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

Th Covenant Service on Sunday September 5th will be conducted by Rev. Roy Burley

Web services for September will be prepared by:

5th September Sister Vivien Ward
12th September Jenny Butcher
19th September Rev. Roy Burley
26th September Rev. Andrew Champley

SERVICE FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 12th prepared by Jenny Butcher

Call to Worship

Come to worship,
to be comforted and disturbed,
challenged from our complacency,
but also offered forgiveness
and the hope of eternal life.
Come to Jesus, prophet, priest and king.

STF 231 Praise to the Holiest in the height ( Hymns and Psalms )

1 Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.

2 O loving wisdom of our God!
When all was sin and shame,
a second Adam to the fight
and to the rescue came.

3 O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive and should prevail;

4 And that a higher gift than grace
should flesh and blood refine,
God’s presence and his very self,
and essence all-divine.

5 O generous love! that he, who smote
in Man for man the foe,
the double agony in Man
for man should undergo;

6 And in the garden secretly,
and on the cross on high,
should teach his brethren, and inspire
to suffer and to die.

7 Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.
John Henry Newman (1801-90 )

Prayers

Most merciful and gracious God,
we offer you our heartfelt love and praise
because your Son, Jesus Christ,
was willing to risk everything for the whole world.
Even for us.
We come to worship you,
earnestly seeking your will for us –
however risky that might be, you are worth it.
Amen.

Lord, we are often ashamed to confess our faith.
We clutch it to ourselves as a guilty secret.
If we speak of it, we make apology.
What will people think of us?
Will we be ridiculed, despised?
So we remain silent, in this free country.
Yet across the world, people suffer for their faith:
they profess, confess, and bear the consequences.
We confess our cowardice and shame
and ask forgiveness.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are Messiah.
We take up our cross, and follow.
Amen.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the road you chose from the very start of your ministry.
The path of selfless sacrifice; of love, humility and mercy, seeking to bring wholeness to a broken world.
Thank you for your faith and courage, for your generosity of spirit and for your closeness to the Father that made it all possible.
Help us to follow you, gaining daily strength, guidance and inspiration from your example.
Whatever challenges we may face, whatever temptations lead us astray,
help us to stay true, taking the hard way, the narrow way, yet the way you so faithfully trod.

Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Reading Isaiah 50 4-9a

STF 501 Help us O Lord to learn (Singing the Faith )

Help us, O Lord, to learn
the truths thy word imparts:
to study that thy laws may be
inscribed upon our hearts.

Help us, O Lord, to live
the faith which we proclaim,
that all our thoughts and words and deeds
may glorify thy name.

Help us, O Lord, to teach
the beauty of thy ways,
that yearning souls may find the Christ,
and sing aloud his praise.
William Watkins Reid (1923-1958 )

Churches look forward to Education Sunday

Reading Mark 8 27-38

SERMON

Jesus said, ‘Whoever loses their life, for me and for the gospel, saves it.’

This is the great paradox of the gospel that it is only by giving up our lives to follow Jesus that we can save them. So you have to decide is it better to do nothing to further God’s kingdom and risk losing your soul or to take up your cross, follow Jesus and gain eternal life?

Are you a risk taker or do you err on the side of caution? Throughout the pandemic we have got used to risk assessments on a personal and institutional level. We weren’t allowed to meet in our churches until the stewards had done a risk assessment of the building to ensure regulations were being obeyed. Even then it was and still is up to each individual person to assess their own vulnerability and decide whether or not to come. I have spoken to several older people who feel that they have lost confidence since lockdown. Being in company after spending so much time alone is difficult for them. They find that the rules around social distancing and mask wearing mean that the world has not returned to normal. Many feel they need time before they are prepared to take the risk of mixing with other people.

