Home Service 15

Home Service: Sunday 21 June 2020

To be used in conjunction with Read Mark, Learn – 2020-06-21 Mark 7.31-37 Don’t Tell Anyone

Call to worship
Home Service Flowers 21st June 2020This comes from the vision given to John whilst in a place of exile, cut off from his Christian brothers and sisters, but not from God.
Revelation 5:11-13
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!’

Father how marvellous to have a vision like that! In these moments we would turn to you, bow before you, offer our praise and give you the glory for all you have given us,
especially in and through Jesus. May we know your presence as we come to you now. Amen

Let’s begin with praise of Jesus, ‘the Lamb’, our blessed Redeemer.
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q98phadl5Ws
Praise him, praise him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer.
Sing, O earth his wonderful love proclaim!
Hail him, hail him! Highest archangels in glory,
Strength and honour give to his holy name.
Like a shepherd Jesus will guard his children
In his arms he carries them all day long:
Praise him, praise him! tell of his excellent greatness!
Praise him, praise him! ever in joyful song!
Praise him, praise him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer.
For our sins he suffered and bled and died;
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail him, hail him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound his praises, Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.
Praise him, praise him! tell of his excellent greatness!
Praise him, praise him! ever in joyful song!
Praise him! praise him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Saviour, reigneth for ever and ever,
Crown him, crown him! Prophet and Priest and King.
Christ is coming, over the world victorious,
Power and glory unto the Lord belong.
Praise him, praise him! tell of his excellent greatness!
Praise him, praise him! ever in joyful song!

That hymn was written by Frances Jane Crosby. Born in 1820 in the US state of New York, she became blind at the age of six weeks because of maltreatment of her eyes during an illness. Much later in life she said that had it not been for her affliction she might not have had so good an education, nor so great an influence, and certainly not so fine a memory. She knew many portions of the Bible by heart and had committed to memory the first four books of the Old Testament and, also the four Gospels before she was ten years of age. In 1864 she began to write hymns and it is estimated she wrote over 4000 of
them. What a remarkable story they tell of her faith and experience of Jesus.

Let’s follow her hymn with a modern song of praise.
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBQTBS_C-bE
Praise Him on the trumpet, the psaltery and harp,
Praise Him on the timbrel and the dance,
Praise Him with stringed instruments, too.
Praise Him on the loud cymbals, praise Him on the loud cymbals,
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord. Hallelujah, praise the Lord.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord, Hallelujah, praise the Lord,
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

The Gospel writers recorded many occasions when crowds were prompted to praise God for the things they had witnessed. Here is one example.
Reading: Matthew 15: 29-31
Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. What wonderful things are described in so few words. These miracles were astounding. No wonder ‘the people were amazed’.

Let us take a moment to share that amazement and express our own thanks.
O God our Father, We praise and worship you. We marvel at your power and your love for us. Thank you for sending Jesus to be our blessed Redeemer, Saviour and friend. Help us to see what you have given and what you give day by day. Thank you for … Amen

We remind ourselves of the depths of God’s love with this hymn
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzQj7XvKFmA
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

When Paul wrote his letters to groups of believers, he often referred to his personal experience of God’s saving grace. This is part of a letter addressed to Timothy.
Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17
I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him, even though in the past I spoke evil of him and persecuted and insulted him. But God was merciful to me because I did not yet have faith and so did not know what I was doing. And our Lord poured out his abundant grace on me and gave me the faith and love which are ours in union with Christ Jesus. This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them, but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life. To the eternal King, immortal and invisible, the only God—to him be honour and glory forever and ever! Amen.

Paul’s life was transformed by Jesus. He discovered God’s ‘abundant grace’. Let us take time to be open before God and pray for His grace to be known among us and in the lives of those around us.

Heavenly Father, we pray for our world where things have gone so wrong our world disturbed and unsettled. Forgive us for any part we have had in that, by action or inaction. Change us by your grace so that your love might be more fully known in all our
communities. We pray for those who are ill…….. We pray for those who are anxious………
We pray for those facing decisions and times of change ……………… We pray for places where suffering and need goes unanswered…………… Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers as we share our concerns for……….. Father we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
Our 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 us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

Reflection – Times for Jesus?
Amongst the advice offered about how to cope with days of ‘lockdown’, it was suggested that following a routine each day would be helpful. For some Christian communities this was nothing new. Regular prayer at set times throughout the day has long been part of their life. If we need prompting to make time for Jesus, I wonder if this ‘timetable’ might

  • At the start of the day. Luke 24:1-2very early in the morning, the women… went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. We can start every day thankful that ‘The Lord is risen indeed’.
  • 9.00am. Mark 15:25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. As a disciple of Jesus, we are called to take up our cross and follow Him. Do we?
  • 12.00pm. Luke 23:44-45 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole
    land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain
    of the temple was torn in two. His task was finished; His sacrifice complete; His purpose fulfilled.
  • 3.00pm. Matthew 27:46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud
    voice… ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’. We may know dark times too, but we know how the story ends.
  • 6.00pm.  Luke 24:28-29 As they approached the village to which they were going,
    Jesus continued on as if he were going further. But they urged him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’ We need to keep company with Jesus whether on the road or at home.
  • 9.00pm. John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ There are no limits to what Jesus can do. There is no peace like His peace.
  • At the end of the day. John 3:1-2 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night… Whoever we are, or think we are, there is never a time we cannot come to Him.

To conclude, an old hymn with more advice on the same theme.
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFApbg-wcmE
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
Abiding in Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

A blessing
May the love of God enfold us. May the strength of God uphold us. May the peace of God fill our hearts. And the blessing of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us now and evermore. Amen