Home Service 25

Home Service for Sunday 13 June 2021 compiled by Peter Ratcliffe

Welcome to this Home Service where we continue our series based on themes in the book of Genesis. So far, we have been through all the aspects of creation and even considered God himself who was there, before anything else was. We looked at Adam and Eve’s story and how their actions changed the course of human history. The relationship between Cain and Abel. Now we come to what must be considered as one of the best known and most loved stories found in Genesis, the account of Noah and the ark. For generations it has been a favourite Sunday School story and its popularity has continued today into children’s books and toys.

Our opening song is a reminder that throughout life, whatever challenge God asks us to engage in, however large or small, God’s love and grace are constantly with us.

Song

COME PEOPLE OF THE RISEN KING, Who delight to bring Him praise; Come all and tune your hearts to sing To the Morning Star of grace. From the shifting shadows of the earth We will lift our eyes to Him, Where steady arms of mercy reach To gather children in. Rejoice, Rejoice! Let every tongue rejoice! One heart, one voice; O Church of Christ, rejoice! Come, those whose joy is morning sun, And those weeping through the night; Come, those who tell of battles won, And those struggling in the fight. For His perfect love will never change, And His mercies never cease, But follow us through all our days With the certain hope of peace. Come, young and old from every land – Men and women of the faith; Come, those with full or empty hands – Find the riches of His grace. Over all the world, His people sing – Shore to shore we hear them call The Truth that cries through every age: “Our God is all in all”!

A prayer of faithfulness

Everlasting Father, thank you for your faithfulness throughout the generations. By faith, I see your mighty hand in creation and in the lives of your people throughout history. By faith, your children have followed you through the wilderness. By faith, your people have called out to you for peace and mercy. By faith in Jesus, your children have been rescued from sin. Help me to have faith in your promises. Help me to fix my eyes on you as I run the race of life. Help me to walk by faith and not by sight. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Readings from Genesis:

Chapter 6: 5-22

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created – and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground – for I regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it: the ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.’ Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Chapter 7: 1, 11, 15 & 16 The Lord then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation… In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened… Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.

Chapter 8: 1-3a & 15-22 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth… Then God said to Noah, ‘Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you – the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground – so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.’ So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds – everything that moves on land – came out of the ark, one kind after another. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. ‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’ <<<<<<>>>>>>

The following song is really a children’s song, but can you sing it or look at the words without smiling?

Song

The Lord told Noah There’s gonna be a floody, floody The Lord told Noah There’s gonna be a floody, floody Get those children out of the muddy, muddy, children of the Lord. The Lord told Noah to build him an arky, arky The Lord told Noah to build him an arky, arky Build it out of gopher barky, barky, children of the Lord. The animals, they came, they came in by twosies twosies The animals, they came, they came in by twosies, twosies Elephants and kangaroosie, roosies, children of the Lord It rained and poured for forty daysies, daysies It rained and poured for forty daysies, daysies Almost drove those animals crazy, crazy, children of the Lord The sun came out, and dried up the landy, landy The sun came out, and dried up the landy, landy Everything was fine and dandy, dandy, children of the Lord So, rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory Children of the Lord

It’s very easy to be light-hearted about the story of Noah, but it has a lot to say about being obedient to God’s will and God’s faithfulness in times of trial. Despite the enormity of the task, ‘Noah did everything, just as God commanded him’ (Gen. 6 v 22). What can we learn from Noah’s example?

You may like to look at Fay’s sermon here (opens in a new tab):

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Prayer Heavenly Father! Thank you for Noah’s example of obedience. So many times we rely upon our own strengths to accomplish much smaller tasks when we could cry out to you. Help us to overcome our weaknesses, forgive us when our lack of faith lets us down. Lord, once again we offer our lives to you and ask for your strength and guidance to lead us. Amen!

Song

All that I am, I lay before You; All I possess, Lord, I confess Is nothing without You. Saviour and King, I now enthrone You; Take my life, my living sacrifice to You. 6 Lord, be the strength within my weakness; Be the supply in every need, That I may prove Your promises to me, Faithful and true in word and deed. Into Your hands I place the future; The past is nailed to Calvary, That I may live in resurrection power, No longer I but Christ in me.

Some words from Lamentations 3 v 22, 23 – Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.

Song

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father There is no shadow of turning with Thee Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be Great is Thy faithfulness Great is Thy faithfulness Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me Summer and winter and springtime and harvest Sun, moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love Great is Thy faithfulness.. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside Great is Thy faithfulness…

May the Lord bless you and keep you safe. Amen