Welcome to our ‘Church at Home’ service for Sunday 9th 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. In today’s sermon from Genesis 16 we are reminded that is a God who sees us and knows us, and is always at work bringing about his promises and accomplishing his plans even when we don’t see it.
Call to Worship – Psalm 85:8-13 (ESV)
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.
Hymn 95 – Now thank we all our God
God of grace and truth,
you are the light of the minds that know you,
the life of the souls that love you,
and the strength of the hearts that serve you.
Help us to truly know you
so that knowledge may lead love,
and that love may lead to service,
and service to perfect freedom.
you have taught us
that without love
all our doings are worth nothing.
Send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts
that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Reading – Genesis 16:1-16 (NIV)
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
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 – Abram to abraham
Children’s Praise – The Lord Your God
Reading – Galatians 6:1-10 (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Sermon – Hagar & Ismael (Genesis 16)
A prayer for ears to hear and eyes to see
Loving Lord,you have so much to say to us,
so much to show us,
so much to teach us,
through our experience of these last few months.
But sometimes our ears are deaf to your gentle prompting,
our eyes are blind to what you want to reveal to us
our hearts are so indifferent we shy away from your redirecting touch.
We simply want to get back to normal,
continue as if nothing had ever happened,
forget the trials by which you teach us your ways.
It is so much easier that way,
we don’t have to stop to think, pause to consider, dwell to assess.
Instead, we can fall back on what we know,
settle for staggering forward again into familiar routines,
stumbling along in reliable ruts and grinding grooves.
Break through our stubbornness and foolishness;
strengthen knees enfeebled by the weight of yesterday’s burdens
so that we might walk with purpose into tomorrow’s world.
Shatter our desire for safety,
give grace that we may grow,
faith that we might follow,
insight that inspires.
Give us ears to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
May our eyes be blessed because they see,
and our ears because they hear,
and our hearts because they are open to learn from you.
In Jesus’ name.
Hymn 487 – And can it be
Doxology (jude 24-25)
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you before his glorious presence
without fault and with great joy—
to the only God our Saviour be glory,
majesty, power and authority,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages, now and forevermore!