Service of the Word

Friday 20th March 2020

4th Week of Lent

Brothers and sisters in Christ. During this time of uncertainty and isolation it is important for us to remember that we are still united together as part of the body of Christ. We may not be able to physically meet together for worship, but we can still worship together in Spirit and Truth. I would encourage you all to gather with your family on Friday at 10am and go through this service together, knowing that you are worshipping alongside the rest of your St Thomas family at this time.

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Select one person to be the service leader, they will lead with the regular text and everyone else will respond with the text in bold. 

Prepare your hearts and minds for worship with the following worship song.

Either sing along or listen quietly.

Gathering

  Grace, mercy and peace

  from God our Father

  and the Lord Jesus Christ

  be with you

All:      and also with you

 

  This is the day that the Lord has          made.

All:      Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Absolution

Confession

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led

by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted

by the devil. Let us confess our sins remembering before God the

times when we have fallen from temptation into sin.

(a moment of silent reflection)

We confess to you our selfishness and lack of love:

fill us with your Spirit.

Lord, have mercy.

All:    Lord, have mercy.

We confess to you our fear and failure in sharing our faith:

fill us with your Spirit.

Christ, have mercy.

All:    Christ, have mercy.

We confess to you our stubbornness and lack of trust:

fill us with your Spirit.

Lord, have mercy.

All:    Lord, have mercy.

We have come together in the name of Christ

to offer our praise and thanksgiving,

to hear and receive God's holy word,

to pray for the needs of the world,

and to seek the forgiveness of our sins,

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

we may give ourselves to the service of God.

May the Father of all mercies

cleanse us from our sins,

and restore us in his image

to the praise and glory of his name,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All:    Amen

Thanksgiving

         Blessed is the Lord,

All:    for he has heard the voice of our prayer;

         therefore shall our hearts dance for joy

All:    and in our song will we praise our God.

 

         The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;

         Let us pray with one heart and mind.

         As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,

         So may the light of your presence, O God,

         Set our hearts on fire with love for you;

         Now and forever.

All:   Amen

Readings

Old Testament Reading - 1 Samuel 16:1-13 

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.

New Testament Reading - Ephesians 5:8-14

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading - John 9

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.

Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

“How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

“Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said.

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath.Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”

But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.

Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”

“We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you, O Christ

Seeing Beyond the BlindnessRevd Charlie
00:00 / 12:40

Sermon

Affirmation of Faith - Apostle's Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,

         creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,

         his only Son, our Lord,

         who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

         born of the Virgin Mary,

         suffered under Pontius Pilate,

         was crucified, died, and was buried;

         he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

         he ascended into heaven,

         he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
         and he will come to judge

         the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
         the holy catholic Church,
         the communion of saints,
         the forgiveness of sins,
         the resurrection of the body,
         and the life everlasting.
         Amen.

The Peace

         The peace of the Lord be always with you

All:    and also with you

 

Let us share with one another a sign of God's peace.

Intercessions

Collect for the 4th Week of Lent

Merciful Lord,

absolve your people from their offences,

that through your bountiful goodness

we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins

which by our frailty we have committed;

grant this, heavenly Father,

for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen

Intercessions 20th March 2020Debbie Justus
00:00 / 02:43

Spend a few minutes bringing to God your own concerns and needs

As our saviour taught us, so we pray:-

All:    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.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours.

Now and for ever. Amen

All:   God of power,

may the boldness of your Spirit transform us,

may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us,

may the gifts of your Spirit equip us to serve and

worship you

now and always.

Let us bless the Lord

All:    Thanks be to God.

Dismissal

I pray God's Blessing upon you all now and in the weeks to come - Revd Charlie

 

'"The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

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