This worship at home service has been prepared for you by Janet Patrick.
It was June 16 2019 that I last preached at Kingswood Methodist Church almost exactly three years ago. This confirms my belief that the circuit keeps to the three year rota of preaching appointments. It is a joy to be with you. Life has changed so much in the last three years:
I have chosen the theme: Good News People in a Bad News World. It feels very appropriate
StF Jesus calls us here to meet him.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and confession
Loving God, How good it is to be here on this summer morning to worship you. We have so much to thank you for:
Lord we thank you for the seasons, the rain making the gardens grow, the light summer evenings, the sun shining, the changing colour of the flowers and the beauty of nature around us.
We thank you for this community here at Kingswood, for Christine the minister, for all who are involved in the life of this church, not only this morning but during the week. We remember those who have gone before and who loved us into the Church.
We thank you for all that makes life worth living, the tiny things of life: exchanging smiles, helping other people, all the many things we take forgranted, like clean water in our taps, regular refuse collections, electricity always available, the NHS and living in a society that cares for our needs.
Most of all we thank you for your great love for humankind, the love that sent Jesus to come and live as one of us. He brought us the good news that your love is for all and that your kingdom is one of justice and peace. Knowing that we are loved brings joy and meaning to our lives.
Lord, you know that we live in a bad-news world. You know that we close our eyes to evil because we often feel overwhelmed in the face of human misery and can’t see what to do. Forgive us, fill us with your spirit of hope and courage, prick our consciences, stir us up to realise we can make a difference and that we are bearers of your Good News.
Remind us that we are part of your world wide family and are called to care for one another.
Lord, we give you thanks for the power to be gentle, for the strength to forgive, for the patience to understand, for the endurance that hold on to what is right, for the good that overcomes evil, for the vision of a new world arising from the ruins of the old. For all these we give thanks and pray.
We ask these prayers through Jesus, our friend and redeemer. Amen.
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 forever. AMEN.
StF 415 The Church of Christ in every age.
We Methodists have always sung our faith, this hymn was written by Rev Pratt Green declares our faith today.
I will read verse 5. We have no mission but to serve in full obedience to our Lord, to care for all without reserve and spread his liberating word, to care for all without reserve and spread his liberating world.’
Both our readings today demonstrate God’s power to overcome evil in a bad news world.
Old Testament Reading 1` Kings 19 v1-4, 8-15a This is a very long reading, but a wonderful story of a Bad News World, where Elijah, the prophet is in danger of his life and wants to die, but God calls him to go back and carry on.
New Testament Reading: Luke 8 26-39 This is another story of bad news for the Jews. It is set in a non Jewish setting among the tombs, with unclean animals, pigs, a city stranger, demon possession and nudity. Yet Jesus did not even wait for the man to ask for healing and it became a good news story, even though the people asked the man to leave.
StF 404 God’s Spirit is in my heart, he has called me and set me apart. It is a call to be good news people.
Called to be Good News People in a Bad News World.
I believe it is true that we live in a world which is full of bad news, especially at the moment, we still have a world wide Covid epidemic and now we have a war in Ukraine which shows us how clearly how we are all depend on each other. I also believe it is God’s world and that we must be Good News people. If that seems just impossible, remember that God sent his son to this world as one of us that we might ‘go tell everyone the news that God’s kingdom has come.
Let us first face the bad news. We live in a very unfair world, we are among the 20% that consume 80% of the world’s resources, there is enough food for all, but 1 in 8 goes to bed hungry worldwide. 42.5 million people have been forced to flee their homeland because of civil strife or war. I am now 80, when we lived in Malawi during the Aids epidemic 25 years ago the expectation of life was 37, now in the 40s, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world.
-There is a war in Ukraine has shown us how dependent we are on each other, Ukraine was the bread basket of Europe. Fuel supplies are rising almost daily. We, who God calls to be peacemakers are fuelling the war in Ukraine.
Britain which is a rich country has now an inflation rate of 9%, the increasing price of fuel means some will have to choose between food and fuel. CAB says that even when a client receive all their benefits 36% will be living below the poverty line. In Britain 2 million children will be eligible for free school dinners this autumn. For many people it will be a choice of food or fuel.
We are called to be members of God’s Good News People. From OT times the prophets have declared God is a God of Justice; Amos 5 v14 Let Justice roll down like waters, v15 Hate evil and love good and establish justice in the gate and he addressed the rich as : v11 you trample on the poor.’. God has been on the side of the Poor and the oppressed.
Jesus repeated the message of the OT prophets: He declares it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than the rich to get to heaven. The rich young man went away sorrowing when Jesus asked him to give all his goods away to the poor. Dives, the rich man who goes to hell, while Lazarus the poor man goes to heaven, asks to be allowed to warn others, but is not given a second chance.