When Jesus taught the disciples about the risks he was taking, of being arrested and killed he spoke plainly but Peter didn’t want to listen. He recognised that Jesus was the Christ, but Peter’s vision of the Messiah was of the ruler coming with might and power to establish God’s rule. He did not want to believe in the Messiah as suffering servant of Isaiah’s prophesy, the one who offered his back to those that beat him and turned his cheeks to those who pulled out his beard, the one who did not hide his face from mocking and spitting.

Throughout Mark’s gospel Jesus instructs the disciples not to tell people about him. Some biblical scholars say that is because the disciples had not yet understood his message. Jesus the teacher wanted to be sure that his disciples had got the right message before they tried to pass it on. Teaching God’s message was a vital part of Jesus’ ministry. He knew that he had only a short time with the disciples to give them his message and to equip them to preach the gospel.

Education Sunday

Traditionally the second Sunday in September is Education Sunday to mark the beginning of the new school year. Education has always been important in the Methodist Church. Learning to read not only enables people to further their knowledge and understanding the Bible but enhances life opportunities. 

During the pandemic many parents, grandparents and children have appreciated more than ever the work that teachers do. Education provides the foundation of a child’s life and many fear that these months of disruption will have a lasting effect on today’s young people. Many of those working in schools may be feeling weary after all the ups and downs of the last couple of years. All these people need encouragement at this time, and it is for us in the church to offer support and pray for all those involved in education. Teachers, assistants and other school workers have been on the front-line of the pandemic alongside other key workers. We should encourage them and give thanks for their hard work and devotion.

Many of us are finding it hard to take up our work in the church again after lockdown. The situation in our circuit has changed and we are looking at new ways of working together. September marks the start of the new Methodist year and we are having to step up a gear. Ministers, preachers, stewards and organists are having to prepare for weekly services again. Fellowship groups and coffee mornings have started again with fewer people able to help than before the pandemic struck. We are beginning to work in our new church clusters. At times it can feel quite hard and dispiriting.

Jesus never said that the path of discipleship would be easy but he did promise that it would be rewarding. As we set out with him on the next stage of our journey of faith let us remember that he is with us all the way.

Lord, you walked with your disciples from village to village.
And on the way you talked to them about many things.
Some things were not easy to hear or to understand.
We meet you here today, Lord, to hear these things too.

You don’t call us to sit doing nothing.
You want us to be on the move:
taking risks to change our world and save our lives.
Help us, then, to draw close to you,
to be ready to listen. Then to act.

Amen

STF 272 From Heaven you came ( Singing the Faith )

From heaven you came, helpless babe,
Entered our world, your glory veiled; 
Not to be served but to serve,
And give your life that we might live.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.

There in the garden of tears,
My heavy load he chose to bear;
His heart with sorrow was torn,
‘Yet not my will but yours,’ he said.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.

Come, see his hands and his feet,
The scars that speak of sacrifice,
Hands that flung stars into space
To cruel nails surrendered.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.

So let us learn how to serve,
And in our lives enthrone him;
Each other’s needs to prefer,
For it is Christ we’re serving.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.
Graham Kendrick (b. 1950 )

BBC Radio 4 - Sunday, The Future of religious education, Sunday Programme  Special

Intercessions

A prayer for Education Sunday from Churches Together in England

Dear God, we thank you for our schools, colleges and universities: for those who learn, those who teach and those who support.
We remember children and young people who do not have access to education because they cannot afford it, because their families need them to work or because the society in which they live does not make it possible for them.
We think of those whose education has been disrupted by natural disasters, by disease or by political situations (you may choose to name some situations here)
We thank you for those who campaign for education for all, who work to improve access to education, and for all who use the education they have received for the benefit of others.

Amen

So many people in our world today are taking huge risks with their lives for causes they believe in. We think particularly of those in Afghanistan who have taken to the streets to protest about the rule of the Taliban.
Loving God draw close to the people of Afghanistan,
may we see and be inspired by those who take risks for justice.
Caring is very much in the news this week and we are reminded of both the cost of care in pounds and pence and the personal costs for those who do the caring. Thank you, Lord God, for everyone who cares. Help us to understand the full meaning of being cared for and cared about by our Creator.
Loving God draw close to all who give care,
may we see and be inspired by those who care so diligently for others.

