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Worship Sheet for Sunday 19 February    Self Assessment – humility and reality       

Paul uses the idea of treasure in clay pots to highlight that though we may not have a lot going for us in our own right, we are privileged to be used by God in all sorts of ways. It helps greatly if we have a proper assessment of ourselves – neither exaggerating our abilities nor running ourselves down. We look again at humility and reality.
Call: Come to worship the King of kings. Come, not blowing your own trumpet, not as though you were out to impress or thinking you were doing God a favour. Neither come running yourself down or making out you are no use to God and his kingdom. Instead, come as you are – the real you, with strengths and weaknesses. The clay pot into which God wants to place his treasure. Come, willing to worship and serve the Lord!

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Lord, to some singing a psalm is wonderful – especially if it links us with those of many  generations who have used the same words to tell out your praise. To others the form of words and the style is unfamiliar and strange. Lord, whatever our experience, whatever our preferences for style or music, help us to acknowledge that you are God, worthy of our praise, almighty yet loving, divine yet very much involved in our lives. God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our heavenly Father receive us – in all our diversity, with our different traits, emphases and inclinations; with our good points and our flaws, with our best intentions and unrealised potential but most of all receive us IN JESUS CHRIST your Son. Make us people who can work together, work with you, that we might both BE the people you mean us to be and DO what you have planned for us to do – all to bring the love and grace of the gospel of Jesus home to ordinary people here in Montrose and beyond. Praise waits for thee in Zion, Lord but it’s also here in this old building where people have been worshipping for ages, here where some of your 21st century people are gathered to praise to today; here in Montrose – out in the High Street when the service is over – in the library, the shops, the bus stops, on the golf courses and bowling greens, at Links Park, in the schools, and work places, coffee shops, hotels, our homes – wherever 2 or 3 are gathered together in your name. Lord God, of yesterday, today and tomorrow, our God, accept our praises, accept us your people, through Jesus Christ 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 Corinthians 4:3-12. Treasure in clay pots.
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Thought- It’s patently obvious that we have different tastes – in music, in dress, in hobbies and interests, yes in worship too. There’s a tendency for us to gravitate towards the people and places, the styles and settings which tie in with our preferences but actually the variety makes life more interesting. Bottom line, God has made us different, we’re each unique though he does want us to use that variety to further his kingdom of love. Paul writes about treasure in clay pots. Some people can be rather pushy and boastful – even when it comes to matters of faith – that’s not great – because it is God who has made us who we are and HE ought to be given the glory. On the other hand, many people run themselves down, sense that they have nothing going for them (esp faith) but God has given us all gifts. We need to be both humble and realistic. Not blowing our trumpet but neither running ourselves down. God has chosen to give us the wonderful gift of Jesus and faith – and wants to equip us to playu our part in his wonderful plan. We may be pretty ordinary on the outside but inside we have been given the gift of faith, the love of Jesus AND we need to recognise that and use God’s gift to advance his cause and bring glory to him.

Praise: CH4 44    Praise waits for thee in Zion, Lord     (Ps 65)
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Gracious God, thank you for your patience and perseverance, your readiness to go on reforming us. We pray for the advance of your kingdom – yes the world over but more particularly in our own land, in Angus and in our community, church and circle of family, friends and neighbours. We pray for all that we usually pray for – for peace and folk’s health and general well being, for justice and for love and compassion to be shown to all, especially the most vulnerable. We commit them all to your loving care and ask that you would work your purposes of love in them and for them. But while all these people, all these situations and set of circumstances fall within the scope of your kingdom we want to pray particularly for the “advance of your kingdom.” We pray for a greater readiness to acknowledge you in ordinary conversation, not to be embarrassed to bring the spiritual into ordinary talk, for us not to imagine that mentioning Jesus or God or prayer is “ramming religion down people’s throats.” We pray for a greater openness to talk about spiritual things, about Jesus – not only as a figure of respect or honour from the past but as our living Lord for today – who impinges upon our daily lives and who is pertinent and relevant for people here in Montrose in 2023 as much as in Galilee in the 1st century. We pray for people exploring the faith to have their eyes opened to Jesus and his love. We pray for faith to shape the people we are, the image we give to our neighbours, to change our attitude towards them and the community as a whole. We pray for love and grace to shape Montrose and make it a place where Jesus is respected, honoured even adored. A long way to go? Perhaps, but nothing is impossible with God. Help us to pray and work for the advance of your reign here and the world over. We do pray for those who are having it really tough just now – and in our prayer walk we remember those who live or work in Annat and Beacon Roads. SILENCE.  God of grace and power, accept us and the prayers we bring through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.