• Rossendale Circuit

Overwhelmed By Love - Sunday Service - 30.05.21

with Revd. David Burrow


Video Service

*Watch directly on youtube here.


Part 1


Hymns and Songs:


MP 506 'O Lord my God!'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rm4O_UdItY

Remember this brilliant reggae version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opA7UmbzJdU


MP 1100 'Open the eyes of my heart, Lord'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwqpKD-qBt4


Part 2


Hymns and Songs:


MP 31 'Amazing grace'

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


And how do we respond to such love? John tells us in is first letter that we love because he, God, first loved us – our second choice of hymn enables us to sing of our love for God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit


142 'Father we love You'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QltVKW6wXdo



Part 3


Hymns and Songs:


MP 237 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwuDSw-9cUQ


MP 821 'Down the mountain'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW3ILo1U9Lw



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


Our Email Address: rossendalemethodistcircuit@gmail.com




Transcript


*Not always exact to the videos.


Circuit Worship 30:05:2021 Trinity Sunday Reverend David Burrow


Overwhelmed by love


Welcome and introduction. Overwhelmed!

As we think about the Trinity, we celebrate our inclusion in the family of creation, the gift given to us by God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Where ocean meets shore, you are there. Where earth meets sky, you are there. Where day meets night, you are there. And so, we worship you, wonderful Creator God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


Genesis 1:1-4a: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good.

God said, ‘Let there be light’, and so we pray. In our nation, in our towns, in our cities, in our schools, our colleges, our universities: let there be light. In our churches, in our homes, in our hearts: let there be light.

The oceans cannot cry out when polluted, but we can. Creator God, forgive us when we are silent. Animals cannot protect themselves from cruelty and abuse, but we can. Creator God, forgive us when we do nothing. The rainforests cannot stand up to bulldozers, but we can. Creator God, forgive us when we turn away. Forgive us, empower us, and bless us with urgency, compassion, and courage, that those who come after us may look on your creation, see that it is good, and rejoice. Amen. Our heavenly Father, by grace, through the death of his Son forgives us and by the power of the Holy Spirit renews us, and makes us whole; thanks be to God, Amen.


Photo by Bryon Johnson via Unsplash


Isaiah 6:1-8

King Uzziah died around 739 BC and although he was an impressive king who ruled Israel for some 40 prosperous year the writer is not really interested in him. Perhaps because the glory of an earthly king pales by comparison with the glory of God which Isaiah is allowed a glimpse of and we are allowed in as onlookers.

In the inner precincts of the first Temple, we can imagine the incense hanging thick in the air, the trumpets blaring and the choristers unknowingly adding their song to that of the Seraphs. No wonder the pivots on the thresholds shook.

And Isaiah was overwhelmed; I’m sure that you and I would have been too.

This passage is often read with the emphasis on the call of Isaiah, but not on Trinity Sunday.

Today we focus on the convergence of Lord and Spirit and Isaiah’s cry of “Woe is me!”

In the face of God’s glory, the Spirit convicts us of our sin, and, like Isaiah, we recognise our unworthiness. Thank God he provides the way of our forgiveness. For Isaiah it was the burning coal from the altar and for you and me the death of Jesus Christ.


Paul faced the same dilemma as Isaiah.

In Romans chapter 7 he cries out, “Wretched man that I am!” echoing Isaiah’s cry. But then he went on to write that which some have said is the Everest of his theology. Chapter 8 of Romans finds Paul overwhelmed. The chapter is about, and is permeated by, the Spirit even as it moves to Paul’s cry of “Abba! Father!” and the promise of our inheritance as children of God who will be glorified with Christ.

Romans 8:12-17


And of course, Paul goes on to make one of the most wonderful claims in the scriptures.

Just listen to this:

Romans 8:35-39

Paul was overwhelmed by love.

  1. Focus on God’s creation and 2. on our need of Jesus’ saving work

Hymns and Songs:


MP 506 'O Lord my God!'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rm4O_UdItY

Remember this brilliant reggae version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opA7UmbzJdU


MP 1100 'Open the eyes of my heart, Lord'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwqpKD-qBt4


John 3:1-17 Overwhelmed by love


When I was a student at Cliff Bible College I remember really struggling for a few days with the idea of the Trinity. Three in one, one in three – I couldn’t get my head round it.

How was it possible? How could I understand it?

If I’d known at the time that Thomas Acquinas had said that our problem is, “The misery of language”, I would have wholeheartedly agreed.

Thankfully, as I got myself in a stew, God spoke and told me, “Stop intellectualising it, accept it and believe it!”

Like Nicodemus I was overwhelmed by a difficult theological idea. For me it was the Trinity. For Nicodemus it was the idea of being born again. How was such a thing possible? What did Jesus mean?

He went to Jesus for a discussion but was overwhelmed by the words of Jesus the Son of God, but only because God wanted to overwhelm him with love.

How can you respond to, “For God so loved the world that he sent His only Son”?

Thankfully, Nicodemus recovered from his experience. He spoke up for Jesus to his Pharisee colleagues (John 7:45-52).

He helped Joseph of Arimathea take Jesus’ body from the cross, anoint it and place it in the tomb (John 19:38-42) – in the end he was overwhelmed by love.


