Sunday Worship, 10:30am 27 September 2020

CCL 125049              Charity No SC002937

Contents

  • Welcome
  • Hymn             129 The Lord is King! Lift up your voice Tune Church Triumphant  (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
  • All age time
  • Prayer
  • Reading         Philippians 2: 1-13 (Good News Bible)
  • Hymn             166 Lord of all hopefulness Tune Slane (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
  • Reflection
  • Prayer for others
  • Hymn              110 Glory be to God the Father Tune Regent Square (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
  • Blessing

Welcome

Welcome and let us worship God

watch our service on YouTube:

‘Look to the LORD and be strong; at all times seek his presence’

Psalm 105: 4

Hymn 129 The Lord is King! Lift up your voice

click > play to hear the music

All age time (for ages 0-100)

  • Something to do:

We’re getting used to seeing people in masks, rather than their full faces, and the emotions that people are feeling. What do you think the emotions are of the people shown below?

Try covering the nose and mouth with a bit of paper and see what that looks like

  • Something to think about:

Do we tend to hide our feelings or show them?

How good are we at spotting other people’s feelings?

How good are we at responding to them?


Opening Prayer

Loving God

Thank you that you are a God who cares

We matter to you

We are special to you

You know us through and through –

 and still you love us

You see our faults and failings

You know the things we try to keep hidden –

 but still you love us

You love us so much

 that you gave your only Son Jesus

 to be our Saviour

He was ready to suffer and die for us

By his death and rising again

 we are yours for ever –

 your friends and your children

We praise you and adore you

 but we are also ashamed of all the times

 that we have let you down

 we haven’t followed Jesus’ teaching or example

 we have hurt you and others

Forgive us

Help us to love you as you want your children to do

Through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen


Bible reading           Philippians 2: 1-13

click > play to hear the reading

Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:

He always had the nature of God,

 but he did not think that by force

 he should try to become equal with God.

Instead of this, of his own free

 will he gave up all he had,

 and took the nature of a servant.

He became like man

 and appeared in human likeness.

He was humble and walked the path

 of obedience all the way to death –

 his death on the cross.

For this reason God raised him

 to the highest place above

 and gave him the name

 that is greater than any other name.

And so, in honour of the name of Jesus

 all beings in heaven, on earth

 and in the world below

 will fall on their knees,

and all will openly proclaim that

 Jesus Christ is Lord,

 to the glory of God the Father.

So then, dear friends, as you always obeyed me when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey me now while I am away from you. Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation, because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose.


Hymn 166 Lord of all hopefulness

click > play to hear the music

Reflection

Because of Coronavirus restrictions there haven’t been many meetings for committees of churches, clubs or organisations. People working from home have probably had their fill of meetings on Zoom, Teams or similar, whether interrupted by cat, small child or whatever. Many have remarked that one of the great benefits of video-conferencing is the ‘mute’ button!

Meetings can be positive and even enjoyable, if everyone is in a constructive mood, there is some meaty stuff on the agenda, and it is well organised. However we have probably all been to meetings where we came out feeling drained, frustrated, angry and/or depressed. Trying to cope with a contentious meeting (or awkward so-and-sos) can be hard enough when all together in one room – it must be so much harder in an online setting.

Coping with contentious matters, arguments, awkward so-an-sos was something that the Apostle  Paul would have known only too well. He encountered some of them when he was in different communities in person, but he also had to deal with them when he was hundreds of miles away and didn’t have access to modern technology. He had to resort to writing letters, and these letters have long been valued by the wider church. Sometimes the issues were about doctrine, about different understandings of the nature of Jesus, or the relationship between the followers of Jesus and the practices of the Jewish Law; at other times they were about human actions and behaviour that were causing division and disruption. The Letter to the Philippians, who lived in a little town in NE Greece, is slightly different, in that it started out essentially as a ‘thank you’ letter for a gift that Paul had received from them.

From what he says in the letter, and includes in his prayer for them, Paul seems to have been very fond of the folk in Philippi. He encourages them to keep standing firm in their faith, to be confident and courageous in their witness. He also knows them very well, including their weaknesses, their foibles, and what, in an annual appraisal, would be described as ‘areas for improvement’. They are to maintain their commitment, not to complain or argue, but be a pleasure to God by the way they live, and an example to the world. They must be on their guard and not to be led astray. Paul urges them to focus on Jesus’ values not the world’s. They are to be joyful. They are not to fall out. These are all sentiments that I’m  we would wish to echo for ourselves, and every other branch of the church.

Maybe Paul was also aware that there could be a wee bit of pride, arrogance and boasting among them, and so he points them again to Jesus – perhaps quoting a hymn that they knew. He emphasises on the one hand the greatness of Jesus, the honour and glory that were his before his birth at Bethlehem, and then contrasts that with Jesus’ humility and service to God during his life and ministry on earth, and points out again that after Easter his glory and honour were restored, all the greater because of what he had suffered. Jesus is their example. It is his values that they are to follow. It is his standards that with the Spirit’s help they are striving for. And they are the ones we are to strive for too.


Prayers for others

Heavenly Father

When Paul was writing to the Philippians

 it seems that his mood was fluctuating

 sometimes he was feeling down and ready to give up

 at other times the fire in him rekindled

Many people knew fluctuating moods

 long before the Coronavirus crisis started

 some were primarily feeling down

 some were stressed because of work,

  money, family problems, or many other things

but the Coronavirus crisis has only made things worse

 some are afraid of catching the virus

 some are bored, some are lonely

 some have encountered abuse

 some are missing being with family and friends

 some are finding it hard to handle bereavements

 some are anxious about job, money,

  a roof over their heads and food on the table

we ask that they may all know your presence close to them

 that they may feel your strength and love

 upholding them and empowering them to cope

we ask too that you will show us

 how we may help and support each other

  and in giving help receive it too

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


Hymn 110 Glory be to God the Father

click > play to hear the music

Blessing

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

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