Worship at Home - 29th March 2020

Passion Sunday, 29th March 2020, 10:30am
Genesis 22:1-18 and John 3:16-18

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church. 
You may find it helpful to make a prayer space, set up a candle, a cross if you have one. Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

Opening Prayer

Holy and Loving God I come to worship you.
As I do I remember that I am a part of your church in my community and in the world, and I take comfort from the fact that I am not alone.

Come by your Holy Spirit and help me and everyone gathering now where they are,
to worship you in spirit and in truth.

Amen.

Hymn: From heaven You came
(Singing the Faith 272) Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or join in with it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rh4xEvMVQQ

From heaven you came helpless babe
Entered our world, your glory veiled
Not to be served but to serve
And give Your life that we might live

This is our God, The Servant King
He calls us now to follow Him
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to The Servant King

There in the garden of tears
My heavy load he chose to bear
His heart with sorrow was torn
‘Yet not My will but Yours, ‘ He said

Come see His hands and His feet
The scars that speak of sacrifice
Hands that flung stars into space
To cruel nails surrendered

So let us learn how to serve
And in our lives enthrone Him
Each other’s needs to prefer
For it is Christ we’re serving

Songwriters: Chris Llewellyn / Graham Kendrick / Gareth Gilkeson

The Servant King lyrics © Thank You Music Ltd., Make Way Music

Readings

From your Bible read Genesis 22:1-18

Reading: John 3.16-18

16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18  Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Jenny writes to us…

Dear Friends, these are confusing, fearful and anxious times. We are all being asked to sacrifice what we want to do, see friends and family, for a greater community benefit. That is love. It may be tough, but sometimes it is difficult to love.

The Lenten material produced by Churches Together in Britain & Ireland gives us the theme of “Love and Sacrifice” and the reading is from Genesis chapter 22, verses 1-18. This is a difficult reading to hear; why would a loving father, especially one who waited so long for a child, then be willing to contemplate killing that child as a sacrifice to God? Maybe we need to think of this story as a parable about Abraham being willing to really listen closely to God. Possibly Abraham is a representation of us all and how willing we are to listen to the voice of God in our lives. Reproduced in the lent material there is a picture of a painting by Marc Chagall, which helps us reflect on this reading.

Sacrifice of Isaac

Chagall includes in his picture Sarah, Isaac’s mother, who is absent from the Genesis reading; angels as an embodiment of the voice of God and on the top righthand side, figures depicting stages of the life of Jesus. Abraham is pictured looking intently at the angels that represent God and the shape of the painting takes our eye from Old to New Testament stories.

Looking at this picture I hope that you can reflect on where God’s love is present in your life and where you might be able to hear Gods voice and act upon it.

So much is being taken away from us in these difficult times, we need to pause and think about where we might be able to offer our skills and talents in new and innovative ways.

Let us pray…

Loving God, thank you that you loved the world, everyone… me… so much that you were willing to send Jesus to give himself for us that as we believe in him we might be forgiven and have eternal life,

Jesus, help me to understand more about your sacrificial love, to experience more of your love for me, that I might be prepared to love others the way you have loved me.
Amen.

Take a time to wait in God’s presence

A time of prayer

(From the Methodist Church in Britain website)

Holy and loving God, all life comes from you and in you all things are held together.

As we remember this we pause to give you thanks and praise.

Help us in our anxious thoughts,
help us in our day to day lives.

We pray for your world, for leaders of nations and towns, having to make difficult decisions,
give them wisdom and care.

We pray for all those who are still working to keep the health and social care system functioning; those who serve us in shops, postal workers, refuse collectors, police officers and funeral workers.

We pray for those we love,
those who may be ill or struggling.

We pray for ourselves,
offering all that is on our mind to you.

May we all know the deep peace of the God who knows and perfectly loves us.

Amen

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father ……

Hymn: Listen to “So will I”  https://youtu.be/C2U7ffUM5Ec
worth watching through to where it ends up!
OR perhaps sing a verse of a familiar hymn likeWhen I survey the wondrous cross

“Love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all!”

A prayer of blessing

May you know the deep peace of the God who knows and perfectly loves you.

May you take the yoke of Jesus upon you,  knowing that he bears your load with you.

May you know the indwelling Spirit
bringing you wisdom and peace.

Amen.

Message – Jenny Brooks, Local Preacher, Northampton
Theme: Lent resources Churches Together in Britain & Ireland
Order of service leaflet compiled by Revd Phil Snelson