Sermon

LOCKDOWN SERVICE WITH HOLY COMMUNION

Good morning!
Welcome to all the listeners and viewers at home. Thank you for joining us for this time of worship and reflection during lockdown.

This Service of worship is broadcast on the 3rd May 2020, from St. Columba’s Presby.

Today we are going to celebrate Holy Communion, so please set out your plates of bread and wine/juice. I am going to lead you through that part of the Service, and will do the consecration of the elements for you.

We invite you as families and individuals to share in this time together. We believe what is significant about breaking bread is not our physical distance but rather it is the very presence of Christ in the act of breaking bread.

We have denominational permission to celebration the Table of the Lord in this way.

So feel free to join in with us. Children who are baptised are welcome to share the bread and wine, perhaps with some explanation by parents/guardians beforehand.

Without further ado, let us come into the presence of God, where every house is a house of prayer.

Call to Worship – (inspired by Psalm 23, John 10)

I AM the good shepherd
(the one who tends us, guides us into pastures, who recognises the sounds of our names).

I AM the good shepherd
(the one who bends to heal us, travels through the deepest valleys with us, who gives up everything for us all).

I AM the good shepherd
(the one whose rod and staff comforts us,
whose strength and love holds us, whose cup of love runs over).

I AM the good shepherd and we will dwell
in the house of the Lord, forever

Let us gather here, God’s People,
in God’s love, for God’s world

You Raise Me Up

Psalm 23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

A psalm of David


1 You, LORD, are my shepherd.

I will never be in need.

2 You let me rest in fields

of green grass.

You lead me to streams

of peaceful water,

3 and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,

and you lead me

along the right paths.

4 I may walk through valleys

as dark as death,

but I won’t be afraid.

You are with me,

and your shepherd’s rod[a]

makes me feel safe.

5 You treat me to a feast,

while my enemies watch.

You honour me as your guest,

and you fill my cup

until it overflows.


6 Your kindness and love

will always be with me

each day of my life,

and I will live forever

in your house, LORD.


Footnotes:

a. 23.4 shepherd’s rod: The Hebrew text mentions two objects carried by the shepherd: a club to defend against wild animals and a long pole to guide and control the sheep.


Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society



Prayer of Confession


We have not believed you or trusted in your power. Lord, help our unbelief.

We are broken by disease, bruised by the sins of others, weakened and unable to repair ourselves. Heal us, risen Lord.


We so often ignore your call to centre our lives in you, and so we are deaf to the hopes and cries of the poor, the sick, the needy, and the Earth. Come and ground us, Lord!


Gentle Shepherd, you guide us in right paths, you lead us in the ways of righteousness, but we have allowed our anger, our rage, our greed, and at times even hate, to direct our paths.


We have overreacted, we have taken more than our share, we have despised others that seem to have it all.


Forgive us, God, for not following your ways. Forgive us for not remembering that we are your sheep, and you are our shepherd.


Forgive us when we have not listened for your voice and instead have acted in the unbelieving ways of the world.


Guide us back to your path, to loving you and loving our neighbours. Help us to unclench our fists and lend out our hands in hope and healing, forgiveness and love.

In the name of Christ our Shepherd we pray. Amen.


Assurance of Pardon


People of God, the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The Good Shepherd knows the sheep, and the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep so that the sheep may live. We are part of the flock, we are part of Christ’s body. In Christ we find wholeness and restoration. Go forth and share this Good News. Amen.


Prayer

Shepherd of our lives, Guide us to the still waters. Lead us on the right paths. Walk beside us when we go through our darkest valleys.



Help us to know your comforting presence is always with us. We know that in you there is nothing to be afraid of, so help us to stand for love, peace and justice.

We know that you prepare the table before us, that you care for us, that we are your sheep forever.


Help us in this world to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with you; and wherever we may go, may we follow your path.


Now we ask that you will open the Scriptures and speak into our hearts and lives. Make your word alive in us as we trust in you.

In the name of Christ, the Good Shepherd, we pray. Amen.


The Gospel Reading

John 10:1-10 (CEV)


Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen.

2-3 But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.


4 When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5 The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away.


