Sermon: Sunday 10th May

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Preached on 4th May 2020
(5th of Easter)
by Dr Alistair MacDonald

Sunday 10th May 2020

This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use as you are unable to attend church.  If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you

 

Opening Prayer

Jesus said ‘I am the way’. He is the light that shines on us and through us. We come to seek the way that we may receive new life and serve in all that we are.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Collect for the Day (from the Methodist Worship Book (MWB))

Loving and eternal God, through the resurrection of your Son, help us to face the future with courage and assurance, knowing that nothing in life or death can ever part us from your love for us in Jesus Christ our Saviour; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever

Amen

 

Hymn:  Jesus, the Lord said: “I am the Bread”

Singing the Faith 252

Sing/ Read / pray / proclaim the words or listen to it here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVy_9uVJLbk

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Bread,

the Bread of Life for the world am I.

The Bread of Life for the world am I,

the Bread of Life for the world am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Bread,

the Bread of Life for the world am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Vine,

the true and fruitful Vine am I.

The true and fruitful Vine am I,

the true and fruitful Vine am I.'

Jesus the Lord said:' I am the Vine,

the true and fruitful Vine am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Way,

the true and living Way am I.

The true and living Way am I,

the true and living Way am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Way,

the true and living Way am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Light,

the one true Light of the world am I.

The one true Light of the world am I,

the one true Light of the world am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Light,

the one true Light of the world am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Life,

the Resurrection and the Life am I.

The Resurrection and the Life am I,

the Resurrection and the Life am I.'

Jesus the Lord said: 'I am the Life,

the Resurrection and the Life am I.'

Anonymous, Urdu

 

Let us pray together

Wondrous God

We are blessed that we can come together to praise you despite the restrictions and difficulties in our lives.

We come together to worship you and give you thanks. We celebrate our life together as your people.

In a moment of silence we share with you the things we want to give praise and thanks for today.

Moment of silence

Thank you for this delicate but awe-inspiring world we live in; for the opportunities in the world to respond to your call.

Thank you for a world which is full of diversity, where there are many opportunities to worship you and to serve you and those we meet in different ways.

Help us not to use their differences as excuses to build walls that divide. Help us to see each difference as a rainbow of hope and as a pattern where each colour is linked and bound together by your unending love.

Forgive us, loving God, when we do not  accept the diversity of the world; when we forget that we are all your people, loved equally and known to you by name.

Forgive us for our foolishness and our thoughtless use of the gifts of your creation,

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

For our neglect of you, and our failure to care for others,

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

For our selfishness in prayer and our carelessness in worship,

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Moment of silence

Here is good news for all who put their trust in Christ.  Jesus says: ‘Your sins are forgiven.’

Amen. Thanks be to God

(Words of confession from the MWB)

 

Today’s Gospel Reading:  1 Peter 2: 2-10

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house.... 

…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

Time to Reflect

  1. When you read this passage what words drew you?

For me it was the image of the builder using the material that others would have overlooked.

Have you ever seen the “free to use” pile at Ikea or the bargain basement section? I often look at it and think “what can anyone do with that?”. It’s warped, it’s split, it’s chipped, and it’s of no use. The “free to use” pile is often overlooked as we tend to want the perfect boxed version of what lies there. Who in their right mind would ever use "rejected" materials to build a house? You just don't do that - you don't start with a bad foundation because you know it won't last.

  1. Do you find it strange that Jesus builds in a way that’s poles apart from what is expected?

He uses the warped boards, the chipped sheets of wood, the lame sticks, the stuff that everyone else is looking past and in many cases tosses aside. It's almost like he rejoices in using materials that everyone else would “reject”.  It's almost like he's loading up his trolley with all the crooked, broken, and warped wood that he can and he's strutting around with it saying, ‘look at me’ and what I can use – do you want to question my decision making.

"How are you going to build a house with that??" 

"Are you blind? That wood is warped, you'll never get it past building control!",

"There is a huge pile of perfectly good material over there, use that."

You can almost hear Jesus' voice, "No, I'm going to build my house. And nothing is going to stop me."... "These crooked, warped, broken pieces of wood are perfect and they're all mine." And off he goes, building the Church: one broken stick at a time; one chipped board; one piece of 2 by 4 that is too short and needs to be joined to another plank of 2 by 4.  And believe me, in Christ we don’t have to worry about the building inspector; in Him we are loved and welcomed. In His grace and with the gifts he gives us we can build His church, we can reach out to others and share His love and forgiveness. His welcome to all no matter how broken they may be.

  1. 3.              How will you use the gifts God gives us to reach out to others and to build his Church?

Take a time to sit quietly

 

A time of prayer

God our Saviour,

We pray for those who feel hopeless that they may hear your good news and be freed from their anguish.

Silence

We pray for those who have had their expectation of hope torn away, for those who feel discarded and deceived.

Silence

We pray that the Church will stand together with those who are suffering, working for acceptance and peace.

Silence

We pray for those who are beginning to hope, those who dare to dream of a better tomorrow.

Silence

We pray for all affected during this Covid-19 pandemic. We pray for those who are poor, sick, homeless, lonely, imprisoned, weighed down and powerless.

Silence

May your love reach them and may we all stand together. May your Church reach out to those in need, so that all may come to give thanks to you, and celebrate together.

Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father ……

 

Hymn: The Church’s one foundation

Singing the Faith 690

Sing / Read / pray / or listen to it here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jotNbcFelX4

The Church's one foundation

is Jesus Christ her Lord;

she is his new creation

by water and the word;

from heaven he came and sought her

to be his holy bride;

with his own blood he bought her,

and for her life he died.

Called out from every nation,

yet one through all the earth,

her charter of salvation

one Lord, one faith, one birth;

one holy name she blesses,

and shares one holy food,

as to one hope she presses

with every grace endued.

In toil and tribulation,

and tumult of her war,

she waits the consummation

of peace for evermore;

till with the vision glorious

her longing eyes are blest,

at last the Church victorious

shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth has union

with God the Three in One,

and mystic, sweet communion

with those whose rest is won.

O happy ones and holy!

Lord, give us grace that we,

with them, the meek and lowly,

in heaven your face shall see.

Samuel John Stone (1832-1900)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A prayer of blessing (from the (MWB)

God the Father, by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead, strengthen us to walk with him in his risen life; and may almighty God bless us, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Original Materials (unless referenced) by Cathie Steele, Vale of Glamorgan Methodist Circuit

1 Peter 2: 2-10

Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:
‘See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
   a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’
To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,
‘The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the very head of the corner’,
and
‘A stone that makes them stumble,
   and a rock that makes them fall.’
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
Once you were not a people,
   but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
   but now you have received mercy.

https://bible.oremus.org/

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