A gathering prayer:
Lord, we are drawn to your well
to seek the water of eternal life.
Refresh us with your Word.
Surround us with your Love.
And fill us to overflowing with your Spirit,
the water of life,
that we may never be thirsty.
StF 566 - Take my life, and let it be
Take my life and let it be, consecrated,
Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be,
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice and let me sing,
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord, I pour, at thy feet its treasure store. Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise to God for a living hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
A miktam of David.
1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.’
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.’
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Jesus showed Thomas his hands and side;
the man was overjoyed at his presence.
We too are filled with joy to meet with you.
Thank you that you send us forth in your name, to do your will, and to be your presence in the world.
Thank you that you are always with us.
In you there is a world of joys and excitement still to be unlocked. We praise you, Lord.
Heavenly Father, we pray for all the places in the world that need your peace:
places where wars continue to threaten the stability of the nations; and the lack of peace has caused so much destruction;
places where people have to flee their homes, their families destroyed, lives lost.
Lord, bring your peace which passes all understanding.
Give wisdom to world leaders:
to presidents, prime ministers, politicians of all governments, that they may strive for lasting peace and true justice,
not putting personal ambitions before the needs of their people.
Lord, bring your peace which passes all understanding.
We pray for those who need peace of mind:
those weighed down by the stresses and strains of everyday life,
or who suffer with anxiety, or are oppressed by worry and fear;
for those who find it hard to let go of things and simply trust.
Lord, bring your peace which passes all understanding. Amen.
This prayer was originally published in 2020.
The Lord's Prayer
Please use the version that you prefer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.
Time to reflect:
At the end of a football game sometimes you hear the TV commentator say, ‘They think it is all over’.
Easter has come and gone for another year and in the Church, there was a huge amount of joy celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Peter’s letter in 1Peter 1 v1-9 was written to Christians who were separated and scattered across a large area. As we look to the summer and the year ahead, Peter’s opening remarks serve as a reminder for all of us in our lives.
Later I will describe a conversation I had with a young man just before Easter that I hope will encourage us in our Christian life of Faith with God today, and the days that follow.
Peter writes a pastoral letter around AD 64 when Nero was persecuting Christians. His whole letter is to those in a foreign land who have been displaced, Gentile churches and a range of different people. The purpose of the letter is to prepare the church to have a hope in Christ in the face of suffering. In some ways you might call the letter a guide to Christian pilgrims who face grief, pain and suffering, as they journey through life.
I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans that says, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’. Many of us suffer loss and grief, knowing people who face life changing circumstances that are beyond our control. Just before Easter being part of the Churches together memorial service for Fred Shand reminded me again of how fragile life is for all of us.
The idea we are a chosen people living in hope and called to be Holy reminds us we are continually learning, and relearning to follow Christ today, in our lives, where we live.
In verse 3 Peter says ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’. We consider Peter who denied being a follower of Jesus and then meets Jesus after his resurrection,
preaches at Pentecost and Jesus says on this rock (Peter), I will build my church.
Finally, I had, a conversation with a young man who said he could not understand why there were very few customers coming into his business on Friday 7th April 2023. In a simple way I shared that the date was a Bank holiday, Good Friday and some people go to Church to remember that Christ died on a cross to save people from their sins, and was raised from the dead, on Easter Sunday, and Easter is a huge celebration all around the world.
His reply completely took me by surprise. He said, ‘no one has told me that ever’. He asked me did I believe; my response was yes; I do believe and have a personal faith and I can answer any questions you might have. He went on to explain that Jesus’ death and resurrection was news to him, something no one had ever explained in his RE lessons.
We live in the world just like Peter lived in the world all those years ago. Still the same world of suffering and scattered people, not knowing there is an eternal hope and salvation, with an inheritance offered for all in heaven. My prayer is that as we live out our lives and meet people that we will carry this salvation news to our families and friends, and those we meet in our everyday lives.
StF 663 - I, the Lord of sea and sky
I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry. All who dwell in dark and sin my hand will save. I, who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright. Who will bear my light to them? Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.
I, the Lord of snow and rain. I have borne my people’s pain. I have wept for love of them. They turn away. I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone I will speak my words to them. Whom shall I send?
I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame. I will set a feast for them. My hand will save. Finest bread I will provide till their hearts be satisfied. I will give my life to them. Whom shall I send?
A sending out prayer:
Lord Jesus, walk with us through this week,
support us when we try to see the truth
in things that puzzle us.
Give us courage to search for answers, and hold us in your unfailing and all-encompassing love, each and every day.