Worship at Home

Worship for 1st November 2020

All Saints’ Day

To listen to the sermon and a hymn dial 

01604 266000.

Sunday 1st November 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

This week’s message has been prepared by Linda Leathersich.

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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Today is All Saints Day, a day often set aside for us to share our memories of those people we have known, loved and lost – people who have influenced our own lives and given us a good example to follow. Let’s pause for a moment to Thank God that they were a part of our lives. We remember especially those who are still grieving for loved ones who have died during Lock down and pray that they will receive God’s loving touch and comfort.

Our opening words were written by Iris Hesselden

Peace and faith and love and hope
Four candles burning low
Yet side by side they lit the night
And gave a warming glow
But anger soon diminished peace
As faith gave in to doubt
And love, abandoned, faded too
And soon all three went out.
But hope still kept her flame alight
A joy for all to see
And growing stronger through the dark
She soon relit all three!
When peace and faith and love grow dim
And struggle to survive
Hold fast to hope through doubt and fear
And keep the flame alive.

We meet to worship our God who loves us always and gave us Jesus to be our Light, Peace and Hope.

HYMN: STF 481 – The Lord’s my Shepherd

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me lie in pastures green,
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.

And I will trust in you alone.
And I will trust in you alone
For your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home

He guides my ways in righteousness,
And He anoints my head with oil;
And my cup – it overflows with joy,
I feast on His pure delights.

Chorus

And though I walk the darkest path –
I will not fear the evil one,
For you are with me, and your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know.
Chorus                                  

(Stuart Townend)

Prayers

Loving God, thank you that we can place ourselves in your care, knowing that the same hands that fashioned the universe and brought the world into being will encircle us each day – powerful beyond measure yet gentle beyond words.

Thank you that when we need support, you are there, a shoulder to lean on in time of trouble, a constant source of strength.

Merciful God, forgive us, for in all kinds of ways we dwell too much on ourselves, our ideas, our image, our interests. Save us from a life so full of us that we lose sight of you and others. Instead of fretting over who and what we are, may our concern be to reflect you and you alone.

Jesus said that God is always with us, when we are happy and when we are sad. This is God’s promise to us – we are forgiven.


Amen. Thanks be to God.

Bible Reading

13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.

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

Bible Reading

A warning against hypocrisy

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

‘Everything they do is done for people to see: they make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the market-places and to be called “Rabbi” by others.

‘But you are not to be called “Rabbi”, for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth “father”, for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

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

MESSAGE from Linda Leathersich:

At the beginning of the service, we thought of people who had been an example to us. What attracts you to people? What makes a good role model, someone that it is good to follow and emulate?

Why do you think people followed Jesus? Was it the things he said or the things he did? Think about that for a moment….

I think it was a combination of both, because one without the other has no substance – what Jesus said, he carried out and what he did made sense because of what he said – words and actions in harmony.

In our Gospel reading today, Jesus is drawing attention to the fact that the scribes and Pharisees were not “practicing what they were preaching”. They taught the law – and Jesus said that the Law was good and should be obeyed – BUT they multiplied the specific demands of the Law so that they became a huge burden on the people and they offered no help to the struggling people.

They also made a great display of their leadership, they wanted to be noticed, to have their authority recognised and they wanted to be treated as special wherever they were. They wanted a title that set them apart and made them more important than the people. Teaching the Law was good, adding to the burden of the people and puffing themselves up was not good. Jesus reminded everyone that those who sought greatness would be made humble and he warned people that they should not look at the example of the scribes and Pharisees who did not carry out their teaching in their own lives. They were examples of “Don’t do as I do, do as I say!” Jesus said that our words and our actions should match, just as his did.

In the Epistle, Paul is reminding us that the disciples went about God’s work and their mission in the right way, they didn’t expect to be treated in a special way – they worked to earn their keep and they didn’t put forward their own importance but the importance of God’s word.

What about us? There is a saying “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you!” Children learn a great deal from watching the adults around them and following the example that is set. In the same way, people watch us – we say we are Christians, do our lives show that we are? Do our words and actions match, if they don’t, we are not likely to attract others to find out more about our God who loves us all. On my wall at work I had a poster that said “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

Makes you think doesn’t it? We are all being watched, we are all living sermons, we all show an example to others and we need to make sure that we are being good examples in all we say and do. Our role model, the one we try to emulate has to be well chosen and the only one that will not lead us astray is Jesus. Let’s make sure it is him alone that we look to and listen to.  Let us pray:

Loving Lord Jesus,
thank you being our friend;
When we are weak, you strengthen us
When we are lonely, you speak to us
When we are sad, you comfort us
When we are glad, you rejoice with us;
You are our guide, our keeper, our example, our shepherd and our shield
Your presence is our constant joy
Our prayers are in your name. Amen.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Knowing our dependence on God, we turn in prayer to him now…

Loving Lord, thank you for those who have walked in the way of Jesus Christ, leaving footsteps for us to follow. Whatever obstacles we may face, teach us to stay true to the path in turn, so that in some small way we may inspire others as they journey in faith.

We pray that through these challenging times, your church on earth will flourish and grow and will never lose sight of our Heavenly Father.

Gracious God, reach out to our broken world – scarred by hatred, fractured by division, ravaged by war – and in your mercy, grant us peace.

Compassionate God, hear our prayer for the sick – all who are in pain, waiting for or recovering from surgery, undergoing treatment or coming to terms with terminal illness. Give help and strength to any whose health is failing, and to all who tend them. At this time we pray for our world affected by covid 19 – we pray for all those working to conquer it; for those suffering right now; for those who have lost employment and are anxious about the future; for those who work on the frontline to keep us safe.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer

Loving Lord, remembering the Hope we have in you, help us to spread a little happiness, contagious joy bubbling up within us. Teach us to live with a smile in our hearts and laughter on our lips, each day celebrating your love in a way that invites others to share it in turn.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer

Let’s bring all our prayers together, even those only whispered in our hearts to our loving God as we share in the words that Jesus taught us…

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 662 – Have you heard God’s voice?

Have you heard God’s voice;
has your heart been stirred?
Are you still prepared to follow?
Have you made a choice to remain and serve,
Though the way be rough and narrow?

Will you walk the path that will cost you much
And embrace the pain and sorrow?
Will you trust in One who entrusts to you
The disciples of tomorrow?

Will you use your voice; will you not sit down
When the multitudes are silent?
Will you make a choice to stand your ground
When the crowds are turning violent?

In your city streets will you be God’s heart?
Will you listen to the voiceless?
Will you stop and eat, and when friendships start
Will you share your faith with the faithless?

Will you watch the news with the eyes of faith
And believe it could be different?
Will you share your views using words of grace?
Will you leave a thoughtful imprint?

(Jacqueline G. Jones)

THE BLESSING

God grant to the living, grace:

to the departed, rest;

to the world, peace

and to us and all the faithful, life everlasting.

Amen.

Service and message by Linda Leathersich, Local Preacher

Webpage: Paul Deakin

November Lockdown

Dear friends

I write to you today after the Prime Minister’s address to the nation regarding the new national restrictions, coming into effect later this week. I have just seen the updated guidance on the government website (section 5).

It basically means that Places of Worship will be closed from this Thursday (the 5th of November), unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

 

I will write to you all again later this week, when we have a bit more clarity about the way forward (when I’ve had time to consult with the staff and Circuit Leadership Team).

I hold you all in my prayers during this time.

Regards

The Rev’d Romeo Regardo Pedro

Superintendent Minister

Northampton Methodist Circuit

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