This weeks theme in our series states - 'We will live in a way that draws others to Jesus.'
Stf 691 - What shall our greeting be
Prayer - Gracious loving Lord, we worship you. You are so powerful, majestic, loving and caring for your
creation. You reveal yourself through our experience of life and in the way you invite us to be your children
through Jesus. You know us by name, enfolding us in your love.
Yet we confess we have spoilt your world by our greed, treated one another unfairly, valued some by what
they have, ignoring the poorest. We have allowed hatred, fear suspicion to divide us, sometimes chosing to say
think or do what is wrong. Forgive us. Give us courage to make amends where we can and aim to live as you call
us to. May we know the peace of your forgiving love.
Almighty God, thank you that you have shown us that it is your will that we should live together as your children.
with understanding and respect. You sent us Jesus to guide our way to you and understand your will. You call
your people into the fellowship of the church through which we may witness to your divine purpose for us all.
Thank you that you empower us by your Holy Spirit, that we may offer your love and fulfill our witness to you. Through Jesu Christ our Lord, Amen
Stf 489 - All I once held dear
Lessons Romans 12 1 - 10 New International Version
A Living Sacrifice12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a
living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern
of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of
yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the
faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and
these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and
each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If
your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is
teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is
to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love in Action9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another
in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Matt. Ch. 13, vs. 1 - 10 & 18 - 23 The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things
in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the
path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang
up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they
withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.
8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what
was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom
and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the
seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at
once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or
persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers
to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word,
making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and
understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Stf 611 - Brother, sister, let me serve you
The Scotsman Dr. Sir James Simpson was a courageous scientific pioneer who discovered chloroform
(which renders patients unconcious during surgery, without jepardizing recovery.) He was knighted by
Queen Victoria, was president of the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians, and was the most eminent physician
of his day. Many of the discoveries he made were brought about by experimenting on himself. Shortly before
his death he was interviewed for a major printed artical in which he was asked 'What is your greatest discovery?'
He replied 'My greatest discovery is Jesus Christ is MY Lord and Saviour.'
This weeks theme in our series states - 'We will live in a way that draws others to Jesus.'
Now that isn't a new idea; in fact about 2000 years ago, the writer in his Letter to the Hebrews suggested, 'Let
us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.' Surely that will excite people to
learn about Jesus.
But here's the problem as seen by many outside the church, your all cranks!
Well it must be true because everytime a Christian is portrayed on TV,, there's always something funny about
them. (And I don't mean Funny Ha, ha !)
I was watching a cops & robbers film on TV the other day - it wasn't my choice you understand, it was my wife's
and I was stuck watching it. There was only one Christian in the story and he was definately odd. Well they
always are, aren't they? Weird; cold and unloving, simpering and soppy, or calculating and critical. Or they
stand alone in market places shouting 'Beware the judgement to come!'
Where does such a warped idea of christians come from? My opinion is that we aren't that obvious in society;
we don't want to appear pushy - forcing our faith into everyone elses face. That's not nice, not polite. So we tend
to keep quiet about what we believe in so that we can't be accused of ramming it down eveyones throat. But
the quieter we are the fewer people know we exist or what we stand for. Consequently only the unusual ones
stand out and we're all tarred with the same brush if we mention God's love for his children and our faith in him.
Meanwhile the rest of society seems full of people saying what they want, like, prefer enjoy insist is their right
. It would seem this is the age in which each individual is entitled and expects to do as they want. I've just
been reading a holiday brochure which states, 'Everyone is different. Welcome to a holiday as individual as you
are.' Which is all very well for holidays but society doesn't work like that. Neither do churches. Churches
run smoothly when eveyone is involved, working together for each other. Then we can fulfill the work God calls us
to do and point others to Jesus.
'You are a community of possibilities' wrote Dennis Lennon - a writer for Scripture Union. He went on, 'So look
for God's calls out of comfortable institutional predictability into limitless possibilities; moving on with Christ'
I discovered that to be true for me at a Christian weekend conference in my late teens. Everyone there had a
call - even me, although I ran away from it for several years - trying other things instead, one after another.
Never attempting to struggle beyond the basics or demanding study and effort. Shallow roots.
Jesus was concerned that our life has real purpoe - to find him as our own Lord and Saviour, and with the
guidance of the Holy Spirit, point others to him too. So thats where the talents and gifts granted by the Holy
Spirit come in; so that we may fulfill our calling, whatever that may be.
In Rom ch. 12, St. Paul writing to his friends, urges them to be living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. But
their sacrificial living was to be seen in their caringfor each other. Christians loving and working for other
christians. He uses the illustration off the body with many limbs and organs, all working together to make the
body function properly. He likes that idea, doesn't he, because he uses it and develops it you notice in some
of his other letters too. So he lists these gifts for them to use for the benefit of their fellow christians.