I remind myself of the hymn we sang:. We have no mission but to serve in full obedience to our Lord, to care for all without reserve and spread his liberating word .
Jesus came to show us what God’s kingdom is like and we are called to follow him.
What then should be our Response to the bad news?
We must seek peace, we must follow God’s option for the poor, we must share God’s love with everyone we meet. So often we do not challenge the bad news: we don’t stand up for those who are discriminated against by colour, sex or creed. Our response can be found in the hymns we sing, in our readings and in our prayers.
We may feel guilty because we are compromised, we live in big houses, we have many possessions. We may feel guilty because we pass by on the other side when we see racism, or someone treated badly. We may feel burn out because we have tried for so long and nothing seems to change. We may be able to forgive others for not doing things or even doing the wrong thing, but we cannot forgive ourselves. In all of this we know that God loves us and will forgive us.
I find having role models helps. Nelson Mandela said we are not afraid of what we cannot do but what we can do.
We need to believe we can make a difference and follow those who have gone before. Nelson Mandela was in solitary confinement for 22 years and was not bitter. Desmond Tutu said when you return evil for evil it gives you a bad feeling. Martin Luther King spoke of his dreams.
When people sometimes ask me what is a Methodist? I say that we believe in Social Holiness, following John Wesley’s care for those in need, living simply, visiting the prisoners, showing God’s care for the poor and changing society to reflect this care. His final words are said to be ‘Best of all God is with us.’
You know all this without me telling you.
I once asked long ago in a service here what sort of organisations you were involved . You were slow to respond but then you got going. I remember Irene talking about prison visiting.
Churches are at the forefront of helping in times of disaster, floods, world wide emergencies.
Churches know the local needs of their communities and are involved in many organisations such as Hope.
The very first Dementia Training in Beeston was done at Chilwell road and it was the angry shout of someone there ‘Don’t just talk DO SOMETHING that propelled me into starting the Memory café in Beeston, now in its eight year and meeting weekly.
I am now in my twelfth and final year as a Broxtowe Borough Councillor. I got so fed up with complaining about the gap between the haves and have nots it was easier to become a Borough Councillor.
How can we keep our vision before us and how can we find the strength to keep going?
First of all we know that God never gives up on us.
Secondly, sometimes we spend too long thinking about what to do. Perhaps we should not wait to be asked but just get on with what is at hand.
Thirdly we have before us those who have gone before who loved us into the Church, their witness remains with us.
Finally I am reminded of John Wesley’s words as he died ‘the best of all is that God is with us’. Knowing you are loved by God is a transforming love that changes us.
So what should we be doing to be Good News People?
There will be many answers. As I grow older, worship has become more important for me. It is like getting your weekly fuel to keep you going on your journey. We are all different and it is not for me to suggest what you should do. One thing I do know is that we are called to be Good News People in a Bad News world and with God’s love all is possible.
StF 483 We are marching in the light of God and closes with ‘We are moving in the power of God.’
Prayers of Intercession
Loving God, we pray for the Church and for the world. We rejoice that you are worshipped in every land. We pray for new and growing churches in Africa and Asia, we pray for churches like our own that are struggling and losing numbers and we pray for churches in lands where is dangerous to be a Christian. Give us your spirit to keep going and to see your image in everyone we meet.
We pray for this Trent Valley Circuit, for our ministers, for the members of the Circuit meeting and all who members as we face difficult decisions. May we face challenges as opportunities to find new ways of sharing the good news of Jesus with others.
We pray for your world. A world divided by the rich and the poor and we are part of the rich world. Help us to remember Jesus’ love for the poor and condemnation of those who put possessions first. Help us to work for justice and never give up.
We pray especially for those who live and die in hunger, who have to flee their countries due to war or civil unrest. We pray for an end to the war in Ukraine, we know that you are a God of peace who called us to turn our swords into ploughshares. We pray for peace negotiations.
We pray for all in our country who are facing poverty as inflation grows and they must choose between warmth and food this winter. We pray that local and national governments will seek fair and a just distribution of wealth. In silence let us remember those known to us who are in need of our prayers…………………………
Finally we pray for ourselves, that we see you in everyone we meet, that we may forgive others and ourselves and rejoice that we are your children and loved by you. We ask these prayers through Jesus, our friend and Saviour. AMEN.
StF 660 Called by Christ to be disciples every day in every place (tune Calon Lan 322)
Blessing from Desmond Tutu: Goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate: light is stronger than darkness, life is stronger than
Death, Victory is ours through him who loved us.
Let us say the grace to each other:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.
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 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.