Welcome to our ‘Church at Home’ service for 26th July 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 beginning a new series looking at the life of Abraham. To go with this new series there is a new reading plan which you can download here.
Call to Worship – Psalm 105:1-11 (NIV)
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant for ever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
‘To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.’
Praise the Lord!
Hymn 227 – Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
God of all faithfulness,
in your tender compassion you sent your Son
to shine on those who sit in darkness
and guide our feet into the way of faith.
Grant us, in our doubts and uncertainties,
the grace to ask what you would have us do.
By your Spirit of wisdom,
save us from false choices.
By your light
lead us and protect us,
and give us a straight path to follow
that we may neither stumble nor fall.
O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy.
Increase and multiply upon us your mercy,
that with you as our shepherd and guide
we may pass through the temporary things of this world
and inherit all of your eternal promises;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever and ever.
Reading – Genesis 12:1-9 (NIV)
The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.’
So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev.
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 – Abraham and Lot
Children’s Praise – The Lord Your God
Reading – Hebrews 11:1-10 (NIV)
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Sermon – Longing for heaven
A prayer of confession from a world stopped in its tracks
All sovereign God,
we come before you humbled by the experience of coronavirus and lockdown.
Our world has been stopped in its tracks:
so much of what we take for granted suddenly became uncertain;
so many of the plans we made have not prevailed,
our lives really feel like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
We confess we do not like the sense of not being in command,
we are reluctant to release control even to you,
we see so many ways in which we have been proud, boastful and foolish.
Forgive us for our lack of faith that has been revealed,
for the restlessness in our hearts that has been uncovered,
for the many ways in which we stubbornly rebel against you.
Teach us what it means to seek first your Kingdom,
for your Kingdom to come and your will to be done,
to patiently allow your Kingdom to grow like a tiny seed to a great tree.
For too often our thoughts are not your thoughts,
our ways are not your ways,
as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so your ways and will tower above our puny imaginings.
For you reign, rule and overrule,
for your glory and our good,
and that your grace might be known to the ends of the earth.
In Jesus’ Name.
Hymn 89 – Great is Thy Faithfulness
May the grace of of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with you all, ever more, amen