• Rossendale Circuit

The Time to Rebuild - Sunday Service 27.06.21

with Lesley Lyon


Video Service


Watch on youtube here.


Suggested Hymns & Songs:


Hymn 307 'I will enter his gates.'


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJpXew7EA6o (A short version)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CC1wpPLL1c (A very extended version)



Hymn 1012 'These are the days of Elijah'


https://youtu.be/ca9LnzJnpjQ


'Got my mind set on you' (It's going to take time) by George Harrison


https://youtu.be/_71w4UA2Oxo



Hymn 18 'All over the world'


https://youtu.be/q76GXwxCHJQ


Hymn 1014 'We have sung our songs.'


https://youtu.be/sdsIwLqtrng


https://youtu.be/ahSIKHIRNLI



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Transcript


Hymn 307 'I will enter his gates.'


As we join together in prayer let us take a moment to prepare our selves to enter into Gods presence .Just as we would prepare ourselves for a Sunday morning act of worship in church let us be prepared to suspend the cares of the day,forget whats cooking for Sunday lunch and focus on the almighty God to whom we are speaking.Let us come in love and reverence.


Let us pray


Lord God we come now into your presence, we come to praise you and to thank you for your love and mercy to us. We are all too aware of our short comings and our need for forgiveness. So often we are caught up in our own world ,our own concerns that we don’t recognise the needs of others or the state of our world. When we should stand up for justice we turn away , when we see the suffering of countless human beings we are overwhelmed. Lord we would sere you but we are weak and easily led and sometimes it seems so much is wrong that we don’t know where to start. Teach us to begin with you.

Amen


Lords prayer.


Hymn 1012 'These are the days of Elijah'


Lesson Acts chpt 12 vs 1 -25


The reason I have included the whole of this chapter is the fitting end to Herod in the last few verses, DON’T MESS WITH OUR GOD!

Lets have a look at the rest of the Lesson

Lets think for a moment of the early church, in particular at the prayers and worship that were taking place at that time. If we look back at Pentecost and the joy of the coming of the holy spirit and the outpouring of the fruits of the spirit, the speaking in tongues ,the healings the tremendous 3,000 strong harvest of the spirit, we cannot fail to be amazed at the power of the risen Lord and the disciples were out an about teaching and preaching as never before,3,000 converts in the first few days, 5,000 a few weeks later, what a time to be a christian,in at the very begining.

Yet even so in all this glorious abundence of the holy spirit and his acts, things started to go wrong.Ananias and his wife Sapphira lied to the church about their wealth (Acts ch 5) its not keeping back some of the money thats the real problem,its the attempt to deceive God and his holy spirit, its treating God with the kind of contempt that thinks they can get away with it,that God wont notice!and it brought fear and doubt into the church.


Then there were the problems between the Greeks and the Hebrews each claiming that their widows and dependants were being neglected .I find the response of the disciples very challenging “it is not right that we should leave the word of God and serve at tables OR in the Good News bible”We should not leave the preaching of the word of God to look after the finances”.

Waiting at tables filling in forms ,dealing with the banks ,chasing the electric board or the plumber all these things need doing in a modern church and all need someone to do it. But there is one thing more important that comes above and beyond all else and that is the sharing of Gods word.Just as in the story of Mary and Martha ,Luke tells us that Martha was cumbered about with much serving whilst Mary sat at the feet of Christ and listened to his word,given the choice there is no better place to be and it always does ,if taking about the gospel,caring for peoples souls is our absolute number 1 priority everything else should fall into place Evangelism is not an option its a priority.


Photo by Debby Hudson via Unsplash


But lets go back to Peter, the first few verses of this chapter remind us what the disciples were up against. We think combating the apathy in this world is hard but we are not put to the sword. Herod who had James killed and the for no other reason than he saw it pleased the Jews took Peter also. This time Herod is taking no chances with Peter, Peter who had escaped once before, ingenious these christians they rise from the dead ,they remove huge boulders ,they walk out of locked prison cells. Yet despite all of Herods precautions the Angel lead Peter out up past the first guard post and the second, eventually to an iron door that opens automatically. Sometimes in life we meet an Iron door something we perceive as an insurmountable problem other obstacles have been overcome but not this ,our faith trembles before it we cannot take that leap. Peter thought it was all a dream until God removed that final barrier “now I know it is the Lord “.


We have a church to re build from the bottom up, new people to welcome, new challenges, new beginnings ,we cant let the chains of the past stop us or those who say it cant be done This is Gods work it is too important to be held back. My Father in law once sent me a card that read Those who say it cant be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy spirit it will be re built.

Amen


Not a hymn or an anthem but a Pop song by George Harrison (1 of the Beatles)

The words are 'Its going to take time, a whole lot of precious time, Its going to take patience and time to do it right. Its going to take money ,a whole lot of spending money, patience and time to do it right.


Hymn 18 'All over the world'


In that lesson from Acts we are told that the church prayed for Peter without ceasing and the theme of prayer has be very popular amongst our ministers recently perhaps because we see the enormity of the task before us as a legacy of covid. We cannot do this on our own psalm 127 reminds us that unless the Lord builds the house he labours in vain who builds it. So lets get this church re built, it may not be called Longholme or Central or Stacksteads but it is still his church for which Christ died. I learnt 3 things from this lesson about prayer.

  1. I'm not one for explaining the meaning of words in the Greek or Latin because chances are Ill get it wrong but 1 of the thing I read about this passage is about this constant prayer ,prayer without ceasing its about not just the length of the prayer but the earnestness of prayer, a striving to be heard like an athlete straining every nerve and muscle to succeed. Its no point coming to God in a sort of cavalier fashion ,if we don’t care ,why should he. Prayer needs to engage all of our senses our desires our intellect.

  2. Whilst we think about prayer lets make sure we come into Gods presence ,yes we can engage with him in any place, at any time but to have a growing meaningful relationship with him its not enough to send a 2 line text or an imogi every so often. We need to treat God with respect ,we need to value the privilege of being able to enter into his presence. Time in silence not competing with the TV or radio. We talk about me time well this is God time.

  3. Finally, Pray believing. Mark, John and Mary and the others in constant prayer for Peter were astonished at his release ,so much so they accused poor Rhoda of being mad. God will answer our prayers sometimes in an even more spectacular way than we can ever imagine or in such a way we had never dreamed of .Now is the time for prayer ,We don’t know what our challenges are going to be we have never faced anything like this before.Thy kingdom come Oh Lord.

Hymn 1014 'We have sung our songs.'

If you can read the words as a Benediction.

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