Worship at Home for the Week Beginning 14th May 2023

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Revd Alan Sharp 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.

I will not leave you orphaned
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A call to worship:
Loving God, we have come to worship you
Help us to remember that you are here with us.  May we pray to you in faith, praise you with gratitude, and hear your word with eagerness;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


StF 319 – Christ triumphant

Christ triumphant, ever reigning,
Saviour, Master, King!
Lord of heaven, our lives sustaining,
hear us as we sing:

Yours the glory and the crown,
the high renown, the eternal name.


Word incarnate, truth revealing,
Son of Man on earth!
power and majesty concealing
by your humble birth: Refrain

Suffering servant, scorned, ill – treated,
victim crucified!
death is through the cross defeated,
sinners justified: Refrain

Priestly King, enthroned for ever
high in heaven above!
sin and death and hell shall never
stifle hymns of love: Refrain

So, our hearts and voices raising
through the ages long,
ceaselessly upon you gazing,
this shall be our song: Refrain

Michael Saward (born 1932)     

© Michael Saward/Jubilate Hymns

Prayers of praise & confession

Lord God,
To you alone belong glory, honour and praise.
We join with the hosts of heaven as we worship. You alone are worthy of adoration from every mouth,
And every tongue shall sing your praise.
You create the earth by your power;
You save the human race in your mercy,
And renew it through your grace.
To you, loving God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Be all glory, honour and praise
Now and for ever.


Almighty and eternal God,
you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and to give more than we ask or deserve.
Pour down on us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Bible Reading

Time to reflect:

John 14.18-19:  “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.

One of the most heart-breaking programmes on TV must be “Long Lost Family.” From the first series in 2011 it has helped many people to find relatives, including some who were abandoned as children.  We know that such children are dependent on Social Services, Adoption Agencies and other services.  Some are cared for and find love, but others have a bleak childhood.

In the Gospel reading today Jesus says to the disciples “I will not leave you orphaned”. Some versions of the Bible use different words – comfortless, desolate, all alone – but the Greek word literally means orphans. It may seem a strange word to use. This is part of a long passage in which Jesus is preparing the disciples to continue his work. After his arrest and crucifixion, we cannot imagine their panic and fear. They had had such a close relationship for three years, but then they are left alone.

And Jesus surely knew they would be left feeling vulnerable.  He surely suspected they would turn and run for their own lives, abandoning him the very moment things got rough.  
He knew all of these things but loved them anyway.
But his words in this passage reveal none of his own sense of loss and panic, his own sense of being desolate.

He speaks only of encouragement.  In the passage Jesus speaks of the coming of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will never leave them, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, (who) abides with you and in you.”

Whether they understood him or not, he only speaks words of hope. Jesus made a promise then that is still alive today. His word to us is to trust in the abiding presence and love of God, which is unceasing, and to remember we are never alone – no matter what. Echoes of “I am with you until the end of the world” rise here, in his words. God is a God who keeps promises. We know this because of Christ.

Jesus has kept this promise and will continue to keep it, and in doing so, calls us every day to grow up, to grow stronger by the constant gift of God’s love that we know so clearly revealed in him.

David Jenkins, the former Bishop of Durham, wrote that he had been criticised for using long sentences and words. So, he decided to write in a few simple words what he believed.  He wrote “God is; He is as, He is in Jesus; so there is hope”.

And we might say: God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

Prayer of Intercession

Give me, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:
a world where the weak are protected,
and none go hungry or poor;
a world where the riches of creation are   shared, and everyone can enjoy them;
a world where different races, and cultures
live in tolerance and mutual respect;
a world where peace is built with justice,
and justice is guided by love.
And give me the inspiration and courage
to share in the task of building it,
through Jesus Christ my Lord.


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.


StF 568 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!
His the sceptre, his the throne;
Alleluia! His the triumph,
His the victory alone.
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion
Thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus, out of every nation,
Has redeemed us by his blood.

Alleluia! Not as orphans
Are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! He is near us;
Faith believes, nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him
When the forty days were o’er,
Shall our hearts forget his promise,
“I am with you evermore”?

Alleluia! Bread of angels,
Thou on earth our help, our stay;
Alleluia! Here the sinful
Flee to thee from day to day.
Intercessor, friend of sinners,
Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweep across the crystal sea.

Alleluia! King eternal,
Thee the Lord of lords we own:
Alleluia! born of Mary,
Earth thy footstool, heaven thy throne:
Thou within the veil hast entered,
Robed in flesh, our great High Priest:
Thou on earth both priest and victim 
In the Eucharistic feast!

Closing Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank you for your promise of the Spirit of truth to guide and lead us.
Send us out with hearts ready to welcome your gift,
eyes open to see and ears eager to hear,
that we may live and reveal your truth and love in every moment, day by day.

Service prepared by Revd Alan Sharp

Webpage: Paul Deakin