3 May 2020
Updated: May 9
Welcome once again from Jan and Ian to our online service. Under normal circumstances on the first Sunday of the month we would be sharing communion together. Although we cannot physically be together, let us try to imagine our church family sitting in their own homes as if they were sitting with us, all remembering Christs’ sacrifice on the cross for each one of us. You may at this point want to actually go and get yourself a “cup” of wine or juice and a piece of bread or a biscuit to represent Christs’ blood and body, to be able to eat the “bread” and drink the “wine” as our Lord instructed us to do.
You may want to close your eyes and use this song to reflect on what Christ did when he suffered on that cruel cross for us.
Let us share together the words of the apostle Paul and as we do so, let us remember our brothers and sisters. Imagine that this Sunday you are serving communion and as you eat your “bread” and drink your “wine”, picture yourself serving the church saying to each one of us, “This is Christs’ body broken for you and this is Christs’ blood shed for you.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-28 (The Message)
Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,
This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.
After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:
This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me.
What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you re-enact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.
Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.
Let the words of that beautiful song be our prayer; “So take this heart Lord, I’ll be your vessel, the world to see, Your love in me”
Our sermon today is on Acts 2:1-13. As we listen to Gods’ word through Richard, let us pray that God speaks to each one of us, touching our hearts to respond to Him, so that we can grow to be more like Him every day.
Our prayers are led today by Janet Eaves.
We reach out through our prayers of intercession lifting up those folk near and far, known and stranger, trusting that they will be heard. We reach out to you, Lord, on their behalf.
What words do we use to express the pain of our world?
At a time, when it feels like the whole world is changing, we thank you, Lord, for you never change. You are the loving God of all the nations and people on this earth. You are the God of all compassion and comfort. Today we ask for your help for our world, our nation, our cities and our churches as the corona virus spreads. Please bring help to all our communities according to their needs.
We know this is not an easy time: we’re afraid, we’re lonely, we’re hurting - it can be overwhelming, but you tell us over and over again not to be afraid…
In times like these, like in all times, we know the comfort and healing God brings through prayer. He loves us. He is with us.
We miss our families but many families have forged a stronger bond that overrides what they’ve lost - there’s time to venture out of our comfort zones and attempt to learn about technological things such as Zooming, Face-timing and online meetings. Praise God for the technology that exists so that we can still “meet” together, hear sermons online, read His Word, sing His Praises and communicate with each other! May God bless those who make it all possible. Family bike rides, dog walks, movie nights and so many things we’ve taken for granted over the years are now precious once again - to be present in one’s life is to be truly alive. Each Day. Each moment… Faith gives us hope. It picks us up, it moves us forward - even when everything else has stopped.
While this world crisis has devastated an unfathomable number of families, it has also motivated countless others to share resources, give of themselves, care for others, and to pray…
Thank you, Lord, for the passion and dedication of medical staff everywhere, we pray for them, carers, and other key workers who are more exposed to the virus - please protect and give them the strength, energy and courage they need to carry on.
We remember whose working behind the scenes...for medical researchers and scientists and all who are working to discover the right medicines to help those who are ill.
We pray for the vulnerable and the fearful, for the gravely ill, the dying and the bereaved that they may know your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe. Lord, we lift up to you those known to us personally who need our prayers at this time...
You have promised that nothing will separate us from Your love. Lord, you taught us to love our neighbour and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you - don’t let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves. Surround us with Your powerful, protective arms and guide us in Your path…
Gracious God, we pray for people all over the world whose cause or situation is now more likely to be overlooked because attention and resources are turned towards fighting the corona virus. We pray for all living in poverty, refugees, migrants - all who fear for their future. We give thanks for the organisations which continue to offer help and hope despite the impact of the virus and for all who continue to seek justice in the world.
God, who is unity, hold us together in these difficult times. Strengthen us, by your spirit, so that we may carry on our lives as best we are able, looking out for others, showing love in action, being faithful in prayer, and bringing encouragement, hope and peace, always trusting in you.
In our own community, we lift up Vicky, whose delayed operation means she is living with so much pain. We ask for healing for her, and for relief and peace from the pain until her operation goes ahead. We also lift up our teachers, who are working to assist many families in trying circumstances - grant them the strength, patience and insight needed to help.
May we find ways of supporting each other and all of God’s world, in the days to come. We will find a way through this, together, with our Lord’s help…Amen.
We have an awesome God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Just as He empowered and equipped the early apostles, he wants to empower and equip us. Let us not be concerned with how much we have of the Holy Spirit but how much the Holy Spirit has of us. As we sing our last song, please make this your prayer and surrender all to Jesus.
Visit our testimonies page to read stories from people who have invited God's Spirit to work in and through their own lives.
Update on Mutima Outreach from Mel
Since sharing my missions page so much has happened. As you all know I am in contact with Pastor Lilian almost on a daily basis, and am pleased to share that she and her extended family are all fine. They are still in lockdown and movement is difficult. There is no public transport of any kind but people are allowed to move with private vehicles, which of course Victors Church and Mutima Outreach do not have. Although managing to get cash to them to purchase food and soap at the start of lockdown this was only a sticking plaster and more planning was necessary. So Nicole, Fiona and I have set up an arrangement with Lilian and George to receive approx £240 every fortnight. This budget is for the hire of a truck for 3 days to purchase and deliver food and soap to 16 Mutima families (70 people) and also their medication. To date, with your help we have received enough donations collectively to serve this plan for 8 weeks. None of us knows when the circumstances will change but we will review at the end of this month.
However the rest of Uganda is not as fortunate as hunger is more of a threat than Covid-19. The government is in the news this week for all the wrong reasons as they have awarded themselves with payments from humanitarian aid, and UN aid cannot even be traced. This is absolutely appalling and I can understand why more and more people are donating directly to those on the ground which leads me into thanking all of you for your kindness and generosity.
Missing you all like crazy, and looking forward to the time when we can all come together again for Praise/Worship and Fellowship.
There is no more powerful way of sharing the gospel than telling your own story of what God's done for you. If you have a testimony to share, please type it up and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include it on our testimonies page.