Good morning all , I hope you are well this morning and can find the time to read through today’s Service.
Why not make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and perhaps a biscuit too (go on, spoil yourself) – sit, relax and see what it has to say to you.
AUDIO VERSION – As you may have noticed, we have had a few teething problems going live.
At present the Sunday Morning service can be seen live at 11am on the Kilmacolm Old Kirk Facebook page – and a recorded version will be available in the afternoon on You Tube / Kilmacolm Old Kirk.
And some not so good news – double trouble in the Ramsden household I’m afraid.
Jo is going into hospital on 20th May for a fairly major operation and I would ask you to keep her in your prayers.
And – as some of you may know, I have been struggling for a while now so will be taking a couple of weeks off (after today) – for my own good health and more importantly, to spend quality time with Jo – that’s the plan anyway.
Be good and take care – and I don’t want to hear any stories when I come back !
Take care, keep safe and God bless.
Sunday 1st May 2021
Welcome / Intimations – Session Clerk
Good morning – it is lovely to see you here this morning – and I pray that the grace and the peace of our dear Lord Jesus will be with you.
(and with you)
Let us Worship god
Call to Worship
“As we draw together – let us listen to God’s word to see what he has to say to us today – let us begin our time of worship with our morning prayers –
LET US PRAY ~
Almighty God, We come together this day – to worship you – and to give you our praise.
But first we must prepare our selves – put our thoughts in order – arrange our priorities so that we can fully concentrate on you and so worship you with all reverence and respect…. Help us to take breath – take time – from our busy schedules to relax in your presence – to enjoy your presence – and to gain all we can from being here with you and our church family-
As we leave the past week behind us – and look to the week ahead – we pray that we feel your presence in all we say and do – your calming presence – your loving presence – your sustaining presence in a busy and demanding world…. (silence)
In our worship this morning – we are reminded that you are always by our side – watching, caring, providing for our every need – We thank you generous Lord – and offer you our heartfelt worship………………
Encouraging God, we worship and praise you..
you call us to love others and to show that love – to testify to the reality of our faith through the love we show to others.
It all sounds so wonderful in theory, but when it comes to practice we find that it’s easier to say – than to do.
Forgive us, we pray for all that we do and say and think that is not in accordance with your will – for the times we turn away when things need to be done – the kind word we left unsaid – for the criticism which comes so easily off our lips – for those we have not helped and those who we have not seen as your children too…….
Be with us now listening Lord as we sit together for a few silent moments – looking back over the past week or two – thinking of all the things we regret having said, done and thought – things that hurt and disappoint you – things we bring before you now – in the peace of our silence……………………silence…………….
for all this, and for so much more Lord- we ask for your mercy and your grace – and pray for your forgiveness – in Jesus’ name.
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.
HYMN 550 – “As the dear pants for the water…”
“As the deer pants for the water,
so my soul longs after you.
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship you.”
……………Robin plays the tune…………
PREAMBLE TO READINGS –
Both of our reading this morning remind us that our downcast spirits are soon revived when we recognise God in our everyday lives.
We can often become jaded and disheartened when things don’t turn out as we had thought they would – but a recognition of all that god has done – and continues to do for us – should lift our spirits and give us great joy….
But lets hear God’s word as …Susan……….. Reads for us – firstly from the book of Psalms – and then from John’s gospel
LET US HEAR THE WORD OF GOD –
READINGS – Psalm 42
Longing for God and His Help in Distress
1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,[a]
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
John 21 : 1-14 New Revised Standard Version
Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
21 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin,[a] Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards[b] off.
9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”
This is the word of the Lord – thanks be to God
Well, here we are – just a few weeks since what has been called the “Easter event’ but of course it wasn’t just an “event” – and event is usually a “one off” experience like a concert for example – but the resurrection was much more than that – it was to change the lives of people all over the world – it was to ‘change the world’ from a dark world of fear and darkness – to a world of light and hope.
