It is a joy to welcome you to this online service this morning. We pray that you will find it uplifting & encouraging. We trust it will be a stimulus to worship & trust in God.
Let us listen to some music provided by Jean Rothery – one of our pianists.
Please reflect prayerfully on the words as Jean plays for us
Song: Keeping within Your lovingkindness.
Hymn: My Jesus, my Saviour.
Opening Verse & Prayer (PW):
CHILDREN’S TALK and QUIZ:
We have been hearing from various folk about their daily walks.
For example, we have learnt that the Baxendale family have been discovering new routes around Whitstable and we know Cheree has been distributing ‘goodies’ on her early morning wanderings. We are sure others have been exploring alternative walks too.
Some folk are restricted to their gardens but this doesn’t have to be a limitation as the amazing achievements of Captain Tom have shown.
One of our own members is certainly making the most of his garden as well as you will see from this video –
The Israelites also spent a significant time going round in circles in the wilderness. For them it was a necessary exercise in learning to trust & obey God.
How much do you know about their travels – try out the following Quiz.
Wilderness Wanderings Quiz:
Where did the people of Israel begin their journey? (Exodus 13 v3)
Who were the leaders of the Israelites? (Exodus 12 v50)
What did the people have to cross to get on their way? (Exodus 13 v18)
How did God show the people which way to go? (Exodus 13 v21)
What two kinds of food did God provide for the Israelites on their journey? (Exodus 16 vs13 & 31)
When the people had no water, what did God tell Moses to do to provide water? (Exodus 17 v6)
What is the name of the mountain where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments? (Exodus 19 v2)
What was the name of the land God led the Israelites to? (Numbers 13 v1)
When the people got there, twelve men were sent out to explore. How many thought God could give them the land and who were they? (Numbers 14 vs6-8)
Because they didn’t trust God, how long did the Israelites have to wander in the desert? (Deuteronomy 2 v7)
Who led the people into the Promised Land? (Deuteronomy 31 v7)
What did they have to cross to enter the land – and how did they cross it? (Joshua 3 vs14-16)
Song: We are marching in the light of God.
A pertinent Eddie Askew Poem
(From ‘Conversations & Prayers’ Written long before our present lock-down but revealing how we can take advantage of it)
So often, Lord, I am a hamster on a treadmill. Going round and round incessantly and getting nowhere. At least the hamster can get off and curl up in a corner of his cage, but when he does he finds he's back where he began, no progress made. I know the feeling. Running to stand still, my energy burnt up. And in the busyness no time for you. I don't think that's your will for me – for any of us, come to that. Even you, Lord, rested on the Sabbath day.
Give me the grace to pause, take breath and reassess just where I am, find time to hear your voice in quiet. I know there's so much to be done but Earth will not implode if I sit down and rest.
The pillars of the kingdom won't come crashing down if I let go my grip and stop. And in the silence as the treadmill of my mind stops turning I'll hear you offering me Shalom. The peace that passes understanding. And then refreshed, my energy restored, I can begin again to live as you would have me live.
FIRST BIBLE READING: Proverbs 2 vs1-11 (Anne Wilson)
Family Prayers (Margaret Frame):
The Lord's Prayer:
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 who 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.
Song: 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord O my soul)
AFRICA PASTORS FELLOWSHIP FEATURE:
We have recently given a gift to APF from our newly established ‘Crisis Fund’.
We pray for APF especially in the present circumstances outlined in the video we have just watched. We ask, Heavenly Father, that you will be with Dave as he heads up this mission, as he serves as a part-time mental health chaplain here in Kent & as he acts as moderator for Swalecliffe Free Church. Please grant him the strength & wisdom he requires for these important tasks. In Jesus Name, Amen.
SECOND BIBLE READING: James 1 vs1-18.
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Song: Purify my heart.
Please turn in your Bibles to James chapter 1
Hymn: Love Divine.
using another helpful Eddie Askew Poem – Again from ‘Conversations & Prayers’
Shine in my darkness, Lord.
Dispel the doubt and fear
that cling so close.
Turn the weak moonlight of my faith
to brighter day
in which I see your radiance,
know your love.
Lord, when I'm puzzled, uncertain,
help me to remember
you're in control.
Your finger on the button.
And, whether I can see the end or not,
help me to accept
that you know where we're going.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.