• Rossendale Circuit

Jesus In Demand - Sunday Service 18.07.21

with Revd. David Burrow


Video Service


or watch on youtube here.


Hymns & Songs:


MP 201 'Guide me O Thou great Redeemer' - At the Royal Albert Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofp6rdAgRrY enjoy the big finish!


MP 38 'As we are gathered'

https://youtu.be/zj0Eg9X0FT8


MP 936 'Teach me to dance to the beat of your heart'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1LaArPzHyk


MP 181 'God forgave my sin in Jesus' name'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo3MGpcBC5M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NWOTInWoZs


MP 951 'To be in your presence'

https://youtu.be/typ7cueKdT4


MP 625 'Take time to be holy'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVtvls2x2BA


MP 185 'God is good'

https://youtu.be/Bvl0IarGh_8


MP 760 'When we walk with the Lord'

https://youtu.be/2IDJQivWjdc



Other Links


Our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuzuzxmGWU4e_xRupJilppg


Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rossendalemethodistcircuit


Our Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/rossendalecircuit/


Our Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/rosscircuit


Our Website: https://www.rossendalemethodistcircuit.co.uk/


Our Email Address: rossendalemethodistcircuit@gmail.com




Transcript


This Sunday is Rural Mission Sunday. Today we are encouraged to think of, and pray for, the rural community. Rossendale is a beautiful rural area in which to live, work and worship, so we begin by reading Psalm 121 which encourages us to lift our eyes beyond the hills to God our creator.

Reading

The theme of Rural Mission Sunday is, ‘Pilgrimage’. What goes through your mind when you hear the word ‘pilgrimage’? Perhaps you’ve been on pilgrimage to a ‘holy place’ like Lindisfarne, Canterbury or even the Camino de Santiago. Maybe you’ve watched others go on such a journey through the BBC’s recent Pilgrimage series. Or perhaps you’ve simply found yourself encountering God in new ways as you’ve walked more during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our first hymn suggestion will come as no surprise.


MP 201 'Guide me O Thou great Redeemer' - At the Royal Albert Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofp6rdAgRrY enjoy the big finish!


MP 38 'As we are gathered'

https://youtu.be/zj0Eg9X0FT8


Prayer:

Creator God, the whole world is yours. Creation sings your praises.

As the sun rises on a new day help us to see the way ahead may we know your presence leading and guiding us.

Give us the strength to keep following you and as the day ends may we know your rest and your peace.

Lord, you are the rock on which we stand, and this is the place where we can begin again.

In you we find our hope, and in your presence we have new strength.

You call us to yourself and declare that you are our Father.

How wonderful to be child, your precious possession.

Lord, look into our hearts we pray, as we confess our sin.

Cleanse us and make us new.

We thank you for the gift of your forgiveness and we worship you our Saviour and our Lord. Amen


The Lord’s Prayer


Photo by Christopher Burns via Unsplash


MP 936 'Teach me to dance to the beat of your heart'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1LaArPzHyk


MP 181 'God forgave my sin in Jesus' name'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo3MGpcBC5M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NWOTInWoZs


Our reading today is a little different to usual. Imagine a sandwich – two slices of bread with a filling. Our reading is the two slices of bread on either side of the filling which today we are going to leave for later. The bit in the middle is the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on the water – these stories are picked up in John’s gospel in the coming weeks, so keep an eye and an ear open for those.


Reading: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56


This is quite an odd reading; two different passages separated by two miracles. So what’s going on?

Earlier in chapter 6:7-13, Jesus had sent the disciples out in to the villages around Nazareth, to preach, cast out demons and heal people.

They returned from their journey eager to share their experiences.

Jesus knew that they needed to talk, to rest and to eat. John’s gospel, in chapter 5, tells us that Jesus went to Jerusalem as the apostles went on their preaching tour, so he too needed a rest.

Mark describes the disciples as ‘apostles’, which literally means, ‘those who have been sent’.

Can you imagine how the disciples felt after their own preaching and healing tour? I’m sure they were excited at what had happened and were bursting to tell Jesus all about it.

So, Jesus decided they were going to get away by boat. He knew how important it is to spend time with God before you can do God's work. We can only do God's work in God's strength.

But he also knew how important it is to have a chance to debrief and share our stories of what God has done.


The apostles’ journey had changed them.

How does this connect to the theme of pilgrimage?

It is a wonderful picture of how journeys can change people and a reminder that life is rarely plain sailing.

This reading reminds us of the need for a rhythm of both rest and engagement. Something we knew all about back on the farm when I was a boy. It was wonderful to know that on Sunday we didn’t do any work apart from milk the cows and feed the animals.

Even in the middle of hay time with hay bales still in the field our father refused to get out there – he knew how important it was to have a day off. And our neighbouring farmers noticed, as on Monday morning, feeling refreshed, we were back in the fields and bringing in the hay just as quickly as the neighbours.

