Worship at Home

Worship for 24th May 2020

Aldersgate Sunday

Why not arrange to phone someone else to share today’s worship together.

Sunday 24th May 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

This week’s message has been prepared by Rev Francis M’Itiiri.

This short act of worship is for use while we are unable to attend church.  Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

Download the Family Activities

Today 24th of May is Aldersgate Sunday, a great opportunity to celebrate the work of God in our lives, and to reflect on how we should respond to everything that God has given us.

John Wesley’s heart was “strangely warmed”, as he experienced God’s love in a most personal and life-giving way. Until then he had known God in his mind, but not in his heart. Now he understood the value of a personal experience of God that would bring assurance of salvation to the believer.

We also keep in mind that it is mental health awareness week, particularly relevant to our current time.

Opening:

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you.
now and for ever.

Amen.

Hymn: At the Name of Jesus (Singing the Faith 317)

This is a slightly different version to Singing the Faith

At the name of Jesus
every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him
King of Glory now.
‘Tis the Father’s pleasure
we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning
was the mighty Word:

Mighty and mysterious
in the highest height,
God from everlasting
very light of light:
in the Father’s bosom
with the Spirit blest,
love, in love eternal,
rest, in perfect rest.

Humbled for a season,
to receive a name
from the lips of sinners
unto whom he came,
faithfully he bore it
spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious
when from death he passed.

Bore it up triumphant
with its human light,
through all ranks of creatures
to the central height,
to the throne of Godhead,
to the Father’s breast;
filled it with the glory 
of that perfect rest.

In your hearts enthrone him;
there let him subdue
all that is not holy,
all that is not true:
crown him as your captain
in temptation’s hour;
let his will enfold you
in its light and power.

Brothers, this Lord Jesus
shall return again,
with his Father’s glory,
with his angel train;
for all wreaths of empire
meet upon his brow,
and our hearts confess him
King of Glory now.

Caroline Maria Noel (1817-1877)
6 5 6 5 

Prayer of Approach

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people
and kindle in us the fire of your love.

All who are led by the Spirit of God are
children of God and fellow heirs with Christ.
Come, Holy Spirit,
and fill the hearts of your people.

Renew the face of your creation, Lord,
pouring on us the gifts of your Spirit,
and kindle in us the fire of your love.

For the creation waits with eager longing
for the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your people
and kindle in us the fire of your love.

 
A Prayer of Confession

Lord Jesus Christ, we confess we have failed you as did your first disciples. Our selfishness betrays you: Lord, forgive us.
All       Christ have mercy.

We fail to share the pain of your suffering:
Lord, forgive us.
All       Christ have mercy.

We run away from those who abuse you:
Lord, forgive us.
All       Christ have mercy.

We are afraid of being known to belong to you:
Lord, forgive us.
All       Christ have mercy.

Bible Reading

11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Bible Reading

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

1 Peter 5:6-11 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Hymn: Christ is alive! Let Christians sing (Singing the Faith 297)

This is a slightly different version to Singing the Faith

Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
His cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring.
His love in death shall never die.

Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
he comes to claim the here and now,
and dwell in every place and time.

Not throned above, remotely high,
untouched, unmoved by human pains
but daily, in the midst of life,
our Saviour, in the Godhead reigns.

In every insult, rift and war,
where colour, scorn or wealth divide,
he suffers still, yet loves the more,
and lives, though ever crucified.

Christ is alive! and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and all creation ring
with joy, with justice, love and praise.

Brian Wren (born 1936)

Sermon and Reflections of the day

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Isolation can have serious side effects especially to the people who are extraverts and used to being out there with people. The period of Pandemic has had its way of confronting us with some of the things that we try to avoid and sometimes they haunt us.

Similarly, the disciples of Jesus might have felt sad to see their master being taken to glory and a new sense of being left alone in isolation was something they had to come to terms with as they looked up gazing in the skies.  The disciples were still thinking in terms of an earthly, perhaps military coming of the kingdom of God:  They had already faced many troubles during their time with Jesus, and they looked forward just like us to a new world order.

Perhaps we find ourselves wondering will things get any better? When is it going to be normal? Yet we are not sure of the time lockdown is going to be lifted. There is so much uncertainty in these unusual strange times which impacts society in tremendous ways.  We can be encouraged knowing that Jesus continues to pray for us as he did in John17
‘I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.’

Regarding the Question of when is time for God’s Kingdom to replace all these? We do not yet know really, but perhaps Jesus’ command to wait, and the Aldersgate experience of John Wesley & his brother Charles call us to the same yearning prayer for the empowering of the Spirit for ourselves and our life together as Church… “Come Holy Spirit, warm our hearts during period of trouble and may we experience your saving power. Amen.”

Prayers of Intercession

God our protector, we come before you in prayer for your world, As we remember your ascension, we thank you that you did not leave us alone but sent your Sprit so that we can always know you are with us.

We pray for the leaders of nations making impossible decisions on our behalf. We pray that they will speak and act with integrity and protect those who are most vulnerable. We pray for our church communities.

We bring you our sadness at not being able to meet together and we thank you for the people finding it easier to explore faith at this time. that we will find new ways to reach out to the world.  We pray for those struggling with their health in body, mind or spirit.

We pray for the people we miss. Our friends and families and those we long to see face to face. We pray for safety and protection for our loved ones. We pray for those who have lost someone they love and haven’t been able to say goodbye. We pray that they will know the comfort of your loving presence and that you will show us how to reach out in love and friendship.

We pray for ourselves in these difficult days shared by so many people but also lived in isolation. Help us to know your protecting love and to live in the power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

Take a time to sit quietly

A Final Prayer

God of overwhelming grace,
you ignited the spark of your grace in John and Charles Wesley and a passion for holiness, justice and sharing your great love with others,

Warm our hearts that we may trust in you.

Renew our conviction and inspire us to embrace new opportunities even in difficulty.

Pour out your spirit on us.

We pray that we may be united in your love and ready to share hope with the world through Jesus who is one with you.

Amen

Message & Prayers by Rev Francis Itiiri
Order of Service compiled by Rev Phil Snelson.

Notices! (Knew you’d be missing them!!!)

Next Sunday is Pentecost and we would like everyone to share worship with each other, so please arrange during the week to meet up on Sunday with one or more others, on the phone, or in other ways (WhatsApp, ZOOM etc).  THANK YOU!! 😊