We are aware of many different people and groups fighting hard for climate justice; trying to bring to our attention the peril the world is in and effect change. Thank you for people who care deeply about the environment and are not afraid to use their voice to speak about it. We pray for everyone preparing for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow later this year.
Loving God, draw close to the people around us who fight continually for climate justice,
may we see and be inspired by those who speak up and make us listen.

Finally, we pray for ourselves. Whatever circumstances face us in the week to come may we face them in the knowledge that you are always with us. May we learn how to let go of the things of this world that weigh us down or distract us from serving you.

Loving God draw close to all of us this week as we work out what discipleship means,
may we see and be inspired by those who model lives of faith and service.

STF 704 O Jesus, I have promised ( Hymns and Psalms )

1 O Jesus, I have promised 
To serve thee to the end; 
Be thou forever near me, 
My Master and my friend;
I shall not fear the battle 
If thou art by my side, 
Nor wander from the pathway 
If thou wilt be my guide. 

2 O let me feel thee near me! 
The world is ever near: 
I see the sights that dazzle, 
The tempting sounds I hear. 
My foes are ever near me, 
Around me and within; 
But, Jesus, draw thou nearer, 
And shield my soul from sin. 

3 O let me hear thee speaking 
In accents clear and still, 
Above the storms of passion, 
The murmurs of self-will. 
O speak to reassure me, 
To hasten or control; 
O speak, and make me listen, 
Thou guardian of my soul.

4 O Jesus, thou hast promised 
To all who follow thee
That where thou art in glory 
There shall thy servant be. 
And, Jesus, I have promised 
To serve thee to the end; 
O give me grace to follow,
My Master and my friend. 
J.E. Bode ( 1816-74 )

Blessing

God’s peace be in you,
God’s love, enfold you,
God’s word, direct you,
God’s joy, uphold you,
God’s strength, protect you,
today and always.
Amen

SERVICE FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 5th prepared by Sister Vivien Ward

Call to worship 

Open our eyes to see Christ among us.
Open our ears to hear the living word.
Open our mouths to speak and sing praises.
Open our hearts to receive You now.

HYMN    341  “All for Jesus”

1. All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
This our song shall ever be,
For we have no hope, nor Saviour,
If we have not hope in Thee!

2. All for Jesus Thou wilt give us
Strength to serve Thee, hour by hour;
None can move us from Thy presence,
While we trust Thy love and power.

3. All for Jesus! Thou hast loved us;
All for Jesus! Thou hast died;
All for Jesus! Thou art with us;
All for Jesus Crucified.

4. All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
This the Church’s song must be
Till, at last, her sons are gathered
One in love and one in Thee!

O.T. Reading  Jeremiah  31 : 7 – 9

   This is an oracle – prophesy –  a revelation of Jeremiah an its speaks of the return of the exiles from Babylon.

5“Again you will plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria
     The planters will plant and enjoy the  abundant fruit in peace.
6“For there will be a day when the watchmen on the hills of Ephraim cry out,
      ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, To the Lord our God.’”
7For thus says the Lord, “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
   And shout for the first and foremost of the nations[the chosen people, Israel
     Proclaim, give praise and say, ‘O Lord save Your people, The remnant of Israel!
5“Again you will plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria;
      The planters will plant and enjoy the  abundant fruit in peace.
6“For there will be a day when the watchmen on the hills of Ephraim cry out,
      ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion To the Lord our God.’
7For thus says the Lord,
   “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and shout for the first and foremost of the nations[the chosen people, Israel.
  Proclaim, give praise and say,  ‘O Lord save Your people, The remnant of Israel!

