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Ordinary 24

Order of Service

Weekly Bible Study Notes and Worship Resources for Ordinary 24

Year C, Colour = Green

Jesus with the Lost sheep

Introduction

Well it is an interesting dilemma this morning presented by Jesus. Does God really rejoice more over one sinner who repents than 99 who are righteous? As I ponder this question my first response is to say, ‘I doubt it’, there are two reasons,

Firstly, Jesus is just making a point, it is a lesson which we all need to hear. We tend to be critical of the lost, and somewhat resentful that they can just walk back and say sorry.

Secondly, even to be asking this question shows just how misguided we all can be. Let me ask the question, how many righteous people do you actually know? Where are the 99? If we are honest we have to admit that each one of us is a lost sheep, there are now self-righteous people, just people who think that they are.

So today is partly a lesson in not being self-righteous. It is self-righteousness which makes us resentful of God’s forgiveness, even though we desperately need it ourselves. God however is never resentful, he rejoices without any feeling of bitterness.

Opening Verse of Scripture Psalm 96:3

Proclaim the glory of the Lord among the nations, His marvellous deeds to all peoples: great is the Lord and worthy of praise.

Collect Prayer for the Day —Before we read we pray

God our Redeemer, who called your church to witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself: help us so to proclaim the good news of your love that all who hear it may be reconciled to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Methodist Worship

Gracious God, like a mother you give us new life, and make us your children in Jesus Christ. Look on us in your love, and bring us to the inheritance which you promised. Grant this through Jesus Christ, your Son.Amen. Methodist Worship

O Lord, we beseech you mercifully to hear the prayers of your people who call upon you; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil them; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your church in the burning fire of your love: grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you, they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Common Worship

Lord of creation, whose glory is around and within us: open our eyes to your wonders, that we may serve you with reverence and know your peace at our lives’ end, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord God, defend your church from all false teaching and give to your people knowledge of your truth, that we may enjoy eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Common Worship Shorter Collect

First Bible Reading  Exodus 32:7-14

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.' "I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation." But Moses sought the favour of the LORD his God. "O LORD ," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.' " Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.


Second Reading  1 Timothy 1:12-17

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading Luke 15:1-10

Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Post Communion Prayer

Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son that love is the fulfilling of the law: grant that we may love you with our whole heart and our neighbours as ourselves;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

picture of lost coin

Commentary

Well it is an interesting dilemma this morning presented by Jesus. Does God really rejoice more over one sinner who repents than 99 who are righteous? As I ponder this question my first response is to say, ‘I doubt it’, there are two reasons,

Firstly, Jesus is just making a point, it is a lesson which we all need to hear. We tend to be critical of the lost, and somewhat resentful that they can just walk back and say sorry.

Secondly, even to be asking this question shows just how misguided we all can be. Let me ask the question, how many righteous people do you actually know? Where are the 99? If we are honest we have to admit that each one of us is a lost sheep, there are now self-righteous people, just people who think that they are.

So today is party a lesson in not being self-righteous. It is self-righteousness which makes us resentful of God’s forgiveness, even though we desperately need it ourselves. God however is never resentful, he rejoices without any feeling of bitterness.

Imagine how the father of the prodigal son must have felt when his son asked him for his inheritance and went off to squander it on the wrong sort of lifestyle. The poor father must have had so many conflicting emotions, sadness at the lack of wisdom shown by the son, perhaps some resentment or even anger. We will never quite know, but we do know that he let the son go. He did not try and make him stay, or change his mind. He knew that the son had to go and find out for himself, so he allowed him to make his mistakes. Sometimes this is the only way that we can really learn, from our own mistakes. This is for us a model of what the love of God is like, allowing us to make mistakes.

Frequently parents see children make mistakes and they know that these are exactly the kinds of things which they themselves did! Sadly we cannot put old heads on young shoulders. All that we can do is to be there when they come home, perhaps realising the error of their ways, and make sure we don't say I told you so. This is how God is with us. God allows us to make mistakes, even big mistakes, we learn the hard way. God is there for us and welcomes us back without the hint of recrimination, just love and forgiveness. The readings this morning show that God cares deeply for those who are lost and far from him. God isn't resentful when they are found or angry that they strayed, rather God rejoices. Are we able to rejoice in welcoming back the lost or would we be more likely to tell them that is was their own fault. 

