Sunday 22nd November 2020- Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

Title: Canvey Methodist Church Service Sunday 22nd November 2020

Canvey Island Methodist Church Sunday 22nd November 2020


King of Compassion


To watch the Complete Service please select this Link.


Below Is the Complete Service Transcript and links to each section.


1) Welcome:


Good Morning. Welcome to this service from Canvey Island Methodist Church. I am Pastor Colin Turner, Minister of Canvey Island Methodist Church which is part of the Southend and Leigh Methodist Church Circuit. We begin today’s service with some words from Psalm 95 v1-7. 


2) Call to Worship:  Psalm 95:1-7.    New International Version. 


1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;

    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving

    and extol him with music and song.

3 For the Lord is the great God,

    the great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,

    and the mountain peaks belong to him.

5 The sea is his, for he made it,

    and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,

    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;

7 for he is our God

    and we are the people of his pasture,

    the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice,


3) Introduction to the hymn STF479.         

Our first hymn today is Singing The Faith number 479, The King of Love My Shepherd is. It was written by the Revd Henry Baker, the Anglican Vicar who had also been responsible for editing the earliest edition of “Hymns Ancient and Modern” which went on to break all existing sales records with over sixty million copies sold. Henry Baker wrote “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” in 1868 but he based its lyrics on the Welsh version of Psalm 23 that had been written by another clergyman, the Revd Edmund Prys, who was best known for his Welsh metrical translations of the Psalms that he made suitable for congregational singing. “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” has been described as perhaps the most beautiful of all the many versions there has been of the 23rd Psalm. It is said that the last words ever spoken by its author Henry Drummond, at his death, were from the third stanza “Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,  but yet in love he sought me;  and on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me”. The hymn STF479 “The King of Love my Shepherd Is”.


4) STF 479: The King of Love my Shepherd Is


1The king of love my shepherd is, 

whose goodness faileth never.

I nothing lack if I am his, 

and he is mine forever.


2 Where streams of living water flow, 

my ransomed soul he leadeth; 

and where the verdant pastures grow, 

with food celestial feedeth.


3 Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed, 

but yet in love he sought me; 

and on his shoulder gently laid, 

and home, rejoicing, brought me.


4And so through all the length of days, 

thy goodness faileth never; 

Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise 

within thy house forever.


Henry William Baker (1821-1877) 


5) Prayers of Praise,Adoration,Thanksgiving,Confession and Lords Prayer.

Father God, we come before you this morning and our desire is to worship you in spirit and in truth. We ask that you open the eyes of our heart that we might see you. We bring you our praises for the beauty of the earth, for the changing seasons, the sunshine and the rain.

We marvel at your handiwork, the flowers, trees, mountains and valleys. Our beautiful world floating in the velvety blackness of space amid myriads of stars.

We are like tiny specs in the universe yet you care for each of us as your sons and daughters.

Thank you Jesus.

We bring before you our confessions. We are sorry for the times when we let you down, when we leave undone the good and pursue the things we shouldn't. We now have a moment of silence when we can bring our own personal confessions to you.


We hear the words of Grace,

Our sins are forgiven.

Thanks be to God.


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 the power and the glory

Forever and ever



6) Introduction to the OT and Epistle Bible Readings  


The Old Testament Bible Reading, Ezekiel 34:11-16,20-24, is brought to us by Anna, In this, the prophet Ezekiel denounces the leaders of the people who had taken advantage of their position and power to satisfy their own greed, rather than to act unselfishly for the good of the people. Instead of feeding the sheep, they had fed on the sheep.  God, said Ezekiel, would hold these leaders accountable and would search out and bring the sheep home. He would then feed and care for them with justice. 


7) OT Reading- Ezekiel 34:11-16,20-24:    New International Version.

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.


8) Introduction to Ephesians 1:15-23.


Hilary brings our epistle reading today from Ephesians 1: 15-23. The Gentiles in Asia had received the Gospel by faith and believed in Jesus. St Paul, full of Joy at their response, prays for them to grow in wisdom and grace and with an understanding of the risen Jesus, now exalted in the heavenly realms, with authority over everything. 


9). Ephesians 1:15-23.   New International Version.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.


Footnotes. a Ephesians 1:17 Or a spirit


10) Introduction to STF 451 Open the eyes of my heart Lord.

