As I’m sure you are all aware, due to lockdown restrictions our church building has been closed and we haven’t been able to meet together in person. However as restrictions have eased we were able to hold a mid week Covid-safe service and it was enjoyed by those who attended. Particularly for those who haven’t been able to attend the Zoom service or access online material. Here are the notes from the service.
Broughty Ferry Baptist Church 11am service PBC 9 September 2020
Welcome: It is so good to see you back in our church building, the first time since Sunday March 15th 2020.
Opening Scripture verses: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, 3He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-3)
Opening praise: The Lord’s my Shepherd Please listen to these words on screen
The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
My soul He doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E’en for His own name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill:
For Thou art with me, and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still.
My table Thou hast furnished
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint
And my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
Opening prayer: Lord it is a real joy to be back here in this church today with some of our brothers and sisters in Christ in this congregation. We thank You for all Your amazing grace to us during these difficult and very challenging months we have already faced. As we recall our Bible verse for the year, it reminds us that nothing takes You by surprise, even if it certainly did so with us. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Father these words so encourage us as we continue in uncertain times, but You have provided for us in this time of need in these past months and will do so again as we go forward. We ask for Your blessing on our time of worship as we gather in Jesus’s name, Amen.
Scripture reading: Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
3 He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely Your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Intercessory prayer using Psalm 23:
Heavenly Father, we live in a very troubled world with violence and killing of our fellow Christians in a growing number of particularly Muslim-majority countries. We continue to be conscious of many needs in our own land too and pray for wisdom for our governments in Edinburgh and London as they grapple with the ever more complex demands of both restraining the spread of the virus as well as allowing the economy to get going again and ensure that many people’s livelihoods can be spared. We pray for the necessary assistance to be provided for the several hundred thousand who have already lost jobs, but thank God that the emergency measures that included the furlough scheme has saved many more businesses from closing. As we pray for others we also come to pray for ourselves using the 23rd Psalm to assist us. I will pray briefly on a point and then pause in silence for you to add your own silent prayers:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing… Thank you Lord that despite all the challenges we have faced for Your provision for my needs. In particular, Lord, I want to thank you for… [private prayer]
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul… Lord, we have had our legitimate concerns about many things, but we thank you for the wonderful assurance of Your presence with us. For Your peace that passes understanding that guards our hearts and minds. In particular Lord, I want to praise You for Your assurance to me when I was struggling with …. In recent weeks or months [private prayer]
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake…. Thank you Lord for your guidance in these past months in the choices I have made. However, Lord I want to ask for further guidance for things I am facing just now or coming up in the near future [private prayer]
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.Lord during this lockdown we honestly admit that we have struggled with being unable to visit friends or family who were unwell or in hospital; we may even have shed tears because we were unable to visit friends or family members in the last weeks or months of their lives and may even have had to miss their funerals too. Lord, I bring before You the people and circumstances that have come to my mind… [private prayer]
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. Lord thank You that even in the times when there were some food shortages in the supermarkets at the beginning of the pandemic that I always had enough food to eat, and enough of other essential goods. You are Jehovah Jireh, the one who provides for us. Lord, we bring before You today our own needs, together with other people’s needs known to us; for those struggling with lower or no incomes; for those searching for employment; for young people going off to university at this time, and any other needs on our hearts that we want to pray about today. [private prayer]
Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Lord we honestly don’t know how long our days will be in this life. We remember the families of Ian Rodgers and Bill Marshall, John Goodfellow and John Nyguist and Jim Ford who have entered Your presence since last we met here in this place. Lord we pray for them together with …. [private prayers]
Thank you Lord that You will hear and answer our prayers, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.
Message from Psalm 23:1-2 ‘Contented sheep of the good shepherd’
Closing song: ‘Crown Him with many crowns’ Please listen to these words on screen
Closing prayer: Thank you Lord for our blessings. We never thought we would be so grateful to be back in the church premises for today’s service. Thank You that You go before us each step of the way in our lives to guide and direct our pathways. We entrust to You what is in store for us in the coming days, for Jesus’s 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
Our next service is planned for the same time on Wednesday 23rd September at 11am.