Author Archives: Mike Jefferis

Midweek Meditation – Wednesday 21st April 2021

Good morning all, how are you this morning?

Please find this week’s Midweek Meditation below. I hope you find it helpful and encouraging. Take care folks, keep safe and God bless.

Iain

Audio Version

Printed Version

 

Midweek Meditation

21.4.21

 The Lord is YOUR Shepherd

 

Good morning and welcome to our  Midweek Meditation for the 21st of April 2021.

How is everyone? I hope the forthcoming freedom is lifting all your spirits.

 

I don’t know about you but I love a good story – and here is a story which is both moving and very powerful too – and I’d like to share with you.

 

It’s about 2 Ministers who, many years ago,  were out hillwalking in the Western Highlands of Scotland.

 

The scenery was breath-taking and they felt very much at peace in this part of God’s glorious Kingdom.

 

In a remote area they came across a young shepherd boy who

only spoke his native Gaelic.

The boy managed to communicate the travellers that he was shepherd for his fathers flock.

 

They tried  to explain to the boy that Jesus was a shepherd too!

And he looks after us just as the boy looked after his fathers  sheep.

He couldn’t understand what they meant at first, so they explained to  him by counting the words on his fingers.

 

  1. THUMB – The
  2. FOREFINGER – Lord
  3. MIDDLE FINGER – is
  4. FOURTH FINGER – MY
  5. LITTLE FINGER – Shepherd

 

And they emphasized his 4th finger – to remind him that the Lord was HIS shepherd and cared for him just as much as the boy loved his fathers sheep.

 

The boy seemed to understand and kept touching his fourth finger saying “MY, MY” and smiling from ear to ear.

“Yes” they said “He is YOUR shepherd.”

And they left the boy counting out the words on his fingers.

 

The following year the 2 Ministers were once more walking the hills and came to the place where they had met the young shepherd boy the summer before.

 

They walked down to the village nearby and asked about the boy.

“Oh dear” a lady said “have you not heard? The poor lad had an accident and broke his leg some months ago – and had to be taken to hospital.

The funny thing that we can’t understand was  – when he was being taken on to the ambulance, he was gripping the fourth finger of his right hand and saying My, My…”

 

The Ministers knew exactly what it meant  – the boy knew that God was watching over him, just like a good shepherd.

 

“He’s coming home in the next week or so” said the lady – “he’s a lovely wee lad – and if I know him – he’ll be back up on the hills as soon as his leg is strong enough to take him!”

 

Many people think of God a remote power,  far away form their own personal lives.

But Jesus is different, His relationship with us a “one to one” personal relationship.

 

Paul wrote “He is the Son of God who loves me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2 : 20).

And that is true for you and I.

 

It’s a touching story – but it tells us that each of us, including you and I can say “The Lord is MY Shepherd”.

 

I’m going to read the 23rd Psalm to you now – but slightly differently from what you may have heard it before – and I hope it will remind you that the Lord is YOUR shepherd – and that what it’s called –

“The Lord is YOUR Shepherd”

 

The Lord is your shepherd

And you are one of his flock,

 

He watches over you like a good shepherd watches over his sheep,

He feeds you and gives you cool water when you are thirsty.

 

And when things get too much for you –

He gives you the extra strength you need

To help you through your troubled times and out in to that place of peace and tranquillity which he sets aside for each and every one of us.

 

He keeps you on the straight and narrow path of what is right and proper –  just like he promised you he would.

 

Even when things are at their very worst

You need not be afraid

Because God is always with you,

Comforting you and keeping you safe.

 

You are special to Him

And he gives you all you need to live

A good and wholesome life..

Providing you with everything

You could ever want – aye – and so much more beside.

 

With God looking after you this way –

You should know that he loves you very much.

*

And so – when the end of your days shall come –

As come they surely will for us all…

You will have the joy and comfort of knowing that he will not forsake you – even then.

 

He will take you home,

To a room he has prepared just for you

And there you will live with him,

Your saviour – in peace – at his side,

Forever more.

 

AMEN

 

What comfort that gives us – to know our God sent His Son to be our good shepherd, yours and mine, to walk with us and to watch over us. Just like a good shepherd.

How blessed we are!

Amen.

 

I’ve had quite a few messages saying how much you enjoyed the “Personal prayer for Peace” last week – and would I do it again – so, of course, always happy to oblige.

 

So –

I invite you to SIT with me and pray a short prayer with me…… wherever you may be, even if you are at your desk, why not sit back, close your eyes for a few moments and pray with me –

A Prayer for Personal Peace”………

 

Make yourself comfortable – close your eyes, relax your body and your mind……..

Take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds – and then breath out slowly………………

 

 

Let us pray –

Holy, Heavenly Father….

Be with me as I SIT for a short while –

enjoying the peace………

appreciating the calm…………

 

Hear my breath as I breath slowly in ……………..

and slowly out……… …… ……………

 

slowly in ……………..

and slowly breath out……………………………..

 

Draw close to me as I calm my mind……………

Draw close to me as I relax my body……………

 

Remind me that I am wonderfully made in the Father’s own image……………

 

Remind me that you love me……………

 

Remind me that you watch over me like a good shepherd……………..

 

Remind me that you want only the best for me…………

 

Jesus I love you………

Holy spirit I love you……….

Father, I love you………….

 

I am loved and blessed more than I could ever ask for – more than I could ever deserve –………………

 

Jesus I am at peace in your presence………..

I am holy in your presence………..

I am comfortable in your presence…………..

Hear my prayer Lord Jesus…………

 

Hear my prayer…………..

As I open my mind…………

As I open my heart………..

As I open my life to you………

Come in to  my life and give me your deep peace…..…………………………….

 

For I ask in the name of Jesus, your only son –

My only hope for life here………

and life hereafter…………………

 

Amen………………….

 

Let’s just sit for a short while and breathe slowly –

 

 

Take care and May God bless You – and those you love,

and please keep safe……..

Have a good week.

Online Sunday Service – 18th April 2021

Good morning all, I hope you are  well and not going too wild with your new found freedom! J

Here is this week’s Sunday service for you. It has a comforting message for each one of us, so I hope you can make the time to sit and read it through.

Our church service is being streamed live on YouTube / Kilmacolm Old  Kirk at 11am and recorded there for viewing later if you would like to watch it.

Take care, keep safe and God bless.

Iain

 

Video Version

See Service Here

 

Printed Version

ONLINE SUNDAY SERVICE 18.4.21

THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

Welcome / Intimations – Session Clerk

 

“May the Grace and the Peace of our dear Lord Jesus be with you all.”

(and with you)

THANK YOU.

Good morning all – it’s lovely to see you all here this morning, pretty much a ‘full house’  I believe.

Extra Brownie points for turning out today! J

 

Let us worship God.

 

Call to Worship – We come to church for a variety of reasons ~ to meet friends, to escape from the world for an hour, for peace and quite – to sing favourite Hymns – to think of a loved one lost – to give thanks for Blessings – perhaps even to join with your church family and enjoy the fellowship we share………. all these are good and valid reasons – but we should also come with one united aim – to Worship the one, Holy and everlasting God –

so let us begin our worship with our morning prayers

 

Let us Pray

Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, we come to praise and to worship you…. we come as a family, to be in your presence and to listen for your word to us…….  We come from our different homes and lives, but with one purpose – to unite as one body, the body of Christ and show witness to our faith in you, through your son, Jesus Christ..

 

Lord, we lift up our hearts and rejoice that you are our Lord, our King, that Jesus is our Saviour and that you are our glorious hope – for this life and the life which is to follow.

Father, you make the light shine out of darkness, you make the sun rise, you give us Christ, the world’s true light:

You live in light beyond all thought, yet through Christ our Lord we know you are present here, today, in our lives, in love and power:

And we praise you.

 

But who are we that you should remember us? Who are we that you should care for us? Yet, for all our faults, for all our failings – you love us still. What a wonderful and awesome God you are !

 

We remember how we have not loved or cared, as we ought,

how we have been too much wrapped up in

ourselves,

to see Christ before us –

We have been too hard on others, too quick to  blame;

We have grumbled, when we should have been thankful,

Have criticised, when we should have tried to help;

How we forget the rest of the world, and are happy, so long as

our own lives are relatively problem free.

 

Lord Jesus,  we admit such things to you now, in your presence and in our silence – and we bring not only our confessions but all that troubles us – all that clogs up our minds and stops us from truly seeing you in all your glory – so be with us now as we sit together – in the peace of our silence………

 

Lord, forgive us………. heal us, cleanse, refresh, renew us  – strengthen our faith in times of doubt – grant us your mercy and your grace – for we ask it in Jesus’ name.

 

Help us to see that we need your guidance  – and as we travel along life’s road – may Christ walk beside us.. leading us onward – teaching, challenging and enlightening us as to your will………..

 

Hear us we pray for your mercy – hear us too as we pray together – the family Prayer – the Lord’s prayer –

 

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 debts as we forgive our debtors.. Lead us not into temptation.. But deliver us from evil .. For thine is the kingdom.. The power and the glory forever…. Amen.

