This service was my offering and therefore I am going to try to share as much as I can with you.
Call to Worship.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Jesus said: 'Come unto me all that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11: 28-30
Hymn TIS 231 "At the name of Jesus" (all hymns: Lyn)
Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving
Our God of all, who is our east and west, our height and depth, we thank you that you are the constant in our lives.
When everything else seems to be confused, we can depend on your faithfulness to us. When life seems to be throwing up insoluble problems, we can depend on you for guidance.
We thank you for the bountiful gifts of goodness you shower upon us: the enlivening sight of blue sky, the freedom in the smell of wet grass, and the comfort of a caring hand in ours.
We give thanks for that warm gladness that comes upon us when we are in the company of other believers, secure in the knowledge that you are with us.
We praise you for your goodness that saves us and this world from its path of destruction and we praise you for your creative power that stirs our inner life and infuses us with joy.
We praise you for your healing touch that can mend and restore broken lives but most of all we thank and praise you for choosing to walk with us, transforming such ordinariness into lives of abundance through your grace. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
"Lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3: 5&6
We have seen the example you have given to us in Jesus, who has shown us what human life can be like and in that is our hope.
We mean to follow that example, Lord, glorifying your name, but in the rush of everyday life, how often we look to our own so-called wisdom. We know better, Lord, and experience tells us that our way always fails us, but we persist and only turn to you when everything else doesn't work. There are words that we have said for which we are sorry. There are actions which we have taken for which we are sorry but most of all, we are so very sorry for the hurt we have caused. Forgive us, teach us, remind us, help us build paths of truth by relying on your grace. Lead us into your presence, that we may know your will and live accordingly, for we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Hear then God's words of grace to us: Our sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.
Hymn TIS 272 "Come thou long expected Jesus"
Prayer for Illumination
That as the scriptures are read and your word is proclaimed, we may hear what you are saying to us today. Amen.
Bible Readings: Psalm 16; Mark 13: 1-8 Malcolm.
Sermon. My reflection focussed on the reading from Mark and his purpose in encouraging the Roman Christians who were facing the first of the brutal persecution. I pointed out that Jesus predicted violent opposition and that Mark was assuring the Roman Christians that they were right in still following Jesus. I then pointed out that modern leaders, Christian and otherwise, had been assassinated for defending just causes and while we may not have to die for our faith we may suffer in other ways. And our reward? To see this I turned to the Psalmist whose confidence in God's continued blessing and whose confidence in God being the only source of good gives us a firm foundation for trusting God utterly. Amen and Amen.
Hymn TIS 589 "Jesus calls us o'er the tumult"
Prayers of Intercession and The Lord's Prayer Here we placed ourselves in God's presence and expressed our gratitude for the outpouring of his spirit upon us. We referred to the recent terrible events and asked God's hand on all those suffering people. We prayed for God's Church and its leaders that they be given strength and wisdom in these times when so many need encouragement. We prayed for those living in rural areas and asked that their special needs be met and for those known personally to us and then joined in The Lord's Prayer
Hymn TIS 105 "Let all the world in every corner sing"
Blessing Margaret - Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Sung Blessing TIS Hymn 778 Shalom.