Sunday 29 March

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 14:15-31. 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

As we start our second Sunday service in unusual circumstances, our opening song reminds us of how great our God is. And how worthy of our praise he is.

SONG – listen by clicking here
The splendour of the King clothed in majesty;
let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice.
He wraps Himself in light and darkness tries to hide
and trembles at His voice, and trembles at His voice.

How great is our God!
Sing with me – how great is our God!
And all will see how great, how great is our God!

And age to age He stands and time is in His hands;
Beginning and the End, Beginning and the End.
The Godhead, three in one; Father, Spirit, Son.
The Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb.

Name above all names! Worthy of all praise!
My heart will sing: how great is our God!

Greetings from some of our church members! Click here to view

In a time when much is uncertain, Psalm 145 encourages us to trust God completely. As we read it together, look out for all the different words that describe God. (You might want to underline or highlight them).

Psalm 145
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.
The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfils the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

We’ve seen how reliable God is, so we can and should trust him. In our next song we declare that that’s what we intend to do.

SONG – listen by clicking here
I’m going to trust in God
I’m going to trust in Jesus
without shame and without fear.
I’m going to fix my eyes on the hope of glory
for his day is drawing near.

How great is the love of God, how steady is his hand
to guide me through this world.
And though I’m weak in him I stand
and you will hear me say today in faith,
“I’m going to trust in God.”

Now when the cares of life seem overwhelming
and my heart is sinking down
I’m going to lift my hands to the One who’ll help me,
to the One who holds my crown.

[Say aloud the prayers that are printed here on the sheet.  If there’s more than one of you, you might like to take it in turns who says the prayer out loud.  If it’s just you or you’re with people who aren’t able or confident in reading then say them all yourself!]

Father God, we thank you for your many gifts to us.  Thank you for the beautiful weather we’ve enjoyed this week.  Thank you for providing us with everything we need.  Thank you for technology that enables us to stay in touch with one another.  As we are forced to stay at home we are reminded of the many gifts you give us which we usually take for granted.  Thank you for the blessings of school and work; time with friends and family; parks, cafes, libraries and other public places we were able to visit.  Thank you that we can look forward to enjoying these gifts again soon.  Amen.

We also thank you for our church family at Emmanuel.  We pray for those in our church who are key workers.  Please help them and keep them safe as they serve us.  We pray for those who are unwell, please will they soon recover.  We pray for those who are struggling with being isolated. Please will you comfort them.  Please will you help all of us to cast our anxieties on you, because we know you care for us.  Amen

We pray for our mission partners, Larry and Sinead Norman, working in Leipzig English Church, Germany.  Please give them wisdom in supporting church members and students at this time.  Please comfort Larry’s family as they mourn the loss of his Grandma.  Please keep them rejoicing that they are your children, and sharing the Good News about Jesus with others.  Amen

Father, we don’t know what the future holds, but we know that you are holding us.  Help us to keep trusting you.  And please may these strange times we are in at the moment lead to more people coming to know Jesus.  In his name we pray. Amen

In our next song we remind ourselves that God is working in us by his Holy Spirit, and we ask him to do so more and more.

SONG – listen by clicking here
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.

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

John 14:15-31

Promise of God with us

Talk outline:
1. Jesus promises us a helper for ever
2. Jesus promises us life
3. Jesus promises us his peace

The last verse of our closing song comforts us that God brings us his peace and his presence. He is always faithful to us.

SONG – listen by clicking here
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not.
As thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.

Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow;
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit, the Helper to be with us for ever.  Thank you for the new life he brings and for the peace that only Jesus can give.

And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all forevermore.  Amen

That’s the end of our service. As you put the kettle on for a cup of tea or coffee, why not make some video calls to others in the church to encourage and support one another?