Worship at Home for the Week Beginning 14th January 2024
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Local Preacher John Atkin 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.

Called by God
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A prayer of approach:

Vibrant God, call us afresh today to a new vision of your kingdom, to a new understanding of your purposes, to a new knowing of how best to serve you, to a new appreciation of your presence with us, to a new awareness of all that you would have us do, as your people in this place and time. In Jesus’ name we pray.   


StF 594 Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us

Lord Jesus Christ.  You have come to us
You are one with us.  Mary’s Son:
Cleansing our souls from all their sin
Pouring Your love and goodness in
Jesus, our love for you we sing,
Living Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, You have come to us
Born as one with us, Mary’s Son: Led out to die on Calvary, risen from death to set us free;
Living Lord Jesus, help us see. You are Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ. I would come to you
live my life for you. Son of God
All your commands I know are true;
Your many gifts will make me new;
Into my life your power breaks through
Living Lord. 

Prayer of confession

Dear God, when knowing myself causes me –
to doubt that you could ever want me as your disciple: 

Forgive me and help me to trust you more deeply.

to doubt that you could ever love me:

Forgive me and help me to trust you more deeply.

to doubt that you could ever accept me:

Forgive me and help me to trust you more deeply.

In Jesus’ name I pray. So, Generous God, thank you that, in forgiving us, you give us
fresh energy to serve you, fresh understanding of our calling, fresh wisdom as we share our faith, fresh purpose as we live out that faith day by day, fresh appreciation of the gifts of others, and fresh hope for all that lies ahead. 


Bible Readings

Prayers of thanksgiving

We praise you, God of grace, for bringing into our lives those who draw us closer to you,
those who speak your words of encouragement, those who believe in your calling for our lives, those whose testimonies inspire, excite and move us, and those who reflect your love, faithfulness and compassion, day by day. 


Prayers of intercession

Holy God, we feel overwhelmed and helpless as we see and hear and feel the pain of the Holy Land, Ukraine and Russia. We pray for families there and all who are bereaved, fearful, homeless, hungry and stateless. Who are suffering because of the ongoing war. 
Most want to live in peace and harmony with each other but the violence prevents them from living the life they would wish. 

Holy God, all around the world there seems to be pain and anguish created by political tactics and desires, while people simply seek peace and calm, home and shelter, food and water.

Holy God, our national health service in the UK is under so much pressure; both staff and patients are suffering. So many people with illness and injury cannot get the help and healing they need. So many staff not able to give the help and healing they would like to.

Holy God, as we put away our Christmas treasures in our decorations box, we think of those who have nothing to put away, no happy memories, nothing to pass on.
May they find someone and something that gives them a meaning and a memory.

Holy God, as we prepare for a new year, we think of those who will be spending their first year without a treasured loved one; for those who will be stepping into the new year with sadness, loneliness and uncertainty.

Lord, hear all our prayers for them and help us to be alert to the needs of them and the world. Holy God, bless all we have prayed for,
all we have brought to mind and bless us too we pray.


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:

God calls in many ways, so we need to be alert in order to recognise the call. This week we look at ways in which we might be called by our God, who is caring and understanding as we look at God calling Samual and Jesus’ encounter with Nathanael. We need to understand that God knows us as quoted in Psalm 139. The writer of this psalm reminds us that God knows us intimately. His knowledge of us is not only wonderful, it liberates us to live our lives certain that God is with us throughout our ups and downs, our every situation – protecting, loving, guiding. He knows and loves us completely. He also knows all those around us and the situations in which we can effectively serve Him.

Nathanael is called by Jesus at the end of a string of events around a group of people who know each other and who want to share in the Good News of God through the Messiah. One of John the Baptist callings from God was to point people to Jesus. Andrew and John had been prepared by John the Baptist to follow Jesus. Andrew accepted John the Baptist testimony about Jesus and immediately went to tell his brother Simon, whom Jesus changed his name to Peter. Then in the same town of Bethsada there friend Philip joins them who knows Nathanael from Canan. Whom Philip tells all about Jesus and says “come and see” so Nathanael meets Jesus and becomes a disciple.

It is Nathaneal who when told about Jesus said “Can anything good come from there?”  If he had stuck to his prejudices without investigating further, he would have missed the Messiah! Its friends telling friends not being afraid to talk about Jesus and what it means to follow him in your life

As we tell Samuel’s story, how could it apply to our Church. In particular, how might adults hear from God through our young people? What is the relationship between young and old in our Church community? How can we both learn together how to hear from God? Might this be the way that God starts something new and exciting in our church’s life? How will we all ensure that we not only hear what God is saying, but how together we might put it into practice.

God says to Samuel “I am about to do something in Israel (Northampton) that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle” We are told that the word of the Lord and visions were rare in those days. Perhaps the people and their leaders were no longer in the habit of listening and looking out for God. It took a young person to be able to listen and hear. At a time of transition for the nation. Samuel was to become a trustworthy prophet and leader. So, what makes our ears tingle? How ready are we to hear and receive messages from God and act on them?

StF 662 – Have you heard God’s voice.

Have you heard God’s voice; has your heart been stirred? Are you still prepared to follow? Have you made a choice to remain and serve, though the way be rough and narrow?

Refrain (except the last time) Will you walk the path that will cost you much and embrace the pain and sorrow? Will you trust in One who entrusts to you the disciples of tomorrow?

Will you use your voice; will you not sit down when the multitudes are silent? Will you make a choice to stand your ground when the crowds are turning violent?

In your city streets will you be God’s heart? Will you listen to the voiceless? Will you stop and eat, and when friendships start, will you share your faith with the faithless?

Will you watch the news with the eyes of faith and believe it could be different? Will you share your views using words of grace? Will you leave a thoughtful imprint?

We will walk the path that will cost us much and embrace the pain and sorrow. We will trust in One who entrusts to us the disciples of tomorrow

A going out prayer:

So now we go out with confidence in you;
our loving God who leads us; You know are weaknesses and our strengths.  Lord call us, guide us, and strengthen us in your service.

Service prepared by Local Preacher John Atkin

Webpage: Paul Deakin