14th March 2021- Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

Canvey Island Methodist Church- Lent 4- Sunday 14th March 2021- Mothering Sunday.

 

Bible Readings: Numbers21:4-9; Psalm107:1-3,17-22; Ephesians2:1-10; John3:14-21;

 

Complete Link: https://youtu.be/yAfkWbROHic

 

1). Welcome to this service of Worship on Mothering Sunday 14th March 2021.

Traditionally this was the Sunday in the year when those who worked away from home would return to home territory to worship in the Mother Church of their childhood. In recent times however, Mothering Sunday has become Mothers Day when we acknowledge the women in our lives and through cards and presents say thank you to them and in church to offer Almighty God thanks for those who love and care for us.

 

2). Call to Worship 

 

Psalm 107:1-2,20-22:  New International Version.

 

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    his love endures forever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—

    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

20 He sent out his word and healed them;

    he rescued them from the grave.

21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings

    and tell of his works with songs of joy.

 

We sing our first Hymn, Don Moen’s hymn of praise, “Give thanks with a grateful heart”. 

 

3). STF 351.    Give thanks with a grateful, heart - CCl Licence No: 425086

 

https://youtu.be/5waffTnMH6g


 

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

 

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

 

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us"

 

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us"

 

Give thanks with a grateful heart (with a grateful heart)

Give thanks to the Holy One (to the Holy One)

Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

 

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us"

 

And now let the weak say, "I am strong"

Let the poor say, "I am rich (I am rich)

Because of what the Lord has done for us"

Give thanks

Don Moen


 

4). Opening Prayers.

 

Heavenly Father, we worship you the creator and sustainer of the universe, for your love that flows through all things, sustaining and reviving all that we see. We give thanks for your love and light that nurtures us through the dedication and care of mother’s, fathers, family and friends. We Worship you for your creative light that falls on us unseen, blessing us and guiding us towards you. We worship you for your love that nurtures us. Life, light and love, we adore you O God.

Lord God, we approach your light. The light that shines in the darkness of our world. The light that searches the darkness of our hearts. The light that banishes the shadows that surround us. The light that causes some to turn away because they prefer darkness. But we lift our faces to your light and walk towards you. Lord God we approach your light .

 

For this world and all its beauty: We give you thanks, Lord, today. For creating us to be your work of art:

We give you thanks, Lord, today.

For this Church on Canvey and for the life we share here:

We give you thanks, Lord, today.

For our homes and families, for friends and fun: 

We give you thanks, Lord, today.

For food and warmth, for comfort and safety:

We give you thanks, Lord, today. Amen.

 

Prayer of Confession: 

 

God in heaven, for when we have strayed from your ways,

We thank you for giving us the chance to change direction.

For when our choices have been driven by our selfishness rather than love for you-

We thank you for your forgiveness.

For when we have heeded the ceaseless chatter of the world rather than obeying your Word.

We thank you for your patience with us dear Lord. 

 

Lord God , your light has flooded the world; 

We confess those times when we have turned away, preferring darkness.

Lord you have lifted up your Son that we might be forgiven;

We confess those times when we have turned away, preferring to remain in our sins.

Lord, you have offered us eternal life;

We confess those times when we have turned away, preferring the pleasures of earthly life.

Forgive us, O Lord, as we bow our heads before you.

 

We do not turn away any longer.

We lift our faces to seek your light.

We lift our eyes to see your Son.

We lift our hearts to live in you, and for you, fir ever. Amen.

 

The 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 trespasses,  as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom,  and the power, and the glory,  for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Kofo reads the Old Testament lesson from Numbers 21:4-9

 

5) Old Testament Reading -Numbers 21:4-9.  New International Version.  The Bronze Snake

 

4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea ,[a] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

 

6). Thank you Kofo. We sing the hymn Breathe on me breath of God after which Ade reads our gospel lesson from John3:14-21. The hymn Breathe on me breath of God.


 

7). STF 370: Breathe on Me Breath of God-CCl Licence No: 425086

 

https://youtu.be/MmkzSjs9eAw


 

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Fill me with life anew,

That I may love what Thou dost love,

And do what Thou wouldst do.

 

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Until my heart is pure,

Until with Thee I will one will,

To do and to endure.

 

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Till I am wholly Thine,

Until this earthly part of me

Glows with Thy fire divine.

 

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

So shall I never die,

But live with Thee the perfect life

Of Thine eternity.

 

8) John 3:14-21.     New International Version. Ade

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[a] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[b]

 

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

 

Footnotes

a. John 3:14 The Greek for lifted up also means exalted.

b. John 3:15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 21.

 

9). Thankyou Ade. Sue Sandling now leads our prayers for others .

 

10). Prayers for others.     Sue S

Prayers for others 14th March 2021.

