Let’s light a candle to symbolise Christ’s presence with us as we begin our worship
Call to worship
Let us cast our worries aside and worship our loving Father.
1 Kneels at the feet of his friends,
silently washes their feet,
master who acts as a slave to them.
3 These are the ones we should serve,
these are the ones we should love.
All these are neighbours to us and you.
fill us with your love,
show us how to serve
the neighbours we have from you.
4 Kneel at the feet of our friends,
silently washing their feet,
this is the way we should live with you.
North Ghanaian song
adapted by Tom Colvin (1925–2000)
Let us pray
Heavenly Father, we worship and adore you. You are pure light, pure love, our ever-present help in time of trouble. Accept our gratitude for your omnipresence with us, help us to stay aware of your nearness and
saving grace. Help us to share our faith in you with all we meet.
Forgive our sin, help us to forgive all who sin against us.
Draw us ever nearer to you with the aid of your Holy spirit, so that we may become the children Christ died to save. We pray in the name of Jesus.
The Lord’s Prayer.
Luke ch.22 v 7 – 20
Then came the day of unleavened bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and john, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” “Where do ou want us to prepare for it?” they asked.
He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters and say to the owner of the house. ‘The teacher asks where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When the hour came, Jesus and his disciples reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the Kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took the bread and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ”This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
One of the precious gifts from Our Father is imagination, let’s employ ours in this sermon.
I began preparing to preach at Morley Central very early.
I realised just how much of our Christian calendar we had lost this year; and thought how good it would be to revisit Easter-tide.
Thirty years or so ago I wrote a monologue called “Jacob’s Gossip”. This was the name I gave, the man with the water jug who guided the disciples through the streets and alleys to the Upper Room. No free man would willingly carry a water jug, it was woman’s work, or the punishment of a slave.
He tells the story of the events of Holy week.
The underlying question it answers is that these people were ‘real’ ordinary folk, just like us.
They wore no halo, no satin robe, or actors make up.
They needed their feet washing and had the same needs we all have.
Because of this, they come across as flesh and blood, crucially telling of true events, and how these events affected them.
I think ‘Jacob’ was a bankrupt, tethered to Mary the owner of the upper room for several years, to pay off the debt he owed. His down to earth jobs were for the most part basic and earthy, to the heaviest, and unsocial; but no one took notice of him. He, on the other hand took notice of everybody and every event, it would keep him sane and entertained.
Had Jesus not washed the disciple’s feet, he would have had to.
He, it is likely, had taken Jesus’s borrowed donkey back to its owner. He is not a disciple, so any eyewitness testimony he pours into the pool of witness is valuable endorsement of the truth. He saw through Judas Iscariot, because Judas didn’t think him worthy of putting up a front for. He would calm Mark down, when he returned from Gethsemane, naked and terrified. He saw the grief and despair on the disciple’s faces after Jesus had been crucified.
He would unbolt the door for the women who went to give Jesus’ body the proper burial respect. All the time he kept them as safe as he could by locking the doors. He heard the outrageous claims of the women when they returned.
He opened the door for the two who returned from Emmaus.
Only when Jesus came to them all, despite Jacob’s bolted doors, was he convinced that Jesus was risen from the dead. Certainly, Jesus would have blessed Jacob, with the rest., changing his whole life, as Jesus has changed ours.
We can relive the holy week events anytime, and support ourselves, especially in these dark times. But remember, Jacob was a real man, the whole assembly there were real, vulnerable ordinary people, not plaster saints.
As certainly as you live, The Jesus who blessed them so long ago, is blessing each one of us; TODAY.
As he revealed himself to them then, He reveals himself to us today. Open your eyes of faith, and you will see him. Though crucified, dead and buried, God raised him to life, to be OUR Saving Love of God.
O Lord our Father God, nothing can separate us from your love.
We find comfort, peace and courage in the knowledge of your nearness.
Give your love and healing to all suffering from Covid 19.
Help us to do all we are able serve our neighbours in need,
and magnify our meagre offerings, as you used the loaves and fishes.
Remind us that Our church is flesh and blood, to love and be loved by.
Be with all elderly members of our church, locked down and lonely, remind us to minister to them, by telephone, letter, shopping and any way your Spirit directs us.
We pray for ALL those who are bereaved, let them know that their loved ones are in your love and care, where we will be re-united in love in your good time.
We ask that you will Take these our prayers and by The power of your Holy Spirit. Work your love in all things,
1 Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
The cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring.
Love, drowned in death, shall never die.
2 Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
but saving, healing, here and now,
and touching every place and time.
3 In every insult, rift and war,
where colour, scorn or wealth divide,
Christ suffers still, yet loves the more,
and lives, where even hope has died.
4 Women and men, in age and youth,
can feel the Spirit, hear the call,
and find the way, the life, the truth,
revealed in Jesus, freed for all.
5 Christ is alive and comes to bring
good news to this and every age,
till earth and sky and ocean ring
with joy, with justice, love, and praise.
Brian Wren (b. 1936)
Go forth, in the love and strength of Jesus, your Saviour. Amen