Worship Sheet for Sunday 28 June – Welcome

Today we are thinking about welcome with a very short passage from Matthew Chapter 10 as the background to our theme. There is a connection between the welcome we give and receive and a welcome to Jesus. We may think of ourselves as welcoming but almost certainly we could be more open.
Call : Some of us are hurting, some of us are smarting.
All are welcome in this place.
Some of us are very young, some of us are getting old. All are welcome in this place.
Some of us have hearts of gladness, some of us are filled with grief. All are welcome in this place.
The strong and the weak, the faithful and doubter, the saint and sinner, the regular and visitor.
All are welcome in this place.

Mini Service       https://youtu.be/5uC2GjfIvw8
Listen to the Mini Service by clicking on the Sound bar below
Read or Print the Mini service by clicking on this link

Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray: Lord, thank you that you welcome us with open arms. We don’t have to grovel or jump through hoops, we don’t have to prove ourselves worthy. We couldn’t anyway. You accept us as we are with all our faults and failings and in love you are ready to forgive us and come among us, ready to live your life in us by your Spirit, so that we may think and speak and act for you, your agents in this needy world. Grant us the grace to welcome you without reservation, to welcome the transformation you come to bring that we might be fitted for your service ready to welcome and accept others in your love for your love’s sake. Hear us as we pray together your special prayer: Our Father…. Amen.

Read or print the Passage for the week by clicking this link:
Matthew Chapter 10 verses 40-42. Welcoming for Jesus.
Listen to the passage by clicking on the Sound bar below
Sermon                https://youtu.be/9tVgvdQoaFQ
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Read or Print the Sermon by clicking this link

Thought: Most of us like to think of ourselves as welcoming and most congregations I know do too. A long time ago a church I knew was looking for a new minister but before they went looking the Presbytery held a meeting. People who didn’t normally come were invited and were asked for comments. One person said “The congregation isn’t very welcoming”. One of the stalwarts retorted “We ARE welcoming!” and to be fair she worked hard at it. The Presbytery person said “You may think of yourselves as welcoming but if some people don’t sense it, maybe there is some work to do”. There’s always work to do! But the passage takes welcome to a new level. Those who welcome people engaged in service for Jesus welcome him. And if we are to welcome others as though they were Jesus. That probably suggests that we all need to up our game. But it shouldn’t be gritting our teeth or a bind. If we genuinely see our efforts at welcoming as being our participation in a ministry of welcome to JESUS then it is likely to be blessing not a bind. We won’t be perfect at it, nor will we get a perfect response but things will take on a new complexion if Jesus is given his place in our efforts at welcome. And we don’t need to wait until we are all up and running again in the building – website, youtube and social media, as well as our kindness in word and action are all part of welcome.

Praise: Let us build a house….all are welcome. CH4 198 esp v 1 & 4.
Listen to the Hymn by Clicking the Sound Bar below
Read or Print Hymn CH4 198 by clicking this link
Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for constant love for the world. You continue reach out to us in spite of our waywardness, and you invite us to come to your Son, to be accepted as your children in him, and to share in reaching out to one and all in his name. The world is not as you would have it be, there is division, injustice, poverty and far too many people shunned and ignored rather than being welcomed. Work in us by your Spirit that we may not merely welcome people into a service or building or even our homes but that we might live as welcoming people, demonstrating in our thinking, speaking and doing, that openness and welcome, that care and consideration towards everyone that so characterised your Son’s ministry. Given that things are not as you want them to be, that WE are not how you want us, give us the grace we need to be open to the changes, to the transformation you seek in us your people, so that we may share in establishing a world that is much closer to your heavenly template, that your will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. Continue to watch over us, and esp the sick and those working hard to deal with the virus. In our prayer walk rather than a street we remember all the children on holiday, those working to prepare for next session and the pressures on families with continuing restrictions.
SILENCE
Lord receive us and the people for whom we pray. Help us to trust you to lead us all in the paths ahead, touch all with your blessing for Jesus’ sake.
Blessing: May the Lord bless you. Amen.