The World's Best Vineyards

N.T. reading      Hebrews 7 : 23 – 28

This section concludes the discussion of Christ, as high priest. The emphasis has been on what this enables us to understand about Christ’s role.

Sermon  part 1

The land of Israel was split into two small kingdoms at the end of king Solomon’s reign.
The northern kingdom of ten tribes retained the name Israel and the southern kingdom of two tribes took the name of Judah, the two tribes being Benjamin and Judah and Judah was the largest.
Assyria came a conquering and took Israel and took all but the poorest and weakest back to Assyria and we hear no more about them.
Judah was left … however – Babylon came a conquering and took Assyria and this time they took Judah as well.
They took all but the poorest and weakest back into Babylon.
It was a journey of around 600 miles and this period, in Babylon we call the exile.
Jeremiah has often been dubbed the ‘prophet of doom’ because his calling was to bring the difficult message of judgement.
The judgement that would culminate in the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the exile.
Jeremiah is not in exile but in Judah and he speaks to the ‘remnant of Israel’ 
“The remnant of Israel” ?
Jeremiah foresaw that Judah was doomed to captivity; but he was equally certain that a remnant would survive.
This remnant would have to endure much. It would be gleaned – harvested – as thoroughly as a vine  and is promised restoration and increase.
The remnant is the people of God.
Jeremiah also means “those who escaped deportation”, not only to Babylon but those who survived deportation to Assyria.
He also speaks to those in exile in Assyria  and Babylon  which includes all the children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, extended families and neighbouring tribes that have been taken first by Assyra and then 100 years later by Babylon.
When a return seemed impossible ….  Jeremiah gives them hope when he sees a way home
that will accommodate them all. This oracle of Jeremiah invites a song on behalf of Jacob the patriarch whose name was changed to Israel and therefore represents the 12 tribes.
As they process home they will be singing, they will call on  God to save those who have survived their exile and the most vulnerable members in the procession including pregnant women who are about to give birth.
It is God who will lead His people home. It will be as a second exodus.
And the hope developed that one day a  ‘son of David’, their great king  will be filled with God’s power and would lead His people back to God’s way.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The reading from the book of Hebrews concludes the discussion of how Christ – as high priest – compares with Melchizedek.
Now Melchizedek is a somewhat puzzling figure and is only mentioned twice in the O. T.
What the author of Hebrews is saying is, that Christ is superior of any high priest. 
He is unique because He holds the priesthood permanently.
There never comes a time when He is to finish and another high priest appointed , SO ,
Salvation is always available through Him.
He is holy, He is blameless and He is undefiled SOoooooooo
Jesus has no need to offer sacrifice on His own behalf BUT offers the sacrifice of Himself once and for all people.

Prayers

20 Morning Prayers for Daily Blessings and Powerful Inspiration

Adoration. 

 Let the earth shout, the mountains cry out, the seas roar, for God gathers in the lost and lame, the poor and weary the faithful and the doubter.
All our voices are not enough to sing out songs of praise to God.
So let earth join sun, moon and stars to rejoice together as all creation praises her maker.
Amen

Confession. 

For when we have not best cared for those nearest to us, our family our friends, Good Lord, forgive us.
For when we have not best cared for those close to us in our church, in our street, in our community Good Lord, forgive us
For when we have not best cared for those far from us in our country, in our world … Good Lord, forgive  us. For when we have not best cared for You in worship, in word, in prayer … Good Lord forgive us.
Amen.

Thanksgiving. 