It is hard for us to be prepared to accept people when they seek forgiveness. It is a human trait to be critical and willing to judge, we naturally think God wants people to be punished. To err is human but to forgive is divine. Its hard for us to forgive, it has to be conditional; and measured and not too freely given in case it encourages bad behaviour. Perhaps it is because our own ability to forgive is so limited that we want every drop of God's grace metered and paid for, in case there just isn’t enough to go around! It's hard for us to forgive and so we think that God's forgiveness has to be earned in some way, even if it is only by asking for it properly. Forgiveness however is easy for God, it is God's nature.

the lost coin

There is another important feature of the 'Lost' theme today. Whilst we like to be critical of the Pharisees, we should remember that they would not have been angry with Jesus if his only message was that people who are lost should seek forgiveness. This would be called repentance and the Pharisees would have very approved of Jesus telling people to repent. The problem with jesus telling the story of the Lost Sheep and the lost Coin was that neither the sheep or the coin repented, in fact they were not capable of doing so, the coin is an object. The emphasis is not upon the feelings of the sheep or the coin,rather upon the nature of God and how God feels. The shpeep and the coin don't do anything to contribute towards their being found, God does all the work, because that is what God does, he seeks out the lost.

Sermons today which speak of the lostness of the human soul and the need to be sorry and God welcoming us back when we do rather miss the point. The story is not about us and how wicked we are, it is not about our need to say confession or any exhortation to live better lives. The message is about God and the fact that he will become exhausted, go to any lengths to find what is his and has been lost. God is not going to give up, God is relentless and will leave no stone unturned looking for that which has gone astray. And let this be understood, the sheep and the coin have contributed nothing, didn't know they were lost.

This searching nature of God is what causes to sing about 'a love that wilt not let me go.' This is why the illustration of a shepherd is such a good one, looking for errant sheep is what shepherds do, they go and put themselves in danger looking for stupid sheep who don't even know they have gone astray. Jesus said "The Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost." This was an important message fore the Pharisees to hear, if they as the "shepherds of Israel" will not tend the flock, or bring back the strayed, then Jesus, the Good Shepherd will.

 

 

 

 

Jesus the good shepherd icon

Why does the shepherd search for the lost sheep? Is it because it is a favourite sheep? Is it because the sheep is a special sheep? Or because it has a woollier coat than the rest of the sheep? No! The only qualification the sheep has which justifies leaving the other sheep and going off after it, is that it is lost. So too Jesus cares for the lost, because they are lost and seeks them out. We so often get concerned about our qualifications for God, are we good enough for him to bother with us? And perhaps the church has and still does reinforce this, making hurdles over which we have to cross before we are good enough. I think of the teaching that you can't have communion because you're not confirmed yet. Does Jesus, who shares his last meal with the disciples only come after those who have passed the test?

As a priest my task is to reassure people of God's forgiveness and as Christians that is something which we should all do. God calls you to share in that priestly task, it is your job too. Jesus shows us from the cross that he forgives even when people do not ask for it. The Christian faith teaches us that God cares for all of us and especially the lost, we are never beyond redemption, we are never so far from God that he gives up on us. The further we have fallen, the deeper God's grace to rescue us.

Self righteousness and begrudging attitudes are alive and well, they didn't die out in 1st century Palestine. There are those who like the brother of the prodigal son will resent the fact that God is so forgiving. For many people recovery of the lost means that we are only happy when people decide that they want to join us and be like us. For Jesus recovery of the lost meant taking time to befriend and to associate with the lost. Even if it meant getting his own reputation tarnished. Think of the stories and gossip which there must have been about Jesus as a result of the company which he kept. 
We can sometimes begrudge the mercy of God being so freely given to the undeserving. We don't like people who threaten us, who appear different, who don't measure up to our standards. So it is that Jesus tells these two stories from our lesson this morning to show that God has time for each one of us. Even when the rest of the world thinks that we are too far gone, Jesus comes after us and carries us home.   Charles Royden

Meditation

When the people got impatient with Moses for spending so long up the mountain speaking with God they gathered around Aaron and made a golden calf to worship from their ear rings. Even though God was angry with their actions He still said that he would make the Israelites into a great Nation. We might have expected God to give up on the Israelites over their behaviour, but He did not. We might have expected Jesus to give up on the ‘Tax collectors and sinners’ who were lost from God, but He did not. God is patient and forgiving. Even though we may give up on Him from time to time, He never gives up on us.



Hymns

  1. All earth was dark
  2. For I'm building a people of power
  3. Go forth and tell
  4. Jesus calls us o'er the tumult
  5. Ye servants of God

Prayers for Sunday and the week ahead

representation of prayer as seed growing


"Prayer is a plant, the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian.
If it is well cultivated and nourished it will produce fruit, but if it is neglected, it will wither and die."

