Sunday 22nd March 2020


Call to Worship – Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Hymn 104 – Guide me, O my great redeemer

Scripture Sentence – Psalm 43:3

O send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling.

Collect for the 4th Sunday in Lent

Almighty God,
you have delivered us from the death of sin
and raised us to new life in your love,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ;
and in baptism you have made us one with him
so that now we are the children of light.
Grant that we may walk in his light
and show forth your glory in the world;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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.

Reading – Jonah 2:1-10

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

‘I called to the Lord out of my distress,
    and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
    and you heard my voice.
You cast me into the deep,
    into the heart of the seas,
    and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
    passed over me.
Then I said, “I am driven away
    from your sight;
how shall I look again
    upon your holy temple?”
The waters closed in over me;
    the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped around my head
    at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
    whose bars closed upon me for ever;
yet you brought up my life from the Pit,
    O Lord my God.
As my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered the Lord;
and my prayer came to you,
    into your holy temple.
Those who worship vain idols
    forsake their true loyalty.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
    will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
    Deliverance belongs to the Lord!’

10 Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it spewed Jonah out upon the dry land.

Children’s Praise – May the God of Hope

Reading Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Sermon – “living in the belly of the fish”

A Prayer for the current Coronavirus situation

Lord, we know that this situation was not a surprise to you and that you are sovereign and powerful and able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. So we bring this outbreak to you and ask you to move in your power and bring a swift resolution.

Lord, thank you that you are our refuge and strength and our ever-present help in times of trouble. Thank you that have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. We pray for all those who are currently battling with fear, will you pour out your love which casts out all fear to them and where we see fear increasing would you bring your peace to calm the storm.

Lord, we ask that you would protect us and stop the spread of this virus. We particularly bring to you those we know who are vulnerable and scared, who are frail, sick or at increased risk. We pray your peace and protection over them today and show us if there is a specific way that we can be a help to them at this time.

We ask that you would draw near to those who are living in coronavirus hotspots and those currently in isolation. May they know your presence in the isolation, peace in the turmoil and patience in their waiting.

Lord, you are the Comforter. We pray for those who are grieving after the sudden loss of a loved one from this virus. May they know your comfort, presence, strength and hope.

Lord, we pray for all our medical professionals as they deal with the pressure of this situation. Give them resilience, protection, strength, energy, wisdom and compassion for those they are caring for. We pray for the researchers, working on a cure. Give them wisdom, clarity of mind and breakthroughs in their work.

Lord, we pray for our world leaders, national governments, the World Health Organisation and for our local leaders – heads of schools, hospitals and other institutions. You have positioned them for such a time as this, grant them wisdom in their decision making, the ability to communicate truth and not to raise unnecessary fear and strength to sustain vital institutions in this difficult time.

We pray that the truth will be communicated through our media and throughout our nation. Lord, may we as the Church rise up to be your voice, to speak truth, to bring peace to troubled hearts, to show faith, wisdom and compassion to those around us and to point people to you.

Lord, may this situation cause people to turn to you and find you in a new or a deeper way and may your will be done and your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.


Hymn 89 – Great is Thy Faithfulness


May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.