Online Sunday Service – 25th April 2021

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 – 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. The services are shown live on the Kilmacolm Old Kirk Facebook page then downloaded later on to YouTube in video format.

 

I am hoping that if you go to Kilmacolmoldkirk.org you will find a link there to our Facebook page to see the service live.

We live in hope! J

Iain

 

Video Version

Printed Version

Welcome / Intimations – Session Clerk

“Good morning – lovely to see you  – and may the Love and the Grace of our dear Lord Jesus be with you.”

(AND WITH YOU)

THANK YOU

Call to Worship –

 

Psalm 100 reminds us that we are to –
    “Worship the Lord with gladness.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!”

 

As we unite together, wherever ever we may be, let us begin our worship God with our morning prayers,  let us pray –

Prayer

Loving and heavenly Father – we come here this morning as individuals yes, but also as a gathering of family and friends from our different homes.

We come to give you thanks for all your goodness to us – and to acknowledge you as our great and glorious God. The God who created the universe and all that is in it – the God who first spun the world into motion – and the God who created life – and continues to re-create life each  and every day.

 

When we take the time to look around and see the beauties of the world around us – we see what a wonderful, amazing, awesome God you are!!

You are beyond anything our human minds can understand – and although we cannot know all there is to know about you – we can and do know that you love us – even tho’ we are , at times, not as loveable as we ought be. But you continue to love us anyway.

Forgive us for the times we wander from the path you have laid out for us – for the times we think we know best and try to live our lives without you.

Lord, you know all our faults and failings – you know what we’re like – but you also know that we are good, decent people trying to live good lives – guide us back when we get lost – lift us up when we fall – encourage us when we are disheartened and give us your strength when we are weak and vulnerable.

 

Hear us Father, Forgive us Father we pray– and hear us now as we say together, the family prayer – the Lord’s prayer, together –

 

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 532 – “Lord, you have come to the seashore”

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

PREAMBLE TO READINGS

 

Our first reading for today is taken from the gospel of John.

Where we hear Jesus explaining how,  when we live his way – he sees us as friends. But take special note of verse 16 –

 

And our second reading is from the first letter from Peter –  where he talks about building a ‘spiritual house’ – not made of stone but of “living stones” – people, like you and I.

A ‘chosen people’ – living good and upright lives – built on a good foundation – of faith in Jesus Christ – the one who was once rejected – but now exalted….

And pay particular attention to verse 9 – a chosen people….

 

But let’s hear it for ourselves –

From the New Revised Standard Version

Readings – JOHN 15 : 15 – 17   &   1st PETER 2 : 4 – 9

Let us listen to the word of God

Mary please ~

15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant[b] does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

And –

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built[a] into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:

“See, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious;
and whoever believes in him[
b] will not be put to shame.”

To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the very head of the corner,”

and “A stone that makes them stumble,
and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,[c] in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  Amen.

This is the word of the Lord – thanks be to God

SERMON

Wasn’t it Forrest Gump who said “life is like a box of chocolates..?”

 

Imagine I were to give you a box of your favourite chocolates- what would be the first thing you would do ??

 

I don’t know about you – but when I open  a box of chocolates – the first thing I do is – pick my favourites….!! J

 

I’d probably go for  the Turkish Delight or the orange cream.

And the likes of the toffee cracknel or the nougat would end up being left in the box !!

 

I suppose you can afford to be choosy – when you have a choice.

Which makes the words of Jesus in the passage from John’s gospel all the more meaningful – for we heard of Jesus telling his disciples that of all the thousands of people he could have chosen to be his disciples, He chose them !

 

And to be kind to them – they weren’t exactly the obvious choice – especially if they planned to start a world-changing movement.

 

Yet Jesus chose them above all others, seeing qualities in them that he could take and use in the fulfilling of his purpose.

 

And – you know – it’s the same today……

He still chooses people.  Everyday, ordinary people like you and I– and uses us to do his work – seeing in us, things that others, including ourselves, may not see, to further his purpose – and to help unfold his plan.

 

But in all this we can see, if we look – that like the first disciples – He chooses us….

 

He is the one who initiates the  relationship.

 

He chooses us – we don’t choose him!

 

We respond to his call…………..

 

But why does He do that?

 

Because, like with those first disciples – he sees in us something special – something which he loves and values.

 

The greatest wonder of all is that he leaves no-one out when choosing –

He doesn’t pick his favourites and leave rejects at the end of the pile.

Though many may reject him – he discards no-one – he has a place for everyone – a purpose for each of us.

 

And when we are ready to receive him and accept his invitation – “he calls us friends” as we heard in our first reading…….

 

Do you sometimes question whether you have any place in God’s Kingdom?

 

Do you doubt that he will want you

That you might be  of little use to him?

