CCL 125049 Charity No SC002937
- Hymn 129 The Lord is King! Lift up your voice Tune Church Triumphant (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
- All age time
- Reading Philippians 2: 1-13 (Good News Bible)
- Hymn 166 Lord of all hopefulness Tune Slane (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
- Prayer for others
- Hymn 110 Glory be to God the Father Tune Regent Square (Church Hymnary 4th Edition)
Welcome and let us worship God
watch our service on YouTube:
Hymn 129 The Lord is King! Lift up your voice
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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