24th January 2021 Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

 

Canvey Island Methodist Church Sunday Service -24th January 2021.

 

Service Readings: Jonah3:1-5,10;1Corinthians7:29-31;Mark1:14-20;

 

Complete Link: https://youtu.be/3J8Dxaft930


 

Theme: Having Listened and Heard, to then trust and obey.

 

Welcome.  

Welcome to this service from Canvey Island Methodist Church on Sunday 24th January 2021. This is the third Sunday in the season of Epiphany, a time of fresh discovery, when people of the past encountered, God in new and exciting ways, and a reminder that God is leading us now too into fresh encounters with Him in the new year ahead.

 

Call to Worship.   Psalm 62:5-8 

5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

    my hope comes from him.

6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;

    he is my fortress, I  will not be shaken.

7 My salvation and my honor depend on God[a];

    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

8 Trust in him at all times, you people;

    pour out your hearts to him,

    for God is our refuge.

 

Hymn. 10,000 Reasons.    

https://youtu.be/XHuJVka8rt

 

Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

[Verse 1]
The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

[Verse 2]
You're rich in love and You're slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

[Interlude]

[Verse 3]
And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still, my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore
Forevermore

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

[Outro]
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I will, worship Your holy name
Worship Your holy name

 

Prayer and Lord’s Prayer. 

Dear Lord,
We come before you this morning to give you our praise. We marvel at your handiwork, the wonders of creation. The vastness of space the beauty of the earth. Beauty surrounds us, the glorious colours of the sunset, the flowing rivers and rushing waterfalls. Towering mountains and verdant valleys. The perfect balance of our world in this universe. We praise you Lord for your provision for us, the seasons, the crops, the sunshine and the rain. You are our mighty God and nothing compares to you.
We thank you for your love, grace and mercy. In this service this morning we ask that you would help us to worship you in spirit and in truth.
Amen
The Lords 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, forever and ever
Amen

 

Old Testament: Jonah3:1-5

Jonah 3:1-5, 10;    New International Version

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

 

3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

 

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

 

Hymn Trust and Obey.   

https://youtu.be/1VoA0Cs8kgI

 

1. When we walk with the Lord.  In the light of His Word,  What a glory He sheds on our way; While we do His good will,  He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

 

Chorus: Trust and obey, For there’s no other way. To be happy in Jesus,  But to trust and obey.

 

2. Not a shadow can rise,  Not a cloud in the skies, But His smile quickly drives it away;  Not a doubt or a fear,  Not a sigh or a tear,  Can abide while we trust and obey.

 

3. Not a burden we bear,  Not a sorrow we share, But our toil He doth richly repay;  Not a grief or a loss, Not a frown or a cross,  But is blest if we trust and obey.

 

4. But we never can prove.  The delights of His love,  Until all on the altar we lay; For the favor He shows, And the joy He bestows,  Are for them who will trust and obey.

 

5. Then in fellowship sweet. We will sit at His feet,  Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;  What He says we will do;  Where He sends, we will go. Never fear, only trust and obey.

John H Sammis

 

New Testament: Mark1:14-20

 

Mark 1:14-20.     New International Version

Jesus Announces the Good News

 

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!”

 

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

 

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

 

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

 

Prayers For Others.

 

24th January 2021

Dear Lord, we bring our prayers for others before you and we pray with faith knowing that you have all power and authority and we know that you love the people we are praying for. 

Lord, your word tells us that our prayers are like incense to you and so, Lord, we bring our prayers and worship to you as we pray for others.

We thank you for all answered prayer and for the many blessings we have received this week.  

Dear Lord, we pray for our world.  You are all powerful and have authority over everything.  In your great power we ask you to bring an end to the Corona Virus and all the new strains that are spreading.  We know that nothing is impossible for you. We thank you for the vaccine and pray for its speedy effectiveness. 

We pray for America and for their new government. We ask you to lead and guide that country.  We pray for the Lebanon and for Romania and we ask you to continue to provide for the people in these countries and for the political situations and their economies. 

We pray for our country and for our leaders who are making such difficult decisions for us.  We pray for our economy and for everyone who is searching for a job.  Please help our businesses to survive and may jobs be found for the many who need them. 

We pray for all the key workers. We pray for the NHS staff who are overwhelmed and we pray for the teachers who are working so hard.  We also bring before you our children whose lives are so restricted. 

We pray for all hospital chaplains who are supporting patients, relatives and staff with your love and hope.  Please protect them and empower them. 

We pray for our church family.  Please bless each one and we ask you to meet our individual needs.  We thank you for our church and the love and friendship we share in you and we thank you for your many blessings

We bring Colin and Cathy before you and ask you to continue to lead and guide them and to bless them and their families. 

We pray for all who have caught Covid19 and ask you to heal them.  Please be with their families too at this worrying time. 

We bring before you all who have asked for prayers for their loved ones.  Lord we have so many prayer requests in our church prayer book but you know all about these needs and the dear people involved.  We lift each one individually before you, for your healing, blessing and care. 

We will have a moments silence while we each pray in our hearts for those known to us who need your special touch of healing and peace. 

May you grant healing and health and surround them with your peace and love. 

We lift before you all those who are suffering the bitter grief of mourning. Please surround them with your comfort and strength. 

Last of all Lord, we pray for ourselves.  These are such strange, worrying and difficult times.

Thank you that we can trust you to help us through as you give us your strength and new mercies for each day .  There is no limit to your love for us. Please help us to listen to you and to be obedient to you.

We thank you that you have heard our prayers.  We bring them before you in the strong and powerful name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and all that his name stands for.  AMEN

 

Sermon

 

Last Sunday we were challenged by Pastor Steve Mayo to think about how we listen to God. This Sunday we look at what might happen after we have listened and after we have heard God speaking to us. To help us we encounter Jonah, in the Old Testament and Jesus and His disciples in the New.