 

Hymn 530 – “one more step…”

(Iain to read verse 1 – Robin then plays the tune)

 

In our N.T. reading we hear of the two disciples who were heading home after all that had happened at Easter – leaving Jerusalem and walking along the road to Emmaus – downhearted and despondent – they were talking about all that had happened – when they were joined by a stranger  – a stranger who turned out to be someone they knew very well ~

 

Let us hear God’s word ~

 

Reading – Luke 24 : 13 –20 & 25 – 31

 

Sermon

What was it Robbie Burns said ? – “the best laid plans of mice and men – gang oft agley!”

 

A very simple – yet true saying.

 

How often have we made plans, got up our hopes, only for them to be dashed as things don’t go as we had planned ?

It’s disappointing to say the least – sometimes it can be devastating  – and we feel downcast, disappointed and discouraged. It’s a horrible feeling.

 

It must have been how those two disciples felt as they made their weary way home to Emmaus – two sad disciples walking in to the sunset like the end of some old movie.

 

Plans had been made – hopes had been raised – and here was Jesus, that long awaited saviour – He was going to ruffle some feathers – shake up the holy men and the establishment – and things were going to change !!

 

Jesus – the one they had given everything up for – the one they had pinned all their hopes on – but now he was dead – arrested and killed – just like many prophets who had gone before.

 

Perhaps it had all been some kind of crazy dream – perhaps it was just some kind of band-wagon that they had jumped on – how they be sure ? – how could they be sure of anything, anymore ??

One thing was for sure – it was all over – Jesus was dead – dead and buried – just like their hopes – or so they thought.

 

And so we hear about the two disciples heading home to the small town of Emmaus which was about 7 miles west of Jerusalem.

 

What must if have been like for them ?

 

Here is a meditation from the point of view of  ‘Cleopas’ one of the 2 disciples that encountered Jesus  on that road just a few days after the whole terrible  easter business.

 

They had witnessed the crucifixion and that, they thought, was that….

 

Let us listen to the words of Cleopas ~

 

“We met Him, there on the Emmaus road –

And we still didn’t understand – can you believe that?

 

Despite the testimony of the women and the disciples and the apostles, the empty tomb, the vision of the angels –

Still we couldn’t take it in1

 

I suppose we’d made up our minds that it was finished,

come to terms with the fact that our hopes had been dashed,

and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to think any different

for fear of yet more disappointment,

yet more broken dreams.

 

Condemn us, if you like,

But remember this:

we’d seen him hanging there on the cross,

we’d watched in desolation as he drew his final breath,

and we’d been there, tears streaming from our eyes,

as they cut him down and laid him in the tomb.

You don’t forget that in a hurry, I can tell you.

 

So when this stranger appeared out of the blue

we thought nothing of it – why should we?

The possibility of him being Jesus was the last thing on our minds.

Even when he interpreted the scriptures for us,

explaining why the Messiah had to suffer and die,

still we didn’t suspect anything-

even though our hearts burned within us with unfathomable  joy.

 

But when we sat together at table,

and he took bread and broke it,

then even we couldn’t miss it,

the extraordinary, incredible truth-

it was Jesus,

Christ crucified and risen,

There by our sides!

We’d thought the adventure was over,

but it had only just begun!

We’d thought there was nothing left to us but memories,

but suddenly the future beckoned, rich with promise.

The night had ended,

a new day was dawning,

life was beginning again-

and we marveled at the sheer wonder of his grace,

 

for, of course, we didn’t meet him that day,

despite what we’d thought;

 

HE met US!!

 

LET US PRAY

Lord Jesus Christ,

like the two disciples on the Emmaus road,

so often we journey through life unaware of your presence.

Though we talk of your resurrection

it does not stir our hearts or capture our imagination

in the way it should.

Yet though we may not realize it,

even in our doubt you are there with us,

matching your stride with ours,

waiting to meet us along the way.

Open our eyes that we may see you and know you better.

Amen.

 

This is a very human narrative for us – for there are times when we become “travellers on the Emmaus road” – despondent – struggling to understand – confused and discouraged – yet we see that Jesus knows when we need His help.

It’s when we are downcast and dejected – that He draws even closer to us.

Aye – but do we see Him!?

 

And this text – this story – tells us one more thing – it tells us of God’s great and glorious power –

For it tells us that Jesus really did rise again ! – that it’s only the plans of ‘mice and men’ that gang oft agley – the plans of God roll on through time – like an ever rolling stream – unhindered by mankind’s feeble efforts to control our own destiny.

 

But if we have the eyes to see it – it challenges us too.

It challenges us to look for Jesus as we travel this journey of life – of faith.

 

It challenges us to recognise His presence in all that is good in the world.

 

And to his presence in our own lives – whatever we do -= wherever me may go –He is with us, watching, waiting for us to recognize him and to invite him in.

 

I pray that if you haven’t already – you soon will – and so come to know all of his many promises and blessings.

 

So this was no ‘walk into the sunset’ – but the beginning of a bright new day – thanks to Jesus who rose to new life – to give us  – you and me – new life too – and in His holy name.

 

Amen. And may God bless this preaching of His Holy Word – and may all the glory and the praise be His.

*

And now we are  going to take a few minutes to allow us to reflect upon the account of the 2 disciples on their way home – and of their encounter with Jesus.

 

We might like to reflect upon what our own reaction might be should Jesus join each of us on our own journey along the road of life.

Maybe He already has – aye, but did you recognise Him?

*

Robin is now going to play for us…….. While we

Relax  in God house,

in God’s presence and

Reflect upon all we have heard and felt today –

And what it means to our own faith……..

 

Organ Piece – Robin  Time to Reflect

 

………………ORGAN MUSIC…………….

 

LET US PRAY ~

 

 

Heavenly father – On this day we remember our Royal family as they mourn the loss of their loved one, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh – watch over them, give them your comfort and your peace as they travel on their sad journey –

Walk with them – we pray

 

But Father we know that there are many in this world, aye, too many, for whom life is not good – and it is these, our brothers and sisters who share this earth with us, that we bring to you in our prayers this morning.

 

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

We pray for those who struggle to exist, while we have plenty.

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

We pray for those who cry – while we are content.

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

We pray for those who have the most basic medical help, while we are blessed with the latest ‘high-tech’ advances that modern technology can offer.

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

We pray for those who are hungry and homeless while we have nice homes and our stomachs are full.

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

We pray for those who mourn the loss of a loved one, whose lives seem to be empty of all hope and feel that life no longer has meaning.

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

 

We pray for those places in the world where greed and the need for personal gain is causing conflict – and we pray for those ordinary, everyday people who become embroiled in such conflict, whether domestic or on a more national scale.  Lord, bless them, each one.

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

And today we particularly pray for –

 

Tom Wyper after his fall

 

Elizabeth Hunter as she recuperates after her operation.

We know that we are so blessed and we offer our gratitude, appreciation and recognition of all that you do for us and our loved ones.

Lord, we give you our thanks for our families and friends – for those who love us and care for us, for those who make life good.

 

Loving LordWalk with them – we pray

 

 

We pray for all of our church – those for whom the church  is at the centre of their lives – and for those who come when they can – they are all part of the church family in their own way – all important to you – all important to us – as we are all your family – wherever we may be – bless us we pray.

 

Loving LordWalk with US – we pray

 

 

Be with us listening Lord – as we sit together – in silence – for a few moments – each with our own thoughts – each with our own prayers – for those we know and love – and those we know who need a prayer at this time…….

Hear now, our silent prayers………………..

 

Loving Lord ~ Walk with them all – we pray

 

for we ask it in the name of the one who walks beside us on our journey – our dear Saviour – the Risen Christ Jesus .       Amen.

 

Thought for the Week

 

We’ve been speaking about recognizing Jesus in our lives ~ here’s a wee story ~ It’s about a little boy who sat down at the kitchen table with his crayons and a big sheet of blank paper, and he started to draw.

His father, noticing the youngster hard at work at the table, stopped to look. “What are you doing, son?”

“I’m drawing a picture of God,” said the little boy.

“But son,” said the father, “You can’t draw a picture of God. Nobody knows what God looks like.”

The little boy thought for a moment and said, “Well—they will once I get this picture finished !! ” J

 

Most people would agree with the father in the story. No one knows what God looks like.

But maybe that’s one of the reasons God created us and called us to serve him. He created us “in his own image” so that we could—in a sense—show the world what God is like.

 

The Apostle Paul wrote : “As we are being draw closer to God, we are being ‘conformed into the image of his son, Jesus Christ” –

“See me” Jesus said “ and you see God” –

 

As we become more Godly – we become more Christ-like –  people can see in us a reflection of our Heavenly Father.

 

And so – as Christians, followers of Jesus – as we walk through this life – we must ‘conform to the image if Jesus’ and walk alongside others in love, tolerance and understanding –

Then people will have a little better idea of what Jesus looks like.

They will see Jesus – in YOU!

 

Now, that IS food for thought!

 

Don’t you think??? 

 

Hymn 533 – “Will you come and follow me”

(Iain to read verse 1 – Robin then plays the tune)

 

Benediction

 

Go in love, joy, peace and hope ~

 

Go and walk with God – walk with others, showing them the love of Jesus along the way.

