Home Worship 29 11 20

He waits: invite him in

Light a candle to symbolise God’s light breaking a new day

Call to Worship

This is the first day of the Christian year, the lectionary readings call us from of old to begin afresh, to open our hearts and minds to God in a new beginning, a new “set” to our relationship with God and our world.

Before January first, next, this period of lockdown can allow us to re-evaluate what sort of world will develop in response to the crisis this year presented – and to formulate our response to the hope that the anti-Covid vaccines represent.

Hymn   StF 503

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven to earth

come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesu, thou art all compassion,
pure unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation,
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation,
perfectly restored in thee:
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise!

Charles Wesley


We pray;

Loving God, we have come to worship you;
as we remember that you are here with us.
May we pray to you in faith,
sing your praise with gratitude,
and read your word with eagerness;
through Christ Our Lord.

Almighty God,
unto whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily your holy Name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen
[1].


The Lord’s Prayer


Scripture


Our text: John 14:1-14

14 1‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask (me)[2] for anything, I will do it.

Reflection

The lectionary readings[3] all reflect the sinner’s hope that God will see fit to fulfil apocalyptic aspirations, also that before the Last Trumpet sounds we may be ‘saved’ – so that we escape the tribulations that come before Jesus is revealed as ruler of a new heaven and earth.

Our text shows that Jesus was concerned for his followers, those with him at the time at a crisis point of his ministry. Those disciples had little inkling of what the next few hours would bring, just as we have little inkling of events in this coming year.
Hindsight will tell us that our expectations for this next year were wrong.
Christianity no less than the human world,  is at the crisis, and crisis represents opportunity.
This year has seen the end of an epoch, where we passed our time in fairly certain patterns of life: in this next year, new patterns, evolved from the past, will enable a different pattern, different lifestyles
In the weeks before the New Year there will be the chance for you to plan how to re-explore the Gospel message, to rediscover its freshness and relevance to yourself, now in the early 21st Century.
Will that lead you to consider how you can
spread your Christian resources involved in caring for your neighbours?
Unlike the Disciples, we have the Good News – Jesus was resurrected, and faith in him endures, has endured, will endure.
Within the certainties of the love of God we can find that the coming year will be good: we will rise through the difficulties if we have the confidence to trust God’s love.
Have confidence that the habits of your lifetime will help you adapt: God’s gift is life, life in all the ways unique to you, the one loved by God.
Amen


Hymn 347

Crown him with many crowns
The Lamb upon the throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless king
through all eternity.

Crown him the Son of God,
before the worlds began;
and ye who tread where he has trod,
crown him the Son of Man,
who every grief has known
that wrings the human breast,
and takes and bears them for his own,
That all may in him rest.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high;
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a sceptre sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
absorbed in prayer and praise.
His reign knows no end,
and round his piercēd feet~
air flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side –
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
for  thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
throughout eternity.

Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring


Prayers of intercession:
Holy Father, we thank you for the promise that when we pray,
you listen in love, in desiring to answer our needs.
In joyful expectation of his coming to reign
we pray to our Lord,
saying ‘Come Lord Jesus.’
Come to your world as its Creator,
to empower your people in remaking it,
in rebuilding community and economy.
We ask you to come Lord Jesus.
Come to your Church as Lord and judge.
We pray for our community, here in Morley. Help us to live in the light of your presence, and give us a longing to do your will.
Come, Lord Jesus
Come, enfold us all in your love and mercy,
wipe away our failures, our fears and our distresses.
Set us free to serve you forever.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Come to us with power and glory, and lift our eyes to perceive you, that we might live as your freed people.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, lead our thoughts, intentions and aspirations
to bring your good news afresh to our community.
Enable us to bless our families so that all are examples
of your for, and interest in, the whole of your Creation.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Amen


Hymn 351

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground his body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
The bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as he stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am his and he is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from his hand;
Till he returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!

Keith Getty and Stuart Townend


Blessing

May we remember how close to us you are,
may we remember how much you love us,
We  rejoice that you are with us in all we do.
Loving God, your blessing accompanies us.
Amen


[1] The Methodist Service Book pp 117 & 185

[2] Some texts omit ‘me’

[3] Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37