 


Lord, you have consecrated the world by sending your Son into the midst of it and by making all things new in Him. We ask you to give us the courage and power we need to share fully in His mission to the world and to further His kingdom in the lives of all people to the honour and glory of His name.

Our loving Father, we give thanks for your goodness and love; for the joy of home and family, and the companionship of friends and neighbours; for the strength that supports us and the love that surrounds us, both when our joy is complete and when it is touched by pain. We give thanks for your Son Jesus Christ: the glory of his humble birth, the graciousness of his selfless life, the obedience and trust that led him to the cross, and the triumph of his resurrection and ascension. We give thanks for your Holy Spirit at work in your Church and in our hearts, revealing your truth, renewing our lives, and bringing us to your eternal Kingdom

Grant, O God, that we who are one in our need of your forgiveness, may be one in our acts of compassion. May we who are made one in your love become one in our common life. May we who are made unique and individual in your sight, dwell together as one race. We pray for peace in our world and especially we pray for countries across the Middle east, remembering the people of Syria and continuing to be mindful of those other countries where human life is taken away by violence everyday. We pray for Christians living in violent situations and persecuted for their faith. May our world leaders be led by your wisdom, give to them a resolve to seek peace and justice and end to the bitterness and hatred which divides people. Forgive us when we use faith, tribe, family or other human distinction as a reason to divide ourselves from one another, help us to remember that you are the father of all humankind and love all of your children equally. Unite us in mutual love and care across the barriers of race and culture.

Comfort those who have lost loved ones. Support the injured and those near death. Inspire the emergency services. Lighten the darkness of those who are near despair. Do not let threats multiply or power be used without compassion. Rekindle hope in our lives, so that we may not walk alone through the valley of the shadow of death confident of your presence alongside us through all that we face.

God, who gave us birth, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray. You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity. Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and death. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. We remember those who have died and ask for your comfort and peace upon all of those who mourn. We remember especially … Amen.

Lord, you have consecrated the world by sending your Son into the midst of it and by making all things new in Him. We ask you to give us and all your people the courage and power we need to share fully in His mission to the world and to further His kingdom in the lives of all people to the honour and glory of His name. Amen

O God, you have called men and women from every land to be a holy nation, a royal priesthood, the church of your dear Son: unite us in mutual love and care across the barriers of race and culture, and strengthen us in our common task of being Christ and showing Christ to the world He came to save. Amen

Draw your Church together, O God, into one great company of disciples, together following our Lord Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving Him in His mission to the world, and together witnessing to His love on every continent and island. Amen.

God the Sender, send you; God the Sent, go with us; God the Strengthener of those who go, empower you, that you may go to do His will; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen

Gracious God, like a mother you give us new life, and make us your children in Jesus Christ. Look on us in your love, and bring us to the inheritance which you promised. Grant this through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen. (Methodist Worship)

God our Redeemer, who called your Church to witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself: help us so to proclaim the good news of your love that all who hear it may be reconciled to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Additional Resources

Readings, Notes and Prayers

Opening Verse of Scripture, Philippians Chapter 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Collect Prayer for the Day-Before we read we pray

God our Redeemer, who called your Church to witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself; help us so to proclaim the good news of your love that all who hear it may be reconciled to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Commentary

We learn today that Jesus is creating quite a stir. Tax collectors and sinners were gathering to hear Jesus, but the Pharisees and religious teachers we angry with what he was saying to them. What was Jesus saying when he told these parables today that made the leaders so angry?

These are stories about things being lost and things being found. A shepherd leaves his sheep to go and look for something lost. It is a huge risk but the thing which is lost is valuable and therefore it is worth taking that risk and going to search. A woman loses a coin, she doesn’t just ignore it and hope it will turn up, it is of sufficient value that it is worth turning the house upside down and going to look for it.

The message is not lost on those who hear these words, God takes time, takes effort, takes a risk and considers that which is lost to be worth his time and energy getting it back safely. Jesus had an intimate relationship with God and this was what he knew of the Father’s love. Jesus spoke about a God who was very different from the God the people had heard about before. God had always been a mighty and powerful God, a God who could send plagues and disease, a God who would crush enemies in battle. God was known to forgive if you asked for his forgiveness, but that forgiveness demanded that blood be shed of innocent animals before he allowed reconciliation. This was the God who demanded the pound of flesh before he extended the arm of compassion.
Think to yourself of all of those Old Testament passages about God and then compare them with this God of compassion revealed to us in Jesus. In this context it is perfectly understandable that Jesus caused great offence to the religious leaders of his day. They were bound to be angry at his parables and teachings which seemed to show God more interested in the lost than the faithful.

