May we welcome you most warmly to this ‘virtual’ service and may you derive great encouragement
from worshipping in this way and from the various items included.
Next week we are planning to resume worship in our church sanctuary,
though we still also hope to make it possible to access our services online.
Opening Prayer: by Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)
Thanks be to You, Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits which You have won for us,
For all the pains and insults which You have borne for us.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
May we know You more clearly, Love You more dearly,
And follow You more nearly,
Day by Day.
Hymn: 'Praise my soul'
Young People's Slot: (by Anne)
Click the image above for a printable version (opens in a new window)
Song: 'Father God I wonder'
Special Feature: Christian International Peace Service (CHIPS)
(our speaker today, Stuart, is a trustee of this particular organisation)
First Reading: Excerpts from 1 Peter chapters 1 and 2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Like new-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him —
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Solo: 'As water to the thirsty' (by Christian Berdahl)
Second Reading: Excerpts from 1 Peter chapters 3, 4 and 5
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives,
when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes.
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Address: Stuart Murray-Williams.
Click the following link for the transcript of this address (opens in a new window)
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the Scriptures and for all the teaching contained in them for our learning.
We pray that in this way we may be fully equipped for every good work and may we please You in every way.
We ask today that You will bless the peace-making efforts of the Chips organisation and we pray for Stuart
as he fulfils his trustee responsibilities for this charity and also for his ongoing involvement in theological training.
We bring our government to You in the light of the resurgence in the number of Coronavirus cases, praying that they might be given great wisdom as they respond to this situation.
We pray for the eventual eradication of this pandemic and for all those working to that end.
We pray or those in our church family who have been experiencing ill-health, including those recovering from operations
and those receiving various medical treatments. May they experience the reassurance of Your loving care and may we know Your healing power.
We thank for the good progress being made by Betty and now by George too. We ask particularly for your special grace
to be with Ken Mackintosh who has been back in hospital again.
Finally, on this Sunday marking the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, we give thanks for Your great deliverance
and we remember the brave airmen to whom we owe so much.
We present all these petitions in our Saviour’s worthy Name, Amen.
Hymn: 'Glorious things of thee are spoken'
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope.
And may He send us out with confidence in His Word, to tell the world of His saving acts, and bring glory to His Name.
We ask this through His Son, Jesus Christ, and for His honour and praise.