21st February 2021 Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

Canvey Island Methodist Church

21st February 2021 (Zoom and YouTube)

Lent 1

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths”

 

Complete Service Linkhttps://youtu.be/8IkvhdQfitA

 

Introduction

 

We come to worship on this, the first Sunday of Lent,

at a time of anxiety, sadness and concern.

And of hopefulness and optimism that things may soon change and life will open up – a bit like the buds that are beginning to appear.

Uncertainty is likely to be with us for some time

and so as we look at the scriptures set for today

we come with a mixture of hope and concern

and so we pray:

 

 

A prayer of approach

 

To you, O Lord, we lift up our hearts,

offering worship and praise.

Show us your path.

Teach us to follow.

Guide us in your truth.

For our hope is in you all day long.

Amen.

 

And so we sing:

Hymn ​StF 394 Spirit of God, unseen as the wind

https://youtu.be/4GkOKql5ogw

 

​​​Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,

​​​gentle as is the dove,

​​​teach us the truth and help us believe,

​​​show us the Saviour's love.

  1​​You spoke to us long, long ago,

​​gave us the written word;

​​we read it still, needing its truth,

​​through it God's voice is heard.

  2​​Without your help we fail our Lord,

​​we cannot live his way;

​​we need your power, we need your strength,

​​following Christ each day.

Margaret V. Old (1932–2001) Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 394 Words: © Scripture Union, 207-209 Queensway, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.  MK2 2EB  From Sing to God

 

The psalm set for today seems to reflect how we too might be thinking

Like the psalmist - we trust in God

but yet when surrounded by so many ‘enemies’ –

at war with a virus we are anxious,

we know things will work out 

but we need help in the meantime

to be guided in the future

by the God we know will never leave us…

 

Psalm 25.1-10

 

1 In you, Lord my God,

    I put my trust.

2 I trust in you;

    do not let me be put to shame,

    nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one who hopes in you

    will ever be put to shame,

but shame will come on those

    who are treacherous without cause.

4 Show me your ways, Lord,

    teach me your paths.

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,

    for you are God my Savior,

    and my hope is in you all day long.

6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,

    for they are from of old.

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth

    and my rebellious ways;

according to your love remember me,

    for you, Lord, are good.

8 Good and upright is the Lord;

    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right

    and teaches them his way.

10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful

    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

 

And so we pray:

 

Remembering God’s steadfast love,

yet aware of our sin, we ask for God’s mercy upon us,

and upon the world that God has created and saved.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord.

Teach me your paths.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, O Lord.

Consider my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Amen.

(Roots)

 

We sing:

Hymn ​StF 238 Lead us heavenly father lead us

https://youtu.be/OpkEeXWtWg0

 

  1​​Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

​​o'er the world's tempestuous sea;

​​guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,

​​for we have no help but thee,

​​yet possessing every blessing

​​if our God our Father be.

  2​​Saviour, breathe forgiveness o'er us;

​​all our weakness thou dost know,

​​thou didst tread this earth before us,

​​thou didst feel its keenest woe;

​​tempted, taunted, yet undaunted,

​​through the desert thou didst go.

  3​​Spirit of our God, descending,

​​fill our hearts with heavenly joy,

​​love with every passion blending,

​​pleasure that can never cloy;

​​thus provided, pardoned, guided,

​​nothing can our peace destroy.

James Edmeston (1791–1867) Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 238

 

Today’s gospel reading:

Mark’s treatment of Jesus’ baptism and temptation seems very bare.

We are only told the basic facts.

This is a prologue, an introduction, to tell the reader exactly who Jesus is, before the drama of the gospel unfolds.

 

Mark explains nothing

Why was Jesus baptised by John?

Why did the Spirit drive Jesus out into the desert?

Why was John arrested?

 

We already know who Jesus is…

There are many images in the reading: water; dove; 40 days; wild beasts that would not have been lost on Mark’s first readers.

They would recognise: heaven being torn open, the Spirit descending and God’s voice coming from heaven as true marks of God’s action, both from Hebrew Scriptures and contemporary Jewish writing.

