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Worship Sheet for Sunday 26 July – Short parables about the kingdom

We’re still in Matthew Chapter 13 with several very short snappy parables, snippets pointing to value and growth – in a life sense (not finance!). What really matters? We’ve been made to realise that people, health, REALLY matter and here is a reminder that God matters too.
Call: A tiny seed planted can grow to a mighty tree.
In small numbers we worship today, but as part of a mighty Church worldwide. A tiny bit of yeast can make the loaf rise. Tempted to feel small and alone,
we rise to worship, part of a greater whole.
Wondering at the worth of our presence and praise at home, we worship today offering what combined treasures we have.

Mini Service

Read or Print the Mini service by clicking on this link  
Listen to the Mini Service by clicking on the Sound bar below

Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray Lord, sometimes we need to stop and think, to reflect upon our lives, to take stock of what is important. These months living with the threat of the virus dominating every aspect of our lives has made us think. Our focus has had to shift and even while having to make all manner of adjustments to how we live we have been reminded that people matter more than possessions, that our health can’t be taken for granted, that being able to enjoy some simple freedoms are of real significance. Shine the light of your love into our hearts and minds that we may continue to focus on what really matters, to treat those close to us as valuable and to live lives that display our gratitude for their kindness and your deep love for us. Help us to make room for kingdom values too – that the grace gifts of love, joy, peace, kindness and all the rest may be more evident in our lives both as individuals and as a congregation. 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 31-33, 44-52 Parables of the Kingdom
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Read or Print the Sermon by clicking this link            
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Thought: Who would have thought a few months ago that we’d get excited about the freedom to get our haircut or for kids to hug their grandparents? For those who’ve been shielding the guidance is changing and will hopefully be relaxed again – think about it – the notion that you should stay at a distance from others in your household for 4 months! Unthinkable but true. Has it not made us think? Our friends and family, simple freedom of movement have always been precious, but they have taken on new significance – and hopefully that significance will remain as we come out of lockdown. A groom might talk about his bride as being a pearl of great price (and he’s not talking about her life insurance or income!) yet so much of our lives revolves around finance and possessions especially if you take into account worrying about not having enough. Jesus uses these mini parables to highlight the importance of kingdom values, traits that square with the kingdom of heaven, that are in step with God’s thinking. We say “the best things in life are free” and recent events have reinforced that view. And it is true in spiritual terms too – Jesus offers us the gifts of love, forgiveness and new life – for free. But do we value his gifts? Are we prepared to allow them to shape the way we live? Hopefully, we’ve relearned some important lessons and are more ready to seek out the “pearl of great price” in Jesus.

Praise: Seek ye first the kingdom of God CH4 641 esp v 1.
Read or Print Hymn CH4 641 by clicking this link
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray: Heavenly Father, when so many of the “big” decisions around the world are made on financial grounds help us to be true to the values of your kingdom of love. Help us to value people more than possessions and to seek your will above all. When our motives are misunderstood or mocked enable us to remain true to your lead and to encourage others to join us in standing firm for the truth. Help us to be sensitive to those who are hurting or undervalued. May our actions bear out our beliefs so that what we DO as well as what we SAY may help people to experience something of the kingdom of heaven, on earth. Watch over the sick and those caring for them, be near to our youngsters over the holidays, continue to be those who are working on treatments and a vaccine, and all those getting back to work amidst the restrictions. Be near not just to “big” people who seek to influence the life of the nation for good, but also the “little” people who seek to make a difference to individuals’ lives in ones and twos. Bless leaders in the churches as they plan the way forward. In our prayer walk we pray for those who live or work in Charlton Rd & Charleton Park. SILENCE
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.