June 14, 2020

Memorial Sunday – Coming Home

Preacher:
Passage: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 and Matthew 10:1-23

Bible Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 and Matthew 10:1-23 | Preacher: Rev. Bruce W. Kemp | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEAzoTo68aY

The rights to music under licence: CCLI: 1963748

This service is what was planned for the Memorial Sunday at Morewood. As memorial services have been cancelled this year, I felt it was more important than ever to share this service from the church. I invite each and every one of you to embrace this time of worship as a way of remembering those whom you loved and still love who have passed from among us. Let us worship God.

Call to Worship

In the beginning before time, before people, before the world began,
ALL: God was.

Here and now among us, beside us, enlisting the people of the earth for the purposes of heaven
ALL: God is

In the future, when we have turned to dust and all we know has found its fulfillment
ALL: God will be

Not denying the world, but delighting in it, not condemning the world, but redeeming it, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
ALL: God was, God is, God will be.

Hymn# 638 – Take time to be Holy

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord
Abide in him always, and feed on his word
Make friends of God’s children; help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing his blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be
Thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let him be thy guide
And run not before him, whatever betide
In joy or in sorrow, still follow thy Lord
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in his word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul
Each thought and each motive beneath his control
Thus, led by his Spirit to fountains of love
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
CCLI: 1963748

Prayer of Adoration and Confession
Lord God, early in the morning when the world was young, you made life in all its beauty, you gave birth to all that we know.
Early in the morning, when the world least expected it, a newborn child crying in a cradle announced that you had come among us, that you were one of us.
Early in the morning, surrounded by respectable leaders, anxious statesmen and silent friends, you accepted the penalty for doing good, for being God: you shouldered and suffered the cross. Early in the morning a voice in a guarded graveyard and footsteps in the dew proved that you had risen, that you came back to those and for those who had forgotten, denied, and destroyed you.
Early in the morning in the company of your Church on earth and in heaven we celebrate your creation, your life, your death, and resurrection.
Lord, bring new life where we are worn and tired; new love where we have turned hard-hearted; forgiveness where we feel hurt and where we have wounded; and the joy and freedom of your holy Spirit where we are the prisoners of ourselves.
Now hear us as we pray together the words you taught us, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever and ever. AMEN

Assurance of Pardon
To all and to each where regret is real, God pronounces pardon and grants us the right to begin again. Thanks be to God. AMEN

Responsive Psalm – Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is he that made us, and we are his;
We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures for ever,
And his faithfulness to all generations.

Family Hymn: Seek ye first – #625
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Allelu, alleluia!

Ask, and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
Allelu, alleluia!

We do not live by bread alone, but by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Allelu, alleluia!
CCLI license: 1963748

Prayer for Understanding

Scripture
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
1 For we know that when this tent we live in – our body here on earth – is torn down, God will have a house in heaven for us to live in, a home he himself has made, which will last forever.
2 And now we sigh, so great is our desire that our home which comes from heaven should be put on over us;
3 by being clothed with it we shall not be without a body.
4 While we live in this earthly tent, we groan with a feeling of oppression; it is not that we want to get rid of our earthly body, but that we want to have the heavenly one put on over us, so that what is mortal will be transformed by life.
5 God is the one who has prepared us for this change, and he gave us his Spirit as the guarantee of all that he has in store for us.
6 So we are always full of courage. We know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord’s home.
7 For our life is a matter of faith, not of sight.
8 We are full of courage and would much prefer to leave our home in the body and be at home with the Lord.
9 More than anything else, however, we want to please him, whether in our home here or there.
10 For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him. We will each receive what we deserve, according to everything we have done, good or bad, in our bodily life

