Today’s service continues series on Acts. Our reading is taken from Acts 10: 23b – 48 the conversion of Cornelius. The service is designed to be used in conjunction with the order of service email earlier but also available to download here Order of service 21st June 2020
Watch the whole service on YouTube by following this link.
Call to worship
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.—Malachi 1:11.
I don’t know about you but one thing I miss is the song before our service starts. I miss that time of preparation, reflection, and prayer. So, I thought we’d have a song at this point to help clear our minds as we prepare to worship our risen saviour.
Heavenly Father, we praise your name knowing you are worthy of more prayers and praises than we could ever offer. Although our praises can never be enough, accept them in Jesus’ name. You have said that even if our sins are as red as crimson, you would make them as white as snow again. We are sinners who have gathered at your throne of mercy to enjoy fellowship with you. Bring us closer in unity to your love and grace help us to share your love and grace with those we meet. Let everything that we do today, and every day be done in your name. Amen
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen
If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. -1 John 2:1-2
If you would like to pause the service video at this point, go back to the order of service on the website and use the link there for our opening song, I will worship (worthy of my praise)
Acts 10: 23b to 48 (NET)
On the next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 24 The following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 So when Peter came in, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him. 26 But Peter helped him up, saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 27 Peter continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 28 He said to them, “You know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile, yet God has shown me that I should call no person defiled or ritually unclean. 29 Therefore when you sent for me, I came without any objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?” 30 Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, I was praying in my house, and suddenly a man in shining clothing stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity have been remembered before God. 32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, by the sea.’ 33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. So now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.”
34 Then Peter started speaking: “I now truly understand that God does not show favouritism in dealing with people, 35 but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all)— 37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to warn them that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 So he gave orders to have them baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days.
The Global Gospel – God does not show favouritism
Prayers of intercession
Lord we pray for those you have called to take your message out to others either locally or globally. Lord strengthen each one of us to be better at sharing your love and grace with others. We pray for those you have placed in oversight of the family of believers at this difficult time may they feel your closeness.
We pray for our leaders around the globe that ways can be found to recognise our connectedness. That ways can be found to share your bounty more fairly. Lord break down the barriers mankind erects to benefit the few at the expense of the many. Help us not to erect barriers between ourselves and those who are different to us or barriers between you and others who are different to us. We worship one God, let us be united as your one creation.
We lift before you those who strive to find a vaccine and a treatment for the coronavirus. Direct their studies and work so that mankind might be freed of the worry of this pandemic.
We pray for those who have ill health at this time, Lord place your healing hand upon them restore them to health and fellowship.
Lord we pray for all communities facing the uncertainty and worry of releasing the lockdown. Help each one of us to do the right thing. To have patience as the guidance changes, to have patience as we queue for shopping, to have patience with those we live with and with those we love. For parents uncertain about sending children back to school give them direction and the peace of mind in their decisions. For those going back to work and the uncertainty they face mixing with others perhaps for the first time in months.
Lord may we never lose sight of your promises, promises that you have plans to prosper us not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Lord into your hands we commit our future knowing we are safe in your hands and that nothing can snatch us away from you. 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.
If you would like to pause the service again and open our closing song, you can join in or if you prefer simply listen to it. Days of Elijah
Closing prayer and blessing
Lord God almighty, thank you for the time we have spent in your presence this morning. We have sung, prayed, and listened to your word. Lord, we don’t take these services for granted because of the pandemic and because we know that believers in some parts of the world that are being persecuted, discriminated against right now. We have had a wonderful time, and we want to thank you for filling our homes with joy and peace. As we close our service, we ask you, Lord, to walk with us everywhere we go, be ahead of us, above us, behind us and beside us. Help us to keep your word in our hearts that we may not sin against you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
In the name of Christ Amen
A couple of weeks ago I touched on the thought that some were feeling they had lost their way. While we may feel lost at times let us not forget Christ goes before us making the way for us; he is our Way Maker.