Dear Lord, We bring our prayers for others before you and we give thanks to you, for you are good.  We give thanks for your unfailing love which endures forever. 

Lord, today we celebrate Mother’s day and on this Mothering Sunday we thank you our Mothers and for all those who care for us.  We are aware also that today can be a very difficult day for some, and we pray that you will be with those who are sad, hurting or mourning today, to comfort them and surround them with your tender care.

Dear Lord, we bring our church family before you.  We pray that you will bless each one and pray that today we will have a special sense of your presence with us. 

We pray for Colin and Cathy and ask you to bless them and continue to lead them in their love and work for you.  We pray also for their family and for Anna in Beirut that you will protect and bless her. 

We pray for our country, for good leadership at this difficult time of bringing us out of lockdown.  We ask you to lead the decision makers.  

We also think of our royal family during this time of family conflict and pray that you will bring healing balm to this whole situation. 

We pray for the world and ask you to bring peace and stability. 

And Lord, in your great power and mercy, we ask you to bring an end to the Corona Virus and all the new strains.

We have loved ones on our minds who desperately need you. Please be with each one and we pray for all those named in our church prayer book.  We lift each one individually before you.  You know all about these dear people and the situations.  We will just have a moments silence while we each pray in our hearts for those who need your special touch of healing and peace. 

Thank you Lord. 

Father we pray for those whose hearts are saddened by the death of someone close and dear to them.  Be with them, give them strength in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which no darkness can quench. Help us to experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit within us, and the fellowship of the church family around us.

We pray for ourselves Lord.  May you bless each one of us. Thank you for your gift of salvation. Thank you for your grace, because it is by grace that we are saved, through faith.  Help us to listen for your leading and please give us wisdom and peace so that we can move in step with your guidance. 

Thank you for hearing our prayers.  We bring them in the powerful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 AMEN

 

11).  Thankyou Sue for leading our prayers for others. We sing our next hymn, In Christ Alone My Hope Is Found 

12). STF 351: In Christ Alone-CCl Licence No: 425086 https://youtu.be/Gax8GL7EViE

 

In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song

This cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease

My comforter, my all in all

Here in the love of Christ I stand

 

In Christ alone who took on flesh

Fullness of God in helpless babe

This gift of love and righteousness

Scorned by the ones He came to save

Till on that cross as Jesus died

The wrath of God was satisfied

For every sin on Him was laid

Here in the death of Christ I live

 

There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain

Then bursting forth in glorious day

Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory

Sin's curse has lost its grip on me

For I am His and He is mine

Bought with the precious blood of Christ

 

No guilt in life, no fear in death

This is the power of Christ in me

From life's first cry to final breath

Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man

Can ever pluck me from His hand

Till He returns or calls me home

Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Geoff Moore

 

13).  Sermon

 

One of the songs our grandson likes us to sing to him is called “Wind the bobbin up”. It has all the right ingredients to make him smile; a catchy tune, plenty of actions pointing to the ceiling, the floor, the window and the door, and a chance to clap his hands “clap, clap clap”! We rarely, though, get away with only singing it only once! Three or four times is normally the minimum!

Like many nursery rhymes though, wind the bobbin up has a darker past, originating as a catchy way to help children in their jobs winding up the large wooden bobbins in the mills of the textile industry of yesteryear!

Today is Mothering Sunday, a time when we give thanks for Mother’s and for all those who have cared for us in the past or who care for us now.

In thinking about my own mother and Mother’s Day, this song about bobbins floated into my mind, not that my childhood experience involved winding industrial wooden bobbins in abject servitude; no, rather it was that my mother was a very resourceful mender and recycler of clothes. Like many families on Canvey, money was a scarce commodity and so many Mums, and mine included, would stitch, sew and patch existing clothes as well as making new clothes using paper patterns that came with women’s magazines. Strong in my recollection of this era are the click clacking of knitting needles and the sound of the foot treadle of her old Singer sewing machine (later to be replaced by a smart new Singer Sewing Machine powered by a small hand turned wheel on the right hand side). Fascinating to me as a small child was how the mechanism involving a tiny ‘cotton wound’ steel bobbin, clipped into place beneath the needle, managed to weave its stitching magic into the material pieces being sewn together above its bobbin case! Also of fascination and, in fact, a cause of wonder, was how my mother could manage this entire stitching process, with spare pins between her lips whilst juggling the machine operation with her right hand, and at the same time, in steering the garment around the dotted lines of the pattern to the rise and fall of the needle with her left hand. As with most tasks of parenthood, persistence and patience was required. Aside from the intricacies of garment maintenance,  so many jobs that we do as parents are repetitive; washing up, changing nappies, bath times, cooking, laundering clothes, tidying bedrooms, housework, applying band-aids to grazes and cuts and soothing the troubled brow when in illness strikes.  

