Service – Sunday 9th August

Orchestral Suite No 1 in C major BWV 1066 by JS Bach played by German Brass
Click here to play the music

Call to worship
I come this day to worship You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Open my heart, to receive Your love,
my soul to receive Your Spirit
and my mind to know to Your truth.
For Your glory.
Amen

StF 51 – Hymn – Great is thy faithfulness
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Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been thou for ever wilt be:
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love:
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960)

Let us pray together
It is good to be here because God is here,
lovingly blessing us as we gather.
we come to you with loving praise.
It is good to be here because Christ is here
whenever two or three meet in his name.
We come to you with loving adoration.
We come to you with loving awe.

It is good to be here because the Spirit is here,
leading us into the only truth that really matters.
Inspire us beyond our expectations,
and enlarge our faith beyond our understanding.

God of grace, I praise You. I praise You for who You are: creator, faithful, rescuer, and holy. I praise that You even though I cannot be with others to worship You, I can feel that You are here in my heart.

I praise You, for all the blessings You have given me. For family, for friends, for a relationship with You. Help me not to take You for granted.

God of grace, as I worship You this morning, help me to be transformed by Your love, and in the power of Your Holy Spirit.
Amen

Confession
God is present to us, but we don’t always feel it.
God is good to us, but we can’t always accept it.
There are things that we think, things that we do,
that act to separate us from God.

God of all mercy:
I confess that sin grips me and
I cannot break free.
The sins in my mind, on my lips,
in my acts done or even ignored
Stand between me and you.

Grant me your renewing forgiveness.
Lead me on your paths of righteousness,
Amen

Assurance of Pardon
The God who gives, gives all.
The God who loves, loves all.
The God who forgives, forgives all.
Through Christ, our sins, of commission,
the sins we confessed with contrition, all are forgiven
Amen

Bible Reading
1 Kings 19 v 9 to 18

StF 20 – Hymn – Be Still
Click here to play the music sung by David J Evans (includes introduction)

Be still,
for the presence of the Lord,
the Holy One, is here;
come bow before him now
with reverence and fear:
in him no sin is found —
we stand on holy ground.
Be still,
for the presence of the Lord,
the Holy One, is here.

Be still,
for the glory of the Lord
is shining all around;
he burns with holy fire,
with splendour he is crowned:
how awesome is the sight —
our radiant King of light!
Be still,
for the glory of the Lord
is shining all around.

Be still,
for the power of the Lord
is moving in this place;
he comes to cleanse and heal,
to minister his grace:
no work too hard for him —
in faith receive from him.
Be still,
for the power of the Lord
is moving in this place.

David J. Evans (b. 1957)

Address
Click here to listen to the Address presented by Rev Mark Barrett

When the children were school age and at home in the holidays, if they were going out to friends to play and I was at home, as they went I would break out in song the words of Eric Carmen’s hit:

“All by myself, don’t wanna be
All by myself, anymore

All by myself, don’t wanna live
All by myself, anymore”

They were never impressed, but were ever expecting it.

Perhaps there were similar words that were in Elijah’s heart and mind.

Poor Elijah. You know the story. Under God’s direction, Elijah set a contest with the Baal Priests and false Prophets and of course God won. Then God told Elijah to kill all 450 prophets of Baal and Elijah did. When Elijah heard how angry Queen Jezebel was to have lost all her Priests, and she said she would kill Elijah, Elijah ran away. He ran and he ran and he ran until he was exhausted. Then he cried out to the Lord “And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

Elijah was not a tough man, nor a superhuman. He was a prophet. He had just gone through a lengthy ordeal of fruitlessly trying to speak the Word of the LORD to the people, and they refused to hear. Then he went through an awful but glorious contest where the Lord’s power was shown to all. But now Elijah hides in a cave, and cries out to God that he is finished, he wants to die.

He is tired, spiritually drained, afraid for his life, and alone. Or he thinks he is alone. The first thing God does is send an angel to comfort Elijah. The angel gently touched Elijah’s shoulder, and refreshed him with food and drink. Elijah was not alone.

