Sunday 17th May 2020

Sunday 17th May 2020

Compiled by Angela Banfield

Welcome to today’s act of worship brought to you by West Devon Methodist Circuit.

If you are able, please take a few minutes to take part in this service, knowing that others will be joining in as well. Today is the 6th Sunday of Easter and the chosen reading from the Gospel of St. John leads us towards the festival of Pentecost which we will celebrate in two weeks’ time.

Our first hymn leads us through the life of Christ and points towards the glorious hope we have in Him. 

Hymn: “I cannot tell why he, who angels worship” (StF 350, MP 266, H&P 238)

 

1] I cannot tell why he whom angels worship,                      3] I cannot tell how he will win the nations,

Should set his love upon us, now or then,                              how he will claim his earthly heritage,

or why, as Shepherd, he should seek the wanderers,             or satisfy the needs and aspirations

to bring them back, they know not how or when.                   of east and west, of sinner and of sage.

But this I know, that he was born of Mary                              But this I know, all flesh shall see his glory,

When Bethlehem’s manger was his only home,                     and he will reap the harvest he has sown,

and that he lived at Nazareth and laboured,                           and some glad day his sun shall shine in splendour,

and so the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is come.                  when he the Saviour, Saviour of the world is known.

 

2] I cannot tell how silently he suffered,                                4] I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,

as with his peace he graced this place of tears,                    when at his bidding every storm is stilled,

or how his heart upon the cross was broken,                        or who can say how great the jubilation

the crown of pain to three and thirty years.                           when every human heart with love is filled.

But this I know, he heals the broken hearted,                        But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,

and stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,                        and myriad, myriad human voices sing,

and lifts the burden from the heavy laden,                             and earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer:

for yet the Saviour, Saviour of the world is here.                    ‘at last the Saviour, Saviour of the world is King’

 

 William Young Fullerton

 

Let us continue in prayer:

Loving yet almighty God, Jesus has taught us that you see us as your children, and that we can call you Father and safely put our trust in you,

Thank you for this day, for family and friends, for neighbours and for those who help us.

We ask you to bless them and all those we love, and those who love us.

This is your world Father. Thank you that we are part of it.

It is a beautiful world Father. Thank you that we can enjoy it.

Your plan dear Father is for us to live in peace.  Forgive us when we don’t.

You have given us stewardship over your world.  Forgive us when we harm it.

You have asked your children to share your love.  Forgive us when we don’t.

You have asked us to be like Jesus.  Forgive us when we are not.

We thank you that we are forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

That our sins were nailed to the cross and Jesus has conquered them.        

Enable us through the power of your Holy Spirit to serve and please you today and always. Amen.

 

PSALM 95: 1 - 7

O come, let us sing to the Lord;

let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;

let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

For the Lord is a great God,

and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth;

the heights of the mountains are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it,

and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

O come, let us worship and bow down,

let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God,

and we are the people of his pasture,

and the sheep of his hand.

 

JOHN 14: 15 - 21  

THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT                                                           

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.

 

Reflection -  “If you love me you will keep my commandments“

I wonder if you are finding your Christian calling easier or harder to follow as we live in these unprecedented times.

One of the most frequently quoted phrases wherever you look, television or internet, are the two words ‘be kind’. It is as if the world has just discovered it as a good idea. Although I’m absolutely certain that Jesus has always expected, the people who follow Him, to be just that. Two weeks ago, Rev. Liz was talking about Jesus, The Good Shepherd. And we read that Jesus said, when He was talking about the sheepfold that, “the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. Human beings have tremendous power to wound or hurt each other, whilst Jesus has the almighty power to heal and encourage the weakest amongst us. We are called to follow Him, and be like Him. So being kind is not an option and is in so many words, a commandment of our Lord. Christians must remember, who it is we represent, before we speak or act.

Another of Jesus’s commandments is that we must forgive!

