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Worship Sheet for Sunday 15 November – Active waiting

The parable of the talents is not about invidious comparisons with others about how talented we are, far less is it about promoting unrestrained capitalism. It is about recognising the inherent worth of each of us and putting the grace gifts from God we’ve each received to best use for him. We’ve to use our gifts, our time, our lives not twiddling our thumbs waiting for heaven, but actively using them for God and his glory.
Call: Lord, we can take pride in our achievements; yet pride can come before a fall; Lord you have given us all gifts, attitudes and opportunities, help us to see these as opportunities to serve you and our neighbour; Lord, help us not to hold on too tightly to these gifts but to share them and use them to further your kingdom of love.

Mini Service
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Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray: Lord, you are a generous and bountiful God – any sense of you being mean or grudging is totally false. Help us to recognise your generosity in the graces, talents and attitudes of love found in others as well as ourselves; to stop creating pecking orders but rather to welcome and encourage everyone to use their gifts and talents, their lives to share in building a kingdom of love here on earth, even in our own local community. Forgive us where we have fallen short of your intentions, focussed only on selfish ends. Renew us and give us fresh vision and impetus to be more active in advancing your plans and purposes, less content with simply holding on to what we have. Stir our hearts to enjoy sharing in mission, to long to engage in service - in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray together saying: Our Father…

Read or print the Passage for the week by clicking this link:
Matthew 25:14-30. Parable of the Talents – an active waiting – loving and serving.
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Thought: The parable is not designed to make us feel bad because we don’t think we have any talent or to encourage invidious comparisons – Jesus values all of us and talents (of which there are many, some almost unseen and not always valued) are his gifts to us. They are ours as stewards not owners, to be used, developed and shared so as to advance his kingdom of love. They aren’t be used for selfish ends and we must remember that we are accountable to God for their best use. We can be put off by talk of the end of the world, made to fear – but God is not harsh, demanding or cruel like the landowner in the parable. He loves us dearly and gave us his Son to be our Saviour. Our earthly life is the time and place for utilising our gifts for good, to love and to serve and to bring glory to God. If it is a waiting time for heaven – it is active waiting, a time not for twiddling thumbs but for loving service. Don’t run yourself down – God has given you talents, made you you so that you might love and serve for his sake. Use what he has given you, what he has made you for his glory.

Praise: CH4 502 Take my life and let it be to tune CH3 462 (Lubeck) v 1,4 & 5
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray: Heavenly Father, why is it that we tend to focus on what we haven’t got rather than appreciating the benefits that are already ours? Why is it that we fail to content ourselves with who we are and compare ourselves with others? Teach us gracious heavenly Father that you have made us each unique, endowed with the qualities and attributes we need to play our part in your grand scheme of things. Your Spirit of love is available to make Jesus real to us and to assist us to further your cause. We pray for the world – for its diverse peoples whom you love. Give us more of a sense of our common heritage in your Son, more of a commitment to justice and peace, a readiness to serve rather than to rule, to right wrongs, to fix what is broken and to sort what isn’t working – not by our own cleverness or ingenuity but by your power of love. Help us to develop a more affirming and accepting ethos where no one is looked down upon or made to feel inferior – but instead encouraged and assisted to fulfil their full potential. Continue to be with those seeking a vaccine to the coronavirus, sustain those caring for the sick and vulnerable; give wisdom and patience to those in leadership – but may they remember their obligations to you and to all their people. We pray a particular blessing for those who live on their own and who may not have been among people so much – may they know your peace and upholding power. In our prayer walk this week we remember those who live in Baltic Street.
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.