Please refer to the HOME page of the website for details of forthcoming live services at Torrisholme. Places are limited due to ongoing Covid-19 regulations so you must book your reservation.
Susan Wilson kindly organised a "rota" of preachers for online Sunday Worship and we hope to keep these going, even when live services are available. Each week designated preachers will provide materials for us to use at home. I hope, if we are able to use these at the same time that we will feel that we have worshiped together, we will sense fellowship and a shared experience. These will be published on both Wesley's & Torrisholme's websites to which the there are links from the Circuit website.
We are not always able to print the hymns in full, you might like to "google" them and listen to the music on YouTube, alternatively you might find them in a book that you have, or read the text on line. This is a developing project, it won't be perfect, but please let me have feedback; we'll work on it together!
Please remember that there would customarily have been a collection at a point in the service. Please set aside your offering as part of your worship, to be brought to Church when we re-open. It might even give us a sense of continuity.
Perhaps you have a candle, or flowers which will help you worship and, of course, a comfortable chair
Future Website Services at Torrisholme Methodist Church will be led by:
Call to Worship:
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made:
my mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145)
Hymn 56 : Singing the Faith
‘King of glory, King of peace’
King of glory, King of peace, I will love thee;
And that love may never cease, I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request, Thou hast heard me;
Thou didst note my working breast, Thou hast spared me.
Wherefore with my utmost art I will sing thee,
And the cream of all my heart I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried, Thou didst clear me;
And alone, when they replied, Thou didst hear me.
Seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise thee;
In my heart, though not in heaven, I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort To enrol thee:
E'en eternity's too short To extol thee.
George Herbert (1593-1633)
Lord God we come to you today with praise and thanksgiving.
We praise you as our creator, saviour and sustainer.
We thank you that you love all that you have made; for friends and family who love and care for us;
for other Christians with whom we share so much, and for the heights and depths of our human experience.
Above all, we thank you for Jesus, for his ministry and teaching, for his dying for us on the cross and his glorious resurrection.
We thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit, who guides and gives us confidence and an assurance of forgiveness.
As we step forward into the unknown, help us to trust in you and to encourage all who journey with us. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Loving heavenly Father, you know everything about us and we cannot hide our faults and failings from you.
So we come to you to seek forgiveness.
Forgive our doubts, our lack of love for others, our impatience and unkindness.
Forgive us our neglect of prayer, reading the scriptures and sharing fellowship.
We ask this trusting in your mercy and grace through Jesus Christ ,our Lord.
A man came from Baal Shalishah,
bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain.
“Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.
“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.
But Elisha answered,
“Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’”
Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
Break now the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
as once you broke the loaves beside the sea.
Beyond the sacred page I seek you, Lord;
my spirit waits for you, O living Word.
Bless your own word of truth, dear Lord, to me,
as when you blessed the bread by Galilee.
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
and I shall find my peace, my All in all!
You are the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
your holy word the truth that rescues me.
Give me to eat and live with you above;
teach me to love your truth, for you are love.
O send your Spirit now, dear Lord, to me,
that he may touch my eyes and make me see.
Show me the truth made plain within your Word,
for in your book revealed I see you, Lord.
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
Food, glorious food! A well-known number from the famous musical “Oliver”, based on the Dickens' story of Oliver Twist;
he asked for more in the workhouse, where rations were meagre in the extreme.
Of course, food is vital for all of us, and most of us are fortunate to have more than enough. In our country we have access to a huge range of good quality food, provided that we can afford it. Sadly we know that such access is denied to many in the world at large, and even in an increasing number here in Britain – witness the growth of Food Banks and the figures relating to child poverty. In many developing countries it’s heart-breaking to see parents unable to feed their children – sometimes due to drought and failed harvests, or often through war and displacement of people.
In Old Testament times, famine and shortages were common, especially in winter; in the Elisha stories, we read, ”Elisha came again to Gilgal and there was a famine in the land”. It was in that context that the remarkable event recorded in 2 Kings took place; an account which is clearly echoed in the Gospel accounts of the feeding miracles of Jesus.
A man brought Elisha twenty barley loaves – barley was the earliest grain harvest and the food of the poor – Elisha tells his servant to feed his men – there were 100 of them!! The available bread seemed far too little for so many, but the instruction was repeated. The Lord says, “They shall eat and have some left”, and so they do, thus illustrating God's transforming power and generosity, so there is far more than is needed. It reminds us that when God is at work and we obey Him, all can be fed.
