Home Worship Resources - March 22 2020

Saltney and Bretton Methodist Churches
A short act of worship for use in people’s homes
while churches are closed.
22nd March 2020


Gathering Prayer

Here we are Lord, we have come – we have come in body,
mind and spirit, to worship you this day,
even if we are worshipping in a different way
from our usual Sunday.
We have come, needy, hopeful, tired, joyful,
broken and optimistic.
However we have come,
we have come to meet with you.
We have come,
Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

Hymn:Singing the Faith 370 – Breathe on me, Breath of God
1 Breathe on me, Breath of God;
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.

2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until with thee I will one will,
to do and to endure.

3 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine,
until this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.

4 Breathe on me, Breath of God;
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity.

Opening Prayer

God our provider, we look to you for rest and seek after you today.
May you refresh and renew us by your Spirit of power and inspiration.
We place our trust wholly in you and ask that you might light the path before us.
Guide your church so that we might trust in your guidance and wisdom.
For those that are facing struggles today, we ask that you might be present for them.
Nourish and enrich our souls in worship this day. May heaven touch earth as we see an overflow of your grace.
Give us eyes open to see you Lord, give us ears open to hear from you, and give us hearts open to receive from you,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bible readings

Colossians 3:12-17

12 As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

John 19:25-27

25 Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." 27 Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

A Reflection - Rev. Neil Stacey

These are strange days, aren’t they?

A colleague asked me today, “Are you getting any official guidance about these things?” My honest answer was, “No, I’m just trying to make it up as I go along; and to do what is sensible.”
Another person, faced with “self-isolating” for a fortnight, said, “I’m already going stir-crazy; and it’s only Day One.”
Most of us are in the same boat. Even the oldest of us have not faced a situation like this before. We are all struggling to find our feet.

It’s good, then, to be reminded of the words in the letter to the Colossians. When I’m not sure what words to use when I’m phoning someone; especially when I may not know them so well. When I’m feeling on edge myself, and I’m finding myself irritated by those around me. I need to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by it all, and don’t even know where to begin, I need to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart.And for the basic things in life – the things that usually I take so much for granted – I need to be thankful.

 Yesterday, a simple prayer came to my mind. If I remember rightly, it was a prayer I learned for the end of the day in primary school: “For health, and strength, and daily food, we praise thy name, O Lord. Amen.”

And from the cross, Jesus invited his mother and a disciple into a new relationship of care. It’s likely that over the next weeks and months we will all have to learn new ways of caring, even for those who at the moment are not well known to us.

May God bless you, and those around you. May God give you peace and strength for each day.

Hymn: Singing the Faith 440 – Amazing Grace – how sweet the sound

1 Amazing grace – how sweet the sound –
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.

2 God's grace has taught my heart to fear,
his grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!

3 Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
God's grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

4 The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.

5 And, when this heart and flesh shall fail
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil
a life of joy and peace.

6 When we've been there ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun,
we've no less days to sing God's praise
than when we first begun.

Prayers of Intercession and Blessing

In these uncertain times, dear Lord, we pray for peace.
We hold before you all those who are putting others before themselves.
We pray for those who are worried about their financial situation, not knowing how they will cope in the coming weeks.
We pray for the people and situations close to our heart…
We hold before you the governments and leaders of the world,
those making many difficult decisions…
In these uncertain times may we reach out to support each other, our families, our friends, our neighbours;
and find support ourselves.
May we speak using words of grace and comfort.
May we reflect your love for all of creation
And may we be a reassurance and a blessing
to all we speak to this week.
And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be with us this day and for evermore. Amen.

Prayers adapted from ‘The Vine at Home’, a free resource funded by twelvebaskets. https://theworshipcloud.com/terms/free-weekly-resource

Gathering Prayer by Tim Baker, Opening Prayer written by Matthew Forsyth, Intercessions and blessing by Wayne Grewcock