When You took the trouble to come to earth You changed the way we looked at life.
Suddenly our days seemed more precious, our strange characters more interesting
it looked as though we mattered.
When You went out alone into the wilderness You changed our ideas of what power was like,
all heaven’s angels at hand, You asked for nothing. 
With hunger and thirst growing by the day , You took nothing.
  It seemed You had a purpose greater than we could see.
When You started to travel around the countryside you changed our picture of holiness.
There You were in sinners’ homes with tax collectors and prostitutes.
You ate and drank with an appetite and folk liked Your company.
There was nothing false in the things you said of God.
When You began to heal and teach You changed our hearts and minds.
The kingdom became a wonderful open space.
The invitation to love and be loved was exciting and the chance to be well was eye opening.
When You walked the lonely road to the cross You changed the image we had of God
  no longer distant, cut off, not all powerful and strange with thunderbolts to hand but willing to take our anger, rage and hate.
When you rose You changed us, You made us whole, You made us Yours, You made us who we are.
When You speak to us now , You change us still.
Dreams and visions – words and wisdom -messengers from below and above all conspire to  transform and renew.
And we will be changed
AND we will be new
AND we will be Yours forever.
Thanks be to God.
  Amen

Supplication

God of love, sometimes we are scared of change, yet we long for Your transforming grace to change us.
Help us let go of all that separates us from You.
As Jesus changed lives of so many people, change us too.
  Give us eyes to see Your world that we may walk Your way.
Amen

HYMN   440  “Amazing grace”

1.  Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

2.  ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

 3.  The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

 4.  Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

 5.  When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

 Prayers of intercession

As children of our heavenly Father, trusting in His will and capacity to care for us all let us pray.

We pray for all pastoral care in the Church; for ministries of listening and counselling; for sharing of grief; the freeing from guilt,.
We pray for the grace to accompany others to Christ’s healing love.
What do you want Christ to do for you ? 
We pray for the healing of the nations;  for a recognition of our need of God and a turning away from all that is evil.
We pray for all in authority and world power, that they may be guided along the right paths.

What do you want God to do for you ?  

We pray for an increase in love for one another, that we may be better at recognising needs and responding to them; that we may give more time to those we love.
What do you want God to do for you ?    
We pray for those who are blind or partially sighted and those who are spiritually or emotionally blind.
We pray for the opening of eyes to see God’s way and faith to trust Him through good and ill.
What do you want God to do for you ?  
We pray for those whose eyes have shut to this world that they may open to the brightness and joy of heaven.
What do you want God to do for you ?  
Lord, we want to see Your world through Your eyes
We thank You, heavenly Father for drawing us to You and stretching out Your arms to us in welcome.
Accept these prayers for the sake of Your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.    Amen.

A prayer for church growth

God of mission, who alone brings growth to Your Church, send Your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning, wisdom to our actions and power to our witness.
Help our church to grow in number, in Spiritual commitment to You and in service to our local community, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Offertory Prayer

Heavenly Father we bring to You the offering of our money. However it is given it is a token of our love for You and we pray that You will bless it and use it for the furtherance of Your kingdom.
Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Gospel.   Mark 10 : 46 – 52

46 Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting beside the road as was his custom.
 47 When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 
48 Many sternly rebuked him, telling him to keep still and be quiet; but he kept on shouting out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, telling him, “Take courage, get up! He is calling for you.”
50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 
51 And Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, my Master, let me regain my sight.”
52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith and confident trust in My power]has made you well.”  Immediately he regained his sight and began following Jesus on the road.

When will I be able to go climbing and hill walking again?

HYMN   172  “Hills of the north rejoice”

  1. Hills of the North, rejoice;

River and mountain spring,
Hark to the advent voice;
Valley and lowland, sing;
Though absent long, your Lord is nigh;
He judgment brings and victory.

2.  Isles of the southern seas,
Deep in your coral caves
Pent be each warring breeze,
Lulled be your restless waves:
He comes to reign with boundless sway,
And makes your wastes His great highway.

3.  Lands of the East, awake,
Soon shall your sons be free;
The sleep of ages break,
And rise to liberty.
On your far hills, long cold and gray,
Has dawned the everlasting day.

4.  Shores of the utmost West,
Ye that have waited long,
Unvisited, unblest,
Break forth to swelling song;
High raise the note, that Jesus died,
Yet lives and reigns, the Crucified.

