Morning Worship for 18th October 20204 days ago
As you begin this act of worship remember that there are many friends who are doing the same and are joining with you in worship. If you have Youtube then please find an appropriate version of the hymns and join in the singing. As you go through this time of worship try to remember this reality; you are in the presence of God who holds us all in His care and keeping.
We come in this service to God, In our need, and bringing with us the needs of the world. We come to God, who has come to us in Jesus, And who walks with us the road of our worlds suffering. We come with our faith and with our doubts; We come with our hopes and with our fears. We come as we are, because it is God who invites us to come, And God has promised never to turn us away.
The Iona Community Worship Book 1991
Collect for the day:
Almighty God, you called Luke the physician Whose praise is in the Gospel, To be an evangelist and physician of the soul: By the grace of the Spirit And through the wholesome medicine of the gospel Give your Church the same love and power to heal; Through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, Who is alive and reigns with you, In the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, now and for ever. Amen.
Our Declaration of faith
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. Ascribe to the Lord, glory and strength; Ascribe to the Lord, the honour due to his name. The whole earth is full of his glory. The Lord shall give strength to his people; The Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory.
Hymn: Great is thy faithfulness.
Readings: Isaiah 35:3-6, 2 Timothy 4:5-17.
Hymn: Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-9.
Jesus sent out 70 people in pairs to take his message to the people, he sent them into every village where he himself intended to go.
The Harvest was plentiful but the labourers were few. As we celebrate this season of Harvest, we give thanks for the bountiful goodness of God, for the creativity and abundance of the fields which surround us. We give thanks that even in the grip of the current pandemic that food is available for us to enjoy. But many are still struggling in our communities, with so much uncertainty, anxiety and worry about the future. And in the light of so much distress amongst us it is fitting that alongside the harvest we also celebrate the life and witness of St Luke the Physician, the writer of the Gospel which speaks of the harvest of the kingdom for all those with faith in the Lord.
In the Gospel the Lord appointed seventy others, we have not got 70 people here today, but we do have you.
Can I send you out like Jesus sent his followers in pairs to spread the Gospel?
The key question for us as followers of Jesus today is to remember that those early followers went out willingly and returned having achieved great things, but are you willing to go out and have you got the confidence to achieve great things?
Can you cast out demons? Can you heal the sick, cure the lame, can you seek to eradicate injustice and can you care for the environment of the earth, clearly we as individuals cannot do or achieve all of this but God can. You see it is not what the 70 achieved which mattered to Jesus it was that they went out in the Lords name and in so doing enabled God to act in the midst of his people, the reward for the 70 was not achievement but rather thanksgiving because in being sent out they did receive the grace of God and a place for themselves in the kingdom.
But where is the promise of the kingdom, how does it impact upon us and in what way can we be missional today in the midst of our current crisis?
Well the text from Luke really sums it up, mission is about living in the faith of Jesus with confidence, excitement, vitality and joy, it is about being so filled with the lord’s message that you cannot wait to share it with others.
And the kingdom which awaits the faithful is right here, as the Lord said
The Kingdom of God has come close to you.
Touched by the kingdom every one of you can be filled with joy and every one of you can in the power of the Spirit go out like the 70 and seek to spread the gospel of Jesus, preparing people to be touched by God’s grace and so be enabled to become instruments of the kingdom here on earth.
But who is to go whom do we send, the Harvest is plentiful there are thousands of people out there just waiting to hear the word of God and to be brought into his kingdom, their ears are full they are ready to be picked for the Lord but where are the labourers to do the work?
Are you the ones who have to do everything, there are so few of us and yes many of you are older and perhaps a little tired, but you can still achieve great things on the missional front, what does Jesus ask his disciples to do? He calls his disciples to ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth his labourers. God has thousands of them, they just need to be invited.
If you cannot do it yourself, too old too frail too shy or unsure what to do, what you can do is exactly what the 70 did, they asked the lord of the harvest to provide the labourers for his kingdom and he did just that.
But God will not act unless you ask him too,
God will not transform the hearts of his people unless they know about him first, that is your job, that is your calling, to be like Jesus but not to be Jesus. Every one of you can speak to somebody else, every one of you can do something for the Lord, for the world, for the environment or in the pursuit of justice, just do it.