In 21st century Britain too many of us tend to prioritise busyness but, as a pilgrim needs to rest at the end of a day’s travel, we too mustn’t overlook the value of rest.

Think back to times when you have felt overwhelmed by busyness.

What helped you recover?


We certainly need times of refreshment, both to rest and to listen to the teaching of Jesus; they are a vital part of our lives as people of faith.

Sadly, because Jesus was in such demand, he and his apostles couldn’t even find the time to eat.

In Britain eating is mostly something we do to live, but in Middle Eastern culture, as in other parts of Europe, meals were times for relaxation, reflection, and conversation, and not just nutrition.

Mark emphasises how the crowds put pressure on Jesus, as they sought him out because the news about him had spread far and wide.

So, rest for Jesus and his disciples meant another journey, this time by boat, to a ‘deserted place’.


At last, a chance to rest and tell their stories! If only!


Somehow, a great crowd was waiting for them, but, tired as he was, rather than being irritated and resenting the crowd’s presence, as I might have done, Jesus had compassion on the people because ‘they were like sheep without a shepherd.’


Today sheep are normally in a field on their own.

But in Jesus' day sheep always had a shepherd to protect them, to lead them to food and water and to lead them back to the fold in the evening.

Jesus looked at the people and recognised their danger.

Their shepherds, the religious leaders of the day, had failed to lead them in the ways of God. They were in danger of being totally lost without any kind of spiritual nourishment.

No wonder that Jesus, the good Shepherd, was in demand.

He taught the people to help them understand who God is, what he had done for them, and what he willed for them.

Without teaching God’s people go hungry.


Thankfully, unlike the religious and political leaders of the time Jesus was compassionate, just and good, and always willing to serve. And the people responded.

They recognised their spiritual and physical needs, and they recognised in Jesus one who could meet their needs, so they were determined to get to him. Jesus was in demand.


After yet another crossing of the sea of Galilee (verse 53) the crowds continued to gather.

The people were amazing, they found Jesus wherever he went, cities, villages or farms.

Jesus was in demand!


So, what does this have to say to our lives?

Sadly, over the past 15 months, the pilgrimage or journey many people have been on has been dark and difficult. Life will never be the same again.

Rural communities like ours can be very supportive, but they are not always the easiest of places to admit that we are struggling. Tragically one farmer commits suicide every week.

Have you been aware of God walking with you during your journey over the last 15 months?


For many key workers there hasn’t been the opportunity to put time aside to rest and reflect.

Thankfully though there have been those who have been Jesus for others as they have made a phone call, delivered some shopping, collected a prescription, along with a thousand other acts of compassion.


Such people, like Jesus, have been in demand as they too have shown compassion and not been irritated by the needs of others.

Rather they have made the pilgrimage to the supermarket, the chemist, the post office and then to people’s homes to deliver healing and wholeness.

As we continue our pilgrimages in our communities, there will be some we travel with constantly, familiar faces we see every day.

Others may cross our paths for only a short time. We need to be open to what each person brings to our lives and to be ready to see Jesus in them.

There may be many in our communities who will continue to need help, for whom we will continue to be in demand.

There will be others who will be able to offer us support.

As we travel together the most amazing things can happen.

If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it has reminded us of the necessary rhythms of rest and engagement and that we need one another in ways that we hadn’t realised before.

And, of course, in all of this we need Jesus. He is still in demand.

Yes, because of our needs, but more importantly because we want to worship him for all he did for us on the cross and through his resurrection.

Jesus in demand, in every community, not just because of our need but because of our desire to worship!


MP 951 'To be in your presence'

https://youtu.be/typ7cueKdT4


MP 625 'Take time to be holy'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVtvls2x2BA


Prayers of Intercession:


Loving God, too many people live lives that are too busy, leaving themselves little time to be still. Thank you that you created us be human beings and not human doings. Help us all to be still, to reflect on our relationship with you and so grow in faith.

On rural missions Sunday we pray for all who live in rural communities remembering all who feel lost and alone. May they find the space and time to know your presence, your peace and your strength.

We pray for young people brought up in the countryside who would love to buy a home in their community but cannot afford to do so. Guide all in power to enable the dreams of these young people to become a reality.

The majority of the world’s population still live in rural communities, many of them in poverty; be with them we pray and meet their needs through the church, governments and our own commitment to serve and show compassion.

We thank you that you not only want us to serve; you call us to be still in your presence. We thank you for the command to go and the command to walk with you. We thank you for the gift of rest and renewal and that it is your will that we live not as machines. Worshipping you and meditating on your grace is part of being your precious children and disciples of Christ. Amen.


MP 185 'God is good'

https://youtu.be/Bvl0IarGh_8


MP 760 'When we walk with the Lord'

https://youtu.be/2IDJQivWjdc


Blessing: Loving God, pour out Your blessing on your church. May your kingdom continue to grow in our community. May there be welcome, hope and peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen


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