 

And may the blessing of Almighty God – Father- Son – and Holy Spirit – be with you all – may He be with your families and friends and all who you know and love – and ought to love – this day and everyday.

Amen.

 

TAKE CARE – AND KEEP SAFE

Midweek Meditation – Wednesday 14th April 2021

Good morning folks, I hope all is well with you. Please finds this week’s Reflection below for you to listen to. I hope you will find it helpful and it gives you some food for thought. Take care of yourself, keep safe and God bless. Iain

Audio Version

 

Midweek Meditation

Printed version

 

Midweek Meditation

14th April 2021

How do you start your day?

 

Good morning – and welcome to our Midweek meditation for the 14th April 2021.

I hope this finds you safe and well.

 

Can I ask you –

How do you start your day?

Do you bound out of bed, go for a jog, have a healthy breakfast and head off out whistling a happy tune?

No? Me neither!

Perhaps you struggle to get out of bed, fumble around bleary eye’d and slowly waken yourself up into another day?

That’s more like it! J

The way we start our day can often determine how the rest of the day will go.

 

Here’s another question –

How often you start your day with a Prayer?

 

Not so many hands up now.

 

But you know, starting the day with a short Prayer really does make a difference.

 

But, what to say? How about “Thank you for taking me safely through the night – and be with me through this coming day. Bless my loves ones and bless me too. Amen.” How long would that take to say, 10  seconds? Not too much to ask is it?

 

Or if you have a tough day ahead you might add – “Lord be with me in all I have to face today.”

 

And it’s he same at night – tou might say something like – “Lord, thank you for getting me through this day, watch over me as I sleep and keep my loved ones safe. Amen.”

 

You can improvise, depending on the circumstance but I’m  sure you get the idea.

 

Just knowing, feeling that God is beside you, helping, guiding and watching over you, gives us both strength and confidence, it really does.

 

Praying is important. It acknowledges that we need help and support, but it also reminds us that our God is a great God who takes an interest in each one of us and is always there to listen to our worries and concerns and help us through our troubles times too.

Here are couple of quotes about prayer –

 

“God can handle your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and questions. You can bring everything to him in prayer.” – Rick Warren

Wise word….

 

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther

mmm food for thought !

 

And from   Mark 1 : 35 – 37    –

3”Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!”  Amen.

Being “too busy to pray” means that you really are just ‘too busy’!

Indeed, that is the very time that we need to pray even harder, as that quote from Mark’s Gospel shows us.

 

Jesus seemed to be at everybody’s beck and call – and He knew that He needed His Fathers strength to carry him through His busy, hectic days.

 

We all need help and support at times – and even in the good days, it’s important to thank  God for all His goodness.

Why not try it for yourself, your Heavenly Father is waiting to hear from you.

You simply, close your eyes and speak what is on your mind and in your heart. Simples!

Go on – give it a try.

Amen.

 

Let us pray – Loving, listening Lord, thank you for all your goodness to me. Thank you for watching over me and getting me through the difficult times.

Forgive me for rarely saying a simple “thank you”, help me to make prayer part of my daily routine, giving you thanksgiving and praise for each and every day – and each and every blessing – too many to count.

 

Help me to start – and finish my day with prayer.

 

Hear my prayer, for I pray to you from my heart, and in the name of Jesus, God’s only Son, our only hope.

Amen.

 

If you are not in the way of praying – then why not start today, right now?

 

I invite you to SIT with me and pray a short prayer with me……

It’s called – “A Prayer for Personal Peace”………

 

Make yourself comfortable – close your eyes, relax your body and your mind……..

 

Take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds – and then breath out slowly………………

(as we read slowly together…)

 

Let us pray –

Holy, Heavenly Father –

Be with me as I sit for a short while –

enjoying the peace………

appreciating the calm…………

 

 

Hear my breath as I breath slowly in ……………..

and slowly out……… …… ……………

 

slowly in ……………..

and slowly breath out……………………………..

 

Draw close to me as I calm my mind……………

Draw close to me as I relax my body……………

 

Remind me that I am wonderfully made in the Father’s own image……………

 

Remind me that you love me……………

 

Remind me that you watch over me……………..

 

Remind me that you want only the best for me…………

 

Jesus I love you………

Holy spirit I love you……….

Father, I love you………….

 

I am loved and blessed more than I could ever ask for – more than I could ever deserve –………………

 

Jesus I am at peace in your presence………..

I am holy in your presence………..

I am comfortable in your presence…………..

Hear my prayer Lord Jesus…………

 

Hear my prayer…………..

As I open my mind…………

As I open my heart………..

As I open my life to you………

Come in to  my life and give me your deep peace…..…………………………….

 

For I ask in the name of Jesus, your only son –

My only hope for life here

and life hereafter…………………

 

Amen………………….

 

Why not read this short prayer at anytime you like and relax and pray by yourself.

 

God bless You – and please keep safe……..

Online Sunday Service – 11th April 2021

 

 

 

Video Version

Printed Version

Sunday Service

11th April 2021

‘Low Sunday”

Doubting Thomas

GOOD MORNING, WELCOME TO OUR SUNDAY WORSHIP – IT IS LOVELY TO SEE YOU HERE THIS MORNING.

 

MAY THE GRACE AND THE PEACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOU ALL 

(AND WITH YOU)

THANK YOU.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP – “THE LORD IS GOOD – LET US WORSHIP HIM IN ALL HIS GLORY”

 

LET US PRAY

LORD – YOU ARE THE GOD WHO SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT YOU CREATED THE WORLD AND ALL THAT IS GOOD. WHAT AN AMAZING GOD YOU ARE!

 

LORD, YOUR LOVE FOR US BRINGS US JOY AS WE REMEMBER THE NEW LIFE AND HOPE THAT IS OURS THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF OUR SAVIOUR JESUS.

 

WE WORSHIP YOU, O GOD OF LOVE – AND WE PRAISE YOU ABOVE EVERYTHING.

 

WE NEED YOUR GUIDANCE, O LORD, AND WE PRAY THAT YOU WILL SUPPORT US AS WE TRY TO IMPROVE OUR LIVES – TRY TO LIVE AS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF YOUR CHILDREN .. SO THAT WE MIGHT DRAW OTHERS TO BELIEVE IN THE RISEN CHRIST – AND BE HIS LIGHT, SHINING IN A DARK WORLD.

 

FORGIVE US WHEN OUR FAITH FALTERS, FORGIVE US OUR CYNICISM – OUR NEED FOR HARD EVIDENCE BEFORE WE BELIEVE – DRAW CLOSE TO US AS WE COME CAUTIOUSLY TO YOU – FOR FEAR THAT YOUR AMAZING POWER MIGHT BE TOO MUCH FOR US TO COMPREHEND.

 

LORD, WE KNOW THAT WE MUST SADDEN AND DISAPPOINT YOU AT TIMES – AND WE KNOW THAT OUR LIVES ARE NOT AS YOU WOULD WISH THEM TO BE, SO BE WITH US NOW AS WE SIT FOR A FEW MOMENTS IN SILENCE – LOOKING BACK OVER THE PAST WEEK OR SO – REMEMBERING THE THINGS WE OUGHT NOT TO HAVE THOUGHT, SAID OR DONE –  THE PEOPLE WE MAY HAVE THOUGHTLESSLY HURT – AND BRING THEM BEFORE YOU WITH A HUMBLE HEART.. – LORD HEAR US, IN THE PEACE OF OUR SILENCE….

 

…………..A SHORT TIME OF SILENCE……………

 

LORD, FORGIVE US, WE PRAY, HEAL US, CLEANSE, REFRESH, RENEW US – STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH IN TIMES OF DOUBT – GRANT US YOUR MERCY AND YOUR GRACE – FOR WE ASK IT IN JESUS’ NAME.

 

LORD WE KNOW THAT YOU HEAR US WHEN WE PRAY IN FAITH – SO HEAR US NOW AS WE PRAY TOGETHER – THE PRAYER WHICH BRINGS US TOGETHER AS ONE FAMILY – THE FAMILY PRAYER – THE LORD’S PRAYER ~

 

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 DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.. BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL .. FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM.. THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER…. AMEN.

 

HYMN 443 – “HE IS LORD”

               (IAIN TO READ VERSE 1 – ROBIN THEN PLAYS THE TUNE)

“HE IS LORD, HE IS LORD,

HE IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, AND HE IS LORD.

EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, EVERY TONGUE CONFESS,

THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD”

 

ROBIN TO PLAY –  

 

AND NOW LET US HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AS FRANK READS FROM THE 1ST BOOK OF KINGS ~

 

FRANK PLEASE ~

 

READING 1 –   1ST KINGS 10 : 1 – 7 FRANK WALKER

 

 

A SHORT VERSE ~

 

VERSE – ‘DON’T DOUBT IT”    ME

 

DO YOU REALLY  LOVE THE LORD , OR DO YOU ONLY SAY  IT?

FIRST YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE LORD, HIS WORD, AND THEN OBEY IT.

 

WHEN WE LOVE THE LORD, WE PRAISE AND WORSHIP HIM EACH DAY.

