CCL 125049 Charity No SC002937
- Hymn 137 All things bright and beautiful Tune (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
- All age time
- Reading Matthew 16: 21-28 (Good News Bible)
- Hymn 518 Lift up your hearts! Tune Woodlands (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
- Prayer for others
- Hymn 511 Your hand O God has guided Tune Thornbury (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
click the following link to watch the service on service on YouTube:
Welcome and let us worship God
‘Offer your very selves to God: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for his acceptance.’Romans 12: 1
All things bright and beautiful,
all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all.
1 Each little flower that opens,
each little bird that sings,
he made their glowing colours,
he made their tiny wings:
2 The purple-headed mountain,
the river running by,
the sunset, and the morning
that brightens up the sky:
3 The cold wind in the winter,
the pleasant summer sun,
the ripe fruits in the garden,
he made them every one:
4 He gave us eyes to see them,
and lips that we might tell
how great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well.
All age time (for ages 0-100)
- Today’s Bible story
- In today’s Bible story Jesus starts to explain to his friends that when he gets to Jerusalem he will suffer and die. Peter challenges this, and Jesus rebukes him.
- Something to do:
- Think of five easy things that you could do
- Think of five hard things that you wouldn’t like doing
- Something to think about
- If someone asked you to do something you didn’t like (assuming that issues of safety, health, allergy etc are not involved) what would you say? In what circumstances would you say ‘yes’?
- If Jesus asked you to do something you didn’t like….?
Our joint services in a church building are starting today
It is good to be meeting together in a church building for worship
but it feels very different
cold air blowing through, hard pews, face coverings, no singing
not sitting in our usual places, with the usual people round about
maybe not our usual building
no going up to friends and shaking them by the hand
or giving them a hug
no tea and coffee afterwards
only a limited number present
but you are with us
as you are with all who are sharing in worship at home
as you have been with us all the time
since Coronavirus restrictions came into effect
and we give thanks for your constant care
In church or at home
we come together with different feelings
some are feeling good
wanting to express thanks and appreciation for your goodness
and the care and concern of family, friends, neighbours and professionals
some are conscious of anger, frustration, fear and anxiety
caused by the last few months
maybe grief at the loss of friends or loved ones
without being able to mark their passing in the usual ways
So we come looking for healing and wholeness
looking for the comfort and challenge of your word to us
and to be sent out by you
sent out accompanied by you
knowing that whatever the day or week holds
you are there with us
upholding us, strengthening us
to serve you wherever we are
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Matthew 16: 21-28
From that time on Jesus began to say plainly to his disciples, “I must go to Jerusalem and suffer much from the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. I will be put to death, but three days later I will be raised to life.”
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “God forbid it, Lord!” he said. “This must never happen to you!”
Jesus turned around and said to Peter, “Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don’t come from God, but from man.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to come with me, they must forget self, carry their cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save their own life will lose it; but whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Will a person gain anything if they win the whole world but lose their life? Of course not! There is nothing they can give to regain their life. For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will repay everyone according to their deeds. I assure you that there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Son of Man come as King.”
1 ‘Lift up your hearts!’ We lift them, Lord, to thee;
here at thy feet none other may we see:
‘Lift up your hearts!’ Even so, with one accord,
we lift them up, we lift them to the Lord.
2 Above the level of the former years,
the mire of sin, the slough of guilty fears,
the mist of doubt, the blight of love’s decay,
O Lord of light, lift all our hearts today!
3 Lift every gift that thou thyself hast given;
low lies the best till lifted up to heaven:
low lie the bounding heart, the teeming brain,
till, sent from God, they mount to God again.
4 Then, as the trumpet-call in after years,
‘Lift up your hearts!’ rings pealing in our ears,
still shall those hearts respond with full accord,
‘We lift them up, we lift them to the Lord!’
(Peter reflects on a verbal bruising from Jesus)
Have you ever said something in all innocence, but you have obviously hit a raw nerve and the other person proceeds to bite your head off?
That’s how I felt earlier on. When I said that I thought Jesus was the ‘Messiah, Son of the living God’ I got heaps of praise. I felt good and thought that I was obviously on the right wavelength for understanding Jesus and what he was doing.
