Worship at Home

Worship for 2nd August 2020

Feeding of the 5,000 & Jesus Walks on Water

Try our new free dial-in service to listen to the sermon and a hymn – 01604 266000.

Sunday 2nd August 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

This week’s message has been prepared by Rev Phil Snelson.

This short act of worship is for use from home.  Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

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Take a few quiet moments to focus on God.

Call to Worship – Psalm 145

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

13 The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.

18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

StF48: From the highest of heights

video background actual pictures from Hubble telescope

From the highest of heights
To the depths of the sea,
Creation’s revealing Your majesty.
From the colours of fall
To the fragrance of spring,
Every creature unique In the song that it sings…  All exclaiming:

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky,
And You know them by name:
You are amazing, God.
All-powerful, untameable;
Awestruck, we fall to our knees
As we humbly proclaim:
You are amazing, God.

Who has told every lightning bolt
Where it should go,
Or seen heavenly storehouses
Laden with snow?
Who imagined the sun
And gives source to its light,
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night? …None can fathom.

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky,
And You know them by name:
You are amazing, God.
Incomparable, unchangeable,
You see the depths of my heart
And you love me the same;
You are amazing, God.

Opening Prayers

sometimes life following you can be difficult.
We find so many dilemmas and struggle so much, wishing it could be easier.
We so want to trust you and see your plan for us. Help us this morning to relax into your presence, to clearly hear your word and be prepared to act on it.
In Jesus’ name.


Lord God,
I’m sorry for the times I take my eyes off you,
and seek to do things in my own strength.
I’m sorry for the times I doubt that
you can keep me on the straight and narrow.
Lord, I pray that you will forgive
my doubts and hesitations,
show me your loving presence,
especially when I need it most,
and teach me to trust you at all times.

Bible Reading

Matthew 14: 13-33

Jesus feeds the five thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed those who were ill.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so that they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’

16 Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’

17 ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’ they answered.

18 ‘Bring them here to me,’ he said. 19 And he told the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Jesus walks on the water

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

28 ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’

29 ‘Come,’ he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

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

Message from Rev’d Phil Snelson

Last week we looked at a number of parables of the Kingdom.  This week we see the Kingdom in action though Jesus and with the same themes:

Last week it was the mustard seed and the yeast that grew and multiplied hugely, this week Jesus takes five loaves and two fish and multiplies them to meet the hunger of way more than 5,000 (they didn’t count women and children – how rude!);  You could understand the disciples maybe thinking, “What use are five buns and a couple of small fish?!”  Nevertheless, they offered what must have seemed an insignificant contribution, all they had, and Jesus did an astonishing thing with their meagre resources.

Last week the Kingdom was likened to hidden treasure and to a merchant searching for fine pearls, each involving risking everything for the Kingdom; this week Peter risks everything to follow Jesus and, trusting in Jesus, gets out of a boat in the middle of the lake and actually walks on water!!  Sure he lost concentration and started to sink, but Jesus didn’t let him drown, and Peter had actually walked on water toward Jesus for a few steps.

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if the disciples had decided it wasn’t worth bothering Jesus with such a small contribution?  I suspect Jesus would have fed people anyway if the disciples hadn’t offered up the picnic for one.  What would have happened if Peter had just stayed in the boat?  Potentially not a lot, but I suspect that Peter may never have walked on water.

We have been seeking God as a Circuit of Methodist churches as to what to do, what God might be saying to us, where He might be leading us.  The question is not just “are we hearing?”, but “are we willing to do something in response?”  The challenge in Jesus’ parable, “Are we willing to risk it, even what seems like everything to us, for God and His Kingdom?”

Here are three questions I came across in my devotions a few weeks ago:
What is my boat? (whatever gives you your greatest sense security)
What is keeping me from getting out of my boat? (probably fear of some kind)
What will I forfeit by staying in my boat? – your destiny, our place in God’s plan for His Kingdom in Northampton.

Let’s not be left sitting in the boat drifting in the storm, wondering what might have been if only we’d taken a risk.  Let’s take our courage in both hands and step out, trusting in Jesus, wherever He may lead..

Take a few moments to reflect, then…

Prayers of Intercessions:

Lord God, we come before you to pray for all those people for whom taking risks is a way of life.
Lord, reveal yourself to them and keep them safe.

We pray for our emergency services – paramedics, the police, the fire service – all who daily face difficult situations as they seek to help to protect us and make our world a safer and more peaceful place.  Please help us and bring the Covid 19 pandemic to an end
Lord, reveal yourself to them and keep them safe.

We pray for people who work in troubled areas – the armed forces in war zones,
those who bring humanitarian aid into areas of natural disaster, the people they serve and many more.
Lord, reveal yourself to them and keep them safe.

We pray for people who take risks in your name, Lord Jesus – those who take your word where it is most needed – and for people who grapple with faith and doubt.
Lord, reveal yourself to them and keep them safe.

We pray for people who are ill, for those who are grieving, for those for whom life feels like a frightening storm.
Lord, reveal yourself to them and bring healing and peace.

We pray for our Circuit of Churches, for a clear and shared vision for our place in building your Kingdom in Northampton.
Lord, reveal yourself to us and make us willing to step out and follow You.


The Lord's Prayer

Please use the version that you prefer

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.


Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.


Hymn: “With All I Am”

Into Your hand I commit again
With All I am For You Lord
You hold my world in the palm of Your hand
And I’m Yours forever

Jesus I believe in You
Jesus I belong to You
You’re the reason that I live
The reason that I sing with all I am

I’ll walk with You wherever You go
Through tears and joy I’ll trust in You
And I will live in all of Your ways
Your promises forever

Jesus I believe in You
Jesus I belong to You
You’re the reason that I live
The reason that I sing

Jesus I believe in You
Jesus I belong to You
You’re the reason that I live
The reason that I sing with all I am

I will worship, I will worship You
I will worship, I will worship You

Jesus I believe in You
Jesus I belong to You
You’re the reason that I live
The reason that I sing

Jesus I believe in You
Jesus I belong to You
You’re the reason that I live
The reason that I sing

Jesus I believe in You
Jesus I belong to You
You’re the reason that I live
The reason that I sing with all I am


StF 645 – Will your anchor hold

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain, Will your anchor drift or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers roar and the reef is near;
While the surges rave and the wild winds blow,
Shall the angry waves then your bark o’erflow.

Will your eyes behold through the morning light
The city of gold and the harbour bright?
Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
when life’s storms are past for evermore?

Priscilla Jane Owens (1829-1907)

The Grace

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

The love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. 


Service, Message and format by Revd Phil Snelson
Prayers adapted from Roots on the Web

Webpage: Paul Deakin

Important - Letter about church building reopening

Please click on the button below to read a letter from Pam Kirkland, on behalf of The Circuit Leadership team. There is also a short questionnaire that everyone is asked to complete, this can be done online, by email or by post.