The hymn STF 451 Open the eyes of my heart was written by the Worship Leader Paul Baloche as he became inspired by the words of both St Paul in Ephesians 1:18. ‘that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened’ and those in Psalm 95 that say, ‘Come let’s sing for joy. Let’s shout out loud. Let’s kneel in worship. Let’s clap our hands.’ Paul Baloche in writing the hymn said ‘I’ve been in religion a long time and that’s not enough. I want to know Him. I want to see God. I want to wake up each day and be more aware of Your presence in my life. I want to see Your kingdom in the midst of this world, so I can be a part of it and I can do my part.’”

May his desire be ours also as we sing the hymn 


11) STF 451 Open the eyes of my heart Lord.


Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,

open the eyes of my heart,

I want to see you, I want to see you.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,

open the eyes of my heart,

I want to see you, I want to see you.(Repeat)


To see you high and lifted up, shining in the light of your glory. Pour out your pow'r and love; as we sing holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy, holy,

I want to see you.


Paul Baloche (born 1962)

© 1997 Integrity Music/Adm. by Kingswaysongs


12a Introduction of Prayers For Others 

My grateful thanks to Sue Sandling for bringing our Prayers for others today.


12) Prayers For Others

Our prayers for others  - Let us pray                                                                                                                         Dear Lord, As we bring to you our prayers for others,  we come before your throne of Grace.  Lord, if our human minds could imagine just a glimpse of the splendour of your glory, we would be more able to be confident in our prayers.  But your word gives us assurance that we can confidently come before you, knowing that you hear our prayers. So we bring our prayers to you with thanksgiving. 

We give you our thanks and praise for every blessing that we received this week and for having us in your care. 

We thank you for our church family and pray for each other.  We pray that you will continue to bless us and help and guide us especially through this time of lockdown.  We pray for all who are lonely or finding it difficult to cope with this different way of life.  As your word instructs us, in the reading from Ephesians, we pray that you may give us the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, so that we may know you better.  And we pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened to know the hope to which you have called us and to know the riches of your glorious inheritance, and your great power which is beyond compare. 

And so, Lord of great power, we bring before you all who have asked for prayer.  Dear Lord, you know all about these prayer requests and the people involved.  We lift these dear people to you, into your hands.  And now, we will just have a moments silence while we each think of and pray for those known to us who need you.    

We ask that your peace will surround them and your loving arms heal them. Thank you Father. 

We bring Colin & Cathy before you and give thanks for them.  We ask you to continue to greatly bless them and lead them.  And we pray for their family and ask for a special blessing on them too. 

We pray for Beirut and the Lebanon.  And we pray for the New Heights team and all the work that they are doing in your name. We pray that you will bless and strengthen them and help them as they work with the families affected by the devastating bomb blast. 

We remember Pastor Attila in Apolina and pray that you will bless and strengthen him.  We pray for the community there as we have heard that Pastor Attila has conducted another funeral this week for someone who died of Covid.  Please Lord, provide for that community and give them your protection.  

We pray for our country and ask for your guidance for all those in positions of power and leadership.  We pray for right decisions to be made for our safety and for our country’s financial situations.  We pray that right decisions will be made concerning the regulations and guidelines that are being considered for what we are allowed to do over the Christmas period.  Also, we pray for our Government in all of the work they are doing to prepare us for leaving the EU. 

We pray for our local community and bring before you those in leadership and those with great responsibility in caring for the homeless and hungry.  

We remember before you all Health workers and key workers and all the medical researchers.   And we ask you to bring an end to this CoronaVirus very soon.  

We lift to you all who are suffering the bitter grief of mourning.  Please have these dear people in your care and surround them with the comfort and strength that only you can give. 

Thank you for hearing all our prayers.  We rejoice and are thankful for your care and great love. 

We bring all these prayers before you in the great and powerful name of Jesus Christ and all that His name stands for.    AMEN


13) Introduction to Matthew 25:31-46

Afua brings us the Gospel Reading from Matthew 25:31-46. In this Jesus gives his final picture describing his second coming.


14)  Gospel Reading. Matthew 25:31-46.   New International Version.

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.


34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


15)  Introduction to Hymn When I Needed a Neighbour.

This song about social justice was written by English historian, folk-singer and poet / song-writer Sydney Bertram Carter (1915-2004) who was best known as the author of Lord of the Dance.  It was written in 1965 to be the theme song of Christian Aid's Beat and Folk Festival and was recorded on a single by Carter and the Notting Hill Folk Group. It has been sung in churches and schools ever since and links into the themes of living out our faith as Christians . 