Most parents and carers do all of this, not for material reward but out of love for their children. This is what we give thanks for on a day like today. 

 

I said, most parents, because not every childhood experience is as happy or as consistent as mine was. Also, all parents make mistakes and so there are no doubt, for all of us, ups and downs in our recollections of past family life and in the quality of nurturing care offered to us. 

 

As Christians we believe that the call to love and to nurture is a powerful force and that this comes directly from God. In family relationships, even should children throw things back in our face (as can happen in adolescence or beyond), the call to love and nurture remains, and we offer this unconditionally as best we can, albeit sometimes from a distance.

Our readings today speak of the nurturing care of Almighty God and how this was not always received well. 

It seems that the people of Israel (like most of humanity) were never happy for very long. They had been slaves in Egypt before Moses came along. He led them out of captivity with incredible Miracles occurring along the way; pathways of dry land through the Red Sea, Water supplied in the desert, Guidance by pillars of fire by night and cloud by day, and miraculous manna to eat supplied fresh every morning. Yet none of this was good enough for the people of Israel  and Moses, repeatedly had to intercede with God not to lose patience with their lack of gratitude and their open disobedience. Here are three such occasions.

- At Mt Sinai (as reported in Exodus32): The people got fed up in waiting for Moses to return from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and they made a golden calf to worship.

V4- Then they said, “These are your gods,[b] Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

Moses upon his return, pleaded with God not to give up on them praying, “If you will only forgive their sin- but if not, blot me out of the book that you have written”.(Exodus32:32;)

 

- Then later as reported in Numbers 14v1-4, At Kadesh, the people said,“We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

God was not impressed by this and Moses once again pleaded with him in prayer on the people’s behalf. 

Moses prayed, “forgive the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your steadfast love. ( Numbers14:19;).

 

- Then finally as they travelled Between Mt Hor and the Red Sea the people again complained, growing impatient. They complained about everything, the wilderness, that they had no real bread, that water was scarce. They even complained about the miraculous “Manna”. ‘We detest this miserable food’. (Numbers 21: 4-9).

To catch their attention this account speaks of God allowing snakes to enter their camp and they pleaded with Moses to “Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people” v7.

Interestingly, God did not disperse the snakes but introduced an element of choice in the healing process. 

 

“The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived”.v8-9.

 

God did not give up on his people. His nurturing love gave them the chance to live and change. 

 

The gospel writer and apostle, St John the Divine, picked up on this same imagery when describing God’s ultimate solution in nurturing humanity. He gave his one and only son so that those who look to him could find salvation, a means to knowing Him in this life and of being with Him in the next.

John 3v14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[b]

The choice, as they say, is ours. To look to Jesus or to look away. 

 

Our readings sum up the  possible responses to God’s love and Care. The people of Israel looked inwards at their own challenges and discomforts, and consequently they failed to see the goodness of God and all that God had done for them. In short they had embraced darkness rather than light. 

I wonder, are there times when you and I are inclined to do the same- whether by choice, accident  or habit?

By contrast, there is another option; Jesus offers us another way; to look to him “the light of the world”- to come out of the darkness and to embrace the light. To leave or put aside the things that might get in the way of us doing that, to turn away from that  which might make us ashamed of us looking up to Him and embracing the eternal light of Jesus?

 

On Mothering Sunday may we give thanks for those who have nurtured us and give thanks to God who nurtures us now as we continue to look to Him for Grace, strength and sustenance. Amen.


 

14).SofF 894: What a Faithful God Have I- CCl Licence No: 425086

 

https://youtu.be/4fo1UV9pfrs

 

Lord, I come before Your throne of grace

I find rest in Your presence,

And fullness of Joy

In worship and wonder,

I behold Your face

Singing what a faithful God have I

 

What a faithful God have I

What a faithful God

What a faithful God have I

Faithful in every way

 

Lord of mercy, You have heard my cry

Through the strom You·re the beacon

My song in the night

In the shelter of Your wings

Hear my heart·s reply,

Singing what a faithful God have I

 

Lord, all soverign

Granting peace from heaven

Let me comfort those who suffer

With the comfort You have given

I will tell of Your great love

For as long as I live

Singing what a faithful God have I

 

Robert Critchley 


 

15) Benediction:

 

Lord of Light, we thank you that you are always near to us, even when we grumble and moan. Help us to look to you and to be thankful for all the good things in our lives.

God of creation and order, be with us as we go out into the week ahead. 

Help us to think carefully about the choices that we will make and the people we look up to. Lead us in the confusions and temptations of this world.

Teach us to look up to the light of your Son, Jesus Christ, for guidance and inspiration

 

And now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit  go with us all, now and forevermore. Amen.



 

In Christian Love

 

Colin.