CCL 125049 Charity No SC002937
- Hymn 160 Praise my soul the King of Heaven (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
- All age time
- Reading Matthew 10: 40-42 (Good News Bible)
- Prayer for others
- Hymn 100 O Lord thou art my God and King (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
Welcome and let us worship God
‘Be generous to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.’Ephesians 4: 32
1 Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to his feet thy tribute bring;
ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
who like me his praise should sing?
Praise him! Praise him!
Praise the everlasting King.
2 Praise him for his grace and favour
to our fathers in distress;
praise him, still the same for ever,
slow to chide, and swift to bless:
Praise him! Praise him!
glorious in his faithfulness.
3 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.
4 Frail as summer’s flower we flourish;
blows the wind and it is gone;
but, while mortals rise and perish,
God endures unchanging on.
Praise him! Praise him!
Praise the high eternal One.
5 Angels, help us to 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.
All age time (for ages 0-100)
Today’s Bible story
In today’s Bible story Jesus is giving advice/ guidance/ warnings to his followers on some of the challenges of following him. He talks about God looking favourably not only on those who work hard to help him, but also on those who help and support them
- Something to make
Do you appreciate what someone does for you, or for other people? Fill out the Certificate below (put their name, what they’ve done, and your signature on it), print it off (cutting off extra bits if necessary), decorate it if you want, and present it to them
- Something to think about
Do you have any prizes, medals or awards at home that were given to you, or someone in the family? Get them out, have a look at them, and if possible chat about them? How did it feel when you (or whoever) was given them?
Did you always miss out on prizes, awards, medals or cups? How did that feel?
What can you do to help motivate people, or let them feel appreciated for what they do?
Long before the universe came into existence
you loved us
and planned to come in Jesus
to make us your own for ever
Despite knowing long before Jesus what people were like
despite knowing what people would be like since his time
you didn’t change your mind
or waver in your intention
but in him you came to show us how we can be
and in him you suffered, died and rose again
to achieve what you had always wanted
You love us and accept us as we are
but you see our potential to be so much more
You call all sorts, shapes and sizes to be your children
we have difficulty loving some of them
(maybe many of them, if we are honest)
but you don’t have difficulty
and you want us to love and accept them too
It’s hard, but how can we complain
when your love for us is so great
that it took Jesus to the cross
and you gave us your Spirit
to change us
to enable us to accept and love others as you do
to care for them as you do
Help us to be the people you want us to be
the people you expect us to be
Through Christ our Lord we pray
Matthew 10: 40-42
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes God’s messenger because they are God’s messenger, will share their reward. And whoever welcomes a good person because they are good, will share in their reward. You can be sure that whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these my followers because they are my follower, will certainly receive a reward.”
The 2019-20 School Year has finished, though what a year. Many schools traditionally finish with a prize-giving or awards ceremony. At one time it was tied to gaining the highest number of marks in a subject or range of subjects, in many cases now it is about contribution to the school community or the wider community. The end of session awards may be supplemented (at least in Primary School) by weekly certificates (or house points) for good behaviour, listening, progress etc.
- with some children (especially younger ones who may not feel so confident about themselves) the look on their face says it all, “Did I really do that? Who me? Mummy/ Daddy/ Whoever is going to be so pleased!”
- for some there is no real surprise in winning
- for some there is slight envy and a determination to try harder next time
- for others there is resignation that they will never be among the prize-winners, whether for academic subjects, artistic subjects or sport
Maybe some of us have cups or medals that we have won/ been awarded. Maybe we don’t. Many people work in jobs where there is a performance-related element to their pay, involving targets and bonuses. They may be personal targets, or for the team/ department/ organisation as a whole. Whether it is a school prize or an annual pay bonus, the idea behind it is two-fold:
- to provide an incentive to try harder
- to reward good performance and hard work
In some cases it works, and in some cases it doesn’t.
In at least one school of thought among Jews in the Ancient World, there was a feeling that God treated people a bit like the school head-teacher or company boss: if you do this, this and this, then you will be rewarded with a life of peace and prosperity; but if you do that, that, and that, then your life will be miserable. It sounds fine in theory (and fits with our general behaviour of how we treat small children and pets!), but it doesn’t match the reality of life. Bad things happen to good people, and bad people get away with their crimes, living in comfort and luxury. Books of the Bible like Job and Jonah challenge that way of thinking.
Over the last couple of weeks we have been looking at some of the guidance that Jesus gave his followers:
- don’t expect life as a follower of Jesus to be easy. It was hard for him, and it could be for them (us) too, because it involves a radical change in values for the whole world, and there are many who are doing quite nicely with the way things are, but would have to accept losses if they/ the world switched to Jesus’ values
- Jesus is our model and aspiration, but we are not him. He alone is God’s son. He alone lived up to God’s standards. We strive to be more like him, but the closer to him we come, the more we are aware of the gulf between how we behave and the way Jesus behaved
Some in the ancient Jewish community, some in the church down the years, have thought that they can earn ‘Brownie points’ with God by helping others, making donations to worthy causes etc. The message of the church has always been that none of can ever be ‘good enough’ to deserve God’s love and concern, to deserve that Jesus should suffer and die for us – no matter how hard we try to be good. Freely, unconditionally, undeserved, God loves us and calls us to be his children. He wants us to live changed lives, and has given us the Spirit to help us to change, to do the right thing – and he forgives us when we get it wrong.
Does that mean there is no equivalent of the School Prize-giving when we die? We have no real idea what life beyond this one will be like. Some of Jesus’ followers, and some who are not his followers, have had to put up with awful things in their lives. Surely a God who is caring and just will recognise their suffering? Jesus hints as much – a kind, generous God will pour out his blessings, not so much because they are earned, but because that is his nature.
Prayers for others
The school summer holidays have officially begun
but the school year was very different from ‘normal’
and so will the summer holidays be
we pray for all children at this time
being at home, having a long lie, going out in the sun may not be such a novelty
some may end up going away somewhere
some will not
some are already bored and more weeks of doing nothing won’t help
some will struggle to be properly fed
some will have to fend for themselves or younger siblings
some find home life very stressful or even dangerous
and around the world there are many children
having to cope without things we take for granted –
healthcare, fresh water, sanitation, safety
As we pray for them all we pray for those who look after them –
family, guardians or whoever
We pray for all who are ill,
those who look after them
and those who worry about them
those waiting for or receiving treatment
and those for whom there is no treatment
those who are lonely, feeling down, or grieving a friend or loved one
those who are worried about home, work or money
a friend or a relative
those who are living with the after-effects of natural disasters
those who do not have enough to eat, or somewhere to call home
those who long to live in peace and safety
those who have fled from their homes seeking safety
We pray for the Queen, the Government
all in positions of leadership in this and every land
We pray for your church
our own congregation
the wider church in Dumbarton
the world-wide church
We bring to you our prayers for people and situations of special concern to us
And we sum up our prayers in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen
1 O Lord, thou art my God and King;
thee will I magnify and praise:
I will thee bless, and gladly sing
unto thy holy name always.
2 Each day I rise I will thee bless,
and praise thy name time without end.
Much to be praised, and great God is;
his greatness none can comprehend.
3 Race shall thy works praise unto race,
the mighty acts show done by thee.
I will speak of the glorious grace,
and honour of thy majesty:
4 Thy wondrous works I will record.
By many shall the might be told
of all thy awesome acts, O Lord:
and I thy greatness will unfold.
God the Father sends you out
to be his witnesses wherever you go
to work to bring healing and wholeness in all you do
and the blessing of God Almighty
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
rest and remain with you,
today, and every day, and for ever. Amen