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Worship

Sunday 22nd August 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 (from Psalm 119 vv. 103, 105, 112)

O Giver of all good gifts,
How delicious your words are,
so good in our mouths, sweeter than honey!
Your word is a lamp to our feet, a light to our path gladdening our eyes and showing the way.
Incline our hearts to keep all your commands
to treasure your words forever, to the end. Amen

Hymn: 161 Speak O Lord

Sing/ Read /pray /proclaim the words or listen to it here: https://youtu.be/0zAIHIjyPgU

 

Speak, O Lord, as we come to you

to receive the food of your holy word.

Take your truth, plant it deep in us;

shape and fashion us in your likeness,

that the light of Christ might be seen today

in our acts of love and our deeds of faith.

Speak, O Lord, and fulfil in us

all your purposes, for your glory.

 

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,

holy reverence, true humility.

Test our thoughts and our attitudes

in the radiance of your purity.

Cause our faith to rise, cause our eyes to see

your majestic love and authority.

Words of power that can never fail;

let their truth prevail over unbelief.

 

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;

help us grasp the heights of your plans for us.

Truths unchanged from the dawn of time

that will echo down through eternity.

And by grace we'll stand on your promises,

and by faith we'll walk as you walk with us.

Speak, O Lord, till your Church is built

and the earth is filled with your glory.

Keith Getty (b. 1974) and Stuart Townend (b. 1963)

Let us pray together
 

Ever-speaking God
your strong words called worlds into being
you spoke light out of darkness, life out of emptiness, beauty out of chaos,
you still speak. We praise and worship you.

Ever-speaking God you are the eternal Word, Jesus, God’s ‘Yes’ to us. You have the words of eternal life.
You spoke and lives changed, bodies healed, hearts quickened, you still speak. We praise and worship you.

Ever-speaking God you are the Spirit who brings words to life. You continue to pray for us when the words run out. You speak in the world and in our hearts, you call words to mind and teach us, leading us into truth.
You still speak. We praise and worship you.

In this time may we drink in your Word, feast on your Word, hold on to your Word. Amen

Faithful God your words give life, forgive us when our words damage and discourage.

Your words bring peace, forgive us when our words stir up anger and discord.
Your words reveal truth, forgive us when our words flatter and falsify.
Your words bring healing, forgive us when our words harm and hurt.

Jesus who spoke out against oppression and hypocrisy, forgive our complicit silence.
Jesus who stood in holy silence before power and violence, forgive the wild words we should not have spoken.

In the quiet of our hearts, may we hear the word of grace. Jesus Christ speaks: ‘Your sins are forgiven’. Thanks be to God. Amen

Today’s Gospel Reading: John 6 vv. 56-69

Time to Reflect Finding the right words
You pause, chewing the end of your pen or with your hand hovering above the screen or keyboard trying to ‘find the right words’. There is something very important to share, something sensitive to disclose and perhaps these simple words have to bear the weight of strong emotion. Sometimes recently bereaved people find they are avoided or ignored by others who ‘can’t find the right words’ and are embarrassed and feel awkward. We’ve come up with the idea of ‘mis-speaking’ to refer to times when words come out wrong or unintentionally convey an unfortunate or unacceptable meaning. Those of us who have had to write or record words during the pandemic, particularly those who have tried to speak of God in this context, have felt the pressure of finding the ‘right words’. At times when we could not touch, could not pass on a gift or share food together and our words have been weightier and more precious.
Jesus’s words here were and are difficult and disquieting. And people can’t take it, they back off, they walk. And Jesus asks, so poignantly and directly, if the disciples want to leave too. This is where Peter makes a great confession of faith, faith which knows that it has nowhere else to turn. In the Gospels we often hear of Peter putting his foot in his mouth, foul-mouthed Peter denying his Master. But here Peter speaks so clearly, speaks for all the disciples and all of us, ‘where else can we go, you have the words of eternal life’.
Jesus’s words are here not bland and reassuring. Jesus does not tell the disciples or us ‘what we want to hear’. These words are strong and they stick in the heart and mind, they take root in us. They are compelling, they draw us in. Even when things don’t make sense, and we don’t quite ‘get’ what these words mean, the words of Jesus hold us, Jesus holds us. In these days Jesus holds us, and holds onto us still, through the words we read in the Bible, the words we sing to ourselves in our homes, the words of worship we share with each other.
There are times when we can’t find the words, and times when words run out, when words cannot be enough. There are times when we can’t put into words what we feel as individuals or together. There are times when we can’t adequately explain how our experiences connect with what we believe, but like Peter, we grasp the words and Word which draw and hold us. This is what we’ve got, what we stick with, this is enough, enough for life and faith: ’where else can we go?’

Take a time to sit quietly. A time of prayer
Holy God, you want us to know and believe that you alone are God. Give to your Church such confidence in you that we may do and dare much in your name. We remember those congregations we are connected with and those fellowships we are part of and commend them to your grace.

Jesus Christ, we know and believe that you are truly the Saviour of the World. Grant to the peoples of the world justice and peace. Give wisdom to those with power and freedom to those who are oppressed. We remember those nations and situations which are on our hearts at this time and we ask for your restoration and grace.

Tender-hearted God, we know and believe the love that you have for us and all people. Grant us to draw close and find grace to help us in our time of need. Touch those who we know are struggling with your compassion and comfort, your healing and strength. We remember those who are sick, sorrowful, bereaved or troubled and place them in your loving hands.

Merciful God, who knows our needs and our fears, steady us for all that lies ahead, strengthen our hearts, lead us into your truth, until we see you face to face. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father ……

 

Listen to the worship song: You are the King of Glory https://youtu.be/2fhxKGalLI4

or sing a verse of a hymn that comes to mind

 

A prayer of blessing

May the words we have heard and prayed and shared echo in our minds, stay in our hearts and re-shape our lives. May we know the Living Word of God with us now and always. Amen

Original Materials by Miriam Stevenson

(Local Preacher in the Leicester Trinity Circuit)

All

 Hymns reproduced under CCLi 1144191. 

Local Churches please insert CCCLi No here

 

John 6: 56-69

Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

 

The Words of Eternal Life

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.’

Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? 


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