Sunday 14th June 2020

Sunday 14th June 2020     

Compiled by Rev Liz Singleton 

This act of worship has been prepared for you to use at home.  Why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you.   

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!

Worship the Lord with gladness.

Come before him, singing with joy.    Psalm 100: 1 -2

 

Hymn:     All people that on earth do dwell (StF 1, H&P 1) 

1] All people that on earth do dwl,                                        4] For why, the Lord our God is good;

sing to the Lord with cheerful voice:                                        his mercy is for ever sure;

him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell;                                his truth at all times firmly stood,

come ye before him and rejoice.                                            And shall from age to age endure.

 

2] The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;                                       5] To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,

without our aid he did us make:                                                the God whom heaven and earth adore,

we are his folk, he doth us feed;                                               from earth and from the angel host

and for his sheep he doth us take.                                            be praise and glory evermore.    

 

3] O enter then his gates with praise;

approach with joy his courts unto;                                                                            William Kethe  (d 1594)

praise, laud, and bless his name always,

for it is seemly so to do.

 

Prayer:

Lord of reality, we come to give you thanks.

Thanks for the support of family and friends,

and for the assurance that you are with us, day by day,

even when we don’t recognise your presence.

Thanks for the deep hope that undergirds all human life,

and for your constancy, guiding us through

the confusion, uncertainty and change around us.

Thanks for the faith you have in us, calling us into partnership with you.

Lord of reality, we come to give you thanks

as we praise your holy name.       Amen

 

Reading: Matthew 9: 35 - 10: 8      NLT

    Jesus travelled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.  And he healed every kind of disease and illness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “the harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

    Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.  Here are the names of the twelve apostles:

First, Simon (also called Peter),   Then Andrew (Peter’s brother),   James (son of Zebedee),  

John (James’s brother),    Philip,   Bartholomew,   Thomas,   Matthew (the tax collector),  

James (son of Alphaeus),   Thaddaeus,   Simon (the zealot),   Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).

    Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel – God’s lost sheep.  Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons.  Give as freely as you have received!”

Reflection

   The priesthood of all believers starts here.  There is good fruit to gather and rewarding work to be done and these words from Matthew’s Gospel introduce us to the people who are going to be the first to engage in this new pattern of being God’s people.  ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few.’  Jesus described himself in v38 as ‘the Lord of the harvest’.  It was the harvest that moved him to leave the beauty of heaven and come to a world of uncertainty and despair.  ‘The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost’ he said.  (Luke 19:10).  And so the twelve were commissioned to be part of this exciting, new kind of ministry, and so are we!  Jesus is still the Lord of the harvest and he is still calling for workers to join him in sowing the seed of the gospel and harvesting the fruit.

   We are all ministers and we all have a part to play in God’s mission and I wonder if we’ve lost sight of that.  We are involved in God’s mission, not our mission.  Over these weeks of lockdown, I have been reflecting a lot on what it means to be God’s Church and how that might look as our pattern of doing things is changed by COVID-19 restrictions and limitations.  As part of my reading I came across the story of Rear Admiral Robert Peary, an American naval officer and explorer.  At the end of a long day on one of his many expeditions to the North Pole, Peary took a bearing and was perplexed to discover that he was farther south than he had been when he set out at the beginning of the day.  It turned out that he had been travelling on a huge ice floe which the ocean currents were pulling south at a faster rate than Peary’s dog team were moving north.  He was going in the roughly the right direction but getting farther from his goal.  Could the same be said of us?  Have we been so busy attempting many tasks, following many teaching programmes, moving in different directions, that we’ve actually moved further and further away from the goal - sowing the seed of the gospel and harvesting the fruit?

   The experience we are living through at the moment is surreal, but it could also be a gift.  We have been given time.  The twelve apostles were sent out with nothing but the assurance of Jesus and the presence of God.  Through twelve men who traipsed around the countryside with no money and no spare clothes, people came to hear and to see the compassion of Christ and the hope to be found in, and through, him.

   The harvest is great, but the labourers are few.  Perhaps in this time we have been given, we can be part of the answer to Jesus’ words and not part of the problem.  We could even take some risks - pick up the phone to call someone; put pen to paper; send an email; share the ‘At Home’ service sheet with a neighbour; pray; read our bibles and talk with one another about what we’ve read.  And now consider doing the same, but think about someone who wouldn’t be the first on your list to ring up or to write to - that person you struggle with; the relative who no-one else in the family ever contacts; one of our Circuit young people or lay staff members; your MP; your surgery.  Give them a word of encouragement and assure them of your prayers.  For from each little seed faith can grow.

