• Rossendale Circuit

March 29th Worship Sheet

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Firstly we hope everyone is doing ok during this unusual time, it’s hard to know how we’re supposed to feel but really there is no right and wrong, no-one, young or old, has ever experienced this before and however it’s impacting you it’s ok to feel a bit lost!

While we can’t meet together in person, we’re trying to create ways to worship and connect and congregations are making great efforts to stay in touch with each other.

In this worship sheet:

A Thought for the Day from Paul Martin

A Bible Reading

‘Prayer for a Pandemic’ sent in by Sharon

A thought for the Annunciation from David

Prayer Book Tutorial on Website

Let’s start with a thought for the day from a few days ago from Paul Martin:

I was reminded recently of a picture that God gave me some years ago when I was going through a time of great change and instability. The picture was of a huge rock – almost like the rock of Gibraltar, and I felt that God was saying that no matter what changes, He remains steadfast and faithful, and He is the one that I’m standing on.

In these days of uncertainty, that will always be the case. God is going nowhere – He is the sure foundation upon which we stand, and He is still on the throne.

Many people at this time are extremely fearful, but fear never elicits a positive response, it always leaves a negative imprint. God reigns and fear doesn’t, and people like never before are desperate to hear that.

I heard this the other day: In crisis, the compassion that God puts in us comes out of us. Now is very definitely the time for us to show compassion to those who are the most vulnerable and fearful, and share the amazing truth that in all the chaos and uncertainty, God remains on the throne and in control

The words of a very old hymn may be familiar to some of you – there’s certainly a newer song based on this, but without the last two lines:

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less – by Edward Mote, 1797 – 1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on his unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand

A Reading for Today:

‘1 From the depths of my despair I call to you, Lord. 2 Hear my cry, O Lord; listen to my call for help! 3 If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned? 4 But you forgive us, so that we should stand in awe of you. 5 I wait eagerly for the Lord's help, and in his word I trust. 6 I wait for the Lord more eagerly than sentries wait for the dawn - than sentries wait for the dawn. 7 Israel, trust in the Lord, because his love is constant and he is always willing to save. 8 He will save his people Israel from all their sins.’

Psalm 130

Discussion Questions:

Do you find it easy to trust in God? Can you think of a time when God reminded you how trustworthy he is?

Do you know of any stories of people who have been saved by God?

How can we practice forgiveness in our everyday lives, not just for the big things but for the smallest?

Sharon Watts sent us this prayer she’d found called

‘Prayer for a Pandemic’ by Cameron Wiggins Bellm

May we who are merely inconvenienced

Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors

Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home

Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close

Remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips

Remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market

Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home

Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,

Let us choose love during this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbour. Amen.

The Annunciation

On March 25th we remember the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary to announce that she is going to be the mother of Jesus. As a teenager in Roman occupied Nazareth Mary was known only to a small number of people and apparently insignificant. Billions of people today feel the same way. The truth is, of course, that no one is insignificant to God who knows each one of us by name and even the number of hairs on our heads (some more than others!)

Despite her initial fear Mary’s life was immediately transformed and God became flesh.

Today, amid all that is happening we may feel insignificant, fearful and if we are on our own, even anonymous; but we, like Mary, are known and loved by God. As we come to God in confession and open our lives to his forgiveness and will, he comes to live in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We too become bearers of God to those around us. Such is God’s grace.

You might like to read the story of Gabriel’s visit in Luke 1:26-38. We hear this read in our churches at Christmas with the danger of its significance getting lost among the carols and other readings. So, take a moment to pause and reflect on God’s amazing gift of love in Jesus. Rejoice in Mary’s willingness to say, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord: let it be to me according your will.” Ask that you might be like Mary as you yield to God’s will in your life.

We continue to pray that the perfect love of God will cast out all fear and that no one will be left feeling anonymous as we do our best to care for and encourage one another.

Now head to the Prayer Book Tutorial and give it a go!

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

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