Service Outline 12th July

MISSION SERVICE: 12th JULY

Good morning everyone and it’s great to see you again and to be meeting, however differently, here at The Mission. Also, to those who cannot be with us here this morning, may God bless you as you read these notes and lovingly remind you of our shared fellowship with each other and that you’re more than welcome, whenever you can make it, to join us here.

So, let’s begin by saying the Lord’s Prayer together and then I’ll lead us in an opening prayer.

OPENING PRAYER

I think it is so important to begin our services with a time of praise. God loves to hear the praises and thanksgivings of His people. But praise is not just for God’s benefit but also for ours especially when we are going through difficult times: because the truth is that there is always something to thank God for and in remembering theses things our spirits are lifted. So let’s think about things to be grateful and thankful for. (TIME OF SHARING)

Well, as you know, we can’t sing at the moment but there’s nothing to stop us from saying a hymn together!

So, let’s say together the words of that wonderful hymn of praise…. PRAISE MY SOUL THE KING OF HEAVEN

BIBLE READING: ROMANS 8: 18-23

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

One of the hardest things about this period in our history and in our lives is not knowing when it will end and what the future holds. One of the criticisms of the government is that they haven’t given us sufficient information. Whilst that maybe true, what we’re really searching for is greater certainty for the future because, as human beings, we like to know where we’re going, by what means and when we’re going to arrive. To put it simply, things are easier to bear if there is a brighter future to look forward to.

In chapter 8 of Paul’s letter to The Romans, probably written whilst he was in prison awaiting sentence and ultimately death, he made it very plain that, as Christians, we are never devoid of hope because we have a glorious future ahead of us. “All that we suffer at the present time is as nothing compared with the glorious future that God will reveal to us.”

And this is a hope that has helped to sustain Christians throughout the ages right up to the present time: through many times of trial, persecutions and sufferings. And it is just as true now in this period of lockdown and restriction. Currently, life is not as normal, but for us as Christians, life has not changed in any fundamental respect because we still have the hope of Heaven before us and nothing and no one can take that away.

Again, as St Paul said, we keep our eyes on the goal that lies before us: and that goal is the eternal life, peace, love and freedom of the children of God. It is this alone which is our destiny no matter what struggles we may face in this life.

And we share the same struggles as everyone else. He goes on to describe the world and creation as “groaning” like a woman about to bear a child. Now, thankfully, I’ve no first hand experience of what that feels like but I can imagine that when the baby is finally delivered and lying in its mother’s arms, it is a great relief for everyone but especially for the mother! They say, don’t they, that it one of the sharpest pains but the soonest forgotten because of the joy of holding that new life.

The whole world is groaning and thousands, throughout the world, would testify to that right now. Bereavement and loss: unemployment, homelessness and many other things that people are experiencing. Thousands will feel cheated and unfairly treated by life. And, as Christians, we are not exempt and we share in all of that: we may well feel the same way and that God has somehow deserted us: but let’s never forget the joy that will be ours when we are “born” into a new world and breathe the clean fresh air of Heaven.

I would be the last person to pretend that it’s easy and in fact I don’t find it easy myself: but it takes real courage to be happy in times of trial. Despair is easy: all too easy: don’t I know it: but to be hopeful in the face of adversity takes real guts: and we’re helped to do this by the vision that God puts before us of a new Heaven and a new earth where death is no more and where love, joy and peace are ours: for ever and ever: Amen.

LEAD US IN PRAYER

I SAY THE HYMN “IN HEAVENLY LOVE ABIDING” (During this time Meryl will play the tune to this hymn whilst I read out the words)

BLESSING & GRACE TOGETHER


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