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Worship Sheet for Sunday 9 May Go and bear much fruit

Speaking to his friends shortly before his death Jesus encourages them to remain in his love, to stick with him in love, promising also to stick with them, to keep on loving them. And he goes on to suggest that that loving relationship should issue in them bearing fruit. Jesus’ love should prompt us to bear fruit that lasts.
Call: God of love, you are our creator, our redeemer, you command us to love you and all that you have created. We gather to offer you this time of worship, to renew our vow to love and to offer ourselves to you. Draw near to us Lord as we draw near to you.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Lord, we love you and deep down we want to love you more. Help us to see that that is your aim too – to see us loving you and one another for your sake. Yet, we are all too aware of the things that get in the way, not least our knack of putting our own selfish interests before others and the goals of your reign of love. Time and again, we learn of your forgiveness and grace, your promise of help to transform our lives so that we align with your deepseated love. Remind us that the road there is not won by our grit and determination but your generous love and grace. Help us to grasp that loving fellowship was won long ago on the cross, not by our determined efforts; it comes as we engage not in a list of goals or targets but in loving relationship with you and those who love you. Deepen our love for Jesus as we deepen our understanding of his love for us, a love that welcomes, embraces and transforms, equips for service and self-giving. In short, help us to remain in Jesus’ love and together in him produce much fruit, fruit that last, fruit for your kingdom of love. We further pray together saying: Our Father…

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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John 15:9 – 17 Remain in my love. Bear fruit that lasts.
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Thought- Continuing from the parable of the vines Jesus encourages his friends to remain in his love, to stick with him as he promised to be with them always. The cross was already casting a shadow across his life and his teaching. The elephant in the room was the disciples’ fear of being left alone as it became clear that Jesus’ death at the hands of the authorities was fast approaching. In one sense, it was a command to love him though in another sense it wasn’t – more an encouragement to continue in a loving relationship with him, whatever challenges lay ahead. Not a list of do’s and don’ts, rules and regulations, not strident efforts on their part but a call to embrace the love he was offering freely, to engage in a lifetime of loving relationship with him – the price was his, his death. And so it is for us, a call to love Jesus and be loved, to share that relationship not only with him but with all those who love and trust him. The opportunity to live in fellowship with Jesus throughout life, beyond life. Life that is in step with Jesus’ love, geared towards a world which desperately needs his love. To be enjoyed yes, but not selfishly, not clinging to it as a possession, but sharing his love as an experience, and it growing as fruit is borne, as others benefit from Jesus’ love. Human beings are apt to mark successes in life, many of which are very transitory – Jesus is interested in fruit that lasts, for ever! We are called to share in Jesus’ love and to share it so that the fruits of his kingdom of love grow and multiply for others’ benefit, ultimately for his glory! Remain in my love. Bear fruit that lasts.

Praise: CH4 559 There is a Redeemer.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Lord, in face of so many huge challenges in the world (and by no means just covid) we can appear helpless to change things for the better – climate, poverty, race, violence and injustices on many fronts. And yet, we believe that you still love your world and its people, and that our commission to be stewards of the world has never been rescinded. Grant us vision, grant us grace to trust that abiding in you it is possible for us to play a significant part in restoring the world and its people to a pattern of living that is pleasing to you – that puts people before things, before money; that has justice and integrity at its heart, where hunger, homelessness and oppression are NOT givens, but where peace, safe homes, food and water, education, health care and employment prospects ARE! As we look around and begin to contemplate what life might be like for us in a world where covid is being pushed back, help us to think globally as well as locally – to appreciate the additional responsibilities richer countries have towards poorer ones not only in healthcare but in many other aspects of life -being prepared to ask the question “Is it fair?” more than declare “It is mine!” Continue to be near to those near as well as far who are weighed down and under pressure. Be with those who are seeking to restore all manner of services that have been hard hit over the past year. In our prayer walk we pray for those who live or work in Carnegie Street and Carnegie Court. SILENCE

Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.