The reading from Luke is where Jesus is talking about faith, saying if we have just the tiniest amount, we can do great things. verse 6 He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.
God of all mercy, God, by your grace you have called me to this space, to this time,
to this day.
Guard me and protect me in all that you call me to,
that I may be strong in faith, in joy and love;
through Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and always.
Lord, in today’s gospel reading is the image of something small--the tiny mustard
seed, the grain of yeast, the small treasure--and these remind me that, though I think
of myself as small, I am not insignificant in your kingdom.
Open my heart, my ears and heart to you in thankful remembrance of the ways in
which I can serve you throughout my whole life.
Holy God, in a world that often teaches us bigger is better,
Take away my need for the big possessions.
Open my heart to receive your word of love and healing, and let my spirit be ready to
grow for you.
Forgive my stubborn resistance to your faithful presence.
Thank you Lord, that you forgive and accept me, just as I am, and set me free in
Giving God, I thank you for the gifts you have given to me. In a time of silence, I
name those small gifts that you have blessed us with, and whisper my thanks…
Lord take my offerings of thanksgiving and help me to say thank you a little and often
so that I can renewed by your Spirit.
Opening prayers written by Matthew Forsyth from The Vine at Home is compiled and produced by twelvebaskets
StF 661 Give Me The Faith Which Can Remove
Message - Helen Newham
Psalm 37, the lectionary reading we didn’t have is written by King David and he urges us to trust in the Lord. verses 8 and 9 particularly seemed relevant to me at the moment. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Anger and fretting are destructive emotions. They reveal a lack of faith that God is in control and loves us. I have been worrying about my Mum an awful lot and it is making me ill. When we dwell on our problems we become anxious and possibly angry at the very people we are worried about. That doesn’t help anyone. if we concentrate on God and his goodness we will find peace. We should not worry and trust in God. It struck a chord and I need to heed my own advice !
Paul in his second letter to Timothy appeals to him for loyalty to Paul and the Gospel. Even though he is in prison and knows he will soon die he writes to give Timothy (who was like a son to him) support and encouragement to continue to spread the Good news . He is not wailing “woe is me “which would be quite understandable, no - Paul is still full of hope fighting his cause, I have the utmost admiration for him. The key verse to me is verse 7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. “This message from Paul is just as relevant to us today as it was to the believers all those years ago. This same Holy Spirit which was given to Paul and Timothy is available to us now all we have to do is ask! Jesus is waiting with welcoming arms for us to ask him to enter our lives.
If we follow Jesus’ example, and try to be more Christlike in our words and deeds, we too will spread the Good news and ours and others lives will be enriched for the better because of It. How happy we will feel- it is a win win situation ' By caring for and helping others even just a smallest action we spread the Love and feel happier for doing it.
Our reading from Luke is where Jesus is talking about faith, saying if we have just the tiniest amount, we can do great things. verse 6 He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.
When I read this I sung in my head “a grain of mustard seed is all that you need” which is a song in the musical “A grain of Mustard seed by Roger Jones. It was published in 1976. I searched on the internet about him, and it said this
ROGER JONES was born in Birmingham and trained at the Birmingham School of Music. He then spent 16 years at Aston Manor School in Birmingham teaching music, and eventually became Head of Lower School. In the early 1970s he began writing songs for his School Choir about Easter, which emerged as a Cantata entitled ´Jerusalem Joy´. Roger first began composing, so as to involve as many as possible in music-making and in telling bible stories and Christian truths in a fun and accessible way. Further Musicals followed with ´Stargazers´, ´Apostle´, ´David´, ´A Grain of Mustard Seed´, ´Saints Alive´ and ´Greater than Gold´. Just prior to the publication of ´From Pharaoh to Freedom´ in 1984, Roger gave up teaching to become involved in full-time Christian Music. In addition to writing and performing musicals, Roger also directs Christian Music Ministries
I know of the musical because I was transported back to when I was about 12 -14 when the church I went to then, Boundary Road URC , which is now the charity HOPE 's headquarters decided to put on the production and I was amazed and delighted that the producer/director cast me as the narrator which was quite a large part. A flash back from the past. I hope I did him proud, I cannot remember much more but my Mum might remember, she presumably came to see me in it !
Basically, this passage from Luke is telling us -Stop focussing on what we lack and concentrate on the gifts we do have. Faith is complete and humble obedience to God's will, readiness to do whatever he calls us to do. The amount of faith isn’t as important as the kind of faith- faith in our all-powerful God. Even a tiny amount of faith is enough – In God it will take root and grow. We do not need more faith – a mustard seed is the smallest seed. A tiny seed is enough, it is alive and growing.
So remember “A grain of Mustard seed is all that you need” Amen.
A reflective prayer -
Lord, how much faith do we need to be able to do extraordinary things for you? It sounds as though we don't need much, if it only has to be the size of a tiny mustard seed. But that's the point, isn't it. Faith isn't something that can be measured like a seed: it's not a bargaining chip we exchange for some of your power. Faith is an attitude of trusting in your strength to enable us to do what you want us to do. Faith isn't a measure of our strength, but of our willingness to let you work through us. Lord, open us up to be channels of your love. Amen.
As an activity sow some Mustard seeds in a pot and watch them grow.
StF 518 Father, Hear the Prayer We Offer
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.
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.
StF272 The Servant King - Graham Kendrick
May you go out from here, blessed by this time of worship.
May you join with communities of grace and people of healing, to share and love for
May you be part of a people of hope and faith,
In Jesus’ name,
Prayer by Tim Baker from The Vine at Home 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 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.