Church at Home – 21 June 2020

Intimations

  • Morning worship online has moved to start at 10am and JAM at 11:15am on the Zoom platform.
  • You may want to use some of the Engage Worship resources for daily worship during this week.
  • The Messy Church At Home information is now available.
  • We will be continuing the Prayer Livestream at 7.00pm on Sunday 7 June 2020.  This will be another significant time of national prayer for us. Please join in and, if you don’t already do so, would you let your fellowship know about this and put it on your social media. Click here to access.

JAM Kids’ focus:

Here is the new video series from Out of the Box for JAM Kids age group.

Worksheet 2 to accompany this talk

JAM young adults Ignite Live have a separate programme at 11:15am on the Zoom platform –parents of teenagers can get a link code by contacting Gary Torbet on garytorbet@btinternet.com

Call to worship: Micah 6:6-8 & Galatians 3:28

With what shall I come before the Lord
 and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. 
(Micah 6:6-8)

There is neither Jew nor Gentile,
neither slave nor free,
nor is there male and female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

We are grateful to Gary Torbet for selecting the songs for worship for this service

Our opening song of praise and worship is: ‘Blessing and honour and glory and power’

We continue to worship the Lord in our second song of praise and worship: ‘O Lord the clouds are gathering 

Opening prayer

Thank you Lord that once more we can enter Your holy presence in the wonderful and precious name of Your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. We rejoice that You are the sovereign Lord over all Your creation and that one day the whole universe will be completely renewed and restored to be the world You intended humanity to experience alongside the rest of the creatures with which we share this amazing planet. Thank you Lord that ultimately Your will is going to be done on earth as it currently is in heaven.

We thank You for the glimpse in John’s vision of heaven in Revelation 7 that all Your people of every nation will be present to praise.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’

11 All the angels were standing round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying: ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!’

What an incredible day it will be we will all be together in Your eternal presence.

We are conscious, heavenly Father that each day of our lives we need to come before You to confess our sins and ask afresh for your forgiveness. Lord today as we are so conscious that we live in a world of racial injustice where discrimination and prejudice have been present far too often, we come to ask Your forgiveness not just for any attitudes, words or actions we may have had that have been prejudiced against people of a different racial background, but also for any times when we were silent and failed to speak up when we ought to have done.

Lord Jesus, by Your Holy Spirit give us wisdom and Your clear guidance  so that we may consistently both individually and  collectively make everyone welcome in our midst. Help us now in our praises and as we sit under Your Word to hear You speak to us today, for Jesus’ names sake, Amen. 

Let us say together the words Jesus taught His disciples when He said:

‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'”      
For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever Amen.

Children’s Talk“Love your neighbour as yourself”  “You are the light of the world”   – Gary Torbet

In the video I am about to show you, it is Leona Lewis, the X Factor winner from 2006 (can’t believe that!!).  What had happened to her and her Dad when they visited a store in London, was she had been targeted by the store manager for picking things up.  The store manager though had failed to say this to any other white customers, which enraged Leona.

This is how the incident make Leona feel;

Leona Lewis; “Speaking out”  Using from 05;30 – 10;02

So it was not just the obvious racist behaviour of the store manager, this was bad enough!  What also hurt Leona and her Dad as well was that there were other people there – who could have and should have intervened, spoken out and challenged the racist behaviour but instead turned aside, they ignored the injustice of the racist behaviour towards Leona and her Dad.

Jesus says in Mark 12; 31 “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

He also says in Matthew 5; 14 -16 “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.
Instead a lamp is placed on a stand where it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

How can we be a light to others – we can “Love our neighbours” – we can treat everyone whatever race, ethnicity with complete love, dignity and respect. When we have new people coming to church, to welcome them, make them feel special.

But also the lesson from Leona’s story also challenges us not just to welcome, embrace and love everyone, but to speak out when we see injustice. So boys & girls, young people at school, adults in your workplaces, all of us everywhere – Jesus calls us to be the “Light of the world”, and to be people as Natanya read earlier from Micah;

“To do what is right, to love mercy and justice, and to walk humbly before our God.”

