Sunday 29th March

Prepared by Alison Mullens.

Welcome & Notices

Opening Reflection & Prayer

Welcome to our worship today. As I write, the sun is pouring through the window and Spring is in full swing. We may not be having such good weather by the time we read this, but let’s take this opportunity to reflect on God’s good gifts in the beauty of His creation, and what we learn of God through them. Take a few moments to be thankful for specific things you’ve noticed.
– The warmth of the sun
– The beauty of the flowers and blossom
– The joy of birdsong
– The encouragement from seeing the first butterflies and bees

Southlake Water Garden

Let us worship God in prayer:

Heavenly Father, We thank you for the beauty of your Creation especially in Spring, We thank you for all it teaches us of your never failing goodness, love and faithfulness. Send your Spirit of hope into our hearts today and help us to worship You, and learn from You with trust and joy. Amen.

Song of Worship

I am reminded of the promise God gives us in Deut 31:8 ‘ The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry. ‘ What an awesome God we have!

Mission Possible

How did you get on with last weeks challenge? How many different signs of Spring have you seen on your walks this week: daffodils, blossom and buds on the trees? I saw my first butterfly!

Why don’t you use Slack to share how you’re getting on with this week’s challenges!

Act of Confession

In our changed situation we may find ourselves failing God and each other in ways that were not a problem before. Our anxieties and disappointments can make us less good tempered than usual, and although as a church we are in isolation, many of us are spending more time with our immediate families and that can cause us to upset each other from time to time.

Jesus taught us to forgive each other before we seek his forgiveness. So if you are with family members and need to take a few moments to do that now.

In isolation we can also be tempted to lose trust in our Loving Father, to forget all his goodness to us and to ‘pull up the drawbridge’ and concentrate on ourselves. So let us seek God’s forgiveness

Heavenly Father,
Forgive us for the ways in which we have failed you and others this week:
For failing to trust You;
For focussing on the negative rather than the positive;
For thinking and acting selfishly;
For hurting people through our thoughtless words and actions.
Have mercy on us, help us to trust You
and live our lives to your glory. Amen.

May the God of love bring us back to himself,
forgive us our sins, and assure us of his eternal love
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bible Readings

Genesis 1:20-23 (NIV)

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


Prayers of Intercession

By Margaret Lowe

As we come together to pray let us come with hope and assurance that God who created everything hears our prayer and that nothing is impossible with God.

Dear Lord and Father, we come to you with all our fears, apprehensions and concerns. It is very hard to stay fastened in our homes during this pandemic. Yes we have all the amazing technology that enables us to keep connected, but what we miss most is our cup of tea/coffee after church, the sound of people talking, laughing and being together. We are doing our best Lord to keep people connected and involved, but sometimes we miss the touch of someone’s hand, the hug of greeting or consolation. We are not ungrateful Lord, for what we have is amazing; but we are made to be together, we give and receive comfort in tangible ways and we miss that. Help us to be patient and sensible, to follow the rules, pray for each other, phone occasionally and remember that nothing lasts forever, that this will end and things will return to normal. Hopefully the world will have learned what is important and will begin to be a better place.

Most of all Lord help us to remember what you sacrificed for us, that you will never abandon us and that you understand peoples suffering. May we never lose sight of you, put our faith and trust in you and look forward to Easter and the resurrection, to the glory of Your name. Amen

We give you thanks Heavenly Father for all who are working so hard to keep the countries of the world functioning during this pandemic. For the governments, the health services and all who work in them, for the people who work to support all those who keep things running, for the people working to keep us fed, provide prescriptions, for teachers and volunteers. For our mission partners and the people they support and work with. Father we pray for them all that you will keep them and their families safe and at this time for Boris Johnson as he copes with the virus and the responsibility of government. Lord hear our prayer

We pray for families with young children, for older kids who can’t see their friends, older people who miss their families, families worried about loved ones that need support. Lord hear our prayer

Father as we listen to/watch the news we can easily get depressed, but everywhere there are lights of hope, people helping people, random acts of kindness. It is heart-warming, Lord bless those who bless others. Lord hear our prayer

Father we ask that you will provide for those who have nowhere to go to be safe, lift and encourage those who find isolation hard, guard and protect those dealing with the sick and dying. Be with the police and army as they enforce the new restrictions. Lord hear our prayer

Lastly Lord we lift before you those who are known to us who need your encouragement, healing, tender loving care and comfort. Spend some time here bringing your personal prayers before God.

Let us all say together the prayer our Saviour taught us:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen!

Song of Worship

Closing Prayer

To a troubled world, peace from Christ.
To a searching world, love from Christ.
To a waiting world, hope from Christ.

We are called and loved by God the Father
and kept safe by Jesus Christ.
Mercy, peace and love be ours in abundance,
from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Thank you for sharing worship with us today using these materials. Please switch to the St James’ Slack group now to discuss the sermon, pray, or just to catch up! More information about Slack is available through our mailing list – contact us to sign up.