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Worship Sheet for Sunday 17 July                         Doer and listener    

Jesus spends time with Mary and Martha. There is some tension between the two sisters with Martha busying herself with the practical side of hospitality while Mary prioritises listening to their visitor. On the face of it, Jesus sides with Mary telling Martha that her sister has chosen what is needful but we ought to be wary of generalising. Time with Jesus was precious, but we mustn’t denigrate practical service – there is room for both/and.  
Call: Leave duty behind, come and sit, be still and listen for the word of God. Leave busyness, anxiety and worry at the door, enter this peaceful place, allow yourself to relax and prepare for worship. Let go and come to the quiet centre, here is a place and time to focus on God and to allow ourselves to hear God’s voice and ponder God’s word. Come and worship,
brothers and sisters.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Heavenly Father, you welcome us, whoever we are, whatever we bring. We who are weary, we who are joyful, we who are enthusiastic, we who are resentful, we who are bold, we who are timid, we who are all of these things in different times and seasons, you, Lord God, welcome us all. Forgive us when the welcome we have given others has been less than warm, when it’s been half-hearted or downright off-putting. May the measure we receive from you be the measure we pour out on others, an overflowing of love and acceptance, rooted in divine love. As we give of ourselves, may we know you replenishing our love, blessing us to be a blessing to others, today and every day. Accept us not for what we think we have going for us but out of love in Jesus your Son who taught us to pray Our Father:

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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Luke 10:38-42 Jesus meets Mary and Martha.
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Thought- It’s very common for us divide the world into two in lots of different ways – rich/poor, healthy/unwell, strong/weak but it’s rarely as simple as that. You might think that as Christians we’d be better at looking at the whole person and just loving them but often we don’t. Among ourselves we probably feel that we either have a bent towards the practical or a bent towards more “spiritual” pursuits like prayer or worship. It probably wouldn’t be hard for us to think “I’m more like Martha” or “I’m more like Mary”. And, we may make unfair assumptions about those whose preference is different to ours. Yes, Jesus nigh on tells Martha to stop worrying about the practicalities for a little while and to come and share time with him as Mary had done  but it would be wrong to use this as a peg that puts “time for God” above everything else, every day! Jesus’ time with them was limited and they needed to benefit from it before he headed back to the crowds and to Jerusalem and his death. All that we do for God is “spiritual” and we need the practical and “hands on” tasks attended to. I suspect that almost all of us will need to have a mix of the Mary and the Martha in our daily lives. So, please don’t become super spiritual or fall into the trap of denigrating the practical but neither imagine that time with God isn’t important for you – we all need time with our Lord and we all need to be open to the wide variety of tasks that he wants to equip us for, and to share in for his glory. So, no artificial pigeon holing – we’re each servants of God – let’s be eager to fulfil all that he is calling and equipping us to do for his glory’s sake – and if that means we’re a bit of a mix of Mary and Martha, that’s probably no bad thing.   

Praise: MP 3               Abba Father x 2.      
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Lord, there are many ways to serve you and many needs in our world. Show us your  unique calling on our life. Remind us that we do not need to be like others- you have created us as individuals, all with different gifts that, together, contribute to the beauty of your creation. May we celebrate diversity, recognising how that contributes to the richness of your world and of our experience in it. Celebrating difference, may we work in harmony one with another. God show us how we might best serve you in loving all that you have created. May we never be discouraged by all the need that we see but, rather, be encouraged all the more to give what we have, knowing that we can make a difference. And may we always work alongside and encourage others as, together, we begin to be the change that we want to see in the world, for love’s sake. Help us to balance our concerns, our prayers between the huge challenges facing the world as a whole and the not so newsworthy challenges faced by those much nearer home, whether known to us personally or not. In our prayer walk this week we pray for those who work in or use the facilities in Brent Ave and Forties Road.
SILENCE.
Merciful Lord, hear and answer all our prayers whether spoken out of not and use us to advance your kingdom of love, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.