SUNDAY WORSHIP

Wesley is now open for worship on Sunday mornings at 10.30 a.m. and the service will be available on Zoom. For details of access please contact

circuit@northlancsmethodist.org.uk or Jenny Macking
The service on Sunday, June 13th will be conducted by Susan Wilson

Web services for June will be prepared by the following people


6th June Rev. Andrew Champley
13th June Sandra Lucas
20th June Sister Vivien Ward
27th June Rev. David Philo

SERVICE FOR SUNDAY JUNE 13th prepared by Mrs. Sandra Lucas

Call to Worship
Heavenly Father we have come together this morning to praise and worship you,
to glorify your name, and to hear your word for each one of us.
Open our minds so that we may hear you more clearly and follow you more nearly all our days.
We ask this through Jesus Christ your son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen

Hymn 36 S t F There`s a Quiet Understanding.

There’s A Quiet Understanding
When We’re Gathered In The Spirit
It’s A Promise That He Gives Us
When We Gather In His Name
There’s A Love We Feel In Jesus
There’s A Manna That He Feeds Us
It’s A Promise That He Gives Us
When We Gather In His Name

And We Know When We’re Together
Sharing Love And Understanding
That Our Brothers And Our Sisters
Feel The Oneness That He Brings
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Jesus
For The Way You Love And Feed Us
For The Many Ways You Lead Us
Thank You, Thank You, Lord
Thank You, Thank You, Lord’

Prayers of Praise, Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving.
Gracious and heavenly Father, source of every blessing, giver of every good gift’
we worship and adore you and bless your holy name.
We praise you for the revelation of yourself in our Lord Jesus Christ and every glimpse we have of your nature.


May our love and worship of you so fill our lives that we share you with other people.
We praise you for all the joys of life, and the everyday blessings which we receive from you.  
Yet even when we know all that you have done for us and have given us, there are still times when we fail you. 


Father there have been times when we have failed to see the needs of others, when perhaps all that was needed  was a helping hand, a friendly smile or a wave, just to show them that we care and want only the best for of them.

 
Let us take some moments to offer our own prayer of confession to our Father in heaven.
 We know that when we are sorry all our sins will be forgiven,  we know this because your Son, Jesus Christ, shed his blood to wash away all our wrongs.  
Father we thank you for that forgiveness and pray that with your help and guidance we will not make those mistakes again.

 
Help us to express our thanks not only in our praises and prayers, but also through the lives we lead.  
We offer this prayer to you now, in and through your Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  

Amen

THE LORD’S PRAYER.

 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. 

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, 

For ever and ever, Amen

READING MARK 4 :26-34

  He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. 


HYMN 531  Singing the Faith What a friend we have in Jesus

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
  All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
  Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
  O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
  Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
  Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
  Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
  Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
  Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
  Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge—
  Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
  Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
  Thou wilt find a solace there.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

  Heavenly Father we come before you now with our prayers for others in the knowledge that you hear and answer all our prayers, both the spoken and the unspoken.   There is so much suffering in the world today, and that suffering takes many forms.  Millions of people are suffering because of the pandemic.  We pray that they will know that there are many many people doing what they can at this time.  We think of the extra pressure that this has put on doctors and nurses not just here in the UK but throughout the world.  May they each know that they are in our thoughts and our prayers. 

Lord in your mercy- Hear our Prayer

We pray for people who are living in countries where there is unrest.  Places where some will go to any length to get what they want, regardless of the suffering that they may cause .  We remember people bringing help to those suffering in war torn countries often putting their own life at risk.  May they know that we are thinking of them, wanting only the best for all of them, young or old.  May they  feel the warmth of your love surrounding them each day. 

Lord in your mercy- Hear our Prayer

Finally Father we bring before you people known to us individually.  They may be members of our own family, they may be members of our church family.  Perhaps they may be feeling isolated because of Covid-19, perhaps they are waiting for hospital appointments, and we all know of people who are wondering when will this situation come to an end.  
Father we ask that you be with each one of them and help them through these difficult times.  

