Today’s service continues a  series entitled Hope in despair and is a study of Lamentations. This week we look at Lamentations 2 and the service is called “A righteous anger”.

The service is designed to be used in conjunction with the order of service emailed earlier but which is also available to download here:

20 HOPE IN DESPAIR (2) A righteous anger – Lamentations 2 (19.07.2020)

Watch the whole service on YouTube by following this link.

Song of preparation  Praise You in this Storm

Call to worship

‘Lord, I have heard the news about you. I am amazed, Lord, at the powerful things you did in the past. Now I pray that you will do great things in our time.   Please make these things happen in our own days. In your anger, remember to show mercy to us […] but I will still be glad in the Lord and rejoice in God my Saviour.’ (Habakkuk 3: 2, 18 ERV).

Opening prayer and confession

Heavenly Father, we lower our heads before you and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if there was no God and we fall short of being a credible witness to you. For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may witness to you in our world. Remind us to be who you would have us to be, regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Hold us to you and build our relationship with you and with those you have given us on earth.

Have mercy on us, O God, in your constant love; in the fullness of your mercy blot out our offences. Wash away all our guilt, and cleanse us from our sin. Forgive our nation for turning its back on you and your ways. 

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Therefore to all who truly repent this is his gracious word: ‘Your sins are forgiven.’

Amen.  Thanks be to God.

Song: Kingdom Come

Reading: Lamentation 2: 3, 5, 11, 14

3 In fierce anger he destroyed the whole army of Israel. He withdrew his right hand as the enemy attacked. He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob; it consumed everything around it.

5 The Lord, like an enemy, destroyed Israel. He destroyed all her palaces; he ruined her fortified cities. He made everyone in Daughter Judah mourn and lament.

11 My eyes are worn out from weeping; my stomach is in knots. My heart is poured out on the ground due to the destruction of my helpless people; children and infants faint in the town squares.

14 Your prophets saw visions for you that were worthless whitewash. They failed to expose your sin so as to restore your fortunes. They saw oracles for you that were worthless lies.

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Reflection: HOPE IN DESPAIR (2)   A Righteous Anger

Song: Great is the Darkness

Prayers of Intercession

Scripture tells us that creation groans with labour pains, waiting for healing and redemption—and the Spirit groans alongside us. We do not know how to pray; there are not words to express all that we feel. And yet, we hold on to the promise that God is with us, and we bring all that we are and the people that we love before God. In the words of Julian of Norwich, ‘All will be well, and all will be well, all manner of things will be well.’

Let us pray

Loving God, we gather in worship, offering our praise, yet also acknowledging there is pain in our midst. In whatever situation we may find ourselves, you graciously welcome us into your presence. Held in your Spirit, we can admit that it is not always easy to pray. While we yearn to trust in your promise, we have experienced the reality of lies, deceit, and dishonesty. Some of us have been left wounded by the words and actions of others, so much so that our voices fall silent.

For those who, for whatever reason, cannot join in our prayers today, we pray on their behalf. Sometimes all we can do is cling desperately to these words as life around us changes. We pray for those among us who are in transition, those who are mourning losses, those who are sick, and those experiencing the turbulence of the seasons of life.

Our hearts are heavy with the pain of those among our church family who are hurting; and we weep for those who may have contributed to the hurt. We are confused, we are angry, we are sad. Sometimes, in these circumstances, we don’t know how to pray. And so we bring our sisters and brothers to you. May this community be a place of safety for them and for all seeking refuge. May we find comfort and rest in your word.

In all manner of things, when praise resounds from our lips, when pain silences our souls, and all moments in between, your love endures and sustains. Give us the faith to trust in your love and hope in your Word that all will be well ...

All these things we pray in the name of Jesus, the one who suffered for our sake. Amen.  

The Lord’s Prayer
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 for ever. Amen.

Song: Abide with Me

Closing prayer and blessing

Lord God, we rejoice in your greatness and power, your gentleness and love, your mercy and justice. Enable us by your Spirit to honour you in our thoughts, words and actions, and to serve you, and each other,  in every aspect of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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;  all those we love, all those we care for, and all those we pray for; now and ever more. Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ, Amen.