In The Lord’s Prayer we say, “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Oh dear, it is easy to say, easy to do, most of the time, but some things are deeply painful to bear. I’m not going to give examples, but I know some injuries and crimes are beyond our understanding. I believe where forgiveness is concerned, we can fail. We can find it impossible to love, and such feelings are understandable, but also deeply upsetting. Sometimes our humanity is a real struggle and we long to join the popular voice of condemnation, yet God’s Holy Spirit within us forbids it, and our tears mingle with our Lord’s as we recognise our total dependence on Him for our righteousness.

Jesus commands us not to judge. How confusing, we have to choose wrong from right, but not pronounce judgement on those who seemingly perpetuate what we believe is sin. I think of the woman, brought before Jesus by, a howling gang of so-called righteous men, who wanted to stone her to death for her sin. Jesus invited whoever had not sinned to throw the first stone, and they melted away. John 8:7

I can’t focus on everything that Jesus told us to do in this reflection, but Love for God and for our neighbour, is how Jesus summed up our enduring principles, and as I  said before, it isn’t always easy, although the closer our relationships with Jesus are, the more achievable those principles and rules become. It is so much easier to do things for others if we love them. To obey Jesus, if He is The One we long for.

Jesus went on to promise a reward if we do. It is love for Him and obedience that triggers the Gift unspeakable. Jesus says He will ask The Father and He will give us another Advocate to be with us forever, The Spirit of Truth who the world can’t receive or recognise.

Are we too used to this, is it an ordinary thing, that God The Holy Spirit, who is the image of Jesus, who is the image of The Father, is a gift for all who love and seek to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. It is anything but ordinary, it is beyond our wildest imagination! We have just celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe. Remembering those who gave their lives for love of their families and their country, and we admire, applaud and understand with gratitude, their sacrifice and motivation.

Who can understand Jesus, who died to save His sworn enemies, even for me, because he loved us.

When I look at this morning’s reading I realise that first paragraph is dynamite. It’s the blueprint for eternal life with God today. Yes, you really can have your cake and eat it. It’s not like saving for years for that once in a lifetime holiday which lasts a few weeks, it’s free and available right now, and lasts forever. If you want to find Jesus, you will find Him in the pages of the gospels, and within your searching heart. Through generous loving acts as you feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.

And as you do all this, and love all comers, know that it’s nothing more than Jesus did for us. To find Jesus is to love Him. It’s like that because, He loved us first.

Let us pray

Father we come to you in Jesus’ name to bring before you the cares of our hearts. We pray today for the ongoing Corona Virus crisis throughout our world. We ask for your healing for those who are ill, for strength and peace for those who love them, and for wisdom, intuition and protection for those caring for them. We pray for our government and all countries fighting this invisible enemy.  Even as we pray for this dear Father, we are mindful of other ongoing health problems so many suffer. We bring them before you in our hearts and minds, asking that they may receive the best treatment and the healing power of medicine and miracle, with the peace that only you can give.  We think today of those who are facing financial hardship, the failure of seemingly imperishable ways of life, the collapse of certainty and the feelings of helplessness. Help us Father to bring your love into every situation we enter.

We ask our prayers and all our unsaid thoughts for others. In Jesus’ precious name.     Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Hymn: Father of Everlasting Grace (StF 378, H&P 300)

 

1] Father of everlasting grace, your goodness and your truth we praise,

your goodness and your truth we prove;

You have in honour of your Son, the gift unspeakable sent down,

the Spirit of life, and power, and love.

 

2] Send us the Spirit of your Son, to make the depths of Godhead known,

to make us share the life divine;

Send him the sprinkled blood to apply, send him our souls to sanctify,

to bless and seal us with this sign.

 

3] So shall we pray, and never cease, so shall we thankfully confess

Your wisdom, truth, and power, and love.

With joy unspeakable adore, and bless and praise you evermore,

and serve you as your hosts above.

 

4] Till added to that heavenly choir, we raise our songs of triumph higher,

and praise you with a bolder voice,

Out-soar the first-born seraph’s flight, and sing with all our friends in light,

Your everlasting love to men.   

 

Charles Wesley

 

Original Materials by Angela Banfield

Songs published under CCLI No 558764


Page last updated: 19th May 2020 9:50 AM