   The priesthood of all believers started with the twelve, it continues here.  There is good fruit to gather and rewarding work to be done.  My prayer is, ‘Here I am, Lord, send me’.  Is yours the same?

How do you respond to the idea of working with Jesus to gather the fuit of the harvest?

As you consider this read through, or sing to yourself, the words of ‘Make me a channel of your peace.’

Make me a channel of your peace

1] Make me a channel of your peace.                                      2] Make me a channel of your peace.     

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love;                          Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope;

where there is injury, your pardon, Lord;                                  Where there is darkness, only light;

and where there’s doubt, true faith in you:                                And where there’s sadness, ever joy:

O Master, grant that I may never seek                                     O Master, grant that I may never seek…..

so much to be consoled as to console;                    

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved, as to love with all my soul.                                  

 

3] Make me a channel of your peace.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

in giving to all men that we receive,

and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.                                          Sebastian Temple (1928-1997)

O Master, grant that I may never seek…                                                 from the Prayer of St Francis

 

Let us pray together:

Lord God, the disciples were sent out without a training course or a manual.

They were told not to take extra clothes, or food, but to rely on your provisions.

They felt vulnerable, and so do we.

May we have the confidence to depend completely on you

rather than relying on our own resources.

Help us to reap your harvest, Lord,

that we might spread your word to those who have never heard of your name

and offer your comfort to those who are struggling.

Help us to reap your harvest, Lord,

that we might encourage those whose faith is weak

and respond to the needs of others.

We pray today for all who are isolated and alone;

for those we know who are ill or in pain;

for those who are finding the current situation stressful;

and for all who are working to bring comfort, healing and compassion.

We pray that we will know when the answer to our prayers rests with us

and that we will have the trust, courage and faith to reap your harvest.

In Jesus name we pray.     Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

‘If the Christ’ by Pat Marsh

If the Christ were here before me now                                  

his heart would look on me                                                        

with such unwavering love,                                                        

his gaze enfold me                                                                         

in forgiving peace,                                                                              

his countenance beckon me                                                       

to respond                                                                                         

 

 

and in the still pools of his steady eyes

would be a look of deepest longing,                                     

a holding embrace                                                                        

that longs for me

to want

all he desires to do in me,

 

a look that says

please come, my child,

and let me work in, live through, you;

let me enable all I may accomplish in your life,

let yourself   

be totally mine

fully, wholeheartedly, without condition,

unreservedly mine.

 

Come.

Come and see.

be totally mine,

 

Hymn:    I, the Lord of sea and sky    (StF 663 / MP 857)

1] I, the Lord of sea and sky,                                       Here I am, Lord.

I have heard my people cry.                                         Is it I, Lord?

All who dwell in dark and sin                                       I have heard you calling in the night.

My hand will save.                                                     I will go, Lord, if you lead me.

I, who made the stars of night,                                   I will hold your people in my heart.

I will make their darkness bright.                              

Who will bear my light to them?                                                              

Whom shall I send?                                                                                        

 

2] I, the Lord of snow and rain,                                   3] I, the Lord of wind and flame,                                                               

I have borne my people’s pain;                                  I will tend the poor and lame.

I have wept for love of them.                                      I will set a feast for them.

They turn away.                                                       My hand will save.

I will break their hearts of stone,                                Finest bread I will provide

Give them hearts for love alone.                                 Till their hearts are satisfied.

I will speak my word to them.                                    I will give my life to them.

Whom shall I send?                                                 Whom shall I send?                                        Daniel L Schutte (b 1947)

 

Blessing

Carry us on eagles’ wings, living God,

that we may be supported by your light and joy

through pain and grief.

 

Carry us on eagles’ wings, living God,

into places where your gentle touch of laughter

and your caress of grace,

can bring renewal, healing, and hope.

Original material by Rev Liz Singleton

Blessing from Companion to the Revised Common Lectionary

   Julie Hulme   (published by Epworth Press 1998)

‘If the Christ’ by Pat Marsh   published in ‘Silent Strength’  Inspire (2005)

Songs published under CCLI No 558764

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A link to access this week’s ‘At Home’ service on YouTube is https://youtu.be/nabUAEVhpgY


Page last updated: 10th June 2020 10:05 AM