• Rossendale Circuit

Living Water - SUndAy Service - 07.03.21

with Lesley Lyon


Video Service


Watch directly on youtube here.


Part 1


Hymns and Songs:


699 ‘Thou whose almighty word, chaos and darkness heard and took their flight.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJuqdIVH8VY


404 ‘Let all the world in every corner sing.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfXldoDnvq4



Part 2


Hymns and Songs:


1003 ‘My Jesus, my saviour’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqSQvoinDE4


338 ‘In the Cross of Christ I glory.’

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


More traditional version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sInix4z0OE0



Part 3


Closing Hymn:


769 ‘Who is on the Lord’s side, who will serve the king?’

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



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Transcript


Hello everybody, welcome once again to an act of worship this time for the third Sunday in lent.


This is call to worship. Lord by your holy spirit transform our words of praise into songs of joy and prayers that are spoken transform them into deep conversations with you and their gathering together in your name. Transforming into an expression of love that we have for you and for one another.


Let us pray.


Dear Lord and Father God, as we journey together towards Easter, may we be ready to hear the things that you will reveal to us, may we look in awe of the cross and the sacrifices made there, of the love poured out. May we know that it is for us. May our response be to bow down in humble thankful adoration, for this act of mercy. This act we have done nothing to deserve and may our worship be filled with joy and praise as we come before you. Amen.


Hymns and Songs:


699 ‘Thou whos almight word, chaos and darkness heard and took their flight.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJuqdIVH8VY


404 ‘Let all the world in every corner sing.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfXldoDnvq4


I’ve chosen two bible readings, the first one is the part of the lectionary for lent and that is from 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18 to 25 and the second one is from Johns gospel chapter 4 from verse 1 to 42. Now I know it’s quite long, when you read it you realise it’s all part of the same story, it’s all part of the samaritan woman at the well and it’s worth it, so I hope you enjoy them.


I want to begin by looking at this second lesson from John, the story of the woman at the well and the first time that Jesus uses that phrase, ‘the living water’ and that tells of a well of water springing up into eternal life that we might worship God in spirit and in truth. Such a fantastic image of the cleansing power of the water and the force of the water, the beauty of it being clean and clear and pure. And the woman doesn’t understand, instead of seeing it with the eyes of the spirit she sees it only with the mundane. She sees it only as earthbound. She sees the deep well and a man with no bucket.


I think in many respects she’s laughing at Christ because he says, you know if you’d have asked me I’d have given you this water to drink and she says how can you do that? It’s a deep well, you have no bucket! I think she’s laughing at him, although there’s so much animosity between the two races that perhaps she was getting at him, perhaps it was part of the competition as to who was right and who was wrong. But then, you know, she suddenly has this swift change of tact that she decides that actually this water might be a good thing you know, she has an eye to a main chance, if she can get this living water, she can get this water herself, she won’t have to walk to the well everyday. So that desire to find truth is there to find Christ. It’s not to have to walk to the well.


Photo by Anastasia Taioglou via Unsplash


No wonder Paul writes in the second chapter of Corinthians, the eye cannot see or the ear hear unless it is revealed to them by the spirit. And the woman wasn’t the only one, you know, because when the disciples came back from their shopping trip, they wanted Jesus to eat and they thought only that somebody else had brought him food, not that he was talking about the food of the spirit anymore than the woman thought he was talking about the living water.


Take a moment if you can to think about those who never have clean water to drink, that must be horrendous, those who have to walk miles just for a contaminated dirty supply, think about the beauty and the necessity of clean water, praise God for the fact that in this country it’s rarely a problem of supply, there’s usually far too much of it around, we’re very blessed that we have that kind of problem. But think too of the effects of living water, constantly recharging and replenishing our spiritual lives, think of the growth, think how it could nourish and sustain and its power to transform our lives and our relationship with Christ.


During Lent we talk sometimes about giving things up, but during lent don’t limit your intake of this living water, bathe in it as often as you can, let it refresh. It’s the one thing you can never get enough of, it’s the one thing you can’t overdose on either and it’s not bad for you.