When we turn to more familiar accounts in the Gospels – Jesus feeding the crowds, (accounts that appear in all four Gospels – twice in Mark and Matthew) - we see a similar situation of need, but on a greater scale and with far fewer resources.
In John’s account, a crowd followed Jesus around Lake Galilee (Jesus had sailed across), and had come to the hills where he was; naturally they were happy but didn’t appear to have brought food with them, so Jesus asked Philip (who was from the local area) “How are we to buy bread so that the people may eat?” (In the other Gospels, the disciples ask Jesus the question). Philip sees the impossibility because it would cost about half a year’s wage to give each a little. Andrew, however, points out what resources there are – a young lad has 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish (pickled, a local tradition), even so Andrew asks: “What are these amongst so many?”
Jesus, however, sees human need – practical, material need . He cares about that, and He is able to do something about it. Jesus takes charge of the situation, and the disciples follow his instructions: this is the key. Jesus tells the disciples to make the people sit down on the grass in an orderly way, so that all can eat. The distribution of free food was not unknown in the Roman world as rulers tried to keep the people content, as they put it: “by bread and circuses” - food and entertainment. However, the distribution was often a “free for all” where the quickest and strongest grabbed all the bread – sadly not unlike some aid distributions today. Not so with Jesus, who values each one, and organises them in almost military fashion so that no-one misses out.
He takes what little food there is, gives thanks and distributes the bread and fish so that everyone “ has as much as they wanted”, with a lot left over. The miracle, and that is what it is, is that all are fed and once again God’s power and abundant generosity are revealed. The result: people acclaim Jesus as a prophet – perhaps thinking of the prophet promised long before - (Deut. 18:13) “The Lord your God shall raise up for you a prophet like Moses” . God had provided manna in the desert, now it is Jesus providing bread . Providing bread could be seen as a means of maintaining political power.
The people’s response was to try to proclaim Him king and perhaps they hoped he would lead a rebellion against the Romans; this is not Jesus’ way or purpose. Often, as we do, the crowd tried to make Jesus fit their expectations. They see His Messiahship as political and economic - materialistic thinking so common in many today.
Now meeting material needs (not wants), is important, as Jesus knew. Today we continually need to look at how we use and share material resources.
This is only part of the story; in John’s Gospel it precedes the discourse on the “Bread of Life”, when Jesus offers far more than material sustenance, he offers the gift of everlasting life, The miracle undoubtedly reminded the Gospel writers, and continues to remind Christians of what we do when we meet around the Lord’s table.
The four actions of giving thanks, taking bread, breaking and sharing it, are in both the miracle and the sacrament,
Jesus still feeds His people spiritual food. Implicit in these accounts is the challenge to put our trust in Jesus, to allow Him to rule in our lives as eventually He will in all creation.
The disciples saw only difficulties and apparent hopelessness in the situation and their own inadequacies.
We may well feel the same, looking at the world and church, but, as Barclay says:
“There is no place for pessimism in the Christian life, no defeatism, no use in saying ‘For all I could do it’s not worth trying to do anything’ We can do something, and through Christ, can do anything”
Charles Wesley wrote,
“Faith, mighty faith the promise sees, and looks to that above,
laughs at impossibilities, and cries ‘It shall be done!"
We pray for the church throughout the world,
for all who preach and teach the gospel and
all who worship today in whatever setting.
We pray for the churches of our circuit in times of change, for guidance and strength to face each new challenge.
We pray for our ministers-for Rev. David, preparing for retirement and for Rev. Roy returning from Sabbatical;
for the three Methodist churches in Morecambe as we seek ways to work more closely together.
We pray for so many situations in the world where there is violence and unrest remembering particularly war torn areas such as Syria and Yemen.
We pray for all who have power and influence that they may seek and work for the common good.
We pray for all who are suffering as a result of the Covid-19 virus, especially people in poorer countries with little or no access to vaccines or adequate health care.
We remember those known to us who are in any kind of need or trouble - people who are housebound, sick and bereaved, people who are feeling lonely and anxious.
Lord, bless each in their need and help them to know the power of your love. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Our Father , who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come, they will be done.
in Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
for thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory
for ever and ever, Amen.
