Home Worship Resources March 29th 2020

Saltney and Bretton Methodist Churches
A short act of worship for use in people’s homes
while churches are closed.
29th March 2020 – 5th Sunday in Lent


Prayer

Breathe in The Love of God;
Breathe out and give to God your fears
Breathe in our hope in Christ;
Breathe out and give to God our anxieties
Breathe in the strength of the Holy Spirit
Breathe out and give to God all that we cannot control.
Today with people around the world, we gather to worship,
surrounded by the presence of God.  Amen. (1)

Hymn 
Singing the Faith 83 – Praise my soul the King of Heaven      https://youtu.be/KkWyBc0bSsI

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like thee His praise should sing
Praise Him ! Praise Him! Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favour
To his people in distress.
Praise Him still the same for ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless
Praise Him ! Praise Him! Glorious in His faithfulness.

Father-like He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him ! Praise Him ! Widely as His mercy flows.

Angels in the height adore Him
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise Him ! Praise Him ! Praise with us the God of grace.


Prayer

Gentle, yet mighty
Lowly, yet almighty
Refugee, yet King.
In your power, strengthen us.
In your gentleness, guide us.
In your lowliness take away our selfish pride.
In your grace, forgive us.
In your majesty enable us to lift ourselves up
so that others might see you in your full glory. Amen. (2)

We say the Lord’s prayer


Reading – Ezekiel 37:1-14


Reflection – by Wayne Grewcock and Christine Odell

The reading from Ezekiel is one of the set readings for today. My first
thought was that given the current situation around the world, I should
keep well clear of this reading. But then I read what Christine Odell had
written for us in this week’s Vine …


“the Valley of Dry Bones” is not a good place to visit. It is a place
whose dryness sucks the hope from us. It is a place of despair. It is a
place we may encounter on our spiritual journey through life, but one
we would rather avoid… God entrusts Ezekiel with a prophecy that is a
promise...they shall live. The Word of God spoken through his prophet
will make it happen. The Bible speaks to our imaginations as it
describes what happens as Ezekiel prophesies… Ezekiel is told to
proclaim God’s Word again, by calling to the wind. There is a very
close link in the Old Testament between the words wind, breath, spirit,
word and Yahweh, the name for God. Ezekiel prophesies that this is
the Word of God for his people, too. They may feel cut off from their life
in the dry spiritual desert of Exile, but God will breathe his spirit into
them, give them new life and bring them home…”

The very fact that you are reading this is a reminder that we are all in
what can feel like a spiritual desert. This is not how we do church. This
is not what we do on Sunday. This is not a good place for us. Yet even
here God is with us. Lent has always been a time of reflection, of
preparing for a new way, a post-resurrection way. The Jesus way is full
of hope and calls us, as God called Ezekiel to play our part in seeking
and building God’s kingdom.

I truly believe that in the midst of all that is going on, when so much of
what we thought was important is currently not available, we are being
called to look again, to seek God’s way for this coming age. To ask
what is my new role in all of this?
So may you all know the hand of the Lord upon you in these troubled
times, may the love of Jesus fill you with hope and words of grace, and
may the spirit of the Lord be upon you and lead you ever closer. Amen (3)


Reflection by Neil Stacey

If you would like to look at the gospel reading for today, it is long!

John’s gospel, chapter 11, verses 1-45 (the whole chapter)

It tells the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead - another story
in which new life is given when everything seems hopeless. This is no
easy story. Jesus does not simply appear and ‘wave a magic wand’.
He comes face to face with the pain and grief of his friends Martha and
Mary. He too weeps at the tomb of Lazarus.

Some of us are grieving at the moment. Many of us may be wondering
how we will ever get through this situation. We can be honest with God
about our worries and our sadness. In Jesus God shares our tears.
And yet, we can still dare to believe that God is with us; and will bring
new life to us and to the world.


Song – My hands in yours https://youtu.be/NKeyvH9hAkc

When all around's falling down, and life lacks clarity
I will look to You, my Friend, and hold Your hand.
When the road ahead's unclear and chaos seems to swirl
I will run the race, My Friend, my hand in Yours


CHORUS
I'll follow Justice alone, seeking your holiness
Through grace my life's been changed, my hand in Yours x2
When one neighbour has no food, another fills his plate,
I will look to you, my Friend, what would You do?
When so many have so much, and other's struggle by,
I will give myself to You, my hands are Yours. 

 
CHORUS (4)


Prayers of Intercession

Gracious God, we come to you with all our troubles and burdens…
We call to mind all that has been on our heart this week…
Our friends, family and neighbours…
Those who have served us, supported us and helped us…
Those who we might never meet yet are there in the caring professions
if we need them…


We pray for those who are struggling with their new situation…
We pray for ourselves as we look for a new rhythm,
a new purpose, a new daily routine.


Grant us dear Lord your strength in these troubled times.
For we offer you our prayers in the name of Jesus,
our friend, our saviour and our guide. Amen. (5)


Blessing

God of the wilderness places, journey with us, we pray.
Inspire and uplift each one of us,
to seek your kingdom come, your will be done,
in this place and throughout your world. Amen. (6)


1 Prayers by Wayne Grewcock 

2 Prayers by Matthew Forsyth

3 Reflection by Wayne Grewcock and Christine Odell
4 Song by Matt Beckingham 

5 Intercessions by Wayne Grewcock
6 Blessing by Tim Baker


A free resource funded by twelvebaskets. For more information https://theworshipcloud.com/terms/free-weekly-resource for FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT 29th March 2020
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