Lord in your mercy- Hear our Prayer

Father we offer these our prayers for others to you in and through your Son, Our Lord and Our Saviour Jesus Christ.      Amen 

Message :

We know from many stories in the Bible, that Jesus often told the people and the disciples parables.  He did this to get a point across to the people without the people getting confused.  The reading from Mark is a good example of this.  In our reading from Mark Jesus tells the  Parable of the Sower: Jesus tells us that no matter how much seed the sower scatters, some of it may grow while some may not.  The sower does not have control over all the seed that he scatters.  The ground where the seed is scattered plays a significant plays a major role in the size of the crop that will be gathered .  Jesus reminds the people that the farmer when he sows his seed has limited control.  This is because there is a hidden power at work in the process of the crop growing.  Nature plays a significant part in the process of growing crops even with human assistance there is power for new life and growth at work.  

Often in life we have tried to do something and it has not worked.  My favourite time of the year is Spring, when we are able to see the power of nature at work.  The wild flowers that we can see growing, from the daffodils to the daisies.  I have walked past gardens where there are flowers and plants starting to grow.  All showing the beauty of God’s Kingdom here on earth.  Nature works in a way that we cannot see.  Nature showing us through the growth of things its hidden power.  Jesus did not wait for the people to come to him and listen to what he was saying.  Jesus went to where the people were and told them the many parables that he knew to explain things. He spoke to them in words and with concepts that they would understand.  Jesus was seeking to lead them to faith.  Often we will hear people say that they heard something and it got them thinking.  This parable is telling the people then and telling us here today that we must never be daunted by small beginnings.  Many small beginnings lead to something much bigger.  We know that everything has a beginning, nothing emerges full grown.  The church began with an individual and it has spread to the ends of the Earth.

The Church is an empire in which all kinds of opinions and all kinds of theologies can find a place.  The church is an empire in which all people meet. We know  there are many denominations of the Christian Church, all worshipping God the Father through the Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.  We also know that many people have yet to come to  God the Father through his Son Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The church itself is the family of God, and that church began over two thousands years ago in Palestine. It began as that small mustard seed the farmer was sowing and now that church has room enough for every nation God’s love is for all people, not just for a chosen few.  There are no barriers in the church of God.Imagine, if we each were to tell one person about the love of God for his people how much the church would grow.  Let us share that love so that more can come to know and love him as we do.

Jesus spoke in a way that people would understand the point that he was making -from a small seed a large plant can grow.  – there was hidden power at work when Jesus walked the Earth, and that hidden power is at work today.  Jesus told people to go and tell others, not keep the good news to themselves.  With the power of God all things are possible.

Final Words

 HYMN 418 Singing the Faith   We have a gospel to proclaim.

We have a gospel to proclaim
 Good news for men in all the earth;
 The gospel of a Saviour’s name:
 We sing His glory, tell His worth.

 Tell of His birth at Bethlehem, 
Not in a royal house or hall
 But in a stable dark and dim: 
The Word made flesh, a light for all.

Tell of His death at Calvary,
 Hated by those He came to save; 
In lonely suffering on the cross 
For all He loved, His life He gave.

Tell of that glorious Easter morn:
 Empty the tomb, for He was free.
 He broke the power of death and hell
That we might share His victory.

Tell of His reign at God’s right hand,
 By all creation glorified;
 He sends His Spirit on His Church
 To live for Him, the Lamb who died

Now we rejoice to name Him King:
 Jesus is Lord of all the earth.
 This gospel message we proclaim:
 We sing His glory, tell His worth. 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us now and for evermore,
Amen

SERVICE FOR SUNDAY JUNE 6th prepared by Rev. Andrew Champley

                              

Call to Worship
 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his word I hope: for with the Lord there is steadfast love and with him is plenteous redemption.  (Psalm 130)

Hymn: S t F 53 ‘How shall I sing that majesty?

How shall I sing that Majesty.
Which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
Sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
Thy throne, O God most high;
Ten thousand times ten thousand sound
Thy praise; but who am I?