The disciples had seen and heard their friends and Saviour cruelly murdered on a cross. Their lives were devastated- their hearts were broken – their hopes and dreams shattered.
They had heard stories that Jesus had been seen alive in and around Jerusalem – and maybe that was true – after all, He said that He would but He certainly hadn’t been seen here in Galilee.
So there they were – sitting around, lying low incase the authorities took them in for questioning.
It was evening – another long night in front of them.
Simon Peter had had enough – ‘I don’t know about you” he said to the others “but I’m going fishing – anyone coming with me?’
And you can almost hear the relief in the voices of the others as they very quickly agree: “Good idea – we’ll come with you.” anything to take their minds off their loss – anything to fill that aching empty feeling.
And so they set out – doing what they knew best – fishing.
Only this fishing trip wasn’t a success. Perhaps their heart wasn’t in it.
And what can be more frustrating and depressing for professional fishermen than to come home with empty nets?
Nothing was going right for them, not even their work.
But then, gradually, after a long dark night, light began to dawn. And as the light increased, so there in the distance, they were able to see a figure standing on the shore. Perhaps he’d been there all the time, throughout the entire period of darkness, perhaps he’d been silently watching their struggle – but they hadn’t been able to see him until the darkness began to lift.
At any event, by the time they spotted him, he had a fire going and fish cooking, so he must have been there for quite a while.
But – as in almost all the other resurrection stories, they failed to recognise Jesus.
Even so, they follow the instructions of this enigmatic stranger.
So they cast their nets on the other side and – and they caught so many fish they could hardly haul them all in.
Listen to Jesus – obey his words – and things happen.
And then they recognized who this stranger on the shore really was – Jesus himself!
The One who had power over all creation, could calm the waves of the sea, heal the sick, raise the dead, and to whom nothing was impossible, was calling to them.
We can imagine the joy and the delight they must have felt – so it was true!! Jesus REALLY HAS come back!!
He promised He would – and He always keeps His promises.
It was a double delight for them – their friend and Saviour was with them again !
And a miracle of a catch which would not only feed their families but a whole village too!
This was the third time after the Resurrection that Jesus had appeared, and revealed to the disciples, that He was the Messiah.
This miracle not only blessed them with a boat filled with fish, but it also restored their hope and confidence that had been lost over the recent horrible ordeal when they had thought they had lost their Master.
But what has all this got to say to us – in our own lives, here, today?
Well, the simple phrase ‘they caught nothing’ is a profound one.
How often have we worked hard for something, only for it to come to nothing? It is easy for us to give up, feeling disappointed that it has all been a waste of time and energy.
Like Peter and his colleagues, we catch nothing, and find it difficult to understand where we’ve gone wrong.
But with nothing to lose – they take the advice of the stranger and cast their nets on the other side – and bingo! A bumper haul !
Just who was this man?
Listening to Jesus – obeying His advice – pays dividends, as the fishermen found out – and that is true for us too.
But it’s not just about hearing His words – it is about taking heed of them and putting them in to practice.
Maybe things don’t always work as we had intend or hoped for – but don’t give up.
Be faithful in prayer – settle your mind, listen to His words and try again.
We strive – we strain – we struggle – with all sorts of problems and difficult issues – and so often the last person we turn to is Jesus – yet he is there for us – he is here for us – watching – waiting to be asked in to your life.
He sees things from a better vantage point – and knows just how and where to go to get the best results.
Look for him –turn to him – recognise him –
Come to him in trust and faith. listen to His words
and I can absolutely promise that your life will take an amazing turn for the better.
Expect Him to help you and He will.
Come half-heartedly and we will receive accordingly……… but give yourself completely to Him – trust Him totally – and you will receive everything you could ever ask for – aye – and much more beside – just like those disciples.
I once saw a logo on a fish shop in Buckie which said – “choose fish – choose life !”
