Home Service Sunday 24th July 2022

Prayers

Even though we read these words apart from each other, let us come together:

· to listen to God’s voice
· to listen to each other
· to speak what is on our hearts
· to be held and heard
· to find our voices, and to hear God’s call.

Lord, help us to hear your word, and to speak it.
Help us to know your truth, and to show it.
Help us to feel your love, and to share it.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lord, there are times when we are aware that our response to you is so small, from the bubbles where we feel safe, cocooned in our certainties, we fail to realise how narrow our thinking is. Yet, you are patient and kind with us; you forgive.

Thank you, Father, for your forgiveness that covers all our feeble-mindedness. Amen.

Please read Jeremiah 1.4-10 & Luke 4.21-30

Reflection

Speaking in public can be incredibly anxiety-inducing. And the fear of public speaking is surely increased when we sense we are called to speak out about something. Jeremiah, as one of God’s prophets, was called to speak into an intensely pressured and challenging situation: to proclaim Jerusalem’s coming destruction.

Imagine being invited by God to such a task, especially in the face of hostility or mockery. It must have been incredibly exciting for the people of Jesus’ home village to recognise that they had someone special in their midst. Who is this man? A rabbi? A prophet? The Messiah? Whichever, this small village in Galilee initially receives Jesus’ words with warmth and grace. Yet, almost from the outset, the people raise questions: isn’t this remarkable young man the son of the carpenter?

Jesus seems alert to the way his audience might have mixed reactions to him. This is his hometown, the place that has nurtured him. He is aware that some will think he should be able to work the equivalent wonders that have been seen among the ‘strangers’ over in Capernaum. In a small-town world these rivalries matter. Yet, Jesus surprises those with whom he has grown up, and indeed us. He reminds his audience, through examples such as the widow at

Zarephath, that God’s generosity is often shown to outsiders rather than to the inside crowd.

In short, Jesus reminds his hometown that God’s grace and generosity is not reserved for those who – whether family, friends or neighbours – think they deserve it. God’s grace is risky, perhaps even scandalous. This is what Jesus discovers when he speaks out and tells this truth to those who think they know him the best. It’s enough to get you run out of town.

Prayers

Let us pray for the world and the Church, thankful of God’s goodness.
We pray for the poor and for prisoners,
for the unemployed and for the homeless,
for those who will go without sustenance today,
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who live in places of conflict,
for refugees and those fleeing war,
for those who experience conflict at home or at work,
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who have been oppressed,
for victims of crime, both disclosed and secret,
for children, women and men who feel unsafe,
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those we know who are in need,
for those who are ill or housebound,
for the very young and very old,
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for ourselves,
for faith and hope and love to flood our lives,
and for the grace to pass those gifts of God to others.
Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.

Recommended listening Come Thou Fount – www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKOoeTbjSeI

Dear Lord and father of mankind hymn lyrics – www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAxiN0egN-I For the Healing of the Nations – www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VYqBZUcjCM

Teach Me, My God and King – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ykXQ7euL8

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