• Rossendale Circuit

We Believe- Sunday Service 15.08.21

Updated: Aug 16

with Revd. David Burrow


Video Service


Watch on youtube here.


Suggested Hymns and Songs:


MP 50 'Be still, for the presence of the Lord'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZugvUQ4m90U


MP 666 'The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PemhmovZRec Maranatha singers


MP 67 'Breathe on me breath of God'

https://youtu.be/92vT62xEV34


MP 170 'Give thanks with a grateful heart'

https://youtu.be/047xtru0ZR0


MP 720 'We believe in God the Father'

https://youtu.be/MiPoWNWB4FM

3min 50sec based on the Apostles’ Creed


MP 501 'O Jesus I have promised'

https://youtu.be/z_JLAwhag3Y


MP 109 'Crown Him with many crowns'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuMh_ept-Js


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd_u58cQpMI if you dare!


MP 667 'The trumpets sound, the angels sing'

https://youtu.be/LH71Lo25EEY


https://youtu.be/5NKgLQY7kH0



Other Links


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


Our Email Address: rossendalemethodistcircuit@gmail.com




Transcript


Call to worship: Psalm 33:1-5

And verses 21-22 as a prayer for the Church and the world.


MP 50 'Be still, for the presence of the Lord'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZugvUQ4m90U


MP 666 'The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PemhmovZRec Maranatha singers


Prayer:


For the wonder of creation which moves us to praise, and the love that brought all things into being; for the view from the mountaintop that takes our breath away and the beauty of the quiet valleys that fills us with joy, we will praise you Lord.

For the thrill of reading the Scriptures and your message of hope, for the grace that flows from your Word and changes our lives, for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that is good news and the gifts of the Spirit to bring renewal for all, we will praise you Lord.

Lord, too often we find it hard to stand up for you and we take the easy way out. We avoid the issues or gloss over them.

You call us to be a holy people and practice what we preach; the way we live should set us apart to serve you, and you alone.

But we live and work amongst many who do not know you and who would rather trust themselves, their wealth, or their power rather than you.

Forgive us when we do not speak up for you, or speak out for those who have no one to speak for them, simply because we are afraid of being embarrassed or ridiculed.

We confess that too often our focus is not on you but on worldly things that are temporary.

Lord, we ask your forgiveness and seek your renewal and blessing and the assurance that we are your children, forgiven and free.

Father, for your gifts of forgiveness, grace and mercy we will praise you! Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer


MP 67 'Breathe on me breath of God'

https://youtu.be/92vT62xEV34


MP 170 'Give thanks with a grateful heart'

https://youtu.be/047xtru0ZR0


Photo by 30daysreplay via Unsplash


John 6:51-59 You may have read the whole chapter before but if you haven’t, now is the time to read from the beginning to the end of verse 59.


Crescendos. Don’t you just love them?

A great symphony building up to lift you off your seat – I’m sure you have your favourites, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rimski-Korsakov

Maybe your cup of tea is a sporting highlight, perhaps one of those wonderful swimming races in the Tokyo Olympics?

Or a great piece of writing which builds the suspense until finally the killer is revealed.

Whatever your preference, here in John chapter 6 Jesus’ teaching on his being the Bread of Life is moving to a climax.

His audience had already questioned his claim, after all they knew his mum and dad.

Would they believe him or turn away?

Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" (verse 51).

Shocked and upset, the Jews argued violently with one another, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?".

Jesus ignored their question and told them that if they didn’t eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood then they had no life in them.

Jesus was clearly putting them under pressure to make a decision. For him or against him – belief or unbelief?


‘Son of Man’ was Jesus’ favourite title for himself and when he used it, it would have reminded his listeners of the Old Testament reference to the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13 who comes on the clouds of heaven and is given glory and authority to rule over all nations.

If this was true, if it really was Jesus then it would certainly be an interesting case of ‘local boy made good’.

Jesus insisted, hence his repetition of the same idea running through his words in John chapter 6, that the people needed to feed on him to live.

And running parallel to Jesus’ words is the continual struggle of the people to believe that Jesus is who he claims to be.

Interestingly, according to a theologian called William Barclay, the people would have understood far better than you and me the idea of eating part of a sacrifice to a god in order to be god-filled.

In ancient times when people sacrificed an animal to a god part of it would be burnt on the altar as an offering to the god, part would be given to the priest as payment or a perk, and the worshipper would enjoy the rest as a feast with family and friends within the temple precincts.

Worshippers believed that when they offered their sacrifice to the god the god entered the sacrifice, which meant that when they ate their part of the sacrifice, they were eating the god. Whew!


Perhaps for us it is easier to think of it this way: it is as if Jesus said, “Feed your heart, mind and soul on my humanity. When you are discouraged and in despair, when you are on your knees and tired of life and even of living, remember, I took all your struggles on me.”