Thy brightness unto them appears,
While I Thy footsteps trace;
A sound of God comes to my ears,
But they behold Thy face.
They sing because Thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
For where heaven is but once begun
There alleluias be.

How great a being, Lord, is Thine,
Which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line
To sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
A sun without a sphere;
Thy time is now and evermore,
Thy place is everywhere.

John Mason (c. 1645-1694 )

Prayers:

Loving God, as we come into your presence, help us to worship you in spirit and in truth. You are a great and faithful God, who shows steadfast love to all you servants and you alone are worthy of our praise. We thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus, who came to deliver us from sin and death, who proclaimed your kingdom, teaching and healing the sick in body and mind. He was rejected by many and put to death on the cross, but you raised him and exalted him and he lives for ever to pray for us. We thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit, who guides us and leads us into your truth.

Loving God, accept our prayer and praise today in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

Gracious God, as we think of your goodness and love, so we are all the more aware of our own faults and failings. We confess that we have not obeyed your commandments, that we have turned away from you and thought more of our own wants than others’ needs.

Have mercy on us and deliver us from all our sins. We ask this through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.        Amen

Old Testament Reading:  Genesis 3: 8-15

Hymn: S t F 432 ‘O the bitter shame and sorrow’

1 O the bitter shame and sorrow
that a time could ever be
when I let the Saviour’s pity
plead in vain, and proudly answered,
‘None of you and all of me!’

2 Yet you found me; there I saw you
dying and in agony,
heard you pray, ‘Forgive them, Father’,
and my wistful heart said faintly,
‘Some of you and some of me.’

3 Day by day your tender mercy,
healing, helping, full and free,
firm and strong, with endless patience
brought me lower, while I whispered,
‘More of you and less of me.’

4 Higher than the highest heaven,
deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, your love at last has conquered:
grant me now my spirit’s longing,
‘All of you and none of me!’

Theodoer Monod ( 1836-1921 )

Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 20-35

Reflection:

Nowadays, celebrities and well known people assess their popularity by the number of followers they have on Twitter or other social media. In earlier days, they would have to go by how many people turned out to see or hear them.

Now in the gospels, it’s very well attested that Jesus could draw the crowds and so in turn draw the attention of the authorities to what he was saying and doing in his home area of Galilee. He was concerned for ordinary people, especially those in need, and clearly they responded in great numbers. Just a little earlier in Mark’s gospel

we are told how a great crowd followed Jesus, coming from a wide area, so many that Jesus told his disciples by the lake ‘to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd lest they should crush him’.(Mk 3v.9). Back home (probably Capernaum) ‘the crowd came together again so that they could not even eat’. All through this early part of the gospel, Mark emphasises the popular response to Jesus, particularly to his healing miracles and casting out demons. Mark even says at one point that ‘Jesus could no longer enter a town, but was out in the country and people came to him from every quarter’.

So here was a popular movement of ordinary people responding positively to Jesus.

Not everyone was so positive. We know today how popular movements in some countries provoke a backlash from those in authority, who fear for their own position. Belarus is a good example.

In Jesus’ time the land was under Roman rule and the local leaders feared that his popularity might lead to a revolt or uprising, which the Romans would not tolerate. The religious leaders feared that their own authority would be undermined. In our reading we see the contrast between popular reaction to Jesus and that of the authorities and even Jesus’ own family.

Scribes came from Jerusalem to investigate what was going on and their reaction was far from positive. They had already accused Jesus of blasphemy when he claimed to forgive sins, now they went further and accused him of being ‘possessed by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, really Satan himself. ‘By the ruler of the demons he casts out demons’, a serious charge indeed.

How does Jesus answer this? First, he points out that their argument is illogical. Why would Satan work against himself?  If Satan is divided, he cannot stand and is coming to an end.

More seriously, the scribes are saying that the Spirit by which Jesus does these works is not holy but evil. This is a wilful confusion of good and evil -the sin against the Holy Spirit, which Jesus says is unforgivable. Many people have worried that they might have committed the unforgivable sin, but as is often said, if you are concerned about this, then you almost certainly haven’t!

