Home Service 20th August 2023

Call to Worship

God has planted us like trees to flourish and grow.
Our soil is God’s garden.
Daily we grow towards the light.
We give coolness, shade and beauty to God’s garden.

God makes us blossom in our youth.
God makes us produce fruit in our maturity.
God renews our life, season by season.

Join us Lord, as we worship you.

A prayer of confession

We want to make you glad, God of life and love, but we are imperfect people and we lay at your feet now the places in which we stand in the way of your abundant life.
We refuse to leave behind the habits that stifle life.
We refuse to take the risks to which you call us.
We cling to our comforts.
We close our ears to you as you promise us a better future.
We shut our eyes to the vision you hold before us.
We will not go into the depths where we will be transformed.

All these things make us selfish and unforgiving.

God will crack open the shell in which we hide. God will release us into the life he wishes for us. We are willing, but afraid. And, as we are remade, our lives will deepen, and so will our praise, until there is no part of our being that does not sing out to gladden you, O most high, our rock. Amen.

Please read Ezekiel 17

This vision is a message concerning Jewish royalty and the world powers of Ezekiel’s time. It is first presented as a riddle or parable of two great eagles, a cedar tree and a vine. The exiles with Ezekiel are given some time to make sense of it, but they are unable to decode the riddle properly so God directs his prophet to make the meaning clear.

The first eagle represented Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar. The eagle was used to symbolise both the means God used to punish as well as the speed at which the punishment was carried out. The large, powerful wings enabled the eagle to fly long distances and signified the extent of the territory under the eagle’s power. So for example, ‘full plumage’ represented a big empire and ‘various colours’ showed that the empire was populated by different peoples from various nations.

At this time in Israel’s history, the politics are so complicated that God is far too often overlooked by so-called human ‘superpowers’. When these powers fail, instead of remembering their God, who does have divine control, the exiles persist in searching aimlessly for yet another king to defeat Egypt, Babylon or Assyria. It is therefore, astonishing that God promised to take back a remnant, the sprig of the cedar, and in the future, make it flourish in its own land. God does this, because only in this way, will the people be ready for his son in years to come, ready to welcome the perfect king, Christ Jesus.

A prayer of intercession

Gracious God, who longs to bring all creation to be at home with you, we pray for the world which is our home here and now:

· for all those who are homeless throughout the world for those who have had to leave their homes because of war or persecution for those whose homes offer too little shelter, comfort or privacy for those whose homes are a battleground for difficult relationships

We pray that we may care for our common home, this earth:

· Teach us how to protect our environment, and to be willing to take what steps are necessary

· Teach us how to care for each other in the one human family

· Teach us how to respect the life of animals and birds, sea creatures and insects

Bind us in one economy. May we live in the truth that the well-being of one matters to the well-being of all the others. May the earth be a place where all may grow and learn and be fulfilled, and then it will be a fit home for you Amen


Just as the seed grows silently, slowly, God’s, Spirit grows in us unseen. God will teach us to know his Spirit.
Let God teach us to make time in our lives to be with him: in stillness, in silence, letting his peace settle, letting our love for him grow, letting what is bitter in our lives be ripened into good, sweet fruit. Amen.

Suggested Listening For the fruits of all creation – www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBXHDbesb7k Jesus you are changing me – www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEmlM3Gqvjg O let us spread the pollen of peace – www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B2R_Mdjq8E

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