Sunday 19 APRIL 2020
For the layers of comfort and convenience
that surrounded our lives and that we never considered a blessing
but always just took for granted,
For we who must grieve in isolation and not in community,
For we who care for the sick,
For the ability to turn off the fear-mongering and unhelpful commentary
and worst-case scenario click bait,
For the times when we are all out of creative ideas for how to get through this with cooped up kids,
For we who are now cutting our own hair at home,
For the grace to allow ourselves and others to just be less productive,
For the generosity needed from those of us who have more resources,
From our own selfish inclinations,
For just being your children, none of whom have done a global pandemic before,
For the days ahead,
God unbound by time,
help us to know that you are already present in the future we are fearing.
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.
Sermon (Video posted Sunday at 11.30 am)
As we bring to you our worship in a new setting we give thanks for the knowledge that wherever we are we can indeed worship you. Even when the world seems totally upside down – even when we cannot even join together as a congregation there is no situation where you can’t reach us and break through to us.
We ask you to bless the offering of worship
and our continued offerings of our money, time, and ability to be used in the work of your Kingdom.
We praise you once more for the good news of Easter –
the great message of resurrection –
new hope, new joy, new life.
We praise you for what we see in the Easter stories –
your love that could not be kept down,
your purpose that could not be defeated,
your goodness that could not be destroyed.
Teach us that what was true then is true now –
that resurrection is not just about life after death
but about constant new beginnings,
the way you are able to transform every part of our lives,
the way you are always bringing renewal –
and may that truth inspire us to keep on following you
not only through the good but the bad.
So when life seems hard,
when we feel overwhelmed by trials and temptations,
assure us once more that your love will not be overcome.
When our work seems to bear no fruit,
when our efforts go unrewarded,
when our hopes remain unrealized,
teach us that your purpose will ultimately be fulfilled.
When the things of life that seemed normal have been unsettled,
When we face new challenges and difficulties in meeting together,
When we worry about the health of our loved ones
We give thanks for your constant presence in our world.
We give thanks that you are at work
supporting those who are making a difference for good:
NHS workers, care sector workers, scientists, researchers, counsellors, charity and church groups.
We give thanks for the sense of responsibility we feel for one another,
for the new appreciation of things that are usually taken for granted
and for the acts of kindness and care shared between neighbours.
We know that you are at work in these situations and we ask you to bless and strengthen all who are working hard to bring hope, help and healing.
Hear us now, as in a moment of silence,
we pray for people and situations on our mind at this time.
When the innocent suffer,
when goodness is rejected,
when evil appears victorious,
teach us that right will finally emerge triumphant.
Loving God, give to us the deep inner assurance that only Easter can bring,
that whatever life throws at us, whatever we face,
however things may seem,
your will shall be done and your kingdom will come.
Thanks be to God.
The light of God
to lead us.
The power of God
to hold us.
The joy of God
to heal us.
The grace of God
to caress us.
The love of God
to bless us.