 

For Mark this is a beginning…

something new was happening in the life and work of Jesus

 

 

 

Reading Mark 1.9-15

 

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

 

 

 

 

Brief Word

 

Some days it feels as if we may be in a wilderness right now… a strange place where things are completely different, with the usual comforts and contacts taken away. Each day bringing new announcements, promises, scientific perspectives and change of guidelines that seem to drive us into a new land, different from the past and not the place where we would choose to go.

Tomorrow - Monday 22 February, we expect the Prime Minister to share his ‘roadmap’ laying out what steps we can expect over the next few weeks and months.

 

We have been speculating and wondering and planning and re-planning…

in our wilderness, as we struggle and pray

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths”

 

 

As Jesus was driven out into the wilderness, he went knowing that he was God’s beloved Son. This truth, deep in his being, prepared him to face whatever lay before him in the wilderness.

 

As we are driven to our ‘wilderness’, our ‘new normal’ we may be cut off from our usual places, practices and people.

Knowing that we too, each one of us, are known and loved by God can give us a hope that passes all understanding, and can carry us through the wilderness of today’s world.

 

But the assurance of God's blessing does not bring cotton wool protection from the world.

 

The Spirit of God was empowering Jesus for the journey to come. She descended like a dove, which we think of as a gentle bird. But, I understand that those who breed doves will tell you that they can be fierce when threatened!  Here the Spirit is said to have ‘driven’ Jesus into the desert...

The Spirit comes as a driving force, not the gentle comforter that we hope for in our lives. The Spirit can be the force that propels us into difficult times.

 

‘At that time’ … The time was ready. … Jesus' own preparation, not only in baptism and the time in the wilderness, but also the ‘unknown years’ before that had brought him to this time.

The times were ‘special’. … The special circumstances that Palestine found itself in: - an unusual period of peace; a common language throughout the Near East; sitting at the crossroads of the commercial trade of east and west, with access to the Roman road network... were special

On a more local level, the preparatory work of John the Baptist was vital, but it was also vital that John was ‘out of the way’ so that Jesus could now take centre stage.

John's arrest would have been seen as a disaster to those who followed him, but perhaps it was the only way that Jesus’ good news could be clearly heard.

 

Maybe there is something in this time that makes us ready for this wilderness. But there is no clear explanation of what it is, we struggle to understand why this is happening now…

 

Mark tells us that although Jesus was in the desert ‘with the wild beasts’, he was not completely abandoned – ‘angels waited on him’. In some translations the term ‘ministered’ is used instead of ‘waiting’. The text doesn’t tell us exactly what the angels did

Angels are messengers of God, instruments of God’s love for the world.

We do not know for sure whether the angels were with Jesus all the time he was in the wilderness, or if he was conscious of them.

 

We can take comfort from an awareness of God’s presence with us even in our personal wilderness times.

The angels who wait upon us might not be supernatural beings but friends or companions who share our journey, providing help and support when we need it. And we can we act as angels for others…

 

Jesus is a different person after his wilderness experience. …

 

Mark tells us that Jesus began his public ministry only after John had been imprisoned.

It is a reminder that following God and announcing the good news of his kingdom may not be without cost; all times are testing times...

That testing did not end in the desert, but was with Jesus continually in the challenges of the Pharisees and the disbelief of the people…

 

This is the beginning - the journey to the cross has begun.

 

As we go through Lent, through a testing time, we can be assured that we, each one of us, are loved by God

We will be supported by the Spirit – at times we may be driven

And that we have a friend in Jesus who has been through testing times - that brought him to his death – but then to a new and everlasting life.

 

And we too, after these difficult times will come through, although nothing will be the same again and we may never understand why this is the Time.

 

Whatever the Roadmap outlined tomorrow by the PM we will continue to pray

As the psalmist did “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths”

 

 

 

Prayer

 

We thank you, Lord,

for bringing us out of the darkness,

through the waters of baptism,

into the light and life of your kingdom.

