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Worship Sheet for Sunday 4 October – Know your place

Another vineyard parable from Matt 21 – almost certainly an allegory of Israel (vineyard), tenants (leaders), who throw out the owner’s envoys (prophets) and then kill the owner’s son (Jesus). Forgetting that they are stewards answerable to the owner, the leaders act as though they could please themselves. Know your place is often a put down but not with God who acts in love and grace; our best place is serving his son Jesus.
Call: Lord, we often act as if we owned the place; the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Lord, we sometimes we can lord it over others; Lord you say: Whoever wishes to be great should serve; Lord, we tend to put ourselves first, yet our prime aim should be to glorify you.

Mini Service
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Pray Lord, self-interest is a strong motivator but it isn’t one that sits comfortably with your kingdom. Forget self and serve Jesus and others for his sake is your pattern for abundant living. You teach us that giving is better than receiving, that serving beats being served. Jesus, the Servant King, gave himself in love that we may be forgiven and enjoy eternal fellowship with you. Draw near to us both as individuals and as a congregation. In these troubled times remind us to remain open to your love and to others who need it. Forgive us our failings, including our self-interest and open our hearts and minds to Jesus’ priority of service and love. Deepen the bonds among us and give us the grace to expand our loving service to those who need it most. Help us not to be afraid of being accountable to you but to delight in your grace and mercy so much that we share it with others. Join us together in worship in church, at home, wherever we are, in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray together : Our Father…

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Matthew 21:33-46 The tenants in the vineyard forget that they are answerable to the owner.
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Thought Another vineyard parable – the tenants or stewards begin to act as though they owned the place. When the owner sent his servants along perhaps for the annual review, they were beaten up, when sent again they were killed. Finally, the owner’s son came but he was killed, the stewards thinking everything would be theirs. Almost certainly the parable is intended to suggest the vineyard was Israel, the tenants – the religious leadership; the servants sent in – the prophets and the Son, Jesus. Jesus ends asking the crowd what the owner will do? The overwhelming response is “kill them” and “hand the vineyard over to responsible tenants”. Grace and forgiveness are key to God’s dealings with us. We are accountable but we can look to his love and mercy too. But we are not kings of the castle to push down any dirty rascal who challenges us. We are not our own lord and master, but neither is God an ogre. At the heart of the gospel message is the love of God in Christ. Jesus gave his life to set us free to live life in fellowship with God and one another. That is not an imposition, indeed as we appreciate the grace and love of God it can become a joy and a privilege.” Know you place” is often a put down, but actually knowing our place before a loving and serving God is an honoured place worthy of celebration and thanksgiving.

Praise: CH4 374 From heaven you came (Servant King) v1,2 & 4.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray Heavenly Father, it’s easy to be detached and to point the finger at others whom, in biblical times or nowadays, we deem to be seriously at fault but we are not on the outside looking in, we are part of this world, part of the problem. Help us to play our part in making the world not just a better place, but a place in keeping with your love and grace, to encourage and support justice, peace and love toward neighbour, to acknowledge our responsibility towards others and to you. Remind us that your love is paramount and that you have shown you are worthy of trust not least in giving us Jesus. Support efforts toward justice and peace; continue to guide those in authority to serve rather than to lord it over people. Spur the efforts of those who seek a vaccine, who endeavour to care and support, who aim to stimulate the economy safely and give to each and every one of us the determination to love you and our neighbour. Bless this congregation at this turning point – as we seek to discover our place and purpose in your mission, beyond covid, keep us attentive to your leading. [As we begin a new cycle in our prayer walk we remember all who live and work in the High St and its closes]. 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.