16).STF256. When I needed a neighbour were you there.


When I needed a neighbour

Were you there, were you there?

When I needed a neighbour, were you there?

And the creed and the colour

And the name won't matter

Were you there?


I was hungry and thirsty

Were you there, were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?

And the creed and the colour

And the name won't matter

Were you there?


I was cold, I was naked

Were you there, were you there?

I was cold, I was naked, were you there?

And the creed and the colour

And the name won't matter

Were you there?


When I needed a shelter

Were you there, were you there?

When I needed a shelter were you there?

And the creed and the colour

And the name won't matter

Were you there?


Sydney Carter


17) Sermon:

Today’s dramatic account from Matthew 25:31-46 is the final parable picture that Jesus gave describing the “Day of the Lord”or His “second coming” when he will bring history to a close and Judge humanity for its response to his original call at the beginning of time to tend the created world, to live godly creative lives and to worship Him in truth and love. There is to be a reckoning, the dividing of the goats from the sheep.

You may remember that this exchange all started innocently enough with the disciples asking Jesus questions about the future.


(1) When will the temple be destroyed? and 

(2) What will be the sign that the Son of Man is about to return? 


Typically, In his response Jesus did not dwell on these questions but rather focused on a related and more practical concern. It was this:


In light of the second coming of Christ, how ought persons to live?


He gave them four answers to this question (Mt 24:4-44)


Firstly, His disciples must take every precaution that they not be deceived by false Christs who will appear (vv.4, 5, 11, 24). 


Secondly, His followers are not to be alarmed at tribulations, wars, and disasters that will be part of ongoing history. (24:4-14). 


Thirdly, His disciples are to remain faithful to Him even in the midst of difficult times, (tribulations and persecutions), knowing that in the end, those who endure will receive eternal salvation when He returns (24:9-14).


Fourthly, His disciples are to make sure that they are ready at all times for His return. 


And It is this fourth answer of Jesus that we have been pondering over the past few weeks as we have explored each of the parable stories he used to illustrate this future event: being ready for Christ’s return, and what this will look like. 


-There was the parable of the wicked servant (24:45-51) indicating that leaders in the church should perform their service always with an eye toward the fact that Jesus may return at any moment. 


-Then secondly, the parable of the ten virgins (25:1-13) poignantly expressing the tragedy of people experiencing the second coming of Christ unprepared.


- Thirdly, the parable of the talents (25:14-30) teaching us that being ready will involve us in taking active service and developing our God given gifts. 


- And fourthly the parable of the last Judgment (25:31-46), dramatically revealing as it does, how disciples must prepare themselves for Christ’s second coming by doing good to those who are in need. On this dramatic occasion, all will eventually be judged according to the way in which they have treated Christ. Perhaps the surprise of the parable is the unexpected discovery by some, who are part of this final drama, that unknowingly they have encountered Jesus already in the persons of the poor and needy; all those that they have helped during the course of their lives.  

There are echoes here of the exchanges that God had, through the prophet Ezekiel, with the leaders of Israel who were the “fat cats” of their day, and getting rich by exploiting the poor. God was and is not impressed with dodgy dealings and injustice, nor is he with hypocrisy or apathy from people who should know better. Belief should always affect behaviour, when we serve Jesus Christ, and spontaneous acts of kindness and generosity will follow.


But, some may ask, what about Grace and Faith. Surely we are not saved by works or the good things we do, but rather by faith alone in the grace of Jesus, through his death and resurrection. 

The answer: Yes, absolutely, we are saved by faith. This is the gift of God to us, and it is true that doing good deeds alone does not make us good people. Only Jesus can do this. 


As is always the case, the teaching of scripture must be taken as a whole and definitely when it comes to faith and it’s out working. What we find shining through the pages of scripture is a balance on this issue; a seesaw or a fulcrum beautifully describing the relationship between faith and practice for the Christian. 


On the one side of the seesaw is Ephesians 2:8 which tells us,


 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”. 


On the other side of the seesaw we find James 2:14-17- which exhorts:


“ What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”.


In this final “Day of the Lord”parable, Jesus is talking about those who know him, and, more Importantly whom he knows as children. Children who always act with compassion because he has acted with compassion towards them. They are “Doing good” because of the change that he has wrought in their hearts.

