azalea with pink flowers
An Azalea in Maggie’s garden

Junior Church

This week there will also be a service on the Circuit Resources site for Ascension Day (Thursday, 21st May)

Stephen Maunder

Gathering Song, selected by John Winterbottom

If you’ve been following Paul’s Thursday Thoughts, you will know that this week’s theme is ‘Lingering’. At around six minutes long, this song both invites, and gives us the opportunity, to do just that. And ‘Lingering’ takes time. So whether the time is spent in enjoyment, contemplation, or just simple praise. Let us approach worship – our shared lingering in God – asking that He pour out in us a sense of deep reluctance to ever leave His company. Our Rock.

Opening prayers (for a recording, see below)

Let us pray:

Loving and faithful God, we bring to you our praise and thanksgiving.   We praise you for the beauty we see around us both in creation and in those who show us your love.   We praise you for the gift of Jesus who came amongst us that we might glimpse your glory.  We praise you for the Holy Spirit continually present amongst us and within us, recalling us to discipleship and reminding us of your place in our midst.

WE give you thanks for the many ways in which your love is shown to us.   In the loving support of others when we are in need, and when we are not.  In the caring fellowship of your Church when we are together and when we are apart.   In the assurance of life in all its fullness through Christ our Lord for now and for eternity.

Forgive us, we pray, when we forget all that is given for us.  When our hearts are hardened to the needs of others.  When we fail to recognise your grace.   Strengthen us as followers of Christ that we may continue to live for him today and always, now and for evermore. Amen.

Hymn

StF 382: Holy Spirit, come, confirm us

Reading

John 14: 15–21

Reflection (for a copy of the text, see below)

reflection-for-may-17thDownload

Prayers of Intercession (for a recording, see below)

Lord Jesus, you have promised to be with us.  At this time of anxiety, help us to know that you are here alongside us and within us that we may live with you and serve you now and always.  Amen.

We pray for those in our world who feel forgotten at this time.   For peoples whose governments have forgotten them, those who are on the margins, whose needs are ignored, whose lives are treated as nothing.

Lord, your Kingdom come; your will be done.

We pray for our communities.   We pray for those whose work brings them into situations of dis-ease or danger.   Those who work for the good of others.   Those whose efforts are recognised, and those who feel abandoned and ignored.   Help us to value one another through your embracing and inclusive love we pray.

Lord, your Kingdom come; your will be done.

We pray for our church communities.   For our own churches and those around us.   Help us to uphold one another’s faith when times are hard.   Help us to keep praying and loving as your people.   Help us know that we are never abandoned by you, and so to shine in our lives with your love.

Lord, your Kingdom come; your will be done.

In the quiet we bring our own prayers and needs for those whom we love and for ourselves…..

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We rejoice in your presence, and give thanks for loved ones who have gone before us.  May we live to your praise and glory in this life, as we look to the peace and joy that is still to come.

Lord, your Kingdom come; your will be done.
Amen.

Hymn

StF 372: Come down, O love divine

Final Prayer and Blessing (for a recording, see below)

Part of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s prayer from prison:

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
and to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;

I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
but you know the way for me.  Amen.

May the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
keep us in love and peace
this day and evermore. Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Toccata in F, BWV 540, by J.S. Bach
Anna Lapwood (Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge) plays the organ of Queens’ College, Cambridge

Lectionary: Sunday, 17th May

Lectionary readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter:

Acts 17: 22–31

Psalm 66: 8–20

1 Peter 3: 13–22

John 14: 15–21