• Rossendale Circuit

Sunday Service - 30th of August - Follow me

With Revd. David Burrow


Video Service


Scroll down to view the written service and click to view directly in youtube here.


Part 1

Hymns:

MP 560 Praise my soul, the King of heaven

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA_D9ypWONQ (with a little extra)


MP 816 Come, let us worship Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mGR7QNm0Go

Graham Kendrick (sorry – no lyrics on screen)


Part 2

Hymn:

MP 624 Take my life and let me be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf11rReeWIs

(full traditional version from Newcastle)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9speOjVQ3ZA

(American shortened version)


Part 3

Hymns:

MP 990 I will offer up my life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWP05Fm39sY

(sung by Matt Redman)


MP 755 When I survey the wondrous cross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK8kYlBn_qI

(congregational version)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vt7yf2tmPs

(the other tune but a lovely version)


Part 4

Hymns:


MP 499 O happy day!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4ZLcJjrTRYThe Celebration Choir


Sister Act 2 chorus!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr7wcHTzcTg


I will follow him – Sister Act

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPpd-6X3tEo



Written Transcript


*Please note this is not the exact wording of the videos.


‘If you want to be my follower, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.'

Call to worship: Read Psalm 96

(take your time; listen to this very noisy Psalm as creation praises God)


Hymns:

MP 560 Praise my soul, the King of heaven

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA_D9ypWONQ (with a little extra)


MP 816 Come, let us worship Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mGR7QNm0Go

Graham Kendrick (sorry – no lyrics on screen)

Prayer:

As followers of the Jesus way we come to this time of worship and ask Jesus to meet with us.

Lord Jesus, as we sing your praises, open our hearts and minds to the Spirit of God, that we might hear God’s still small voice speak to us.

We thank you for all that God has made and shared with us and we rejoice that God of all creation knows us, cares for us and forgives us. So in a moment of silence we say sorry as we call to mind the times we have been less than we could or should have been.

Silence

Through God’s grace we are loved. Through God’s grace we are forgiven.

Through God’s grace we are called to pick up our cross and follow Jesus.

Amen


The Lord’s prayer

Last week we heard how Jesus asked the disciples ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus praised Peter for his answer.


Today we are going to ask, ‘What are the implications for our lives when we, like Peter, say that we believe that Jesus is God’s Son, God’s Messiah or anointed one?’ The answer is in our Bible reading and Jesus doesn’t hold back – he is serious about the cost of following him.

Reading: Matthew 16:21-28

Photo by Jehyun Sung via Unsplash


Hymn:

MP 624 Take my life and let me be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf11rReeWIs

(full traditional version from Newcastle)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9speOjVQ3ZA

(American shortened version)

If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans!

Just before leaving my teaching job in PNG in December 1986 I told God my plans for when I got home. I was going to go to Bible College, I did.

I was going to get an ‘A’ level in Religious Studies, I did.

And when I left Bible College, because I liked school holidays, I was going to use my new ‘A’ level to get a job as a Religious studies teacher and eventually become a Head of Department.

I had it all mapped out, but God had other plans.

I never planned to be a preacher, but when God calls what do you say?

I never planned to be a minister, but when God calls, what do you say?

If I say I believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, then I am saying that I am a Christian.

And that’s great, but I better be ready to have my plans changed and my life turned upside down, because when God calls, I have a choice: I can go my way or take up my cross and follow Jesus’ way.

I chose to ditch my plans and follow God’s plan for my life, and here I am.

When you say you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and he asks you to do something, give up something or go somewhere, what do you do?

By the first century the Jews had been waiting and praying for the Messiah for a long time.

They watched carefully for signs of his arrival. When the Romans conquered their land and the Jewish rulers became Caesar’s puppets, people still watched and prayed.

They prayed for another like King David, who would drive out their Roman oppressors and lead them to freedom and into a time when the hungry would be fed and there would be peace and prosperity for all.

Instead they got Jesus, born not in a palace, but laid in a borrowed manger, who entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey and offering not wealth and power restored, but a cross.


Even so, Peter laid aside all his cherished hopes and expectations and proclaimed that Jesus was indeed God’s anointed, God’s Messiah.

No one understood the title ‘Messiah’ in the way Jesus did.

Messiah’s didn’t suffer and die. Even though John the Baptist had described Jesus as, ‘The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’, a suffering Messiah was not on anyone’s agenda!

And more to the point, to follow God’s Messiah who said, “If you want to be my follower, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” wasn’t part of people’s expectations either.

When Jesus told his disciples that to follow him meant taking up their cross, they would have pictured a criminal struggling to carry the cross beam of his cross to the place of execution. An all too common sight in Roman Palestine.

Living in Britain where people are no longer executed it is difficult for us to begin to understand the horror of such a statement.

When Jesus says he must suffer and die are we, like Peter, desperately wanting to say, ‘No’?

We don’t want a suffering Messiah.