These were more than words for Jesus, his life was a living parable as he lived out this teaching, concentrating on the poor ones, the weak ones, the sinful ones. Jesus seemed to be at the complete opposite end of the spectrum to the religious leaders, not only did he concern himself with those considered on the outside of God’s grace, he made matters worse when he told these sorts of parables to the people. The religious leaders would have been shocked at the significance of a shepherd who went out in search of a lost sheep which never contributed anything to being found! Perhaps if the sheep had come grovelling back there might be a way of understanding the forgiveness of God but with these parables it is all so unmerited. The sheep does not deserve to be found and moreover God is made to look so foolish when we hear that the woman who finds her lost coin calls for rejoicing. How can God be made happy when he finds those who have gone astray, or who have been brushed under the carpet? The religious leaders would have been much more comfortable with the lost remaining lost and attention being given to those who tried hard to well behaved. To them the lost coin represented those who were better out of sight and out of mind. These religious leaders had failed to be good shepherds they had let God down and the people they were supposed to protect and lead. The words of Jesus bring to mind Ezekiel 34:1-6 and the denunciation of the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves and not the sheep.

What does Jesus mean when he says
' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’
Who were the ones who had no need for repentance?  Everybody needs repentance ! We are all lost, one way or another.  The story tells us that God will do anything to find the lost, and there is "joy in heaven" at the finding. This is why it is unimportant that the sheep or the coin do anything to assist their being found. The stories are not about us and our sin or guilt or repentance. The parables are about God and his relentless love which will never give up until the lost are found and brought home. This is a God with a heart compelled by love as would be the heart of any loving parent, driven to rescue and save children who have lost their way. The religious leaders were supposed to shepherd and look after the sheep but thye have beel self interested and only looked after themselves. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will ensure that people hear what God is really like and bring them home to God. Charles Royden

 

Commentary

Chapter 15 of Luke contains three different stories about finding lost things, lost sheep, lost coins and a lost (prodigal) son. It also tells us about the celebrations that take place when these lost things are found. As it does, it picks up one of the great themes of Luke, the joy of blessings showered on God’s faithful people as a result of repentance and finding new life. But the passage in Luke is not just about getting people to repent and finding new life; it’s also about valuing people as people, even when they’re lost. One of the ways Jesus shows those around Him that He values people is that He enters into close relations with them, even if they are people that the established religious order would never reach out to, the tax collectors and sinners, people of low repute. Jesus meets them on their terms. He is not prepared to write them off, as his critics did, or to say, as they would have: I will value you and welcome only if you repent. Jesus seeks out the lost, evens the lost who don’t know they’re lost, and values them as they are. He seeks out those who society may have written off as losers, no hopers, wasters, and gives them life and hope. Jesus seeks out the large and the small to redeem and value. In our own lives, He seeks out those areas which we may have written off; areas that we prefer to hide and not speak about, habits we have we wish we didn’t, areas of our lives we hope no one sees. He seeks them out because He wants to redeem those too and give us hope in the ‘no go’ areas of our lives.

God also wants to use us to seek out the lost and the hopeless and give them His hope and His direction. Part of our mission activity is exactly that, seeking out situations that seem hopeless and giving hope; through our prayers, time, effort, resources and money whether at home or abroad. God calls out to the lost people and places in our lives and in our world and values them for who and what they are, and who and what they can become. As He does, so should we.

And once the lost are found, we should rejoice and celebrate. Because in being found, in turning around and repenting, in discovering true value, all creation comes that little but closer to being restored to the way God intended it to be. And as we celebrate and rejoice, Heaven does too. Sam Cappleman.  


Meditation

In times like this we realise how weak and inadequate we are, and our greatest need is to turn in repentance and faith to the God of all mercy and the Father of all comfort. If ever there was time for us to turn to God and to pray as a nation, it is now, that this evil will spread no further. It is also a time for us to remember the words of the Psalmist: 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea ... He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God ... The Lord of hosts is with us.'" (Ps 46:1-2, 9-11) Billy Graham

Prayer

Grant, O God, that we who are one in our need of your forgiveness, may be one in our acts of compassion. May we who are made one in your love become one in our common life. May we who speak many languages dwell together as one race, in unity with our one heavenly Father; and this we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy and Gracious God, Blessed Trinity, in your Son you have taught us that nothing in life or death is able to separate us from your love. We pray for the people of the United States of America, and people of other nations, affected by the terrorism in America in these recent days. May our world leaders be led by your wisdom. Comfort those who have lost loved ones. Support the injured and those near death. Inspire the emergency services. Lighten the darkness of those who are near despair. Do not let threats multiply or power be used without compassion. Rekindle hope in our lives, so that we may not walk alone through the valley of the shadow of death, through Christ our Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.

