OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED

Sharing Our Faith Together

Morning Worship for Sunday 17 January 2021

by Peter Blount 17 January 2021

Greetings in the name of Jesus – Joy and peace to you all.

Welcome to worship with us at Newmount Methodist Church for our online service.  I make no apology for being a ‘bit heavy’ on the music this morning, but I hope by noting the little extra instructions/suggestions we can share fellowship together in a meaningful and beneficial manner. 

Our opening Hymn is one of praise and joy – please do sing along at home.
 

Let all the world in every corner sing 

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Opening Psalm 
Psalm 139  (Extracts)
You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.

It is joyful and frightening at the same time to realise that our God knows us that well!


You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

It is reassuring and challenging to feel God's touch on our lives 

 

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

It is a blessing and daunting to know that, even if we try, we cannot escape God’s reach! 

 

Prayer 
Father in heaven we give you thanks for the warm embrace of these words, knowing that you go before us every step of the way, and this morning as we come into your presence may we each have a sense of awe and a sense of expectancy that you will speak and bless us. 

We acknowledge also, heavenly Father, that although we may try, we can never express our gratitude for all that you have already done on our behalf, neither can we put into words the regret we have and heartache we suffer because we so often go astray. 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.
AMEN 

Please continue in prayer as you listen to this next song which hopefully puts into better words than I can, our debt to Jesus.

Jesus Paid it All – All to Him I owe. 

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Message
The lectionary this week points us firstly to the Gospel of John Ch 1 v 43 – 51 

We have read the first part of this chapter several times over the Christmas period (which already feels a long time ago) but John moves the story very quickly in this chapter and already he is writing about Jesus calling his followers/helpers his disciples.  

These particular verses are Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael, who are chosen because of Jesus’ prior knowledge of them, and in these early verses we see Jesus promise them that they will be witness to great things, which with the benefit of hindsight is perhaps an understatement!

The Old Testament reading is the familiar story of God calling Samuel (1 Samuel Ch 3).  Here it is retold in story form – I hope you enjoy it!

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Both of these scriptures are about folk – ordinary everyday folk – being chosen and called by God.  They all would have been stunned and confused, probably desperately looking for reasons why it should not be them.

However, they would be similarly completely in the dark as to what lay ahead. The things they would witness, the situations they would be involved in, the people they would meet and of course, the bit they would never know, was that they were creating a place in history.  

Big thoughts I know, but let’s further consider the calling of individuals for God’s work, which is a phenomena that continues to this day.  The description above could be the beginning of almost every Christian’s calling – the uncertainty, the questioning, the feeling of inadequacy.  

Maybe you had or still have those same feelings and thoughts.

Our teaching tells us that Jesus called us to be His disciples, his voice, his hands, his representatives here on earth and most importantly, that we are not alone in this calling. 

As you listen to this next piece of music, watch the pictures and read the words, consider that Jesus’ message is for all and his calling, through you, is also to everyone.  Also consider your focus in life by turning your eyes to Jesus. 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (for Prayer) 

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Prayers 
Our prayer time is also accompanied by music.  Jesus is the Servant King and to Him we bring all our prayers.  Listen and pray (I’ve listed a few subjects). If the music is still playing when you’ve covered these subjects offer your private and personal prayers, take as long as you need – play the music again if necessary. 

The Servant King 

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World peace and political stability 

The role of the church in today’s society 

The continued closure of our place of worship 

The stewards and others striving to maintain fellowship and a clear witness

Those know to us who are ill or finding lockdown difficult and stressful. 

Personal prayers 

AMEN 


Above all, as indicated in the psalm and confirmed in the gospel readings, Jesus’ promise to His disciples and followers is to be with us always, despite all difficulties and restrictions. So please confirm and ‘Stand on that Promise’. 

Standing on the Promises. Again – please sing along at home 

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Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you. 
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
AMEN