Gracious God, your Son Jesus Christ fed the hungry
with the bread of life and the word of your kingdom.
Renew us with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness sustain us by your true and living bread, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A pastoral letter from the President and Vice-President
following the Conference vote on Marriage and Relationships
We wished to take this opportunity to write to you after the Conference voted on the resolutions contained in the marriage and relationships report.
We very much appreciate that these decisions will stir up many different emotions for our siblings across the Connexion. There will be some who will be deeply hurt and others who will rejoice by what has been decided.Our Presidential theme this year is God’s Table: An Invitation for All, and God’s invitation is for every single one of us.
The Methodist Church has held tension for many years and as a Church and a family, we must do all we can to live with contradictory convictions.This work was first reflected on back in 1992 and we have been on this journey together since that point. During the past years we have continued to listen to and to pray for each other and remaining true to what God is saying to us. We must remember in all this, to continue to hold each other in prayer, and to support each other as we find a way forward, respecting our differences.It is perhaps helpful to remember that there are other issues, some of them discussed at the Conference, on which we hold differing and sometimes strong opinions. We live with them and we do not allow them to impair our communion with each other. We respect each other’s consciences, we exercise judgment in when to speak and when to be silent, and we hold one another in prayer. We do all this not for our own sake but for the sake of Christ and the sake of the world which urgently needs to know the power of Christ’s reconciling love.Our prayer for you, beloved siblings, is that in joy or sorrow, in pain or excitement, we might continue to live within that reconciling love.
The Revd Sonia Hicks Mrs Barbara Easton
President of the Conference Vice-President of the Conference
It is good to lead you in worship once again for the website:
Call to Worship
Rejoice and be glad
God of all creation, our chief end is to glorify you. Our deep delight is in your presence.
In this act of worship help us to become who we are meant to be ,
people that breathe thankfulness, voicing your praises in all we do.
Our opening hymn is about coming into the presence of the Lord.
Hymn 20 Singing the Faith
Be Still for the Presence of the Lord
the Holy one is here....
Be still for the Presence of the Lord,
the Holy one is here......
Lord we thank you that we can come to worship you today, we come into your presence from our homes.
We thank you for all the blessings of this past week
We realise as we come to you today that we come with differing needs:
some will come in joy,
some will have had a difficult week
but we know it is wonderful at this time
to sing your praise and hear your Word.
We praise you that when we are weak,
we can rely on your strength.
When we are in the wrong,
you love us still.
We praise you for the truth of the Gospel
and for the way it has touched, changed and renewed people’s lives down the centuries
and is still changing people's lives today.
We thank you that we can trust you in every situation
and not simply when life is good.
We know that there is no burden that you cannot carry.
You amaze us with your limitless patience,
your endless grace and the daily blessings
of home, family and friends
Your mercy that enriches every step we take.
Forgive us the weakness which cause us to let you down. make us a source of hope,
of joy and confidence for those in need.
Gracious God, you call your people to offer
lives of love and care; serving, teaching, persevering
and holding all your world in prayer
We are worthy by your Spirit
We are worthy by your Son to proclaim your gospel story
of a world in Christ made one. Amen
Father in heaven, hallowed be Your nameYour kingdom come Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil
for the kingdom the power and glory
are Yours now and forever. Amen
At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Joseph Scrivener wrote our next hymn as a poem to comfort his mother who was in Ireland whilst he was living in Canada and tells of what a blessing to be able to come to God each day and hand over our worries and cares
"What a friend we have in Jesus...."
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,[b] which is across the lake from Galilee.
A reflection now on how we should be thankful.
Thank You Lord by Leslie Rommel
I thank you for the blessings
You give to me each day
They fill my life with abundant joy
More than words can say.
I thank you for my growing faith
And the trials I’ve made it through
I’ m victorious and am made complete
Because of only You!
I thank you for your tolerance
And a love that never ends
How glad I am that You are both
My Saviour and my Friend.
I thank you for the Holy Word
That’s powerful and true
It’s the Plan You made and a gift
That keeps me close to you.
But most of all I thank you Lord
Because You’re God and King
I ‘ll praise you till the day I die
My heart will forever sing
I thank you Lord and I will serve you.
When I was 17 I did not want to learn to drive.
