Sharing Our Faith Together

Worship for 13 June 2021

by Catherine James 13 June 2021

Welcome to our worship this morning. The words below reflect the service taking place in our church today.

Call to Worship
All around us, God is looking for folks who will join in serving others. It is as if God is planting seeds of compassion in us, watching for them to bloom in our lives.
In our midst, Jesus is walking among us, tending our hearts, watering us with grace.

Hymn: ’O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder’

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Reading:  Psalm 92  v 1-4 and v 12-15

Lord God, we think of the words of the Psalm, ’It is good to give thanks to you – to reflect on your steadfast love in the morning and faithfulness by night.’

This morning, we have come together to worship you. Lord, you have been with us during the week and now we have met together again, and so we worship you with joy and give you thanks.

For you pour out your love to us in so many ways. You have created a world of beauty -we look at the colour and variety of life in all its forms -and all that shows us your power and beauty -and give you thanks.

We think of your Word to which we can always turn for strength, for comfort, for encouragement, to learn of your love -and we give you thanks.

But most of all, Loving God, you speak to us in the gift of your Son Jesus Christ, our Friend and Brother, who reached out with compassion to those in need; who taught us of your love and our love for our neighbours; who died as our Saviour; and rose again to be with us forever more. All this out of your deep love for us -and we give you thanks. Amen

Lord God, we have come in response to that love, a love which is forgiving and renewing. So now we bring to you our weaknesses for your strength; our burdens for your healing; our sins for your forgiveness.

We make our Confession.

Loving God, our God of forgiveness, as we turn to you, may we know your love which renews us, that we are forgiven and surrounded by your grace every step of the way. Amen

We gather together our prayers in the words of the Lord’s Prayer.

Reading: Mark’s Gospel 4 v 26-34

Hymn: ’For the beauty of the earth’

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I am reflecting on Mark 4 vv 26-29, the Parable of the Growing Seed.

I am sure that many of us can say that our gardens have never been as well-cared for as they have been this year! At the same time, our gardens and those we pass have given us so much support -and joy- since the start of last year.

At the beginning of the first lockdown, I used to walk down the hill where I live to the A6 and noticed the daffodils appearing -leaves, stalks, buds and then the flowers. They spoke to me of hope, of promise,  as the greening of the year slowly happened day by day.

No wonder perhaps that we have mention of plants and trees throughput the Bible -from that first Garden of Eden, in the Psalm today, in the prophets, and in the teaching of Jesus. He walked the countryside, was a keen observer of the natural world, spoke of wildflowers as signs of God’s care, used vineyards, trees and plants in his teaching. Today, we heard two parables about seeds, showing God’s work , his Kingdom, in the world.

Today, we think especially of the Parable of the Growing Seed -a ‘mini’ parable, only four verses long and only found in Mark.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed this year has been trying out different vegetables in the garden. Some seeds have been quite large -broad beans, courgettes. But I was given a small packet of tomato seeds. I sowed them in pots, covered them, watered them, and put them in a protected place. I was amazed as green specks appeared against the brown earth! They grew, eventually produced secondary leaves , so that I could tell they really were tomatoes. Soon they will be ready to plant out.

That first appearance, the generation of life, the greenness, can fill us with a sense of mystery, of wonder, which can turn to a sense of thanksgiving and worship as we think of the God who made them . Perhaps too, they can help us to think of God at work in the world.

Those seeds will put down roots , to give stability to the plants. In all the changes this year, we have that assurance-that ‘root’ for our lives -that God is there.

Archbishop Justin wrote recently in ‘Preach’, “We stand on solid ground -our faith in the unchanging God. What we know of him, what he has done and what he promises. Pause for a moment, and call to mind  all there is which is ours through his eternal faithfulness.”

That God calls us to work with him . In the story, someone has to sow the seed and water it and care for the plant. God works with us as we work with him. There’s a partnership.

Echo in 1 Corinthians 3 v 6. ‘Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.’


God is there and he is there in the growing.

It is especially relevant, I think, for the lockdown months and the present situation. Sometimes we seem to stand still. There are quiet times. But not really— God is still there.

A speaker I heard recently said he thought this is one of the most exciting opportunities to share the Good News.

People have been asking questions -people of all ages have had difficult situations to face. There has been searching.

There have been pauses too for thanksgiving as I found recently through the on line Thanksgiving Service for Bible Society.

There have been changes for our churches & the way we seek to worship & have fellowship. On line facilities  have been and are being used. At the same time , a concern for those not on line. We have to go on seeking new ways to share the Gospel. Have these been quiet times for our churches? If we think of the Parable, then not really. God is still there . He invites us; he calls us to work with him in the world.

May that be our joy and experience for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Prayers of Intercession
As we come to our prayers of intercession, we think of our neighbours near and far away; we begin our prayers for those nearest to us, and then widen out to the world; and so we pray.

Our God of love, we come to you in prayer, bringing our concerns for the needs of the world in which we live. We come in faith, knowing that you are always there to listen to us and pray for our Church at Newmount -for our times of worship and fellowship; for our witness and outreach.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We think, Lord, of the areas in which we live and work and worship -those who live in the road in which our Church is situated and the roads in which we live. We pray for those who carry burdens; who need guidance in their decisions; those in the middle of waiting times; those who seek-that they may find you and know you.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Saviour God, we bring to you those who are unwell and those who care for them; those who are affected by the current situation. We bring our personal prayers to the Lord.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

And so, Lord, we turn to the wider world-and pray for those who suffer and are in need. As we give you thanks for the vaccination programme here, we think of the people of those countries still suffering because of shortages in vaccinations and medical treatment. We pray for those attending the G7 conference in Cornwall and pray for wisdom and guidance in their discussions.
We pray for the peace of the world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We bring these our prayers, and the unspoken prayers of our hearts for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Hymn: ’Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?’

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A Blessing
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The Lord turn His Face toward you And give you peace.