Home Service 25th June 2023

Call to worship

North, south, east, west,
wherever we go, wherever we are, the Lord is near.
Night, day, morning, noon,
whatever the time, whatever the season, the Lord is near.
Darkness, light, joy, despair,
whatever the day, whatever the moment, the Lord is near.
Near to help, near to care, near to shelter, near to comfort.

Praise the Lord who is with us!

A prayer of praise

My name may be long, my name may be short.
My name may be hard to spell, my name may come from long ago.
Thank you, Lord, that you know my name.

I may be tall, I may be small.
I may know you well, I may question if you are really there.
Thank you, Lord, that you know my name.

I may be well known, I may like to hide at the back.
I may feel strong, I may know that I need your help.
Thank you, Lord, that you know my name.


Please read Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43 tells us about God’s care for his people. ‘Do not be afraid – I will save you,’ he says; ‘I have called you by name — you are mine’ (verse 1). In vivid images, the prophet brings God’s protection to life: his people won’t be overwhelmed when they ‘pass through deep waters’ or burnt when they pass through fire (verse 2). ‘Do not be afraid — I am with you!’ is God’s message (verse 5).

These are beautiful words, which we need to read with sober joy: sober, because we know we are not protected from every attack by the enemies of the faith, or from the things that go wrong for us just because we’re human.

But we can still rejoice in these promises. They are not ‘just poetry’ or wishful thinking: they assure us that God is with us, that he has a glorious future for us, and that he loves us with an everlasting love.

As the poet William Cowper wrote:

His purposes will ripen fast
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.’

Loving Lord, we praise you for you have created us and redeemed us. You know each one of us and care for us. You call us by name to come and worship you. You draw your people together to be with you.

As a mother bird gathers her young to herself, draw us near to you, Lord Jesus. Hide us under your wings of love and keep us secure in your care. Tell us once more that we are precious in your sight and that in all things you are there with us. Make us aware of your presence this week, that we might give ourselves in worship to you. Amen.

Suggested Listening Making all things New – www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4xqn8jdqHQ God is love – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2I4wHr6wAc Do not be afraid – www.youtube.com/watch?v=91qJPW6pXPw You called me by name – www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd1GlLb65Ns

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