Today’s communion service continues a series entitled Hope in despair and is a study of Lamentations. This week we look at Lamentations 3 and the service is called “A steadfast love”.
The service is designed to be used in conjunction with the order of service emailed earlier but which is also available to download here: 21. HOPE IN DESPAIR (3) Steadfast love – Lamentations 3 (26.07.2020)
The service is available on YouTube here
Song of preparation
Call to worship
The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. (Exodus 34: 6)
Opening prayer and confession
We have come together in the name of Christ, to offer our praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God, who knows our needs, hears our cries, feels our pain, and heals our wounds.
Come let us return to the Lord and say:
Lord our God, in our sin we have avoided your call. Our love for you is like the dew that goes early away. Have mercy on us; deliver us from judgement; bind up our wounds and revive us; in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
God is slow to anger and full of compassion. He forgives all who humbly repent and trust in his Son as Saviour and Lord. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Reading: Lamentation 3: 19 – 26 (NRSV)
19 The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! 20 My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. 21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26 It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflection by Mike Gibbs
HOPE IN DESPAIR (3) Steadfast love
Prayers of Intercession
At a time of turmoil in the world when decisions being made are a matter of life or death. We pray that you will be there when decisions are being made and that your voice will be heard above the egos and self interest of those in power and authority. Lord help us never forget the powerless the weak in society help us to protect the innocent.
God said to them, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed, you shall have them for food. And to everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ Lord, we thank you for the food that you have provided us with. We ask that you help farmers and local shops to continue thriving through these difficult times.
Lord we lift before you those who are ill or unwell in mind body of spirit. May they know your healing power in their lives, shower your love upon them and strengthen us to care for those who are in need, sick, anxious or unhappy.
Lord, we thank you for creating us, and giving us our families, friends and for calling us to your followers. We ask that you help us with our relationships, help us make our strong ones stronger, our broken ones healed and to nurture our new ones so that they continue to grow in faith. Help us to use our anger only slowly and against injustice and the things that anger you and not toward one another.
Lord, we thank you for bringing light to the dark times in our lives. We ask that you look over the people we know who are in need of your comforting presence at the moment.
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 before communion
When we share the cup of the Lord and break bread together, we express our common participation in the benefits of Jesus’ death for us. So we should examine ourselves before we eat the bread and drink the cup, confessing our sins to God, acknowledging the need to care for one another, and renewing our trust in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. As we prepare to gather around the Lords table let us take a few moments of silence to clear our hearts and our minds and remember why we do this.
We come to this table not because we must, but because we may. We come not because we are strong, but because we are weak. We come not because we have perfect faith, but because we have questions and even doubts. But we come nonetheless because Jesus invites us to come and we will never be turned away.
The apostle Paul tells us of the institution of the Lord’s Supper:
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:
The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’
In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11: 23–26)
The Body of Christ broken for you.
The Blood of Christ shed for you.
Prayer after Communion
Gracious God, we praise you for what you have given and for what you have promised us here. You have made us one with all your people in heaven and on earth. You have fed us with the bread of life and renewed us for your service. Now we give ourselves to you; and ask that our daily living may be part of the life of your kingdom, and that our love may be your love reaching out into the life of the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Closing prayer and blessing
The love of the Lord Jesus draw you to himself; the power of the Lord Jesus strengthen you in his service; the joy of the Lord Jesus fill your hearts; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.