WE PUT HIM FIRST IN ALL WE DO, AND MAKE A TIME TO PRAY.

 

DO YOU REALLY LOVE THE LORD, NOW YOU’VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT?

DO YOU DESIRE TO HEAR HIS WORD, OR DO YOU SOMETIMES DOUBT IT?

 

HIS HOLY WORD, DO YOU OBEY, AND DO YOU EVER SHOUT IT?

LET’S PUT HIM FIRST AND WORSHIP HIM; DON’T TRY TO LIVE WITHOUT IT!

 

READING 2 – JOHN 20 : 19 – 31   FRANK WALKER

 

 

THIS IS THE WORD OF THE LORD – THANKS BE TO GOD

 

SERMON

 

HOW ARE YOU WITH PRACTICAL JOKES – ‘WIND UP’S AS THEY’RE CALLED NOWADAYS ?

YOU KNOW – WHERE PEOPLE THINK IT’S HIGHLY AMUSING TO SPIN YOU A LINE ABOUT SOMETHING – APPARENTLY IN ALL HONESTY – AND YOU TAKE IT IN – ASSUMING THAT THEY’RE TELLING YOU THE TRUTH – ONLY TO FIND THAT IT’S ALL NONSENSE AND NOT TRUE AT ALL – AND YOUR APPARENT GULLIBILITY CAUSES GREAT HILARITY – AND ALL AT YOUR EXPENSE.

 

I HAVE TO SAY THAT IT’S NOT MY IDEA OF GOOD FUN –

 

PERHAPS BECAUSE I LIKE TO TAKE PEOPLE AT FACE VALUE – GIVING THEM BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT – ASSUMING THAT THEY ARE TELLING ME THE TRUTH – WHY WOULD THEY NOT  BE ?    OR MAYBE I’M JUST A BIT GULLIBLE !!

 

BUT THEN – THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE NOT SO EASY TO HAVE THE WOOL PULLED OVER THEIR EYES – THEY ARE GUARDED, CAUTIOUS, CAREFUL – AND MAYBE THAT’S NOT A BAD THING EITHER – AND I SUPPOSE THAT’S JUST THE WAY SOME PEOPLE ARE…….

 

THAT’S THE WAY THE QUEEN OF SHEBA WAS – AS WE HEARD IN OUR OLD TESTAMENT READING –

SHE WOULDN’T BELIEVE THE GREAT WISDOM AND WEALTH OF KING SOLOMON – UNTIL SHE SAW IT FOR HERSELF.

 

THAT WAS THE WAY THOMAS WAS, AS WE HEARD IN OUR NEW TESTAMENT READING.

“AYE – I’LL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT FOR MYSELF !” WAS HIS MOTTO……… AND WHEN WE THINK ABOUT IT – CAN WE REALLY BLAME HIM ? – AFTER ALL –HOW DO YOU THINK YOU OR I WOULD REACT IN A SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCE ??

 

PERHAPS THOMAS IS NOT SO VERY DIFFERENT FROM MANY OF US.

 

IMAGINE THE SCENE – HERE WE HAVE 10 OF HIS FRIENDS – THE OTHER DISCIPLES – EXCLUDING HIMSELF AND OF COURSE – JUDAS –

WHO HAD SEEN THE RISEN JESUS FOR THEMSELVES –

HE HAD COME TO THEM WHILE THEY WERE IN A LOCKED ROOM – AS WE HEARD IN OUR N.T. READING THIS MORNING.

 

AND THERE THEY WERE – TRYING TO CONVINCE THOMAS THAT AS UNBELIEVABLE AS IT MIGHT SEEM – IT REALLY WAS TRUE – JESUS HAD RISEN FROM THE GRAVE – BUT THOMAS WOULDN’T TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT !!

HE NEEDED TO SEE IT FOR HIMSELF BEFORE HE WOULD BELIEVE IT.

 

SO NOT ONLY WAS HE A DOUBTER – HE WAS PRETTY  THRAWN TOO !! –

 

DO YOU GET THE FEELING THAT FROM THIS PASSAGE – WE’RE NOT GETTING A VERY FLATTERING PICTURE OF ‘DOUBTING THOMAS’ ?

 

BUT YOU KNOW – POOR OLD THOMAS HAS HAD A BAD PRESS OVER THESE MANY YEARS – AND, I BELIEVE, UNFAIRLY TOO.

 

HE IS MENTIONED IN ALL FOUR GOSPELS – AS WELL AS THE BOOK OF ACTS. BUT WHAT DO WE REMEMBER HIM FOR ? HIS DOUBT.

 

IF I WERE TO ASK YOU TO THINK OF ONE WORD WHICH SPRINGS TO MIND WHEN I SAY THE NAME THOMAS – FOR MOST OF YOU IT WOULD PROBABLY SOMETHING LIKE – “DOUBT” OR “DOUBTER”.

 

BUT THERE WAS A LOT MORE TO THOMAS THAN THAT – AYE, BUT WHAT?

 

WELL – HE WAS ONE OF THE VERY FIRST 12 DISCIPLES WHICH JESUS ‘SENT OUT’ TO DRIVE OUT EVIL SPIRITS AND “HEAL EVERY DISEASE AND SICKNESS”. BUT DO WE REMEMBER HIM FOR THAT?

 

WHEN JESUS SAID THAT HE WOULD SOON GO TO JERUSALEM AND THERE TO MEET HIS DEATH – WHO WAS IT THAT SAID TO THE REST OF THE DISCIPLES – “LET US ALSO GO, THAT WE MAY DIE WITH HIM?” – YES, IT WAS THOMAS – BUT DO WE REMEMBER HIM FOR THAT ?

 

WHEN JESUS WAS EXPLAINING THAT HE WAS TO GO TO THE FATHER TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR EACH ONE OF US – WHO WAS IT THAT SAID “BUT LORD, WE DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING – SO HOW CAN WE KNOW THE WAY ?” –

YES IT WAS THOMAS AGAIN – BUT HOW MANY OF US REMEMBER HIM FOR THAT ?

 

AND AFTER JESUS HAD ASCENDED TO THE FATHER- AND THE DISCIPLES DREW LOTS TO SEE WHO WAS TO REPLACE JUDAS IN THEIR NUMBER – WHO WAS THERE, A PART OF MAKING THAT MAJOR DECISION – YES – THOMAS

BUT DO WE REMEMBER HIM FOR THAT ?   NO.

 

AND THAT’S A SHAME – FOR ALL HIS FAITHFULL DISCIPLESHIP – WE REMEMBER THOMAS FOR HIS VERY HUMAN TRAIT – WE REMEMBER HIM FOR DOING AND SAYING THE VERY SAME THINGS WHICH MANY OF US ARE GUILTY OF TOO.

 

WE REMEMBER THOMAS FOR HIS UNCERTAINTY – HIS DISBELIEF – HIS DOUBT – YET WHO AMONG US – CAN SAY THAT WE HAVE NEVER HAD A MOMENT OF DOUBT ?

 

WHO AMONG US CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT – LIKE THOMAS – OUR FAITH HAS NEVER RECEIVED A KNOCK – A SHAKE – WHEN THINGS SEEM AT THE VERY WORST ?

 

WHO – LIKE THE FATHER WHO WITNESSED JESUS HEAL HIS DEMON POSSESSED SON – HASN’T AT SOME TIME OR ANOTHER SAID – “LORD I BELIEVE – HELP ME IN MY UNBELIEF!” ?

 

THOMAS WAS ONLY BEING HONEST ABOUT HIS BELIEF – PERHAPS OTHERS HAD THEIR OWN DOUBTS TOO, BUT KEPT IT TO THEMSELVES – PERHAPS FOR THOMAS THE THOUGHT OF HIS BELOVED JESUS RETURNING WAS  – QUITE LITERALLY – JUST ‘TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE !!’ –

JUST AS WE TOO MIGHT FEEL WHEN THINKING OF A LOVED ONE LOST.

‘NO IT CAN’T BE TRUE – I WISH THAT IT WERE – BUT NO – IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE !’ – AND WE SHUT OURSELVES OFF – WE SHUT OURSELVES OUT – FROM OTHERS WHO CARE ABOUT US – AND WE GRIEVE IN PRIVATE – BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

 

KING GEORGE THE 5TH ONCE SAID “IF I HAVE TO SUFFER – LET ME BE LIKE A WELL BRED ANIMAL, AND LET ME GO AND SUFFER ALONE” – THAT’S WHAT MANY OF US DO – GRIEVE IN PRIVATE – THAT’S JUST WHAT THOMAS DID.

 

“MY DEAR ONE IS GONE” – HE MUST HAVE THOUGHT – “MY DEAR SWEET, PRECIOUS JESUS – DEAD !” AND WE CAN IMAGINE THE WAVES OF GRIEF OVERCOMING HIM AS HE SAT ALONE IN HIS SORROW.

 

A SORRY, YET UNDERSTANDABLE SIGHT –  JUST LIKE MANY OF US – WHEN WE LOSE A LOVED ONE.

