Service for 14/06/2020

Posted by Barbara Nadin on 14 June 2020

Dear Friends,

We continue to be busy at Fairmount. My to-do-list for Barry doesn’t get any smaller. We had a skip delivered, filled it up and then had to request another, and filled that too! We are tidying. You know how it is, we have been meaning to sort out the garage, and various other places around the house, but never had the time. They do say that decluttering, that’s the word I believe, is good for us. I can see why that would be, at least now we can actually see what we have, and our garden looks a lot bigger. The space looks a lot clearer.

We have also been to visit a city! The first time since the middle of March. We didn’t go for anything very exciting, Barry’s car, Jeeves, was due for an MOT so we had to take it in to the dealership. Before you ask it is called Jeeves because it looks like the bowler hat Jeeves the valet wears in P. G. Wodehouse’s ‘Jeeves and Wooster’. Driving there was strange, it was like we were going on an adventure, it is only 17 miles to Leicester, but after all these weeks of not using the car, it seemed an awfully long way. Things have changed so, much haven’t they?

Due to the current circumstances we are having to look at everything differently. Yesterday my Mum had an appointment at the hospital, again in Leicester, her first appointment for three months. We planned every detail of her trip, assessing what might be needed, including wearing face coverings, what situations might arise during the visit, and what could have changed since the last time. My Mum is now partially sighted, through a condition that has developed over the last few years, and she has shown great courage. When I was told that she was to be registered in this way, I cried. I couldn’t help it. The thought of her not being able to see was unthinkable. I could never have imagined this would ever happen to her. My Mum was surprised at my reaction, and she assured me that it was alright. She told me she intended to carry on as always, she knew she had my Dad, and her family, to help and support her when she needed it, and, although in her eighties, she was going to live her life - she made that very clear to me.

I could never had imagined some of the things that have happened over the last few weeks, and I believe we need clarity, courage, and kindness to deal with them. Life is an adventure, and yes we can plan, prepare, and anticipate, but it is those we travel with that count, and make the journey easier. Thank you for letting Barry and I travel with you, as we journey with Christ together. I wanted to share something with you from the Celtic Daily Prayer book of the Northumbria Community. It struck a chord with me this week.

Just You

You are not an accident.

Even at the moment of your conception,

out of many possibilities

only certain cells combined,

survived, grew to be you.

You are unique.

You were created for a purpose.

God loves you.

 

 

Much love, and many blessings to you all - Julie Ann

 

Morning Devotion.

Let us begin our devotion this morning by singing:

Hymn: All my hope on God is founded – J. Neander/R. Bridges (Mission Praise)

All my hope on God is founded,

all my trust He shall renew;

He, my guide through changing order,

only good and only true.

God unknown,

He alone calls my heart to be His own.

 

The Lord’s Prayer.

A short prayer to you may wish to say.

Holy God,

faithful and unchanging:

enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,

and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,

that we may truly worship you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

The Gospel of St. Matthew   Chapter 9: 35 – 10: 8

 

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.

Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.”

 

 

Hymn: Lord Jesus Christ – P. Appleford (Mission Praise)

Lord Jesus Christ,

You have come to us,

You are one with us, Mary’s son;

cleansing our souls from all their sin,

pouring Your love and goodness in;

Jesus, our love for You we sing –

Living Lord!

 

Lord Jesus Christ, now and every day

teach us how to pray, Son of God;

You have commanded us to do

this in remembrance, Lord, of You

into our lives

Your power breaks through – living Lord!

 

Lord Jesus Christ,

I would come to You,

live my life for You, Son of God;

all Your commands I know are true,

Your many gifts will make me new;

into my life Your power breaks through –

Living Lord!

 

The Letter of Paul to the Romans    Chapter 5: 1- 8

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

 

Hymn: There’s a wideness in God’s mercy – F. W. Faber (Rejoice & Sing)

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy

like the wideness of the sea;

there’s a kindness in His justice

which is more than liberty.

 

 

Reflection.

As I sit and, write this reflection I can hear the leaves rustling on the trees in the garden and the birds singing, and the drone of the A42 in the background. This mixture of sounds is distracting, especially as I have so much buzzing around in my head to share with you. I have a distinct urge to get up and take a walk around the garden, but as I promised to share my thoughts with you, I must be more disciplined. I trust what I have to say is not too confusing. What is comforting is to know that our compassionate and generous God is here with me. He never leaves us. He is always here – always. And He has always been here.

 

This week I found myself in a conversation with my Dad about loss. ‘Your Grandma used to say that our days are written in a book.’

I have to say I was quite surprised to hear my Dad, who in my lifetime has only ever attended church for funerals, weddings, christenings, and my ordination, basically quote, not only my Grandma, but Psalm 139 – my favourite psalm. In my bible the heading for this psalm is, The Inescapable God. For some the notion of God being with us, knowing what we think, knowing what we are going to say before we say it, knowing everything about us, even the stuff we feel ashamed about, or regret, can be a bit disturbing, or even frightening.