But Paul also writes you know that to the Jews the cross and Easter was a stumbling block, shameful, abhorrent, it was a slight on the name of messiah to even suggest that the messiah may have died on the cross. To the Greeks, foolishness, for what kind of God is it that surrenders his power and his glory and allows him to be killed by a common thief? The Greeks believed that it was not a God that people would choose to follow.


Jesus chose to travel from Judah to Galilea soon after his baptism, it was there not the time to be caught up in the controversy of being baptised and the shortest way from Judah to Galilea was through Samaria. A couple of weeks ago in our mid-week group we talked about Jesus taking his disciples to Cesaria Philippi, a place banned to the Jews because of its idolitory, it was off limits, as was Samaria. Nice people didn’t go there. It was a den of iniquity, well brought up people were not seen to go near Samaria, but Jesus went because Jesus had things to do there, he had a harvest to reap and without his visit many people would never have believed in him and they believed because they had met him face to face, they’d listened to him, they’d heard what he had to say, not just what he said to the woman but the two days he spent with them, the things that he said to them. Sometimes we have to walk on the wild side, do things a bit more dangerous than we would.


I once by accident had to drive through Moss side in Manchester after midnight, I locked all the car doors, I prayed a lot and I have a suspicion I held my breath for quite a while and there were a lot of strange people out. Now I didn’t got there deliberately but sometimes we must go into places that we don’t feel comfortable in and in situations that we don’t feel comfortable about. In this story of the woman of Samaria, Jesus is setting out a prototype of his ministry, he will talk to outcasts, he will talk to women, the unclean, he will go to places that others fear to tread, he will do as his father dictates not tradition, this will be a new beginning. In Christ no human being will ever be relegated to the sidelines, even the one who’d had five husbands, thank God for the voice Christ gave to women and to those racial minorities who even during persecution were able to hear the word of God due to the modern technology.


Going back to the living water, when I was at school, that was a long time ago, the bus stop on the way home had a river running past it and in those days, cotton mills, bleaching factories, dying works and many other industrial factories existed. The river ran a different colour everyday, sometimes it was red or green, sometimes it was orange or purple. One thing about it, there was certainly no life in it, dead water, the alternative to living water, not just dead but dangerous for the possibility for harbouring disease, typhoid, dysentery, or just plain unpleasantness.


Lent is a journey or examining our relationship with Christ and a willingness to change and to recognise the need for change, let us ask God in his mercy, to reshape us and cleanse us so that we may all put our lives to serve him and others better. But let us remember too that Easter’s not the end of the journey, lent is as the word lent is linked to the lengthening of days and light through Easter, so Easter is the start of a new life, free to all who will receive it through the power of the cross. Amen.


Hymns and Songs:


1003 ‘My Jesus, my saviour’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqSQvoinDE4


338 ‘In the Cross of Christ I glory.’

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


More traditional version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sInix4z0OE0


Shall we join together in prayer: Lord what a blessing it is to be able to share with you our lives and those who we love, but also those who we don’t know and who are in situations often beyond their control, we thank you that your love extends to all people in all places. We pray for the ongoing situation in Yemen particularly for the children who are being targeted and shot at and for all those caught up in wars and refugee camps, for those for whom violence is normal. Those who’s domestic situation has become even worse during covid, blessed be the peace makers and the carers, may we be among them and reflect the love of our lord Jesus Christ. We pray not just for the powerful, not just for the leaders of this world but for the ordinary men and women that they may hear your voice and believe you are the son of God, may their and our voices be heard against injustice and prejudice and suffering as we claim the right to be children of God, Amen.


Living loving saviour of the world bless us and keep us, teach us to walk with you and to pour out your living healing water at every opportunity for your glory,


Amen.


Let us rejoice together.


Closing Hymn:


769 ‘Who is on the Lord’s side, who will serve the king?’

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



We are and hopefully we will, Amen


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Email us: rossendalemethodistcircuit@gmail.com