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Welcome to the 9:30 Church At Home

6th Sunday of Easter

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.

Thy Kingdom Come

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to be a part of Thy Kingdom Come, to do that we want to make some of the Thy Kingdom Come resources available to you for free.

To find out more and to request your resources click the link below.

An introduction to the season

The Great Fifty Days of Eastertide form a single festival period in which the tone of joy created at the Easter Vigil is sustained through the following seven weeks, and the Church celebrates the gloriously risen Christ.

On the fortieth day there has from the late fourth century been a particular celebration of Christ’s ascension.
He commissions his disciples to continue his work, he promises the gift of the Holy Spirit, and then he is no longer among them in the flesh. The ascension is therefore closely connected with the theme of mission.

The arrival of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost completes and crowns the Easter Festival.

Words of Encouragement

The first line of the Lord’s Prayer helps us find our place in the universe despite the chaos and suffering around us and the pain within us.

We remember that we are not here by accident or chance, but we are deeply loved children of our maker.

You are not alone but connected as God’s child with all of humanity.

You are part of the church of Jesus Christ.

Our Father is indeed in heaven, but this prayer is given to us by his Son, Jesus, who lived and suffered with us and who rose again from death.

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

Words of Welcome

Alleluia. Christ is risen
He is risen indeed. Alleluia

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
He has given us new life and hope.
He has raised Jesus from the dead.

Alleluia. Christ is risen
He is risen indeed. Alleluia

Opening Prayer

Faithful one, whose word is life:
come with saving power
to free our praise,
inspire our prayer
and shape our lives
for the kingdom of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Hymn

SB11 – Shout To The Lord
You can also listen on Spotify here.

Prayers of Penitence

Jesus Christ, risen Master and triumphant Lord, we come to you in sorrow for our sins,
and confess to you our weakness and unbelief.
We have lived by our own strength,
and not by the power of your resurrection.
In your mercy, forgive us.
Lord, hear us and help us.

We have lived by the light of our own eyes,
as faithless and not believing.
In your mercy, forgive us.
Lord, hear us and help us.

May the God of love and power
forgive you and free you from your sins,
heal and strengthen you by his Spirit,
and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Dedication

Lord Jesus Christ, you emptied yourself, taking the form of a servant.
Through your love, make us servants of one another.

Lord Jesus Christ, you gave yourself for us.
We give back to you out of the time, energy and money you have given us.

Lord Jesus Christ, for our sake you became poor:
May our lives and gifts enrich the life of your world.

First Reading

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: ‘People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship – and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 ‘The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 “For in him we live and move and have our being.” As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.”

29 ‘Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone – an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.’

Acts 17:22-31 (NIV UK)

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

Second Reading

Jesus promises the Holy Spirit

15 ‘If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.’

John 14:15-21 (NIV UK)

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

Teaching

Watch this week’s talk below.

Reflection

Firstly, if you have become a follower of Jesus for the first time, we’d love to know and support you on your new journey! Please drop us an email: hello@transformwidnes.church or find us on social media.

Suggestion: For the discussion parts of this, 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.

  1. What is the ‘dressing gown’ (the thing you have used to comfort yourself) that you think you might have relied on instead of God (can be big or small)?
  2. Why do you think it has had so much power over your life?
  3. What do you think about Jesus words that he won’t ever abandon you? Has this been easy or difficult to believe over the years? Why is this?
  4. What did you think about the picture of God coming to set up home ‘in you’? Is that a helpful image or not? Why?
  5. What is one specific thing that you feel God is saying to you through this time? What would you like to do about it? Who could you tell to support you in this?
  6. Would you like space for your friends/family/church team to pray this through with you? If so, we would encourage you to ask them now or get in contact this week.

Second Hymn

SB14 – Be Thou My Vision
You can also listen on Spotify here.

Affirmation of Faith

Let us declare our faith
in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried;
he was raised to life on the third day
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles:
this we have received,
and this we believe.
Amen.

Collect

Risen Christ,
by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples:
help your Church to obey your command
and draw the nations to the fire of your love,
to the glory of God the Father.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray to God,
who alone makes us dwell in safety:

For all who are affected by coronavirus,
through illness or isolation or anxiety,
that they may find relief and recovery:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For those who are guiding our nation at this time,
and shaping national policies,
that they may make wise decisions:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,
that through their skill and insights
many will be restored to health:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For the vulnerable and the fearful,
for the gravely ill and the dying,
that they may know your comfort and peace:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praise into one, let us pray as our Saviour taught us:

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 for ever.
Amen.

Conclusion

Alleluia. Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He has given us new life and hope.
He has raised Jesus from the dead.

God has claimed us as his own.

He has brought us out of darkness.
He has made us light to the world.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

“The Lord bless us and keep us;
the Lord make his face shine on us
and be gracious to us;
the Lord turn his face toward us
and give us peace.”
Amen.

(Numbers 6:24-26)