I also recovered, reclaimed my faith and took God at his word, and as I repented of my sin, the barriers of my arguments and worldly wisdom came down. Like Isaiah and Paul I was forgiven, ready once more to respond to God’s call and again able to enjoy the experience of being overwhelmed by God’s love as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


The way the Trinity works is a mystery, but in the end the Trinity is simply a way of describing the three different ways in which we experience God.


It’s rather like that wonderful children’s television program, Play School, which many of us enjoyed decades ago. Do you remember when the presenter said, ‘Today we’ll look through the round / square / arched window.” My preferred choice was the arched window; I am sure other children preferred a different window, just as people have a preference for the way they relate to God.


To be true to the crucifixion, the resurrection and Pentecost it was important for the early church to identify God in terms of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in their relationship with Him.

This was especially clear in worship as Christians worshipped the Father and the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t until the 4th century that people began to talk about this relationship as the Trinity. The word ‘Trinity’ doesn’t actually appear in the Bible.

How do you describe God?

The short answer is you can’t of course. Words cannot express the wonder, majesty and greatness of God.

Ultimately the relationship between the Father Son and Holy Spirit is a mystery to us, but that doesn’t mean we cannot, like the first disciples, talk about the ways in which we experience God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Three different windows, if you like, through which to look to help us understand how we are to live in relationship with God and with one another and experience being overwhelmed by love.


Let’s begin with God as Father: here the emphasis is on God as Creator, the one who created and sustains this astonishing, beautiful breath-taking universe, who called all creation into being; who loves us despite our failure to live for him, for others and for ourselves; who offers grace and forgiveness and is the one to whom we can always return. Just as the prodigal son returned to his loving father . remember how the father ran to meet him, put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet and then killed the fatted calf and threw a party (Luke 15:11-32) The son who had wished his father dead and wasted his inheritance was quite literally overwhelmed with love.


Parental love can be problematic for some, but even our often dysfunctional human relationships point to an understanding that a parent’s love can and ought to be kind and nurturing, offering security and acceptance. God as our loving Father is for many their main window on God.


God as Son emphasises God as a human being.

Word became flesh and lived among us.

The Creator became a creature, living under the Law, being obedient to the Father while challenging the injustice and suffering that he found in the world.

Jesus was filled with compassion for all who suffered while always retaining his anger at injustice. All of which led to great suffering and, because of his love for the world his murder on the cross.

But thankfully Jesus overcame death and was raised to life.

Jesus as God enables us to see God as our friend and companion, one who shares in our joys and troubles, who knows what life is like; he is always gracious and his love is overwhelming.

This window on God opens out on to a face which is like ours, yet offers the hope that we can be better than we are, that we have an extraordinary potential for good, for fruitfulness, and for love.

God as Holy Spirit: God with us and within us.


The Holy Spirit makes God a reality here and now. The Holy Spirit is our advocate, who offers counsel and comfort.

The Holy Spirit equips us with the gifts of God (Romans 12 and Ephesians 4) to enable us to work with God to build His Kingdom.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, without condemning us, so that we might repent and receive forgiveness.

Working in partnership with the Holy Spirit we are empowered to produce the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). Wonderfully the Holy Spirit also prays for us.


The Holy Spirit is a clear window on God, because his role is not to be seen but to help us to see God as Father and Son, to experience the overwhelming love of God the Father and to access and enjoy the grace offered in Jesus.

The Trinity is bound together by love, love which sent Son and Spirit from heaven to earth, a love which reconciles us to God and to one another through the cross, and a love which inspires us to live in a right relationship with God, with the world and with ourselves.


In a year when we have been overwhelmed by the pandemic, by social media and life in general isn’t it wonderful, as Isaiah, Paul, Nicodemus and you and I have discovered, to be overwhelmed by love?

Amen


Like Isaiah, Paul, Nicodemus, and you and I John Newton the slave trader was eventually overwhelmed by the love of God and in response he wrote one of the greatest ever hymns:


Hymns and Songs:


MP 31 'Amazing grace'

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


And how do we respond to such love? John tells us in is first letter that we love because he, God, first loved us – our second choice of hymn enables us to sing of our love for God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit


142 'Father we love You'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QltVKW6wXdo


Intercessions:

In places of violence and war: we pray the peace of the Trinity. Where communities are fragmented and mistrust divides: we pray the unity of the Trinity. Where lives are marred by illness and addictions: we pray the healing of the Trinity. Where creation is destroyed and animals exploited: we pray the transformation of the Trinity. Where churches have lost their way and faith is side-lined: we pray the wisdom of the Trinity. Where children go hungry and needs go unmet: we pray the generosity of the Trinity. Where unemployment has brought despair: we pray the hope of the Trinity. Where constant demands have brought exhaustion: we pray the energy of the Trinity. Where people are lonely and cries go unheard: we pray the compassion of the Trinity. In our hearts, in our prayers, in our lives: we pray the love of the Trinity.

Colourful, creator God, we give you thanks for the times when through the beauty of creation, we have glimpsed the true nature of the Trinity and for the times when through another’s love we have glimpsed the inclusiveness of the Trinity. Deepen our appreciation of all that is around us and increase our sense of interdependence, that we may celebrate diversity, delight in difference and be drawn into life-giving relationships that honour all you have made and all that we are. Amen.


Blessing: Father, you are life. Jesus, you bring me life. Spirit, you help me to live my life. We go forth in the name of the living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to continue our journey into truth. Amen.


Hymns and Songs:


MP 237 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwuDSw-9cUQ


MP 821 'Down the mountain'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW3ILo1U9Lw