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Worship Sheet for Sunday 8 January  
Future unknown?     

Much as though we would like to know what the future holds – we simply can’t be aware of the detail. There is much that is simply unknown. Almost always there is change and life just now is full of big changes – for the church too. But we are assured that God has his plans for us and they are for good. We go into the future secure in the knowledge that the Spirit of God goes with us – that ought to fill us with confidence.
Call: May we hold fast to the Lord who walks with us, may we go into the future knowing the abiding love of the Saviour, may we face up to challenges and change embraced and encouraged by the Spirit of God into a future of faith and purpose. Let us worship God.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Heavenly Father, we worship you as the God who governs and controls all that happens in our world and far beyond – we rejoice that you, Lord are sovereign – and you also care – you reign with love and justice, with compassion and grace. You love us as individuals and communities – you are ready to draw alongside each of us to make known your love and grace and to draw us to respond in heartfelt worship and service. Gracious and loving Heavenly Father we worship and praise you! Forgive us we pray for letting you down, for pushing you away or ignoring you. We are rather good at doing things our own way, messing up and hurting you and others in the process. Forgive us and help us by your Holy Spirit to get our priorities right, to follow your lead and to live as befits children of God. Make us more like Jesus – ready to please you, to love others and to point them to you – by our words and with our lives. Hear us as together with the Lord Jesus we pray  saying Our Father:

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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Acts 19:1-7.   Questions about the Spirit.  
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Thought- There are many unknowns in life – for Christians as well as for everyone else. We prefer answers rather than questions. At this time of year many will be wondering what 2023 will hold for them. Possibly last year didn’t turn out as expected or as we’d have liked. Certainly there were many setbacks – the war in Ukraine (devastating there) had big implications and the cost of living has increased significantly – food and energy costs especially across the globe. The NHS is under huge pressure and we can’t just blame Covid. People are on edge about so many things and it is far less issues of “How am I going to cope?” and more thoughts of “This is just ridiculous”. The Christians in Ephesus were in the dark about the Holy Spirit; the Church of Scotland hasn’t been renowned for going overboard on the Spirit – but the Spirit is the Holy Spirit of Jesus and is given to help and guide us in Jesus’ way – so it doesn’t do to ignore or denigrate him. But neither can the Spirit be manipulated or forced to conform to our patterns. He will do things his way – always honouring and pointing to Jesus. Can we be more open to the Spirit’s lead as we go into a new year filled with many challenges, many unknowns – much change? Because that is what Jesus wants for us. Holding on in faith to a Saviour who has safely in his hands?

Praise: CH4 600         Spirit of God unseen as the wind
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Lord, we pray – that as individuals and as a congregation we might be more open to follow your lead, to be found growing in spiritual qualities, more eager to worship and live as children of our Heavenly Father. Help us to grow in grace, to implement changes that will help and to leave behind all that would hinder. Help us to get to know one another better and to act increasingly like a family of your people – both among ourselves and outwardly towards others. Bless the work that goes on in the various groups within the congregations in Montrose and ensure that we are pulling together as one family in Christ. We thank you for the talents there are, for what has been done in the past and we look to you to lead us in developments to come. Lead us Heavenly Father lead us. We pray for a world in need – for all who are desperate or suffering but particularly on the world scene we pray for those in Ukraine and countries suffering as a result of conflict. Nearer home we pray for the many families who have begun the year mourning or facing trauma. Uphold them and let them know you care. Bless others facing pressures of one sort or another. Help us all to be of support. In our prayer walk we pray for those who live or work in Caledonia Place, Street and Court. SILENCE. Lord, you hear our prayers, you make up for our shortcomings and shape our prayers to achieve far more than we could ever hope for, accept our prayers in the name of Jesus, your Son, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.