Sunday 05 April

We’re not able to meet together as church family today and for the coming weeks. Although, by necessity, we have to stay apart physically, we’re standing together to love, support and encourage one another. So, in around 75 different homes, we’ll sing the same songs, pray the same prayers and look together at John 15:1-11. There are some activities for those aged 14 or under to do and a bible talk from Richard for us to listen to.

For each person in your home, you’ll need a copy of this service sheet, a bible, print outs of the children’s sheets (if needed) and your computer or tablet to click on the links below. Please note that the songs are being played from YouTube, if one of the annoying adverts pop up, click on the ‘skip ad’ button.

Today’s service sheet can be downloaded here

Today’s resources for E Kids can be found here

The thinking behind the song choices is explained in italics

Watch the video of Richard’s welcome and intro by clicking here

Although there are many things that we’re missing at the moment, because of Jesus we have so much to rejoice in. In our opening song we encourage one another to rejoice.

SONG – listen by clicking here
Come people of the risen king
who delight to bring him praise;
come all and tune your hearts to sing
to the Morning Star of grace.
From the shifting shadows of the earth
we will lift our eyes to him,
where steady arms of mercy reach to gather children in.

Rejoice, rejoice! Let every tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice; O church of Christ, rejoice!

Come, those whose joy is morning sun,
and those weeping through the night;
come, those who tell of battles won,
and those struggling in the fight.
For his perfect love will never change,
and his mercies never cease,
but follow us through all our days
with the certain hope of peace.

Come, young and old from every land –
men and women of the faith;
come, those with full or empty hands –
find the riches of his grace.
Over all the world, his people sing –
shore to shore we hear them call
the truth that cries through every age:
‘our God is all in all!’

Click here to hear what two of our church members will be doing This Time Tomorrow!

Let’s pause for a moment to pray for the key workers in our church.

As we read this Psalm together, we are reminded of how good it is to have the words of Jesus to obey.

Psalm 19
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the skies proclaim his handiwork.
Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commands of the LORD are pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring for ever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep me also from deliberate sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Your soul is the deepest part of you.  In our next song, we speak to our souls and tell them to praise God for who he is and for all that he’s done.

SONG – listen by clicking here
Tell out my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his Word –
in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age the same –
his holy name: the Lord, the mighty one.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by;
proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight,
the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his Word!
Firm is his promise and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
to children’s children and for evermore!

[Watch the video of Noblesse, our new mission partner working with the Laarim in South Sudan by clicking here. You may also want to read some of the prayer letter he sent out. Then say aloud the prayers that are printed here on the sheet.]

Father God, we thank you for our brother Noblesse. Thank you that he has safely arrived back in the Boya Hills in South Sudan.  Thank you for the opportunities he has to share the words of Jesus with the Laarim people. Please will you help him and the team as they seek to encourage believers in following you, and to build a church that will transform the community. We pray especially for Kaliva, that he will remain in you, grow in his faith, and be trained to lead the church there.  Amen.

Father we remember that there are many people in our own community who don’t know you.  We pray for our school friends, neighbours, family members, work colleagues and others that we would normally see regularly.  Although we are seeing less of them now, we do pray that they will come to know Jesus. Please will you continue to give us opportunities to speak to them about him, even as we are restricted in where we can go.  Please will more people in our community put their trust in Jesus.  Amen.

We pray for ourselves. Thank you that we have the words of Jesus to encourage us and to challenge us. Please help us to keep his words. Help us to trust his promises, especially when we are finding life difficult.

Help us to obey his commands, even when we are tempted to sin. Help us to love him and love one another. And may we know the joy that he has promised. In Jesus name we ask. Amen.

Let’s all say The Lord’s Prayer together

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours now and for ever.

Our next song reminds us that our highest calling and deepest joy is to follow and obey Jesus.

SONG – listen by clicking here
There is a hope that burns within my heart,
that gives me strength for every passing day;
a glimpse of glory now revealed in meagre part,
yet drives all doubt away.
I stand in Christ, with sins forgiven;
and Christ in me, the hope of heaven!
My highest calling and my deepest joy,
to make his will my home.

There is a hope that lifts my weary head,
a consolation strong against despair,
that when the world has plunged me
in its deepest pit,
I find the Saviour there!
Through present sufferings, future’s fear,
he whispers ‘courage’ in my ear.
For I am safe in everlasting arms,
and they will lead me home.

There is a hope that stands the test of time,
that lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grave,
to see the matchless beauty of a day divine
when I behold his face!
When sufferings cease and sorrows die,
and every longing satisfied,
then joy unspeakable will flood my soul,
for I am truly home.

Watch the bible talk video for the reading and bible talk from Richard by clicking here

John 15:1-11


Promise of Joy

Talk outline:
1. Jesus promises us fruitfulness
2. Jesus promises us joy

Jesus promises us that joy comes from remaining in him.  Our closing song tells us that nothing can take away that joy.

SONG – listen by clicking here
There is no other name in heaven can be found
Through whom we are redeemed
Through whom your grace abounds
No other name can save, but Jesus Christ our Lord.

My joy in sorrowʼs tears
My strength to cast out fears
No other name but Jesus, Jesus.
My hope in darkest night
My broken soulʼs delight
No other name but Jesus, Jesus.

There is no victory but Jesus crucified
No other cure for sin
But that our Saviour died.
No other hope we have but that he rose again!

No other throne endures, no other song remains
But ʻWorthy is the Lamb
Who was for sinners slain’
When every knee shall bow
And tongue confess you are Lord, you are Lord!

My joy in sorrowʼs tears…

Our closing prayer comes from the New Testament letter of Romans:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Amen.

That concludes our service. Why not make some video calls now to others in the church to encourage and support one another?