ONLINE CHURCH: Let's worship together

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Today's

theme:

The Creator's

power is

there for us

 

 

 

 

The collect for the second Sunday after Trinity:

Faithful Creator,
whose mercy never fails:
deepen our faithfulness to you
and to your living Word,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

Please click below for today's introduction, by the Rev Debra Blair:

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This is a hymn about the love God has for all of us: 

 

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Today's Gospel is Mark 4: 26-34

Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

 

Today's Message is from Joyce Gardner, reader emeritus:

I am quite a keen follower of BBC gardening programmes … though not exactly a successful one. I love the way Carol Klein, Monty Don and others, all aware of the science involved, never seem to lose the wonder of what they are handling.

In our two parables, Jesus reawakens that wonder. He has talked previously about receptive soil. Here he goes on to the life that is in the planted seed: the seed of the Kingdom, sown by the farmer in expectation of harvest. This seed is the Word of God.

He dwells on the hiddenness of its activity. Once planted, quite silently, independently of the farmer, slowly developing, maturing till a stalk appears, and then the ear of corn, and finally the full grain, it comes to harvest.

This is how the Spirit of God works in the heart – the receptive heart of those who seek him; and he has promised that those who truly seek will find him. They are the people of the Kingdom, and they become sowers in their turn.

It is the story of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, whose work it is to reveal Jesus in us, and then through us to others, unfolding the meaning of his death and resurrection. It startles us with a leap of recognition, as we know this work to be within us, powerful and undeniable.

The mustard seed is an example of potential for lavish and exuberant growth, providing shelter indiscriminately. I would love to know what Jesus said to his close disciples about that when he came to explain it privately later. Was it a note of caution for the ones who would carry the responsibility for the early church? They certainly had some difficult and dangerous situations to deal with.

For us, let us take joy in the beautiful simplicity of his work in us, accomplished at such great cost. The battle belongs to the Lord.

We are his people, and his purposes for us and for his church are for good and not for evil. What can we offer, but our poor weak hearts, in love and trust?

 

And here's a hymn about God's faithfulness and the ways it's shown in the natural things of this world:

 

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Please click here for today's prayers:

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THE LORD'S PRAYER 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

 

And finally a song of joyful response to God for all he does in our lives:

  

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Please click below for the conclusion to our worship:

 

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Hymn recording CC from The Church of England. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

 

 


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