 

BUT JESUS DOESN’T LEAVE US IN OUR DESPAIR – HE COMES TO US – AS HE CAME TO THOMAS – AND BLESSED HIM.

 

THOMAS COULDN’T BELIEVE IT – WHO AMONG US WOULD ? – HOW COULD WE ? – YET THERE HE WAS –

STANDING BESIDE THOMAS IN HIS DESOLATION – JUST AS HE STANDS BESIDE US – IF WE HAVE THE EYES TO SEE HIM AND THE FAITH TO FEEL HIS PRESENCE.

 

BUT OF COURSE – THOMAS WASN’T THE ONLY DISCIPLE WHO DOUBTED THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS.

 

IN THE EASTER NARRATIVE WE HEAR THAT WHEN THE MARY’S HAD FOUND THE EMPTY TOMB – THEY RAN AND TOLD THE DISCIPLES AND WE ARE TOLD – “THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THE WOMEN – FOR THEIR WORDS SEEMED TO THEM, LIKE NONSENSE!”.. AND THEY RAN TO SEE FOR THEMSELVES…… AND THEN THEY BELIEVED !

 

 

I REMEMBER SEEING A POSTER MANY YEARS AGO WHICH SIMPLY SAID – “JESUS – JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SEE HIM – DOESN’T MEAN HE’S NOT THERE !”

 

PERHAPS OUR CYNICAL AND WORLD-WEARY OUTLOOK ON LIFE HAS MADE US MORE LIKE THOMAS THAN WE’D CARE TO ADMIT.

 

SEEING IS BELIEVING” OR SO THE SAYING GOES – AND WHEN THEY SAW WITH THEIR OWN EYES – THEY BELIEVED.

 

NOW YOU SEE YOU BELIEVE”  JESUS HAD SAID TO THOMAS – “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN ME – AND YET, BELIEVE”.

 

AND IT WAS THEN – THAT THOMAS KNEW –

IT WAS THEN THAT THE BELIEVED THAT THE RESURRECTION WAS TRUE –

 

JESUS HAD RISEN – JUST AS HE SAID HE WOULD !!

 

IT WAS THEN THAT THOMAS SAW THE LIGHT AND THE TRUTH AND THE WAY AHEAD – IT WAS THEN THAT HE SAID “MY LORD AND MY GOD!!”.

 

[PAUSE]

 

 

SO WHAT WAS IT THAT TURNED THOMAS AROUND ? WHAT TURNED HIS UNBELIEF – INTO A FIRM BELIEF ??

 

IT WAS THE PRESENCE OF JESUS – IT WAS WHEN HE SAW THE EXTENT TO WHICH HIS BODY HAD BEEN INJURED.

IT WAS WHEN HE EXPERIENCED – SAW – FOR HIMSELF.

 

AND THAT’S TRUE FOR US TOO – WE MAY NOT SEE JESUS IN THE PHYSICAL SENSE – BUT IT’S  WHEN WE EXPERIENCE JESUS – FEEL HIS PRESENCE – SEE HIS PRESENCE IN THE WORLD – IN OUR LIVES – THAT WE CAN TRULY BELIEVE.

 

AND IT’S WHEN WE FEEL IT FOR OURSELVES – EXPERIENCE IT FOR OURSELVES – THAT WE WILL WANT TO TELL OTHERS THAT WONDERFUL GOOD NEWS –

 

IT’S THEN THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO SAY FOR OURSELVES THAT JESUS REALLY ISTO USE THE WORDS OF THOMAS – “MY LORD AND MY GOD”!

 

YOU’LL BE ABLE TO ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE IT – BECAUSE YOU’VE WILL HAVE MET HIM FOR YOURSELF.

 

YOU KNOW – IF YOU HAVE THE EYES TO SEE HIM, THE FAITH TO FEEL HIM – HERE’S HERE WITH US THIS MORNING – HE’S WITH YOU EVERY DAY.

 

PLEASE DON’T EVER DOUBT IT – THIS IS NO PRACTICAL JOKE – NO ‘WIND UP’ – IT’S THE GREATEST TRUTH YOU WILL EVER HEAR – AND YOU CAN KNOW IT FOR YOURSELF, IF YOU HAVE THE FAITH TO BELIEVE – TRULY BELIEVE.

 

AND THAT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN  BELIEVE !!

 

AND IN JESUS’ PRECIOUS NAME.

AMEN.

AND MAY GOD BLESS THIS PREACHING OF HIS HOLY WORD – AND MAY ALL THE GLORY AND THE PRAISE – BE HIS.

 

PRAYER

 

LIVING GOD,

WE GIVE YOU OUR THANKS FOR THE MANY BLESSING THAT YOU FREELY GIVE TO US EACH DAY – SO MANY THAT WE TAKE THEM FOR GRANTED.

FAMILY, FRIENDS, A ROOF OVER OUR HEAD AND FOOD ON OUR PLATE – AND SO, SO MUCH MORE.

WE REALLY ARE SO GRATEFUL BUT RARELY TAKE THE TIME TO SAY A SIMPLE ‘THANK YOU LORD’ –

 

BUT LORD WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE MANY IN THIS WORLD WHO ARE NOT SO BLESSED AS WE ARE –

AND WE BRING THEM TO YOU IN OUR PRAYERS –

 

WE PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO FIND FAITH DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE —THOSE BESET BY DOUBT, TROUBLED BY QUESTIONS TO WHICH THEY CAN FIND NO ANSWER, UNABLE TO TAKE THE LEAP OF FAITH, YET SEEKING, SEARCHING AND THIRSTING FOR TRUTH.

 

LIVING GOD,

BREAK THROUGH THE BARRIERS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF. OPEN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF ALL WHO ARE TROUBLED AND CONFUSED, AND ALL WHO ARE CLOSED TO YOUR PRESENCE.

MEET WITH THOSE WHO FIND IT HARD TO MEET WITH YOU, AND LEAD THEM TO A LIVING, LIFE-GIVING FAITH.

 

TODAY WE REMEMBER OUR ROYAL FAMILY WHO ARE MOURNING THE LOSS OF  PRINCE PHILLIP, HUSBAND, FATHER, GRANDFATHER AND GREAT GRAND FATHER. OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THEM – AND WE PRAY THAT YOU WILL GIVE THEM YOUR COMFORT AT THIS TIME OF SADNESS AND MOURNING.

 

WE PRAY TOO FOR ALL OF OUR CHURCH FAMILY WHO ARE NEED OF PRAYER AT THIS TIME – PARTICULARLY THE FAMILIES OF FRIEDA TAIT AND MARY LAMB – WHO’S FUNERALS ARE THIS WEEK.

AND OUR DEAR FRIEND REV BILL ARMSTRONG AS HE ENDURES ILL HEALTH AT THIS TIME.

 

WE THINK TOO OF ALL THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE CORONA-VIRUS PANDEMIC AND OF THE FAMILIES WHO MOURN THEIR LOVED ONES….

 

CAN I ASK YOU TO STAND FOR A FEW MOMENTS – IF YOU ARE ABLE –  IN SILENT TRIBUTE TO THESE FAMILIES AND  – AND ALL WHO NEED  GOD’S COMFORT AT THIS TIME………………….… A SHORT TIME OF SILENCE……

 

PLEASE BE SEATED………

 

DRAW CLOSE TO US LISTENING LORD – AS WE SIT FOR A FEW MOMENTS – EACH WITH OUR OWN THOUGHTS – EACH WITH OUR OWN PRAYERS – FOR THOSE WE KNOW AND LOVE – BE WITH US LORD – AND HEAR OUR SILENT PRAYERS ……………….A SHORT TIME OF SILENCE…… …….

 

HEAR OUR PRAYERS FOR WE BRING THEM TO YOU IN THE NAME OF OUR DEAR SWEET JESUS.

AMEN.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

OUR THEME FOR TODAY HAS, OF COURSE, BEEN ‘DOUBT’ – SOMETHING WE ALL EXPERIENCE AT SOME TIME OR ANOTHER ~ BUT THERE’S A WELL KNOWN STORY CALLED “FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND’ WHICH I AM SURE THAT MANY OF YOU WILL KNOW – BUT WHEN WE HEAR IT IN THE CONTEXT OF  DOUBTING THOMAS – WITH HIS, AND OUR DOUBTS – WE SEE IT IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT – IT’S NOT JUST A NICE WEE VERSE – BUT A POWERFUL EXPRESSION OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US – A LOVE AND CARE THAT WE SHOULD NEVER DOUBT ~

 

THE STORY IS ABOUT A MAN WHO DREAMED HE WAS AT THE END OF HIS LIFE. HE SAW HIS LIFE AS IF IT WERE A WALK ALONG A BEACH WITH JESUS. AS HE LOOKED BACK OVER HIS LIFE HE SAW TWO SETS OF FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND ALONG MOST OF THE WAY—ONE SET BELONGING TO HIM, THE OTHER TO JESUS. HE NOTICED, THOUGH, THAT MANY TIMES ALONG THE PATH OF HIS LIFE THERE WAS ONLY ONE SET OF FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND. HE ALSO NOTICED THAT IT HAPPENED AT THE VERY LOWEST AND SADDEST TIMES IN HIS LIFE.

