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Worship Sheet for Sunday 29 May                         Vision and reality   

Jesus makes a plea that his followers are united in love similar to the unity of love that he enjoys with his heavenly Father. That makes possible living our lives as God intends, but it also enables others to see and experience that love for themselves. Our unity in love isn’t just good for ourselves, it can be real help to others – it is missional! These words were shared almost as Jesus’ parting message so they are important.
Call: Come and see, Jesus is here, come and worship God, made known to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Come and worship, the three in one who is in us and around us. The great mystery who loves us. Come and worship the living God.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : God of love, Father of our Lord Jesus, draw near to us afresh as we still our hearts before you. Renew our faith and stir our souls not just to hear of our love but to experience it and share it. It is daunting to hear that Jesus prayed for his friends, his followers that they might be one even as you and he are one in love. Help us to take in the fact that this includes us – he was praying for us too, We are part of his prayer and his plan. Sometimes we underestimate the significance of our being joined in love. Remind us just how important it is for your plan and purpose. You really do want us to be united to you and Jesus in love, to be united to one another in love in a similar way – so that we may experience life as you mean us to live it, and so that we might be effective in showing your love to others in a way they might take it in. Forgive us when we sit light to our responsibilities, when we don’t think enough about what pleases you, what might contribute to letting others see Jesus more clearly. Enliven our spirits that we may live more Christlike lives, shedding a little more light and heavenly love upon our dark and needy world. Excite us with the glory of your love that by your grace we might enjoy it, thrive on it and live to share it for the sake of Jesus who gave us all to give it to us and who taught us to pray saying Our Father..

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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John 17:20-26 Jesus’ prayer for his followers.              
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Thought- Parting words, especially from those we love, tend to be poignant and somewhat private but they also tend to focus on what really matters. There might be one or two practical matters shared such as the whereabouts of the will or the password for the banking app, but usually they are much more personal – “I love you!” “Thanks for all the good times we’ve enjoyed together” or similar. Jesus also used his final words to his disciples to share what really mattered to him. It centred around a prayer that his followers might experience the same kind of loving bond as he enjoyed with his heavenly Father. By extension, he prays that WE might have that unity of love with him and with one another. Quite something! And he meant it, he wasn’t going to waste his breath on a formality – he really meant it. Yes, there is a heavenly hope in there, but our vision of this kind of unity of love with God and with one another is for now too. It is supposed to encourage us to live out a life of love NOW that would be pleasing to God and which would convey his love to others and be of help to them in coming to believe in Jesus and share in his love too. If you are in any doubt that God answers prayer then surely we can be certain that he would answer this one – the heartfelt prayer, the last words of his dearly beloved son about to die on the cross for our salvation, in obedience to his heavenly Father. Jesus prays that we would be one in love just as he and his Father are one in love that others might be believe in him. Are we willing to cooperate with God in seeing Jesus’ prayer being answered and much love being shared?

Praise:   CH4 577       Christ be beside me.     
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Lord Jesus,  you who intercede on our behalf, we bring your our prayers, in a spirit of solidarity with you and with your purpose. We pray for our world, with so much diversity and difference, from desert sands to arctic glaciers life finds a way, and within that creativity we are charged with a special responsibility. When we fail to live in to that responsibility, putting the profits and convenience before our need to care for the planet, for convenience above the health and wellbeing of life itself, putting our own comfort above the futures of our children and grandchildren, we pray that we might  do better; give us an understanding of how the world works, and how it might work better, and seeking a unity of purpose that seeks to do no harm. We pray for our community, and for the stresses and worries that are a part of any society, that the compromises our politicians make are ones that bring good particularly to those who have little, and whose stresses and worries are greatest. We give thanks for all those who work to make our communities more compassionate and welcoming, from foodbanks to support for asylum seekers, but we also pray for a time when such work is no longer needed, and people can live without fear or need. We pray for our church, in a time of great chance and reform, that wise leaders would guide us and where your story of grace and love will not be lost amidst the slogans. In our prayer walk this week we remember those who live or work in Whitson Way and Silver Way and we pray for ourselves, that you would hear our own prayers, for people and situations known to us. SILENCE. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for hearing our prayers. Amen.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.