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Virtual Worship - 5 September 2021



Welcome and a very happy New Methodist Year to you.

Come and sit on this bench, it’s in Robert’s Park at Saltaire. It reminds us, looking at the wrought iron ends of the iron ore and pig iron heritage works at Bowling Iron. Look closely, the wooden planks are new. This bench has the old and new combined! It’s not the most comfortable but plenty of room for you and God together! Come and have a natter with Him, think of all His good qualities, feel the warmth of His hand stretching out to you, wordlessly saying to you how precious you are to Him. Let’s sing praises to Him.

Song

Hymn 5 StF: Father in whom we live

Opening Prayers: 

Father God, we sit beside you. You made heaven and earth and the seasons in their glory. As summer with its dahlias, montbretias and Japanese anemones herald the start of autumn, we stand at the threshold of a new church year. We look back over our shoulders and see closed churches, well-spaced chairs, masks and gentle humming, almost as if a hush had fallen. And yet in the streets and homes many have been cared for, new relationships forged, food made and shared, street party celebrations and neighbours comforting one another in loss. 

As we gaze up to you Father God we know you have seen it all, the good and bad, sadness and joy and we bring to You, how we feel today, but You know already, You know us inside out, You love us, all of our pasts and futures, You accept us as we are, yet You yearn for us to know You even more, to know You are on our side, that You have our backs and we can trust You. You loved us so completely that You watched from heaven as Your only son was crucified but it was You who raised Him to life, our Jesus! He is our Saviour; His nature is to forgive and on that we depend. It is His blood that cleanses us from ALL that is past. As we look back through the year’s open door we know we need that forgiveness now and as Your Holy Spirit brings our sins to mind we say sorry for what we have done and those things we haven’t got round to doing.

Silence

The one thing we can trust is that You are quick to forgive and forget and we welcome You afresh Holy Spirit to guide, protect and fill us for this new year.

Amen.

Song

Hymn 470 STF: Lord for the years

Reading: 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin… Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. — Psalm 51:1-2, Psalm 51:10-12

Talk: 

What things will you be very glad to leave behind this last church year? Things that have been beyond your control? Things that you have / have not done? Perhaps you’ve even carried into this last church year things from your past that you are ashamed of, embarrassed, so regretful that you cannot let them go? Maybe you’d like to make a list on a piece of paper? David in Psalm 51 certainly had a list: adultery, lust, lying, murder, cheating, deception to name but a few! How could he lay those sins down and not pick them up? How could he face tomorrow. It was from nothing that he could do! He knew God’s character! He knew God wasn’t like him; God was merciful, completely loving and His heart ached with compassion for David, for you, for me. He longed to release us from our sins after we had shared them with Him. It’s the enemy that loves to emphasise our wrongdoing, so much so that it turns into shame and we carry it with us weighing us down. Now is the time to stop listening to lies but hear the truth: God has compassion for us, He forgives us and He doesn’t want us to carry sin that He has forgiven. In fact scripture says in several places ( Jer 31 v 34, Isaiah 43 v 25, Hebrews 8 yv 12,13) God remembers our sins no more. Did you write that list of sins of your youth up to present? Tell Him how sorry you are to keep them and feel shame. Tear that piece of paper up now and throw the pieces in the bin! You are forgiven all that is past!!!! Let’s sing our next hymn:

Song

Hymn 553 STF: I am a new creation: 

New year new clothes?

Can you see God putting a new coat on you for the new year? It has lovely big pockets! The pockets are empty and the coat is so beautifully light to wear as there is no sin weighing it down. You feel like dancing in it!!

Reading: 

Matthew 25 v 31-46: “When the Son of Man comes as King and all the angels with him, he will sit on his royal throne, and the people of all the nations will be gathered before him. Then he will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the righteous people on his right and the others on his left. Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world. I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’ “The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me!’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Away from me, you that are under God's curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels! I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink; I was a stranger but you would not welcome me in your homes, naked but you would not clothe me; I was sick and in prison but you would not take care of me.’ “Then they will answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and would not help you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.’ These, then, will be sent off to eternal punishment, but the righteous will go to eternal life.”

Song

Hymn 693 STF Beauty for Brokenness: 

Talk: 

What’s God putting in your pockets this year?

We know from the Bible He wants us to be persistent in prayer and help those in need. ‭There’s a prayer brick you find in your pocket, like Nehemiah for building your section of the wall. God likes to see us meaning business, being organised and disciplined in our daily prayer list, as Pete Greig says most of our prayer is stacking the dominoes till God gives us the result. What help do you need from the Holy Spirit, your friends to increase your prayer? Reflect on what countries and problems He is giving you a passion for? Who in your family needs your prayers? What one person, this year, do you want to see come to know Jesus? Both Martin Atkins and Steven Wild asked us to pray for one person. Whom is He calling you to support in your area, local organisations / charities / neighbours? The confirmation will come from your heart being moved to certain situation. Stack the dominoes for church members and our Circuit too. And lastly what do you need in the coming year, in the physical, mental, spiritual and practical areas of your life? Remember Ephesians 3 v 20: 20 Now to him who is able(A) to do immeasurably more than all we ask(B) or imagine, according to his power(C) that is at work within us,‬‬‬‬‬

Prayers of intercession:

Father God, Firstly we pray for kings and queens and leaders of nations that you put on our hearts…..
Father God I roll my prayer burdens onto Jesus, whose yoke is light

We pray for the United Kingdom, for the Queen, Boris Johnson and lift up to you all the issues on my heart to make it your nation Father God…..
Father God I roll my prayer burdens onto Jesus, whose yoke is light

We pray for West Yorkshire. For our Mp’s, for Susan Hinchcliffe leader of Bradford Council. For Bradford North Circuit, for Phil Drake in his new role as Superintendent. For all the leadership team: Nick, Christine, Merry, Clair (admin), Roger (safeguarding), Ashley (property), Nicola (finance) John (Treasurer), Laura (youth), and our stewards: Stuart, Jenny, Clive. For our churches….
Father God I roll my prayer burdens onto Jesus, whose yoke is light

We pray for that one person we want to see know Jesus. For friends family and neighbours who are in difficulty
Father God I roll my prayer burdens onto Jesus, whose yoke is light

And lastly for ourselves……..
Father God I roll my prayer burdens onto Jesus, whose yoke is light

And ask all my prayers in Jesus’ name, Amen

Let us say together the prayer that gathers up our silent and spoken prayers: Our Father…

Song

Hymn 560 STF: My eyes be open or

Blessing: 

Father God, you have emptied my pockets snd renewed my coat for this new year. May the blessing of you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon us and all that we pray for in our pockets, now and forever, Amen

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