Morning Worship - 17th May 2020
By the Sea of Galilee
Loving, heavenly Father,
on this beautiful spring morning
with the woods full of wild garlic and bluebells
we set aside this time to reach out to you in prayer.
We thank you for the Lord Jesus
who gave us an invitation to follow him
and through him come to know you as abba, loving Father.
Lord, may we lay down all our burdens now;
may we let them go and turn around to you.
May your peace and love and grace shine upon us;
may your loving forgiveness shine within us.
We do ask for your patience;
you know how we stumble and hesitate;
we remember the promise the Lord Jesus made for us
'Come to me all you who are tired
from carrying heavy burdens
and I will give you rest'
May his promise come true within us now.
Hear us as we seek to forgive those we name quietly now.
And hear us as the pray our Lord's prayer -
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,
and the power, and the glory, forever.
Sunset over the Sea of Galilee
Our reading is John's story of the Risen Jesus appearing to his closest disciples by the Sea of Galilee.
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.
Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off. John 21 : 1 - 8
Fishing in the night.
Jesus' closest disciples had faced crushing defeat. They had been so taken by him when they first heard the amazing words that came from his lips. How he spoke of God as someone as close as a loving mother or father rather than a distant, fearful judge out to condemn and punish. They saw the way he could touch and bless children and those considered unclean; there was something beautiful shining in Jesus that shone upon them and when invited to follow him as his disciples they believed in him, trusted and left their fishing behind.
And then it went horribly wrong. He was arrested and crucified. There was nothing in the old scriptures that said the messiah would be killed as a criminal. This is why they ran away and left him; even Peter denied knowing him.
So the fishermen did what they knew best - they went back home to Capernaum, to Peter's house, his wife and mother-in-law and then out to fish on the Sea. It had all begun while they were mending their nets now they were back home where it all started.
In Galilee the skies are clear from spring till autumn and the best fishing was at night under the moon. But they caught nothing. Then the stranger told them to try the other side. Someone from the shore can often see a shoal those in the boat miss and sure enough they filled their nets. It was then that one of them had their eyes opened and recognised Jesus. Peter sprang into the sea to go ashore.
It is an age old story many of us can tell. When our burdens are heavy and spirits despondent something speaks to us and opens our eyes. Then the Lord's Presence can find his way and come to dwell with us for a while. But like the wind and the shoals they have their own way to make and our joy is but for a while.
But how glad we are when the Lord hears our prayer even when it is little more than a sigh of longing.
from the Thomas Traherne windows in Hereford Cathedral
sometimes we have felt as though our efforts have achieved little.
And sometimes we do what we should but with little heart.
There is a longing in us for the far away and the we-know-not-what.
But like the wind that blows where it will
and the shoals that swim in the sea
so your Presence can surprise us with joy.
May the yearning and longing within our soul never cease to pray
even when our minds are full of our own concerns.
For you, Loving Father, hear us
and you are always willing to be near.
Lord we pray for our loved ones - wherever they are.
We remember those who dwell in our memories.
We pray for our children;
we remember those who are hurting.
In these troubled days we pray for the Queen;
and do so with gratitude.
And we pray for all who are at risk in the hospitals and care homes.
Lord, may we be generous with our giving in these days.
Remembering our own Christian church in Kirkcudbright
and the many charities struggling for funds.
We especially remember Christian Aid this week.
Lord, hear our prayer and receive our thanksgivings.
Come be with me
all you who carry heavy burdens.
I will give you rest.
I will give you rest.
by Keith Duke
from SACRED DANCE
a follow up cd to SACRED WEAVE
both can be purchased from
KEVIN MAYHEW Ltd.
The Grace of the Lord Jesus,
the love of God the Father,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all.