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Welcome to the 9:30 Church At Home

5th Sunday of Lent

Although we can’t be together this Sunday as one big family, we’re still connected by God’s love for us and our love for him and each other! Below is a suggested structure for you to spend time worshipping God and receiving from him today. Please don’t feel like you have to stick to 9:30am on a Sunday – find a time that will work for you and your family without other distractions.

Words of Encouragement for difficult times

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:1-7 (NIV)

Suggestion: Please read the normal black print in your mind, then read aloud the bold black print.

The Greeting

The Lord our redeemer be with you
and also with you.

Opening Prayer

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

The Beatitudes

Let us hear our Lord’s blessing on those who follow him.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Silence is kept.

First Hymn

SB2 – Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
You can also listen on Spotify here.

Prayer of Preparation

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirt,
Returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.
Let us confess our sins remembering before God the times when we have fallen from temptation into sin.

We confess to you our selfishness and lack of love:
fill us with your Spirit.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

We confess to you our fear and failure in sharing our faith:
fill us with your Spirit.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

We confess to you our stubbornness and lack of trust:
fill us with your Spirit.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Absolution

May almighty God, who sent his Son into the world to save sinners, bring us his pardon and peace, now and forever.
Amen.

First Reading

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
“I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”

Isaiah 42:1-9 (NIV)

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Second Reading

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

John 9:1-7 (NIV)

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Teaching & Discussion

Watch this week’s talk and then answer these the questions below.

Suggestion: You could do this by setting up a WhatsApp video call/ Skype/ phone call, or by chatting it through with any members of your family who are with you in your home.

  • What stood out for you from today’s teaching?
  • What surprised you?
  • What questions do you still have?
  • What is God saying to you?
  • Write down one practical way you could live differently from what you’ve heard.
  • Share this with a friend/family member/accountability partner.

Collect

Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer

To conclude this time, spend some time in prayer. If you are doing this with members of family then do this together if possible.

Begin with a few minutes in silence, listening for what God might have to say to you or to your Community in this moment, then share what came to mind. After a few minutes of listening and sharing, spend time praying for:

  • Eradication of COVID-19 and healing for those who are sick.
  • Followers of Jesus to be a presence of peace and love in our town.
  • Financial provision for our church and for God’s mission in Widnes.
  • Any needs in your family/Connect Group/neighbourhood.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples,
‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care.
Amen.

O High king of heaven have mercy on Widnes.
Revive your Church here.
Send the Holy Spirit to change
people’s hearts and minds.
May your Kingdom come to our town,
in Jesus’ mighty name.
Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, you taught us to love our neighbour, and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you. In this time of anxiety,
give us strength to comfort the fearful,
to care for the sick,
and to assure the isolated of our love,
and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory
Are yours, now and forever.
Amen.

Second Hymn

SB9 – Purify My Heart
You can also listen on Spotify here.

Conclusion

Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Though he was divine,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God has raised him on high,
and given him the name above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every voice proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Blessing

God of compassion,
through your Son Jesus Christ
you have reconciled your people to yourself.
As we follow his example of prayer and fasting,
may we obey you with willing hearts
and serve one another in holy love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God