Reflection for Sunday 03 May 2020

Here is our minister, Rev Ken Hague’s, reflection for Sunday.

The online worship session at 11.00 will include Holy Communion. If you want to join in just email me – newarkcongregational@virginmedia.com – for details

Mark

Reflection 03.05.20

As we are no longer able to meet for worship due to the virus situation, we offer a weekly reflection. Perhaps you could sit each week and read this at the time when you would normally meet for worship. In that way we will still be together.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15v13

This morning we are going to look at the sacrifices made for humanity. We will look at the teachings of Christ: what he said about sacrificing our time, skills and ultimately our lives in the service of Jesus Christ and in his community on earth.

First Hymn – To God be the Glory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-15v9iworAU

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

 

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done
.

 
Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

 

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.

 

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture when Jesus we see.

 

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;

oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.

A Prayer

Loving father

We thank you that you are a God, who daily teaches us more about yourself, who has always more to reveal of your love. Speak to us now and teach us to listen. Loving father We thank you that day by day you speak to us, help us to be open to everything you say, ready to receive your instructions and accept your guidance. Speak to us now and give us ears to hear, save us from closing our ears to that which we do not want to hear, from becoming so fixed in our ways and our opinions that we become spiritually deaf, from limiting your word or denying your call though our unwillingness to listen: speak to us now and give us ears to hear, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer (The prayer Jesus taught 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 trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory, for ever and ever.  Amen

Sacrifice

When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan River, he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

Our Christian faith is based on the foundation of our Saviour Jesus Christ who made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Without this act of love by the Son of God, humanity would have no hope of eternal life and the reinstatement of a close relationship with our Creator. Without Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, we would have no forgiveness.

Sin is abhorrent to God, a horrible stain on his beautiful creation. Sin is the cause of pain, suffering and all the evils in this world. Our Heavenly Father had to find a way to heal the breach between God and mankind. How could we humans once again have a relationship with God. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was necessary for Him to pay the penalty for our sins and to become our Saviour.

By sending His Son to be beaten and crucified, the price of our forgiveness became very costly for God, powerfully demonstrating his love for us and that the destruction of evil does matter.

God will now allow us to come into His presence if we acknowledge and accept what His Son did for us. If we acknowledge our sins (1 John 1:9), and are truly repentant (Acts 26:20), and are willing to forgive others (Matthew 6:14), then God promises that He will forgive us and give us the gift of the Holy Spirit.  If we do these things, He will then choose to remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).

There is something else to consider when we think about this amazing life changing event brought about by the crucifixion. In every person I believe that there is an element of good. We all have been blessed with gifts to be used to help others. The Lord has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us through our lives and asked us to live in a lifestyle demonstrated by Jesus Christ while he was on this earth.

The coronavirus has changed our lives beyond recognition. It is still too early to know when we can start to work back to normal life as it was in January 2020. Even if we want to. One of the most amazing things we are witnessing today is the love and care and sacrifices being made by the Health Service Workers and Care Workers in the community and residential homes. They demonstrate the real love that Christ has put within us and daily they risk their lives and sadly some lose their lives. They demonstrate the very thing that Christ did on the cross: they give love and care at this time.

Our communities are pulling together as never before to try and make this world a better place. In the cry of human need, in the ache of the human heart, in the faces of those downcast and in the lives of those outcast by any human decree or agency, there is the brother, there is the sister. We behold the face and hear the voice of Jesus. We must search and respond to Jesus’s command to be there for them to support them and be Christ-like.

Prayers of Intercession

Lord Jesus Christ, as you touched those with leprosy, restored sight  to the blind, brought peace to the disturbed and enabled the lame to walk, come now to all who are sick in body, mind and spirit, bringing again your healing touch and renewing grace.

Lord Jesus Christ as you reached out to the sick and suffering throughout your ministry, bringing wholeness and healing to so many, reach out today to all who minister to body, mind and spirit and through them grant your healing touch. We pray this morning for all those affected by the coronavirus. We pray that you will be with us in this difficult time, that you will comfort families who have lost loved ones. Protect the National Health Service and the staff and all those who are working in the community to try to save lives, to heal the sick and to show love and respect to other human beings. Give us the strength to cope with the additional demands on all our lives. May we always feel your presence, have confidence in your love and listen to the Holy Spirit as we are guided through this difficult period in our lives.

