Morning Worship - 29th March 2020
"For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I in the midst of them."
Abba, Father, loving heavingly Father, on this spring morning
and in the quietness of our homes
we call upon your Name, we call upon your Spirit,
Lord, we call upon your Presence to be near.
For you alone are the One we seek and search for
and in you alone is our place of peace and belonging.
How we thank you for the Lord Jesus.
His is the voice we trust above all others;
his is the Call we seek to obey -
to follow him all our days as his living disciples,
and to call upon him when trouble comes near.
Lord Jesus you gave your life on the cross
that we who believe in you might find life in all its fullness.
We ask for your Loving Forgiveness to heal us and free us;
Lord, we ask that all regrets and demons be driven away that we may find rest and peace in you.
Although we are not able to meet together this morning
our thoughts and prayers are with each other.
Lord bless all in our Christian family this morning
especially those we name quietly now.
Lord, hear our prayers and hear us as we pray together.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever. Amen
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
The 23rd psalm is a shepherd's song. It describes the life of the nomadic shepherd who leads their flock to pasture land that can sometimes be many miles from home. The journey there can be hazardous with ravines, robbers or wild animals but on arrival there is safe water to drink and fresh grass to eat. The flock trust their shepherd and knows their voice and will follow wherever they are taken.
At the end of the day the flock know their own way home and will follow the paths that lead back to their village but the stragglers, the old and weak, will linger behind. They are vulnerable to those wild animals who look to pick off the weakest. And so the shepherd doesn't lead his flock home - he follows them home to protect the slow. Hence the psalmists comforting words -
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
Home is where we all long for - the place where we can be safe, where we belong, where we can rest free from fear. For the Israelites is was their Promised Land; in Jerusalem it was the great Temple; for disciples of Jesus it is God's Presence, his Kingdom.
Loving Father, in these days of uncertainty when many of us are worried about tomorrow and our loved ones
may we look to you for you alone are our place of safety and refuge.
We pray for the children who don't understand what is happening but hear fear;
we pray for our friends who are far from their family;
we pray for those who have fallen ill and may now be in hospital;
but above all we remember those who are worried or grieving.
Lord, help us to know what we are to do and what we are to be.
Help us keep in touch and share and care in Jesus' name. Amen
The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want:
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green: he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
even for his own name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through death's dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill;
for thou art with me, and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
My table thou hast furnishèd
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God's house for evermore
my dwelling-place shall be.
May the Peace of the Lord Jesus
and the Love of the Father
and the Presence of the Holy Spirit
be with us all.