It is an extreme state of mind which calls good evil and so cannot receive God’s forgiveness.

Rosalind Brown (a Canon of Durham) puts it this way: ‘Mark has shown us people divided in their responses to Jesus: while the crowds were thrilled by miracles, the Scribes misread him terribly and thereby condemned themselves.’

At the heart of this passage is the age long battle between good and evil, which we all experience. In the little illustration Jesus uses of a strong man’s house, the strong man, Satan, can only be overcome by a stronger, Jesus. He can plunder Satan’s goods – setting people free from all that binds them, selfishness, addiction, illness even sin itself.

It’s often said that there are three possible reactions to Jesus: that he was the Son of God and what he said and did was good and true; that he was bad, a false or deluded teacher; or that he was mad.

Strangely enough, sometimes his own family thought he was mad as Mark says twice in his gospel: ‘He is beside himself’. In our passage, Mary and the family come to speak to Jesus, perhaps to take him home for his own protection, but they cannot get to him -they remain outside. Jesus doesn’t reject them but offers a new definition of his family as all those who do the will of God and want to follow him.

So we must each ask ourselves ‘What is our reaction to Jesus?’

Do we see him as good and true, as the one who can save us from all that binds us, who can offer us life in all its fullness both now and in eternity? Do we see ourselves as part of his family, the community of faith? If we do, then we must put our whole trust in him and know that we have entered his kingdom.

Hymn: S t F 255 ‘The Kingdom of God is justice and joy

1 The kingdom of God is justice and joy;
For Jesus restores what sin would destroy.
God’s power and glory in Jesus we know;
And here and hereafter the kingdom shall grow.

2 The kingdom of God is mercy and grace;
The prisoners are freed, the sinners find place,
The outcast are welcomed God’s banquet to share;
And hope is awakened in place of despair.

3 The kingdom of God is challenge and choice:
Believe the good news, repent and rejoice!
God’s love for us sinners brought Christ to his cross:
Our crisis of judgement for gain or for loss.

4 God’s kingdom is come, the gift and the goal;
In Jesus begun, in heaven made whole.
The heirs of the kingdom shall answer his call;
And all things cry “Glory!” to God all in all.

Bryn Rees (1911-1983 )

Prayers of Intercession:

Take a moment to reflect on your own response to Jesus and what this means in your approach to everyday life.

In prayer think of the world around us, of situations we hear about in the news. Countries ravaged by war and poverty; areas where Covid is overwhelming medical resouces. Remember refugees and those who live under oppressive regimes such as Myanmar and Belarus.

Pray for the church, especially the churches of our circuit at a difficult time. Pray for your own church, its minister and leaders.

Pray for renewal through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Pray for those in need, especially those we know; for the sick and the bereaved, the lonely and all who suffer in body, mind or spirit.

The Lord’s Prayer

Hymn: S t F 378 ‘Father of everlasting grace’

Father of everlasting grace,
your goodness and your truth we praise,
your goodness and your truth we prove;
you have, in honour of your Son,
the gift unspeakable sent down,
the Spirit of life, and power, and love.

Send us the Spirit of your Son,
to make the depths of Godhead known,
to make us share the life divine;
send him the sprinkled blood to apply,
send him our souls to sanctify,
to bless and seal us with this sign.

So shall we pray, and never cease;
so shall we thankfully confess
your wisdom, truth, and power, and love;
with joy unspeakable adore,
and bless and praise you evermore,
and serve you as your hosts above:

Till, added to that heavenly choir,
we raise our songs of triumph higher,
And praise you with a bolder voice.
out-soar the first-born seraph’s flight,
and sing, with all our friends in light,
with everlasting love rejoice.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

God, faithful and true, you call every generation to make a pilgrim journey.
Guide our feet along the road of faith,
That we may put our whole trust in you;
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

May the peace and love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us now and always.  Amen