• Rossendale Circuit

Sunday Service - 14th of June - Treasured Possessions

With Revd. David Burrow


In this service David will talk about the charity MHA which stands for Methodist Homes for the Aged. You can view their website here: https://www.mha.org.uk/


This Sunday is Methodist Homes Sunday, which is an opportunity for:


Celebration of the work of MHA and the value of older people

• Awareness of future needs and ways to respond

• Fundraising to make a difference to the quality of life for older people

• Volunteers to work together


• Recognition of the Church in action for older people

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, MHA’s memorial and remembrance service will be delivered virtually to honour those they have lost within the MHA family, with numbers increasing, but currently over 400 residents and three colleagues. The service will also take a moment to acknowledge the many thousands worldwide who have lost their lives or been affected by this tragedy. If you wish to join this service then go to: https://www.mha.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/mha-sunday/



Video Service


Scroll down to view the transcript of the videos instead. Click here to view in Youtube.


Part 1



Hymn:

MP 94 Come let us sing of a wonderful love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCSx7ZZ3-2I



Part 2



Hymn:


MP 590 Seek Ye First

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsBpM9IcBts

Or this version for more ‘Alleluias’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHfzAJS7IRc



Part 3



Hymn:


MP 181 God forgave my sin in Jesus' name

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

Or, for a more folksy version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFV0OVeKdlw


Part 4




Hymn:


MP 708 To God be the Glory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-15v9iworAU

Also inspiring, in a different way, is this version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WmQmL77WkE

Part 5



Blessing:

Over 300 churches and Christian organisations from every county in Ireland come together to sing an ancient Irish blessing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TascsWZPj8U



Transcript of Service


Hello! Time goes by so quickly – it doesn’t seem like two minutes since I recorded the service for last week.

Today is Methodist Homes Sunday. As in all care homes, MHA staff do a challenging job wonderfully well. As part of our worship today we will remember the staff and the residents for whom they care.


We begin our worship as we join with the Psalmist in the words of Psalm 100:



Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. 2  Worship the Lord with gladness;     come into his presence with singing.

3  Know that the Lord is God.     It is he that made us, and we are his;     we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving,     and his courts with praise.     Give thanks to him, bless his name.

5  For the Lord is good;     his steadfast love endures for ever,     and his faithfulness to all generations.



And we continue to remember the depth of God’s love by singing, or reading:


MP 94 Come let us sing of a wonderful love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCSx7ZZ3-2I


Prayers: feel free to join in if you can see a copy of the order of service

God our Generous Host, we recognise as we pray that we have received so much from you:


you have given us breath to live and praise your name, you have given us food to strengthen us and water to refresh us, you have given us Jesus to be our friend, companion and Saviour, we are glad to be your guests today.


God our Gracious Guest, we recognise as we pray that you come to us in so many ways:


you whisper to us deep within our spirits when we feel alone, you show your love for us in the kindness of friends and strangers, you sit with us in our homes and walk with us on our streets, we are glad to welcome you today.


God, you are both our creator and the gift of life within us:


thank you for your gift of love which has surrounded us all our lives,

thank you for your gift of grace which accepts us as we are, right now, thank you for your gift of hope which holds us now and for eternity.


Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as we gather in your name today, we ask for your forgiveness. We acknowledge all within us that is less than it could or should be.

This day through your grace, may we know we are truly forgiven.


Amen.

The Lord’s prayer


MP 590 Seek Ye First

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsBpM9IcBts

Or this version for more ‘Alleluias’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHfzAJS7IRc


A group of young parents were sat around the kitchen table discussing their love for their young children, who were happily playing under the table.

‘Yes’, they agreed, ‘they were ready to lay down their lives for their children. If anything threatened them, they would be sure to defend them.’

At that moment, the pressure cooker suddenly exploded, and the soup splattered kitchen was immediately empty . . . apart from the children who, wide eyed with surprise, were still under the table!


What are your treasured possessions? Let your mind wander through your family and friends, as well as all your stuff / possessions.


What do you value the most? Why is this the case?


Photo by Roman Kraft via Unsplash


Now, the Israelites, led by Moses, had been on the move – they had escaped from slavery in Egypt, miraculously crossed the Red Sea, been fed by God with manna from heaven and refreshed with water from the rock at Horeb; they had been attacked by and defeated the Amalekites, travelled into the wilderness at Sinai – we pick up their story in the book of . . . .


Exodus 19:2-8a

‘You shall be my treasured possession’ (vs 5).


Out of love, God chose the people of Israel to be his ‘treasured possession.’

"To be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation", to show other nations what the one true God is like. Sadly, Israel often turned away to worship other gods!