God, who gave us birth, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray. You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity. Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and death. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Teach us, O Lord, to love you, to trust you and for ever to praise you. Let us exalt your name both in the day and in the night. Let us serve you both in the house of prayer and in the world about us. Let us ascribe to you with all your saints both wisdom and majesty, both honour and glory, world without end. Amen. Henry Vaughan, 1621-1695

Our loving Father, we give thanks for your goodness and love; for the joy of home and family, and the companionship of friends and neighbours; for the strength that supports us and the love that surrounds us, both when our joy is complete and when it is touched by pain. We give thanks for your Son Jesus Christ: the glory of his humble birth, the graciousness of his selfless life, the obedience and trust that led him to the cross, and the triumph of his resurrection and ascension. We give thanks for your Holy Spirit at work in your Church and in our hearts, revealing your truth, renewing our lives, and bringing us to your eternal Kingdom. Alexander Siatwinda, Zambia/Halifax

God of light and love, visit this land with your healing power. In your compassion restore wholeness to communities blighted by disease, destruction, and loss of hope: have mercy on your whole creation, and guide us to wise stewardship of your beautiful world, that all your creatures may live in peace and health. We ask this in the name of him in whom all things are made new, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Michael Cruchley, Secretary of the Cytun Rural Network, Wales

Hymns

  1. We rest on thee
  2. O let the Son of God
  3. The Servant King
  4. O God our words cannot express
  5. Lord Jesus Christ

First Hymn
Tune Christ Triumphant

The Lord is King! lift up your voice
O earth, and all the heavens rejoice!
From world to world the joy shall ring,
'The Lord omnipotent is King!

The Lord is King! who then shall dare
resist his will, distrust his care,
or murmur at his wise decrees,
or doubt his royal promises?

The Lord is King! child of the dust,
the judge of all the earth is just;
holy and true are all his ways;
let every creature speak his praise.

He reigns! O saints, exalt your strains;
your God is King, your Father reigns;
and he is at the Father's side,
the Man of love, the Crucified.

Come, make your wants, your burdens known;
Christ will present them at the throne;
this world of ours and worlds unseen:
how thin the boundary between!

One Lord, one empire, all secures;
he reigns, and life and death are yours;
through earth and heaven one song shall ring,
'The Lord omnipotent is King!

 

Second Hymn
Tune Passion Chorale

We come as guests invited
when Jesus bids us dine,
his friends on earth united
to share the bread and wine;
the bread of life is broken,
the wine is freely poured
for us, in solemn token
of Christ our dying Lord.

We eat and drink, receiving
from Christ the grace we need,
and in our hearts believing
on him by faith we feed;
with wonder and thanksgiving
for love that knows no end,
we find in Jesus living
our ever-present friend.

One bread is ours for sharing,
one single fruitful vine,
our fellowship declaring
renewed in bread and wine:
renewed, sustained and given
by token, sign and word,
the pledge and seal of heaven,
the love of Christ our Lord

 

 

Third Hymn
Tune Blaenwern

Loving Saviour, Thou art calling
Sinners to Thyself today;
They have wandered from the shelter
Of Thy fold and gone astray.
Bring them back to peace and safety;
May they hear Thy loving call;
Thou art waiting to receive them,
Draw each one, receive them all.

Loving Saviour, I am coming,
Bringing all my sins to Thee;
As I am, in shame and sorrow,
Lord, receive and rescue me.
At the cross I lay my burden,
Lowly at Thy feet I bow;
I no longer doubt and grieve Thee,
Cleanse my heart: Lord, save me now!

Loving Saviour, Thou art pleading
For my heart, my life, my all;
In my sin I've kept Thee waiting,
Now I open at Thy call.
Come Thou in, take full possession,
Consecrated it shall be;
Take my life, direct and use it,
I will live it all for Thee!

 

 

Fourth Hymn
Tune Ar Hyd Y Nos

1 May the love of Christ enfold us
as we walk his way,
his eternal arms uphold us
even as we pray;
strong in faith beneath his blessing,
every tongue his Name confessing,
every heart his peace possessing,
this and every day.

2 May the word of Christ direct us
as we walk his way,
and his providence protect us
even as we pray.
May his Spirit's power defend us,
love and joy and peace attend us,
his companionship befriend us,
this and every day.

3 May the living Christ renew us
as we walk his way,
and with gifts of grace endue us
even as we pray;
send us forth, his banner bearing,
all the truth of God declaring,
heaven's love for sinners sharing,
this and every day.

Sermon (Jesus' Attitude to Sinners) and Intercessions