My then boyfriend when we were passing Morecambe GPO one day went in and got a provisional licence form. He sat me down, made me fill it in and he posted it. I was not happy! However I did learn to drive and passed my test and since that day I have not looked back. If I had not learnt to drive I would have been unable to do many things that I have done in my life My life would have been different, so my apparent weakness had been turned into a strength.
I have taken as the text for today verse 9 of the reading from 2 Corinthians 12:
‘My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness’
In that letter to the Corinthians Paul writes about being caught up in Paradise but declines to boast about it. Instead he focuses on his thorn in the flesh because it makes him boast only about his weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in him. Paul tells us that his thorn was given to him to keep him humble.
When we feel strong, we perhaps do not ask for divine help but when we are consciously weak we turn to God and receive his strength. In recent years I have done two charity walks on the Isle of Wight. They were both a great challenge one because of the heat and one because I was blindfolded. On both occasions I woke up on the morning of the walks and felt I could not go through with it. God saw my weakness and gave me strength.
He used my perceived weakness on those days as a source of strength and blessing.
The thorn Paul had, whatever Paul understood it to be was a reminder that the good he accomplished was not due to his efforts but God's. The weaker Paul is the more receptive he is to God’s strength. The argument of a Paul’s letter is really what is at the heart of the Gospel. Paul related how in Asia he had been crushed. He had acknowledged he could only cope with adversity only by the all surpassing power of God. Paul’s Ministry, which was marked by pain, was possible only through God's power.
If I asked you to write on a piece of paper, on one side something or things you find difficult or perhaps hide away from and on the other side your strengths and gifts it would be interesting to see how many you would have on each side. Perhaps try it in your homes. Everyone of us I am sure has an excuse bag but perhaps we should throw away the excuse bag and go get a ‘ can do’ bag and fill it with faith filled reasons and you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.
The Old Testament Reading in Daniel is part of a sustained call to be loyal to God in trying times For the prophet Daniel there is every reason for confidence and hope in God’ faithfulness Life is full of challenges and it is not easy . I do not need to tell you that during the last 16 months life has been a challenge for us all in various ways; but hope is there in these times for each and every one of us.
Hope and Faith.
In the Verses from the Gospel Jesus said in the storm to his disciples, "Where is your faith?" Joseph Scrivener who wrote What a Friend we Have in Jesus had anticipated a wonderful life ahead. He was in love and due to marry the following day when he got the news that his beloved fiancée had drowned in an accident. Heartbroken he decided on new surroundings and went to a Canada. He was delighted when he found love again but his wedding date again was not fulfilled because his wife to be was suddenly struck down by a serious illness that claimed her life. He was depressed for a time but he turned his life around and became known as the local Good Samaritan because he gave money and even the clothes on his back to help the poor, spreading the love and compassion of Christ wherever he went. A friend of his found the words of What a Friend in a Joseph’s room and asked him who wrote it. Joseph said, " The Lord and I did it. The grace of the Lord is with me always and I never forget that."
In the hymn There is A Redeemer which we have just sung we sang, ‘Thank you, O my Father for giving us your Son’.
The poem we read states, ‘Be thankful for the difficult times during these times you grow. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings."
Not easy! but it is what we should try to do. The problem is though that instead of giving thanks for what God has blessed us with we sometimes focus on the negative or what we do not have.
A few years ago I led a quiet day at Hyning Monastry; the theme was, " Are we truly thankful?". Sometimes we do take God for granted; I am sure you would say at times that you have. I hold my hand up and say I have in the past. I know there are times when God intervenes in our lives in a tangible way and we say something like, "Thank you Lord for allowing me to get that job". But often we should say simply, " Thank you God for being who you are" . We should be truly thankful if we think of all God has given us and the ultimate sacrifice of God’s own Son crucified for you and me. He fulfills our every need. In all his letters Paul begins with, "Grace to You ", and ends them with, " Grace be with You." We must show Gods grace, which is so freely given, by how we live our lives.
Charles Wesley said that Grace is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. Grace is God acting in our life. Grace teaches us to live in a way that honours God and grace gives us the desire to serve. It is throughout all the pages of Scripture and may it be throughout our lives as well.
We do indeed bring our weaknesses to Christ and lean on him in simple faith. We should never allow ourselves to be defeated in any experience which may come to us and with the grace of Christ to help we need never fail.
