Reflection for Sunday 17 May 2020

Here is our reflection for Sunday 17 written by our Minister, Rev. Ken Hague.

The online worship session will start at 11.00. If you want to join in just email me – newarkcongregational@virginmedia.com – for details. We’d love to see you.

I will be leading the worship this week.

Mark

Let Us Serve As Christ Taught Us.

Hymn: Brother let me be your servant

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

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christlight for you
In the night-time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony


Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

A Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ

you call us, as you called your first disciple

to follow you, not simply to believe, not merely to declare our faith

and confess you as Lord, help us to follow wherever you lead.

Help us to follow you eagerly, faithfully, devotedly seeing the way you are at work and staying close to God.

Lord Jesus Christ, you call us as you called all your people to follow you.

Teach us what that means, by your grace help us to respond and be followers of your way.

Lord Jesus help us for we ask it in your name. 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

 

Gospel Readings

Philippians 2:5-11 – Paul’s description of incarnation.

5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

The Message

People today need to see within Christians in their community a lifestyle that demonstrates the teaching of Jesus Christ on how we should live our lives. It is not simply enough just to attend a weekly service to worship our God. Being a Christian is a lifestyle in many ways a sacrificial lifestyle. We should be seen to be a servant to others. There is a danger of today’s society adjusting their lifestyles and Christian beliefs to fit in with the moral views of today’s society. They look for their views of how they believe society should be rather than following the lifestyle and the beliefs that Christians have followed for over 2000 years. The values Christ demonstrated during his time on earth and as set out in the Gospels.

Jesus’s values and teachings were not just about what happens after we die. Jesus told us about how we should be living right now. He was talking about caring for the widows and orphans, poor, people without homes, people who have no food. Situations where family structures have broken down, people who have lost sight of God, Being, a Christian and living the Christian lifestyle gives us a major advantage of finding a purpose for our existence not just the promise of salvation.

We find love and fellowship when Christians meet in Jesus name, demonstrating unconditional love, but do we demonstrate unconditional love to all the people we know and meet in our lives?

Discipleship demands a complete trust in our saviour. A faith which allows us to go where other people will not go. We are a society which is richer in material gains and possessions than any past society that has gone before us, but the evils in our world continue. There is shameless cruelty and abuse, inequality, injustice, a denial that the church has any relevance today. A rejection of our Creator and Saviour but riches and possessions will be as dust at the end of our lives. They can never bring happiness unless they are used for God’s purpose.

There is a hidden price for materialistic and technical developments. People have become more dependent on their own judgement on their own wishes on their own dreams. In many ways they have drifted away from the lifestyle that Jesus asked us to live.

Luke 10 v25 “One day an expert in the law stood up to test Him. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26“What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”

27He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself ”

28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live.”

Christians must not ignore and forget these fundamental values that Christian love brings into our life. Pastoral care is one of the most significant things that we find demonstrated within Jesus’s earthly life. Church members regardless of denomination must not be forgotten when they become too ill to attend church. There are a growing number of church members whose needs remain the same but access to church attendance is impossible or difficult due to ill health or poor mobility or family circumstances.

I believe Christ would expect us to ensure these valuable people are kept within the Christian family. Some ministers have stated to me it is not my job to visit the sick I have people who do that for me  but is it not the case that all people must become servants to their Christian friends and church members? As society changes with improvements in healthcare people are living longer. However, as we age and mobility gets less many older people now do not always possess cars, getting to church can be difficult.

Jesus walked many, many, miles to bring God’s love to people. We must not let people be forgotten because they need assistance to get to worship with us. More importantly to share in communion, to share in the love and fellowship and to sing God’s praises. They must feel surrounded by their friends in the love of Christ and in the Holy Spirit. We have in our society forgotten people who have been abandoned by the church when church attendance becomes difficult. This is a problem which goes across many denominations. Let us please ensure that we continue to support those who cannot get to church through illness or problems with mobility.

Beloved in Christ there is no greater love than that demonstrated by Jesus’s death on the cross. There is no greater forgiveness ever demonstrated than the way our saviour gave and gives forgiveness to all the sinners, even to the ones who crucified him. It is my wish and dream that we will come together as Christians showing God’s love and care for all people. That we grow to be less judgemental about people, humbler in our plans, trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide us. If we do this our Christian Fellowship will be stronger, more loving. I pray that we will treat others as we would wish to be treated ourselves that we will remember how easy it is to offend people. Instead of hurting let us heal, instead of forgetting let us remember and let us be worthy of being called the children of God.

Amen

Let us pray:

In this troubled and difficult world, in times we have never experienced before in our lives. Lord we need your help, support, and guidance. There are so many people who need your help and it is impossible to name all the people in need. We know there are people who need your loving grace, comfort, and healing.

 

We remember all people worldwide who have been affected by the pandemic. Particularly those who are frightened for the future, worried about relatives and people they love. We remember that people are trying to save lives to find a cure for this horrific disease. We pray bring an end to these difficult times and to this immense loss of life. We long to worship in your church again, physically with our church members. We pray for the end to the deaths and sorrow, to the pain felt by so many. We beg for your guidance and support and your healing touch. We listen for your comforting voice to help us through this difficult time. Thank you that even in these blackest times their lives we can find examples of other people providing care great risk to themselves to the vulnerable and to the people who just need to be loved.

So today we pray for those who have lost loved ones that they will find peace. Pray for those who are frightened still carry out the difficult and stressful task in the health service. We pray for community services, for the people who provide the things we need, food and transport, also the people who work at night filling shelves ready for the morning.

 

We thank you for our friends who support us in these times of bleakness and difficulty. Thank you, Lord, for walking with us on this difficult journey. Help us Lord, guide us Lord and protect those who we love in this difficult time of our lives. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.

 

Hymn: Make me a channel of your peace.

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

Make me a channel of Your peace
Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love
Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in You.

Make me a channel of Your peace
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Oh Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of Your peace
It is pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Oh Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of Your peace
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

 

God of life

May the promised 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.

 

And now:

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 coming 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;

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

be with us all

ever more.

Hallelujah

Rev Ken Hague BA (hons)

01724 343702   Mobile 07985480800

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