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Worship Sheet for Sunday 5 September Less power, more love

We continue our look at the letter of James – along with a concern that we put our faith into action there is a warning about treating people with wealth and power specially. Ditch that says James – instead focus on real love to all – including the poor and those with little influence. Treat others with love as Jesus loves us.
Call: Brothers and sisters, equal in the eyes of God. Gathered here together in this time and space where all are equal, take your seat. Whether you are in your Sunday best or dressed down for the weekend (or even still in your pyjamas at home) know that your presence brings delight. Come as we worship together.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Loving God, what we believe about you is important. You don’t want us to ignore understanding you or giving you your proper place. Right belief is important. But it doesn’t stop there and you sent your Son into the world to live out the good news of your love, to show it to us, loving rich and poor, powerful and vulnerable just the same. Remind us that we are accepted freely in Jesus receive his forgiveness as a gift. Help us to treat others in the same way – regardless of what they have going for them – and to follow your lead so that our actions bear out our beliefs and demonstrate Jesus’ love to all. And as Jesus taught us we pray together saying Our Father…

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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James 2: 1-17 A warning against prejudice and a reminder to show love in action.
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Thought- Perhaps you don’t think of yourself as rich. But to many in the world anyone who has a roof over their head, clothes on their back, food to eat and clean water and who doesn’t live in fear is rich almost beyond their imagination. It is a challenge to us who have so much materially not to let it spoil our relationship with God and with our neighbour. In this chapter James does two things – he warns against treating people on the basis of their wealth or power. Jesus accepts not on the basis of our job or title, what we have in the bank, where we live or how much clout or influence we have – but simply on the basis of forgiveness and love in Jesus. And he wants us to apply that same openness and acceptance to others even if they don’t have a lot going for themselves humanly speaking. If Jesus accepts us freely, then that’s what we need to do for our neighbour. And the other lesson is a reminder to follow through what we believe, and implement it in practice. Faith isn’t only about what we believe in our heads, it’s to be shown in practice – and if it isn’t very apparent then we need to look to God for grace to change so that it is more obvious. Practical love and kindness are to be an outworking of what we believe – and God can even help us to do just that. Not as an optional extra but as a consequence of his love being at work. Jesus can’t conceive of anyone loving God and not loving their neighbour. So, treat others with love and respect and don’t be biased in favour of the rich and powerful; and love your neighbour practically and with love because that is part of loving God.

Praise: CH4 544 When I needed a neighbour were you there v 1,2, 4 & 6.
Read or Print Hymn CH4 544 by clicking this link
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Gracious God, thank you that you really do accept us not for anything we possess or think we have going for us but simply for Jesus’ sake, because of his love. Draw near to us now we pray and let that marvellous thought dawn on us. You love us not for what we have. And that means that we need to love others in a similar way. So help us now in our prayer time to remember those who don’t have much – the all too many in the world who live in poverty, who just don’t have food, clean water, shelter, clothes, education, health and opportunity – who all too often live in uncertainty and danger – with no influence and oppressed by the powerful. Help us to face up to our responsibilities as citizens of a rich country as well as people of faith. Help us to change how we live that others might live more freely. Don’t let us divide faith from action but to work at our faith so that it leads to tangible results in showing people your love in action. Perhaps we are compromised simply by becoming too accustomed to our position and relative prosperity but nothing is impossible for you Lord so work in our hearts and minds and make the changes that are necessary for us to play a useful part in your bringing in your kingdom of love. Continue your watch over the people of Afghanistan in all the challenges and change they face and remind us that even if we don’t have feet on the ground we have a responsibility to love, care and pray. Locally, we ask for your help in rising to the challenges of being your people here in Montrose. We can’t simply “go back to how things were” though we do long for aspects of worship that we’ve missed – we need to change to relate to how things are now and will be going forward so that the gospel is relevant for life with Covid – remind us though that love and kindness will always be relevant. In our prayer walk this week we pray for those who work at or use the Broomfield Ind Estate, Air Museum and playing fields.

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.