In this time when we cannot gather as a traditional worshipping community next to one another, I invite you to take a few minutes of personal worship time in front of your screen. Use the parts that contribute to your connection with God and move to the next section, skipping those things that do not. The entire service in video form is at the end of the blog. I also invite your feedback.
Opened my eyes . . .
Hope of a life spent with You.
Here I am to bow down.
Here I am to say that You’re my God.
altogether wonderful to me.
Call to Worship (video includes anthem O Love.)
Perhaps it does not begin.
Perhaps it is always.
Perhaps it takes
to open our eyes,
to learn to see
what has forever
shimmered in front of us
the luminous line
of the map
in the dark
the vigil flame
in the house
of the heart,
we cannot keep
from crying out
Perhaps this day
will be the mountain
the dawn breaks.
will turn our face
toward what has been
will finally open
in ancient recognition,
illuminated at last.
Perhaps this day
the light begins
– Jan Richardson, from Circle of Grace, Wanton Gospeller Press
Hymn: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Prayers of the People
(NOTE: The video prayer that accompanies this part of the service has been edited.)
Heavenly Father, we are not altogether convinced that darkness is a thing of the past. Many people in this world of ours feel their world is one of darkness and gloom. Pressures crowd in upon us and get us down.
The causes are varied: bereavement, illness, money, worries about family, trouble at work or not having work, drugs, drink, boredom, doubt, weariness, futility.
Then there are the world issues: war, poverty, climate change, disease, unfair trade and so on. It does not help when we feel that as Christians we should be doing so much better than we are. Gracious and loving God, we rejoice that you are with us in our troubles, you know us and you love us – always.
Even though we have made a mess of things personally and collectively you remain faithful. We rejoice that your Son came not to a perfect world, but to a broken world, our world. To bring light to the darkness, our darkness.
We pray for our dark and dreary world, a world in need – in need not just of a technical fix, but in need of love and grace, forgiveness and new life, hope, peace and fellowship, in need of renewal, in need of YOU.
We pray that you would come alongside us and all those for whom we pray, that you would show us Jesus, the light of the world, the one who came (and who comes) to rid us of sin, to give us life and health and peace, peace that passes all understanding – not a temporary respite from trouble but the strength to overcome it and ultimately to receive life eternal.
You don’t wave a magic wand for everything to sorted instantly – you require us to exercise our faith and to respond to your call to preach the gospel and to seek to live it out, to look to you for the strength that we need to share your love and grace. Help us to share the good news in word and action – the same good news that the fishermen were called to proclaim that there is a Saviour, a merciful king who loves us and whom we can love and adore.
We have been set free. Enable us to use our freedom to share in bringing in the kingdom. In the light of this we have something to celebrate, something to shout about – for even in our trouble and pain, even in our loss, we know that Jesus is with us.
Hear us as in a moment of silence we pray for those in darkness (of whatever kind) – let us pray that they may see and know the light of Christ:
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Hear our prayers, Lord, spoken and unspoken and answer them for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
To see the source of this prayer, click HERE.
The Word Proclaimed
Sermon: Light of the World
Complete Video of Entire Service