Do it with confidence for Jesus and he through you will achieve great things and a place in the kingdom will be assured for you and every one to whom you go.
The disciples went first then Jesus followed and the same applies today, if you go in the name of the Lord then he will go with you, then with Jesus by your side you will achieve amazing things for the kingdom of God.
So in this harvest season live missional lives, for mission is the key to the kingdom of God. Remember that in Jesus the Kingdom of God comes near, reach out for it, live in it and rejoice within it.
Let the Lord of the Harvest send forth his labourers and may the whole of Gods kingdom redeemed by Jesus be brought together as one Mission Community for the Lord. Amen.
Hymn: I the Lord of sea and sky.
Prayers for others:
This morning let us pause for prayer for so many people and for so many situations.
We come boldly to the throne of grace, Praying to the almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for mercy and grace. Heavenly Father, we pray today for your Harvest of peace, joy and justice in your world. May all who are so dependent upon the harvest of human love, find true joy in their lives, may their sufferings be lifted from them and may they feel truly valued and respected by others. We give you thanks for the harvest of the land, for the farmers who till the soil, for the skill involved in operating the machinery required in the harvest of grain, and feed, for those who labour in the sun to pick our fruit and vegetables, and for all who manage the complexities required in farming today. Give them strength to persevere in these difficult times and may they continue to feed the nation and keep us strong and healthy. We pray at this troubled time for patience and calm within our communities as we enter into a new approach to the Covid Pandemic. We pray that you may give us all the resolve we need to keep those around us safe and secure. We pray for all who are particularly vulnerable at this time that their faith in you may strengthen them for the days ahead. We pray especially for those who are struggling in the hospitality sector, for businesses under threat, for jobs being lost and for all who face worry and anxiety at this time. We pray for all communities suffering from the Coronavirus where there is a lack of resources to care for them and for all within our own communities as we see the threat of a further increase of the pandemic in our midst. Father hear us as we continue to pray for the NHS with all the pressures and strains still upon it, that they would receive all the protection they need, and that they would experience your protection in their work, find courage for each day and stamina to care for all those who are so dependent upon them. For the sick and vulnerable that they would receive the care they need in their hour of weakness. For the lonely in our parishes, that they would know God’s presence in their solitude and receive a friendly call from their neighbours. As we pray in thanksgiving for the life and witness of St Luke the Physician, we pray for all who seek to bring healing to others, for the dedication of doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and all who help in so many different ways who seek in the words of the Gospel: to cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “the kingdom of God has come near to you.” We continue to pray for those in authority charged with leading the fight against the virus: for our Prime Minister and his Ministers, for Scientists working on vaccines and other means of fighting the infection. We pray also for those charged with ensuring that the law is upheld and that we continue to show concern for others in the way in which we live our lives. Finally Father we pray for all who have lost loved ones throughout this troubled time, as they struggle with loss and the restrictions placed upon them in saying their last farewells, may they find that inner peace which comes through faith and so be comforted by your presence with them.
And so we pray
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.
Hymn: All creatures of our God and King.
A Prayer for the treasure store of creation.
Listen to the water, air and earth; Creation’s treasure store. They’re wounded for the want of being listened to; They cry and too few hear, They slowly die and too few mourn. And yet through those who give attention, Who stretch both hands to touch, embrace and tend; Through those who marvel, reverence and kneel And cup the water, feel the breath of heaven, And hear the humming earth a healing comes And there are seeds of hope; There is tomorrow germinating in today. Listen to the stories, dreams and thoughts Of those who have no voice. They’re wounded for the want of being listened to: They cry and too few hear; They slowly die and too few mourn. And yet through these who give attention, Who stretch both hands to touch, embrace, receive; Through these who labour, claim their dignity And drink the cup of suffering, Breathe winds of change And earth their dreams in struggle, Healing comes and there are seeds of hope; There is tomorrow germinating in today. Be still, be just, sharing in their truth. In finding them, you find yourself.
Kate Compston. Hampshire 1990
God the Holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, Defend you on every side, And guide you in truth and peace; And the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you and remain with you always. Amen.