 

THIS REALLY BOTHERED THE MAN, AND HE QUESTIONED THE LORD ABOUT IT. “LORD, YOU SAID THAT YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE ME NOR FORSAKE ME. YOU SAID THAT ONCE I DECIDED TO FOLLOW YOU, YOU’D WALK WITH ME ALL THE WAY. BUT I HAVE NOTICED THAT DURING THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES IN MY LIFE, THERE WAS ONLY ONE SET OF FOOTPRINTS. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY, WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST, YOU WOULD LEAVE ME.”

JESUS REPLIED, “MY SON, I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU AND THAT I WOULD NEVER LEAVE YOU. LOOK AGAIN AT THOSE FOOTPRINTS. DURING YOUR TIMES OF TROUBLE AND SUFFERING, THE FOOTPRINTS YOU SAW WERE MINE – I WAS CARRYING YOU.”

*

A LOVELY STORY – AND IT REMINDS US THAT JESUS IS WITH US THROUGH BOTH THE GOOD AND WHEN WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES OF LIFE – EVEN IF WE CAN’T SEE HIM.

HE IS ALWAYS WITH US.

 

“NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU; NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU – NEVER!” JESUS PROMISES US. (HEBREWS. 13:5).

 

NEVER DOUBT HIS PRESENCE, EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN’T FEEL HIM OR SEE HIM AT THE TIME.

 

AND REMEMBER THAT POSTER – “JESUS – JUST BECAUSE CAN’T SEE HIM – DOESN’T MEAN HE’S NOT THERE !!”

 

HE’S THERE ALRIGHT – HE’S HERE

AND HE WANTS YOU TO FOLLOW HIM IN YOUR DAILY LIFE – AND TAKE YOUR HAND ON THAT FINAL DAY AND LEAD YOU THROUGH TO ETERNAL REST, THERE TO LIVE IN PEACE FOR ALL TIME.

 

AYE BUT WILL YOU ??

 

I PRAY THAT YOU WILL.

 

MMMM – IT’S A THOUGHT ISN’T IT !?

 

AND NOW OUR FINAL HYMN FOR THIS MORNING –

 

HYMN 419 – “THINE BE THE GLORY…”

 

               (IAIN TO READ VERSE 1 – ROBIN THEN PLAYS THE TUNE)

“THINE BE THE GLORY
RISEN CONQUERING SON
ENDLESS IS THE VICTORY
THOU O’ER DEATH HAST WON!…”

 

AND THE LAST VERSE –

 

“NO MORE WE DOUBT THEE, GLORIOUS PRINCE OF LIFE,

LIFE IS NAUGHT WITHOUT THEE, AID IS IN OUR STRIFE.

MAKE US MORE THAN CONQUERORS,

THROUGH THY DEATHLESS LOVE –

BRING US SAFE THROUGH JORDAN – TO THY HOME ABOVE.

 

ROBIN TO PLAY –

 

WOULD YOU PLEASE STAND  FOR THE  BENEDICTION

 

AND NOW – GO IN LOVE, HOPE, JOY AND PEACE –

GO AND BE ASSURED THAT JESUS HAS RISEN – AND IS HERE IN YOUR LIFE…….. WATCHING AND CARING FOR YOU

 

AND MAY THE BLESSING OF ALMIGHTY GOD – FATHER – SON – AND HOLY SPIRIT – BE WITH YOU ALL – BE WITH YOUR FAMILIES, YOUR FRIENDS  AND ALL WHO WE KNOW AND LOVE – AYE – AND OUGHT TO LOVE – THIS DAY – AND EVERY DAY.

 

AMEN.

                             PLEASE BE SEATED.

 

WOULD THE DUTY ELDERS PLEASE HELP THE CONGREGATION TO RETIRE – THANK YOU.

 

TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS.

 

 

** PUT ON FACE MASKE AND RETIRE TO REAR VESTIBULE **

 

Midweek Meditation – Wednesday 7th April 2021

Good morning, I hope you are well and looking forward to being ‘free’ in the near future. I was in church on Sunday and it was great to be back with the congregation of Kilmacolm Old Kirk once more, but I have to admit to being a bit overwhelmed at being out in public after a year of being behind my desk.

Those of you who know the Easter narrative will know that it is an amazing example of God”s love for us, but there is an intriguing mystery about the grave clothes which Jesus wore which has yet to be explained – why not find a seat and listen to one theory and make up your own mind.

Take care, keep safe and God bless.

Iain

Audio Version

Printed Version

 

Midweek Meditation

7.4.21

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?

Good Morning,

I hope this finds you well and you had a nice time over Easter, albeit a very different one! And I hope you didn’t over do it with the chocolate! J

We met in Church for the first time in over a year on Easter day – that great day of celebration – it was good to get back to Church with our Church family once more.

If course, the theme was that of the Resurrection – and we heard how the disciples went to anoint Jesus, and  found the tomb was empty and Jesus had gone.

The linen robe he had ben clothed in was lying there and the cloth that covered his face was folded.

It might seem insignificant, or at least that is what I used to think – but then I found this  – it’s called

“Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?”

And I’d like to share this Easter thought with you.

It asks, then answers, why Jesus chose fold the napkin which had covered His face –  before He left the Tomb.

It’s just a story and has no Biblical corroboration but it’s a powerful message never the less.

The Gospel of John 20 : 1 – 7 tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes. “Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, :They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him! Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.”

Was that important?  Yes!

Is it really significant? Absolutely!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it…

The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now, if the master was finished done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would scrunch  up that napkin and toss it onto the table.

The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done.’

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because……….. The folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’

And He did come back, just as He said He would..!

Now – isn’t THAT food for thought!??

Amen!

 

Why not read it for yourself – John 20 : 1 – 7

*

Can I remind you that our Sunday Morning Church service is streamed on the Kilmacolm Old Kirk members Facebook page – as well as on the kilmacolmoldkirk.org webpage as before.

It may take a week or two for us to get in to a routine so please bear with us.

*

See and take care of yourself –

and my God bless you

and may He bless your loved ones too.

 

I hope your week is going well

and please – keep safe.

Online Sunday Service – 4th April 2021 – Easter Sunday

Happy Easter. He is risen!

What a special feeling to welcome worshippers back to Kilmacolm Old Kirk after more than a year.
Our services are now available to be booked with a maximum of 50 people each Sunday.
For those who are unable to book or attend on person the service are being live-streamed as per our image below, so nobody has to miss our Sunday services now.

Easter blessings to one and all.

 

Midweek Meditation – Wednesday 31st March 2021 – Holy Week

MIDWEEK MEDITATION 31.3.21

HOLY WEEK

From darkness to light.

Good morning all, I hope you are well. Today we are looking at the events which too place in the week leading up to Easter. We see all that Jesus endured and all that he suffered for our sakes. See and take care, keep safe and God bless.

Iain.

Audio Version

To listen to this audio version click on the word Facebook below:

Printed Version

Online Midweek Meditation

31st March 2021

HOLY WEEK

 

Good morning all,  hope you are all keeping well and looking forward, like me, to the coming of Easter day with all it’s celebrations.

 

It’s the highlight of the Christian Year as we celebrate the Resurrection of God’s son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Many churches, like my own, will open for the first time in over a year, this Sunday, so it will be a double celebration!

 

Today is Wednesday of Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.

 

It was a week of intrigue, betrayal, cruelty and murder – things you might find in any good murder mystery  novel.

Only this story would supersede even the most extravagant of thrillers.

 

It was a ‘good news – bad news – good news’ kind of week, with a number of evil villains plotting – and a Hero who saved the world!

 

From the good news of the Triumphant Entry of Jesus in to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to the bad news  of His betrayal, humiliation torture and death on Good Friday – and then the Good News of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday – quote a roller coaster!

 

Some Denominations and Churches hold Services each night of Holy week, while others might just hold a Maundy Thursday Service or a Good Friday service, but all culminating with a day of joy and celebration on Easter Sunday. Jesus is Risen!

 

That fateful “Holy” week went something like this :~

 

MONDAY – Jesus entered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and was horrified to see it being used as market place.

See John 2 : 12 – 16. Where we hear and angry Jesus say – “This is a Holy Temple, a House of God, not a market place!” And overturned the  market stalls, scattering their goods all over the Temple floor.

TUESDAY – Jesus returns to the Temple and is confronted by the Temple Leaders who are not happy with what He did the day before. Jesus responds  by Teaching them with Parables as well as warning them that the Temple will be destroyed; was He referring to His own impending death?

WEDNESDAY – Sometimes called “Spy Wednesday” as this was the day that Judas offered to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of Silver.

THURSDAY – On the night before his betrayal and death, Jesus washed the feet of twelve disciples, including Judas Iscariot, His betrayer.

The 13 then shared the Last Supper together and Jesus tells them that one of their number would soon betray Him.

Just before midnight, Judas gives up Jesus to the authorities who is then taken away and  imprisoned overnight in the High Priest’s house.

FRIDAY – Pilate condemns Jesus to death by Crucifixion, a most cruel form of death which was usually reserved for those accused of the most  heinous  of crimes.