Matthew 10:1-23
1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee;
3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Patriot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
5 These twelve men were sent out by Jesus with the following instructions: “Do not go to any Gentile territory or any Samaritan towns.
6 Instead, you are to go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.
7 Go and preach, “The Kingdom of heaven is near!’
8 Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid.
9 Do not carry any gold, silver, or copper money in your pockets;
10 do not carry a beggar’s bag for the trip or an extra shirt or shoes or a walking stick. Workers should be given what they need.
11 “When you come to a town or village, go in and look for someone who is willing to welcome you, and stay with him until you leave that place.
12 When you go into a house, say, “Peace be with you.’
13 If the people in that house welcome you, let your greeting of peace remain; but if they do not welcome you, then take back your greeting.
14 And if some home or town will not welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place and shake the dust off your feet.
15 I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than to the people of that town!
16 “Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves.
17 Watch out, for there will be those who will arrest you and take you to court, and they will whip you in the synagogues.
18 For my sake you will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to tell the Good News to them and to the Gentiles.
19 When they bring you to trial, do not worry about what you are going to say or how you will say it; when the time comes, you will be given what you will say.
20 For the words you will speak will not be yours; they will come from the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 “People will hand over their own brothers to be put to death, and fathers will do the same to their children; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death.
22 Everyone will hate you because of me. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, run away to another one. I assure you that you will not finish your work in all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

HYMN: Precious Lord, take my hand – #675
Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

When my way grows drear, precious Lord, linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call; hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

When the darkness appears, and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.
CCLI license: 1963748

The Message: Coming Home

The apostle Paul was a person with a keen sense of what was like to live in and between two worlds. He lived in this world much like how we live in the world today with his body and all its imperfections seeking to live a peaceable life yet also remaining faithful to the teachings and direction of God as revealed to him through the Lord. But he also had a strong sense of the world that was yet to be – the world he could only imagine living in and yet one that he believed was as real as this one is. Paul loved his life – especially his new found freedom to live as follower of God in Christ – but he also loved knowing that he was promised a life in a world beyond what he could see with his eyes and hear with his ears and touch with his hands.

In his attempts to explain the mystery of the world beyond this one, Paul turned to the image of a tent. In the time of Paul, many people still lived in tents. Those tents not only protected the people from rain but also kept strong winds, sandstorms, and intense heat from wreaking havoc with their physical bodies. But eventually tents wear out and new tents need to be made. Paul knows that this body in which we live is like a tent as it wraps us in a body that enables us to see and hear and think and reason and feel. Within this body we have a mind, a heart, and a soul. Within this body we have everything we need to respond to the call of God and decide how we will use this gift of life. But while this body – like those tents – are not designed to last forever, Paul knows that beyond this body, beyond this life there lies a new tent, a new covering, a new vessel designed to enable us to live our life with God for all eternity.

Paul speaks of that new body, that resurrected body, that body that cannot suffer pain or corruption. He looks forward to that body and that is our destiny – the destiny of every believer. But those of us who are still here, who are listening to me speak today, are still living in a body that can suffer pain, disease and even death. Paul’s concern is that while we live in this body of flesh and bone, that we do not lose sight of the future God has planned for us. The last thing Paul would want for any of us would be to give up hope in the promises of God through Christ. Paul’s greatest hope is the promise of Jesus that he has gone to prepare a place for each of us and that he will come and take us to where he is. Paul is concerned that our struggles in this life may cause us to lose hope for that future and so not persevere in faith until that day when this present flesh shall find itself clothed anew with a body that no disease or illness or affliction can touch.

Holding on to that hope is not easy. While we are in this world, we are not able to see that new world that Paul has seen in his visions – we are not truly home. We are away, so to speak, because we are spiritually with the Lord but not physically with the Lord. As close as God is with us in this life, Paul still knows that there is a veil that separates us. It may be as thin as gossamer but to us it is as thick as the thickest fog. All our attempts to penetrate that veil or to see through that fog are in vain if we are trying to see that reality with our physical sight. Paul knows that we need the sight of faith to be able to see anything beyond the veil.

Paul encourages us to be confident in the promises of God and believe that one day we will be clothed with a body that nothing can destroy. We are encouraged to be confident that we will be at home with God. And so, we strive to do what is pleasing to God in this life as we look forward in faith to the fullness of life in the kingdom.