Christ Alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
When Darkness seems to hide his face
We rest on his unchanging grace
Live in grace ,bring his peace into the world
Live with love that people may see him in your face
Live with joy, live for him, love with him
That the world may know that he is here.
God bless you all Amen
*** *** ***
We sing now about the goodness and love of the Lord in our lives
Hymn no 479 Singing the Faith
"The King of Love my Shepherd is.
For our intercessions this morning I want to suggest that you have a pebble, stone or cross upon to focus as you pray. Bring your concerns and joys to him and maybe pray for some of the list below:
It has been good to lead you in this act of worship this morning and it has also been good to meet some of you albeit at a distance, as I have preached around the Circuit in the last couple of months . On behalf of Torrisholme and Wesley I would like to take this opportunity to wish Rev David a very happy and healthy retirement here in Morecambe. David will retire on Sunday 25th July with his last service being at Brookhouse.
Continue to take care of yourselves
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
the love of God and
the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all this day and for evermore.
Call to Worship
God calls us together to worship
God calls us to hear God’s word
God calls us to journey with Jesus.
God calls us to work together to bring about the purposes of God in the world.
Hymn 546 Singing the Faith
Behold the servant of the Lord:
I wait Thy guiding eye to feel,
To hear and keep Thy every word,
To prove and do Thy perfect will;
Joyful from my own works to cease,
Glad to fulfil all righteousness.
Me if Thy grace vouchsafe to use,
Meanest of all Thy creatures, me.
The deed, the time, the manner choose:
Let all my fruit be found of Thee.
Let all my works in Thee be wrought,
By Thee to full perfection brought.
My every weak though good design
O’errule or change, as seems Thee meet:
Jesus, let all my work be Thine –
Thy work, O Lord, is all complete,
And pleasing in Thy Father’s sight;
Thou only hast done all things right.
Here then to Thee Thine own I leave;
Mould as Thou wilt Thy passive clay;
But let me all Thy stamp receive,
But let me all Thy words obey,
Serve with a single heart and eye,
And in Thy glory live and die.
(Charles Wesley 1707-1788)
We come again to celebrate the love that has made us all
We celebrate the love that lies at the heart of the universe, filling it with energy and of life.
We celebrate the love that runs through all human history, battling with human foolishness and enmity to bring goodness to birth.
We celebrate the love that is present in our own lives,guiding us and pulling us forward to new experiences and new joys.In the ordinariness of life,
You are there. In the dreams and visions that inspire us - You speak through the disappointments that come so often,
You save us from despair.God of our past,
our present and our future.
Make Yourself known to us afresh in these moments of worship together.
We ask Your forgiveness, Lord
For the times we forget to acknowledge You,
when the action of our lives fail to reflect
Your justice, Your mercy and Your love.
Forgive us too for those times when we diminish others
and fail to acknowledge the gifts they bring.
Forgive us for the times we demand certainty and direction and are too afraid to step out in faith.
Change our hearts, God, strengthen our will, that everything we are, and will be, is Yours.
This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
God, You have made known Your purpose
and called us to share in Your plan.
Before the foundation of the world, O God You knew
what You would have to do
for You took the risk of making a world of freedom
where so many things could go wrong.
But You knew that in the end it would all be worthwhile.
God you have made known Your purpose
You gave us the freedom to choose to worship You,
or to make own gods, gods that divide and separate us, gods we think will serve us but who destroy us instead. From the very beginning, You knew what You would have to do to save us.
God You have made known Your purpose
You knew that only Your love could set us free again.
So Jesus came to live with us,
to die on a cross that we made. But You raised Him from death and exalted Him above all the power of heaven and earth, above all the gods we had made for ourselves.
God you have made known Your purpose
and how You have called us to share His life,
to live through love in His presence,
To experience that love which can unite all things
and can make the world new.
Thank You, O God, for all that You have done.
Thank You, O God, for all You are doing still today.
Thank You, O God, for all You will go on doing
until Your purpose is complete. Amen
Loving God, in the day-to-day business of our lives when ‘things’ don’t go to plan,:
when we drop the plate,
when we can’t find ..?
when we forgot to do ...?
when we’re struggling to get about in whatever is frustrating, irritating or just hard,
help us to find Your purpose and live in it.