PROPHESY - or speaking God's message is very specifically for his own people who know him not, for those
who don't. They wouldn't understand or appreciate it. It's to uplift, reassure, warn, encourage and educate people
to know his will.
SERVING - This is something we can all feel more at home doing. Yet some people stand out at it. They can
help folks feel relaxed, comfortable, reassured. Bringing help to all in whatever need. Jesus healed, fed,
taught served and cared for everyone who came to him. He invites us to do the same.
TEACHING - My son is a teacher and he obviously thinks professionally trained people are the only ones who
can teach. Quite how he thinks he learned to walk and talk, feed himself, ride a bike and do everything else
which isn't taught at school, I don't know. However, we, God's people are busy doing it amongst ourselves in
every conversation, fellowship and meeting, by his grace.
ENCOURAGING - To be encouraging is to be caring and helpful. It's edifying, lifts pressure, excites, challenges
and supports those under pressure. After being encouraged you might go on to achieve something you
previously thought was beyond you. It can turn lives around. After being made redundant by my company
which was closing down, I was encouraged to set up my own business, which was still going strong until I retired
16 years later.
Jesus encouraged his disciples to go out on mission. They reurned excited and amazed at their success.
CONTRIBUTING - This doesn't just mean money, it means time and effort too. It requires love, care and the
Holy Spirit's guidance to get it right. Being generous at the right time for the right cause to the right person can
have far reaching effects. Beyond our expectations.
There were many sick, lame, blind people in Israel in Jesus day and he didn't just go around curing them all.
But when he cured Blind Bartimaeus, Bartimaeus responded by publicly praising God and spreading the word about Jesus.
LEADERSHIP - The last gift mentioned in Paul's list. Perhaps that's for a reason. Good Leadership is done with a
light touch. The best leaders inspire others to do and be the best they can. Sometimes in strange ways. Do
you remember one of Bruce Forsythe's favourite catch- phrases, 'I'm in charge!' Always said with a twinkle in his
eye. And causing everyone to laugh and get on with it. We all have opportunities to lead in our own way. Not
doing what others do with your knees knocking, but what you are capable of - reading a lesson with
understanding which may be just what someone else needs and building their faith. Or again using your skill in
a group so that together a task is completed. It's not our decision to take on the various responsiblities, it's
the guidance of our Lord. Jesus at the centre. Paul urges unity - yes even in kingswood. Put up with, bear with
those weaker than you in some way. We aren't all clever. Christian Theology is a vast subject which has
been studied by great minds down the centuries yet none has claimed to be right or know it all.
Jesus healed, cared for and taught, accepted and loved the Jews of his day. surely the oddest, most
awkward, annoying, rebellious of people - except perhaps for the person sitting next to you!
David Bosch (a Mission Studier) wrote - ' Churches are a movement. An Institution is, by it's nature,
conservative. Institution Churches tend to keep everything calm, pleasing many; Movement Churches may
incite wonder, delight disturbance and resentment together. Institutional Churches are passive, yielding belatedly
to influences from outside; Movement Churches are active, creative imaginative innovators. They influence.
An Institutional Church becomes a community of predictability; Movement Churches assume the Lord is active in
the affairs of society and seeks to discern his wisdom there. It's a community of possiblities.
Now, everyone of us IS actively involved. Sow generously. God is generous, magnanimous, profligate with the
seed. And we carry that seed of his love, proved by our Salvation through Jesus Christ. How well are we
growing; what harvest produce for our Lord? What sort of Church are we? Amen
Stf 692 - Your hand O God has guided
Loving Lord, we hear your call to go out into the world. But we want to stay here in fellowship together. We care
for one another, living perfectly adequate Christian lives just as we are. Why go out into a world of strangers?
May your Spirit convince us that your love is to be shared, your Salvation for everybody. So equip us with
hearts overflowing with Good News courage and resolution.
You call us to take your message. We use lots of pious words and phrases in our worship. But Lord we aren't
really sure what they mean,so how can we use those words we scarcely understand to people who have
never heard them? We pray your Spirit will give us the right words to use, of comfort, concern, joy, peace and
love to those who so need them, provoking a deep response.
You ask us to tell everyone. Yes we know your love is for all, but surely you should send someone else
who understands their needs and wouldn't put their foot in it. We pray that your Spirit will break down barriers
that separate, so that even we may bring your healing love into the lives of your children everywhere, for
Jesus sake, Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
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.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Stf 415 - The Church of Christ in every age.
Benediction - Go into the world to serve God and our neighbours.
May we know we are united with God, the Church, all Christians
May these become a reality in our lives, our relationships, our attitudes.
So may the blessing of our one God who has called us by one faith,
Inspire us, encourage us and give us joy and love,
For the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
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.