Home Service 19

90623694_2242995885802731_8951395874240462848_oHome Service: Sunday 19 July 2020

This home service is to be used in conjunction with Read Mark, Learn which can be found here – 2020-07-19 Read Mark Learn 9. 14-29 Faith plus

As we pause to give time for worship, here is something the famous Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon had to say about it – “I can admire the solemn and stately language of worship that recognizes the greatness of God, but it will not warm my heart or express my soul until it has also blended therewith the joyful nearness of that perfect love that casts out fear and ventures to speak with our Father in heaven as a child speaks with its father on earth.”

Prayer
Our Father in heaven, We offer this time to you. We open our minds to you.
We open our hearts to you. We ask that we may know the inspiration of your spirit,
the touch of your perfect love, and a freedom from all fear. Abba, Father, we come to worship you. Amen

Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=typ7cueKdT4
To be in your presence; to sit at your feet,
when your love surrounds me and makes me complete,
This is my desire, O Lord, this is my desire,
This is my desire, O Lord, this is my desire.
To rest in your presence, not rushing away.
To cherish each moment, here I would stay.
This is my desire, O Lord, this is my desire,
This is my desire, O Lord, this is my desire

The Psalmist wrote of finding refuge and safety with God. In Psalm 91 he wrote ‘whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.’ We might reflect on that lovely idea with the words and accompanying images of this next song that was inspired by that Psalm.

Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgvx9drZXpk
I will dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
I will stay in the shadow of Your wings, for Lord You are my refuge.
My tower of strength. My hope is in You. Secure I stand.
You will deliver me. Your truth will be my shield.
Jesus You cover me. In Your love no fear prevails.
No evil, no terror, no arrow, no plague shall ever come near me,
For You are my safety, my hiding place. Jesus, I trust in You.
For Lord You are my refuge. My tower of strength.
My hope is in You. Secure I stand.
You will deliver me; Your truth will be my shield.
Jesus You cover me. In Your love no fear prevails.
No evil, no terror, no arrow, no plague shall ever come near me,
For You are my safety, my hiding place. Jesus, I trust in You.

God’s ways are often very surprising. Here is an example, where through the prophet Elisha, an important man (in earthly terms) was taught a divine lesson. The king of Syria had a great regard for Naaman, the commander-in-chief of his army, for he had led his troops to many glorious victories. He was a great hero, but he was a leper. Naaman was persuaded to visit Elisha and seek healing from him, but he didn’t show much faith at the outset.

Reading: 2 Kings 5:9-15
Naaman arrived with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s home. Elisha sent a messenger out to tell him to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times and he would be healed of every trace of his leprosy! But Naaman was angry and stalked away. “Look,” he said, “I thought at least he would come out and talk to me! I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call upon the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the Abana River and Pharpar River of Damascus better than all the rivers of Israel put together? If it’s rivers I need, I’ll wash at home and get rid of my leprosy.” So he went away in a rage. But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply to go and wash and be cured!” So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the prophet had told him to. And his flesh became as healthy as a little child’s, and he was healed! Then he and his entire party went back to find the prophet; they stood humbly before him and Naaman said, “I know at last that there is no God in all the world except in Israel; now please accept my gifts.”

Let us call to mind the gifts of God that we have known; that we receive day by day and that He has in store for His children. Take some moments to give thanks.

Prayer
Lord God, our Father, Receive my thanks for. the beauty and wonders of creation
the love and friendships that sustain us the provision of food, clothing and shelter
but most of all, for the love you have for me. Thank you, Father for… Loving Father receive my thanks. Amen

We can share a further expression of thanks with this song
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aolyi1EYebM
We really want to thank you Lord
We really want to bless Your name,
Hallelujah! Jesus Is our King!
We really want to thank you Lord
We really want to bless Your name,
Hallelujah! Jesus Is our King!
We thank You, Lord, for Your gift to us,
Your life so rich beyond compare,
The gift of Your body here on earth
Of which we sing and share.
We really want to thank you Lord…
We thank You, Lord, for our life together,
To live and move in the love of Christ,
Tenderness which sets us free
To serve You with our lives.
We really want to thank you Lord…

We might think that when God blesses, thankfulness would follow. That does not always happen, as we might all acknowledge from our own experience. Not all those who experienced the direct healing power of Jesus stopped to give Him thanks as might have been expected. This was the case when not one, but ten lepers were healed.

Reading: Luke 17:11-19
As Jesus made his way to Jerusalem, he went along the border between Samaria and Galilee. He was going into a village when he was met by ten men suffering from a dreaded skin disease. They stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!” Jesus saw them and said to them, “Go and let the priests examine you.” On the way they were made clean. When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself to the ground at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. Jesus spoke up, “There were ten who were healed, where are the other nine? Why is this foreigner the only one who came back to give thanks to God?” And Jesus said to him, “Get up and go; your faith has made you well.”

Prayer
Father, Forgive any ingratitude we have. Forgive the things that come between you and me. Lord have mercy… As I ask your help and strength for my own needs, I bring my cares and concerns for others to you. Lord will you hear my prayer for… …Father, in Your mercy, hear my prayers. 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 – Faith in hard times
In the history of the Christian faith in the British Isles, the Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland have played a significant part. It has been said that down the centuries ‘religion has been a cornerstone of life in the Western Isles’. Life on those islands has done and still does present vastly different challenges to those we have faced recently. Making a living there has never been easy and conditions always hard, but faith has sustained many of the inhabitants. In 1937, a Church of Scotland minister and Gaelic scholar, Alistair Maclean, explored this faith life and produced his book ‘Hebridean Altars’.
A reviewer wrote Maclean ‘collected stories, prayers, and myths handed down from one generation to another, each steeped in the faith of these people and their work ethic and connection with the natural world of their Creator. Their simple, profound faith and the
lovely they way express it, are both soothing and inspiring.’ Below is an extract from that collection. Its writer faces the reality of a dismal prospect, but affirms a much deeper reality, the love of God and our future in Him. Though the dawn breaks cheerless on this isle today, my spirit walks in a path of light, For I know my greatness. Thou hast built me a throne within Thy heart. I dwell safely within the circle of Thy care. I cannot for one moment fall out of Thy everlasting arms I am on my way to Thy glory.
For people of faith, what was true on those Islands in times past, is true for us all,
wherever we are. Whatever the trials of present times, these few lines are worth
remembering. Present mists may limit our sight, but they do not change the
prospect one bit. As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “…we live by faith, not by
sight.”

Our final song celebrates the One who is our rock and encourages us in our commitment to Him.
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98zofMSMI5I
We shall stand
With our feet on the Rock
Whatever men may say
We’ll lift your name up high
And we shall walk
Through the darkest night
Setting our faces like flint
We’ll walk into the light
Lord, you have chosen me
For fruitfulness
To be transformed into your likeness
I’m gonna fight on through
’til I see you face to face
Lord, as your witnesses
You’ve appointed us
And with your Holy Spirit
Anointed us
And so I’ll fight on through
’til I see You face to face

A blessing
May the strength of God sustain us. May the power of God preserve us. May the hands of God protect us. May the love of God go with us this day and forever. Amen