Order of Service
This Sunday's Order of Service for Morning Worship and Evening Worship (when it is happening) with activities for the week and beyond.
24 May 2020 10.45-11.15 Home service led by Revd Mike available on Zoom
If you don’t have access to the internet, please join us by following this service outline.
Before opening the Zoom link, we will sing
Opening Hymn: I the Lord of sea and sky [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgLwH5RdtPk]
If possible, you are invited to join the Zoom service. At 10.35am we join for a short social period; the service will start at 10.45am. Please click HERE to join the Zoom service, the Zoom Meeting ID is 896 5463 0109 and the Password is Heisalive.
Today, as we gather for worship, we are aware of our need of God and consider what Scripture says about casting our anxieties on God. We give our worries and fears to God, because he cares for us. May God support and strengthen us. To God be the power for ever and ever.
Eternal God of all times and all places, your love stretches beyond anything we can imagine, and yet you care for us. Here today, in this company of friend and stranger, we gather to worship you, acknowledging your eternal love and everlasting care.
As we wait on your word, open our lives to your truth, we pray. As we wait on your Spirit, open our lives to your challenge. As we wait on your hope, open our lives to your care. Make us ready for your call upon our lives.
Living God, we come into your presence wanting to let go of all that weighs us down, and to praise you for new beginnings; to lay aside differences, and to praise you for new friendships; to let go of all that holds us back, and to praise you for new opportunities.
Help us to be confident in our faith, and to praise you for the ministry you entrust to us; to live as we pray.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
We pray the Lord’s Prayer together
NT reading: 1 Peter 4:12-14 and 5: 6-11
Peter probably wrote this letter in AD 64, just as the persecution of Christians under Nero was ramping up. He focuses on the importance of Christian people bearing up under unjust suffering, yet continuing to live good lives. Indeed, the endurance Peter calls these Christians to, is very much like that of Job’s, a man who suffered despite his righteousness. Peter maintained this was true perseverance that Christians can find through their faith in God.
For Peter, Jesus’ example is the focal point for ordering one’s life, even in the midst of trials and tribulations. By rooting their perseverance in the person and work of Christ, Peter says, Christians can always find a source of hope to cling to, even in the midst of suffering.
The Christian community Peter wrote to were undergoing brutal persecution by the Roman regime. They suffered physical torture and ultimate death. They were very dangerous times.
We today are facing dangerous times – not because of persecution at the hands of an occupying regime and its army, intent on crushing our faith, but because of a rampaging viral pandemic. Yes, the suffering Peter refers to is different to that which we are currently enduring, but his call to perseverance and faith is as relevant to us as it ever was.
To give us hope, encouragement and comfort, Peter assures us of God’s ability to ‘restore, support, strengthen and establish’ us in Christ Jesus. “Cast your anxieties on [God], because he cares for you” (5:7) Peter writes. This reminds me of Jesus invitation to all who are weary and heavy-laden to come to him for rest – that he offers true rest for the soul (see Matthew 11:28-30). All this, because Jesus is caring and compassionate, he desires that his followers learn from him, which wisdom helps us understand how God is with us in our troubled times as well as in our good times. This is our source of hope, of encouragement. Let us continue to share our anxieties with God in prayer and find release from our burdens through our faith in Christ Jesus. Amen
Song lyrics - read together:
Beauty for brokenness
Hope for despair
Lord in the suffering
This is our prayer
Bread for the children
Justice Joy Peace
Sunrise to sunset
Your Kingdom increase
Shelter for fragile lives
Cures for their ills
Work for the craftsman
Trade for their skills
Land for the dispossessed
Rights for the weak
Voices to plead the cause
Of those who can't speak
Refuge from cruel wars
Havens from fear
Cities for sanctuary
Freedoms to share
Peace to the killing-fields
Scorched earth to green
Christ for the bitterness
His cross for the pain
(Graham Kendrick (abridged)) © 1993 Make Way Music
We bring before God our concerns for our world: where there is war we pray for peace; where there is sickness we pray for health; where there is despair we pray for hope.
Living God, we pray that your healing be acknowledged in health care: in the work of doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, nurses and administrators, pharmacists and scientists.Living God, we pray that you would guide our activity as church: may we find new ways to be and to grow; may we always honour you; may we serve our communities in Jesus’ name.
We hold in your love those whom we love: those who are sick; those who are sorrowful; those who need guidance and direction.Come to us, God of glory.
Hear us, heal us and shine through our lives.
Compassionate God, we cast our anxiety on you, because you care for us.
O God who cares, we offer you the burden of our cares. We pray for those we know who carry heavy burdens, burdens of debt, of redundancy, of bereavement, of homelessness; burdens of illness, of worry for the future,
You ask us to cast our burdens on you in Christ Jesus, for you care. Help those we know to find rest with the burdens they carry.
We pray for those who help others cope with heavy burdens who make things easier for others; people we know in our community who help us to cope.
We pray for ourselves, for we carry burdens today, especially the burdens of worry for others and the burdens only we know about, for we rarely share them.
As we pray, may we be restored, supported, strengthened and established by you, O God of love.
Silent and spoken prayer, for the world, the church and for those known to us we are concerned about and with whom we celebrate.
We offer these prayers in the name of Jesus, who showed your care in so many ways. Amen
Closing Prayer, we pray together:
Be with us, O God, as we travel this week towards Pentecost.
Waiting for your Spirit, we look for signs of your life.
Restore us, support us, strengthen us, establish us, this week and in the weeks to come.
Please close the Zoom link, then we will sing our final hymn.
Closing Hymn: Breathe on me breath of God (R&S 295) [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIu0nuPX4Us]
Thank you for joining with us today. Stay safe and well until we are able to meet together again.
Please also see ‘Daily Devotions’ available free on the URC website: https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ . God bless.