5.  Shout, while ye journey home;
Songs be in every mouth;
Lo, from the North we come,
From East, and West, and South.
City of God, the bond are free,
We come to live and reign in thee!

Sermon Part 2

The story of blind Bartimaeus is what we might call the end of an episode in the narrative of the Jesus story because the next ‘thing’ we have is Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem  which is the beginning of the next episode.
This is the only healing story in which the person is named
Scholars suggest that this reflects the fact that Bartimaeus subsequently became well-known within the Jerusalem church.
The story – not long before this of Bartimaeus, is one of the rich young ruler and you remember that he just couldn’t give up his wealth. His riches and possessions were very precious to him so no way could he be a disciple of Jesus.
He leaves shocked and grieving. BUT here is Bartimaeus –  a blind man who sees again and walks with Jesus into Jerusalem. Being a blind beggar he was a despised member of society, he was the’ least in the kingdom of heaven’ and becomes one of the greatest and one of the first in the kingdom – the rich man –???
He became last in the kingdom of Heaven. The values of society are turned upside do in the events of the Gospels.
The story of Bartimaeus is powerful. His cry when he learns that Jesus is round and about is,
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”  Echoes of the song of the returning exiles.
This is the last healing story in the gospel and Jesus is set to go to Jerusalem.
The cry of Bartimaeus “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” is a messianic title.
Bartimaeus is identifying Jesus as the Messiah AND Jesus does not rebuke him about this.
Before, Jesus has told the person to say nothing OR He denies it.
But remember that the next thing to happen to Jesus is his entry into Jerusalem when the crowds take up the cry, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David,”
Bartimaeus is told the stay quiet but he cries out again, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”  By his persistence and despite the crowd, the blind man attracts Jesus’ attention.
Perhaps the disciples have learned their lesson about not keeping the least in the kingdom away from Him .
They had had a ‘do’ with Jesus if you remember, when they tried to keep children away fromHim
“What do you want me to do for you?” asks Jesus.
“I want to see”  says blind Bartimaeus.
Jesus performs the miracle – there is rejoicing AND there is a changed life and he ends up following Jesus.
Although this could mean he joined the crowd travelling to the festival it probably means the way of discipleship.
Bartimaeus has grown through his encounter with Jesus from being an interested observer to a committed believer.
So … what have we got ?
We have Jeremiah’s marvellous picture of the exiles returning from Babylon.
We have the theme of the ingathering of the remnant of Israel from the ends of the earth,
the remnant that will be guided and protected by the love and power of God.
Is it all a dream? 
Time and time again the prophet Jeremiah and all other prophets encouraged Israel to return to the Lord who is faithful and will ultimately bring deliverance.
God’s salvation is for all including the vulnerable such as the blind, the deaf, the infirm, the poor, the elderly and the mentally sick – what Jesus calls ‘the least of these.`
The returning exiles can be confident of God’s love
But …………..  with this love comes a call to obedience

In Mark’s gospel we’ve had the story of the rich man that went away sad because of his inability to put Jesus before his possessions.
We’ve had the disciples showing spiritual shallowness in their disputes about status.
The rich man was privileged in his riches and the disciples were privileged in their close relationship with Jesus, but  they failed to display their dependence on God which is a quality of true discipleship – dependence on God.
BUT it was the blind man – Bartimaeus – one of the least of these –  who showed real insight.
He had nothing. He was poor, he was marginalised as shown by the crowds reactions to him
BUT he knew his needs and he knew what he was going to do about it.
He knew that Jesus was His hope. Jesus heals him and he follows Jesus.
 The crowds would have been amazed because  they  criticized Bartimaeus for calling out to Jesus.
Jesus asked that he be brought to Him and then .. He healed him.
This turned the values of their society upside down.
Another amazing thing about Bartimaeus was … he called Jesus the ‘Son of David,’ a messianic title – which Jesus does not deny.
There is a lot going on here, Jesus is showing the new order of God’s kingdom.
And Hebrews ?
The writer reflects on the rich theme of the priestly ministry of Jesus
1.  Jesus’ priesthood is permanent because it will never be ended by death
2. His ministry is not subject to changes and chances – whenever we call upon Him … He is there.
3.  The salvation Jesus brings is complete and for all ….. and ……
4   He is praying for you at this very moment. Isn’t that amazing ?


