Call to Worship (inspired by Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11)
The invitation is given to every person by Jesus Christ: “Come to me! Follow me! Be my disciples!”
We come to this place, to this time, at the invitation of Jesus Christ.
In the name of Christ, we accept the invitation to discipleship.
In the name of Christ, as his disciples, we worship and praise God.
In the midst of a world where cruelty abounds, we proclaim the God of Compassion.
In the midst of despair that threatens to swallow up whole lives, whole peoples, we proclaim the God of Hope.
In the midst of indifference and apathy, we proclaim the God of Love.
Come, let us worship together and share our witness of God’s living presence in the world.
Come soon the day Come soon, the day, when peace shall reign And nations fight no more When spears are turned to pruning hooks And love displaces hateful looks When none shall train for war (Isaiah 2:4 NIV)
Come soon, the day, when Christ the King Will rule in all the earth When nations live beneath his law To glory in their strength no more And dwell in love and peace (Micah 4:3 NIV)
Come soon, the day when love is crowned And sin at last cast down When faithful hearts can rest in peace And battles of the soul will cease When Christ at last appears (1 Peter 2:11 NIV)
Come soon, the triumph of the Lamb Who bears the wounds of love The Lord of lords and King of kings He comes, and in his victory brings All those who love his name (Revelation 17:14 NIV)
Come soon, eternal day of peace May hate and war be gone Let justice flow and love abound When men and women gather round The Lamb upon the throne (Ecclesiastes 3:8 NIV)
Come, peace of Christ to fill our hearts And make our spirits bold A peace, not as this dark world gives, The peace of Christ, for Jesus lives And fills our hearts with love. (John 14:27 NIV)
Our Father, who art in heaven,
slow to anger, and of great mercy, lover of all peoples of the earth,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Remind us that “all the nations are as nothing before you,” their governments but a shadow of passing age;
Thy kingdom come.
Grant to your children throughout the world,
and especially to the leaders of the nations,
the gift of prayerful thought and thoughtful prayer;
that following the example of our Lord,
we may discern what is right, and do it
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Help us to protect and to provide for all who are hungry and homeless, especially those who are deprived of food and shelter, family and friends, by the tragedy of war;
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us for neglecting to “seek peace and pursue it,” and finding ourselves in each new crisis more ready to make war than to make peace.
“We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves”;
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Let us not seek revenge, but reconciliation;
Let us not delight in victory, but in justice;
Let us not give ourselves up to pride, but to prayer;
Lead us not into temptation.
Be present to all your children ravaged by war:
Be present to those who are killing and to those who are being killed;
Deliver us from evil.
Subdue our selfish desires to possess and to dominate, and forbid us arrogance in victory;
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Please read: Ephesians 4:24, Genesis 1:27, 1 John 3:2, Ephesians 4:24, Genesis 1:27, 1 John 3:2, Genesis 1:26, Genesis 5:1, Genesis 9:6, James 3:9, 1 Corinthians 11:7
Each of these verses mentions that we are created in the image of God.
The TV is full of news from Ukraine. The Ukrainians courage in the face of adversity is truly inspiring. As is the bravery of the many thousands of Russian People who are risking their lives by protesting against unreasonable attack. The implications of the current humanitarian tragedy are being felt throughout Ukraine, in its neighbouring countries, and around the world.
The violence in our world shows how our fallen reality results from the brokenness of our hearts which have been scarred by our rejection of God. We weren’t created for violence. We carry the legacy of God’s image, while simultaneously growing in his likeness.
No war is ever “holy” or “just”. War is always morally unacceptable. Today’s bloodshed in Ukraine must be set squarely upon the shoulders of Vladimir Putin, who is risking global peace for his own selfish political agenda. We are witnessing a huge tragedy of human suffering: the targeting of civilians, the deaths of innocents, especially children.
Yet, the Ukrainians and Russians are both children nourished from the same feast. They are brothers and sisters in Christ. How is it possible that such a fratricide is taking place?
As Gideon proclaimed, “the Lord is peace” (Judges 6:24). Pray now for the peace for the whole world. Peace is more than the balance of powers or the absence of war. Peace is a state by which God’s presence reveals itself. “For Christ is our peace,” writes Paul, and “in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:14).
A Prayer for Our World
Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect. Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin colour.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbours.
And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbours.
Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Amen.
Suggested listening Those were the days my friend Mary Hopkins: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry5GHJifMWY or in Russian by the red army: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc_n7hsedGE In Christ there is no east or west in him no south or north: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpITJOShix0 Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIcKms_IUY Peace perfect peace in this dark world of sin? www.youtube.com/watch?v=StecwCFoWf0