Worship at Home

Worship for 18th October 2020

Do not let go of God during dark moments of life

To listen to the sermon and a hymn dial

01604 266000.

Sunday 18th October 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

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

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.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-4

Opening Prayer

Lord,
We gather today to praise your holy name, confess our sins and rejoice in your forgiveness.
As we come together in your sight,
Father God, may your Spirit be with us.

Praise be to our God.  

Amen.

All Praise to our redeeming Lord (STF- 608)
Contemporary Version

All praise to our redeeming Lord,
who joins us by his grace,
and bids us, each to each restored,
together seek his face.

He bids us build each other up;
and, gathered into one,
to our high calling’s glorious hope
we hand in hand go on.

The gift which he on one bestows,
we all delight to prove;
the grace through every vessel flows,
in purest streams of love

(Traditional only)

E’en now we think and speak the same,
and cordially agree.
concentred all, through Jesu’s name,
in perfect harmony.

We all partake the joy of one,
the common peace we feel,
a peace to sensual minds unknown,
a joy unspeakable.

And if our fellowship below
in Jesus be so sweet,
what heights of rapture shall we know
when round his throne we meet!

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

Traditional Version

Bible Reading

 

Moses and the glory of the Lord

12 Moses said to the Lord, ‘You have been telling me, “Lead these people,” but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, “I know you by name and you have found favour with me.” 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with you. Remember that this nation is your people.’

14 The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’

15 Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’

17 And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’

18 Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.’

19 And the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’

21 Then the Lord said, ‘There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.’

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

Reflection on today’s message

Our reading from Exodus 33:12-23 this morning is a testimony of where many Christians find themselves with God.

Verse 12: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘See, you have said to me, “Bring up this people”; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.

Poor Moses was in a place that many of us find ourselves: he was facing a future that looked incredibly difficult and he didn’t feel like he had enough facts to face it with confidence.  Moses was frightened for the future just like us and our churches when reopening and rules of gathering keep changing from time to time.

If we are able to individually make confessions of our past, we have may be faced some sort of real darkness in our lives and found ourselves in the same scenario as Moses when he bargained with God whether we are within his favour and grace. Has it occurred to you finding ourselves in some sort of spiritual journey with God making promises you are not sure you shall keep?…

Lord, if you heal this person I love, I promise I will be a better Christian…”  or

Lord, if you let me get this job, I promise you that I will pray for an hour every day…”

Lord, if you promise that no-one will find out what I’ve done, I promise that I will be faithful to you every day until I die…”

Bargaining with God when we are facing difficulties in life is perfectly natural: it’s what we do and certainly have done in the past. There is one phrase used twice in verse 22 that leads us to a better place of understanding: “While my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.”

Twice in this verse, God uses the idea of him ‘passing by’ Moses. And then, even more clearly in verse 23: “Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back”.

Now it seems to me that God is teaching us a very important principle here for when we are struggling in life, surrounded by clouds, the truth is, we may not be able to recognize whether God is with us or not, but we can for sure know him by his past deeds. We can know God’s faithfulness to us in the present day as we learn to look back on our lives and think through how he has always been faithful to us in the past.

Moses then asks the key question: “If you aren’t with us, what’s going to distinguish us from the world?”  God’s gracious promises, and mercy towards us, should not only encourage our faith, but also excite our fervency in prayer.

Let prayers hold us during these tough times.
Let prayers keep us moving, serving God and those in need. For the best of all, as in last words of John Wesley, God is with Us. The Emmanuel God is with us.

A time of Intercessory prayers

Patient God,
help us to remember that when we can’t find enough words to make our prayers, faithful Lord, you listen to our hearts and your Holy Spirit pleads for us in sighs too deep to be spoken.

God of Justice and Mercy,
we hold before You the peoples of the world.
Establish equity and grant wisdom.

Strong God,
we hold before You the church through the world and our own churches.
Strengthen hearts and renew vision.

Merciful one,
we hold before You those we know in need. Reach out with healing and restoration, encircle in comfort and care.

Listening God,
refresh our sense of Your Presence and strengthen and guide us day by day,
until with all Your beloved people
we see You face to face in Your Kingdom.
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.

StF 558: Lord, you have come to the seashore.

Lord, you have come to the seashore,
neither searching for the rich nor the wise
desiring only that I should follow.

O Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name.
All I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side I will seek other shores.

Lord, see my goods, my possessions
in my boat you find no power, no wealth.
Will you accept, then, my nets and labour?

O Lord, with your eyes set upon me,
gently smiling, you have spoken my name.
All I longed for I have found by the water,
at your side I will seek other shores.

Lord, take my hands and direct them.
Help me spend myself in seeking the lost,
returning love for the love you gave me.

O Lord, with your eyes set upon me…

Lord, as I drift on the waters,
be the resting-place of my restless heart,
my life’s companion, my friend and my refuge.

O Lord, with your eyes set upon me…

Cesáro Gabaráin (1936-1991)
Translated by Robert C Trupia

A prayer of blessing

May God our Father inspire and strengthen us in our work of faith.
May Christ Jesus our brother motivate and sustain us in our labour of love.
May the Spirit our helper establish and build in us a steadfast hope.
That our living may be a reason for thanksgiving and bring Glory to God.

Amen.

Today worship materials prepared by
Rev. Francis M’Itiiri, Presbyter, Northampton Circuit
Formatting Rev. Phil Snelson

Webpage: Paul Deakin

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