In the family I grew up in, we children were occasionally asked to run errands or to take on particular tasks. Am not so sure that people do those things today in family life, but looking back, it was quite a good preparation for living life as an adult.

Some things were quite enjoyable. I used to get a great deal of satisfaction from shelling peas all ready for dinner, or preparing the runner beans pushing them through a newfangled shredder from the betterware catalogue. I know, I know, small things please small minds!

 Other things though were a bit more onerous, especially when I had other things I wanted to do. “Colin, can you pop down to the corner shop to buy a loaf of bread?” or, when I was older, “Colin, the old lady down the road needs her grass cut but can’t manage the push mower any more. Wouldn’t it be a nice thing to do for you to do it for her?”

I wonder if the young Jonah had a Dad and Mum like mine to give him a push in the right direction?

Jonah, we discover from 2Kings 14:25, was the son of Amittai, and lived in Gath Hepher in Galilee. As an adult he took on the important role of prophet in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam ii between 793-753 B.C. Commentators think that the events described in our reading took place around 760B.C.

Jonah’s problem was not that he did not hear God Speaking to him; rather it was that he did not like what God had said to him. 

God asked Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh and to tell the inhabitants there that unless they mended their ways, that He, Almighty God, was going to bring their wicked ways to a nasty end.

(Jonah 1v2. “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”).

We probably all know the story of what happened. Jonah disobeyed God's call  and went as far as could in the opposite direction until God intervened with a storm, a strategically placed “big fish” or Whale and a regurgitated and repented Jonah sitting on the beach, all ready to go to Nineveh to do as he was asked. 

 

What was it, I wonder that made Nineveh such an unattractive workplace destination for Jonah? The answer would seem to be that Nineveh was in Assyria and that Assyria was no friend to its southern neighbour Israel. Also, at the time that Jonah received God’s call to go there, Nineveh was part of an extensive complex of cities that comprised the center of Assyria’s power and we read that it took three days to walk from one side of this area to the other. This was going to be no “walk in the park”! The fact that some 38 years after these events, Israel actually fell to an Assyria invasion (722 B.C) perhaps explains why Jonah didn’t think he would be welcome there. But in the end, Jonah went, and remarkably both the king and the inhabitants listened and repented.

So here are the learning points that occur to me.

 

-When God asked Jonah to do this, He knew what He was doing. God could see over the cultural and timeline mountain ranges that blocked the view to Jonah. He still can today for those tasks he gives to us. 

 

- God loved the people of Nineveh and wanted to give them a chance to “start over”. He also loved Jonah and wanted him to discover that God's divine love stretched far beyond the borders of Israel and to its “chosen people”.

Today, God still loves everyone, those that we consider worthy and especially those that we think are undeserving and “beyond the pale”.

 

- It is better to obey God the first time that He asks, but……… even when we mess up, and run away, God doesn’t give up on us, but comes after us showing grace, forgiveness and love.

 

The contrast with how Jesus responded to God the Fathers call to him to go to the people of his age, could not have been more different to that of Jonah to those of his time.

Jesus went immediately. He obeyed God's call and we read, “Announced the Good News” to them (Mark1:14). Even following the shocking and intimidating news that John had been put into prison, Jesus still went into Galilee, and proclaimed the good news of God, that “The time had come,” and that “The kingdom of God had come near” He called them to “Repent and believe the good news!”

 

This same kind of willingness to do as God asks was shown in the response of the first disciples called by Jesus to follow Him.

 

Simon and Andrew, although busy at work in their job as fishermen listened to the call of Jesus and they amazingly immediately downtooled, left their nets and followed him.

 

It was even more dramatic for James and John. They were actually already in their boat, getting their nets ready for the days fishing ahead. Jesus called them, and they not only left their nets behind but the family business also. Their Dad, Zebedee, and the hired hands, were all left behind.(Mark1:19-20). There was a compelling urgency to the call of Jesus. 

 

These first disciples then got it  ‘right first time’, whereas Jonah initially got it wrong.

It seems to me that there are also some  further lessons for us to learn  from this exchange between Jesus and his new disciples. Things to learn about God's call for us. 

 

-Not only does God in Christ know what he is doing;

-Not only does he love us and those to whom we are sent;

-But, as with his first disciples he can use our existing talents and gifts for the task ahead. “I will make you fishers of men”.

 

From last week's service then, the question, are we listening out for God’s voice and call, and now from this week's service, the question are we ready to obey God’s voice and call to serve Him in the week ahead, and beyond.

Amen

 

Hymn: Will you come and follow me.

https://youtu.be/zk6IUalJ3sk

 

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don't know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known? Will you let my life be grown in you, and you in me?

 

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same? Will you risk the hostile stare, should your life attract or scare? Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

 

Will you let the blinded man see if I but call your name? Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean, and do such as this unseen? And admit to what I mean in you, and you in me?

 

Will you love the "you" you hide if I but call your name? Will you quell that fear inside and never be the same? Will you use the faith you've found to reshape the world around through my sight and touch and sound in you, and you in me?

 

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name. Let me turn and follow you and never be the same. In your company I'll go, where your love and footsteps show, thus I'll move and live and grow in you, and you in me.

John L Bell


 

Benediction:

Loving God, forgive us when we have heard you but failed to act, strengthen us for when we have heard but are feeling fearful and inadequate, empower, fill  and direct us for when we have heard, answered your call, and are serving in obedience as you have commanded.

In Christ’s Name we pray.

Amen

 

And now may the grace of our Lord Jesus, Christ, The Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever more.

Amen