We want a victorious Messiah who will come and fix things and get rid of Covid-19, who will make peace in Yemen and Afghanistan, feed the hungry, still the storms, sort out the rioters and, while he’s at it, give us full employment.

But Jesus is not a Saviour who looks down on the brokenness of our world and flies in like Superman or some other comic book hero to perform a quick fix.

When Peter tempted him to take this easy option, he said,


“Get behind me Satan. If you want to follow me, you must deny yourself and take up your cross. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?”

For all his followers Jesus promised not painless victory, but life received, always and forever through death.

After Jesus’ resurrection Peter knew this to be true, and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he willingly took up his cross and preached Jesus Christ, crucified, died and risen - to the same people who had called for Jesus’ execution.

He was no longer afraid to lose his life for Jesus because he was convinced that death was not the end but the doorway to eternal life with Jesus.

A few years later, to those being persecuted for their faith Peter wrote, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. . . . If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1Peter 4:12-13, 16).


Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE via Unsplash

Peter, like most of the early Christians, knew the reality of taking up his cross.

Sadly, Christians are still persecuted for their faith today. Thank God that some have escaped from countries like Iran and come to Rossendale and helped us to understand the true cost of following Jesus.

To follow Jesus is costly in time, energy and money. It is perhaps even more costly when it comes to loving others.

To leave behind your loved ones because of your faith is very painful.

But when you do it for Jesus you find life and not just any kind of life, but life in all its fullness.

Equally painful is to watch people you love deny Jesus, and spend their lives chasing after happiness through careers, wealth, power, badly chosen relationships, drug abuse, or even 10 minutes of fame on television.

It is deeply saddening.

In trying to gain their lives they are losing them on what is a total wild goose chase.

There's a 'cross' for every servant of God and Jesus' call to follow him is not just something you do once, it's a call to keep on following - every single day for the rest of your life!

As Paul says in his letter to the Galatians,

Galatians 6:14 14 May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

For the last 2000 years countless Christian men and women have been willing to suffer and even lay down their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Why?


Because we're not talking about the kind of self-denial that is a dreary martyrdom.

It's because it's only when we are willing to lose our lives for Jesus' sake that we really find our lives.

Only as Jesus' disciples do we discover what it means to really live as God intended us to live and receive all that God has for us.

What do we receive? Well, with eternal life of course, try these gifts of God for starters:


Love, Faith, Hope, Mercy, Forgiveness, Freedom, Peace, Joy. The power and gifts of the Holy Spirit . . . . and, of course, Glory.

Paul tells us that if we are willing to share in Christ's sufferings we will share in Christ's glory! And that's a promise!

Telling your plans to God may make him laugh.

But know this. The plans that God has for you are far better than anything you could plan for yourself.

So, if you haven’t already, do it today, take Jesus at his word, dedicate your life to him, take up your cross, follow and find real life.


Hymns:

MP 990 I will offer up my life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWP05Fm39sY

(sung by Matt Redman)


MP 755 When I survey the wondrous cross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK8kYlBn_qI

(congregational version)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vt7yf2tmPs

(the other tune but a lovely version)


Photo by Nega via Unsplash

Prayers of Intercession:


Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we come to you as the one who offers grace in abundance.

We thank you that Jesus doesn’t work like a superhero but in our need he comes alongside us; he strengthens us to endure and enables us to get to know him and to experience his love for us.


Lord Jesus, as we meditate upon your brokenness on the Cross, we bring to you those who carry their own cross and are suffering, because of the pandemic, from broken dreams, broken relationships and broken promises . . . bring healing and reconciliation to marriages and peace to those who have experienced broken relationships, repair trust and build bridges of communication so love may flow.


Jesus, show your mercy.

Jesus you became a refugee and had no place to call your own, look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger. We pray for the 65 million plus refugees around the world who are on their journey. Bless those who work to bring them relief. .


Jesus, show your mercy.

Jesus, who lost everything, we bring to you those who, during the pandemic, have suffered loss of loved ones, loss of work and loss of well-being . . . give comfort to the bereaved, hope to the unemployed and wholeness to the downcast.


Jesus, show your mercy.

Jesus, defenceless victim, we bring to you those who are victims of violence and abuse, and those who are lonely and homeless . . .


Jesus, show your mercy.

Jesus, head of the Church, we pray for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world.


We lift them to you as they seek to follow the commandments of your gospel and great commission, as they take up their cross may they be strengthened and emboldened by the Holy Spirit for the mission you have called them to. Cleanse and mould your church in Rossendale and around the world into your likeness.

Lord, teach us to be quick to forgive and acknowledge our own mistakes.

Above all else, inspire us to take up our cross and live in the likeness of your Son Jesus Christ., in whose name we pray.

Amen

Blessing:


To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore. Amen!

Now, go and watch Sister Act! You know you want to!

Hymns:


MP 499 O happy day!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4ZLcJjrTRYThe Celebration Choir


Sister Act 2 chorus!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr7wcHTzcTg


I will follow him – Sister Act

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPpd-6X3tEo

© 2020 Rossendale Methodist Circuit