Worship at Home

Worship for the week beginning 9th May 2021

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01604 266000.

Sunday 9th May

Rev Phil Snelson has prepared this week’s message

This short act of worship is for use from home.  Please use this service whenever you like during the week.

Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

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© ROOTS for Churches Ltd www.rootsontheweb.com. Reproduced with permission.

Call to Worship – Psalm 96:11-13

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

Let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord; for he is coming,
for he is coming to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

StF 374: “Come Holy Spirit”

Sing or make this a prayer…

Come, Holy Spirit,
descend on us, descend on us.
We gather here in Jesus’ name.

Come, Breath of Heaven,
descend on us, descend on us.
We gather here in Jesus’ name.

Come, Word of Mercy,
descend on us, descend on us.
We gather here in Jesus’ name.

John L Bell (b 1949)

Prayer of Confession

God you know us.
You know that we can be loving and kind;
and you know that sometimes
we get things wrong.

We’re sorry for the times we hurt other people, forget to listen to you and
don’t bother to take care of your world.

God forgive us.
Jesus bless us.
God’s Spirit help us to grow in love.


Because we are God’s people,
we will care for each other.

Because we are part of God’s creation,
we will care for the Earth.

Because we are loved by God,
we will share God’s love with everyone.

Bible Readings


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


Faith in the incarnate Son of God

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

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


The Gentiles Hear the Good News

34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. 38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

39 “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41 not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. 43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit

44 Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45 The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 46 For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God.

Then Peter asked, 47 “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.

Time to Reflect…

I’ve started the reading in Acts 10 a little earlier than the lectionary because I think we need to take in verse 34, a key verse in this episode:

Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favouritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.

Peter had a vision in which God invited him to eat, declaring “clean” meat from animals that Jews considered unclean, in order to prepare him for what would happen later at Cornelius’ home.  Three men came looking for Peter and the Spirit told him to go with them.  When they arrived, to Peter and his friends’ amazement, before Peter could finish explaining the message of Jesus to them, the Holy Spirit was poured out on all those who were listening.  Peter wasn’t even sure he should have gone into a Gentile house, but God affirmed in a most unexpected way that there was no favouritism and that Gentiles as well as Jews are welcome in “the household of God”.  We don’t know whether Peter would have even thought of asking for the Holy Spirit to be given to Cornelius, but God gave him no option but to finish the job by baptising them all!

How wonderful!  God wants to pour out the gift of new life in his Holy Spirit on everyone.  There are no favourites, we are all equal in his sight. I wonder how prepared are we to be part of God’s doing unexpected things, even breaking away from the “proper” way to do things, in order to help his church grow?!  Let’s all seek to be more open to where and what God is leading us into, and the equipping of the Holy Spirit to help us.

Even though he somewhat curtailed Peter’s sermon, God had sent Peter to Cornelius to help him and his whole household receive the Holy Spirit and learn about the new life in Christ they had begun.  This week is Christian Aid week is celebrating 75 years.  It began in 1945, when Christian Aid was founded by British and Irish churches who believed that God was sending them to partner with European churches in helping refugees after the Second World War.  For more than 75 years, they have provided humanitarian relief and long-term development support for poor communities worldwide, while highlighting suffering, tackling injustice and championing people’s rights.

This year Christian Aid are challenging us to support their partnering with people who need help to survive against climate change.  Regular seasonal rains are no longer regular, and when they do come they are in greater volume.  This can be managed with help to create water management systems with dams etc.  There is more information here:


You can play your part in the world-wide church by giving as generously as you can and by holding the people of our world before God in your prayers.


Take a time to sit quietly and reflect…

Listen & pray “Holy Spirit, rain down”.

Time to Pray…

God of abundant life, we see your goodness all around us and we thank you for every part of it; from the plants and animals which play their part in complex ecosystems, to the dry deserts and stormy seas which test the limits of life.

We pray that in this time of climate crisis and ecological emergency, you may help us to rediscover your love of creation and to reflect that in our own lives.
God, in your mercy hear our prayer.

God who speaks through unexpected people: We thank you for contemporary prophets who are challenging us to act on climate change; for indigenous people and their invaluable knowledge of the land and sea where they live, for scientists dedicating their careers to warning us about changes to the planet, and for young people striking for their future.

We pray that you will help those in power to hear their prophetic voices. Help them to see beyond short-term political priorities and business plans. and give them wisdom and courage when they face difficult decisions.
God, in your mercy hear our prayer.

God of second chances, we recognise the damage we have done to the Earth and the injustice we see in society every day, all of it fuelled by worship of profit and possessions.

We pray for the coming of a better world with justice, kindness and humility at its heart. We ask that you guide us to be co-creators of this new world. Give us confidence to follow the prophetic voices, to stand against injustices to people and to planet, so that together, in your strength, we may stop this climate crisis.
God, in your mercy hear our prayer.

God of generous love, we bring to you those for whom we are concerned, confident that you hear and respond to all our prayers.

(We call them to mind and bring them to God)
God, in your mercy hear our prayer.

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.


StF 398: There’s a Spirit in the air

There’s a spirit in the air,
telling Christians everywhere:
‘Praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world!’

Lose your shyness, find your tongue,
tell the world what God has done:
God in Christ has come to stay.
Live tomorrow’s life today!

Still the Spirit gives us light,
seeing wrong and setting right:
God in Christ has come to stay.
Live tomorrow’s life today!

May the Spirit fill our praise,
guide our thoughts and change our ways
God in Christ has come to stay.
Live tomorrow’s life today!

There’s a Spirit in the air,
calling people everywhere:
praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world.

Brian Wren (b 1936)  Music: John Whitridge Wilson (1905-1992)


Final Prayer of Blessing

May God bless us
with wonder at creation’s glory.
with fury at creation’s spoiling.
with courage at this critical hour.
And may the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
rest upon us and on all creation,
this day and for the future to come.


Visit the Christian Aid website

Join us for daily prayer from Ascension to Pentecost (13th-23rd May).  Some people will be joining together on ZOOM at 7:00pm and others will be pausing to pray at home…
Thy Kingdom Come”.

Service prepared by Rev Phil Snelson

Webpage: Paul Deakin