He was Crucified at 12noon and passed on to Glory at 3pm.

SATURDAY – The Jewish Sabbath day – the Body of Jesus rested in the Tomb. Jewish custom would not allow the anointing of Jesus’ body on their Holy day.

SUNDAY – The Day of Resurrection.

Early in the morning, when the ladies went to anoint the body of Jesus with sweet smelling oils, they found the Tomb was empty.

Mary Magdalene  went to tell the other Disciples who ran to the Tomb to find that the enormous stone which had sealed the entrance of the tomb had been mysteriously rolled away and Jesus had gone.

 

Jesus subsequently appeared on 5 separate ‘post resurrection’ occasions, from meeting Mary in the Garden to a group of 500 people.

All were witnesses to His Resurrection.

40 days later He ascended into Heaven to be with the Father.

 

What a week it must have been!

And did you notice? Not one single chocolate egg or Easter Bunny!

 

You see – Easter is a serious business –  but rather than being a sad day – Easter Sunday is a time of great joy for us – the darkness has been overcome and we see that all His promises came true – He said He would  return – and He did! That gives us the great hope that death need not  be the end for us either, when we put out trust in Him.

 

He had said to the disciples, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise, but they did not understand and didn’t like to ask Him about it.” Matthew 17 : 22 – 23. And that ‘s just what He did!

 

We may not understand it all either – but we don’t need to – all we need is to have faith – faith in Him who gave His life up for us, on the Cross.

And perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on Easter bunnies and Easter chicks, for they are symbols of Springtime, that time of New life.

 

And after all –  isn’t that what this whole Easter business is all about?

 

Food for thought for us all.

Take care, God bless and have a HAPPY EASTER ! J

 

 

May God Bless you and may he bless your loved ones too.

Amen.

Online Sunday Service – 28th March 2021 – Palm Sunday

Good morning all, I hope you remembered to put your clocks forward (Spring forward) last night, if you didn’t then it’s later than you think!😃 Here is this week’s Sunday Service for you. I hope you can find time to relax and listen to it and see what it is saying to you on this PALM SUNDAY.

Take care folks, keep safe and God bless. Iain

Audio Version

Click on the word Facebook to listen to the service

Printed Version

 

ONLINE SUNDAY SERVICE

28th March 2021

PALM SUNDAY

Good Morning folks, I hope you are well today. I am sure that, like me, you are looking forward to the warmer days of Spring; and of course, looking forward to seeing the back of the Covid lockdown which have all endured for just over a year now. I think we have all done very well to get through it – there have probably been a few wobblies on the way – but were almost there! Thank God.

 

Well, today is Palm Sunday and it was a fateful day,

when Jesus rode into Jerusalem,

on His way to the cross.

We’ll hear more about that shortly – but for now, let us pray –

 

PRAYER

 

Dear Lord of heaven and earth –as we share this service from our various homes, we join our hearts to Praise and to Worship you – you are the amazing King of all Kings.

 

On this Palm Sunday we remember the joy and excitement of that day when Christ rode into Jerusalem on that small donkey – and we come to sing your praises at His coming into our lives today.

Remind us to remain faithful to Him who gave His very life for us – Jesus Christ.

Remind us of all that He endured, the humiliation, the pain and the suffering – was all for us.

May we be worthy of his sacrifice and work for His honour and to His glory – glory – in all we say and do.

 

Bless us Lord, bless our loved ones and all who are affected by the Corona Virus, we pray – and we thank you for bringing us through this awful time. Bless those who have lost loved ones along the way, give them your comfort and your peace, we pray.

 

Listening Lord, as we prepare ourselves for worship – we sit for a few moments to clear our minds of the events of the past week  – we bring to you our sadnesses – our disappointments – our frustrations and our regrets – and we pray that you will draw close to us as we confess that which we have said, done and thought – things that we are not proud of – things we pray you will forgive us for – in Jesus’ name.

So be with us Lord – as we bring all this to you in the peace of our silent prayers……silence………

 

Listening Lord – as undeserving as we are – we pray that you will forgive us and bless us with your mercy and your Grace.

 

Lord we know that you hear us when we pray in faith – so hear us now as we say together – the prayer which brings us together as one family – the family prayer – the Lord’s prayer ~

 

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 debts as we forgive our debtors.. Lead us not into temptation.. But deliver us from evil .. For thine is the kingdom.. The power and the glory forever…. Amen.

Today our Readings are –

ZECHARIAH 9 :  9 – 10   &     Luke 19 : 28 – 38    

 

PREAMBLE TO READINGS

And both of our readings this morning talk of a Saviour, sent by God why would enter the Gates of Jerusalem – riding on a donkey.

The prophet Zechariah foretold this – and –

500 years later we hear of Jesus, God’s Son – fulfilling that prophesy – on what was to be, the very first Palm Sunday.

 

Let’s hear those readings now ~

And if you have a Bible with you, why not read along with me – as we read from –

 

ZECHARIAH 9:  9 – 10       New Living Translation

 

‘The King is coming…’

Let us listen to the Word of God.

 

Rejoice, O people of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.
10 I will remove the battle chariots from Israel
and the warhorses from Jerusalem.
I will destroy all the weapons used in battle,
and your king will bring peace to the nations.”

 

And from ~

Luke 19:28-38   New Living Translation

‘Jesus’ Triumphant Entry’

28 Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead.

30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them.

“As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”

34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, the crowd began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! they sang –
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven! Hosanna to the Highest.”

Amen.

This is the Word of the Lord, thank be to God

 

SERMON

Have you ever looked forward to something so much – only to be disappointed when it finally happens?

I suppose all of us have – at sometime or another.

 

Well, that’s what the people in Jerusalem would have felt – when the long-awaited Messiah – the Saviour they had been told about in their holy scriptures – finally appeared.

 

We heard that Zechariah – the prophet and priest had written over 500 years before ~

Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey…”

 

And here – now – before their very eyes – the prophesies were being fulfilled – the Messiah, the Saviour, the Chosen One had come.

 

But on a donkey ?? – really??

 

Just as He had arrived in the Holy city of Bethlehem – 33 years before – cradled in his mothers’ womb, riding on a donkey to His birth – now He was riding a donkey into that other holy city – Jerusalem – to his death.

 

But on this day, at least – there was a real carnival atmosphere,

“At last,” the people would have thought “our Saviour has come – the one who has been prophesied for centuries – he’s finally here!”

And their shouts rang out – “Hosanna in the highest – – blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord….”

Throwing palm leaves before Him – just as some cultures might throw rose petals or lay out a red carpet – when Royalty or someone of distinction passes by.

 

It was a great day – a wonderful day, aye but (and isn’t there always a but ??) aye but how long was it to last?

 

Well, as we know – with the benefit of hindsight – ‘not for long.’ In fact, in under a week – the mood had changed – from ‘hail the conquering hero’ to “crucify him – crucify him !! in just a few short days.

 

It shows the fickle nature of our human condition – and it shows how they mis-understood who and what Jesus really was.

 

And nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the crowd’s reception of Jesus on this ‘Palm Sunday’, because nearly 200 years before – there had been a similar reception into Jerusalem – of a Jewish ‘saviour’ – Simon Maccabee – the family leader of a resistance group who had ousted Israel’s enemies by force – 2 centuries earlier.

 

And we reed in the early, non-scriptural writings in the book of Maccabees – “and on the 23rd day of the seventh month of the first year – he entered the city with thanksgiving, and branches of palms were thrown at his feet and harps and cymbals played – and hymns and songs were sung – because there were destroyed a great enemy out of Israel.”

 

Sound familiar??

 

Wasn’t this the very same kind of reception they were now giving Jesus?

 

Perhaps they were expecting the same kind of ‘saviour,’ one who would lead a revolt against the enemies of Israel – in the same kind of way as the ‘freedom fighter’- Simon Maccabee and his family had done in their past.

By force – and by murderous, guerrilla tactics.

 

That’s what I meant when I said that they had mis-understood who and what Jesus really was.

 

They had been expecting a king of war – riding in on a white charger – a ‘saviour’ in the physical sense – who was going to save them from their enemies, but what they got – was the ‘king of peace’ – riding on a donkey – who was to be their saviour, in a very different kind of way.

 

Not exactly the picture they had envisaged – not exactly the ‘saviour’ they had been expecting.

 

But by the clever use of a kind of ‘reverse psychology’ – Jesus was making an impact – making a point – He was saying “No – I’m not a king of violence – but a king of peace.

See – here I am – no weapons – no impressive war horse – it’s just me and my donkey – and I’ll leave the rest in God’s hands.”

But this was no “happy day in the life of Jesus” – it was a monumental day in the history of the world!

 

Now – the end was now in sight ~

 

Or was it just the beginning!?

 

* ………

 

The day had come – as Jesus entered the gates of that ancient, holy city – a city with attitude – a city with a history.

 

It had withstood invasion after invasion – it had seen more than it’s share of bloodshed.

It was populated by very rich – and the very poor – the holy – the humble and the heretic.

 

It was a city whose religious leaders were far removed from the everyday lives of the everyday people.