Let us ask God to search us, for any hint of prejudice in our hearts, and how we might discriminate against others who are different from us.  For us to be the light and the hope of the world by speaking out and stamping out injustice, wherever we see it.

Children’s Song – “You are the light of the world”

Prayers for others

Thank you Lord once more for the privilege of praying for other people:

We come to You Lord to cry out about the repeated injustice of the constant killings of our African brothers and sisters by Islamist terrorists. We pray for the families of the 67 Christians murdered in the last few weeks in the North-East province of Ituri, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a region in which in excess of seven hundred have been killed in the last three years. We pray that our media in the BBC and other broadcasters will report more fairly and not ignore the increased killing particularly of Black African believers in recent years.

We give thanks that we are Jesus’s hands and feet on earth and can give a voice to the voiceless. We pray for issues of injustice, inequality and poverty whether locally, nationally or globally and ask that God would show each of us how we can partner with Him in bringing justice to these situations; we pray that if there are particular issues of injustice You wish us to address in our local communities that You would guide and direct us to see what needs to be done.

 We continue to pray for wisdom for our Governments in Edinburgh and London as we slowly move in the direction of reopening shops and businesses as well as for those owners seeking to make their premises compliant with the new health and safety guidelines. We also remember those in our NHS and Social Care sectors as they seek to help prevent a second upsurge in cases of the Covid-19 virus in our land. We continue to remember those in our schools, colleges and universities trying to plan a programme to allow the maximum educational opportunities for our children and young people in the next school and university  year.   

In our Baptist Union of Scotland we remember to pray for:

Martin Hodson our General Director – he writes: ‘I give thanks to God for the privilege of serving our family of Baptist churches in Scotland. Please pray for me as I seek the Lord’s wisdom and revelation in order to lead well.’

We also pray for our sister churches in:

Erskine BC – With a number of people on the sheltering list it may take them a while to build up once they are allowed to meet up in church. We pray for guidance for them as they reshape church for the new normal. We pray for them as they look to see how they can continue having an online programme even after regular services start back again.

Falkirk BC – They continue to praise God for the ongoing growth they have been enjoying in the last 18 months, the new leadership structure in the church, and growth & development of our mission, ministries and staff team. Please pray that they won’t be too negatively affected by the coronavirus lockdown and will find creative ways to continue in reaching out during this time of restrictions.  

Forres BC – They give thanks that in moving to ‘You Tube services’ because of the Coronavirus lock down, the gospel message is being heard by friends and family of our congregation that are not Christians. We pray that God would help them become a ‘people of prayer’ who rely wholly on His Spirit, that God’s power and might would be displayed in them, for the glory of His name.  

Fort William BC – We pray for the elderly people in this congregation who have found the lockdown hard and not being able to meet others. We also pray for those going through cancer treatment at this time in this congregation.

Fraserburgh BC – We thank God for those in our fellowship who are gifted in the use of technology, which has enabled us to have fellowship online. We thank the Lord for the unity that this enforced lockdown has brought to the church. People are phoning each other and caring for one another in various ways. It has been clear to see God’s work during this period of pandemic in terms of bringing the fellowship closer together.

They thank God that, when they can return to face to face worship, they will almost be able to move straight into their newly refurbished sanctuary. They thank God for His presence and superintendent care for them, not only since lockdown but over the past year. We join them in their request to pray for non-members to join the church, for more baptisms and for new people, especially young families, to start coming to FBC.

We pray too for the ongoing work of the Christian Churches in our land that You will help us be the best witnesses we can be in our local communities at this time. We thank you for the other churches in our local community and ask Your blessing on their work as we pray similarly for our own activities this week. In particular we pray for other people with particular needs that are connected to our own congregation:

The Nyguist and Marshall families as they prepare for John’s funeral on Monday and Bill’s funeral on Tuesday of this week.We pray that You would comfort and uphold them and other families recently bereaved at this time.

We continue to remember those waiting for medical appointments and treatment or surgery that has been delayed by the pandemic preparations. We pray that the surgeries of doctors and dentists and hospitals may soon be fully open again to treat those in need. We pray too for wisdom as they see to restore services while complying with the new safety guidelines.

