Reflection – Sunday 02 May 2021

Here’s Martin’s reflection for Sunday 02 May.

If you’d like to join in our online worship follow this Zoom link. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85061262911?pwd=SjFoODcvOVdFZUhTengxRVRkNzJPUT09

Martin is preaching this week – our worship session starts at 11.00 British Summer Time and includes Communion.

Mark

London Road Congregational Church Reflection 03/01

Working with what you’ve got

Call to Worship:

‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”

But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.

“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”

“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Master’s Hand.

– Myra Brooks Welch

Let’s pray:

Almighty God,

    Help us to see the worth you have placed upon us and the worth of the things you have given to us. Help us to see the significance of the time we have this morning and the precious time we have to spend together

Amen.

Let us say together the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Hymn: The Potter’s Hand

Beautiful Lord, wonderful savior
I know for sure, all of my days are held in Your hands
Crafted into Your perfect plan

You gently call me, into Your presence
Guiding me by, Your Holy Spirit
Teach me dear Lord
To live all of my life through Your eyes

I’m captured by, Your Holy calling
Set me apart
I know You’re drawing me to Yourself
Lead me Lord I pray

Take me, and mold me
Use me, fill me
I give my life to the Potter’s hands
Hold me, You guide me
Lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter’s hand

Reading:

 

Exodus 3:1-14 The Calling of Moses

1-2 Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up. Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?” God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” He said, “Yes? I’m right here!” God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God.7-8 God said, “I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, a land lush with milk and honey, the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9-10 “The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 Moses answered God, “But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 “I’ll be with you,” God said. “And this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.” 13 Then Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the People of Israel and I tell them, ‘The God of your fathers sent me to you’; and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What do I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you.’”

Reflection:

There has to come a point when we realise or have to accept that God wants us to do something. Someone else may, but God wants us to respond. We have been gathered together and given skills and He wants to use them. Moses did not see the potential inside himself. God did. God wanted the one thing who was Hebrew by birth and so had a standing with the Hebrews but also someone who had been brought up in the palace, lived a life as an Egyptian and knew the ways of the palace.  He could have access to places no Hebrew could have.

We have lived lives and had experiences that allows God to use us to speak into different situations. God uses all of our experiences for his end, there is nothing – usually the things we want to hide – that he can not redeem through his calling.

We often, like Moses, will question whether God wants to or can use us. The reality is that the people we are uniquely qualified us to serve in the calling he gives. In fact, rather than trying to be a poor copy of someone else’s ministry, we would do far more if we accepted the masterpiece that God sees us as.

Reading:

Bread and Fish for All (John 6:1-13)

1-4 After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick. When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews. 5-6 When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.” 8-9 One of the disciples—it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter—said, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.” 10-11 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted. 12-13 When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.

Reflection:

We are often put off trying things because of what we feel will be needed to achieve it. What happens in the end is that God is able to work with what we have to achieve his purposes. Moses was able to perform miracles using a staff he would have had with him daily. The disciples fed the multitude with the five loaves and two fish, including having an abundance. Individually we have our finances, time, skills, connections and experience.

We also have a building and that is something we can use to bless.

Intercession Suggestions

  • Those groups that use our buildings
  • Those we have connections with and our paths cross
  • That we will have courage to step out in faith
  • That we will be good stewards of our resources.

Holy Communion

On the night he was betrayed Jesus took the elements of the Passover meal and shared them with his disciples. He took the bread and blessed it, as he would normally have done, but then he explained that from that time onwards, rather than sacrifice there would be grace through his death. Rather than the letter of the law, the would-be mercy and love. His death would fulfil the requirements of the law and be sufficient for all time, from then until he comes again.

Jesus said, this is my body which will be broken for you, eat this in memory of me…

In the same way, he took the cup and blessed it. He pointed out to his disciples and us that it is symbolic of the new covenant that God had established between Him and us. Not based on the law but on his blood.

Jesus said, the is a sign of the covenant between you and God, drink this and remember God’s love and mercy towards you….

Father thank you for entering into our world so that we can enter into your kingdom. Thank you for taking our place on the cross and putting yourself there for us. Let this meal be a sign of hope and expectation that we will receive your grace and help in the coming month until we share it again. Amen.

Hymn: God I look to you

God I look to You, I wont be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

God I look to You, and I wont be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, and You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do
Yeah yeah

And I will love You Lord my strength
And I will love You Lord my shield
And I will love You Lord my rock
Forever all my days I will love You God

Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God you reigns
Forever all my days Hallelujah

Hallelujah our God reigns
And hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God you reigns
Forever all my days Hallelujah

Blessing.

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