Because God has exalted Jesus above the heavens. He is interceding for us in the immediate presence of God the Father through the priestly ministry of Jesus.
We shall one day join him there.
What does it mean for us ? From Jeremiah we have hope.
The Israelites were in a mess, they were in exile – they had to leave their homes – their homeland,
the magnificent temple the dwelling place of God and traipse some 600 miles to a foreign country with a foreign language and foreign customs. They believed that because God dwelled in the temple they had left God behind as well.
They are miserable.
When a return seemed impossible ….  Jeremiah gave them hope.
When he sees a way home that will accommodate them all they process home with singing.
They will call on  God to save those who have survived their exile and God will lead His people home. It will be as a second exodus.
Their hope was in One who was to come, a descendent of their glorious king – King David who would lead them back into the ways of God.

There have been times when my life has been a mess.
Sometimes it felt as if I was in exile away from everything that made and sense in my life.
It felt that God had abandoned me  – and I was miserable.
Ever felt like that ?  looked at your life and said “What am I doing?” “What’s it all for?”  and you want the world to stop so that you can get off. There are times when it is difficult being a disciple. But then we were never promised an easy passage and the feelings of abandonment doesn’t come from God it comes from within.
There is only one person who has moved and that is yourself.  And when we come to our senses we know there is always a way back because God is faithful. There is always confidence in His love because it is steadfast and sure and with this love – comes a call to obedience and obedience can be a difficult path to tread.

…………………………………………………………………………………..

The story of Bartimaeus tells us that the values of God’s kingdom turns the world’s values upside down.
In His kingdom ‘the least of these’ will be first.
He asked that the blind man be brought to Him.
He healed him and blessed him.
His poverty and vulnerability didn’t get in the way.
 Unlike the rich man who found it difficult to give up the privileges of his wealth.
Bartimaeus was asked by Jesus what he wanted Jesus to do for him.
His answer was that he might see. In a way he could already see because he called Jesus ‘Son of David’ – a messianic title.
Bartimaeus saw much more than many others including the disciples.
He couldn’t see Jesus in the flesh but He could ‘see’ who He was.
It begs the answer from us when Jesu says  What do you want me to do for you?
Do your want for yourself and family or do you throw your net wider and  include the community, the church, the world

Just  What do you want Jesus to do for you

Bartimaeus wanted his sight –  maybe we should be looking to able to see, not physically but spiritually and emotionally. To see as God sees.
We have a high priest in Jesus who is always – there is never a time when He is not, whom we can call upon whenever and wherever,
Who brings us salvation for all the messes we get ourselves into AND at this very moment is praying for you.

…………………………………………………………………………

God is our hope for He is faithful and true.
His love is steadfast and sure.
He turns the values of this world upside down and asks us to have His values to see to ‘the least of these.
He asks us “what do you want Me to do for you?” and before you answer think what it is God wants of you …… then answer

           All the time.  All the time    All the time.  

We can call upon Him no matter what place we are in or where we are – physically emotionally spiritually or when we feel in a mess.
He is always with us – He brings us salvation to all situations and He is praying for you right now.    
With this comes a call  – He calls us  to obedience. 
Will you come and follow Him?

Sunday, September 3: Will You Come and Follow Me? - Mountain View United  Methodist Church

HYMN  673  “Will you come and follow me”

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In Your company I’ll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me..

Benediction

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
IS with us now and for always.
Amen