Home Service Sunday 28th May 2023

Call to worship

Father, we remember our journey with you.
As we remember all the steps along the way we thank you that you have journeyed with us.
As we bow before you, our covenant God, we claim the promise of Jesus: that as we journey in his name we may know the presence of Jesus with us. Amen.

Please read Genesis 17


The story of Hagar is one of the Bible’s small domestic tragedies. It arises when Abraham’s faith wavers. He has believed God will give him a son, but nothing seems to be happening so with Sarah’s encouragement he takes matters into his own hands. In those days his behaviour would have been normal enough. Human nature being what it is, though, the stresses of the situation erupt into conflict. Only divine intervention preserves the lives of Hagar and her son Ishmael.

So in the story there is a warning and a blessing. Abraham and Sarah took an unworthy path towards an end they had been promised. That’s not how God works. If we are given a vision from him, everything that fulfils that vision will be honouring to him. Believe me, this can be a problem for church leaders who might be very driven to achieve things – waiting can be hard, but it is better than being tempted to cut corners in terms of ethics or relationships.

The blessing is Hagar’s. She has learned a painful lesson. Nothing about her situation is easy, but she has the comfort of knowing God has ‘seen’ her (verse 13). Whatever we go through, we are seen by God, who watches us with compassion; and sometimes we are given the privilege of seeing him, too.


Father God, you called Abraham and Sarah to be fruitful, and a blessing to the whole world.
Forgive us that we often settle for productivity, limiting our potential by merely meeting targets.
Open us up, Lord, to the possibility of flourishing: give us the courage to undergo the pruning which will cut out dead ideas, and enable growth.
Whether we are in the springtime of new growth or the autumn of letting go so that new life can spring up, keep us mindful of your promise to be our life-blood, your energy coursing through us, giving us strength to live your good news.
Through Christ who is our life,

Suggested Listening

Father I place into your hands – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T8759Wdg3U&list=RD6T8759Wdg3U&start_radio=1 God has promised – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOwEj2q2Ce4 Just As I Am – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0XjqRZ9W_8

The God of Abraham praise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKAIWQpbSH8

2 comments on “Home Service Sunday 28th May 2023

  1. Hello. I am trying make contact with Rev David Philips. I have tried emailing the address on the White Church URC website…[email protected], and have also tried an email address given to me by the funeral directors Mark FH Rae…[email protected]. From both of these addresses I just get a delivery failure notice. I also tried [email protected] JIC but still received a failure notice. The phone number listed on your web site. 1253739947, is not recognised…and when I tried putting a ‘0’ in front of it it rang but there was no answer.
    If you could please forward me a working email address for Rev.Philips I would be most grateful. Thank you.
    Details copied and pasted from the White Church entry in the UK Church Directory
    Minister Revd David Phillips
    [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.