Worship at Home for the Week Beginning 15th January 2023

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Local Preacher Jenny Brooks has prepared this week's message.

This short act of worship is for use from home. Please use this service whenever you like during the week.

Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

The Lamb of God
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Call to Worship

Lord, help us to come with open hearts and minds,
eager to spend time with you,
longing to learn more about you,
wanting to take more of who you are
out to the world –
until everyone has come to you.

Hymn 255 Singing the Faith

The kingdom of God
Is justice and joy,
For Jesus restores
What sin would destroy;
God’s power and glory
In Jesus we know,
And here and hereafter
The kingdom shall grow.

The kingdom of God
Is mercy and grace,
The prisoners are freed,
The sinners find place,
The outcast are welcomed
Gods banquet to share,
And hope is awakened
In place of despair.

The kingdom of God
Is challenge and choice,
Believe the good news,
Repent and rejoice!
His love for us sinners
Brought Christ to his cross,
Our crisis of judgement
For gain or for loss.

God’s kingdom is come,
The gift and the goal,
In Jesus begun,
In heaven made whole;
The heirs of the Kingdom
Shall answer his call,
And all things cry glory
To God all in all.
(Bryn Rees)

Bible Reading

Prayer of confession and assurance of forgiveness

Lamb of God,
who takes away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.
Father God, you invited us to come and see,
And we turned the other way.
You offered us a warm welcome,
And we did not extend that welcome to others.
You invited us to tell others about you,
And we turned away and chose not to.
You invited us to come and eat,
And we chose to eat elsewhere.
You came as a sacrificial lamb,
And we allowed you to be crucified.
Lamb of God,
who takes away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,
we have been washed clean by your blood,
by your sacrifice upon the cross.
We have been made whole in you
and you invite us to walk with you fresh each day.
Thank you for wiping the slate clean.


Last week’s lectionary readings gave us Matthew’s telling of the story of Jesus’ baptism. This week we have the perspective of Johns gospel. Like much of John’s gospel, these verses are about meaning, rather than narrative. In verse 29 John the Baptist sees Jesus in the street and proclaims him “the Lamb of God”. For John and his contemporaries, this would have had deep religious meaning; every morning and evening a lamb was sacrificed in the Temple for the sins of the people. This ritual began after the escape from slavery in Egypt, when the blood of a lamb smeared on every door protected the Israelites from the Angel of Death. The writer of Isaiah, a book that both Jesus and John the Baptist would have been familiar with, in chapter 53 verse 7, uses the image of a “lamb to the slaughter”, someone who is seen as a substitute for the death of others. Throughout his telling of the story of Jesus, the writer of John’s gospel is attempting to help his readers better understand the events concerning Jesus, are a new and better Exodus story. Just as God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, so God is now bringing all people into a better relationship with himself. Gods’ lamb (Jesus) will take away the sin of the world – everyone, all of us, for all time, if we want that.

In verses 35-42 John the Baptist again sees Jesus and tells of his disciples that Jesus is “God’s lamb”. The disciples then follow Jesus and ask where he is staying. Jesus reply is both practical and profound – “come and see”. This is an invitation to talk at length, not just a passing exchange in the street. It is also implying that there are actions to be seen, not just talking. All of this prompts one of the men to go and find his brother and tell him, “I have found the Messiah” and then bring him to Jesus. Thus Andrew brings Peter to Jesus. Sharing the good news is as simple as this, “come and see” .. “Go and tell”. Sometimes we feel it must be complicated, or difficult to tell others about Jesus. Maybe it isn’t. Our blocks to sharing the gospel will be different, but not insurmountable.  The Spirit of God will guide and support us.

Hymn 462 Singing the Faith

Come with me, come wander, come welcome the world
where strangers might smile or stones might be hurled;
come leave what you cling to, lay down what you clutch
and find, with hands empty, that hearts can hold much.

Sing hey for the carpenter leaving his tools! Sing hey for the Pharisees leaving their rules! Sing hey for the fishermen leaving their nets! Sing hey for the people who leave their regrets.

Come walk in my company, come sleep by my side,
come savour a lifestyle with nothing to hide; come sit at my table and eat with my friends, discovering that love which the world never ends.


Come share in my laughter, come close to my fears,
come find yourself washed with the kiss of my tears;
come stand close at hand while I suffer and die
and find in three days I never will lie.


Come leave your possessions, come share out your treasure,
come give and receive without method or measure;
come loose every bond that’s resisting the Spirit,
enabling the earth to be yours to inherit.


John Bell and Graham Maule

Service prepared by Local Preacher Jenny Brooks

Webpage: Paul Deakin