Their ancient religion bore no relevance to their reality – the people saw only restriction and hypocrisy.

It was a religion of “Thou shalt not’s.”

 

It was a city in need of a God who would love and care for them.   A city in need of a saviour – who would free them from all that they endured.

 

They were a people crying out for help.

Their traditions told them that God would send a rescuer – a ‘man on a mission’ – someone who would drive out the occupying Roman forces by the strength of his arm – a strong saviour.

 

Their hopes were raised – their expectations were high.

No wonder they cheered – no wonder they shouted Halleluiah! Hosannah! – no wonder they laid out palm branches like a ‘red carpet’ – for their Saviour to walk upon.

*…….

And so, it was into this melting pot that Jesus entered that day – riding on a donkey.

 

But what kind of warrior king was this?

 

What kind of hero was this??

 

Where’s the crown?? Where’s the army??

And riding a donkey ? – that was the means of transport for a merchant or a priest, perhaps.

 

Where was the white charger that a conquering king triumphantly would enter a city on?

 

But this was no ordinary king – no ordinary saviour.

 

Jesus came to save alright – but not by the strength of his arm – by the power of His love.

 

He was laying out his credentials – showing just what kind of king He was.

 

He was a king and a prince – rolled into one.

 

He was the king of kings and the prince of peace – come to save them – but not from the Roman rulers – but from themselves – from their lack of faith – their insistence on going their own way rather than God’s way – and to save them from the awful consequences of living a life apart from God.

 

But they didn’t know this yet – that’s why they cheered.

 

They were full of excitement and hope –

Jesus was full of love and compassion.

………………………….

 

His very entrance into the city – was a challenge to the establishment – a threat to the religious leaders – an act of defiance to the Roman overlords.

But it was also a promise kept by God – to the people.

 

God’s promise – God’s pledge to send a Messiah – a deliverer………was being fulfilled.

 

That too – is why they cheered.

 

Jesus was fulfilling God’s promise – God’s plan was rolling on like an ever-flowing stream.

 

And so – yes – Palm Sunday was a day of celebration and joy – for many reasons –

but Jesus knew that it was all to go downhill from there, and it certainly did!! –  with a vengeance!

 

That was the bad news – but there was good news too – there always is when Jesus is around!

 

God’s plan is still being worked out today – in you and in me – in all who put their trust, their faith, their life – in the hands of Jesus.

 

We all have birth, life and we will all, one day, pass away – but because of Easter – because Jesus chose to go to Jerusalem and fulfil God’s plan for him – we too can know a resurrection – to new life, both here and hereafter because of what Jesus did for us when He offered up his life for our wrongdoings – on the Cross.

Giving us – you and I – a pass into Heaven on that final day.

It’s what Easter’s all about.

 

And it’s that wonderful, brilliant, ‘good news’ that we celebrate at Easter.

No wonder the people cheered……..

Maybe we should get excited and shout about it more often too!!

*

And so – as we walk with Jesus, through this coming ‘Holy Week’ – let us give thanks for all that He endured, for our sakes – let us pray for the strength and courage to stand with and stand up for our dear Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The one who – in the words of the old hymn – “took   F R A I L   F L E S H   and died” ……….

– for us.

For You an Me – and all who put their hearts and lives into His Holy hands.

 

Amen.

 

May God bless this preaching of His holy word – and may all the glory and the praise – be His.

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

 

This morning we have heard about the triumphal entry of Jesus on Palm Sunday – and how – for us – it can turn things around – bad things to good – disappointment into hope – sadness into joy.

But here’s a thought – have you even given the poor wee donkey a thought??

 

So here’s a poem – written by G.K.Chesterton – which sees that day – from the donkey’s point of view ~ I’ll read it for you now ~

 

“When fishes flew and forests walked

And figs grew upon the thorn,

Some moment when the moon was blood

Then surely I was born.

 

With monstrous head and sickening cry

And ears like errant wings,

The devil’s walking parody

On all four-footed things.

 

The tattered outlaw of the earth,

Of ancient crooked will;

Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,

I keep my secret still.

 

Fools!   For I also had my hour;

One far fierce hour and sweet:

There was a shout about my ears,

And palms before my feet.”

 

Many of us – like that donkey – feel unworthy – undeserving of Gods love – I know I do.

And if you feel like that too, then here’s a thought for you.

Just think of that donkey, humble – ridiculed – mocked – yet Jesus used him on that most important of days ~

He has a purpose, a use, for each one of us – however useless we might feel.

 

He has a purpose for you – if you will trust Him and let Him lead you – to do His will.

 

Just as that wee donkey did – all those years ago.

 

Mmmmmm – now isn’t THAT food for thought for all of us!!

 

Amen.

I’m afraid that I will no longer be able to provide an AUDIO version on Sundays as I will be back in church on a Sunday morning.  But you will be able to see it online.

 

It is our intention to record the Church Service each Sunday and so if you wish to see/hear the service you can do so by going to the Church website at kilmacolmoldkirk.org.uk – all lower case.

 

Each Sunday I send out 12  Audio Services and 3 Print only Services – and the same again on Wednesday’s. Some are church sites and other different groups and private sites.

 

I start posting out the Services around 7.30am on a Sunday morning and usually post the last one by about 11.30am.  As you will appreciate, I will not be able to continue doing that once we start back in church as I will be leaving the house around 10am to get to church.

I will however, continue to post the Midweek Meditation in both printed and Audio versions as well as a printed version of my Sunday Church Service for you online.

So many of you have said how much you have gained from these services and while they might not be everyone’s cup of tea, a number of you have told me that you have been greatly helped along the way, during the difficult times of lockdown – and it has given me great encouragement to know that.

Thank You so much.

 

 

But until then – remember, Jesus gave His very life for you – that makes you pretty special I’d say!

And we’ll hear more about that next Sunday.

 

blessing

 

And now, live in hope, love – joy and peace –

 

Let us rejoice and welcome Jesus into our lives….

 

And may the blessing of Almighty God – Father – Son – and Holy spirit – be with you all – may He be with your families, your friends – and all who you know and love – aye, and ought to love – this day – and every day.

Amen.

Can I ask you to sit for a few moments and listen to our closing song – “My worth is not in what I own – “such lovely words….. words for you and for me to ponder…

May God bless you –

and may He Bless your loved ones too.

 

Be sure and look out for the ‘Midweek Meditation’ which is Posted every Wednesday Morning.

 

Have a good week – and Please – keep safe

*

Please note that The Murray Chapel will be re opening for Private worship on Monday 29th March from 11am – 1pm

*

“Be still and know that I am God”

Psalm 46: 10

Midweek Meditation – Wednesday 24th March 2021

MIDWEEK MEDITATION 24.3.21

Good morning all, I hope this finds you well. Here is this week’s meditation for you and I hope you have a few minutes to sit and listen to it. See and take good care, keep safe and God Bless. Iain

Audio Version

Click on the word Facebook to listen to audio.

Printed Version

Midweek Meditation

24th March 2021

Forgive and Pray

 

Good morning and welcome to our Midweek Meditation for the 24th March 2021.

How are you today? I hope you’re well and managing to keep out of harms way.

 

I think, or at least I hope, that this weeks reflection has a message that will keep you thinking all week – and beyond.

None of us go through life without touching the lives of others around us.   Once in a while, whether on purpose or by accident, someone may wrong us – life happens. When that happens we have 2 choices – we can hold on to a grudge and we’ll find that it will grow  in your minds – or you can forgive them hand it over to God.

Easier said than done perhaps, but if we hold on to a grudge and refuse  the forgive others, then ask God to forgive for our own wrongdoing, would be the height of hypocrisy wouldn’t it ? But it is so often what we do.

If we don’t forgive others, what right have we to expect forgiveness for ourselves?

READ – “When you pray, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Mark 11 : 25

REFLECT – We shouldn’t ask for something we aren’t  willing to give. It’s no use asking God to forgive our wrongdoings if we aren’t willing to forgive others.

As we say each week in the Lord’s Prayer

“Give us this day our daily bread.. And forgive us our debts – as we forgive our debtors…”

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or ‘letting them off’ – it’s about ‘letting go’, clearing your own head, taking the weight of off of your own mind and letting God be their judge..

Let us pray ~

PRAY – Holy, Heavenly Father, forgive us as we so often judge other people for the very same things that we  do ourselves.   Help us to be as gracious and forgiving to others – as you graciously forgive us.

Amen.

PONDER – How are you at forgiving others? Do you find it easy? Or do you struggle to forgive?

If you do then pray about it and ask God to help you forgive – only then will you find forgiveness and a deep peace of mind.

Forgiveness – it starts and finishes with prayer.  Three words ~

Forgive and Pray.

Amen.

Food for thought for us all.

And can I remind you that as of a week on Sunday – that’s Easter Sunday – I’ll not be able to post the Audio version of the Sunday Service as I’ll be in church – but I will post the Printed version of the Service each Sunday online.

And as soon as we have the recording equipment up and running, we plan to video the Sundays Service for you to see and hear on the church website. We’re aiming for Easter Sunday – but I’ll let you know how that goes.

Take care and God Bless.

I hope your week is going well.

And please – keep safe.