Worship at Home

Worship for 25th October 2020

The Greatest Commandment

To listen to the sermon and a hymn dial

01604 266000.

Sunday 25th October 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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Loving God, we have come to worship you.
Help us to give you our full attention,
to be truly aware of Your presence,
that you are here with us.

Help us to worship you with all our heart and mind and strength.

In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Come let us sing of a wonderful love (SF443)
Contemporary Version

Come, let us sing of a wonderful love,
Tender and true;
Out of the heart of the Father above,
Streaming to me and to you:
Wonderful love
Dwells in the heart of the Father above.

Jesus, the Saviour, this gospel to tell,
Joyfully came;
Came with the helpless and hopeless to dwell,
Sharing their sorrow and shame;
Seeking the lost,
Saving, redeeming at measureless cost.

Jesus is seeking the wanderers yet;
Why do they roam?
Love only waits to forgive and forget;
Home, weary wanderer, home!
Wonderful love
Dwells in the heart of the Father above.

Come to my heart, O Thou wonderful love,
Come and abide,
Lifting my life, till it rises above
Envy and falsehood and pride,
Seeking to be
Lowly and humble, a learner of Thee.

Robert Walmsey(1831-1905)

Traditional Version

Opening Prayer

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful people,
and kindle in us the fire of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

A Prayer of Confession

God of mercy,
Your love for us is strong,
But our love for you is weak.
You call us to follow Jesus,
But we are slow to obey.
You care for all you have made,
But we ignore the needs of others
And misuse your creation.

Forgive us, Lord,
And help us to please you
By the way we live;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

God is faithful and just; God is love.
God forgives our sins through Jesus.

Amen.  Thanks be to God.

Bible Reading

 

God’s love and ours

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: in this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

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

Press “play” to listen to Becky Snelson reading 1 John 4:7-21

Reflection on Today’s Scripture

Jesus announced the “greatest commandment” in response to the Pharisees asking him the question and trying to trap him.  In Luke’s gospel, Jesus elaborates about the most famous commandment with about the most famous parable who is our neighbour, and we all know the truth of that story, but what about the part Jesus identified first of all, our whole-hearted love for God?  …our whole-hearted love for the whole of God… Father, Son and Holy Spirit???

Maybe it is a throw-back to the Charismatic movement of the 70’s, I don’t know, but it seems to me there definitely exists an attitude that has become part of our unofficial “creed” that we don’t do that sort of thing in Methodism: it carries the implication that it’s, unthinking, only interested in feelings and “getting a buzz”, generally not as good, more shallow in faith… you know the sort of thing; a common “short-hand” used is ‘we’re not happy-clappy’ – come on, own up if you’ve said that?!  Maybe you didn’t realise that is just as prejudiced as racism or sexism to some of us?

Now, in keeping with Jesus approach of asking a challenging question in reply, I want to ask when was the last time you heard a sermon on the theme of the Holy Spirit?  When did you last ask for more of God’s Holy Spirit in your personal prayer?  How often do we talk about the Holy Spirit in church, let alone in our conversation?  What is your reaction now as I am “talking” about the Holy Spirit, how do you feel?  Why is there so much hesitation, awkwardness and straight out fear about being open to the Holy Spirit?  Have we really forgotten the Creed that states:

‘We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified…’

Ask yourself “How are we doing with worshipping and glorifying the Holy Spirit in the same ways as God the Father?”… wholeheartedly loving God the Holy Spirit.

Have we forgotten that the Holy Spirit is as much a person of the Trinity as Father and Son?  Read Genesis 1 and see that without the Spirit there is no life in creation or breath in human beings; in John 14 Jesus promises another advocate exactly the same as Him…and in Acts 1v8 for Jesus to tell them for the Spirit to come to fill the Church with life and power to share the good news of Jesus with the world.

Without the Spirit there is no life and no power in individuals or the Church, and without the life of the Holy Spirit new people don’t come faith and join the church which means that branch of the Church shrivels and dies.  Have we “thrown the baby out with the bath water”, and possibly the bath as well?!!!

So when Jesus states that the greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, remember he means all of God.  Let us seek to equally include the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life in our daily prayer and corporate worship, and truly love God with all our heart and mind and strength.

A time of Intercessory prayers

Gracious God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Renew the life and faith of the Church we pray; strengthen our witness by the power of Your Holy Spirit and make us one in Christ that we, and all who confess that Christ is Lord may be faithful in your service and filled with your Spirit, that the world may be turned to you…

Guide the nations in the ways of justice, liberty and peace; and help them to seek the unity and welfare of all people.  Give to all in authority wisdom to know and strength to do what is right…

Comfort those in sorrow; heal the sick in body or in mind and deliver the oppressed.  Grant us compassion for all who suffer and help us so to carry one another’s burdens that we may fulfil the law of Christ.

Receive our thanks and praise for all who have served you faithfully here on earth,
and especially those who have revealed to us your grace in Christ.  May we and all your people share the life and joy of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  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 447: Holy Spirit we welcome You.

Holy Spirit, we welcome you.
Holy Spirit, we welcome You.
Move among us with holy fire,
As we lay aside all earthly desires,
Hands reach out and our hearts aspire.
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,
Holy Spirit, we welcome You.

Holy Spirit, we welcome You.
Holy Spirit, we welcome You.
Let the breeze of Your presence blow,
That Your children here might truly know
How to move in the Spirit’s flow.
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,
Holy Spirit, we welcome You.

Holy Spirit, we welcome You.
Holy Spirit, we welcome You.
Please accomplish in me today
Some new work of loving grace, I pray;
Unreservedly have Your way.
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,
Holy Spirit, we welcome You.

Chris Bowater
Copyright © 1986 Sovereign Lifestyle Music

A Prayer of Commitment

Generous God, touch us again with the fire of your Spirit and renew in us all the grace of our Baptism; that we may profess the one true faith, and live in love and unity with all who are baptized into Christ.

Amen.

Today’s worship materials prepared by

Rev. Phil Snelson – Presbyter, Northampton Circuit

Webpage: Paul Deakin

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