We are aware of other, particularly older members who have ongoing health difficulties and pray for God’s strength for them at this time. We pray for those exhausted with heavy work schedules that you would renew their health and strength, and for those struggling with the limitations of lock down that you would give them Your peace at this time. In particular, we remember …   In addition, we bring our own needs to You at this time … in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Amen.

Bible Reading

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’

Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ he asked. The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.’

When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

14 ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’ 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.’

21 Peter went down and said to the men, ‘I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?’ 22 The men replied, ‘We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.’ 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

Acts 10:1-23

Before we come to listen to God’s Word let us sing: ‘Far and near hear the call’

 The Message

Pre-recorded message

Acts 9:32 -10:16 The Church is for all people

Introduction

The new faith community that began on the Day of Pentecost was composed entirely of Jewish people. Now because people can convert to Judaism and Jewish people moved for a variety of reasons to live in other countries in the known world, it is only stating the obvious to acknowledge that not all Jews looked the same.

The majority lived in the Middle East, but an increasing minority were based in North Africa or Europe. They shared a common set of religious and cultural practices that were taken for granted. The church of Jesus Christ amongst these people was growing, but they had not grasped fully what Jesus had in mind when He spoke these words, before His ascension back to heaven, to His disciples in Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’

They had simply blanked out people who were not Jewish.We might be surprised that they hadn’t grasped that, but there have been a number of times when this missionary call has been forgotten by the Christian Church. The Protestant Churches in Scotland in the eighteenth century did not hear such a call until Baptist minister Archibald McLean in his 27 December 1795 sermon reawakened the Scottish Churches to their responsibilities on this subject.  What does this passage reveal about God’s vision for His Church?

1. Peter’s crucial first steps (Acts 9:32-43)

How easily we as Christians can forget how familiar we are with coming to church, yet for an unchurched person to come in for the first time is a major step. Those first impressions are vital. Although we must go out of our way to be friendly and welcoming when people come in –we have the responsibility of going out with the gospel to the places where other people may feel at home and which may be unfamiliar to us.

Peter had grown up living in communities that would have been almost exclusively Jewish. Here in Joppa and Lydda the vast majority of people would have been Gentiles. The names of people given in Luke’s brief account confirm this assessment of the situation. Aeneas is a name with Greek origins. Tabitha is a name with Syrian origins and is an Aramaic version of the Greek name Dorcas. There would undoubtedly have been at this stage only Jews in the congregations of the followers of Jesus.

What relevance then, Peter may have thought, has the gospel for the majority of the citizens of these communities? At that time he inevitably had no answers, but to ask the question is to open the window of opportunity to look for a possible solution. The Jews and the Samaritans had similar lifestyles albeit their rivalry tended to obscure that reality.

However, Gentiles with their many gods and different temples and a wide variety of varying cultures must have been a cause of bewilderment to Peter – at first. Acts 1:8, Jesus call to take the gospel to Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth, was being fulfilled step by step.  Notice with whom Peter lodges in Joppa. Acts 9:43 records: 43Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

In Leviticus 11, amongst a whole series of guidelines regarding ritually pure and impure animals, Moses wrote: 24‘You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. 25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. Simon was a Jew working in an occupation that rendered him permanently unclean. It was a smelly occupation skinning the carcases of dead animals and then treating them to produce leather for a variety of goods. Orthodox Jews would have avoided tanners like the plague to prevent ritual impurity.

Peter although still to grasp that the gospel is good news for people of all ethnic backgrounds has already seen that it is available for all Jews –even those that the religious authorities back in Jerusalem would have excluded for being unclean. The Church of Jesus in every generation has struggled to present the gospel equally to all sections of society and the challenge has always been to present an inclusive gospel to which all can be called and invited to embrace as followers of Jesus Christ.

The extraordinary fact of this last section of Acts 9 to Luke’s first readers was not the healing of the bedridden Aeneas or the resurrection from the dead of Tabitha –although both events were most extraordinary – rather it was Peter accepting hospitality from Simon the tanner. This man had offered a place in his home; an unexpected offer and an equally unexpected acceptance by the great apostle.

