Watchword for the Week
By grace you have been saved through faith,
and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
(Moravian Daily Texts 2015)
WELCOME and CALL to WORSHIP
O God, who created the heavens
and stretched them out, we praise you.
You fashioned the earth
and all that lives there: we praise you.
You give breath to the people upon it,
and Spirit to those who walk on it:
we praise and thank you, O God.
That the eyes of the blind be opened,
the broken-hearted be healed,
the poor hear the good news,
the captives be brought out of darkness:
Your kingdom come, O Lord;
Your will be done.
So shall we sing a new song, O Lord,
and praise your name for ever.
Hymn 518 * Lift up your hearts!
People’s Choice Hymns are marked with an asterisk (*)
PRAYER OF APPROACH
Eternal God who desires our wholeness,
because life is difficult and love is not easy,
and doubt and struggle, suffering and failure
are inevitable for each and every one of us,
help us to respect the darkness of our
painful feelings and make a bold place
for them in our lives.
Help us to recognise that without them
we can have no true sense of life’s great depth,
and that within them lies our capacity to love,
to create, and to make meaning.
Help us also to welcome our yearnings
for joy and release, for flowers and the sun,
spaces to dream and the need to be loved.
May our joy and despair, loneliness and longings,
not remain hidden or divided from one another,
but inform each other and befriend each other,
and so may our souls be enlivened and strong.
God our life, our wholeness, our friend, lead
us to that place within us where darkness
and light, the mornings and evenings of the
heart, may meet one another, know each
other, and embrace. Amen.
Hymn 359 * He came down…
(Children may leave for Kids’ Church in the halls next door)
PRAYER OF BLESSING
… me and us. So we bless you.
Numbers 21:4-9 OT p. 152
St. John 3:14-21 NT p. 119
People may stand for the Gospel reading.
The word of God – Thanks be to God!
Hymn 393 We turn to God (Bonhoeffer)
SERMON Rev. James Brown
Hymn 347 Unless a single grain of wheat
(Offerings are gathered and brought forward)
(Hymn of the Month, March 2015)
Bless these gifts that we give today, for we
lift our eyes and see there is much we can do
to bring about wholeness and healing in our
world. May they contribute in bringing light
to dark places. Amen.
PRAYERS for OTHERS
Hear our prayers: and let your kingdom come.
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, and the power, and the
glory, forever and ever. Amen.
INVITATION and PRAYER
Look, Lord, on your children, who love your
name and need your care. Let your hands be
known in the touch of friends. Lord, say the
word and we shall be healed.
God to enfold you, Christ to uphold you,
Spirit to keep you in heaven’s sight;
So may God grace you, heal and embrace you,
lead you through darkness into the light.
If you wish to receive the prayer of blessing and
the laying-on of hands, come to sit, stand or kneel
in the sanctuary area. You may also share in
pronouncing the prayer of blessing on others.
PRAYER for the LAYING-ON of HANDS
Spirit of the living God, present with us now,
enter you, body, mind, and spirit,
and heal you of all that harms you,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.
SHARING GOD’S PEACE
Hymn 530 One more step along the world
BLESSING and Threefold Amen (No. 819)