We thank you, Lord,

for the promise of your presence,

for washing us from sin,

and for sending your Spirit.

We thank you, Lord,

and pledge ourselves to follow you.

Amen.

 

 

Pledged to follow Jesus, we bring the needs of others to God in prayer, and remember that we need to look for, and play our part, in answering those prayers. It is especially difficult right now to know how we can act but we cannot wait for someone else…

 

Hymn ​StF 701 ​Heaven shall not wait

https://youtu.be/VOHOmQ9LU1M

 

  1​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for the poor to lose their patience,

​​the scorned to smile, the despised to find a friend:

​​Jesus is Lord;

​​he has championed the unwanted;

​​in him injustice confronts its timely end.

  2​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for the rich to share their fortunes,

​​the proud to fall, the élite to tend the least:

​​Jesus is Lord;

​​he has shown the master's privilege —

​​to kneel and wash servants' feet before they feast.

  3​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for the dawn of great ideas,

​​thoughts of compassion divorced from cries of pain:

​​Jesus is Lord;

​​he has married word and action;

​​his cross and company make his purpose plain.

4​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for triumphant Hallelujahs,

​​when earth has passed and we reach another shore:

​​Jesus is Lord

​​in our present imperfection;

​​his power and love are for now, and then for evermore.

John L. Bell (b. 1949) and Graham Maule (b. 1958)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 701

Words and Music: From Heaven Shall Not Wait © 1987, WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH  Scotland.  <www.wgrg.co.uk>

 

Prayer

 

Lord Jesus Christ,

in the inhospitality of the desert

you were tested by offers of food and power and were challenged to reveal who you were.

In spite of the pressures you did not give in to temptation.

In the inhospitable places of our lives,

help us to resist the temptations we encounter,

when we want to find comfort in possessions,

when we want to find self-worth through domination,

when we want to deny we follow Jesus.

In the comfort zone of the church,

where we feel safe and loved,

help us to resist the temptations we encounter,

when we take refuge in tradition,

when we allow finance to limit our vision,

when we accept others only if they conform to our standards.

Help us to turn once again to you.

Give us strength when our commitment is weak.

Enable us to place our trust in you.

 

Prayers for others

 

We open the papers and don’t know how to pray;

we turn on the radio and don’t know how to pray;

we flick through the TV channels and don’t know how to pray;

we listen to our neighbour’s story and don’t know how to pray.

And so we hold our hurting world before you,

and ask you to intercede for us.

Silence

 

And as we wait on you in the quiet of our hearts,

we begin to feel the pain of devastation

where people have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods,

swept away by the destructive power of water.

We begin to feel the pain of destruction,

where people’s lives have been blown apart

when they suffer the effects of fire, or drought or war.

We begin to feel the pain of injustice,

where people do not have good health, suffer because of the COVID-19 virus, or fail to flourish due to poverty or oppression.

Silence

We open the papers and we begin to feel your pain.

We turn on the radio and we begin to feel your pain.

We flick through the TV channels and we begin to feel your pain.

We listen to our neighbour’s story and we begin to feel your pain.

And so we hold our hurting world, and our hurting selves,

before you – and ask you to begin to change our hearts

and answer prayer through our actions.

Amen.

(Roots)

 

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,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

And so as we come to towards the end of this time of worship we think back to the Gospel reading, and forward to the days of Lent ahead we sing and pray that God will “give our lives direction”

 

Hymn ​StF 233 When Jesus came to Jordan

https://youtu.be/g6Ld1b515gc

 

  1​​When Jesus came to Jordan

​​to be baptised by John,

​​he did not come for pardon,

​​but as his Father's Son.

​​He came to share repentance

​​with all who mourn their sins,

​​to speak the vital sentence

​​with which good news begins.

  2​​He came to share temptation,

​​our utmost woe and loss,

​​for us and our salvation

​​to die upon the cross.

​​So when the Dove descended

​​on him, the Son of Man,

​​the hidden years had ended,

​​the age of grace began.

