28th February 2021-Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

Service Sunday 28th February @ Canvey Methodist Church


 

Complete Link:    https://youtu.be/F0NjuwRqTd8


 

1) Call to Worship :-  A psalm – 98 (NIV)

1 Sing to the Lord a new song,for he has done marvellous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;5 make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn, shout  for joy before the Lord, the King.

 

2)“We sing together from Singing the Faith number 94 ‘To God be the glory’”

 

1

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life in atonement for sin,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

 

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
  Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
  Let the people rejoice;
Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
  And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.

2

Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

3

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see. (Fanny Crosby 1820 – 1915)

   

3)“We come now to our prayers of adoration and confession – let us pray”

 

‘Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

We bring our praise and thanks this morning for you have done great and marvellous things. We see glimpses of your power and majesty in the beauty of creation around us, and we marvel at its’ vast-ness and diversity.  You are holy and righteous in all you do and yet merciful, filled with love and compassion. You revealed your love to us in the person of your son Jesus Christ, and through his life, death and resurrection you have made it possible for us to enter into a relationship with you. You give us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, to guide and empower us to live for you this day and every day. So, as we bring our worship in songs and prayers, draw near to us we pray, that we may be conscious of your presence with us in homes. AMEN

Loving God,  We acknowledge that we have failed to take up our cross and follow you when you have called us to serve and witness to others, sharing your love and compassion. Too often we have chosen the easy path, the safe ways and not trusted in you to lead and guide us.

(A moment of silence as we make our confession)

Help us to take those steps, to move beyond our comfort zones, confident that you are with us and have gone ahead of us. If we confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive our sin and restore a right relationship, through Jesus our Lord.  AMEN

“We share the Lord’s Prayer together”

Traditional

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.

4) Bible Reading – St. Mark 8. 27 to 38 (NIV)

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. Jesus Predicts His Death 31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”The Way of the Cross 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

 

5) Hymn - “Taking up that theme of the cross, we sing together from Singing the Faith number 274 ‘Jesus Christ, I think about your sacrifice”

 

Jesus Christ, I think upon your sacrifice, You became nothing, poured out to death
Many times I've wondered at your gift of life, And I'm in that place once again
I'm in that place once again

 

And once again I look upon the cross where you died, I'm humbled by your mercy and I'm broken inside, Once again I thank you, Once again I pour out my life
 

Now you are exalted to the highest place, King of the heavens, where one day I'll bow
But for now I marvel at your saving grace, And I'm full of praise once again, I'm full of praise once again

 

And once again I look upon the cross where you died, I'm humbled by your mercy and I'm broken inside, Once again I thank you, Once again I pour out my life

 

Thank you for the cross, Thank you for the cross, Thank you for the cross my Friend.

 

Thank you for the cross, Thank you for the cross, Thank you for the cross my Friend
 

And once again I look upon the cross where you died, I'm humbled by your mercy and I'm broken inside, Once again I thank you, Once again I pour out my life

                    (Matt Redman b. 1974)

 

6) Sermon

Prayer – “Open our eyes of our hearts, Lord, so that we may see as you see. AMEN”

 

“I don’t know if you are familiar with the expression ‘Hero to Zero’ but just recently I guess it could be applied to Allison the Liverpool goalkeeper, who in the game against Leicester, made some heroic saves but at the same time made some classic blunders, allowing the opposing team to score – who’d be a goalkeeper!

In our lectionary Bible reading from the gospel of Mark, which I have expanded to include some earlier verses, we find Peter experiencing the ‘Hero to Zero’ phenomena. The incident takes place in the region of Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus quizzes his disciples as to who do the people say he is (v.27), to which they reply ‘John the Baptist’, Elijah or one of the prophets – there is no consensus amongst the people as to Jesus identity, though interestingly, those possessed by demons certainly knew Jesus true identity (Mark 1. 24 & 5.7).

It's at this point that Jesus’ question becomes more personal, inviting the disciples to give their opinion, rather than that of others, and it is here that Peter makes his heroic confession of faith, that ‘Jesus is the Messiah’ (v.29). In Matthew’s account, Jesus tells Peter that his confession is through God’s revelation rather than intellectual assent (Matt. 16. 17).

• In the same way, our own recognition of Jesus is the work of God’s Holy Spirit.

This all sets the scene for a further revelation on the part of Jesus, something that would leave his disciples ‘gobsmacked’ for no sooner as Jesus identity as Messiah been confessed (to be kept secret), than Jesus tells his disciples, for the first time, that he will be rejected by the elders, scribes and chief priests, that he will endure physical suffering, before being put to death and rise three days later (v.31).

If you put yourself in the position of the disciples, their minds must have been reeling at what they have heard, for nothing could have been further from their expectation and they could not take it all in. Perhaps we’ve had that experience over this pandemic, when we’ve been given ‘bad news’ and we have struggled to comprehend it all.

For Peter this was certainly too much, not something he wanted to hear and so he took Jesus aside to rebuke and contradict him. Peter’s understanding of the Messiah was that of a warrior/king who would throw out the Romans and restore the kingdom.

But now it was Jesus turn to rebuke Peter, publicly – ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ (v. 33). What a dressing down – ‘hero to zero’.

But why so harsh a response from Jesus? It should be made clear that Peter was not possessed in any way, yet Jesus clearly saw the same working of the Devil in Peter’s contradiction, that same force that he encountered in the wilderness.

Verse 33 gives us the clue as to what the challenge was – “not to have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” in other words, ‘worldly thinking’ which was opposed to God’s plan and purpose.

