Today is Father’s Day and this will be reflected especially in the opening section of our service.
Introductory Music: Dear Lord and Father of mankind. (Janet)
Welcome and Thank you for joining with us in worship:
1 John 3v1: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
Things the Bible Reading Fellowship suggest we ponder on as we gather together today –
Pause and think about male role models you admire: a male singer you think is great; a male chef you'd love to prepare a meal for you;
a male film star you love to watch; a male TV celebrity who is really good in front of the camera
Or people we know personally and who have encouraged us to become the best we can be - a male teacher who inspires us; a male friend who has helped us; a male relative who we look up to;
a male member of the family who has loved and cared for us.
For many of us, our Dads are the best male role models that we have had ... but it's not true for everyone,
and even the best Dads can mess up being a father.
In the Bible we have the best example of a perfect father described to us
in terms of how God is Father towards each one of us:
‘Our Father in heaven’, as Jesus describes him, who longs to give good gifts to his children
The Father who goes on loving us even when we refuse his help, as the prophet Hosea pointed out.
The Father who sometimes says 'no' or 'not yet' in order to discipline us for our own good, as the writer to the Hebrews puts it.
God is the pattern for being the very best father ever and in all sorts of people we can find good father figures who reflect his loving care.
The Bible shows us how the apostle Paul was such a father to the young man called Timothy and Barnabas was such a father to the teenager called John Mark.
Dads are joined by other father figures, i.e. friends ... cousins ... stepfathers ... teachers ... coaches ... church leaders and youth workers ...
I wonder who you want to thank today?
Opening Prayer: (Based on a prayer by Rev Chuck Currie)
On this Father’s Day, we give our thanks, Eternal Father, for Your constant loving care and for the gift of fatherhood.
We thank You for the many sacrifices fathers make for their children and families,
and for the ways they lift children to achieve dreams thought beyond reach.
We remember all those who help fill the void when fathers are not present and all those who enrich the experience of children as father figures.
Thank You for the father figures who have offered us timely wisdom and encouragement,
who have protected us from harm and looked out for our interests and who have shown up right when we needed them.
For all Dads, we ask that they might demonstrate wisdom and humility in the face of the task of parenting.
Please give them the strength to do well by their children and by You. In Your Holy name, O God, we pray.
Hymn: Great is Thy faithfulness.
Young People’s Slot - Travel Quiz: (Anne)
Tour of Bible Places
We travel today to Jerusalem — It is a short journey from Bethlehem to the capital city of Israel. Jerusalem features in the first and last books of the Bible and is mentioned many times in between.
What was the name of Jerusalem's king who was also a priest? (Genesis 14v18)
Who brought the head of the Philistine he defeated to Jerusalem? (1Samue117v54)
How long did David reign as king in Jerusalem (2Samuel 5v5)
Who built the first temple of the Lord in Jerusalem? (1Kings 3v1)
Years later, because the people turned against God, what happened to the Temple and the city walls? (2Chronicles 36v19)
After many years exiled in Babylon, the Jewish people were encouraged to go back and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Which king allowed this? (Ezra 1v2)
What surrounds Jerusalem like the Lord surrounds His people? (Psalm 125v2)
Why did Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Jerusalem as a baby? (Luke 2v22)
How old was Jesus when He stayed behind on His own in Jerusalem? (Luke 2 vs42&43)
In John's vision of the future, where does the New Jerusalem come from? (Revelation 21v2).
(Answers in the attachments)
Song: Father God I wonder.
First Bible Reading: Psalm 32
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
Prayers: Teach me to Pray (Eddie Askew).
Lord, teach me to pray
It sounds exciting, put like that.
It sounds real. An exploration.
A chance to do more than catalogue
and list the things I want,
to an eternal Father Christmas.
The chance of meeting you, of drawing closer to the love that
made me, and keeps me, and knows me.
And, Lord, it's only just begun.
There is so much more of you,
of love, the limitless expanse of knowing you.
I could be frightened, Lord, in this wide country.
It could be lonely, but you are here, with me.
The chance of learning about myself,
of facing up to what I am. Admitting my resentments,
Bringing my anger to you, my disappointments, my
frustration. And finding that when I do, when I stop struggling and
shouting and let go you are still there.
Sometimes, Lord, often –
I don't know what to say to you.
But I still come, in quiet, for the comfort of two friends
sitting in silence.
And it's then, Lord, that I learn most from you.
When my mind slows down, and my heart stops racing.
When I let go and wait in the quiet,
realizing that all the things I was going to ask for
you know already.
Then, Lord, without words, in the stillness
you are there ...
And I love you.
Lord, teach me to pray.
The Lord’s Prayer: (sung by Marie).
International Day of Prayer for the Emergency Services: (This coming Thursday)
1: A Message from CPA Executive Director Lee Russell.