Worship at Home 15th May

A gathering prayer

God of our past, present and future,
help me to see you at work in your creation –
as flowers lift their heads to the sun, or trees shake their leaves.
Help me to see you at work in my daily life, in my routines and choices,
in my growing and my changing.
Help me to see you at work in all things.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A prayer of approach

Praise the name of the Lord,
the one whose name is so great,
whose glory is above the earth and the heavens.
Praise the name of the Lord, who was and is and is to come. Amen.

First Hymn Singing the Faith 99

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia, alleluia!
O burning sun with golden beam,
and silver moon with softer gleam:
O praise him, O praise him,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

O rushing wind that is so strong,
and clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, alleluia!
O rising morn, in praise rejoice;
and lights of evening, find a voice.
O praise him, O praise him,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

O flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for your Lord to hear,
Sing, ‘Praise him, alleluia!’
O fire, so masterful and bright,
Giving to all both warmth and light:
O praise him, O praise him,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfolds rich blessings on our way,
O praise him, alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that bloom and grow,
Let them his glory also show:
O praise him, O praise him,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

And all who are of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
Sing, ‘Praise him, alleluia!’
All who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God, and on him cast your care:
O praise him, O praise him,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

And now, most kind and gentle death,
Waiting to hush our fading breath,
O praise him, alleluia!
You homeward lead the child of God,
And Christ the Lord the way has trod:
O praise him, O praise him,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Let all things their creator bless,
And worship him in humbleness;
O praise him, alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One:
O praise him, O praise him,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226),
Translated  William Henry Draper (1855-1933)

A prayer of adoration

Lord of the heavens and the earth,
Lord of all creatures above and below ground, Lord of the oceans, the ebb and flow of tides: Lord of everything, your glory and majesty is supreme.Lord of all my yesterdays, written in the pages of history. Lord of what is to come, the story that is yet to unfold. Lord of my now, your presence here with me:
Lord of everything, your glory and majesty is supreme. Amen.

Bible reading: John 13.31-35

31 After Judas had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man’s glory is revealed; now God’s glory is revealed through him. 32 And if God’s glory is revealed through him, then God will reveal the glory of the Son of Man in himself, and he will do so at once. 33 My children, I shall not be with you very much longer. You will look for me; but I tell you now what I told the Jewish authorities, ‘You cannot go where I am going.’ 34 And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
Judas has gone out, ‘and it was night’. The hour of Jesus’ death approaches, when the Father’s love of humanity and the Son’s love of God will shine together most brightly, making visible ‘the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth’. Jesus expresses his affection for his apprehensive disciples, calling them ‘little children’ and giving them his gift of ‘a new commandment’. The old commandment, ‘Love one another’ becomes new because it is now rooted in and shaped by Jesus’ own love, since ‘he loved them to the end’. This love has been shown to be an active engagement, by the raising of Lazarus whom he loved, and by the washing of his disciples’ feet. By their mutual love, his followers will continue Jesus’ work of making God’s love visible in and for the world.

Take time to give thanks to God for the people whose love has brought out and nurtured your vocation or your gifts.

Do you watch BBC’s The Repair Shop? Lots of people do – it is one of the most watched TV programmes of recent years. People are fascinated to see old and battered objects – usually well past their best – transformed by the skill and loving care of the craftspeople who work on them. They often speak about preserving as much as possible of the original. But it is hard to see how the thing can be restored because it seems so far gone! And yet…we inevitably see a remarkable transformation. ‘See, I am making things new’ could be the show’s catchphrase! What was and is becomes something renewed, made new.

But, of course, it is not just the objects themselves. There is often a real emotional pull in the backstories and the memories associated with the objects. And the transformation of the object gives new life to these stories too – and to the people who share them. Grandmother or grandfather’s story will be told with renewed passion and passed on to another generation. What was and is and will be.

This is something like the vision of Revelation, especially the part we read today. The writer, John, sees all things being renewed. The world of the past and the present day is replaced by a new world in which heaven comes to earth. God lives among his people. God will be present and provide all things to his people. Knowing the past and living the present gives great hope to John’s view of the future.

But it isn’t all about the future. It is the same God who ‘was’ (God of Abraham, of Moses, of the prophets, and was with us in Jesus), who ‘is’ now. Who is God of, and God with us in, the present. Our lives matter in the here and now, and our work and worship are – at least in part – about us seeking to bring the future into the present, to make it real now. So, our task is not only to follow Jesus to the holy city, but to rebuild the city where we are, making the kingdom come everywhere and for all.

Hymn: (Singing the Faith 18)

Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God.

I am the Lord that healeth thee,
I am the Lord that healeth thee,
I am the Lord that healeth thee.

In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust,
In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust.

Author unknown.

A prayer of confession and an Assurance of forgiveness

Lord, you gave a commandment to love one another. You loved your disciples of old; you love me today.
You will continue to love into eternity.
Help me each day to give life to your words by sharing and showing your love to others. It’s not always easy and often I slip up. Sometimes what I say can be hurtful. Sometimes what I do can cause pain.
I am sorry, Lord, for saying or doing what I shouldn’t.
Forgive me, and help me to live out your words in my life today. Help me to speak and show your love to others and sow it forward into the future. Amen.

Jesus knows my flaws, yet loves me unconditionally.
I am assured of his forgiveness.
He has wiped my slate clean.
New beginnings beckon.
Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayers of Intercession

I pray, dear God, for places where there is division and for countries in the grip
of civil war… may your Holy Spirit bring peace;
for countries where there is religious persecution… may your Holy Spirit bring unity;
for towns and cities where gang warfare brings fear… may your Holy Spirit bring hope;
for communities where there is inequality… may your Holy Spirit bring dignity;
for workplaces where there is insecurity…
may your Holy Spirit bring confidence;
for homes where there is brokenness…
may your Holy Spirit bring healing;
for churches where there is dilemma…
may your holy Spirit bring life:
to your glory. Amen.

A prayer of praise and thanksgiving

For being with me at my beginning,
for being with me at my journey’s end,
for being with me today, here and now,
I say a heartfelt thank you, Lord.

For relationships, for family and friends,
for you making your home among us,
I say a heartfelt thank you, Lord.

For your sharing my tears,
for your words trustworthy and true,
for your promises that give me hope,
I say a heartfelt thank you, Lord.

For the journey I am on today;
like excited youngsters asking ’Are we there yet?’ My cry is, ’What next, Lord? What next?’

For your ever-loving presence and the joyful expectation of what is to come,
I say a heartfelt thank you, Lord. Amen.

Hymn (Singing the Faith 13)

Sing of a God in majestic divinity,
Seeding the heavens with numberless stars,
Forming our dust and our dreams of infinity,
God of our lives and the judge of our wars.

Sing of a Child who was cradled so tenderly,
Sing of a boyhood by Galilee’s lake;
Sing of a cross and a Saviour who wondrously
Suffered and died for humanity’s sake.

Sing of a Spirit who daily addressing us,
Lives in our sciences, nature and arts;
Moving through all of creation and blessing us,
Guiding our minds and engaging our hearts.

Sing of this God who in glory and mystery
Chooses to lie in humanity’s womb,
Enters the prison and pain of our history,
Rises triumphant and opens the tomb.

Thomas Herbert O’Driscoll (b. 1928)

A going out prayer

God, who is Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end of all things,
you know my past – the burdens I carry.
I know that you will wipe away every tear
and make all things new –
though I cannot always see the work you are doing,
help me to learn from the past,
live in the present,
and hope for the future.
In all of life’s joys and sadnesses,
may I love others as you love me.