Worship at Home for the Week Beginning 14th July 2024

To listen to the sermon and a hymn dial

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Revd Dr Samantha Gillard 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 Ark of God
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Opening Prayer:

Living and faithful Spirit, 
the God in whom we live and move and have our being, 
the God who is made known in Christ Jesus, 
bless us one and all as we wait on you this day. 

Please remove from our minds and hearts 
whatever impediments hinder worship or dampen our joy. 
Increase within us that holy longing for closeness which can open our lives to fuller delight and to a deeper commitment. 

May our hymns and prayers, 
our searching thoughts, and our hearing of the Scriptures, be an exercise in the holiest love making. 

By you, with you and for you, may our lives publish your praise.  In the name of Christ Jesus


written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.  http://www.bruceprewer.com/ Reposted on RE: Worship: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/06/call-to-worship-prayer-proper-8-b.html

STF 44 Come on and celebrate his gift of love

Come on and celebrate
His gift of love, we will celebrate 
The Son of God who loved us 
And gave us life. 
We’ll shout your praise, O King, 
You give us joy nothing else can bring, 
We’ll give to you our offering 
In celebration praise.  

Come on and celebrate, celebrate 
Celebrate and sing, 
Celebrate and sing to the King. 
Come on and celebrate, celebrate 
Celebrate and sing, 
Celebrate and sing to the King

By Brian Doerksen Words & Music © 2005 Thankyou Music & Integrity Music. Admin by worshiptogether.com
CCLI Song Number: 4662491

Bible Reading

Time to reflect:

On holiday recently I had the opportunity to go on a boat trip to visit some uninhabited islands. As I stood on the beach looking out to the ocean, I started thinking about what it would be like stranded on this Island, triggering memories of listening to Desert Island Discs. A radio 4 programme which has now been running for over 82 years, where people are asked to choose eight music tracks, a book and a luxury item. Many of you may have listened to this long running programme; I wonder if you have ever thought about what you would take. I am still pondering on my choices because for me, I listen to different types of music depending on how I am feeling. Would you choose to take as your luxury item, a valued possession, if so, would your choice be related to the meaning behind the object or its monetary value? Our Bible reading today is about King David and the people celebrating the return of the Ark of God, their most valuable object they possess.

The Ark of God, a highly decorated chest, often referred to as the Ark of the covenant, because it held within it three objects (Exodus 25:10-22 and 34:1); a stone tablet on which were the Ten Commandments, believed to be written by God’s own finger on Mount Sinai and given to Moses; a jar of manna, a sign of God’s provision for them in the wilderness and Aron’s budding rod, which confirmed his divine priesthood. For the Israelites the Ark, was their most holy object, that symbolised that God’s presence was with them. After the Israelites were defeated by the Philistines, the Ark was captured, but later returned to them out of fear of its power. On its return the Israelites neglected the Ark, storing it for twenty years in an ordinary house (1 Samuel 1:7). King David, anointed now as King, chose to reunite the Ark of God with the Israelites. There were jubilant celebrations, including David “leaping and dancing before the Lord” (Verse 16).

Reflecting, can an object symbolise God’s presence?

God revealed over time that God’s presence cannot be contained but is everywhere.  Isaiah 66: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool”. Acts 7:48: “However the Most High does not live in houses built by human hands”. God’s omnipresence means that whenever and wherever we are worshipping, God is with us.

Jubilant celebrations surrounded the return of the Ark, why then had they neglected it for twenty years? They had placed the Ark in a safe place, it was guarded, a treasure stored away. How often do we store up treasures, valuable objects and neglect our time with God? Jesus Christ teaches us, not to store up treasures on earth, “For where your treasure is, there will be your heart” (Matthew 6:19-21).

The returning of the Ark with jubilant celebrations, reflects the unconditional welcome God gives to us, when we turn away from things that are not of God, or they cause us to neglect our time spent with God. Jesus uses three different parables (Luke 15); the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, to reveal how God longs for us to return. Then to live out our calling (https://www.methodist.org.uk/about/our-calling/) as God’s children; to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ. In seeking how to respond, we discover God requires us “To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). A way that leads to transformation through love and Justice. This is the theme for the coming year, as revealed by Revd Helen Cameron, our previous District Chair and now President. In her recent address to the 2024 Methodist conference, she drew from Isaiah 1:17a “Learn to do right; seek justice, defend the oppressed” and motivated the church to be bolder, to show ‘that justice is what love looks like in public’. https://www.methodist.org.uk/about/structure-and-governance/the-methodist-conference/conference-2024/presidency/president-and-vice-president-2024-25/the-presidents-address-to-the-confernce-2024/. Amen

Prayers of intercession

You are invited to pray silently for:

The needs of the world…
The Church and its calling…
Loved ones going through difficult times…
For peace, justice, and reconciliation…
In Jesus name.


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 338 There is a redeemer

There is a redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son,
precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One.


Thank you, O my Father,
for giving us your Son,
and leaving your Spirit
till the work on earth is done.

Jesus, my Redeemer,
name above all names,
precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
O for sinners slain.


When I stand in glory
I will see his face
and there I’ll serve my King for ever
in that holy place.

Noel Richards. © 1986 Thankyou Music. Admin: Integrity Music. CCLI Song Number: 121074

Final Prayer

Wonderful God, you call us to do the impossible: 
   to love our enemies, 
   to confront injustice, 
   to share bountifully with the poor.
You do not give us an inch: 
you call us to be perfect in our imitation of you.
And yet, you give us everything: 
   love abounding,
   the foundation of Christ, 
   and the gift of creation.

Bless us, give us the blessing of a faithful spirit, a willing heart, and a kingdom of grace. 



Prayer inspired by Leviticus 19: 9-10, Matthew 5: 43-48. ~ written by the Rev. Elizabeth Dilley,and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website. http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways/  Reposted on RE: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2014/02/closing-prayer-epiphany-7a.html

Service prepared by Revd Dr Samantha Gillard

Webpage: Paul Deakin