Junior Church

Simeon Mitchell

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:

YouTube playlist for 30th August worship

Welcome and call to worship

A very warm welcome to this service of worship from the Oxford Methodist Circuit.

We come together now to worship the God of love
who is with us when we are gathered and when we are scattered
the God of all time and of this very moment
who creates, who calls, and who sets us free.

Song: Heaven’s voice brings the dawn

Prayers

In just a moment, creation sprang forth
from the emptiness of chaos,
and you began to pour out
all your goodness and love,
God of all moments.

In just a moment, or so it seems,
uncertainty and fear sprang forth
from everything that we call normal.
Yet, in these continuing times
of isolation, distancing, mask-wearing,
the earth continues to rejoice
with sunsets which take our breath away,
the winds continue to whisper us to sleep 
as they drift through the trees,
the kindness and generosity
of neighbours as well as strangers,
remind us that, in those moments,
when all hope seemed to be lost,
that is when you sent your Beloved
to come, to be with us, to walk with us.

Seeing our shattered relationships,
   he came to make us whole.
experiencing the fear of death
which is especially profound in these days,
   he came to defeat its supposed power.
hearing the silent whispers of our fearful hearts,
   he comes to remind us of the love
   which was revealed in the resurrection
   and which remains the promise to us.   

In moments of confusion, you make clear your grace.
In days which seem endless, you hold our times in your hands.
In the midst of fears and worries, you watch over us.
Thanks be to you, O God.

Held secure in your love
We can face our fears and frailties:

In an age of uncertainty,
it is easy to focus only on what we need to get done each day,
but you call us to turn and see your compassion for all who struggle.

In these days of isolation,
it is easy to become stumbling blocks to your longing to free those held captive
but you remind us of the heat of your passion for justice.

In the cacophony of competing voices
it is easy to be drawn to those offering easy answers and selfish solutions
when you dare us to speak of peace and hope.

You know who we are, 
people who find it easier to hold on to all we do that is wrong, 
rather that clinging to goodness.

Yet, you continue to be patient with us and forgiving towards us. 
You break through all the protective measures we have put in place
and embrace us as we turn towards you in repentance, 
rather than washing your hands of us.
You continue to call us to follow Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, 
so we might find our life with you.

Thanks be to you, O God.
Amen

Based on prayers by Thom M Shuman

Song: 

Here on the threshold of a new beginning CSB62

ReadingRomans 12:9-21

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Reading: Matthew 16:21-28

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.’ 

But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

‘For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.’

Reflection

Song: 

Community of Christ StF681

Prayers and blessing

Jesus, you call us to follow you
And to let go of all that holds us back. 
Give us strength and courage to leave behind the old ways
Help us to trust in you
and to hold fast to what is good.
L:         Lord, as you love us
R:        Help us to love one another

God, we bring to you
Our concern about the world
Our concern for people who are oppressed, and powerless and exploited
Our concern about injustice and conflict
And we offer you our votes and our voices,
Our pens, our power and our prayers
L:         Lord, as you love us
R:        Help us to love one another

God, we bring to you 
Our concern about the people we know and love
Concern for those ill in body or mind or spirit
Concern for the bereaved and the sorrowful
And we offer you our listening and our doing
Our words, our friendship and our prayers
L:         Lord, as you love us
R:        Help us to love one another

God, we bring to you 
Our concerns about the week ahead
We pray for endings and new beginnings
news that is coming 
and decisions we must make.
Help us to let go of those things that we can’t control
and face those things that seek to control us
as we offer you our love, our lives and our service
L:         Lord, as you love us
R:        Help us to love one another

We offer all our prayers in the name of Jesus, who showed us the path of love.
Amen

Blessing

May the blessing of God
Spirit, Redeemer and Creator
Be with you now 
and remain with you always
Amen

Organ Voluntary

A Trumpet Tune, by Alfred Hollins