The apostle Paul in Romans 12. 2 warns us ‘not to be conformed but renewed in our minds’ as the only way to please God.   ‘World thinking’ is essentially about self interest and being self-centred, concerned about self-protection at all costs and this way of thinking is totally opposed to the way of the cross, and Jesus calls it out, so that no-one should be deluded regarding his mission.  It is encouraging to note that in spite of Jesus’ put down of Peter, Jesus did not abandon him, but Peter was indeed privileged, along with James and John, to witness Jesus’ transfiguration.

Jesus spells out to his followers and those in the crowd just what it means to be a disciple in essentially three steps:- Deny yourself > Take up your cross > Follow Jesus (v. 34) and it has to be all three steps as you cannot be selective.

‘Deny yourself’ perhaps best summed up in the children’s chorus J O Y which stands for Jesus first, Yourself last and Others in between – it’s a bit more than just giving up chocolate for Lent!  ‘Take up your cross’ has the implication of suffering and death, yet it might not be just a question of physical suffering but loss of status, privileges, material possessions for the cross also represents being powerless or suffering shame and disgrace.   ‘Follow Jesus’ is both a command and an invitation for Jesus to take the lead and it implies going forward and not standing still. The thought of the ‘Good Shepherd’ as pictured in Psalm 23 comes to mind, for in the psalm, the Shepherd leads the sheep not just to green pastures and still waters, but though dark and dangerous places, so following Jesus may involve danger and challenge.

Being a disciple is a risky and costly business yet paradoxically in ‘losing our life’ for Jesus we find it and can discover our truer selves by abandoning selfish aims and ambitions. In the Methodist Church we are invited each year to take part in the Covenant Service, where we make our promises to God, committing ourselves to follow him even as he commits himself to us :-

I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.'

So may God grant us grace to take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow him each and every day. AMEN

 

7) Reflection

As we reflect on the call to follow Jesus, taking up the cross implies that we may have to put things down to be free to pick up our cross, so we invite you, Holy Spirit, to show us what we need to lay aside.    AMEN

 

8) Hymn – “Just before we have a time of prayer for others, we sing from Singing the Faith, number 20 ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord’”.

 

Be still, for the presence of the Lord, The holy One, is here; Come bow before him now, With reverence and fear, In him no sin is found, We stand on holy ground. Be still, for the presence of the Lord, The holy One, is here.

 

Be still, for the glory of the Lord, Is shining all around; He burns with holy fire, With splendour he is crowned: How awesome is the sight, Our radiant king of light! Be still, for the glory of the Lord, Is shining all around.

 

Be still, for the power of the Lord, Is moving in this place: He comes to cleanse and heal, To minister his grace - No work too hard for him. In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord Is moving in this place.

(David J Evans b. 1957)

 

9) Intercessions.     Sue Sandling

Dear Lord, we come before you to bring our prayers for others. And we pray with faith, knowing that you have all power and authority and we know that you love the people that we are praying for.  We thank you so much for your blessings and care and for all the good news and answered prayer that we have received this week.  We pray for our church family and we thank you for each other and the fellowship we share in your name. We thank you for Colin and Cathy and for the love and care they give us.  Please continue to lead them in their work for you and we pray a special blessing on them and their family. Loving God, We thank you for our families and friends.  We are missing them and we ask you to protect our loved ones and pray that you will keep them safe. We thank you for the roadmap that has been planned for us by the Government to bring us through these times of restrictions, and we ask you to guide all those making the future decisions for us.   We ask you, in your great power, to bring an end to this Corona Virus and all the new strains. We know and believe that nothing is impossible for you. We thank you for the vaccine and for all the hard work of the NHS. We pray for all who have caught Covid19 and ask for your healing. We pray for our world.  We pray for all world leaders and all who work for peace and unity. We pray for those fighting terrorism and for all refugees and those affected by war and conflict and those who seek safety in another country, despite the dangers of the journey.  We bring before you all those who are hungry and thirsty and all who have so little while we have so much.  Lord, we remember before you all those known to us who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and all who are mourning.  Merciful God, we pray for those grieving the death of someone close to them, whether this happened recently or long ago.  Please give them your comfort and turn their darkness into light. Loving God, we pray for those who are ill and in pain, for those who are sad or hurt, for those awaiting treatment and for those convalescing, We have many prayer requests in our church prayer book. You know all about these requests and the people involved.  We lift each one before you individually for your great healing power, blessing and care. We will have a moment of quiet while we bring those in our hearts before you Lord.     Dear Lord, you know all about these people. Please grant your healing, health and peace.   Now Lord, we pray for ourselves. As we start this new week, may you lead and guide us and bless each one of us. May we know your presence and learn to walk more closely with you.    Thank you for hearing our prayers.  We bring them before you in the strong and powerful name of our Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN

10) Hymn – “We sing our closing hymn together, from Singing the Faith, number 341, ‘All for Jesus’”

 

All for Jesus--all for Jesus, this our song shall ever be; for we have no hope, nor Saviour, if we have not hope in thee.

All for Jesus--thou wilt give us, strength to serve thee, hour by hour,
none can move us from thy presence, while we trust thy love and power.

All for Jesus--thou hast loved us; all for Jesus--thou hast died; all for Jesus--thou art with us; all for Jesus crucified.

All for Jesus--all for Jesus-- this the Church's song must be; till, at last, we all are gathered, one in love and one in thee.

(W.J.Sparrow-Simpson 1859-1952)

 

11) Benediction

“So gracious God, as we go out into the world, help us to take up our cross and follow where you lead.

And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us today and evermore. AMEN”