Home Service 16

Home Service: Sunday 11 April 2021

Call to worship
“Whatever is claiming your attention, however you are feeling, answer the call from our Father, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Be still and know. Be still. Be in His presence.”
(pause)
Isaac Watts wrote the words of our first song. He was a bit of a Graham Kendrick for his time. Watts found the
hymns of the day uninspiring and answered the challenge to write better songs of praise. He is credited with writing about 750 in all.

This is a hymn of praise for the breadth and wonder of God’s creation. We are encouraged to turn our gaze from inwards to outwards and upwards and join in the song of creation.

Song: I sing the almighty power of God

I sing the mighty power of God that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
the moon shines full at his command and all the stars obey.
I sing the goodness of the Lord that filled the earth with food;
He formed the creatures with His word and then pronounced them
good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eyes, if I survey the ground I tread or gaze upon the skies.
There’s not a plant or flower below but makes Thy glories known,
and clouds arise and tempests blow by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,
and everywhere that man can be, Thou, God, are present there.

Long before Watts wrote his hymns, the prophet Jeremiah was inspired to write the following verses.
Reading: Jeremiah 10:6-10
No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you.
They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple – all made by skilled workers. But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.

Prayer
Father we stop to praise you and to thank you. You are more wonderful that we can say. You are more gracious than we realise. You are more loving than we can understand. For all that we recognise and can recall of your gifts to us,
we give thanks. Open our eyes to see more of the works of your hands, and of your love for us. The love of God has been made known wonderfully to us in Jesus. This next song tries to describe that love.

Song: There is no love like the love of Jesus

There is no love like the love of Jesus,
Never to fade or fall,
Till into the fold of the peace of God
He has gathered us all. 
Jesus’ love, precious love,
Boundless, and pure, and free;
Oh, turn to that love, weary wand’ring soul;
Jesus pleadeth for thee.
There is no eye like the eye of Jesus,
Piercing so far away;
Ne’er out of the sight of its tender light
Can the wanderer stray.
Jesus’ love, precious love…
There is no voice like the voice of Jesus,
Tender and sweet its chime;
Like musical ring of a flowing spring
In the bright summertime.
Jesus’ love, precious love…
There is no heart like the heart of Jesus,
Filled with a tender love;
No throb nor throe that our hearts can know;
But He feels it above.
Jesus’ love, precious love…

Prayer
Father there are so many people who need to know your love. So many needing comforting and consoling. So many needing peace and hope. So many needing healing and restoration. So many needing to forgive and to be forgiven.
May that ‘precious…boundless…pure and free’ love of Jesus touch and enfold those we bring to you now and also us.

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

Song: It’s the presence of your spirit Lord we need

It’s the presence of your Spirit Lord we need
It’s the presence of your Spirit Lord we need
So help us Lord to worship you
It’s the presence of your Spirit Lord we need
It’s the presence of your Spirit Lord we love
It’s the presence of your Spirit Lord we love
So help us Lord to worship you
It’s the presence of your Spirit Lord we love
For the moving of your Spirit Lord we pray
For the moving of your Spirit Lord we pray
So help us Lord to worship you
For the moving of your Spirit Lord we pray

Reflection
The title of the sermon in Chapel this Sunday takes the form of a question. “Where was/is God?” We will be having a little look at that big question and considering some responses to it. One possible answer is the same as can be
heard in a well-known comic routine used in pantomimes. It’s when the audience is encouraged to participate by shouting out at the right moment, ‘He’s behind you!’ The pantomime act continues with attempts to turn and see one, who proves to be very elusive. To suggest ‘God is behind us’ could have more than one meaning. Here are just three.
1 He’s behind us in the sense that He is giving us His backing, support and encouragement. He is there and He’s on our side.
2 He really is behind us but, as in the pantomime act, we have not yet found Him and keep missing Him.
3 He’s behind us because we have turned our backs on Him and tried to ignore Him.

The prophet Jeremiah had something to say on the subject of finding God, who really does want to be found. As the Authorised version of the Bible has it, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord.” If you have found Him already, don’t keep Him to yourself. If you haven’t yet, keep looking! He’s closer than you think.

Let us use this last song as a prayer.

Song: Open the eyes of my heart Lord

Open the eyes of my heart Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see you
I want to see you

To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
I want to see you

Blessing
May the Love of God be the ocean that we sail on. May the grace of God bring us calm in stormy days. May the Word of God guide us home And may the breath of God speed us safely on our way. Amen