The psalmist writes: ‘Where can I go from your spirit?’

But this is God we are talking about - there is no need to hide. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the Trinity of love that surrounds us, and draws us in to participate in an eternal, life-giving, compassionate relationship. The love of the Trinity is always there – always waiting for us. Always forgiving. Always saving. As St. Paul told the Roman church,

 

‘…. we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand;’

We stand in God’s grace. No need for secrets with God.

For, ‘God’s love has been poured in our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.’

In our reading from Matthew we hear of Jesus travelling around cities and villages, teaching, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom to those that were suffering and lost. He saw the need was great and called on his friends to help him in his task.

Jesus calls us too. We know this in our hearts, but we are not always sure what we should do. Jesus gave very clear instructions to his disciples on what to do. He told them where to go, and what to proclaim, and emphasised the importance of giving, as they had already received. Some of us are not always clear which direction to take, or what to say, or how best to serve Jesus. If we read St. Paul’s letter, we know life was not easy for him, but he talks about how suffering can produce endurance, which builds character, which he says, then produces hope.

Now being called to hope, in my opinion is a very good calling.

Let us go back to the words of our hymn There’s a wideness in God’s mercy:

There is plentiful redemption in the blood that has been shed; there is joy for all the members in the sorrows of the Head.

There is grace enough for thousands of new worlds as great as this; there is room for fresh creations in the Lord’s unfathomed bliss.

For the love of God is broader than the measures of our mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.

But we make His love too narrow by false limits of our own; and we magnify His strictness with a zeal He will not own.

 

If our love were but more simple, we should take Him at His word; and our lives would be illumined by the presence of our Lord.

 

Jesus tells us this.

“’You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the greatest and first commandment.”

As I said earlier, what is comforting is to know that our compassionate and generous God is here with us. He never leaves us. He is always here – always. And He has always been here. Our world seems to be distressed, and unsettled, by the presence of disease, by inequality, by hunger, by thirst, the list goes on. We hope and pray for better and flourishing times, but I believe that we must ask the Holy Spirit to challenge us, to widen our vision, and guide our imagination. Jesus asks us to love with our all - everything mind, body, and spirit. Because as the hymn writer says, we must not make His love too narrow. For the love of God is broader than our minds can reach, and ‘there is grace enough for thousands’ and goodness me let us not forget, ‘His heart is wonderfully kind’. The psalmist knew he or she could not possibly understand fully the immeasurable nature of God, but they knew God was always with them.

 

‘How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them – they are more than the sand; I come to the end – I am still with you.’

I believe this is the hope we carry when we follow Christ. We know we are not alone, and this brings a peace beyond our understanding - we stand in His grace. He is with us.

 

“And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Know that you are loved. Believe that you are loved. That is hard I know, but when we accept that grace, that love, with a grateful and open heart, faith, and hope lives eternal, and it shines out of us. And what abides with hope and faith but love. Jesus tells us we must love our neighbour, wherever they may be, over the fence, in the village, across the ocean – every person is our neighbour. We travel this world together. Jesus calls us to reach out, to speak of peace, bring hope, and proclaim the good news of the kingdom. As our final hymn says, we are called to hold the ‘Christlight’ for each other. Amen.

 

Prayers of Intercession:

Let us now take time to pray for the world, those we know to be suffering and the dearly departed, to also give thanks for those dear to us, to bring our burdens, and to offer our hopes and dreams.

Then let us take a moment to be silent and wait on the Lord before we end our time of prayer by singing.

 

 

Hymn: Father, hear the prayer we offer – L. M. Willis (Mission Praise)

Father, hear the prayer we offer;

Not for ease that prayer shall be,

But for strength, that we may ever

Live our lives courageously.

 

Let our path be bright or dreary,

storm or sunshine be our share;

may our souls, in hope unweary,

make Thy work our ceaseless prayer.

 

A Concluding Prayer

Almighty and eternal God,

you have revealed yourself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

and live and reign in the perfect unity of love;

hold us firm in this faith,

that we may know you in all your ways

and evermore rejoice in your eternal glory,

who are three Persons yet one God,

now and for ever. Amen.

 

Hymn: Brother, sister, let me serve you – Richard Gillard (Anglican Hymns Old & New)

Brother, sister let me serve you,

let me be as Christ to you;

pray that I may have the grace to

let you be my servant, too.

 

We are pilgrims on a journey,

fellow trav’llers on the road;

we are here to help each other

walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christlight for you

in the night-time of your fear;

I will hold my hand out to you,

speak the peace you long to hear.

 

I will weep when you are weeping;

when you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.

I will share your joy and sorrow

till we’ve seen this journey through.

 

When we sing to God in heaven,

we shall find such harmony,

born of all we’ve know together

of Christ’s love and agony.

 

Brother, sister let me serve you,

let me be as Christ to you;

pray that I may have the grace to

let you be my servant, too.

 

 

The Grace.

 

 

©Church of England Common Worship Times and Seasons

© Celtic Daily Prayer from the Northumbria Community

 

 

 

 

 

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