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Worship Material

15th November 2020

Call to Worship Lord, open our eyes to see, our minds to believe, our hearts to love & our lives to serve.

StF 50 Great is the Lord & most worthy of praise,

the city of our God, the holy place,

the joy of the whole earth.

Great is the Lord, in whom we have the victory,

He aids us against the enemy

We bow down on our knees.

And Lord we want to lift your name on high,

And Lord we want to thank you

for the works you've done in our lives;

& Lord we trust in your unfailing love,

for you alone are God eternal

throughout earth & heaven above.

Prayers: Adoration & Thanksgiving:

Glory to you, O God You are love & wisdom, safety & peace, joy & gladness.

You meet our deepest need; you are our hope & our reward:

Thank you that, time after time as we worship you,

you spread your spiritual table before us & welcome us to your feast.

Thank you that there is always enough & no-one is ever turned away.

You are our eternal life, Almighty Father, Merciful Saviour, life-giving Spirit

In your mercy, bless us again as we share together in worshipping you.

Confession Eternal God, forgive us for disobeying your law of love.

If we say that we're alright as we are, we're blind & refuse to see.

We ask you to cleanse us from all that is unworthy.

If we have misused your gifts or tried to rely on our own strength, forgive our pride.

If we have not listened to your voice or sought your Spirit's guidance, forgive our foolishness

. If we've failed to recognise you at work in your world, & in other people, forgive our lack of vision.

If we've forgotten or ignored the needs of our neighbours, forgive our selfishness.

Loving Father, you come to us in Christ, reconciling the world to yourself.

Through Him, you speak the word of grace to our hearts: Your sins are forgiven...Follow me.

Father, this is your world: we will serve you in it & praise your name. Amen

Roman 8:14-21

John 6:1-15

 

153 Break thou the bread of life

O Lord, to me,

as thou didst break the loaves

beside the sea.

Beyond the sacred page

I seek thee, Lord,

my spirit longs for thee,

O living Word!

Thou art the bread of life

O Lord, to me.

Thy holy word the truth

that saveth me.

Give me to eat & live

with thee above;

teach me to love thy truth,

for thou art love.

O send thy Spirit, Lord,

now unto me,

that he may touch my eyes

& make me see..

Show me the truth concealed

within thy word,

& in thy book revealed

I see the Lord.

 

Sermon I had my first job in mass catering as a teenager at a Church “Away Weekend” where we prepared our own meals. People correctly doubted my abilities, but I was given 3 hard-boiled eggs to serve out. “How many people?” I asked. “26” was the reply. Desperation drove me to a cheese-grater & I shelled the eggs & grated them, so each person received a heaped teaspoonful on their lettuce.

You may find this advice useful at some point – but 5 loaves and 2 fish among 5000-plus?!

People react in many different ways to the story, from “Jesus could do anything he liked” to “It never happened”. Yet it's the only miracle which appears in all 4 Gospels, so something must have happened, or why did people bother to remember it?

Jesus had refused to turn stones to bread to feed himself, so why did he provide food now?

His heart was filled with pity because they were like sheep without a shepherd [Mark 6:34].

This divine pity was surely at the heart of all his healing miracles too, and is at the heart of the Good News – the very reason that he came to earth.

Jesus already knew what he would do [John 6:6] Not just here, but even before he came to live among us.   Early paintings of the Annunciation or the Nativity often include a glimpse of Heaven, where Jesus is already carrying his cross.   A wise person once said “A cross was in the heart of God before ever the world began.”

Jesus told the disciples “You give them something to eat!” [Mark 6:37 and Matthew 14:16 and Luke 9:13] So it sounds as if he really meant it!     Psychologists have described “the adrenalin of panic”        The disciples must have reacted like headless chickens

. “Do you want us to spend 200 silver coins on bread to feed them? [Mark 6:37]    That would be about 8 months' wages!

Then Andrew said: There is a boy here with 5 loaves and 2 fish – but they will certainly not be enough for all these people [John 6:9]    Did the boy really have 6 loaves and 3 fish to keep some for himself ? Or did it work because he gave everything?    And did other people start sharing what they had?

What happened next? They wanted to make Jesus king – by force [John 6:15]     Do I want to make him king to do what I want? Or do I have to learn to do what he wants?    I feel sorry for the hungry.   Do I have to give them something to eat?

 

But people are also hungry for sympathy, encouragement, companionship, hope... Do I have to give 200 silver coins, or 8 months' wages? Or even worse, all that I have? I'm part of his Body, so must do things his way.      Help!

PS 2 Meditations: one from a source I've forgotten, the second from this year's Methodist Conference:

I.  Not much to look at – a small lunch, but all they had, nothing more. The hunger of so many, untouched by such a gift, though kindly meant.   What mattered was not how much, but to whom the gift was given.   Given to a Creator who formed all from nothing – an innovator who brings the new into the tired and old.    Bread that was broken to feed thousands, sustaining, enriching, enabling, life-giving.       & now the Bread of Life, broken on a cross, invites me to give myself to him, to be broken, blessed & given away.   “This is my Body,” he says, as he offers his Church to the world.

II    Our job is. over & over again, to offer what we have – the few 'loaves & fishes' that are ours - & to trust Jesus to take them, bless them & offer them, so that all will have what they need.

With Jesus, amazing abundance & wild generosity grow up from our offerings of what we actually have. Jesus transforms it all, & us in the process, & there is enough for everyone with plenty of leftovers for those who come to the party later.

This is truly a God for all so that we can be a Church for all.”

AND TO HIS NAME WE SHALL OFFER ETERNAL PRAISE AMEN

 

 

 

 

 

PRAYERS [INCLUDING PART OF A PRAYER WRITTEN BY A Jew, A CHRISTIAN & A MUSLIM FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST]

Father, you have created all people everywhere, & you love them as you love us. Help us to

pray every day for the people & situations you have laid on our hearts. Bless those whom you have given to share our lives: we name them in our hearts now, according to their need.

We remember those who have given their lives for their countries in war, & those who strive for peace.

Bless those whose influence touches many lives, especially the United States at this time of change.

Creator of all things, Lord of infinite love, kindness & mercy.    When anger & pride appear to be the easier & more attractive way, guide us to your way of love.    Save us from our folly by your wisdom, from our greed by your bounty & from our insecurity by your healing power.

Lord Jesus, when you saw people in need your heart was filled with pity & you fed & healed.

As we pray alongside those who are hungry for food for body, mind or spirit, teach us again that what we have is sufficient for all, if only we will open our hands & share.    Bless all who challenges us in the name of Love. May we not ask for miracles without being ready to be used by you to make them happen.   

 Help us to remember that your power is capable of finding hope where hope no longer exists, & a way where no way seems possible.

Help us to see you in those whose lives we touch, & may they see you in us.

We pray in the name of you Son, our Saviour.

OUR FATHER...

252 Jesus the Lord said: I am the Bread,

the Bread of Life for the world am I,

the Bread of Life for the world am I

the Bread of Life for the world am I.

Jesus the Lord said: I am the Bread,

the Bread of Life for the world am I,

Jesus the Lord said: I am the Life,

the Resurrection & the Life am I

the Resurrection & the Life am I

the Resurrection & the Life am I

Jesus the Lord said: I am the Life,

the Resurrection & the Life am I

 

Blessing   Now to him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of, to God be the glory in the Church & in Christ Jesus for all rime, forever & ever. Ephesians 3:20-21

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God & the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen

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