Home Service 18

Home Service: Sunday 12 July 2020

This Home Service is to be used in conjunction with Read Mark, Learn, which can be found here – RM,L 12 July 2020

Flowers 12th July 2020Call to worship
So what is worship? One answer comes from William Temple (Archbishop of Canterbury 1942-1944) To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.

God our Father, As we give this time for you and turn our thoughts to you, may we know the touch of your spirit to quicken our consciences, feed our minds, purge our imaginations, and open our hearts to your love. Will you bless us now as we pray in Jesus name. Amen

Continuing in prayer, we might sing along to the music of this song or simply reflect on the words.
Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv8HdGClDJ4
Cause me to come to Thy river, O Lord. (x3)
Cause me to come, cause me to drink, cause me to live.
Cause me to drink from Thy river, O Lord. (x3)
Cause me to come, cause me to drink, cause me to live.
Cause me to live by Thy river, O Lord. (x3)
Cause me to come, cause me to drink, cause me to live.

In the natural world some rivers begin in mountains or hills, where rainwater or
snow-melt collects and forms small channels. Some rivers begin where a natural
spring releases water from underground. A ‘perpetual spring’ features in a conversation recorded in John’s Gospel.

Reading: John 4: 3-14 (The Living Bible)
Jesus left Judea and returned to the province of Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way, and around noon, as he approached the village of Sychar, he came to Jacob’s Well, located on the parcel of ground Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jesus was tired from the long walk in the hot sun and sat wearily beside the well. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus asked her for a drink. He was alone at the time as his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised that a Jew would ask a “despised Samaritan” for anything—usually they wouldn’t even speak to them!—and she remarked about this to Jesus. He replied, “If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I am, you would ask me for some living water!”
“But you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this is a very deep well! Where would you get this living water? And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob? How can you offer better water than this which he and his sons and cattle enjoyed?”
Jesus replied that people soon became thirsty again after drinking this water. “But the water I give them,” he said, “becomes a perpetual spring within them, watering them forever with eternal life.” The image of a river of blessing coming from God has been used by poets and hymn writers down the ages. The next song begins with just such a picture and speaks of the blessings we may now as we fix our lives on Him.

Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIcKms_IUY
Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.
Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
Stayed upon Jehovah…
Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully, all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
Stayed upon Jehovah…

That hymn was written in 1876 by Frances Havergal. Whilst on holiday that year she caught a severe cold then became very unwell and suffered inflammation of the lungs. She was warned that her illness could be fatal. Hearing this, she is said to have replied, “If I am really going, it is too good to be true”. Friends were amazed at how peacefully she received the news. She did survive that illness, and soon afterwards wrote the hymn to share her experience of ‘God’s perfect peace’ That peace is a wonderful gift of God, one we might all know, but it was bought at an unimaginable cost. The next song makes that clear.

Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwjTT2bqKk0
I’m forgiven because you were forsaken.
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I’m alive and well
Your spirit is within me,
Because you died and rose again.
I’m forgiven because you were forsaken.
I’m accepted, you were condemned.
I’m alive and well,
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again.
Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king should die for me.
Amazing love, I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honour you.
In all I do to honour you.

Let us give thanks for that ‘amazing love’ and for what Jesus has done for us.
Lord God, our Father, Thank you for your undying love, ever at work, everywhere,
made known in every age. Thank you for Jesus’ triumph over death and the grave.
Thank you for all that you give us. Receive our thanks for… Amen

In the strange but wonderful visions of things yet to be, received by the Apostle John, there is mention of another special river.
Reading: Revelation 22: 1-5 (GNT)
The angel also showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, and coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing down the middle of the
city’s street. On each side of the river was the tree of life, which bears fruit twelve times
a year, once each month; and its leaves are for the healing of the nations. Nothing that is under God’s curse will be found in the city. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. There shall be no more night, and they will not need lamps or sunlight, because the Lord God will be their light, and they will rule as kings forever and ever.

Let us now bring in prayer the concerns and cares we have.
Remember the words of the Apostle Peter who wrote, “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him because he cares for you.”
Father we bring to you now …. …Father, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 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 – Mistakes?
Many years ago, printing books was a vastly different process to modern methods. Errors were not uncommon. When these were made in copies of the Bible, the printers could be in big trouble. Some examples have become famous, or infamous. In 1562 one edition included ‘Blessed are the placemakers for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matthew 5:9). A 1611 edition included correctly, ‘Sit here ye, while I go and pray yonder’
(Matthew 26:36), but the words were attributed to Judas, not Jesus. In 1631, in what was later called the ‘Wicked Bible’, the Ten Commandments contained one huge error. The word ‘not’ was left out of the seventh. Printing ‘Thou shalt commit adultery’ led to a fine of £300 and an order for all copies to be destroyed. In 1638 there was a £3000 fine for printers who left out the word ‘no’ from Psalm 14:1. Their version read ‘The fool has said in his heart there is a God’. In the present age our computers are a great help, but still require us to carefully check the words we type. You may have heard the expression “to
err is human, to forgive is divine, but to really foul up needs a computer.” We all make many kinds of mistakes. Sometimes these days sins are dismissed as mistakes. The impact of such things depends on the context and our own sensitivities. Some we brush off quickly; some are harder to deal with. The good news (Gospel) is that the greatest forgiveness we need is possible. The prophet Isaiah had something to say about this,
The Lord says, “Now, let’s settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool.” [Isaiah 1:18 (GNT)]. John the Baptist recognised the solution … John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” [John 1:29] Charles Wesley made no mistake when, in one of his many hymns he wrote,
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin. Perhaps the biggest mistake we could make would be not to believe that or respond to it.

Our final song marvel at the amazing love that can set us free.
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVgmdzQCl6U
My Lord, what love is this
That pays so dearly,
That I, the guilty one
May go free!
Amazing love, O what sacrifice,
The Son of God given for me.
My debt he pays, and my death he dies
That I might live, that I might live.
And so they watched him die
Despised, rejected,
But oh, the blood he shed
Flowed for me!
Amazing love, O what sacrifice….
And so, this love of Christ
Shall flow like rivers.
Come wash your guilt away.
Live again!
Amazing love, O what sacrifice….

A blessing
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds
in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst us and remain with us always. Amen.