This we ask in Jesus name

Amen

The Communion

In the Gospels we are told that on the night in which Jesus was being delivered into the hands of his enemies Jesus shared a meal with the disciples. The Lord Jesus took a loaf and when he thanked God for it he broke it and said this bread is a symbol of my body which was broken for you. He said to the disciples you must continue to repeat this meal in remembrance of me.

  • At the end of the meal he raised a cup and said this cup is a symbol of the new relationship with God made possible at the cost of my death. He reminded them that they must continue to do this for as often as you drink this cup you  are remembering me and my sacrifice; every time we eat this loaf and drink this cup we are publicly proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes again.

Let us declare our faith.

  1. We come to the Lord’s table in obedience to the invitation and command of Jesus Christ who suffered and died for all people. It is through his death that our sins are forgiven.
  2. Through his teaching we know that God is our Heavenly Father.
  3. We depend on him and the Holy Spirit for the grace to live a righteous life.
  4. Within this Christian Fellowship and with all of his followers let us strive to maintain His honour upon earth.
  5. This morning as Jesus on the night on which he was being betrayed took a common loaf and a common cup of wine and used them to be signs of truth eternal. I bless the bread that you have in front of you and the drink that you have prepared at home for this morning that they will be used for sacred use.
  6. We come to this the table in love for our Lord recognising that we are human, and we at times make mistakes.
  7. We come not because we have lived a perfect life and carried out great deeds, which gives us the right to come.
  8. We understand that we need his mercy and help.
  9. We come because we love the Lord but would like to love him more and know him better.
  10. We have come because we know he loves us and gave himself for us.
  11. Let us lift up our hearts and minds above all our earthly fears and share this meal with our living saviour.
  12. Let this bread and wine be a token and pledge of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit meant for us if we receive them in humble faith.
  13. On the night on which he was being delivered into the hands of his enemies Jesus took a loaf and when he thanked God for it he broke it and said this bread is a symbol of my body which is broken for you. You must do this in remembrance of me.
  14. Let us pick up our bread and we will eat this together as I say the words; so eat you all of this bread and so remember your living Saviour.
  15. At the end of the meal Jesus took the cup of wine and said this cup stands for the new relationship with God made possible at the cost of my death. You must continue to drink this wine in remembrance of me.
  16. Please pick up your glass and we will drink together as I say the words; so drink you all of it and so remember our Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ.
  17. Jesus said every time you eat this loaf and you drink this cup you are publicly proclaiming my death until I come again. This morning we have celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ the joy of knowing that our sins are forgiven through his pain and death on the cross and we commit ourselves to his service.
  18. Let our lives reflect the love and compassion of Jesus our Saviour. Let our hands be his hands, let our lips say his words and our hands carry out his lovely deeds. By doing this we are demonstrating our love for our Saviour and working to bring the Glory of the Father to this earth.

Sovereign Lord, send us out in the name of Christ and in the power of your spirit.

We have worshipped, now help us to serve. You have spoken, now help us to act.

We have heard your word, now help us to make it known, we have rejoiced in your love

now help us to share it with others, use us for your will, and for your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

A Hymn of Promise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQeIGbKqiw8

And can it be that I should gain

an interest in my saviour’s blood?

Died he for me who caused his pain;

for me who him to death pursued?

Amazing love! How can it be

that thou, my God should die for me?

 

Tis mystery all: the immortal dies!

Who can explore the strange design?

In vain the firstborn seraph tries

to sound the deaths of love divine.

Tis mercy all! Let Earth adore,

let angels’ minds enquire no more.

 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

fast bounding sin the nature’s night!

Thine eyes defuse a quickening ray,

I woke the dungeon flamed with light,

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose went forth and followed thee.

 

No condemnation now I dread!

Jesus, and all in him, is mine!

Alive in him my living Head,

and clothed in righteousness divine,

bold, I approach the eternal throne,

and claim the crown through Christ my own.

 

 

God of life;

May the promise of the sunrise, be echoed in our minds.

May the warmth of the midday sun, flow through our hearts.

May the peace of the sunset, touch our souls

and when life seems dark, teach us to remember even then you are with us, and that we will again see your light.

May the peace and love of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit remain with you and your family and all who you love through these difficult weeks. May the love of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit strengthen us in our daily living.

This we ask in Jesus name. Amen

 

And so we say together; The Grace

 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with us all,

now and forevermore.

Amen

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