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Worship Sheet for Sunday 21 August         Set free  

Jesus brings about a transformation in the life of an unnamed woman who had suffered from a debilitating illness that had left her doubled up for 18 years. It had almost certainly impacted gravely on her life and left her poor, isolated and possibly discriminated against. She praises God for her freedom. Yet, others quibbled with Jesus. There is a place for rules – but Jesus puts priority for loving action that demonstrates the real truth of the gospel.
Call: He saw those who others ignored; he called those who were never invited; he raised those who were bent down; he honoured those who others belittled. As God drew near to us, in Jesus, so, now, we draw near to him. Let us worship God.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Heavenly Father, we gather as brothers and sisters, bound by our love for you and for the wonderful universe you have created. We meet here united as one, drawn here by our love for Jesus. We come to sing and share more of your story, we come to listen and learn more of your love, and to understand more of what we are called to do in this amazing world. Lord, we are created in your image, we each have a part to play in bringing the kingdom, here and now. We come humbly into your presence  aware of our faults and failings. We come and offer our apologies for all we have done or failed to do this past week. We ask your forgiveness and seek to turn back to you and choose to follow in your ways. Lord, we are well aware of the needs of the world, locally and globally. We know we have work to do to bring peace and justice and we’ll bring it for our brothers and sisters. Give us strength and courage to step out in your name. Help us take your love to all in need. We pray in the name of Jesus 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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Luke 13:10-17 Healing of the crippled woman.
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Thought- Discrimination is talked about more these days. It’s more likely to be noticed and called out than it was but that doesn’t mean it has gone away. Indeed, perhaps we are only scraping the surface and slowly being made aware that there are areas where we have unwittingly been discriminating against individuals and groups – as part of our cultural heritage – or simply lack of thought. It is striking that Jesus stepped outside the social norms of his day and bent over backwards to reach out to, spend time with and showing care and compassion to those who were on the margins of society. In today’s passage he heals a woman who had suffered with a crippling disease for 18 years – no doubt causing her pain but also likely stigma, isolation and poverty. Being healed she praises God. Jesus had set her free not only from her pain but freed her to reengage with others, perhaps to work and to be accepted. The leader of the synagogue was angry, believing that Jesus had “worked” on the sabbath but it is clear that he gave priority to loving action towards a person in need over the strictures of the law – and I gauge he saw what he had done as more fully giving God glory. There is a place for rules and regulations, even in the Church but we need to ensure that we are as concerned as Jesus to implement the signs of the kingdom and demonstrate in practical action the love he wants us to share. What aspects of freedom do we need to work at freeing people from in our day? Poverty, injustice, discrimination, oppression, violence, drugs, greed? What aspects of life do people need to be freed FOR? Love, joy, peace, forgiveness, new life? Probably much much more but let’s start somewhere and ask Jesus for help.

Praise: CH4 722         Spirit of God come dwell within me.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Lord of the Sabbath, we are glad to spend time with you today. We are grateful for church buildings where people can gather to worship you in safety and comfort, we thank you for people who have trained to lead us in worship and for technicians, musicians and choirs who enhance our time together. We remember people who do not have the luxury of a building where they can gather safely to worship. We remember congregations who meet in secret, those who meet online, those who meet in homes and coffee shops, prisons and bomb shelters. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Healing Lord, we are fortunate to have access to free healthcare and specialists in all areas of health and wellbeing. We are thankful for all who work in healthcare settings and give their time and talents to helping others. We remember people who struggle to access healthcare and do not have the money to pay for it. We pray for all those who are training to become healthcare providers or thinking about it as a career. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Merciful God, we cannot thank you enough for loving us as we are and always willing to forgive when we fail you. We give thanks for the people in our lives who treat us with mercy and forgive us when we fail them. We remember people who live under  abusive or unjust rulers and pray they may know your mercy. We pray for all who work to help people in these difficult situations, both volunteers and paid staff.  Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Lord, hear us, Lord, graciously hear us and give us patience to wait until you call us to speak or act in ways that build your kingdom here and now. May we be bold and courageous as we work for your kingdom to come and may we know your presence with us each moment, guiding us forward always. We commit to you those in need of your loving touch whether far or near and in our prayer walk this week we pray for South and Ferryden and to the south. SILENCE. Hear our prayers silent and spoken for Jesus’ sake Amen.  

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.