It is knowing Jesus that is the key. If you know him, then you want to do what he says. As Christians who serve God in the Methodist Church we talk about this Imperative as “our calling”. It is printed not only on our hearts but also on our membership tickets. For us this is not just a case of doing “Random Acts of Kindness” because it is the latest Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook or YouTube craze or fashion. We do them because we love to and we do so on behalf of Jesus.

Thus, our membership cards bear the following statements: “The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and Mission. 

In our Worship we agree to Pray daily, Worship with others regularly, and to look and listen to God in scripture and the world.

In our Learning and Caring we agree to care for ourselves and those around us, to learn more about our faith, and to practise hospitality and generosity.

In our Service, we agree to help people in our communities and beyond, to care for creation and all of God’s gifts, and to challenge injustice.

In our Evangelism, we agree to speak of the love of God, live in a way that draws other people to Jesus, and to share our faith with others.

All of this is we do because of what Jesus has done for and within us. 


Finally, when some of us hear the words of Jesus spoken in this parable, that he did not know some of those who came before him, we may end up feeling insecure, unsure of whether we know him enough. How can we be sure that we are saved?

In his book, “The sacred diary of Adrian Plass on Tour”,  Adrian Plass quoted a story that his son Gerald told about the basis upon which God accepts people who are unsure if Jesus will accept them. His son Gerald, offered the following humorous,  “tongue in cheek” parody of the conversation in Luke 23:39-43 that  Jesus had with one of the two thieves crucified with Him. 


“One of the criminals who hangeth there hurleth insults at him, “Art thou not the Christ? Save thine self and us?

But the other criminal rebuke him saying, “Do you not fear God since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we receiveth what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong”. Then he sayeth, “Jesus wilt thou remember me when that thou comest into thy kingdom?”

Jesus replieth to him, “ Mmm, like to, but er, couple of points. Thou speaketh as though such an simple question might provoke an simple answer. In fact it dependeth on such issues as thine specific and personal theology, the depth and quality of thine prayer life in general and the regularity and faithfulness of thine quiet time in particular. For instance, hast thou repented and made a confession of thy faith and hast thou undertaken appropriate exegetical study of holy writ pertinent to thine desire for salvation. Canst thou offer written evidence that thou hast passed through the waters of baptism in a sound denominational setting?”. The man responded dolefully, “I’ll take that as a no then, shall I?”.


Fortunately for all of us, said Gerald, that this parody is not what Jesus said to this man. He may have been a thief, he may have lived a disreputable life but when he turned to Jesus and asked Him for help, Jesus accepted him without reserve and replied,  

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

This is God’s Grace in action. He loves us because of who he is, not because of what we may or may not have done. The key to God’s acceptance is our turning to him. He does the rest. May each of us therefore, “Go in peace and confidence to love and serve the Lord . Amen.


18) Introduction STF 317 At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow. 

Our final hymn today is "At the Name of Jesus". It was written in 1870 by Caroline Maria Noel and its lyrics proclaim the sovereignty of Jesus over every experience of life. Caroline Maria Noel, who herself had experienced bouts of intense suffering in her life wrote these words about a Saviour who had also experienced suffering himself and was present in and aware of hers. This Hymn  was the result. It was originally composed for private meditation but then became available for public use. Over the years its words have been particularly helpful for those who were either Sick or Lonely. Today we sing it as an affirmation that Jesus our Saviour holds us in his hands now and that he will return again as the “king of glory now”.


19) Hymn STF317 At the Name of Jesus Every Knee Shall Bow.


1 At the name of Jesus ev'ry knee shall bow,

ev'ry tongue confess him King of glory now.

'Tis the Father's pleasure we should call him Lord,

who from the beginning was the mighty Word.


2 Humbled for a season to receive a name

from the lips of sinners unto whom he came,

faithfully he bore it spotless to the last,

brought it back victorious, when from death he passed.


3 In your hearts enthrone him; there let him subdue

all that is not holy, all that is not true;

crown him as your Captain in temptation's hour:

let his will enfold you in its light and pow'r.


4 For this same Lord Jesus shall return again,

with his Father's glory, with his angel train;

for all wreaths of empire meet upon his brow,

And our hearts confess Him King of glory now.

Caroline Maria Noel


20) Prayer and Benediction .

Almighty God, direct our paths this week to be your voice, your heart, your hands, and your feet to bless, to help and to encourage all those we meet. May they, having been touched by your love in action, turn to find and know you as Lord and Saviour and friend.

In Jesus 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, evermore, Amen.