Service for 17/01/21

Posted by Barbara Nadin on 15 January 2021

Dear Friends,

I was talking to a chum of mine the other day about Barry’s birthday. You see next week my husband will reach a special milestone age, and the plan had always been that we should celebrate in style. We have now postponed his family birthday parties, one here and one in Essex. His two special golf matches, and the planned holiday have been shelved too!

My chum and I realised that between us we have a rather long list of celebrations and events that have been postponed, I am sure you are all the same. This means, of course, that when it is possible, and safe, for us all to be together there will be one party after another to catch up on, and in Barry’s case, numerous games of golf! This realisation made us rather jolly! 

We also have to take the time to remember those we have lost during this unusual year.

In the meantime, we continue to take each day as it comes. These last few months we have been separated, but in many ways I have felt closer to those in my life. We have continued to share our lives with each other, just in different ways. Hearing each other’s voices either through a card, letter, email, or telephone can bring us just the boost we need, and the fact technology allows us to see and hear each other, for me, a miracle of science. 

I have, I am sure, told you about my love of ironing. To take a basket of newly washed items, full of creases and folds, and to then restore each one, almost back to its original state when bought, gives me great satisfaction. There are lots of creases and folds in our lives today, and we can’t yet iron them out, but we will, and when we do my goodness we will look and feel brand new! And I can promise you, here at Fairmount, there will be much rejoicing, and maybe even a party!

Take care, keep safe, let’s keep in touch with one another, and know that God loves you, with or without creases!

Love & blessings,

Julie Ann

 

Julie Ann Heath

07801 467348

01530 414549

 

 

Melbourne URC Sunday January 17th, 2021.

The Lord will be your everlasting light and your God will be your glory.    Isaiah 60: 19

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on the 18th January through to the 25th. I have selected readings and prayers to reflect the theme of calling and covenant, unity, and trust.   

Hymn:

All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;

Him serve with mirth, His praise forth tell; come ye before Him and rejoice.

 

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed:

without our aid He did us make: we are His folk, He doth us feed;

and for His sheep He doth us take.

 

O enter then His gates with praise, approach with joy His courts unto;

praise, laud and bless His name always, for it is seemly so to do.

 

For why? The Lord our God is good; His mercy is for ever sure;

His truth at all times firmly stood, and shall from age to age endure.

 

 

Saying sorry to God:

Our Lord Jesus Christ says,

‘A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you.’

Let us confess to almighty God our failure to accept his love and to share it with others.

 

There is one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

 

There is one God and Father of us all,

above all and through all and in all.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

God our Father, your gift of water brings life and freshness to the earth; in baptism it is a sign of the washing away of our sins and the gift of life eternal.

Renew the living spring of your life within us, that we may be free from sin and filled with your saving health; through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May almighty God cleanse us from sin and make us worthy of the kingdom of his glory.

Amen.

 

Bible Reading:  1 Samuel 3: 1-10

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am for you called me.”

But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.”

So he went and lay down.

The Lord called again, “Samuel!”

Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’

So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

 

Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and known me, you know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue. O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your right hand shall hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night.” Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

 

Hymn:

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am God.

 

I am the Lord that healeth thee.

I am the Lord that healeth thee.

I am the Lord that healeth thee.

 

In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust.

In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust.

In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust.

 

John 1: 43 – end.

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him,

“We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

When Jesus saw Nathanael come toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”

Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?”

Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

 

Reflection.

I have no memory of my baptism. I was three months at the time. I do remember my confirmation. I was eleven years old. For a number of weeks, I had attended confirmation classes at the vicarage with a group of children, most of which I knew from school. The vicar told us that we would be confirming the promises that our godparents had made on our behalf when we were too young to answer for ourselves. We would be making these declarations at a service, in front of our families and the Bishop.

Confirmation classes were fun. Our vicar always ensured our full attention. He would call out bible references, which we would then race to find! It was great to be first to find the text, and then read it out aloud. It was such an encouraging experience. We could ask anything we wished about Jesus, the Church, the service, and the Bishop. Confirming that I was a Christian seemed the most natural thing to do, and the bonus was I got to have a new dress!

I knew lots of people who followed Jesus, both at the Anglican, or Church of England, (I didn’t realise I was an Anglican until I was an adult), and the Methodist chapel in the village; I went to their Thursday evening youth group. If someone had said to me then that following Jesus was going to lead me to be ordained I would never have believed them!

Where has Jesus led you? Has it been a surprise? Has it been tough? Maybe you didn’t even get to know about him until later on in life.

Have you taken a break in your journey with Him through the years? 

Of course, Jesus never breaks away from us. Psalm 139 states that clearly. Even when we get distracted by life, He is there. I remember someone saying to me once that He is just at the end of the phone – the prayer phone! Just like a trusted friend, He always takes our call.

And it works both ways. As with Samuel, God calls us on the prayer phone. Sometimes directly, using our imagination and our dreams, or as with Nathanael, via someone else. That someone, in my experience, is likely to have encountered God for themselves, just like Philip, and they are prepared to put themselves out there, and share with others how transformational that encounter had been for them and remind us that there is a permanent invitation for others to share too!

People ask me what prayer is – my answer is always the same, ‘For me it’s just talking, whether out loud or silently in your head. But’ I always say, ‘don’t forget when you’ve said what you have to say, listen for a while, as God may respond.’

As we face this New Year, we may wish to renew our promises to God. Promises that we have made previously, formally, or informally. We may prefer to use our own words to do this, but there is a covenant prayer below if needed.

Remember God will respond to you. It might not be straight away, and it may not be as you imagine it to be. It might not be a ‘Samuel’ moment but, in my experience, you will know when you hear His voice speaking to your soul.

Please don’t forget to listen! Our journey isn’t over. Samuel was called three times before he realised what was going on! God loves you so much! He hears your voice, and knows your inner most thoughts, and holds onto you no matter where you are, ‘even there your right hand shall hold me fast.Psalm 139. He will guide you.

And let us not only pray for, but also listen to all those who answer God’s call, whether in our own church family or in the other church families around our village, country and the world – we can learn from each other.  

I hope, and pray, that 2021 will be a time for joyful conversations of love and encouragement for each of us!  

 

Covenant Prayer.

I am no longer my own but yours.

Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;

put me to doing, put me to suffering;

let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,

exalted for you, or brought low for you;

let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things,

let me have nothing;

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

you are mine and I am yours.

So be it.

And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen.

 

Prayers of Intercession.

Let us take time to pray for those we know to be suffering, those that care for others including the NHS. Those we have lost and those we know to be grieving. Let us pray for the Church around the world, and for ourselves.

 

The Lord’s Prayer.

 

Hymn:

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken;

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, O bind us together with love.

 

There is only one God, there is only one King, there is only one body – that is why we sing:

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken;

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, O bind us together with love.

                                                                               

Made for the glory of God, purchased by His precious Son.

Born with the right to be clean, for Jesus the victory has won.

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken;

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, O bind us together with love.

 

You are the family of God, you are the promise divine,

You are God’s chosen desire, you are the glorious new wine.

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken;

Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, O bind us together with love.

 

A Final prayer.

Lord God, we thank you for calling us into the company of those who trust in Christ

and seek to obey his will.

May your Spirit guide and strengthen us in mission and service to your world;

for we are strangers no longer but pilgrims together on the way to your kingdom;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Grace.

 

©1999 Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes – The Methodist Worship Book.

©Mission Praise 2014

©The Archbishops’ Council 2006 – Church of England Common Worship Times and Seasons.

 

 

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