Maybe that’s a logo which isn’t so far from the truth for us as we follow Christ.
Christ is here with us – he’s all around us – through
His Holy Spirit which surrounds us – He is watching – waiting – wanting you to see Him and respond to Him and His word – so that he can turn your life around.
I pray that you will have the eyes to see Him – and the ears to hear Him as He calls you to follow Him – to worship Him – and then go out and to be “fishers of men and women” telling others the wonderful Good News – in joy – hope – and in love.
Are you up for the challenge? –
I hope and pray that you are –
And I pray for each one of you, in the precious name of Jesus Christ – God’s only Son – our only hope.
And may God bless this preaching of His Holy Word – and may all the glory and the praise – be His.
ORGAN PIECE …….ROBIN………….
Risen and living God, we give you our heartfelt thanks for all your goodness to us -you have blessed us with so much – over so many years – and we take time now to say “thank you Lord – thank you”
But there seems to be so much evil in the world that some say you are no longer present.
When we hear about small children working as slaves in factories, or people dying of hunger, or the spread of awful diseases because of the lack of simple drugs, the world’s problems feel overwhelming.
May we see you not on the distant shore but face to face, so that all our thoughts, words and actions are coloured by personal knowledge of your presence.
But may we never be content to rest on our own laurels, and instead strive always to improve conditions for those with whom we live and work. And may we be so concerned about all our collective children that our major priority is to bring them up to know you as their god.
Hold in your loving presence those of our friends and families who are sick, asking you to pour the force of your healing power into them. And we pray silently for them now ~ a short time for personal prayer………..
We pray for those who are effected by wars and disasters and we think particularly of the dozens killed and many more injured in Israel at their religious festival this past week.
We pray for their families and friends who mourn them…….. Be with them in their loss – comfort them and draw close to them that they might feel the sound of your heartbeat and the warmth of your loving arms around them…………
Bless all who need your love and your comfort at this time.
Lord, accept these prayers for we bring them before you in the name of our dear and precious jesus………..Amen.
‘THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK’
A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates.
Ahead of him is a man who’s dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket, and jeans.
Saint Peter addresses the man wearing somewhat sloppy clothes, “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?”
The man replies, “I’m wee Jimmy – a taxi driver, in the city of Glasgow.”
Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the taxi-driver, “Ah yes, take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The taxi-driver goes into Heaven with his robe and staff.
Then it’s the Minister’s turn. He stands up tall and booms out in his very best Ministerial voice ~ “I am the Reverend Mark Matthews, Minister of Saint Mary’s Church, for the last forty-three years.”
Saint Peter consults his list., “No, I can’t find your name – oh wait – here it is”
He says to the minister, “Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“Just a minute,” says the minister. “That man before me was a taxi-driver, and he gets a silken robe and golden staff.
Why, How can this be?”
Saint Peter, looks to the preacher and says,
“Up here, we work by results,”
“While you preached, people slept.
But when wee Jimmy drove ~ people prayed!!”
There are times when we find ourselves struggling – perhaps even failing in our aims… and when these times come it is important that we turn to God in Prayer to talk to God and to listen for his words to us.
And take heart from those fishermen in Galilee –
Things go better when we listen to the words of Jesus………
Have you invited Him in to your life yet?
Food for thought for us all.
AND NOW OUR FINAL HYMN –
HYMN 512 – “To God be the glory…”
“To God be the glory, great things he has done,
So loved he the world that He gave us his Son,
Who yielded His life, an atonement for sin,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.”
……………Robin plays the tune…………
AND NOW WOULD YOU PLEASE STAND –
“May the God of peace go with us –
A we travel from this place.
May the love of Jesus keep us
firm in Hope and full of Grace”
Go out in love, joy, hope and peace
Go with God’s love in your heart – and his hand on your shoulder, watching and guiding you in all you say and do..
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 know and love – and ought to love – this day and everyday.
PLEASE Take care and keep safe.