Loving God, in the unexpected joys and the planned joys When we have a fun and relaxing times.
When we’re cheered by the sight of a rainbow, a flower, When friends call or ring
When someone remembers our birthday.
In whatever is good, fun or comforting
help us to find Your purpose and live in it.
Loving God,, as we try to make sense of the world.
With the news full of unhappiness.
Where poverty mars so many lives.
Where being famous seems to be the biggest virtue.
Where hatred stands with whatever is oppressive
dehumanising or just wrong.
help us to find Your purpose and live in it.
Loving God as we try our best to live in relationship
with other people
In the laughter and the tension of family gatherings
In the lonely and desperate times
In the anger and the arguments
In the times we’re misunderstood
In whatever is painful, healing or mundane
help us to find Your purpose and live in it.
Loving God , as we grapple with understanding some of the mystery that is You
In the times when we’re sure about everything
Or when, full of questions we find no answer;
Or when we’re quietly convinced that, despite the struggle, You are Love and You are our God.
When we get a sudden flashes of revelation in whatever is certain, doubtful and paradoxical
help us to find Your purpose and live in it.
The second Sunday in July, is when we come together across the globe to celebrate the role seafarers play
in our daily lives.
To thank them for the hardships they face and
the sacrifices they have been forced to endure
due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.
From London to Lagos and Manila to Melbourne,
our community gathers together to give something back
to these essential workers who spend months away
from their homes and families in often difficult conditions to help keep our global economy afloat.
Almighty God, we remember those people who live on Your great oceans. For those who go down to the sea in ships, we give thanks. They enrich our lives at great personal cost.
Daily may they feel the strength of Your protection, the warmth of Your presence and the love of Your relationship as they seek hope of safe passage.
Loving Father, we pray for solace for families awaiting the return of seafarers: allow Your grace and peace to dwell in their homes and their hearts until they are reunited with their loved ones.
Banish fear, pain and uncertainty from their lives, that they may be blessed with hope of safe return and joy of reunion.
We give thanks for those who protect and support those that work on the sea, providing rescue services and safe havens.
We remember today the work of the Royal Navy,
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Trinity House,
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency
and maritime trades unions.
We rejoice that the work of these and other organisations around the world, gives great comfort to those who are at times in danger, exhausted, injured, exploited lonely and afraid. We pray that You will grant them every success in all that is done for seafarers in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
King Herod Antipas heard about Jesus for His name and reputation had become well known. People were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.” But others were saying, “He is Elijah!” And others were saying, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, “John, whom I beheaded, has risen from the dead!” For Herod himself had sent guards and had John arrested and shackled in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Philip, because he, Herod, had married her. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful under Mosaic Law for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted to kill him, but she could not, because Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he continually kept him safe. When he heard John speak, he was very perplexed; but he enjoyed listening to him. But an opportune time finally came for Herodias. Herod, on his birthday gave a banquet for his officials nobles, courtiers and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. Now Salome, the daughter of Herodias came in and danced for the men. She pleased and beguiled Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” And he swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And Herodias replied, “The head of John the Baptist!” And she rushed back to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter!” The king was deeply grieved, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests who might have regarded him as weak, he was unwilling to break his word and refuse her. So the king immediately sent for an executioner and commanded him to bring back John’s head. And he went and had John beheaded in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away John’s body and laid it in a tomb
"Have you heard God's voice;
has your heart been stirred?
Are you still prepared to follow?
Have you made a choice to remain and serve.......?"
In humility and love let us draw near
to our God and pray to Him now.
Lord God, we pray that our lives may be upright and holy;
That our church communities may shine
with goodness and love, humility and truth;
We pray for all leaning lives to be straightened up
through Your merciful forgiveness.
Lord God, we pray that many may be empowered
to recognise evil and fight against it;
To discern Your warnings and speak them out:
To notice sparks of love and goodness and celebrate them.
Lord God, we pray that our households, neighbourhoods
and our places of work and leisure
may be arenas of praise and thankfulness.
Not only in the comfort zones but particularly through disturbed and difficult times.
Lord God, we pray for those in prison
For those leading cruel and violent lives
For all victims of oppression or abuse;
For all who suffer mental anguish or physical pain.
Lord God we pray for those who have died
that they, and we, in our turn, may be given merciful judgment through Jesus our Saviour and
brought into the unquenchable light of heaven.
