(From the 1986 film ‘The Mission’ based on the story of 18th century Spanish Jesuits
trying to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal)
Dear Lord God, may every aspect of this service be glorifying You and by Your Spirit’s enabling may it enrich our lives,
also, on this 3rd anniversary of the Grenfell Fire, with the terrible loss of 72 precious lives, we bring all those who have been traumatised
by that disaster to You. We pray for Your comfort to be with all who suffer in our world and for Your triumphant love to shine brightly.
We ask this in our Saviour’s Name. Amen.
Welcome and Call to Worship:
Hymn: And can it be.
Welcome and Call to Worship.
Song: O How good it is.
Young People’s Slot - Bethlehem Quiz:
Tour of Bible Places
Just now, when we can't travel very far in reality, let's set off on a virtual tour of some of the places we read about in the Bible. We're going to start this week in Bethlehem (Note: Bethlehem's not just for Christmas!) with a quiz
to see what you know about this place and find out more. There's a map in the attachments this week, so we can plot our journey week by week.
So, fasten your seat belts and let's set off:
We read about Bethlehem right at the start of the Bible in Genesis 35 vs 19-20
What is Bethlehem's other name?
Who was buried near there?
What was the name of her husband?
Much later Ruth, from the country of Moab, went to live in Bethlehem because her husband's family came from there. What was her mother-in-law's name? Ruth 1 v 19
Her great-grandson became a very famous king — who was he? Ruth 4 v 16
What job did he do in Bethlehem before he became king? 1Samuel 17 v15
In the prophecy often read at Christmastime, what special person does it predict will come from Bethlehem? Micah5 v2
After Jesus was born, what terrible thing did King Herod order to be done in Bethlehem? Matthew 2 v16
Where did Joseph and Mary travel from, to go to Bethlehem for the census? Luke 2 v4 Jesus' family later returned to their home town.
Later why did some people (who obviously didn't know about where he was born) say Jesus couldn't be the Christ? John? v42-41
(Answers in the attachments)
Song: Jesus put this song into our hearts.
(NB there is a plain purple screen at first)
First Video: Remembering our Global Family suffering in the Pandemic.
Almighty God, we give thanks for the work of BMS on our behalf, bringing hope and help to needy folk around the world.
May the efforts of all their staff help to alleviate the suffering resulting from the coronavirus pandemic,
especially amongst the disadvantaged and the poor. May the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which inspires their dedication,
transform lives and communities in the most vulnerable countries and beyond.
In Jesus Name, we pray.
Second Video: An engaging Thank You from BMS
Song: He reigns/ It’s the song of the redeemed.
A Moment of Timely Reflection and Resolve.
In the light of recent tragic events surrounding the death of George Floyd and reflecting the concern of the Church worldwide,
we pause to affirm that God has made mankind in His image, has made us equal in His sight whatever our race or colour.
He has lavished value and love on us all. We express our godly revulsion at the persistence of discrimination, racism, abduction,
enslavement and trafficking in our world.
We acknowledge and weep over the reality in our history of the horrendous transportation
of our fellow human beings in slave ships and their exploitation in slave plantations. We are thankful for the godly,
courageous and determined work of our Christian forbears, particularly Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce,
John Newton and Lord Shaftesbury, to abolish that vile trade.
Our hearts go out to the estimated 40 million men,
women and children who are trapped in various forms of slavery today.
We recognise that we must play our part in speaking up
and speaking out about these issues and we seek God’s wisdom and help as we resolve to do so.
Proverbs 31 vs8and9:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; defend the rights of those being crushed.
Yes, speak out for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Musical Video: Let there be peace on earth.
Most gracious God and loving Father, we acknowledge that You are just, merciful and good.
May we embody these characteristics in our lives and in our fellowship and also in our stance as Your people in this time.
In the words of Your prophet, Amos, may we witness justice rolling down like rivers and righteousness like a never-failing stream.
We thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who came to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners,
to open blind and blinkered eyes, to release the oppressed and proclaim the Lord’s favour on all mankind.
We ask for healing for memories of past acts of injustice. We desire reconciliation for present fractured human relationships.
We pray for future peace for our hurting world. And may these realities begin with us and may they become the experience of all peoples.
By the power and inspiration of Your Spirit, motivate, energise and mobilise us to participate in this glorious work of Your Kingdom.
For the honour of Your holy Name,
Second Bible Reading: James 4 vs1-10 (David Suchet)
Poem by Connie Campbell Bratcher:
Walk in Peace and Unity
Christian, walk with others peaceably,
And glorify God above;
Endeavor to keep the unity...
In the bond of peace and love.
Labor for things of eternity,
Love every family member;
As you think of how God set you free...
Sweet fruit your life will render.
Of all places there should be no fights.
It is in God's family;
Our peace He purchased — Christ paid the price...
On the Cross of Calvary.
Let us love and live in harmony.
And follow our Shepherd's lead;
As we Walk in Peace and Unity...
We scatter much precious seed...
Song: Lead me to the cross/ How can I be free from sin.
Why is it so difficult
To make peace with each other? No wonder there are wars.
Is it pride that holds my mouth tight shut,
A childish feeling
that I am not the one who should apologize?
It wasn't my fault?
In these flare-ups
What does it matter whose fault it is?
The only thing that matters is love and harmony.
Lord, turning my back in anger is weakness,
It reduces me as a human being. Give me the courage,
To say, “I'm sorry.” (Frank Topping)
‘We beseech You, good Lord, that it may please You to give us true repentance;
to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of Your Holy Spirit,
to amend our lives according to Your holy Word’ (Thomas Cranmer)