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Worship Sheet for Sunday 14 March – Back to basics

A year on from our last unrestricted service in Church we turn to the verses around possibly the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, God so loved the world… We focus on the basics of God’s love for us and his gift of Jesus to be our Saviour. None of that has changed and remains true even in lockdown.
Call: Heavenly Father, remind us that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus. No lockdown, no virus, no external pressures. Your love prompted you to send your only Son to be our Saviour and you made it possible for us to believe and trust in him. Help us to draw near to you now and to rest in your love and hold firm to Jesus in faith. Let us make these basic truths of our faith real and true in 2021. Let us worship God.

Mini Service Video https://youtu.be/1UsT302JSxA
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Pray Lord, thank you that you are a faithful and ever loving God. Your plans and purposes for our good are forever being worked out afresh down through the generations, across every continent, country and community – your love for us is made new every morning, made relevant amidst the changing circumstances of life, not least over the past very difficult year that we have been living with the unprecedented scourge of the coronavirus and the impact it has had on our health, freedoms and daily lives. You are not remote and aloof – Jesus is still with us, working out his love and grace in our midst. Send your Holy Spirit upon us afresh that we may be more open to appreciate the wonders of your love and to share in his blessings and participate as we are able in furthering his mission of love and care to our neighbours and to the world. Forgive us our slowness to appreciate his loving purposes in our midst, our over concentration on our own difficulties when we could be more prayerful and more practically minded towards others. Sustain us as we go forward into a more hopeful period and keep us increasing close to your Son as well as to one another. Accept our worship and hear us as we pray together saying: Our Father…

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Read - click this link to see the text
John 3: 14-21. God’s love for the world and Jesus the Saviour.

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Thought
Many of us like our independence. It can begin as a toddler when, in spite of the difficulties of putting on our socks or shoes we say “Me do it!” And into old age we’re still inclined to want to do things for ourselves. However, we can’t save ourselves. (Many wish we could). We look at the famous passage from John 3. God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son that whoever believes (trusts) in him will be saved. We can’t put ourselves right with God but here we have a wonderful statement of the basics of God’s plan and the reason behind it. God’s love is the reason, salvation is the plan and Jesus is the solution. Amid all the pressures we are under and notwithstanding any amount of strategic plans denominations or congregations might have or our individual good intentions we have the assurance that what really matters is that God loves us and that the love which prompted Jesus to go to the cross for us is still with us, relevant for today. God’s love still makes it possible for us to trust his Son in the midst of the pressures we face in 2021 as the early Christians did centuries ago. Being independent we sometimes imagine that we need to sort things out ourselves. Not on the salvation front we can’t but thereafter God equips us by his Spirit so that we can share in sharing the good news in love and action. But the basics are where we being – God’s love, Jesus the Saviour, and our being encouraged to put our trust in him.


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Sermon Video https://youtu.be/cxDZYeZdQf4
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Praise Hymn CH4 396 And can it be v 1,3 & 5.

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Pray Lord, in a world where many people live bereft of human love and suffer all manner of deprivation and injustice – where hard experiences can make opening hearts to you and others very hard, work your miracle of grace in the lives of many that your love in Christ may be made known and shared in abundance. Work is us and all your people that by our prayers, words and deeds might contribute to the spread of Jesus’ love in tangible and effective ways. A year on we remember with compassion all those who have died not only with covid but within the restrictions and their loved ones who have had greater burdens to face; those whose lives have been turned upside down – may they all know your deep compassion. We give thanks for the many who have worked tirelessly to care and support others. In our prayer walk we remember those who live in Wm Phillips Drive and Wm Rodger Drive. SILENCE
Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Blessing May the Lord bless you. Amen.


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