When we do this our ordinary lives of flesh and blood are clothed with glory because they have been touched by God.

When Jesus said we must drink his blood remember that in Jewish teaching in Leviticus, the writer states that the life is in the blood.

As blood ebbs away, life ends.

To drink Jesus’ blood is to take his life into the very core of our hearts.


It’s like reading a great book.

How many copies of the works of Shakespeare have you seen sitting unread on people’s shelves? Perhaps there’s one on yours. There is on mine although I have read some of the plays.

Maybe you have a copy of War and Peace that you intend to read one day? We have been told it’s a great piece of literature and we fully intend to read it.


But as long as it sits unopened, until we read it for ourselves it cannot be a part of us.

When we do read and inwardly digest this wonderful book we enjoy it so much that we learn favourite quotes so that we can share them with others. It stays with us, and we ponder it, we meditate on it and feed our minds with it.

The book now lives within us and we believe all we’d been told.

This is true of any great experience in life. The experience remains outside us until we experience it and take it into ourselves. We need to experience it and believe.


It is the same with Jesus. If he remains a stranger in a book, he is unknown to us, and it is impossible for us to feed on him and abide in him. But when he enters our lives, we can feed upon the life and strength that he gives. We believe and experience real life.

This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them” (verse 56).

Jesus came down from heaven to offer to us all 'the bread which gives eternal life!'

No one, as far as I am aware, ever fell asleep in Jesus’ sermons!

Jesus sometimes drew their attention to what was going on around them – perhaps a farmer sowing seed or a dusty traveller walking by? Sometimes he appealed to their local knowledge and experience, as in the story of the Good Samaritan and the prodigal Son – but even with those two wonderful stories there were shocking twists at the end which sent his listeners away with lots to think about.


In his teaching on being the Bread of Life, Jesus shocked his listeners and had immediately got and held their attention.

But as well as shocking them he also challenged them to make a decision.

Would they believe in him or not?


John wrote his Gospel probably 60 to 70 years after Jesus’ resurrection and his purpose in writing was so that his readers might come to believe that ‘Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name’ (John 20:31).


Deciding whether to believe or not is a personal decision every person must make. And if you need any guidance on how to help others make this decision, try this simple ABC of coming to faith in Jesus . . .

Acknowledge you are a lost sinner.

Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and that he was raised from the dead.

Confess with your mouth that you have turned away from your sin and that Jesus is now Lord of your life.

To believe is to feed on Jesus the living Bread and so inherit eternal life.

Such a decision, whenever it is made, marks the beginning of a new life, lived in the power of the Holy Spirit, continually feeding on Jesus.

Jesus’ teaching finally reached its crescendo and a decision had to be made.


If you have read to the end of chapter 6 you will know what most of Jesus’ listeners (spoiler alert!) sadly decided.


But as for Jesus’ disciples and for you and me, well, we believe!

I know I do. How about you?



MP 720 'We believe in God the Father'

https://youtu.be/MiPoWNWB4FM

3min 50sec based on the Apostles’ Creed


MP 501 'O Jesus I have promised'

https://youtu.be/z_JLAwhag3Y


Prayers of Intercession

We pray for all who are suffering and in pain today; for all who we are worried about and who we wish to bring into your light and love.

Silence to bring to God those we know . . .


Lord, you know our pain, and you know the challenges faced by those on our hearts.

You know the sorrow of grief and isolation, of illness and tiredness, of breakdown and meaninglessness. You know the sorrow that weighs heavily on our shoulders.

Help us to know how to become an answer for prayer for those most in need around us, and in the world. Lord, show me what is mine to do that others might believe.


We pray for our world.

Knowing there are so many ‘big’ issues that seem beyond us which challenge and trouble us.

God who moves in ways we cannot understand, come amongst the conflicts, the poverty, the injustice, the abuse of power.

Lord, show me what is mine to do that others might believe.


Lord, come amongst the climate crisis, the refugee camps, the rough-sleepers, the burnt-out.

Bring peace, hope, and joy to the suffering people of Afghanistan and Yemen and to so many others living where war and terrorism seem to rule. We pray against the powers of evil and pray that your Holy Spirit will move over the chaos and bring your peace.

Strengthen, Lord, those who seek to be peacemakers. Give them wisdom, patience, and strength.

Lord, show me what is mine to do that others might believe.


Come, Holy God, by your grace. For we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our risen Lord and Saviour. Amen


MP 109 'Crown Him with many crowns'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuMh_ept-Js

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd_u58cQpMI if you dare!


MP 667 'The trumpets sound, the angels sing'

https://youtu.be/LH71Lo25EEY


https://youtu.be/5NKgLQY7kH0


Blessing:

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy, Lord of all we have and are, inspire us by your Spirit and send us out to be a part of your mission. Amen

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