6 Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.


7 Jesus said:

I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. 8 Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. 9 I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.


10 A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.


Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Download link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mpfiku-IEt28Le3KDeJp1BfJCLIsmACb/view?usp=sharing

HOLY COMMUNION

So we gather around the Table of the Lord:

*Uncover the Table Cloth*


Now, God’s People:

Come to the Lord’s Table, all you who love him.

Come to the Lord’s Table, you are forgiven.

Come to the Lord’s Table, trust in God.

Come to the Lord’s Table, be at peace.


The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

(And also with you!)



We Bring Our Requests to God


Let us pray:

Faithful God, full of compassion, you have promised to be near us, and to listen to our prayers for ourselves and others.


And so, we pray for our world, torn by hatred and division, broken by poverty and disease.

Let your mercy fill our world.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise. It is truly right and our greatest joy to give you thanks and praise, eternal God, our creator.


You have given us life and second birth in your Spirit. Once we were no people, but now we are your people.


You claimed the children of Abraham as your chosen nation to achieve your purposes, and you raised up the church as a witness to the resurrection, breathing into it your life and power.


From worlds apart, you gathered us together.

When we go astray, you welcome us home.

Always, your love has been steadfast.


Therefore we praise you, joining our voices with the choirs of heaven and with all the faithful of every time and place who forever sing to the glory of your name:


Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!


Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. In love with you and in compassion for all, Jesus healed and taught, challenged and comforted, welcomed and saved.


He formed a community, promising to be with his disciples wherever two or three were gathered, and sending them on his mission of hope and healing in the world.


Jesus trusted his life to you, and went freely to his death, so the world might be set free from suffering and sin. You raised him from death and raise us also to live a new life with him.


In the power of the Holy Spirit, you send us out to make disciples as he commanded. Remembering all your mighty and merciful acts, we take this bread and this wine from the gifts you have given us and celebrate with joy the redemption won for us in Jesus Christ.


Accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving as a living and holy offering of ourselves, that our lives may proclaim Christ, the One, crucified and risen.


Great is the mystery of faith.

Christ has died,

Christ is risen,

Christ will come again.


Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.


By your Spirit unite us with the living Christ

and with all who are baptised in his name,

that we may be one in ministry in every place.


As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world. It is appropriate to offer intercessions for the church and the world, including prayers for the presbytery, its leaders, pastors, and congregations, and its mission and ministry.


It is also appropriate to give thanks for the life and witness of those who have died. O God, today you have called us together to be the church.


Unite us now at your table, and in one loaf and a common cup, make us one in Christ Jesus.


Let your Spirit empower the life we share and ignite our witness in the world. With all who have gone before us, keep us faithful to the gospel teachings and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.


Give us strength to serve you until the promised day of the resurrection, when with the redeemed of all the ages we will feast with you at your table in glory.


Through Christ, all glory and honour are yours, almighty God, with the Holy Spirit in the holy church, now and forever.

Amen.



THE LORD’S PRAYER

As Christ our Saviour taught us, we are bold to pray together:


“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us;

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever.

Amen.



BREAKING OF THE BREAD

The Lord Jesus, on the night of his arrest, took bread, and after giving thanks to God, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

“Take, eat. This is my body, given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”


In the same way Jesus took the wine, saying:

“This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.”


St. Paul reminds us, “Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the saving death of the risen Lord, until he comes.”



*Share*

Take, eat and drink, in memory of him. Amen. Amen. Amen.



PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Gracious God, may we who have received this sacrament live in the unity of your Holy Spirit, that we may show forth your gifts to all the world.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.



And now, People of God, may you know:

The peace of God

The love of God

The justice of God

The healing and mercy of God

This day and all days



Prayer For Africa

God bless Africa, God bless Africa

Guard her children

Guide her leaders,

And grant us peace,

Amen



Thank you for joining us. Grace and peace to you. Amen.


Blessings!

Published by St. Columba's Presbyterian Church Hatfield

St Columba's Presbyterian Church in Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa is a Christian Church. Our vision is to be a Christ-centred, bible-believing church that calls all to come and experience the love of Christ, in a welcoming and caring body of believers.

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