New life in Christ does not wipe away the memory of the old life but it does energize us to look at this life in a new way with new eyes and hopefully a new mind and a new heart. As the Psalmist said: “Create in me a clean heart O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

As we wear this body and we see it with our eyes and experience it with our minds and hearts, Paul encourages us to look forward to wearing that new body, one that we can only see with the eyes of faith and experience with a renewed mind and heart. And so, while still in this body, we can envision our future with God. But to gain that new body, to fully experience that new heart and mind, we need to wear the faith that we have been given through the granting of the Holy Spirit of God. We need to speak the words, listen in love, look with compassion and act with kindness. We need to let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be the mind that leads us through this life.

Until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will live this life of flesh and bone. We will succumb to illness, disease and let go of this life; but if we seek the Spirit to be able to walk this life with the eyes of faith and if we have the confidence to believe that we will be with the Lord, then we will have the courage to live this life and face each day knowing that nothing in all creation can ever separate us from the love of God revealed to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

AMEN
Special Music: In the Garden – Marjorie Vanderveen
Invitation to the Offering

Prayer of Dedication
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Lord of our hearts give us vision to inspire us that, working or resting, we may always think of you.
Lord of our hearts give us light to guide us that, at home or away, we may always walk in your way.
Lord of our hearts give us wisdom to direct us that, thinking or acting, we may always discern right from wrong.
Lord of our hearts give us courage to strengthen us that, amongst friends and enemies, we may always proclaim your justice.
Lord of our hearts give us trust to console us that, hungry or well fed, we may always rely on your mercy.
Lord of our hearts save us from empty praise that we may always boast of you.
Lord our hearts save us from worldly wealth that we may always look to the riches of heaven.
Lord of our hearts save us from depending on our own strength alone that we may seek your strength and protection.
Lord of our hearts save us from vain knowledge that we may always study your word.
Heart of our own heart, whatever befall us, rule over our thoughts and feelings our words and actions. AMEN(Ancient Irish prayer)

HYMN: In the bulb there is a flower – #674
In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree,
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me
From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning, in our time, infinity
In our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity
In our death, a resurrection, at the last, a victory
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
CCLI license: 1963748

Benediction
May God lead us to places of rest and renewal
May Christ accompany us on the journey
May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with joy and generosity
And may the blessing of God Almighty, Creator, Christ, and Spirit, descend upon us and dwell in our hearts this day and always. AMEN

The rights to music under licence: CCLI: 1963748

This service is what was planned for the Memorial Sunday at Morewood. As memorial services have been cancelled this year, I felt it was more important than ever to share this service from the church. I invite each and every one of you to embrace this time of worship as a way of remembering those whom you loved and still love who have passed from among us. Let us worship God.

Call to Worship

In the beginning before time, before people, before the world began,
ALL: God was.

Here and now among us, beside us, enlisting the people of the earth for the purposes of heaven
ALL: God is

In the future, when we have turned to dust and all we know has found its fulfillment
ALL: God will be

Not denying the world, but delighting in it, not condemning the world, but redeeming it, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
ALL: God was, God is, God will be.

Hymn# 638 - Take time to be Holy

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord
Abide in him always, and feed on his word
Make friends of God’s children; help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing his blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be
Thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let him be thy guide
And run not before him, whatever betide
In joy or in sorrow, still follow thy Lord
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in his word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul
Each thought and each motive beneath his control
Thus, led by his Spirit to fountains of love
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
CCLI: 1963748

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

Lord God, early in the morning when the world was young, you made life in all its beauty, you gave birth to all that we know.

Early in the morning, when the world least expected it, a newborn child crying in a cradle announced that you had come among us, that you were one of us.

Early in the morning, surrounded by respectable leaders, anxious statesmen and silent friends, you accepted the penalty for doing good, for being God: you shouldered and suffered the cross. Early in the morning a voice in a guarded graveyard and footsteps in the dew proved that you had risen, that you came back to those and for those who had forgotten, denied, and destroyed you.

Early in the morning in the company of your Church on earth and in heaven we celebrate your creation, your life, your death, and resurrection.

Lord, bring new life where we are worn and tired; new love where we have turned hard-hearted; forgiveness where we feel hurt and where we have wounded; and the joy and freedom of your holy Spirit where we are the prisoners of ourselves.

