WELCOME

The ‘Jesus Creed’ 

A warm welcome!  Our spiritual well-being is at the core of who we are. There is a risk of overcomplicating what God requires of us. Jesus was willing to reduce the 613 Jewish laws to two. You find his summary in Mark 12:29-31. It has been called by some the ‘Jesus Creed’ and is well worth learning by heart. 

 

‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.  

 

Allowing ourselves to be shaped by the Jesus Creed is our lifelong task. It will direct us to life-serving and liberating paths. We’ve got Christian lives to live, we’ve got Jesus love to give – these words come from this old Christian chorus we still love to sing!

The truth is we fail to obey this Great Commandment. The bible says

 

If we claim to be without sin; we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 

 

How wonderful is God, that recognizing our guilt in not honouring Him as he deserves and confessing this to him we can be forgiven because of God’s mercy and grace. Let’s do this now with hearts that really do want to turn back to God. 

 

Almighty God, our heavenly Father

We have gone our own way, not loving you as we ought,

nor loving our neighbours as ourselves.

We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed

and in what we have failed to do.

We deserve your condemnation.

Father forgive us.

Help us to love you and our neighbour,

and to live for your honour and glory

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Psalm 32 vs 1-2 tell us…

 

1 Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

 

Thank you God for such a blessing! 

Let’s express our joy firstly in prayer but then in song. 

 

Merciful Father,

we rejoice that you pardon and forgive

those who truly repent and trust in your Son.

Deliver us from all our sins,

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,

and keep us in eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

BIBLE READINGS

A prayer for hearing God’s word read and taught

Gracious Father,

we thank you for the holy Scriptures,

their precepts, promises, directions and light.

In them may we learn of Christ,

Grasp his truth and have grace to follow in his steps. Amen.

 

Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

 

Psalm 5 (ESV)

 

To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.

5 Give ear to my words, O LORD;
    consider my groaning.
2 Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray.
3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
    the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.

9 For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
    you cover him with favour as with a shield.

TALK

Discussion/Reflection Questions

1. What did you like about this psalm?

 

2. What made you uncomfortable about this psalm?

 

3. Have you ever prayed for justice before? Why/ Why not?

 

4. According to Ephesians 6:10-20 what helps us in our spiritual battle to seek righteousness, surrounded by unrighteousness?

 

5. What lies/deceptions does the world tell you?

 

6. Pray for each other

Celebrating the death of Jesus

While we are experiencing the sorrow of not being able to share in the Lord’s Supper together rightfully and meaningfully in each other’s physical presence – we can still celebrate the significance of Jesus sacrificial death for us by song and in prayer. Here are some wonderful hymns that proclaim the truth about Jesus death with some prayers to pray in between. Enjoy this time of taking in this reminder of God’s love for sinners and reflect on your ongoing need for heartfelt repentance and genuine trust.

PRAYERS

Lord God my Saviour,

Help me to consider every gain in my life 

a loss for the sake of Christ.

Help me to be willingly to lose all things

to have the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. 

Father I want to gain Christ and be found in him, 

not having a righteousness of my own

but the righteousness freely given through faith in Christ.

I want to know Christ—the power of his resurrection 

and what it means to participate in his sufferings.  

I want to become like him in his death 

So that dying with him I will also be raised with him.   

Glory to you Lord God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

(A prayer based on Philippians 3:7-11)

 

Loving Father,

through faith in your Son

and in his saving death, 

our sins are forgiven

and we share in the life of his body.

With gratitude for all your mercies, 

we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Send us out in the power of your Spirit 

to live and work to your praise and glory. Amen

SONG

CLOSING WORDS

May the peace of God, 

which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds 

in the knowledge and love of God, 

and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord 

and the blessing of God almighty, 

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 

be among us and remain with us always. Amen.

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