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Worship Sheet for Sunday 25 July David’s dark side
David’s moral decline accelerates – he takes Bathsheba, gets he pregnant and attempts to cover up by recalling her soldier husband and encouraging him to sleep with his wife. When that doesn’t work he sends him to the front line and orders his general to fall back and leave him to his fate – adultery, abuse of his power and conspiracy to murder. David’s fall is spectacular, but we need to watch out for ourselves.
Call: Lord, you alone hold true power. Many of us crave power but what good comes out of it when we see it wielded so thoughtlessly? Often its use is cruel and wrong, with vulnerable people hurt and the so- called ‘powerful’ craving more. Today, bring your soothing Spirit upon those who have been hurt, and bring assurance to those who are anxious. Speak to us words of wisdom, and direct our understanding that we might learn better how to live in community with each other, and close to your presence.
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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Lord, it grieves us to read this story of sin and intrigue in the Bible, especially from a trusted leader but similar stories are all too common in news reports of our own day. And perhaps we have become so accustomed to the sordid, abusive and violent that they wash over us. Help us not to be content that that is normal or acceptable, but help us not to claim the moral high ground as though we were spotless. For your word teaches us that we have all fallen short of your standards – none of us is perfect. Thank you for your wonderful gift of Jesus to be our Saviour. Instead of making out that we are a cut above, give us the grace to accept that we let you down and are in need of your forgiveness. Accept us in him, change us by his love and keep us close to your goodness and grace and use us to advance your kingdom of love. Hear our prayers and keep us in the love and presence of the Light of the world, 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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2 Samuel 11: 1-15 David’s dark side.
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Thought- Can you imagine what the tabloids would make of this if the story broke today about one of our heads of state or government? They would have a field day! It was a sordid and sorry tale. Playboy king stooping low even by his own standards. David abuses his power, takes beautiful Bathsheba (I don’t think she had much say in the matter) and attempts to manipulate things to cover up, finally to the extent of arranging to have his unit withdraw and leave him to his certain death on the front line. It is a stark reminder of the fallibility of us all, and particularly of those in authority. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Perhaps a reason that we are especially urged to pray for those in authority over us? But there is a further danger – it is all too easy to point the finger at those in the public eye who are shown to have failed, morally. The problem is that we tend to content ourselves that, while we have our own little lapse, wee failings, they are not as bad and we’re fine thank you. God doesn’t operate on pecking orders and relative goodness. His standard is perfection and we aren’t perfect. Instead of feeling a bit better because “We’re not as bad as ...” the Bible calls us to acknowledge that we have fallen short of his standards and turn to Jesus – whom God sent out of love to be our Saviour. There is a dark side to us all – it might not be as obvious as some people’s public lapses but the need for forgiveness is there. The answer is not comparing ourselves with other but going to Jesus and seeking his grace and help to live our lives in goodness and close to him – the Light of the world.

Praise: CH4 536 May the mind of Christ my Saviour (Tune St Leonard’s MP 463).
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: God of grace and mercy, while it is all too easy to point the finger at others we are rather good at shirking responsibility ourselves. We are dab hands at mitigation, remarkable at minimising the significance of our faults. While we continue to engage with those holding power and authority, those who have significant influence over our world, over us so as to effect change for the better – for our environment, for the oppressed, the abused like Bathsheba, those deceived and discarded like Uriah, help us to face up to our share of the world’s woes – including poverty, injustice, violence and abuse. Show us what integrity means and how we need to change to make it a reality. Remind us too that we can’t solve all the world’s ills by sheer effort but that our effort is required as we share in your love to bring your world back into line with your plans and purposes. We do pray for those “in charge” asking that integrity, righteousness, honesty and justice might once more be seen as an essential requirement for those in power and that humility and ability to admit they sometimes get things wrong might find a place too. We ask for us all that we may be given the grace to accept the love that you so generously offer us in your dear Son. In our prayer walk this week we pray for those who live or work in Mall Park Road. 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.