  3​​Come, Holy Spirit, aid us

​​to keep the vows we make;

​​this very day invade us,

​​and every bondage break.

​​Come, give our lives direction,

​​the gift we covet most:

​​to share the resurrection

​​that leads to Pentecost.

Fred Pratt Green (1903–2000) Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 233 Words: © Stainer & Bell Ltd, 23 Gruneisen Road, London N3 1DZ  <www.stainer.co.uk>

 

Blessings

 

May you know God breathing his peace over the troubled depths of your soul.

May you know that Jesus is with you on your journey in the week to come.

May you know the Holy Spirit strengthening and sustaining you, this day and forever more.

Amen.

 

 

May God bless and keep you ​

https://youtu.be/tt3OMa3Flds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canvey Island Methodist Church

21st February 2021 (Zoom and YouTube)

Lent 1

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths”

 

Introduction

 

 

 

 

 

A prayer of approach

 

To you, O Lord, we lift up our hearts,

offering worship and praise.

Show us your path.

Teach us to follow.

Guide us in your truth.

For our hope is in you all day long.

Amen.

 

Hymn ​StF 394 Spirit of God, unseen as the wind

https://youtu.be/4GkOKql5ogw

 

​​​Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,

​​​gentle as is the dove,

​​​teach us the truth and help us believe,

​​​show us the Saviour's love.

  1​​You spoke to us long, long ago,

​​gave us the written word;

​​we read it still, needing its truth,

​​through it God's voice is heard.

  2​​Without your help we fail our Lord,

​​we cannot live his way;

​​we need your power, we need your strength,

​​following Christ each day.

Margaret V. Old (1932–2001) Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 394 Words: © Scripture Union, 207-209 Queensway, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.  MK2 2EB  From Sing to God

 

 

 

Psalm 25.1-10

 

1 In you, Lord my God,

    I put my trust.

2 I trust in you;

    do not let me be put to shame,

    nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one who hopes in you

    will ever be put to shame,

but shame will come on those

    who are treacherous without cause.

4 Show me your ways, Lord,

    teach me your paths.

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,

    for you are God my Savior,

    and my hope is in you all day long.

6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,

    for they are from of old.

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth

    and my rebellious ways;

according to your love remember me,

    for you, Lord, are good.

8 Good and upright is the Lord;

    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right

    and teaches them his way.

10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful

    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

 

Prayer

 

Remembering God’s steadfast love,

yet aware of our sin, we ask for God’s mercy upon us,

and upon the world that God has created and saved.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, in you I trust.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord.

Teach me your paths.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, O Lord.

Consider my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Amen.

(Roots)

 

Hymn ​StF 238 Lead us heavenly father lead us

https://youtu.be/OpkEeXWtWg0

 

 

  1​​Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us

​​o'er the world's tempestuous sea;

​​guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,

​​for we have no help but thee,

​​yet possessing every blessing

​​if our God our Father be.

  2​​Saviour, breathe forgiveness o'er us;

​​all our weakness thou dost know,

​​thou didst tread this earth before us,

​​thou didst feel its keenest woe;

​​tempted, taunted, yet undaunted,

​​through the desert thou didst go.

  3​​Spirit of our God, descending,

​​fill our hearts with heavenly joy,

​​love with every passion blending,

​​pleasure that can never cloy;

​​thus provided, pardoned, guided,

​​nothing can our peace destroy.

James Edmeston (1791–1867) Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 238

 

 

Reading Mark 1.9-15

 

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

 

 

 

 

Brief Word

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer

 

We thank you, Lord,

for bringing us out of the darkness,

through the waters of baptism,

into the light and life of your kingdom.

We thank you, Lord,

for the promise of your presence,

for washing us from sin,

and for sending your Spirit.

We thank you, Lord,

and pledge ourselves to follow you.

Amen.

 

 

 

Hymn ​StF 701 ​Heaven shall not wait

https://youtu.be/VOHOmQ9LU1M

 

 

  1​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for the poor to lose their patience,

​​the scorned to smile, the despised to find a friend:

​​Jesus is Lord;

​​he has championed the unwanted;

​​in him injustice confronts its timely end.

