Sunday 17 May 2020
Spirit of God,
you are the breath of creation,
the wind of change that blows through our lives,
opening us up to new dreams and new hopes,
to new truths and new ideas,
to new life through Jesus Christ.
Forgive us our closed minds
which barricade themselves against new ideas,
preferring the past to what you might want to do through us tomorrow.
Forgive us our closed eyes
which fail to see the needs of your world,
blind to opportunities of service and love.
Forgive us our closed hands
which clutch our gifts and our wealth for our own use alone.
Forgive us our closed hearts
which limit our affections to ourselves and those closest to us.
Spirit of new life, forgive us and break down the prison walls of our selfishness,
that we might be open to your love
and open and ready to be in service of your world through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we worship today in what are still strange and unusual circumstances for most of us
we ask that we will be aware of your voice in our hearts,
and that we will hear your message for us today of peace, challenge and comfort.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven…
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us in the time of trial
and deliver us from evil
for the kingdom, the power and the glory
now and forever.
See ‘Better Than the Bible!’ Video (Sunday 11.30am)
We’re going under, Lord,
or at least that’s what it feels like,
swamped by a disease so minor for many,
yet so major for the few –
one that is wreaking havoc across the world,
submerging countless lives in chaos,
engulfing countries and continents in turmoil –
medical, economic and social.
How can we get through?
And what state will we be in when we finally do?
Where will it leave our livelihoods,
Save us from panic, Lord,
from knee-jerk reactions.
Save us from resignation,
and grant us instead of spirit of fortitude,
or courage and determination.
Reach out to us in our plight,
and hold our heads above the water,
until our feet touch firm ground once again.
Of course we know that this virus is not just with us.
It’s not just here – but everywhere:
seemingly affecting everyone and everything.
It’s spread across the world,
nowhere apparently beyond its reach.
There are so many people in other countries living now under its shadow,
wondering what the future holds for themselves and their loved ones.
Help me to keep that bigger picture in mind,
rather than turning inwards in narrow self-pity.
Help me to remember the needs of those far afield,
as well as those closer to home;
to think of others,
pray for others,
and do what I can to help others,
whether near or far.
So much divides us, Lord –
person from person,
nation from nation –
denying our common humanity.
If nothing else,
may this crisis teach us that we are one world,
despite our differences,
and may we learn from it truly to work together,
for the good of all.
(adapted from prayers of Nick Fawcett)
May Christ’s peace surround us.
May Christ’s light shine on us.
May Christ’s joy fill us.
May Christ’s blessing always go with us.