Sunday 23rd August: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
This short act of worship has been prepared for you to use if you are unable to attend church by the Methodist Connexion. If you are well enough why not spend a few moments with God, knowing that other people are sharing this act of worship with you. For Bishop Auckland Methodist Church, the slides and creative prayer from Hope, Hannah and Millie have been added as well as an audio sermon by Local Preacher, Susan Thorne and this week also a video all age talk by Rev David Briggs.
Hymn: This is a day of new beginnings
acknowledging the sound track from Dean McIntyre and the singing of Niamh Prior
Lord, do we really believe that we are in the presence of the Son of the Living God?
Still our hearts now,
so that we may truly appreciate who you are.
As we hear these words of power,
we bow down before you and praise you.
Lord God, we come before you in humble adoration.
How blessed are we that the one who holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven is the one who has the key to our hearts.
We praise you, God, that we have the privilege of being part of the amazing story of faith that sustained our ancestors. Thank you, God, that we know our future is safe with you.
Lord, thank you that you are always ready to forgive me
when I trust you enough to confess my sins to you,
even when I feel I don’t deserve it.
Be merciful to me, O God.
Forgive me for the times when
just because someone else’s story is different from mine
I don’t always want to believe it.
Forgive me for the times I only live my story,
not seeing the bigger picture.
Be merciful to me, O God.
Forgive me for the times
I see you as less than the Son of God,
and my whole outlook on life
needs a good dose of your love and understanding.
Be merciful to me, O God.
Hannah’s Creative Prayer
How would you finish the sentence “God is great, God is good, thank you God for…” how would you finish it? Is there an event or people that you are thankful for? Do you thank God enough for this part in your life?
Today’s Psalm: Psalm 138
Today’s Gospel Reading:
Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
13 Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi, where he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 “Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”
15 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 “Good for you, Simon son of John!” answered Jesus. “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven. 18 And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
20 Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Today’s Epistle Reading:
Life in God’s Service
12 So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
3 And because of God’s gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you. 4 We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. 5 In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. 6 So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God’s message, we should do it according to the faith that we have; 7 if it is to serve, we should serve; if it is to teach, we should teach; 8 if it is to encourage others, we should do so. Whoever shares with others should do it generously; whoever has authority should work hard; whoever shows kindness to others should do it cheerfully.
Time to Reflect
Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!
As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to listen to (2) an all age video talk by local preacher, Margaret Nodding, or instead to read (3) the pdf sheet from Roots or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or (6) to North Bondgate Car Park at 3pm today to the Drive in Service or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.
1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the file below
2. Or listen and watch an all age talk by Local Preacher, Margaret Nodding
3. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings
4. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
In November, we moved house. It set me thinking how old and new need to exist together. A different house, same old furniture; meeting new people, keeping old friends. Old and new together enrich our lives. And it happens all around us in different ways.
Grandparents and grandchildren bridge the generation gap. In nature in autumn and winter, already buds are on the seemingly bare branches, nurturing life for another spring. In our north east culture, ancient Celtic sites co-exist with new developments. St Peter’s Church by the River Wear bears witness to many centuries of Christian life, now surrounded by a modern university. But I suspect the Venerable Bede would have welcomed new ways of learning, exploring, discovering.
What does Jesus say about this? Many are tempted to think Jesus discarded all that was old giving us licence to do the same. Yes, we have his words about new wine and old wineskins that destroy one another when they are put together. But in the wilderness, whenever Jesus was tempted away from love and vulnerability, he found his resistance in words from the scriptures with their timeless wisdom and relevance.
Jesus held within himself the wisdom of the ages, God the Ancient of Days, ‘the rock from which we were hewn’ with the effortless ease he had of living with his contemporaries in fresh and creatively new ways.
During lockdown, we have learned of necessity to hold familiar songs and prayers with new ways of experiencing and expressing them. To be able to hold old and new is something we need to take into an uncertain future, as we abide in the timelessness of God, ‘ever old and ever new’ but allowing Jesus continuously to bring new life to birth in us, bubbling up with laughter, love and possibility.
5. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world
6. and/or join us this afternoon or 3pm any Sunday until the end of August at the BAFCC Drive-in Service at the Bondgate Car Park or you can listen online on BishopFM on 105.9FM in the comfort of your home. However plan and book your place for next week and following weeks!
7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them
Take a time to sit quietly
Hope and Millie’s Reflection
Prayers of Intercession
Hymn: O thou who camest from above
Jesus told his disciples not to tell anyone he was the Messiah.
We go out now, hearts so full of amazement and joy,
that we can’t help but share the good news.
Go with us, good Lord, and help us to tell everyone who will listen.