God was at work in a special way for this to have come about. All of us will have times when we are surprised by God’s actions in the world. Too often we focus on the unexpected sinful and hurtful choices people make rather than on the blessings of the unexpected good and creative and generous choices that people have made, and from which we have benefited. God was opening Peter’s mind to enable him to think ‘outside the box’ in evangelism, but also that Gentiles mattered too! God was directing Peter to widen the circle of people with whom he was associated in order that the good news could influence and transform the lives of people who might otherwise not hear it.

The challenge for us today is to ask ourselves if there are people with whom we might share the gospel, whom we had not previously prayed for or considered how we might show something of God’s live to them in a practical way.    

2. Cornelius’ openness in Prayer (Acts 10:1-8)

To whom does God speak?

(a) A Person who desires to be holy (v2a) 2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing God took His rightful place in this man’s life despite his limited knowledge of God and an even more limited contact with God’s people, due to the location of his work in this Roman town of Caesarea. This town was like a major American army base abroad with its fast-food restaurants and cinemas –everything in fact that reminded the soldiers of home. In this case the architecture was Roman; the religious temples were like Rome and in fact it was simply Rome in replica –so different in every respect to a Jewish town or village, let alone Jerusalem. Yet Cornelius’ focus was not primarily on what the Roman Emperor wanted him to be like, although he was dedicated to his career and did an excellent job as a soldier.

His focus was on seeking to please God, even though he had little access to the Jewish Bible and would have had real problems getting the time off to attend services at a Jewish place of worship. This was a man who would not be put off seeking God and serving Him. He and his whole family led self-disciplined lives seeking to love God, including planned time for family prayers and personal time alone with God, together with a heart to assist other people around him in practical ways in accordance with their needs. Here was a small group of people waiting to commit their lives to Christ; the only obstacle in their pathway was someone to tell them about Jesus. Do we need God to open our minds to help us make friends or speak to someone from a different cultural or religious background about Jesus? Could we be missing an opportunity already available?

In every country and culture there are people like this- maybe in small numbers in some places, but larger in other countries. Will you pray for an opportunity to introduce someone to Jesus? In a world where secular pressures attempt to squeeze us into a godless mould may we like Cornelius have a passion for godliness; an earnest desire to be God-pleasers through the choices we make.

The apostle Paul put it this way in Romans12:2: 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Are you failing to hear God speaking to us because our life is too cluttered to hear Him speak above all the noise of everything else going on in our lives? God is looking for a people who will give Him their full attention to heed what He has been calling them to do. 

(b) A Person who desires to serve (v2b) he gave generously to those in need generous giving is planned giving. As Christians we will not want to give God the loose change we find on the day. Those of us with regular incomes can set aside our tithes, even setting up standing orders and with the simple use of gift aid forms we can make our offerings go even further if we are tax-payers.

I want to express my most sincere thanks to those who have given so generously to help our church meet its financial commitments since lock down. However, the difference between the recommended giving of Jews in Bible times and the model recommended by Jesus and the Early Church leaders was this: Under Old Testament law you could tick the boxes and say I have given my dues. Even the issue of which neighbours could be helped if they needed assistance was addressed by the Pharisees, but Jesus challenged this mentality with the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

The person in need whom we can help is our neighbour. All that I own and possess I have in trust from God. I am willing to make myself and what I have available to God and allow Him to guide me in the use of those precious resources. This is not a form of communism where all the comrades are compulsorily ‘equal’, rather it is a determination to be in control over what I have rather than being controlled or motivated by them. Money and possessions are good and necessary, but never an end in themselves only the means to an appropriate end.      

(c) A person who desires to pray (vs2c-8) and prayed to God regularly. 3One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius We could easily miss the significance of what is going on here. The time here is important. 3pm was the time of the evening service in the Jerusalem Temple. It was an hour of prayer set aside by devout Jews. For some Jews who were unable to attend the service in the Temple would set aside the time at home when that was possible.

What is remarkable here is that Cornelius was not a Jew. He was a Gentile and a Roman at that. He wanted to please God and was like many non-Jews of that day who had lost faith in the Roman gods, but knew that there was a God to whom they wished to give allegiance, but wanted to do so without joining the Jewish faith. They were known as ‘God-fearers’; people who attended services in local synagogues on a regular basis and lived honourable lives in a very corrupt and depraved society.

