Sunday March 22nd 2020 – Service

Worship is more than singing together in Church

As we’re not able to meet together today here’s a short service from the Methodist Church web site that we can all join in with.

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you

Opening Prayer

As I come before you Jesus, open my eyes that I might truly see you as my shepherd, comforter, and redeemer.  I want to be with others worshipping you but this is not possible, yet I know that I am being prayed for as part of the community of faith.  Thank you for this time where I remember you are with me.  Amen.

Hymn: Amazing Grace (Singing the Faith 440)

1   Amazing grace — how sweet the sound —
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.

2   God’s grace has taught my heart to fear,
his grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!

3   Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
God’s grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

4   The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.

5   And, when this heart and flesh shall fail
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil
a life of joy and peace.

6   When we’ve been there ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
than when we first begun.

John Newton (1725-1807) (alt.)
Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 440

Let us pray together

Lord, I worship you today. Help me to see your calling in my life.

Open my eyes to what is possible when I see things through the eyes of your Son.

Forgive what is passed, protect me from all that is to come

Today’s Reading from the Old Testament 1 Samuel 16: 1-13

Today’s Gospel Reading: John 9:1-41

“Jesus heard that they had thrown him [the blind man] out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?  “Who is he, sir?” the man asked.  “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”  Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”  Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him “ John 9:35-38  

Time to Reflect

“Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come; God’s grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.  The Lord has promised good to me, his word my hope secures; he will my shield and portion be as long as life endures”. 

When I was a teenager, I went through Confirmation Exercises in the local Anglican Church.  I remember thinking how wonderful that Jesus would go through what he went through for the whole world.  I was saddened and shocked by the way he was treated by not only his fellow Jews but also by the Romans.  It wasn’t until several years later that I realized Jesus died for me personally, not just the whole world.  It was for my sin too that Jesus had died.  It was as if the scales fell off my eyes and I could finally see clearly.  The Pharisees were becoming increasingly hostile toward Jesus, so hearing of this miracle, they cross questioned the man who was born blind.  In verse 24 and 25, they summon the man and say, “Swear to God to tell us the truth!  We know the man who healed you is a sinful man! Do you agree?”  The healed man replied, “I have no idea what kind of man he is.  All I know is that I was blind and now I can see for the first time in my life!” 

Our youngest grandchild, Theo was diagnosed with many health-related problems.  Developmentally he was delayed and although almost two years old now, he is not speaking, although making noises.  He is beginning to pull himself up and walk holding on to the sidewalls.  However, what made the biggest difference in Theo’s life was finding out he needed glasses.  My daughter, Joyce sent us a video of Theo donning his red framed plastic glasses.  We saw him seeing and focusing on his mother’s face.  His countenance beamed, as he was able to register what he was looking at for probably the first time in his young life. 

The blind man looking at Jesus’ face said, “Lord, I believe.”  He could now see not only others and the world around him, but he could see Jesus clearly.  Contemplate on when you have seen Jesus, not just as a good teacher, or as an historical person but as the One who knows you, loves you, and hears your every prayer.

Take a time to sit quietly

A time of prayer

All seeing, all knowing God I call on you today. May your Spirit give your world a sense of calm and peace in these difficult times.

On this Mothering Sunday, we pray for all Mums.  The good ones and the not so good.  We remember all those who would have liked to have children but for whatever reason could not. 

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty:

For those people who are worried about leaving their home and those who cannot.

For those needing to make decisions in order to care for other. 

We pray for carers, doctors and nurses.

We continue to pray for those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend and act of worship today.

I especially want to pray for …..

Holy God,

Present with us now, guide me in all I do and say – that it might reflect your love for the world.

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father ……

Hymn: Listen to Open the Eyes of my heart Lord, or sing a verse of a hymn that comes to mind

A prayer of blessing

Lord, I commit myself to you today.  At the end of this day, may I see you more clearly and love you more dearly, and follow you closer.  Amen. 

Original Materials by Heather Wilson and Paul Wood