Home Service 21

Home Service: Sunday 2 August 2020 ~ ‘Verses’ (part 2)

To be used in conjunction with Read Mark, Learn – Read Mark Learn 02 08 20

Flowers 2nd August 2020Opening prayer
Lord give us ears to hear you speaking to us, eyes that we might see you and hearts open
to receive from you this morning through the words shared with us by our community here at SBC. Amen

As we come to worship this morning, let’s reflect on the words of this song played for us by Joanna
Only by grace can we enter
Only by grace can we stand
Not by our human endeavour
But by the blood of the Lamb
Into Your presence You call us
You call us to come
Into Your presence You draw us
And now by Your grace we come
Now by Your grace we come
Lord, if you marked our transgressions
Who would stand?
Thanks to your grace we are cleansed
By the blood of the Lamb

Verses from Fiona
Fiona says, ‘The verses below stand out to me as favourites because they spoke to me when I had a job to do which seemed impossible at that time.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
My parents had asked me if I could find somewhere nearby for them to rent for a few weeks so they could be around for the birth of our first child. They were in Nigeria and their own house in the UK had tenants. This was 1979 and I’d never heard of any rentable properties. I had prayed and felt that these verses were relevant and a comfort. I went to Camberley and was looking into an estate agent’s window in the High Street when a person who worked in the shop noticed me looking at the properties and popped out to me and asked, “What are you looking for Fiona?” She was from our church. I had no idea that she worked in the shop. I explained that my parents wanted to rent a house for a few weeks to see me through the birth of our first baby. She replied that there were no properties to rent but then paused and said that actually, she and her family were going to Australia for several weeks for the same period that my parents wanted to stay near us and that their house would be available, but first she would check with her
husband when she got home. I soon had a call to say that her husband was happy for my
parents to rent their house. It was the perfect answer! Praise the Lord.

The following song is such a blessing as we look to God in all our circumstances. Again, this talks of sitting a while and leaning into our Lord and Saviour in tough times.

‘You Raise Me Up’ by Josh Groban
When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

A poem written during lockdown by Geoff
I’ll go once more a roving
Past my door beyond my gate
Fear and rules no more condoning
No authority berate
No more now for me to hunker
Nor to lock myself away
Loose the latch and leave the bunker
I regret I cannot stay
Take the path along the river
Cross the Heath and by the shore
In the sun I’ll no more shiver
I’ll go roving forth once more
Friends I’ll greet if not too nearing
But not veer nor shy away
Share the freedom with a clearing
Of restriction on our day
‘Safety first’ a favoured adage
In life values that we weigh
With elan as of a cabbage
Flinching ever from a fray
Those before us saw affliction
Faced a world surfeit with strife
Ventured forth without restriction
They embraced the game of life
Given freedom of decision
May we give a reasoned voice
Not be treated with derision
As if children, with no choice
God’s regime makes no imposing
An existence safe but bland
So I’ll go once more a roving
Wander free across the land

Song: We are marching in the light of God
We are marching in the light of God (x4)
We are marching, marching, we are marching Oh Oh,
we are marching in the light of God. (x2)
We are living in the love of God (x4)
We are living, living, we are living Oh Oh,
we are living in the love of God. (x2)
We are moving in the power of God (x4)
We are moving, moving, we are moving Oh Oh,
we are moving in the power of God. (x2)
We are marching, marching, we are marching Oh Oh,
we are marching in the light of God (x2)

Lord Jesus Christ, light of this world, thank you for the hope you have given us. Help us to give our worries to you and, above all, to trust in your unfailing love. You have promised us “I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you.” Almighty God, our protector, let us trust in you to carry us through this time of uncertainty. Whatever tomorrow may bring, we will praise your name. Lord we pray for the health and well-being of our nation, that all who are fearful and anxious may be at peace and free from worry……….
We pray for the isolated and housebound, that we may be alert to their needs, and care for them in their vulnerability……. We pray for our homes and families, our schools and young people, and all in any kind of need or distress……… We pray for a blessing on our local community, that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship, where all are known and cared for……… We leave ourselves, and all for whom we pray, in the mercy and protection of you Lord Jesus. Thank you for caring for us. Amen

A favourite Bible verse from Peter R
Ephesians 5, verse 19b: “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Peter says, ‘Being a musician and songwriter a verse like this shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Bible contains many similar verses or references to music in one way or another.
Recently I heard one of my favourite performers Jools Holland interviewing the jazz, soul singer Gregory Porter. Jools asked him where he found inspiration for his own songs and music, the answer Gregory gave was, ‘In the garden where it’s quiet’. I immediately identified with that, because in the garden I’m surrounded by nature’s music. In the greenhouse or in the borders, seeds are sown, life springs from the ground, we nurture and grow, we harvest or marvel at natures creativity with colour, texture, pattern or taste if it’s edible. Many songs are also sown and grown in the garden of my heart.