The next thing that happened was the God spoke to Elijah. He told Elijah to listen, and there the LORD sent wind and rockslides and tumultuous earthquakes but He was not in the wind nor the rocks nor the tumult, He was in the still, small voice. Elijah was not alone.
God told Elijah that “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” Elijah was not alone.

God told Elijah to go to a certain town and find Elisha and anoint him as prophet to succeed Elijah. Just as Elijah was growing weariest, God gave him a sign, a companion to train up. He would have a helper. Elijah was not alone.

We must realise too that in this present circumstance and in the future work of the kingdom, the Lord is telling us today that we are not alone. He sends His Spirit to us. He sends His messengers, his angels to us. He sends encouragers to us. He sends His Word to us. We are not alone as Elijah had thought, but we belong to a body, the body of Christ, the fellowship of the faithful, the church. That body extends worldwide, and we are part of it. We are not alone, not one of us. As Wesley’s final words remind us ‘Best of all God is with us.”
Amen

MP 51 – Hymn – Be thou my vision
Click here to play the music sung live by Stuart Townend (includes introduction)

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art –
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be thou my battle-shield, my sword for the fight;
be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight;
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, the first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, after victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heavens’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O ruler of all.

Irish, 8th century
translated by Mary Elizabeth Byrne (1880-1931)
versified by Eleanor Henrietta Hull (1860-1935) (alt.)

Intercessions
We come to God with our prayers for other people.

We pray that you will increase our faith and embolden us to both pray and live by it.

Loving God, teach us to trust you and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

We pray for those far away neighbours who are in conflict:

Loving God, teach us to trust you and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

We pray for mistreated neighbours: suffering from extortion and injustice, political or religious oppression, cruel economic exploitation, or domestic tyranny.

Loving God, teach us to trust you and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

We pray for neglected neighbours: homeless, misjudged, persecuted, and hungry, or consigned to unremitting poverty, hard labour, and a short life span.

Loving God, teach us to trust you and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

We pray for near-at-hand neighbours: at work, in our street, in supermarkets, banks, schools, and hospitals; all who are in trouble and at their wits end.

Loving God, teach us to trust you and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

We pray for our bruised and weeping neighbours: those just made redundant, pained by broken relationships, those dealing with their own health matters or those of loved ones, or weeping hot tears at a grave side.

Loving God, teach us to trust you and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

We pray for the neighbours in our church: the weak and the strong, the shy and the outgoing, he leaders and the followers, the newcomers and the familiar faces, those bearing secret burdens and those buoyant with happiness.

Loving God, teach us to trust you and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

Through Christ Jesus, our Saviour.
Amen

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
and lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen

StF 418 – Hymn – We have a gospel to proclaim
Click here to play the music (includes introduction)

We have a gospel to proclaim,
good news for all throughout the earth;
the gospel of a Saviour’s name:
we sing his glory, tell his worth.

Tell of his birth at Bethlehem —
not in a royal house or hall,
but in a stable dark and dim,
the Word made flesh, a light for all.

Tell of his death at Calvary:
hated by those he came to save,
in lonely suffering on the cross,
for all he loved his life he gave.

Tell of that glorious Easter morn:
empty the tomb, for he was free.
He broke the power of death and hell
that we might share his victory.

Tell of his reign at God’s right hand,
by all creation glorified.
He sends his Spirit on his Church
to live for him, the Lamb who died.

Now we rejoice to name him King:
Jesus is Lord of all the earth.
This gospel-message we proclaim:
we sing his glory, tell his worth.

Edward Joseph Burns (b. 1938)

A prayer of blessing
As this time of worship ends, and I enter into the storms of life, and the uncertainties which may come, may I take heart that Jesus is present, and ever live for His holy name.

God’s peace: carry, keep and hold us.
God’s love: nourish, bless and enfold us.
God’s spirit: inspire, lift and mould us.
Amen

Suite Gothique, Op 25 II: Menuet gothique by Leon Boellmann
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