  2​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for the rich to share their fortunes,

​​the proud to fall, the élite to tend the least:

​​Jesus is Lord;

​​he has shown the master's privilege —

​​to kneel and wash servants' feet before they feast.

  3​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for the dawn of great ideas,

​​thoughts of compassion divorced from cries of pain:

​​Jesus is Lord;

​​he has married word and action;

​​his cross and company make his purpose plain.

4​​Heaven shall not wait

​​for triumphant Hallelujahs,

​​when earth has passed and we reach another shore:

​​Jesus is Lord

​​in our present imperfection;

​​his power and love are for now, and then for evermore.

John L. Bell (b. 1949) and Graham Maule (b. 1958)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 701

Words and Music: From Heaven Shall Not Wait © 1987, WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH  Scotland.  <www.wgrg.co.uk>

 

Prayer

 

Lord Jesus Christ,

in the inhospitality of the desert

you were tested by offers of food and power and were challenged to reveal who you were.

In spite of the pressures you did not give in to temptation.

In the inhospitable places of our lives,

help us to resist the temptations we encounter,

when we want to find comfort in possessions,

when we want to find self-worth through domination,

when we want to deny we follow Jesus.

In the comfort zone of the church,

where we feel safe and loved,

help us to resist the temptations we encounter,

when we take refuge in tradition,

when we allow finance to limit our vision,

when we accept others only if they conform to our standards.

Help us to turn once again to you.

Give us strength when our commitment is weak.

Enable us to place our trust in you.

 

 

 

We open the papers and don’t know how to pray;

we turn on the radio and don’t know how to pray;

we flick through the TV channels and don’t know how to pray;

we listen to our neighbour’s story and don’t know how to pray.

And so we hold our hurting world before you,

and ask you to intercede for us.

Silence

And as we wait on you in the quiet of our hearts,

we begin to feel the pain of devastation

where people have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods,

swept away by the destructive power of water.

We begin to feel the pain of destruction,

where people’s lives have been blown apart

when they suffer the effects of fire, or drought or war.

We begin to feel the pain of injustice,

where people do not have good health

or fail to flourish due to poverty or oppression.

Silence

We open the papers and we begin to feel your pain.

We turn on the radio and we begin to feel your pain.

We flick through the TV channels and we begin to feel your pain.

We listen to our neighbour’s story and we begin to feel your pain.

And so we hold our hurting world, and our hurting selves,

before you – and ask you to begin to change our hearts

and answer prayer through our actions.

Amen.

(Roots)

 

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,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Hymn ​StF 233 When Jesus came to Jordan

https://youtu.be/g6Ld1b515gc

 

 

  1​​When Jesus came to Jordan

​​to be baptised by John,

​​he did not come for pardon,

​​but as his Father's Son.

​​He came to share repentance

​​with all who mourn their sins,

​​to speak the vital sentence

​​with which good news begins.

  2​​He came to share temptation,

​​our utmost woe and loss,

​​for us and our salvation

​​to die upon the cross.

​​So when the Dove descended

​​on him, the Son of Man,

​​the hidden years had ended,

​​the age of grace began.

  3​​Come, Holy Spirit, aid us

​​to keep the vows we make;

​​this very day invade us,

​​and every bondage break.

​​Come, give our lives direction,

​​the gift we covet most:

​​to share the resurrection

​​that leads to Pentecost.

Fred Pratt Green (1903–2000) Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 233 Words: © Stainer & Bell Ltd, 23 Gruneisen Road, London N3 1DZ  <www.stainer.co.uk>

 

Blessings

 

May you know God breathing his peace over the troubled depths of your soul.

May you know that Jesus is with you on your journey in the week to come.

May you know the Holy Spirit strengthening and sustaining you, this day and forever more.

Amen.

 

 

May God bless and keep you ​Christopher Walker

https://youtu.be/tt3OMa3Flds