This morning we resume our studies in Matthews Gospel and in the evening return to the life Jacob. In the morning our Order of Service will be:
Call to Worship:
Good morning … welcome to Balshagray Victoria Park.
Jesus said, I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Hymn 74 No to us be glory given
Father how good it is to know that we are not alone; that we have a Shepherd who cares for and looks after us. Father it is not just that Jesus says that He loves us; your Holy Spirit takes us to the Upper Room, to Gethsemane and to Calvary where we can enter the heart of the Saviour and know the depths of His love, the splendour of His glory and become lost in wonder love and praise. Lord we thank you placing us in the loving care of Christ your Son our Good shepherd. Amen.
Children’s Address: ‘The Precious Picture’
Children’s Prayer / Lord’s Prayer
Hymn 558 Lord I lift your Name on high
Prayer of Approach
Father Jesus looked out over Jerusalem and wept. Paul looked out over his times ad echoed the words of the Psalmist as he wrote:
‘There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
Father we look within our own hearts and weep; we do not know the glory of God, the knowledge of your goodness is not in us and the will to follow your goodness is not is us. We are in the grip of envy and the ingratitude it breeds. We leave much good that is within our power undone.
But then a soldier stood at the foot of a cross looked upon the corpse of man crucified as a criminal, and having heard His cried having heard His prayers in awe said surely this was a righteous man. Father Christ dying forgiving His tormentors, Christ dying to open paradise to the penitent, Christ never losing faith in you, Christ remembering His mother with love; this is righteousness.
This is the wonder of faith that we are lost through our want of righteousness, righteousness is something we could never create for ourselves but we are forgiven and accepted through the righteous sacrifice of Christ upon the cross..
Father, our glory is the righteousness of Christ to Him be all praise, honour and dominion now and evermore; Amen.
Offering / Dedication
Scripture Reading: Matthew 15 v29 – 39 p982
Prayer of Intercession
Father what madness is it that grips the hearts of two anonymous young men that they should plant bombs in the midst of families cheering the climax to a marathon in Boston? Father the grotesqueness of their evil and the way they were hunted down appals us.
Father we fear such violence will multiply in the years to come, in Syria the rebels armies are as corrupt as the regime they seek to overthrow. Iran and South Korea seek nuclear weapons. Such weapons in the hands of men like those who planted the bombs in Boston could destroy vast cities.
Lord in the days before Noah when men Babel sought to be gods you sowed confusion amongst and their plans fell apart. In your mercy restrain the evil man can do.
Father you call men and women to follow Christ into this darkness confusion and mayhem. They go to be the love of God being a Good Samaritan healing the wounded, feeding the hungry, carrying the broken home. We pray that they would take Jesus stories and words with them to bring new life to diseased souls.
We continue to pray for those who have fled persecution in their homeland and seek refuge in this country. We remember God’s word that we should welcome the stranger; that Mary, Joseph and their little baby fled from Bethlehem to Egypt. We than you that we have more than enough for our own needs and can share with those who have nothing and we give thanks for those who devote their lives to caring for those who need a place a safety.
Let us pray for someone, a specific person who needs our love. Maybe they need someone who will listen. Maybe they need someone to give them hope. Maybe they need someone to say God is bigger than the wrong we have done. Lord grant us the time, the understanding the words.
Father we never outgrow our need of the assurance of forgiveness; share with us once again we pray the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
Though Christ our Lord we pray; Amen.
Hymn 189 Be still for the presence of the Lord
Sermon: ‘Christ’s Compassion’
Hymn 467 All my days I will sing this song of gladness
Benediction / Sung Amen