Now hear us as we pray together the words you taught us, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever and ever. AMEN

Assurance of Pardon

To all and to each where regret is real, God pronounces pardon and grants us the right to begin again. Thanks be to God. AMEN

Responsive Psalm – Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is he that made us, and we are his;
We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures for ever,
And his faithfulness to all generations.

Family Hymn # 625: Seek ye first

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Allelu, alleluia!

Ask, and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
Allelu, alleluia!

We do not live by bread alone, but by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Allelu, alleluia!

CCLI license: 1963748

Prayer for Understanding

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

1 For we know that when this tent we live in - our body here on earth - is torn down, God will have a house in heaven for us to live in, a home he himself has made, which will last forever.
2 And now we sigh, so great is our desire that our home which comes from heaven should be put on over us;
3 by being clothed with it we shall not be without a body.
4 While we live in this earthly tent, we groan with a feeling of oppression; it is not that we want to get rid of our earthly body, but that we want to have the heavenly one put on over us, so that what is mortal will be transformed by life.
5 God is the one who has prepared us for this change, and he gave us his Spirit as the guarantee of all that he has in store for us.
6 So we are always full of courage. We know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord's home.
7 For our life is a matter of faith, not of sight.
8 We are full of courage and would much prefer to leave our home in the body and be at home with the Lord.
9 More than anything else, however, we want to please him, whether in our home here or there.
10 For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him. We will each receive what we deserve, according to everything we have done, good or bad, in our bodily life

Scripture: Matthew 10:1-23

1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness.
2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee;
3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Patriot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
5 These twelve men were sent out by Jesus with the following instructions: "Do not go to any Gentile territory or any Samaritan towns.
6 Instead, you are to go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.
7 Go and preach, "The Kingdom of heaven is near!'
8 Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid.
9 Do not carry any gold, silver, or copper money in your pockets;
10 do not carry a beggar's bag for the trip or an extra shirt or shoes or a walking stick. Workers should be given what they need.
11 "When you come to a town or village, go in and look for someone who is willing to welcome you, and stay with him until you leave that place.
12 When you go into a house, say, "Peace be with you.'
13 If the people in that house welcome you, let your greeting of peace remain; but if they do not welcome you, then take back your greeting.
14 And if some home or town will not welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place and shake the dust off your feet.
15 I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah than to the people of that town!
16 "Listen! I am sending you out just like sheep to a pack of wolves. You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves.
17 Watch out, for there will be those who will arrest you and take you to court, and they will whip you in the synagogues.
18 For my sake you will be brought to trial before rulers and kings, to tell the Good News to them and to the Gentiles.
19 When they bring you to trial, do not worry about what you are going to say or how you will say it; when the time comes, you will be given what you will say.
20 For the words you will speak will not be yours; they will come from the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 "People will hand over their own brothers to be put to death, and fathers will do the same to their children; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death.
22 Everyone will hate you because of me. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, run away to another one. I assure you that you will not finish your work in all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

HYMN # 675: Precious Lord, take my hand
Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

When my way grows drear, precious Lord, linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call; hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

When the darkness appears, and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.

CCLI license: 1963748

The Message: Coming Home

The apostle Paul was a person with a keen sense of what was like to live in and between two worlds. He lived in this world much like how we live in the world today with his body and all its imperfections seeking to live a peaceable life yet also remaining faithful to the teachings and direction of God as revealed to him through the Lord. But he also had a strong sense of the world that was yet to be – the world he could only imagine living in and yet one that he believed was as real as this one is. Paul loved his life – especially his new found freedom to live as follower of God in Christ – but he also loved knowing that he was promised a life in a world beyond what he could see with his eyes and hear with his ears and touch with his hands.

In his attempts to explain the mystery of the world beyond this one, Paul turned to the image of a tent. In the time of Paul, many people still lived in tents. Those tents not only protected the people from rain but also kept strong winds, sandstorms, and intense heat from wreaking havoc with their physical bodies. But eventually tents wear out and new tents need to be made. Paul knows that this body in which we live is like a tent as it wraps us in a body that enables us to see and hear and think and reason and feel. Within this body we have a mind, a heart, and a soul. Within this body we have everything we need to respond to the call of God and decide how we will use this gift of life. But while this body – like those tents – are not designed to last forever, Paul knows that beyond this body, beyond this life there lies a new tent, a new covering, a new vessel designed to enable us to live our life with God for all eternity.

