Sunday 16th August 2020


Welcome to our ‘Church at Home’ service for Sunday 16th August 2020, on this page you will find prayers, readings, hymns and a short video message to help you to worship God this morning wherever you are. Today we are continuing our sermon series looking at life of Abraham. When he and Sarah are first promised the birth of their son Isaac they say, ‘that’s impossible!’ But, by the end they see the fullness of the power and faithfulness of God, and learn that nothing is too hard for the LORD.

Call to Worship – Psalm 67 (NTL)

May God be merciful and bless us.
    May his face smile with favour on us.
May your ways be known throughout the earth,
    your saving power among people everywhere.

May the nations praise you, O God.
    Yes, may all the nations praise you.
Let the whole world sing for joy,
    because you govern the nations with justice
    and guide the people of the whole world.
May the nations praise you, O God.
    Yes, may all the nations praise you.

Then the earth will yield its harvests,
    and God, our God, will richly bless us.
Yes, God will bless us,
    and people all over the world will fear him.

Hymn 85 – God is our strength and refuge

Opening Prayer

Lord God,
you are indeed God!
You are our faithful God
who keeps his covenant
for a thousand generations
and lavishes his unfailing love
on those who love him and obey his commands.

Holy God, righteous and merciful,
cleanse our minds and free our consciences
from the things that divide us from you.
We have shut our eyes to your glory,
our minds to your truth,
and our hearts to your Spirit.

Rescue us from our sins,
and guide us in the way we should go.
Help us to love you and enable us
to offer you true worship and joyful service.

Almighty God,
you have broken the tyranny of sin
and sent into our hearts the Spirit of your Son.
Give us grace
to dedicate our freedom to your service,
that all people may know
the glorious liberty
of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Reading – Genesis 21:1-7 (NRSV)

The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Now Sarah said, ‘God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.’ And she said, ‘Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.’

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Children’s Talk – Son of Laughter

Children’s Praise – Great Big God

Reading – Romans 4:16-25 (NIV)

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Sermon – Hagar & Ismael (Genesis 16)

A prayer for wise witness in a post pandemic wasteland

Redeeming Father,
you so love this world,
that you gave your one and only Son,
so that anyone who believes in him,
need not perish, but can receive eternal life.
Right now this world needs to know your love so much.
In my worlds of family, friends, neighbours and colleagues,
so much has perished in this post pandemic wasteland.
The loss of loved ones is deeply felt,
the loss of certainty and security has exposed new fears,
the loss of confidence in just being together,
has created a cavern of distance between us.
It would be so easy to say, 
“I told you so, this is what happens when we ignore God”.
And you have told us so much,
that explains the brokenness of the world because of sin,
that exposes our individual contributions to that dysfunction,
in the ways in which we fail to love you,
and our neighbour as ourselves.
And yet, I need to remember in my witness to others,
that you did not send your Son into the world to condemn it,
but to save the world through him.
So help me in my thoughts and words and deeds,
my attitudes and actions,
to find the tenor of truth,
and the tone of grace,
that is wise and winsome,
in welcoming the hurting to find healing,
the weary to find rest,
the fearful to find peace,
in Jesus.
In whose name we pray.

Hymn 442 – Thine be the gory

Final Prayer

God of hope
fill me with all joy and peace
as I trust in you,
so that my heart may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.