Home Service 4

Home Service: Sunday 24 January 2021 ~ compiled by Peter Ratcliffe

Call to worship

I Am God! I am the beginning and the end. The Alpha and Omega. I am the strength within you.
I am the one who made you uniquely you. I am your defender. I am your rock. I am your healer . . . Be encouraged today because this is your God.

The above words are part of a newsletter that came with a recent email from The Christian Gift Company.
As I began thinking about today’s Home Service, I needed something to divert my attention away from ‘lockdown’, ‘can’t meet with friends’, ‘where’s my face mask’, etc. This letter provided many thoughts and many reasons for being grateful despite the difficult times we are all experiencing. You will find the whole section of the letter at the end but let us begin with a prayer of hope.

Prayer

Father, Thank you that in a world of despair, You are our Hope. In a world of darkness, You are our Light.
In a world of sorrow, You are our joy. Holy God, our only hope is in You. We thank you for the past, trust you for today and believe for the future; that all Your promises will come to pass so we can rest forever in Your love. Amen!

When a man brought his sick son to Jesus and asked Jesus to heal him, Jesus replied, “Nothing is impossible for those who believe”, (Mark 9 v 23). Although the following song is really a children’s song, I hope it
brings a thoughtful smile as we reflect on these words.

Song: My God is so big

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
He made the trees
He made the seas
He made the elephants too
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
The mountains are his
The rivers are his
The skies are his handy works too
My God is so great, so strong and
so mighty
There’s nothing my God cannot do
There’s nothing my God cannot do
There’s nothing my God cannot do
For you
(and I hope you did the actions!!)

I wonder! Do any of you ask the question, ‘Where is God in all of this?’ That’s a big question isn’t it? Ever since the word ‘sin’ entered the world, pain, hardship, suffering have been part of human life. Our scriptures contain many accounts of God’s actions to bridge the gap between himself and those he loves; covenants are
made only to be broken, promises are made only to be lost, blessings are given only to evaporate when the going gets tough. Jesus told his disciples to be aware of, wars, famines, disasters, persecution and an increase in wickedness but not be frightened or alarmed by such things, for whoever stands firm to the end will be
saved. Thankfully for us, Jesus became that bridge by giving his life on the cross.

We are reminded of this amazing act of love in Graham Kendrick’s song:

Song: Meekness and Majesty

Meekness and majesty manhood and
deity
In perfect harmony the Man who is God
Lord of eternity dwells in humanity
Kneels in humility and washes our feet.
O what a mystery meekness and majesty
Bow down and worship for this is your God.
This is your God
Father’s pure radiance perfect in innocence
Yet learns obedience to death on a cross
Suffering to give us life
Conquering through sacrifice
And as they crucify prays ‘Father forgive’.
O what a mystery…
Wisdom unsearchable God the invisible
Love indestructible in frailty appears
Lord of infinity stooping so tenderly
Lifts our humanity to the heights of His throne.
O what a mystery…

Prayer

Lord, help me to hear you saying, “I am your hope” over all the other voices. Lord, your word says, you are the hope for hopeless so I’m running to you with both hands stretched out and grabbing on to you. Fill me up with hope and give me a tangible reminder today that hope is an unbreakable spiritual lifeline (Hebrews 6:19-20).
God, you know those things in my heart that I barely dare to hope for, today I give them to you, I trust them to you, and ask that you because I know that you can do more than I could ever guess, imagine or request in wildest dreams (Eph 3:20). God, you are my hope and I trust you. Amen.

I wonder if you could list all your hopes and dreams and imagine running to Jesus to tell him all about them?
Who would you name in your prayers? How would you like them to feel, knowing that Jesus’ love is pure,
boundless and free? What about yourself, do you trust God, your hope?

Song: Living under the shadow of His wing

Living under the shadow of His wing
We find security,
Standing in His presence we will bring
Our worship, worship, worship to the King.
Bowed in adoration at His feet
We dwell in harmony,
Voices joined together that repeat
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb.
Heart to heart embracing in His love
Reveals His purity,
Soaring in my spirit like a dove,
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.

Reading: Psalm 63:1-8

A psalm of David.
When he was in the Desert of Judah.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

Our last song this week again is full of hope. Not just Heavenly hope, but an earthly hope that one day we will be able to join together and raise the roof with songs old and new. The word ‘Hope’ I believe as Christians we need to have embedded in our hearts. ‘Hope’ along with ‘Joy’ and ‘Peace’ were proclaimed by the angels positioned outside our chapel during the Christmas period, with a ‘Love’ star positioned overhead. Christ is our living hope for sure, but we need to cherish that hope and like a precious jewel let it shine out as best as we can, so that all can see the Hope of Heaven lives in us.

These two verses from Ephesians 3 come from the Amplified Bible:
“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or
think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within
us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Song: All my hope on God is founded

All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew,
me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.
Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.
Still from man to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ, his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.
I Am God!
I am always there for you.
I am your defender.
I am your rock.
I am your healer.
I am the beginning and the end.
The Alpha and Omega.
I am the strength within you.
I am the one who made you uniquely you.
I am the one who created the sun, moon and stars,
and set them in place.
I am the one who made the earth and oceans
and everything in them.
I am the one for whom nothing is impossible.
I am the one who calls you by name.
I am the one who prepared work in advance for you to do.
I am the one who gives light in the darkness.
I am the one who will never leave or forsake you.
I am the one who intercedes for you.
I am the one who administers perfect justice.
I am the one who provides all your needs.
I am the one who forgives and takes away your sin.
I am the one who reconciles you to your heavenly Father.
I am the one who sends the Holy Spirit to witness, convict and
cleanse.
I am the source of all love, joy and peace.
I am the one who upholds you with My mighty right hand.
I am the one who shields and protects you.
I am the one who lavishes My love on you.
I am the one who never changes.
I am faithful and trustworthy.
I am sovereign over all things.
I am the one who gives life to the full.
I am Yahweh.
I Am who I Am!

Be encouraged today because this is your God. Amen.