Sunday Worship, 30 January 2022

Service starts at 11:15am in Riverside and online.

Welcome

You must be renewed in mind and spirit, and put on the new nature created in God’s likeness.

Ephesians 4: 23-4

Hymn 157 Sing of the Lord’s goodness

Opening Prayer

We praise you, we bless you

Your love is so great

Time and again you are ready to forgive us

 and give us a new start

gently encouraging us and prompting us to go in the right direction

but your love does not stop at telling us what to do

you came in Jesus

 to experience the fullness of human life

 to show us what to do

 to show us that being human

  and living holy lives are not mutually exclusive

 to suffer and die for us and set us free

  to be our true selves and to serve you

 to break the power of sin and death through his rising again

giving us new life and hope

We praise you, we bless you

 we marvel at Jesus’ faithfulness

 and your love

but we also marvel at our own lack of faithfulness and love

We ask for your forgiveness

We ask you to give us a new start

We ask for your Spirit’s guiding

 to be the people you want us to be

 people who have experienced the joy and wonder

 of encountering the Risen Jesus today and every day

Through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen

Admission of new member

i) PREAMBLE

God invites us to be part of his family, the church

 to know him as our Heavenly Father

 Jesus as our Saviour, Lord and most faithful friend

 and his Spirit as our constant companion, helper and guide

Baptism, however it is administered,

 is acknowledged as the sign and symbol

  of becoming part of the church

Many people are baptised as children

 when promises are made on their behalf

 but there comes a time

 when they want to reaffirm those promises for themselves

 and take a fuller part in the life of the church

John McLeary is such a person

 and has now indicated that he would

 like to be a member of the Church of Scotland

 in Dumbarton Riverside congregation.

The Kirk Session were very pleased to hear this

 and we now proceed to admit him to full membership

2. PRAYER

Heavenly Father

We praise you and thank you

 for all that you did for us in Jesus

 for all that you promised us in Jesus.

We thank you that John wants

 to affirm publicly that he is yours

 and wishes to walk in the way of Jesus our Lord.

Guide, guard and strengthen him

In Jesus’ Name

3. PROFESSION OF FAITH

John, would you come and stand in front of the Table here.

You come of your own choice

 to acknowledge God’s promises made to you through Jesus

 to reaffirm the promises made on your behalf at your baptism

In as much as any of us can understand God, or what he did for us through Jesus, do you affirm your faith in God as Father, and Jesus as our Saviour and Lord I DO

Do you reaffirm the promises made when you were baptised? I DO

4. CHARGES

As a follower of Jesus we encourage you

 to follow Jesus Christ in your daily life

 and grow ever closer to him as the years pass

 to share in the worship and service of the church

 of what you are and what you have

 to take your part in God’s mission to the world

  seeking  justice and peace

  and the renewing of all life

5. DECLARATION

John, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ

 the King and Head of the Church

 and by the authority of the Kirk Session

 I welcome and receive you

 within the fellowship of the Lord’s Table

 and admit you

 to the full privileges of the children of God

 and to the responsibilities of membership

 of the Church of Scotland within this congregation

 of the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

May your sharing in our life together

 bring blessing to you and to us all.

6. PRAYER

Lord, grant that John may know in his heart

 your faithful, forgiving loving-care

 the grace of your Son, Jesus Christ

 and the strength, guidance and power of the Spirit

7. WELCOME

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Usually, as a sign of our welcome

 we give the right hand of fellowship,

 but we can’t do that at the moment, so…

Members of the church,

 will you enable John to feel welcome at all times

 find the love of Jesus here

 and be enabled to use his God-given gifts here WE WILL

and now, elders and members,

 would you wave, clap, rummel your feet or whatever

 to welcome him among us

Hymn 204 I am the church

Bible reading

Luke 4: 21-30

Reflection    

Matthew and Mark also tell us about Jesus going to the synagogue in Nazareth and being rejected. But they tell the story slightly differently. In Luke people are impressed by how well Jesus read and spoke, but then he says things that seem deliberately designed to upset them – which is what happens. In the other two accounts, people start off with the attitude, ’Who does he think he is standing up there and saying that? We remember him as a wee boy, and we know his family.’ Commentators don’t seem to be clear on why Luke tells the story as he does, so maybe we’ll just go with the version presented by Matthew and Mark.

If someone has known you for a long time – maybe since you were a child, a teenager, a trainee at work – it can be hard in later years to get them to see you as the person you are now, an adult with qualifications, experience and maturity. [Nominating Committee] Indeed, many people from a range of careers don’t seek permanent employment where they have trained, done a placement or served their time.

As followers of Jesus, once we become adults, we can’t uproot ourselves and go to the far side of the world just so that we don’t have to live surrounded by people who have known us since we were children or teenagers. We have to live out our Christian lives among people who know us, trying to live by his values and standards, trying to let our faith grow and come to know him better.

At one time it was unusual not to go to church, now it’s rather the reverse – especially in the younger generations. Most people don’t take any notice of people who go to church, or think that they are in any way strange. But there is a small vocal minority who will tease, taunt or bully, and it is said that it does happen among teenagers on social media. We aim to be an inclusive, tolerant society, but it doesn’t always work like that, and who knows which way things will go in the future.

We don’t need to be ‘super-holy’ in how we behave, but we do need to reflect on what is appropriate for people who are following Jesus, and how he would wish us to treat other people. One of the easiest jibes to throw at anyone, and one of the hardest to disprove, is calling someone a ‘hypocrite’. None of us is perfect, we all make mistakes, but Jesus wants us to strive to be more like him in all that we do, and to be ready to speak out against injustices, corruption and things that do not match God’s values and standards. That means thinking carefully about how we live (will our actions match our words?) and thinking carefully about how we phrase things if we do speak out.

If they find out that we go to church, pray, read the Bible, some people may also tease or taunt us for being ‘holy, holy’ people. Again something we may have to live with – although we don’t need to deliberately affect an air of ‘holiness’ (as we may perhaps have encountered with some folk). [Auntie one Sunday] Jesus was undoubtedly ‘holy’ in his relationship with God, his commitment to God, and his concern to live out and speak openly about God’s values and standards. But no one ever accused Jesus of affecting airs of ‘super-holiness’. In fact it was usually the reverse – they criticised him for mixing with people that they considered unholy, not respectable.

Whether we are younger or older, being followers of Jesus isn’t easy, but part of the calling of the church is to help and support each other in seeking to follow Jesus’ way in our everyday lives, in our everyday situations. God also provides us with his Spirit to be our constant, faithful and reliable guide and help in every situation.

Hymn SGP 34 God’s Spirit is in my heart

Prayers for others

Gracious God

Help us to find that right balance between being faithful followers of Jesus

 and appearing ‘holy, holy’ folk

help us to get the balance between trying our hardest

 -and making mistakes-

and being accused of being hypocrites

 because word and action don’t match up

Support and encourage all those

 who face taunts and abuse

 because of their faith

help us to be supportive 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 you church

 the worldwide church

 the wider church in Dumbarton

 our own congregation

help us always to be faithful to Jesus our Lord

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

Hymn 198 Let us build a house

Blessing (3-fold Amen)

May the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ

shine in your hearts,

transform your lives,

and brighten the world

and the blessing of God Almighty

Father, Son and Holy Spirit

rest and remain with you

today, and every day, and for ever

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