These were the most receptive people when the gospel was carried across the towns and cities of the Roman Empire. There is a spiritual health warning that must be given concerning prayer. Be careful what you ask for – God might grant your request!  4Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.

There are many good and commendable things we ask for that appear to be unanswered or simply don’t happen. There are other times when it takes weeks, months or years longer than we had envisaged. In other words God’s response to our prayers can be either ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘not yet’. Here this rather shocked man was informed that God had seen all that he had done and was about to bless him in ways he hadn’t imagined would be possible. God hasn’t changed. However, the blessings we may receive may not be the ones hoped for, but we must trust our heavenly father to know what is best for us.

3. Openness in Attitude (Acts 10:9-16) In another place, Joppa, Peter is praying in his regular daily prayer time. Do we take the big hint here from Luke that the people God is most likely to use in His service are those who spend some time with Him each day? It is not the length of time that is important, rather the setting aside of some time that fits appropriately within your daily schedule. This was a quiet time when most people were sleeping in that hot climate. Peter is using some of that time to spend it with God. What a shock he experienced when this extraordinary vision imprints itself on his mind.

The Jewish law called all these animals unclean and they were not to be eaten. This was a distinctive lifestyle choice that kept Jews and Gentiles separate. Peter is not a vegetarian or a vegan –it is ritual purity that is the issue here! God repeated the message several times to make sure Peter got it! Was it a message about Peter’s dietary choices? No! However, it was a problem for the apostle as he could not grasp what God wanted to say to him.

There was a clear message about food in Acts 10:15: Do not call anything impure that God has made clean, but had Peter not been radical enough by staying in a tanner’s house? The table fellowship issue was clear to all the apostles. Paul put it this way in Romans14:14: 14As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no foodis unclean in itself. Peter was left with the challenge from God. However, it was only a few minutes before all became clear. While he was still praying there was a knock at the door. Peter thought nothing of it as he was a guest in that home and was largely unknown in the area, so the visitors must have come to see his host.

How did Cornelius’s men know to go to that address? God told them. 5Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea. How did Peter know the visitors had come to see him? God told him. 19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”21Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 22The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

Why did God go to such extraordinary lengths to ensure this meeting took place and the follow up meetings in Cornelius’s home? Quite simply this was the biggest step forward since the Christian Church began on the Day of Pentecost. People of all races were equally welcomed to join the Christian Church was God’s message. The Church in Antioch (Acts 13:1) modelled that inclusivity in its leadership team too. It is no surprise that this is the local church that pioneers overseas mission. They had a world vision in their home context first. In order for the gospel to be given to people other than Jews God had to ensure that it took place in an appropriate way with the most prominent leader at that time setting the example.

There are times when God opens doors for Christian service that we had not sought nor prayed for or ever thought would be available to us. My we come openly before God for guidance for today, Amen.

Our song before we come to communion is: God of Justice

The Lord’s Supper

Jesus invites all Christian who have committed their lives to follow Him to participate in this act of worship. The apostle Paul wrote these words of Scripture in I Corinthians 11:23-26 to guide our observance of Communion.

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ 25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 

Prayer: Choose your own words of prayer to give thanks for the bread and wine that represent the costly gift of His body and blood for us.

Take the bread: Jesus said: ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.

Take the wine: Jesus said: This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’

Our closing song is: Let the flame burn brighter

Closing Prayer:

Thank you Lord that you are a God who so loved the world that You gave Your one and only Son to die in our place on the cross, whether we are Jews or one of the other ethnic communities collectively known in the Bible as Gentiles.  Thank You for the privilege of the call to follow in Jesus footsteps to make the good news of the gospel known to everyone we can of whatever race in the coming days.

Help us as a church to welcome everyone to our congregation equally whatever their racial background. We pray that no-one may visit our church services and feel less than wholeheartedly welcomed among us. In this new week we pray for the strength we need to live for you in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

Benediction:  The Grace

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God
and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore, Amen

Remember tonight the national online prayer service at 7pm.