Home Service for 22nd November ’20

(Picture by Chris Darley)

Call to Worship

We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul
We are called to love with all our mind and strength
And we are called to love our neighbour as ourselves
Come, let us Worship and love our God!
Amen

Prayer for support and encouragement

Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives be food for the hungry, bread,
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff of our lives that keep us from hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our worries, distractions, and all.
Turn them into wheat, heart food.
May we love as you love.

Amen

Scripture

15. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:15-17)

Reflection

Last week, I met a lovely old lady who spoke about being married to her best friend. The couple have been married for 64 years so far and have been friends for over 80 years! She told me that it was her doing that they had become friends in the first place and it was her doing that they had remained friends for so long.

How things could have been different: a few years’ difference in the dates of their births, a few more miles between the families houses, the choice of a job instead of another, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised when they first me – any of these chances might have kept them apart.

She also told me that she knew that Jesus had found her many years ago and that she had chosen to follow him.

But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret match- maker has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, ” You did not choose me, but I chose you” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “You did not choose me, but I chose you for one another.”

This friendship isn’t down to ‘our doing’, it’s not a reward for our discerning and good taste in finding one another out. It is purposeful. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the gifts, talents and beauties of others.

Jesus teaches us all we need to know about God and then calls on us to help him to match-make by letting others see God in us.

Jesus ends this passage by commanding that we love one another. This is exactly what my new old lady friend has done.

Prayer of Intercession

For all the blessings of this life, we give thanks to You, Creator God.
For families, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and strangers, who nurture us, that the love of God may grow within.
That Your love, your Word, like a seed, may grow to produce in us, good fruit.

For the leaders of our nation and cities
May they lead with strong hearts, gentle hands, generous spirits, compassion and wisdom.
May they reflect your will guiding all their actions and decisions.

For those who live in dangerous places and those who live in fear.
For those who worry about employment, bills and food.
And those who struggle to find dignity in life.
May your grace bring peace and safety to all people, one to another.

For those who suffer from illness of mind, body, or spirit.
Restore these, and all those we carry in our hearts, to fullness of health— health as only you, O God, can bring.

May your mercy shower each of us with healing mercy and love.

May your love, be like a seed, taking root and growing strong.

Amen

Benediction

Do not be afraid. Stop worrying.
For your Father in heaven knows what you need,
and he delights in loving you.
Instead, actively pursue his kingdom,
and all the things you truly need
will come to you as well.
So go out from here,
confident in the knowledge that God goes with you and God loves you.
Amen.

Ideas for Music

God is love, his the care
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjju_BKA1 PE)
Love me do
(www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pGOFX1 D_jg)


Rev. Jim Williams


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