into your hands all who face the future without security or medical care, whose lives are ovrshadowed by loneliness, bereavement or broken relationships. We pray with all victims: of natural disasters, all who suffer war & violence… Reconciling Lord, guide those who seek to resolve the tension between Israel & Palestine, between Russia & the West Pray for places which have touched your heart this week.... Father, show your presence in lands where the world’s eyes are watching, and the forgotten places, where no-one looks any more. Lord God, the world is yours.

.You made us one family, help us to share your love. In Christ's name we pray. Amen

 

126 Praise God for the harvest of orchard & field,

Praise God for the people who gather their yield ,

the long hours of labour, the skills of a team,

the patience of science, the power of machine.

 

Praise God for the harvest that comes from afar,

from market & harbour, the sea & the shore:

food packed & transported & gathered & grown

by God-given neighbours, unseen & unknown.

 

Praise God for the harvest that's quarried & mined,

then sifted & smelted, or shaped & refined:

for oil & for iron, for copper & coal,

praise God, who in love has provided them all.

 

Praise God for the harvest of science & skill,

the urge to discover, create & fulfil;

for dreams & inventions that promise to gain

a future more hopeful, a world more humane.

 

Praise God for the harvest of mercy & love

from leaders & peoples who sttruggle & serve

for patience & kindness, that all may be led

to freedom & justice, & all may be fed.

 

Blessing A prayer seen in Cartmel Priory:

Be gentle when you touch bread.

Let it not lie uncared for, unwanted.

So often bread is taken for granted.

There is such beauty in bread:

Beauty of sun and soil, Beauty of patient toil.

Wind and sun have caressed it, Christ often blessed it.

Be gentle when you touch bread.

 

The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ

the love of God

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with ua and all God's Family

evermore Amen


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