Call to Worship
As Christian people we are called to worship God.
As broken people we are called to worship God.
As scared people we are called to rely on the Lord.
As confused people we look to the Lord for answers.
As we gather together may Christ’s healing presence be with us.
A prayer of confession
For our lack of consideration at home: Lord, have mercy.
For our lack of respect and understanding for one another: Christ, have mercy.
For our lack of patience and forgiveness: Lord, have mercy.
Reading 1: Isaiah 40:21-31 (NIV)
Reading 2: Psalm 147
World is half full of pessimists…Or half empty of pessimists, depends how you look at it! Are you a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person?
We hear the message of hope found in Psalm 147 and Isaiah 40 time and time again in scripture. And yet we struggle to accept its healing and hoping message.
‘The Lord builds up Jerusalem’ matches the message of hope in Isaiah 40. He has rebuilt his city after the exile. This restoration is accompanied by healing and ministry to the needy, the Gospel message. God is acknowledged as the creator of all that exists, controlling the forces of nature.
In Isaiah, the People of God are in exile in the ghettos of Babylon, and they long for release, for a new life of security, peace, and plenty. But they declare that their glass is half empty – they don’t know which way to turn. The Babylonians, their captors, may appear to flourish under their god Marduk but Isaiah says the Israelite’s Lord (their God) is in charge. The prophet declares that there is only one direction in which to look. Towards YHWA.
In an echo of Genesis 1, which comes from the same period, he tells them that the Lord ‘sits above the circle of the earth and stretches out the heavens like a curtain’ (v 22).
It is YHWA who sets-up and puts-down the princes, they should not imagine that he has forgotten them.
And the message of Isaiah is as valid today as it was 3500 years ago!
A message of exile. We are in exile. Far away from the normal world which we are used to. Far away from the wonderful lifestyles we all crave. Far from the mess and inequalities which we all live with.
A message of hope. When the Lord leads us out of this pandemic – we have a great chance to get back to God’s plan for creation.
From exile comes hope through a God-led exodus. The hope of healing – not just from the virus but healing from everything that has gone wrong.
God of healing and hope, may this time of danger by your Holy Spirit, bring out the best and not the worst in us.
Show us the ways in which we can share faith and love while standing at a distance
Show us how to honour our connection with one another, and with you
through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
Sending out prayer
God of love and compassion, meet us in the messiness of our lives
God of love and compassion, share our pain and heal our weaknesses
God our love and compassion, meet us where we least expect to find you
Stay with us in our frailty and in our difficulties.
Stay with us on our journey, take our hand and walk beside us, live within us, lead us to freedom, lead us home to you.
And can it be (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tu2uA6U4Fxg)
Father, I place into your hands (www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwuM4Div-y4)
Immortal, invisible, God only wise (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fff2xQETe1c