Then he started talking about suffering and dying. It didn’t make sense, it just seemed so inappropriate, he needed to be talked out of it. So I spoke up and challenged him, and got my head bitten off. “Get away from me, Satan!” I’m supposed to be his friend, and he calls me the very Devil himself. I might smell a bit fishy at times as an ex-fisherman, but I’m not Auld Nick Incarnate. That really cut me to the bone. I just stood there dumfoonert, and so did the others.
Suffering and dying just seemed so different from the pictures we had in our heads about what the ‘Messiah, Son of God’ would be like. I know I wasn’t just speaking for myself. I was voicing the thoughts, questions, confusion of all the others standing there.
Take James and John for example (preferably take them as far away as possible! I blame their mother – she’s one of those ‘pushy parents’ that makes life a nightmare for teachers.) The pair of them fight like cat and dog all day long, with each other or with anyone else. They fancy that when Jesus is installed as Messiah then they will be his ‘right-hand’ men. James wants to be Chief Minister and John wants to run the Treasury – then they change their minds and swap over ambitions.
Or the Other Simon (Zealotes). He wants a Revolution: up with the banners and barricades, string up the Old Guard from the highest gibbet, redistribute all their money and land. Judas just wants all the money
Andy and I want change. We’re fed up with corruption, with injustice, with government that doesn’t work for ordinary folk. We thought that Jesus was going to go to Jerusalem and make all that change happen. He’d be in charge and would drive through a major programme of reform. How could he do that if he’s dead? If they are going to make him suffer, that suggests that they and not he are in control. So is nothing going to happen? Are we being led a merry dance?
It’s silly, it’s wrong. I don’t understand it. I don’t know whether I should carry on with him or go back to the fishing disillusioned with yet another so-called ‘hopeful leader’.
Jesus turns everything on its head. With him weakness becomes a strength. Powerlessness brings about change. Suffering brings hope. Losing my life enables me to gain a new and deeper life. I don’t understand: I’m a fisherman, not a theologian or philosopher. There is so much I don’t understand about who or what he is. But I can’t let go. There is something about him that cuts through to the ‘me’ that is hidden deep inside. He sees it and accepts it, he sees bits about me that I don’t know about myself. He makes me feel more accepted and valued than anyone else has ever done. I guess I just have to keep walking where he takes us, and accept that I have a lot to learn, a lot of unexpected discoveries to make, and maybe one day I’ll understand him.
Prayers for others
We are finding it difficult
not being able to worship you in the usual way today
those who are in church are conscious of the differences:
sitting socially distanced
on bare pews
freezing with the doors open and heating turned off
others are at home because they couldn’t get one of today’s spaces
or because of age and health they felt they should not come
we are all missing each other and missing what we are used to doing
help us to remember that for many followers of Jesus
all of that would seem quite simple
as they face harassment, discrimination, persecution for their faith
some face it simply because they have converted to Christianity
or identify as Christian
some because they feel their faith drives them to speak out
against something like corruption or trafficking or ill-treatment of the environment
or because they strive to improve health, education or farming practice
going against traditional customs and practices
we pray for them
and for people of all faiths and none who face discrimination or persecution
Give them strength to keep going
Bring the discrimination or persecution to an end
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 Your hand, O God, has guided
your flock, from age to age;
the wondrous tale is written,
full clear, on every page;
your people owned your goodness,
and we their deeds record:
and both of this bear witness:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
2 Your heralds brought glad tidings
to greatest as to least;
they summoned all to hasten
and share the great King’s feast;
and this was all their teaching,
in every deed and word,
to all alike proclaiming:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
3 Through many a day of darkness,
through many a scene of strife,
the faithful few fought bravely
to guard the nation’s life.
Their Gospel of redemption,
sin pardoned, life restored,
was all in this enfolded:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
4 Your mercy will not fail us,
nor leave your work undone;
with your right hand to help us,
the victory shall be won;
by mortals and by angels
your name shall be adored,
and this shall be our anthem:
one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
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