Lord God we pray for more thankful hearts to bless You, because the gifts we receive from You are so much more than we deserve. Amen
Dear Lord our Heavenly Father, we bring to You our money, tokens of our love for You
We pray that you will bless and use it
for the furtherance of Your Kingdom. Amen
Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil
for the kingdom the power and glory are Yours
now and forever. Amen
Jesus’ reputation was spreading around Galilee so, it was not surprising that king Herod Antipas had heard about Him.
BUT he became frightened because He thought that Jesus was John the Baptist come back from the dead.
Why was that frightening for him? Well, you see, King Herod had had John the Baptist arrested because ...
John had condemned Herod because ...
he had married his brother’s wife ....
AND as John had been unafraid to confront Herod and his new wife...
they had been breaking one of their laws which says ...“You shall not have intercourse with your brother’s wife,
she belongs to your brother.” and “If a man shall take his brother’s wife it is impurity “
AND as John and Jesus ran parallel to each other in their preaching it wasn’t difficult for Herod to believe that Jesus was John come back to life.
Herod, you see, had imprisoned John because John had confronted Herod and his wife Herodias,
Herod had had John arrested. Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted to kill him, but she could not.
Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, Herod was in a dilemma – here was holy and good man.who he enjoyed listening to ... and yet he was frightened of John. He feared him and yet respected him
Herod wanted him alive and yet he wanted him dead.
They had a daughter, Salome, and at a party in honour of Herod’s birthday before invited guest of courtiers and captains, Salome danced. ..... Herod was enthralled and offered her a reward. Before the invited guests he said to Salome,
“Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.”
She goes to her mother and asks what she should ask for. Herodias has no compunction and asks for the head of John the Baptist on a serving dish. If Herod thought he was in a dilemma before ... it was nothing in comparison to his dilemma now - this was worse. Now he was being torn apart.
Yes, he had promised Salome in the hearing of his guests
and No he liked John. Did he really want him dead?
But he would lose face if he didn’t keep his promise and then what would his guests think of him?
He ordered that John should be beheaded. Herod was deeply grieved.
John was in the position he was because he spoke out God’s truth knowing it wouldn’t be accepted.
He could have turned a blind eye. He could have kept quiet. He could have let it go
But no he didn’t he spoke out the dangerous truth to Herod pointing out what is God’s will and iwhat s not.
Speaking the truth against the tide of opinion isn’t welcome.
Sticking up for God can get you into sticky situations
and you wish you’d said nothing.
Sometimes we back-track, making out we meant something else. Sometimes we say nothing knowing that what we should say would be unpopular and that would make us unpopular too. So .......... we keep quiet.
Do you know ... that bad things happen when good people say nothing.
How ready are we to speak out God’s truth and God’s values when we know they will make us unpopular?
Think of youngsters and young adults who have met with Christ and they try to live and work in environments often openly hostile to God. It can be hard for us - how hard it is for them ? One commentator writes this ...
”We hear story after story of the reality – that those who speak out God’s will are quite likely to find themselves rejected and abused, insulted and scorned. Perhaps Bibles should have a safety warning pasted on the front cover “Following the God you meet through these pagesis usually dangerous”
We need to pray for the courage to speak out as God’s people and get on with the work we have been chosen to do, however we are received.All too often the first hint of opposition or waning popularity shuts us upand we persuade ourselves that we shouldn’t mention such things again. But if the early Church had followed a similar line, how many of us would ever had heard the good news of God’s love?” .. Amen
Beyond these walls of worship
in the stress and joy of life,
can we offer you our bodies
as a living sacrifice?
Will we keep you at the centre
far beyond the Sunday call?
Will we turn to you, be transformed by you;
still declare you God of all?
Beyond these walls of worship
in the times of work and rest,
will we display your love for all
when our faith’s put to the test?
When the people that surround us
deny that you are there,
will we display our faith in you
– in life, in praise, in prayer?
Beyond these walls of worship
May your spirit strengthen us
to make the whole of life our worship
as we witness to your love.
From this moment in your presence
send us out now to proclaim
that we’ll live our life as a sacrifice
to the glory of your name.
Ian Worsfold (b 1974)
and Paul Wood (b 1967)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
IS with us NOW and for always.
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