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Worship Sheet for Sunday 19 July – Goodies and Baddies

The parable of the weeds in Matthew Chapter 13 is behind our theme today – Goodies and Baddies. It is an uncomfortable truth that there is good and bad in all of us. We have cause neither to despair nor to self congratulate. The good news is that Jesus is prepared to work with us and share his goodness with us.

Call: Church buildings, sacred spaces, gather us together. Together (in isolation) we gather as one, though physically apart. God be with us in our houses and homes, just as God is with us in our churches and cathedrals. Come. Let us worship as God’s scattered community. As the farmer scatters the seed may the fruits of the Spirit be plentiful among us, wherever we may be.
Mini Service
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Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray: Lord, at times we say and do things we shouldn’t. We’ve sometimes wondered “Am I good enough?” And of course the answer is “No, I am not!” But thankfully you are ready to accept us and forgive us in Jesus, equip us by your Spirit and use us in your service. It’s all about grace. Help us to hold on to that gift and to remember that we must not apply different standards to others. We can’t point the finger. We can’t write off another because we think they are a “baddie”. As Jesus has loved us so we must love one another. Give us the grace to be open and accepting of others, even those who are quite different from us. Remind us that we have no preserve on your goodness and grace. Make us a more accepting community, a community earthed in love, forgiveness and grace. We ask these things for the sake of Jesus your Son who taught us to pray together saying: Our Father…. Amen.

Read or print the Passage for the week by clicking this link:
Matthew 13 verses 24-30 The Parable of the Weeds
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Read or Print the Sermon by clicking this link            
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Thought: My Dad was a great fan of old Westerns. Life was simple then – apart from the odd exception it was easy to tell the “goodies” from the “baddies” – the former wore white hats, the latter black hats. And after a rough time the goodie won the day (and often the girl) and the baddie would be carted off to jail. Simples. We all know that real life is not always like that. And in this life, evil sometimes appears to triumph. In the end, we all have to answer to God but for now we live in a mixed up world where good and bad are not clear cut. Not only is there good and bad in the world, there is good and bad in each of us, which gives us no room to boast. But neither should it cause us to despair. Jesus accepts us as we are, warts and all and love us enough to forgive us and work in us to transform us gradually into his likeness. That’s a huge comfort for it means we don’t have to PROVE ourselves worthy, though it also means we can’t expect others to either. We need to be more accepting of others, ready to believe that God can change them, and less condemning of ourselves, recognising that we too are works in progress and that we all have a future if we hold fast to Jesus. Life may be more complicated than old westerns but the gospel is simple – Jesus loves us all and is willing to forgive all who come to him.

Praise: The Church is wherever God’s people CH4 522 esp v 1 & 3.

Read or Print Hymn CH4 522 by clicking this link
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray: Heavenly Father, at times we wish the world was a simpler place where good and bad were easily discernible, where things were clear cut, and if truth be told we were on the side of right. But your Son came into a broken and mixed up world where it isn’t always easy to see what is good – for even in what is superficially good there are dubious motives, and even among what is, on the face of it, bad we can see glimpses of grace. You call us to live in this broken world, with all too much injustice, poverty and violence; you call us to work on the margins, where difficult decisions need to be made but where you are to be found rubbing shoulders with all manner of people in need, including us with our needs. Help us to believe the gospel’s power to change, to transform individuals and communities so that we may be a power for good. Hear our prayers for all in need. We pray on for the sick and those caring for them, for those who feel that they have been forgotten about; for ongoing decisions about coming out of the restrictions and how we cope with the many changes we will have to face. Bless those close to us, those who have kept faith with us through thick and thin and give us the strength we need to be the same for others. In our prayer walk we remember all who work or use facilities in Brent Avenue and Forties Road.
Lord hear our prayers silent and spoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen Blessing May the Lord bless you. Amen.