Worship at Home

Worship for the Week Beginning 3rd October 2021

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Sunday 3rd October

Rev Romeo Pedro 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.

We gather to worship Christ:

We come to worship you, our great maker,
for we are under your care.
We come to worship you, our great maker,
for you know us and love us.
We come to worship you, our great maker,
for you alone deserve our praise.
Amen.

StF 342 – All hail the power of Jesu's name!

All hail the power of Jesu’s name!
Let angel’s prostrate fall;
bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.

You seed of Israel’s chosen race,
you ransomed of the fall,
hail him who saves you by his grace,
and crown him Lord of all.

Hail him, the heir of David’s line
whom David Lord did call,
the God incarnate, Man divine,
and crown him Lord of all.

Let every kindred, every tribe
on this terrestrial ball,
to him all majesty ascribe,
and crown him Lord of all.

O that with yonder sacred throng
we at his feet may fall,
join in the everlasting song,
and crown him Lord of all!

We confess our shortcomings:

Loving God, we try so hard to live the life of faith, and yet we are told time and time again that we could do it better.
Encourage us, we pray, where we have got it right; so that we can continue to live for you.
Encourage us also where we have not got it right; so that we might better live for you.
We pray that our life of faith through worship, prayer, and mission will show other people the great love you have for them.
Make us into lamps of your love, and our church into the lampstand that allows the light to be seen.

Amen.

God, we praise you for your love – for the assurance of your forgiveness and the promise of wholeness.

Amen

Listen to: And can it be!

Bible Readings

 

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’

‘What did Moses command you?’ he replied.

They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’

‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied. ‘But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female”. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’

10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.’

The little children and Jesus

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

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

Time to Reflect

This Sunday, it may strike you how concerned God is about relationships.

This week the readings range from God’s creation of human beings to be companions for one another, to the pain and brokenness of divorce; from Job’s struggle to be faithful to God and the struggles in his relationships, to Jesus who humbled himself in order to serve human beings, whom he considers his siblings.

Today’s readings are just a fraction of the biblical teaching on relationships. For God, it all boils down to loving God and loving one another.

But this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. People can be extremely difficult to love. People can be antagonistic, selfish and arrogant. People can disagree with us and mock us for our faith.

Some of this very human sinfulness was reflected in the disciples as they rebuked those who brought children for Jesus’ blessing. They probably thought they were helping Jesus – protecting him from trivial things. But, they were getting beyond themselves, and they needed to learn the humility, spontaneity and openness of children – which is why

Jesus tells them that his followers must learn to receive God’s Reign like children. You can’t follow Jesus without facing the challenge to be in relationships. Our families, friends, strangers, companions in faith, and even our enemies, are all included in God’s love and in God’s call for us to love. The truth is, it is only when we learn to embrace love to this extent that we really find the abundant life that God desires for us.

For too many, self-interest and self-protection trump their intimacy and union. This is what it means to be what Jesus called “hard-hearted”.

Jesus’ words, then, don’t just apply to a breakdown in marriage relationships. They apply to every relationship. Jesus challenges every one of us on our hard-heartedness – our tendency to protect ourselves and our own interests at the expense of our relationships, be it with friends, family, or companions in faith.

This is also why children become such an important part of this passage. Children are not saints, but they are openhearted. They love easily and give themselves easily. It’s only as we grow and get hurt that we start to close and protect our hearts.

But, in God’s Reign, a child-like open-heartedness is not an option. It’s the way of grace and love. How can you open your heart a little more today?

The only way to heal a hard heart is to allow it to be broken. We break our hearts by acknowledging our self-interest and self-protectiveness and by choosing to become more vulnerable to God and others. This means being willing to embrace the hurt – and the healing – that love always brings. Today, spend time in heart-breaking confession and ask God to help you open your heart to love.

Break my self-protective heart, O God, and open me to love.

Amen.

Time to Pray…
In our prayers today, we put all thoughts and worries and hopes into the loving hands of God. You may like to hold your own hands in front of you as you pray.

We place into the hands of God the life of our church and the people in our church family.

We place into the hands of God our difficulties and frustrations, and our hopes and our worries about the future.

We place into the hands of God the life of the church in all the world, all people in the world who bring God’s love to others, all people who are in danger because they share the love of God.

Loving God, as you have blessed us, make us a blessing to your world.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We place into the hands of God a world that needs peace, a world that needs wisdom, a world that needs healing.

We place into the hands of God the leaders of every nation, the poor of our own and every land, those who live in fear, and all who hold the lives of others in their hands.

Loving God, you have poured such love into your world. Show us how to help make it a more loving place.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We place into the hands of God our families, our friends, and our neighbours, those who live and work in our village or town, in our shops and local businesses, those who work from home, those who are unemployed, and all who pass through the town on their travels.

We place into the hands of God all those we know who are suffering. We name………

Loving God, Bless them with your love and comfort and healing. And show us how to care for them.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We place into the hands of God all those who have died. We name…………

Loving God, as you prepared a place for each of them, prepare us for our place with you, when we will be held in your loving hands for ever.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Merciful God, accept these prayers, for the sake of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

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 242- A new commandment

A new commandment I give unto you:
that you love one another as I have loved you,
that you love one another as I have loved you.
By this the world shall know that you are my disciples,
if you have love one for another.
By this the world shall know that you are my disciples,
if you have love one for another.

Final Prayer of Blessing

May the Lord bless and protect us; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of us; may he be gracious to us, show us his favour, and give us peace.

Amen.

Service prepared by Rev Romeo Pedro

Webpage: Paul Deakin