 

Or perhaps you feel you have no right to call yourself a ‘Christian’? With some of the things you may say, do or think….??

 

If so, then remember this : before you even knew there was a choice to make – Jesus     chose    you……………

 

You see – he knows you – he knows all about you. And he still wants you

 

The Bible tells us that he even knows how many hairs there are on your head – in other words – he knows every little detail of you and your life…. And he handpicked you – in order that he might bless you – honour and shower you with love and affection.

*

And on that final day – when he calls for you to join him –  he promises that he will be there, waiting to welcome you in to that wonderful, eternal kingdom – because you are on of his “chosen ones” – not because of anything you have done to deserve it – but because He is the almighty creator God – who overflows with grace and blessings and he loves you – and all he wants is for you to love him too.

 

I pray that you will – that we all will – and spend the rest of the time we have left on this earth, living his way, following his path, in faith and thanksgiving – so we might then spend  an eternity in peace and tranquility hereafter.

 

I pray that you will see just how precious you really are

To our wonderful, amazing – God of love.

 

Let us join in a short prayer –

 

“Lord Jesus Christ, whenever I question my worth, teach me that you believe in me totally, even enough to give up your life for me – that I might, one day, enter your glorious kingdom, and in that knowledge may I live each day, at peace with myself, at peace with others, and at peace with you…”

 

And all this – 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.

 

And now- A short time for Reflection……………

 

Organ Piece – Robin  Time to Reflect

Let us Pray ~

Prayer

Heavenly Father- lord of lords, king of kings – God of all gods – you are the one who holds the world in balance – you are the one who holds us in the palm of your hand.

You are the one who provides for our daily needs – the one who watches over us and cares for each and every one of us.

 

Yet you are the one – sadly – who we so often take for granted…

 

Help us to see and appreciate all that you have done for us – and continue to do.

Help us to give you our thanks – and to take time each day to look around and see all that you have blessed us with. Family and friends – a roof over our head and food on our table – and so much more.

 

Help us too – to take time each day – to see the plight of others.  To look around and see who is in need – and give us a heart to help where we can.

 

We think particularly of the many lives lost in India in the Hospital fire a few days ago – bless their loved ones and give them your comfort in their sadness, we pray,

 

We think today of those who are homeless and helpless – those who suffer at the hands of others who exert power over them.

 

Lord, you said to us –

“Blessed are those who are persecuted, the poor, the meek and those who mourn.”

We pray for those for whom these things are not just a fear but a reality.

Bless them as you promise you will – bring them out of their darkness and in to the warmth and light of your love.

 

Today we pray for those we know who need a prayer at this time.

Particularly for –

The family of Netta Martin whose funeral is later this week.

Bless her husband Jack, her son John and all of the family. Bless them with your comfort and your peace.

We pray for our church family – for our community and for ourselves.

 

Bless us we pray – bless our families and friends – and bless those with whom we are at variance.

 

Listening lord hear now our prayers as we sit for a few silent moments – each with our own thoughts – each with our own prayer…………………….

 

Hear our prayers – both spoken and silent – for we bring them to you in the holy and precious name of your only son – our only hope – Jesus Christ.           Amen

 

Thought for the Week

 

Here’s a true story –

In South Africa, under apartheid, a young coloured boy  was walking along with his mother when a tall white man passed by and raised his hat to his mother.

The boy was amazed – fancy a white man raising his hat to a black woman!

‘Why did he do that!?” He asked his mother.

“Because is a clergy-man, a man of god” his mother replied.

“Well, I want to be a man of God too” said the boy.

 

And true to his word – many years later became a clergy man in the troubled district of Johannesburg – where he spent his life working tirelessly against apartheid and racism.

– in fact he became quite a famous clergyman  – for you see, his name was

Desmond Tutu!”….

 

We never know what impression people may have of us – when they see us acting in a good and kindly way – or not

It can the most profound effect on those around us.

 

As people of God – we must always careful how we live and what we say – we are, the Bible says – “ambassadors for Christ” –

So here’s a thought for us all to take home and think about this week –

 

You may not see them – but people are watching and listening…

Is the way you speak, live and treat others showing  Jesus in a good light?

 

What kind of “ambassador for Christ ” are you ??

– a good one ?

 

Or do your ‘Jesus skills’ need a bit of polishing up??

 

It makes you think doesn’t it?

At least – I hope it does….

Amen.

 

We have been thinking about being called by Jesus – and so our final Hymn is –

Hymn  340 – “When Jesus saw the fishermen”

 “When Jesus saw the fishermen,

In boats upon the sea,

He called to them “Come, leave your nets –

and follow, follow me”

Robin to play the music ……….

 

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”

 

Benediction

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.

Amen.            

 PLEASE Take care and keep safe.