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When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold Through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.
He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
For my Saviour loves me so, He will hold me fast.
Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast;
Precious in His holy sight, He will hold me fast.
He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.
For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast;
Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast.
Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast
‘Till our faith is turned to sight When He comes at last!
WELCOME by Brian Kruger
To God be the glory, great things He has done.
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son
who yielded His life an atonement for sin
and opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord! Let the earth hear His voice.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice.
Come to the Father through Jesus the Son
Give Him the glory; great things He has done.
Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God.
The vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son.
But purer and higher and greater will be
our wonder, our worship when Jesus we see.
CHURCH FAMILY NEWS
Before the world began, God made a masterplan
To bring all things together under one head
That head is Jesus Christ, who died and rose to life
And now he’s seated at the right hand of God
Once we were dead in sin. Now we are raised with him
By grace we’re saved, through faith in Jesus alone
Part of his body now, united by his power
Joined with his people all over the world
We are the church, have you heard? He washed us clean with his word
He chose us to be on his team We are more loved than we could dream
We’ve got good news, shout it out You’ve got to hear what it’s all about
No-one’s too far away to be Welcomed into God’s family
Speaking the truth in love to build the body up
We serve each other using gifts from the King
We pray for unity so everyone will see
God’s plan in action in his people today
We are the church, have you heard…
One Lord, one faith, one God, one Father,
One body, one Spirit, we are one in Christ!
One hope, one truth, one cross, one Saviour,
One mission, one future, we are one in Christ!
We are the church, have you heard….
Children and young people go out to their groups.
We catch up with our mission partner Rachel Chard, working in Oxford with Friends International
PRAYERS led by Alex & Becci Bitsios-Esposito
Holy Spirit, living breath of God breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord to renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me. Give me faith for what I cannot see.
Give me passion for Your purity. Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.
Holy Spirit, come abide within. May Your joy be seen in all I do.
Love enough to cover every sin in each thought and deed and attitude.
Kindness to the greatest and the least, gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace. Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.
Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth, giving life to all that God has made,
show Your power once again on earth. Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise. Lead us on the road of sacrifice
that in unity the face of Christ will be clear for all the world to see.
BIBLE READING read by Rachel Rowe
2 Kings 2:1 – 2 Kings 2:14
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 13 And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
BIBLE TALK by Richard Hopkins
We’re Not Alone, for Christ is here; Emmanuel, our God, come near.
We’re not alone, for to our world Jesus has come, eternal Word.
And as he speaks, our souls laid bare, naked, ashamed, sin is made clear.
And yet he clothes us in his love: never alone, Christ is with us, is with us.
The longest walk, earth’s darkest day, the pressing crowd, his mounting pain.
A heavy load of grief and shame, breathless that we should breathe again.
‘Father forgive them,’ comes his cry; silence from God blackens the sky.
A creeping dread in every heart, lost in the world, now God departs, God departs.
The dawn will come, the sun will rise, out of the grave we’ll see hope’s light.
Tomb opened wide, stone rolled away, morning has come, a brand new day.
‘He isn’t here,’ the angel said. ‘He is alive, no longer dead.’
Our hearts are lifted, souls raised high Christ is with us, Christ is our life, he’s our life.
‘Never alone’, is now our cry, in joy, in grief, in lonely sin.
Never alone, for Christ is ours: he lives in us, we live in him.
And till we reach that final day when fears are gone, cast far away,
we’ll live secure, trust in his love; never alone, Christ is with us, he’s with us.
How firm a foundation you saints of the Lord
is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you than he has said,
to you who to Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health,
in poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
at home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
as days may demand, shall your strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with you. Oh be not dismayed,
for I am your God and will still give you aid.
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.
When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace all-sufficient shall be your supply.
The flame shall not hurt you, my only design:
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I cannot desert to his foes.
The soul, though all Hell should endeavour to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
Some material in this service is © Used by permission CCL Licence # 1102690. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.