Worship at Home - 22nd March 2020

Mothering Sunday 2020
John 19.25b-27 and Colossians 3.12-17

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church. 
If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.

Opening Prayer

As I come before you Jesus,
open my eyes that I might truly see you
as my shepherd, comforter, and redeemer. 
I want to be with others worshipping you
but this is not possible, yet I know that I am being prayed for as part of the community of faith.  Thank you for this time where I remember you are with me.  Amen.

Hymn: Amazing Grace
(Singing the Faith 440) Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvt6E9N7AQw

Amazing grace — how sweet the sound —
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.

God’s grace has taught my heart to fear,
his grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
God’s grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.

And, when this heart and flesh shall fail
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil
a life of joy and peace.

From your Bible read Colossians 3:12-17

Reading: John 19.25b-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Romeo writes to us…
Dear friends, when we left family in Namibia to come to the UK, I can remember the sadness I felt, saying goodbye to our daughter. But, from previous experience, we had no doubt in our minds that we were going to join a new family here in the UK. We were not wrong, you embraced us with love and made us part of the church family here.  

The creation of a new and reconciled family under God is a key idea in the New Testament. Jesus himself asks, ‘who is my mother and who are my brothers?’ (Matthew 12.48) when his own family is trying to reach him and get him to leave with them. Instead, Jesus says that his family is whoever does the will of the Father. Jesus teaches us to pray with the words ‘Our Father…’  Family, faith and God’s will for us seem to be intertwined.

As Jesus dies, he ensures that his disciple will look after his mother. They are to be mother and son to one another. What do you think this tells us about God’s love for us? Why do you think Jesus said they were to be as mother and son? Why didn’t he just say, ‘take care of my mother?’

Jesus invites us to join the household of God and asks us to offer extravagant love and hospitality to all. The One who says on Good Friday: “Woman, here is your Son. Son, here is your Mother” (John 19: 26-27), “calls us out to meet new brothers and sisters, new mothers and fathers and new sons and daughters” … and in so doing we will create a “new family that violates all old boundaries of exclusion and defensiveness” (Walter Bruegemann). My friends, God’s welcome and grace are inexhaustible! And the best way for us to receive this love is to share it with others.

How can you follow Jesus’ example of love and self-giving for the sake of others within the context of social distancing and especially church closures? How can we seek to offer grace to others in Christ’s name? We still miss our daughter a lot, but we keep contact with her on a daily basis (there are so many ways in which you can do that today). It keeps us connected as a family. My prayer is that we shall emulate Jesus’ example – that we will reach out to others – through telephone, social media and the many other community efforts that have now come into being as a result of this coronavirus pandemic.

Dear God, help us to find ways to take care of each other during this time,
to open the doors of our hearts to you,
to find more ways in which we can open the doors of our hearts to others.
Teach us to be more caring than ever before. Teach us to find creative ways to reach out to all those who have been created and loved by you. Amen.

Take a time to wait in God’s presence


A time of prayer

All seeing, all knowing God I call on you today.
May your Spirit give your world a sense of calm and peace in these difficult times.

On this Mothering Sunday, we pray for all Mums.  The good ones and the not so good. 
We remember all those who would have liked to have children but for whatever reason could not. 

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty:  for the Methodist Church in Northampton as we seek vision for the way ahead.

For those people who are worried about leaving their home and those who cannot.

For those needing to make decisions in order to care for others. 

We pray for carers, doctors and nurses and all continuing to work to keep us supported and supplied in daily life.

We continue to pray for those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend an act of worship today.

I especially want to pray for …..

Holy God,

Present with us now, guide me in all I do and say – that it might reflect your love for the world.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father ……

Hymn: Listen to “open the eyes of my heart” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Hrh4lMgn-g
or perhaps sing a verse of a familiar hymn likeCome let us sing of a wonderful love

A prayer of blessing

Lord, I commit myself to you today. 
At the end of this day,
may I see you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you closer. 

Original Materials by Heather Wilson and Paul Wood