But God never gave up on Israel and kept calling the people back.

He sent prophets to tell the people that he loved them.

Sometimes they listened and returned, but it wouldn’t be long before they would turn away again. So, what did God do?

Well, it’s as if he said to himself, if the people of Israel won't listen to the prophets, perhaps they will listen to my Son? And so, Jesus came to earth. And we all know how he was received.

Our Gospel reading, in Matthew 9, gives us a potent insight into the way Jesus saw the people who came to him desperate for help. Shirley is going to read it for us.


Read Matthew 9:35 - 10:8 Thank you, Shirley


Jesus had a treasured possession.


There was a special place in his heart for the outcaste, the sick, the poor, the stranger, the bereaved, the lost: Matthew tells us in verse 36 that when Jesus ‘saw the crowds he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.’


People needed help, the task was huge, and yet he had hope.


He saw the need, he prayed and then responded. ‘He summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and sickness’ (10:1); and as they did so they were to ‘proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” (10:7). It was a message of love about the kingdom of heaven – God’s love reigning in people’s lives alongside practical action to meet their needs. Which is something akin to the work of the staff in Methodist Homes. Show you care and tell people why you care; it’s a wonderful sharing of God’s love for you, the love which reigns in your life and which you treasure. (Check out Matthew 13:44 and 45 Jesus’ teaching comparing the Kingdom of heaven to a treasure hidden in a field and a pearl that’s worth selling everything for Then have a look at 1 John 4:19 where we are reminded that we love God because he first loved us).


God’s love is definitely a treasure for sharing.


A minister I know told me a story from his own experience.


Speaking with a man after a service the minister discovered that the man was a carpenter who worked on building sites. Assuming that the man would get a lot of stick about his faith from all the brick layers, labourers and others, he said to the man: “It must be difficult for you, being a Christian in such a place?”

“No, not at all,” said the man, “I’ve got something they haven’t.” He had discovered the treasure – he knew Jesus as his Lord and Saviour – Jesus ruled in his life.

And he wanted to share this truth to reap a harvest for God.


“The harvest is plentiful”, said Jesus, “but the labourers are few; therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

The carpenter, like Jesus’ disciples, is one of God’s labourers playing his part in sharing the treasure and bringing in the harvest.

Jesus’ disciples had received without payment, now they were to give without payment (10:8) or to put it another way, they had freely received, now they were to freely give


And what about you and me?

Photo by Alex Boyd via Unsplash


As I listen to the news about the deaths in care homes, over 400 in MHA homes alone, including three staff, the plight of asylum seekers trying to cross the English Channel in tiny boats, the endemic racism in the world and the crowded Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh (home to 850,000 Rohingya refugees) I know that I need to be filled with the compassion of Jesus that drives me to pray and to act.


During the current epidemic it has been said, “we are all in the same boat”, but this is obviously not true. As Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal (former President of the Methodist Conference) says, ‘There are different boats, some much better equipped than others. We are all in the same storm, but in different boats. Sadly, some people are not even in boats, they are in the water looking for life belts’.


The lack of protection for people in care homes has led to many deaths and on MHA Sunday, we remember and give thanks for the residents and staff who have died and pray for those who grieve for them.

Every person is treasured by their family, their friends, and God.

I am sure, that like me, you may have family who work in care homes and perhaps family members and friends who are residents. It is easy to feel helpless, but thankfully we worship a God who is a God of hope, a hope that all the staff in care homes including MHA staff put into action as they show compassion for the treasure in their care.


Across the world the number of labourers for the kingdom of heaven is few, but the harvest is plentiful; be a labourer, pray for more labourers and show God’s compassion in action.

Jesus has given us something no-one else has, and like the carpenter on the building site it is time to share it. Not because we must, but because, thanks to God’s love, we want to.


Freely we have received – let us freely give


MP 181 God forgave my sin in Jesus' name

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

Or, for a more folksy version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFV0OVeKdlw


Prayers of intercession led by Janet. If you can’t watch on line then please pray for MHA, other care home residents and staff and those in the TV news or in your newspaper.

Finish your worship this morning with this wonderful hymn of faith.


MP 708 To God be the Glory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-15v9iworAU

Also inspiring, in a different way, is this version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WmQmL77WkE


Blessing: Now to the One who can keep you from falling and set you in the presence of his glory,

jubilant and above reproach, to the only God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, might and authority,

through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time, now and for evermore, Amen


Over 300 churches and Christian organisations from every county in Ireland come together to sing an ancient Irish blessing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TascsWZPj8U


And I leave you with a poem read for us by Shirley.

© 2020 Rossendale Methodist Circuit