Home Service 7

Home Service: Sunday 26 April 2020

Flowers 24th AprilTo be used in conjunction with this weeks Read Mark, Learn – 7 RML 260420

Call to worship – From Luke 1:78-79 (GNT), some prophetic words spoken by Zechariah (John the Baptist’s father).
Our God is merciful and tender. He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us
and to shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace.

 

Prayer
Loving God,  In these moments, as we turn our minds and hearts to you, may we know your mercy and your tenderness. May your light chase away shadows and illumine our way. May your peace calm any fears and assure us of your salvation. May we know your presence now Father. We come in Jesus’ name. Amen.

We worship God with a hymn used by Christians for about two centuries. It reminds us that God is so much greater than we can imagine and deserving of our praise and adoration.
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH6tbslLEaE
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
who were and are and evermore shall be.
Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
though the eye made blind by sin Thy glory may not see,
only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Let’s pause, think on the greatness and goodness of God and give thanks.
Prayer
Father forgive if all too often I am more ready to ask for blessings than to give thanks and marvel at your grace. Open my eyes that I might see more and be more thankful.
Thank you, Father, for… receive my thanks, Lord. Amen

About 3000 years ago a poet believed to be David, reflected on the greatness of God and captured his thoughts in a poem.
Reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-GgSWUhTy8
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring for ever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. The Psalmist lived a very long time before Jesus walked this earth. He recognised his need of a Saviour but didn’t see God’s grace made known in Jesus.

A song of praise, written much more recently, reminds us of how Jesus fulfilled that role and is our ‘Beautiful Saviour’.
Give Praise with this song written by Stuart Townend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRieT7MHjyA
All my days I will sing this song of gladness,
Give my praise to the Fountain of delights;
For in my helplessness You heard my cry,
And waves of mercy poured down on my life.
I will trust in the cross of my Redeemer,
I will sing of the blood that never fails;
Of sins forgiven, of conscience cleansed,
Of death defeated and life without end.
Beautiful Saviour, Wonderful Counsellor,
Clothed in majesty, Lord of history,
You’re the Way, the Truth, the Life.
Star of the Morning, glorious in holiness,
You’re the Risen One, heaven’s Champion
And You reign, You reign over all.
I long to be where the praise is never-ending,
Yearn to dwell where the glory never fades;
Where countless worshippers will share one song,
And cries of ‘worthy’ will honour the Lamb!
Before we share with God our feelings, cares and concerns, let’s read what
Jesus told His disciples about prayer.

Reading: Matthew 6: 5-8
Jesus said ‘And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Prayer Speaking aloud or in silence, we open our hearts to God and pray for others.
Father we bring to you now …. Father, in Your mercy, hear my 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
In the days following Jesus’ death, His disciples were in ‘lockdown’. They had gone into a room and closed the door firmly. But this did not stop Jesus coming to them and showing them that death had been defeated. Death could not hold Him and locked doors could not keep Him out. They couldn’t then and still can’t. Jesus did not appear to His followers just once. The Bible tells of appearances to a number of different people over a period forty days. In particular, we read that on Easter Sunday He appeared to Mary Magdalene, the women that came to His tomb (Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and Joanna), Peter, and two disciples on the Emmaus road. Later He appeared to the rest of the twelve Disciples with Thomas absent. After a week He appeared to them again, this time with Thomas present. There was an appearance to seven disciples on the Sea of Galilee. On
another occasion he appeared to over five hundred people at the same time. What an event that must have been. There is mention of an appearance to James. Finally, Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus – the man who became the Apostle Paul. These appearances convinced and transformed His disciples. Sorrow and fear were replaced by joy and courage. They could go out with confidence to share the Gospel and make the acclamation ‘Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.’

We proclaim our risen Lord and our hope in Him with a well-loved hymn. Written in 1884 in the French language by Edmond L. Budry, it is said that he was motivated to write it following the death of his first wife. It was first printed in a French hymn book and was only translated into English in1923 by Richard B. Hoyle.
Praise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbBOOmkMLmI
Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
Endless is the victory, Thou o’er death hast won;
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave clothes where Thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the victory, Thou o’er death hast won.
Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
Let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
For her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
Thine be the glory…
No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life;
Life is naught without Thee; aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conquerors, through Thy deathless love:
Bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.
Thine be the glory…

A blessing
May God’s love surround us, God’s Spirit guide us, God’s word cheer us, and God’s peace calm us, wherever He may lead us. This day and every day. Amen