Song: All things bright and beautiful
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
All things bright and beautiful…
The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;
All things bright and beautiful…
The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one;
All things bright and beautiful…
The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows for our play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day;
All things bright and beautiful…
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
All things bright and beautiful…

A Gardener’s Prayer by David Gray (from The Times Book of Prayers)
Hard on my knees, O Lord I pray
And give you thanks for each new day.
And when the labours are all done
I’ll render them to thy dear Son.
Lord grant that I may live to be
Steadfast and patient as a tree,
With roots held firm while branches bend
Whate’er the trials on me descend.
Prune out the weak and useless part
To leave a pure and constant heart.
Plant though within me from above
A stronger hope of faith and love.

Thoughts from Nick
Nick says, ‘I have a verse, a song and a Bible story for this season and at many other points in recent years. For the season of Coronavirus, the message is: Never give up hope,
even when others have already. I discovered this message in the following chapter:
Mark 5:21-24, 35-42 (GNBDC)
Jairus’ daughter
Jesus went back across to the other side of the lake. There at the lakeside a large crowd gathered round him. Jairus, an official of the local synagogue, arrived, and when he saw
Jesus, he threw himself down at his feet and begged him earnestly, “My little daughter is very ill. Please come and place your hands on her, so that she will get well and live!” Then Jesus started off with him. So many people were going along with Jesus that they were crowding him from every side. While Jesus was saying this, some messengers came
from Jairus’ house and told him, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the Teacher any longer?” Jesus paid no attention to what they said, but told him, “Don’t be afraid, only believe.” Then he did not let anyone else go on with him except Peter and James and his brother John. They arrived at Jairus’ house, where Jesus saw the confusion and heard all the loud crying and wailing. He went in and said to them, “Why all this confusion? Why are you crying? The child is not dead — she is only sleeping!” They laughed at him, so he put them all out, took the child’s father and mother and his three disciples, and went into the room where the child was lying. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha, koum,” which means, “Little girl, I tell you to get up!” She got up at once and started walking around. (She was twelve years old.) When this happened, they were completely amazed.
Nick continues, ‘It’s a bitter-sweet story really. I know that we are to never give up hope and to persistently pray to God. And I know that it there is blessing in the trial and a brighter future. At the same time, my best friend, his mum, brother and wider family lost their wonderful dad/husband/grandad to Covid-19. It was a terrible shock, and a disappointing answer to prayer. However, he was verbally ready to be with Jesus in eternity. The following verse and song are similar to the above and a great help in times of trouble: ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. ‘ Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV

Song: ‘Ah, Lord God!’ performed by Don Moen
Ah Lord God, Thou has made the heavens
And the earth by Thy great power.
Ah Lord God Thou has made the heavens
And the earth by Thine outstretched arm.
Nothing is too difficult for Thee. Nothing is
too difficult for Thee.
O great and mighty God, great in counsel
and mighty in deed,
Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing,
Nothing is too difficult for Thee

Verses from Margaret
In conversation with Margaret Stevens about favourite bible verses or stories, several times she mentioned ‘The woman at the well’ as being a personal favourite of hers.
Found in John 4, there is profound teaching about worshipping ‘in spirit and in truth’. However, in this section, the encounter with the woman shows how important it is for church to be inclusive to everyone. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink’, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Song: Because He Lives
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives
How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy He gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day, because He lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…
And then one day, I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…

A favourite song of Sheila and Issy
This again ‘got away’ from Music Night
Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light,
Like a little candle burning in the night.
In this world of darkness so let us shine
You in your small corner and I in mine.
Jesus bids us shine first of all for Him;
Well He sees and knows it if our light grows dim.
He looks down from Heaven to see us shine
You in your small corner and I in mine.
Jesus bids us shine then, for all around;
Many kinds of darkness in the world are found
Sin and want and sorrow; So we must shine
You in your small corner and I in mine.

Father, thank you for all the marvellous things you have done today. Thank you for your love that you have revealed to us, and for the love that we share together as your body.
We pray for all the words that you have sown into our hearts this day. Watch over them, protect them. May they take root and produce wonderful things, things of beauty and great blessings to many. And as we finish this time of worship now, thank you that you walk with us. May we be alert to your promptings and live in your endless love.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and glory in this age and forevermore. Amen