5 July 2020: Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Church Alive worship

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‘All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you. (1 Chronicles 29:14) We ask your blessing on what we offer, which is given in thanksgiving for your many blessings and for all you have done for us’.

Welcome to our Church Alive service. Whilst we are not all together in church, we are together in spirit. We have tried to adapt our normal service from screen to paper and have provided links to music if you would like to sing. A big thank you to Debbie Thomson for recording the songs for us.

Jesus notes that both he and John the Baptist failed to meet people’s expectations. However, Jesus thanks God that the point of his ministry has been revealed to the simple rather than the wise, and calls on people to learn how to live from him.

Opening Song
Bless The Lord O My Soul

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

1. The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

2. You're rich in love and You're slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

3. And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still, my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Yes, I’ll worship Your holy name
Yes, I’ll worship Your holy name

Thanksgiving

What would you like to say thank you to God for today and this week?
Take a moment to say thank you now.

Opening Prayer
If you are able, and it is safe to do so, light a candle at this point

Lord, we light this candle, to remind
us that you are the light of the world.
As we gather together in spirit,
make our voices ready to sing your praise;
our hearts open to receive your love
and our minds alive to your Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We seek God’s healing and forgiveness

We come to God as one from whom no secrets are hidden, to ask for his forgiveness and peace.

Please, Lord, forgive us for the times
when our picture and understanding of you are far too small.
Forgive us and help us.

When we try to fit you into that tiny box that we think we can cope with.
Forgive us and help us.

When we’re frightened to let your power loose in our life.
Forgive us and help us.

We hear words assuring us of God’s forgiveness

May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Bible Reading
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-end Good News Translation (GNT)

16 ’Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group shouts to the other, 17 ‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn't dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn't cry!’ 18 When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, ‘He has a demon in him!’ 19 When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’ God's wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.’

25 At that time Jesus said, ‘Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. 26 Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen. 27 ’My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

28 ’Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.’

Introducing the Theme & Learning Spaces

Not being able to break out into our learning spaces, here are a few thoughts about the theme for today. For young people you can use the children's and the family sheets.

In the Bible passage we hear that nothing was good enough for some people; neither the strict way of life that John the Baptist followed nor the feasting of Jesus and his friends appealed to them.

Are we also too keen to criticise and judge our fellow Christians, our church and its leaders and those in positions of authority in the country? The ‘blame game’ is evident in the media at the moment. We can easily call to mind examples in our daily news reports in connection with the handling of the present situation with the coronavirus.

What we learn in this passage is that Jesus recognises this childishness in us as we judge and criticise others and have unrealistic expectations. He wants to turn this childishness upside down and to recognise a positive aspect of childishness….he wants us to have a pure and simple commitment to God in us as children of God.

As children of God we are vulnerable and we are often overburdened and weary and God offers us a yoke to help us. Unfortunately, for many of us an image of a yoke conjures up a symbol of slavery, but God’s yoke of commitment is a gentle yoke which makes it easier for us to carry the burdens of our everyday lives.

All Age Creative - See it differently

Create a symbol of how Jesus reveals God’s wisdom

You will need: a cardboard tube, such as the inside of a kitchen roll, pens, stickers, card, scissors, sticky tape.

Decorate your cardboard tube using pens and stickers and write the words ‘God’s wisdom’ on the outside. Measure and cut a cross shape from card, small enough to fit on one end of the tube Then fix your cross onto the tube using sticky tape. Now look through the other end of the cardboard tube and see the cross. Think about how what Jesus did revealed God’s wisdom to the world.

For Reflection
prepared by Brenda

Look carefully at this image.
What do we see about this bridge that is unexpected?
Does a person in this image represent you? If so, which one and why?
What would be the consequences of this bridge not being present? What does that help us to learn from this image?
How might we help people who carry heavy burdens?
We are not meant to carry burdens alone. How can God help us with that vocation?
What does ‘my yoke is easy…my burden is light’ mean to us?

Song:
I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say

1. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘Come unto me and rest;
lay down, thou weary one, lay down
thy head upon my breast.’
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn, and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

2. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live.’
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

3. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
‘I am this dark world's light;
look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy day be bright.’
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in him my Star, my Sun;
and in that light of life I'll walk
till traveling days are done.

O Lord, Hear Our Prayers

Here are a few suggested topics for you to pray about. If you have specific prayers you would like included in future weeks then do sent them to Linda and she will add them in

We pray for:

Our world:
Continuing to suffer through the effects of the Coronavirus; particularly those countries like India and Pakistan where the healthcare systems are under increasing strain...for leadership that expresses compassion and wisdom in their handling of the situation.
For an end to systemic racial injustice, for peaceful, safe protests and a more just world to emerge where people have equal opportunities and treatment.

Our communities:
For all those living in our parish. For our local businesses that are reopening, to be able to operate safely for both their staff and customers. For those who continue to be fearful of the effects of the relaxation of restrictions. For all who continue to support those who are isolated and alone is our community. For our local police and authorities who continue to operate on the frontline.

Our church:
For all involved in organising the reopening of our church for worship, for the shape that will take and how best they can use their resources so that God can be known in all that they offer. For all of the members of our church family who have supported their friends and neighbour. For generous giving to enable our work to continue and flourish.

For the sick and the dying:
For all who are unwell at this time, for those suffering from long-term illness and worried about their treatments, for all who are caring for family at home. For all those for whom this time is affecting their mental health.

For those who have died; may they rest in peace and rise in glory;
for the sadness of those who mourn and for those who are unable to attend funerals to say their farewells because of the restrictions in place. For all whose world has changed immeasurably following the death of a loved one.

Thanksgiving:
For the gift of faith. For our family and friends and those who will be able to come together for the first time in months. For the beauty of creation that gives us joy and hope that God cares for us all.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

We say 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.

Song:
Jesus Christ is Waiting

1. Jesus Christ is waiting,
Waiting in the streets;
No one is his neighbour,
All alone he eats.
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I am lonely too.
Make me, friend or stranger,
Fit to wait on you

2. Jesus Christ is raging,
Raging in the streets,
Where injustice spirals
And real hope retreats.
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I am angry too.
In the Kingdom's causes
Let me rage with you.

3. Jesus Christ is healing,
Healing in the streets;
Curing those who suffer,
Touching those he greets.
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I have pity too.
Let my care be active,
Healing just like you.

4. Jesus Christ is dancing,
Dancing in the streets,
Where each sign of hatred
He, with love, defeats.
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I should triumph too.
On suspicion's graveyard
Let me dance with you.

5. Jesus Christ is calling,
Calling in the streets,
‘Who will join my journey?
I will guide their feet.’
Listen, Lord Jesus,
Let my fears be few.
Walk one step before me;
I will follow you.

Sending Out Prayer

Jesus has called us to come to him
and blessed us with his richness.
Now he sends us out into his world,
to make sure people see him,
and listen to him, through us.
We are yours, Lord. Use us as you will.
Amen.

The Peace

We go into the world in peace
to walk in God’s light,
to rejoice in God’s love
and to reflect God’s glory.