Paul speaks of that new body, that resurrected body, that body that cannot suffer pain or corruption. He looks forward to that body and that is our destiny – the destiny of every believer. But those of us who are still here, who are listening to me speak today, are still living in a body that can suffer pain, disease and even death. Paul’s concern is that while we live in this body of flesh and bone, that we do not lose sight of the future God has planned for us. The last thing Paul would want for any of us would be to give up hope in the promises of God through Christ. Paul’s greatest hope is the promise of Jesus that he has gone to prepare a place for each of us and that he will come and take us to where he is. Paul is concerned that our struggles in this life may cause us to lose hope for that future and so not persevere in faith until that day when this present flesh shall find itself clothed anew with a body that no disease or illness or affliction can touch.

Holding on to that hope is not easy. While we are in this world, we are not able to see that new world that Paul has seen in his visions - we are not truly home. We are away, so to speak, because we are spiritually with the Lord but not physically with the Lord. As close as God is with us in this life, Paul still knows that there is a veil that separates us. It may be as thin as gossamer but to us it is as thick as the thickest fog. All our attempts to penetrate that veil or to see through that fog are in vain if we are trying to see that reality with our physical sight. Paul knows that we need the sight of faith to be able to see anything beyond the veil.

Paul encourages us to be confident in the promises of God and believe that one day we will be clothed with a body that nothing can destroy. We are encouraged to be confident that we will be at home with God. And so, we strive to do what is pleasing to God in this life as we look forward in faith to the fullness of life in the kingdom.

New life in Christ does not wipe away the memory of the old life but it does energize us to look at this life in a new way with new eyes and hopefully a new mind and a new heart. As the Psalmist said: “Create in me a clean heart O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

As we wear this body and we see it with our eyes and experience it with our minds and hearts, Paul encourages us to look forward to wearing that new body, one that we can only see with the eyes of faith and experience with a renewed mind and heart. And so, while still in this body, we can envision our future with God. But to gain that new body, to fully experience that new heart and mind, we need to wear the faith that we have been given through the granting of the Holy Spirit of God. We need to speak the words, listen in love, look with compassion and act with kindness. We need to let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be the mind that leads us through this life.

Until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will live this life of flesh and bone. We will succumb to illness, disease and let go of this life; but if we seek the Spirit to be able to walk this life with the eyes of faith and if we have the confidence to believe that we will be with the Lord, then we will have the courage to live this life and face each day knowing that nothing in all creation can ever separate us from the love of God revealed to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

AMEN

Special Music: In the Garden – Marjorie Vanderveen

Invitation to the Offering

Prayer of Dedication

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Lord of our hearts give us vision to inspire us that, working or resting, we may always think of you.
Lord of our hearts give us light to guide us that, at home or away, we may always walk in your way.
Lord of our hearts give us wisdom to direct us that, thinking or acting, we may always discern right from wrong.
Lord of our hearts give us courage to strengthen us that, amongst friends and enemies, we may always proclaim your justice.
Lord of our hearts give us trust to console us that, hungry or well fed, we may always rely on your mercy.
Lord of our hearts save us from empty praise that we may always boast of you.
Lord our hearts save us from worldly wealth that we may always look to the riches of heaven.
Lord of our hearts save us from depending on our own strength alone that we may seek your strength and protection.
Lord of our hearts save us from vain knowledge that we may always study your word.
Heart of our own heart, whatever befall us, rule over our thoughts and feelings our words and actions. AMEN(Ancient Irish prayer)

HYMN # 674: In the bulb there is a Flower

In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree,
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me
From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning, in our time, infinity
In our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity
In our death, a resurrection, at the last, a victory
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

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Benediction

May God lead us to places of rest and renewal
May Christ accompany us on the journey
May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with joy and generosity
And may the blessing of God Almighty, Creator, Christ, and Spirit, descend upon us and dwell in our hearts this day and always. AMEN