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Worship

Sunday 14th March 2021

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use whilst we are unable to use Methodist Church premises.  We invite you to spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.

 

Opening Prayer

‘Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. [Psalm 107:1] Holy God, though we do not worship together in one building we worship together in one spirit and with one heart. Through our worship reveal to us your will we pray. Amen.

Hymn: Praise to the Lord (Singing the Faith 88)

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! (StF 88) (methodist.org.uk)

 

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!

O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation!

All ye who hear, brothers and sisters, draw near,

praise him in glad adoration.

 

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;

surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee:

ponder anew what the Almighty can do,

who with his love doth befriend thee.

 

Praise to the Lord, who doth nourish thy life and restore thee,

fitting thee well for the tasks that are ever before thee,

then to thy need he like a mother doth speed,

spreading the wings of grace o'er thee.

 

Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,

who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,

sheddeth his light, chaseth the horrors of night,

saints with his mercy surrounding.

 

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!

All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him!

Let the amen sound from his people again:

gladly for aye we adore him.

Joachim Neander (1650-1680)

 

Let us pray together:

 

Holy God,

we praise you for the faithfulness of your people down the ages.

We worship and adore you as creator of this wonderful earth, and of us made in your image.

We praise you that you are a Giving God. For our family and friends, God we thank you.

For the signs of Spring all around us, God we thank you.

For the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God we thank you.

Forgiving God, we bring you our confessions now.

We are sorry God for the times when we have failed you and ourselves.

(in a moment of quiet offer your confession to God)

We know God you are quick to forgive.

As Jesus said to many he met, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, it is on this promise that we too rely. We pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

 

Reading: Numbers 21:4-9        John 3:14-21

 

Time to Reflect

I wonder how many times through this pandemic you have been unhappy with things and complained out loud or inwardly to yourself? Perhaps you haven’t agreed with Government decisions, perhaps you have been angry at the people who seemed to mindlessly flout the rules put in place to keep us all safe, perhaps you’ve complained when you were unable to attend church, or if you were, you were unable to sing; there are many reasons of late why we are likely to have moaned. And this is how it was with the Israelites as they travelled slowly towards the promised land. They took their frustration out not only on their leader Moses, but also on God. They had forgotten the miracles God had performed for them, their faith was waning, and they refused to obey God’s law (see Psalm 78). We see too that when the Israelites complained things only got worse. They improved at once though when the people recognised that they had sinned against God through their attitude and actions. When the bronze snake was hung on a pole the Israelites didn’t anticipate the fuller meaning that Jesus would bring to this experience. In the Gospel reading Jesus explains that just as the Israelites of old were healed of the sickness caused by the snake bites by turning their gaze towards the snake on the pole, we today can be healed from the sin that pervades our lives by turning our gaze towards Jesus’ death on the cross. You see it was not the bronze snake that healed the Israelites, it was their renewed belief in God’s healing power, in God’s compassion for them, in God’s love for those created in God’s image and called beloved. Today, God’s healing power, compassion and love exists for each one of us too; it is there for the taking but like the Israelites we too need to recognise the times we stray away from the path of light that guides us and turn back wholeheartedly towards God. Amen.

 

Take some time to sit quietly in reflection.

A time of prayer

Gracious God,

We thank you for the blessings in our lives,

We pray now for those struggling at this time:

We pray for our world in these difficult times,

that your peace will reach across borders and into the lives of all your people.

 

We pray for our Christian brothers and sisters living in lands where they risk their liberty and lives to follow you, be their courage and strong foundation.

 

We pray for leaders and others in positions of authority and power, that they will be guided by you.

 

We pray for your churches who await your direction, may your will be done.

 

We pray for all people suffering with ill health at this time, for those awaiting treatment or test results, for those recovering from operations or illness, for those suffering with mental health problems, may you heal them.

We pray for all who have suffered the loss of loved ones, may you be their source of strength to face another day.

 

We pray for ourselves, may we be people of peace and justice, bringing hope to those we interact with.

 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer, Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Hymn: Listen to a fabulous version of ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’ here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2tKVqZZiI4

 

or StF 287  When I survey the wondrous cross

 

  1. When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.
  2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.
  3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
  4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were an offering far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Isaac Watts

A prayer of blessing

God of grace and restoration be the strength in our lives as we go about our days, now and forever more, Amen.

Original Materials by Rev. Zena Smith

All

 Hymns reproduced under CCLi 1144191. 

Local Churches please insert CCCLi No 3382 / 761


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