Worship at Home

Worship for 11th October 2020

“A Turkish Breakfast Buffet” flickr photo by S-Square https://flickr.com/photos/sudhirs/172793725 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

The parable of the wedding banquet

To listen to the sermon and a hymn dial – 01604 266000.

Sunday 11th October 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

This week’s message has been prepared by Mary Winchcombe

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.

Download the Family Activities

Call to Worship:

Loving God, you gather us together tenderly
as a shepherd gathers their sheep.
You bring us together to feed us
and to strengthen us with your living water.
In you we find peace.
Help us to accept the invitation to come to you; make us willing to respond to your call,
and ready to receive you now.

Amen.

Hymn: Come on and Celebrate (StF 44)

Come on and celebrate
His gift of love, we will celebrate
The Son of God who loved us
And gave us life.
We’ll shout Your praise, O King,
You give us joy nothing else can bring,
We’ll give to You our offering
In celebration praise. 

Come on and celebrate, celebrate
Celebrate and sing,
Celebrate and sing to the King.
Come on and celebrate, celebrate
Celebrate and sing,
Celebrate and sing to the King.

Opening Prayers:

Almighty God, we have gathered here to worship and adore you. Out of chaos and gloom you brought order and light, out of the darkness of night you create each new day.

We praise you Father,
that in the resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ, you have demonstrated so clearly your power over evil, sin and death.
We rejoice that we can gather in his name, and in the power of the Spirit, to praise you for your greatness, your faithfulness, and your love.

You have called us to be your people and have made available to us all the resources of your grace.

Forgive us for the times when our lives have not openly showed our love for you, or a loving concern for others.

We too often fail to make our relationship with you our number one priority; and we can be reluctant to use the gifts and talents you have freely bestowed upon us. We can so easily slip into an attitude of selfish ingratitude, which dulls our sensitivity to the needs of others and the demands of your kingdom.

We ask forgiveness as we seek a fresh vision of our calling to follow you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen

Bible Reading

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

Bible Reading

The parable of the wedding banquet

22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

‘Then he sent some more servants and said, “Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”

‘But they paid no attention and went off – one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, ill-treated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

‘Then he said to his servants, “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.” 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 ‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, “How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?” The man was speechless.

13 ‘Then the king told the attendants, “Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

14 ‘For many are invited, but few are chosen.’

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

Local Preacher, Mary Winchcombe writes…

The banquet or feast is a frequent symbol of God’s desire to draw others into his joy. People listening to Jesus would have recognised the scriptural symbolism of the celebration Jesus was describing.

It’s a parable about the kingdom of God, which shows us a lot about God.

Firstly, he is a loving father who wants his people to come and feast in his presence. He makes extravagant preparations for their enjoyment and invitations are sent out.

He even repeats the invitation to those who don’t respond.

It also shows that God can be an avenging God using his anger and power against those who abuse his people.

And finally, we see God’s generosity in opening his house to all, including those who have no reason to expect an invitation.

It’s not a comfortable parable, showing both God’s love and His justice. His invitation to His kingdom is for all. He loves every part of His creation and longs for it to love him in return

This means he loves even evil people who do dreadful things. He hates what they might be doing to themselves and others. He longs for them to change. But if they don’t change, he cannot allow them to remain for ever in the party.

God is a loving parent, and any parent knows that we love our children unconditionally, but we don’t always like their behaviour or attitude; and it’s that we like to see change.

Not everyone responds to God’s loving invitation; the invitation is free, the response is a serious and considered decision.

And are the final three verses a sermon in themselves?

Why should the man be thrown out for not wearing the right clothes? Isn’t that the sort of social exclusion the gospel rejects? How come the people from the streets had the right clothes? Did the host supply them? Did this person refuse to change preferring his own clothes, wanting things on his own terms?

Is that us? There are times when each of us feels we know better than God, or that our efforts are winning our salvation. How often do we hear God speaking and choose not to respond?

Jesus is telling us that God’s kingdom is one in which love, justice, truth, mercy and holiness reign unhindered.  They’re the clothes we need to wear for the wedding.

We are being warned not to let earthly things get in the way of our relationship with God. It’s that relationship, which grows and deepens, that matters most of all.

Remember the excitement we feel when we are getting ready to go to a really special event? That’s the excitement we should feel at the prospect of God’s Kingdom. How often, I wonder, do we get excited by the good news that the kingdom of God will be like a party?   The best party there could ever be.

Prayers of intercession:

Lord we pray for those to whom God is speaking and who are not listening, not responding. May their hearts and minds be opened to his voice.

We pray for our world where there is so much unrest, violence, anger and despair.

For leaders that they may lead with honesty, integrity, and the interests of their people at heart.

For all who help us – doctors, nurses, emergency services, support agencies and charities.

In silence bring your own concerns before God.

In Jesus’ name,                   

Amen

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.

Amen.

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.

Amen.

Hymn -Take my life (StF 566)

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine:
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store:
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Frances Ridley Havergal.

A Final Prayer

The Lord who feeds us so faithfully,
blesses us so richly,
leads us so surely,
forgives us so freely,
supports us so staunchly,
and loves us so completely,
go with us now and always

Amen

Service & Sheet prepared by Mary Winchcombe,
Local Preacher

Webpage: Paul Deakin