Take a moment to be peaceful.
If you are able you may like to plant your feet on the floor and concentrate on your body being still (if this is hard then do just sit quietly and comfortably).
Notice how you feel and what you are thinking about and let those things float away giving thanks for each, even if they are difficult feelings or thoughts.
When you are ready, raise your hands open before you and give thanks for the moment you are in.
Place your open hands on your lap and consider all that’s happened this week and what you might want to lay down before God asking for help or offering thanks.
Lift one hand high in the air and think about what you will offer of yourself as you worship today.
Lower your hands.
If you feel able offer the following prayer:
Loving God, I am here in this moment to worship you.
Thank you for your presence with me.
Come, by your Spirit, Lord,
367 STF – When I Was Lost, You Came And Rescued Me
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. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and for ever.
Reading : John 11:1-45
Response to on the reading
When we hear about Mary in the New Testament, some people mix up the lives of several very different women. Mary was a very common name among Palestinian Jews – so much so that around one in four women were called Mary. So it’s only to be expected that a lot of the women Jesus met were actually called Mary.
There are three stories in the Bible where we can be sure that the Mary we are hearing about is this Mary, Mary of Bethany, here we encounter having lost her brother, Lazarus.
Grief – especially the kind of grief that comes when we lose a loved one – can literally bring us to our knees. Perhaps you have experienced that kind of grief. We can take heart from Mary of Bethany as she doesn’t fall to bits… rather, she falls towards Jesus. And here’s the comfort for us all: Jesus wept. Jesus shared in her pain. His comfort does not come from a place of detachment but from a place of understanding. So for those of us experiencing grief, let’s remember that the feet of Jesus is a place of comfort and understanding.
Mary of Bethany’s story challenges us in many ways. We often hear of Fathers of faith but here we see a Mother of our faith – and what a great legacy she leaves. When we look at Scripture with fresh, unbiased eyes and open ourselves to learning from her example, we see something beautiful and challenging. Here is a woman who had a
deep connectedness with Jesus and lived a life of study, devotion, and reliance on Jesus.
How do you respond to this quote, from a blog by Sarah Nelson?
‘Mary of Bethany is the Rosa Parks of her day as she refuses to be seated in the back, instead taking a seat up front at Jesus’ feet. Jesus promised that the place of discipleship would not be taken away from Mary.’
Further questions for conversation / discussion / reflection:
- How can you demonstrate a love and devotion for Jesus that is extravagant and bold?
- Where do you hold back and guard yourself? Why is that?
- How am I affected by grief, and do I make space to process that grief?
- What do I learn from Mary that I can emulate in my own life?
Hymn: StF345 And Can It Be
God of the wilderness places, journey with me today as I pray.
As I go from this place, this time of worship, inspire and uplift my heart that I may work to seek your kingdom come, your will be done, in this place and throughout your world.
This is the Vine at Home service, and is compiled and produced by twelvebaskets
These are the Worship at Home versions of the In Person Services, led by our Minister :-
Each Service has the videos of the songs and a transcript of the Sermon or reflection.
The Song references (StF) are from the Singing the Faith song book.
The videos of the songs are linked to YouTube or vimeo which may have advertising which Kingswood Methodist Church does not endorse.