Revd. Gordon Gresswell
608 Chepstow Road
Home: 01633 272066 Mobile: 07570992890
We live, for most of us, in unprecedented times. I am aware that our Churches have people who remember World War 2 and have lived through dark and difficult times.
As Christians we are committed to doing the best we can to care for people at a time of great anxiety and uncertainty. I am reminded of this verse from Deuteronomy 31:67; ‘Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.’
It is heart-warming to hear some real good news stories. If you have any, please do let me know and we will publish them.
At Trinity Methodist Church they have established a Facebook Group to share prayers, information and to reach out to those in need. Church families are offering to buy shopping for those who are self-isolating, and the Church building is to be open for prayer at the ‘normal’ worship time on Sunday morning. This is a good news story. Practical help is excellent and please do follow guidelines in this practice.
So, what can we make of all this? Habakkuk 3:17-19 points to scarcity yet still we can be joyful in the Lord, and Psalm 27:14 offers wise words for us all. As Church we are a sign of God’s light in this world, a symbol of hope and comfort to our communities. At this time let us try and be this sign. Phone people, skype, not just family but our neighbours too, send texts, set up What’s App and Facebook groups (and others this Luddite doesn’t understand!) Let us be there for our communities, even though we are out of sight, let us not be out of mind.
Also, on a practical and spiritual level, I take comfort in Psalm 62:1-2 leading into Philippians 4:13. There are a few of us working on how we can continue to bring the worship of God into your homes. Please do be alert to this opportunity, with our focus, at this point, being on how we can somehow celebrate the greatest festival of all we know as Easter.
There are resources for daily and Sunday worship on the internet. The Methodist Church website has these as well as many other denominations. Please do take this opportunity to grow in grace and discover more of the Lord Jesus Christ in prayer, Bible readings and meditation.
On the page is an act of worship, which I hope to send out in a similar format day-by-day. Initially, we will work our way through the Lord’s Prayer. You may wish to use this, to share this, to go onto your Facebook Group or to ignore this. I offer and know these words: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
A daily act of worship:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Call to praise:
Lord, open our lips and our mouths will proclaim your praise. You are good to all who seek you.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be forever and ever. Amen.
Reading: Psalm 104:1-4, 10-15
Prayers of Thanksgiving:
My heart is ready, O God; I will sing your praise. Your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. (offer your prayers of thanksgiving)……Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory shine over all the earth. Amen.
Singing the Faith: 102 – For the beauty of the earth
Call to discipleship:
Jesus said, let anyone with ears to hear listen. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.
Readings: Luke 11:1-13 & Ephesians 3:14-19
A Local Preacher phoned and is convinced that this is the ‘end-times’. “We have had the fire, war, floods and now the pestilence.” Another phoned and is convinced that this is a ‘wake-up call to the Church’. “We pay lip-service to God but now we have the opportunity to show we really care and mean the words we say. Still another said; “This will put the faith back in family and we will all know that God calls us to be family together, whether that be biologically, spiritually or socially we are all family together.” And still another said; “at last God is doing something about the environmental damage we humans are doing to the world and God is bringing us back to our senses.”
As Ephesians 3 says; ‘for this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its names.” All the above statements have elements of truth within them, but, for me, in trying to make some tentative sense of what is happening I can but say; “Our Father, Holy, Holy, Holy is your name.”
May, in all our wondering; Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
STF: 504 – May the mind of Christ my Saviour
Call to Intercession:
Rejoice in the Lord always. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Holy God, we bring our prayers to you as acts of love for you and our neighbours. In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer.
You give us bread to strengthen our hearts. We pray for ourselves and those dear to us.
Your love knows no partiality. We pray for our community and our neighbours.
You fill your people with the love of Christ. We pray for the church in all places, that we may be one.
You are the Lord of all you have made. We pray for the world, that your reign may come and your will be done on earth.
We offer you other concerns we carry in our heats.
God of grace and glory, you fling the stars into the heavens; you see every sparrow fall. Deepen our trust in the mystery of your power shining through Christ Jesus, that we live your love for the world.
In the name of the one who taught us we pray: Our Father…
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us. Amen.
Share around and we will try and do this day-by-day.
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