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Worship Sheet for Sunday 22 May      A different kind of peace   

Peace I leave with you though not as the world gives. So said Jesus to his closest friends shortly before his death. Words that are often shared today. They are coupled with his promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Amid the troubles in our lives and in the world it can be hard to sense peace but Jesus offers a deep peace that can transform trouble – not necessarily removing it but giving us love and hope to cope.
Call: Come and see, Jesus is here, his peace flows in and through each one of us. Come and hear, the way to live, come and find peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Come and worship, Jesus is here. The Prince of Peace invites us all to come and see peace in action.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : God of creation, out of chaos, you created calm, shaped harmony from strife, brought order and balance and beauty and life. Each element, considered: the height of tree, the shape of leaf, each shade of green; the flight of geese, the style of wing, and beak. There is a pattern and a loveliness, a detailed eye behind the sum of your design. God of compassion, into our chaos, be our place of peace, shaping shambles into calm: bring order and balance and blessing and balm. For each lapse, forgive us: the heat of anger, the thoughtless word, each thoughtless deed; the need for power, the lack of grace... our greed. In you, we find mercy, and a kindliness, a heart inclined towards love of humankind. Accept us we pray and use us to further your purposes of love in our community and in the world for the sake of Jesus your Son, who taught us to pray together saying: Our Father...

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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John 14:23-29   Peace I give you.
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Thought- We usually think of peace as the absence of fighting and strife. Quite understandably, that will be uppermost in the minds of those who find themselves in a war zone. And yet, silence isn’t enough. It might indicate a brief respite from shelling but it need not signal peace. Even in a much more mundane setting – many a parent will be troubled if their children are TOO quiet – what mischief are they up to? And while we may hanker after some peace and quiet, most of us would soon weary of too much of it, for many of us thrive on community – on the company of family and friends, the blessing of shared activity and interaction. It is common nowadays for community work to encourage different age groups mixing. Nothing new really for churches, which for all that such activity has taken a hit during the covid restrictions, have always had a place for different age groups mixing. Perhaps we need to be more imaginative and confident that such a strategy is good. Jesus tries to sow seeds with his disciples – warns them that he will be leaving them, that they will need to take on more responsibility, while promising that he will be with them in a different way, a more spiritual way – that his Holy Spirit would fit them to continue his mission. Any loss tends to make us feel insecure. Imagine just how insecure Jesus’ disciples were as they learned of his impending death. Yet, Jesus reassured them (and us) of his continuing presence albeit in a different way. We need to learn to accept his peace, his presence in a spiritual way, opening ourselves to faith, to love and to hope. Without ignoring the troubles that come our way we need to all Jesus to set them in the context of his purposes. Peace doesn’t simply mean the absence of trouble – it might well mean trouble transformed by Jesus’ love and presence. Can we be open to Jesus’ peace that passes all understanding? is a great gift and an extremely effective tool that can help to extend his kingdom of love.

Praise: CH4 528         Make me a channel of your peace    
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Prepare us, God of love, that we might keep your Word, letting it flourish, rooted in our souls, expressed in our actions, and invite you to make a home in our lives today and tomorrow. God of peace, always present, within the decisions that face us day by day,  may you guide and direct us that we might choose wisely your Way and bear witness to the love of Christ. In all things, God of promise, when our souls quake and our weary hearts ache, may your Spirit hold us tightly, may your presence affirm our trust, and may your hope breathe new life. And on dark days, God of graceful wonder, may the light of your presence shine upon us and all your creation, removing fear and anxiety, trouble and doubt. And Lord, what we pray for ourselves we ask for all who need peace, respite from suffering, from oppression; for who need deep seated comfort from your love and the companionship and energising spiritual power of your Holy Spirit. We hold before you all in need of your loving touch – in the troubled areas of the globe including Ukraine and all who have been uprooted through violence; for those much nearer home in sorrow or strife; for guidance and wisdom in leadership in the country, the community and the churches; and in our prayer walk we remember this week those who live or work in Bailie Wilson Way and Paterson Place.
SILENCE
Lord, hear our prayers spoken and unspoken for the sake of our Saviour Jesus. Amen.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.