How much does it cost? We’re all affected by rising prices, interest rates & bills. We’ll look at words from
Matthew: 10, in which Jesus speaks to his disciples about the cost of following him.
Welcome &; Call to worship. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercy never comes to an end. We
draw near to worship him now.
S.T.F. 76 Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
Theme: How much does it cost? We’re all affected by rising prices, interest rates &; bills. We’ll look at words
from Matthew: 10, in which Jesus speaks to his disciples about the cost of following him. In Romans 6 Paul
offers hope for life with Jesus beyond the cross.
Prayer. Gracious God, we come before you in wonder, awe &; praise, to offer you our love to thank you for
those ways in which we see your Spirit at work in creation & in our world. We marvel at the amazing colours in
the sky at sunrise & sunset, thank you for those things which we have tasted, smelt, heard, seen & touched in this
day & for your endless love which surrounds us.
iForgive us for those times when we don’t put you first, we fail to trust you, or lose courage when we’re faced
with trouble or condemnation. Help us to follow the example of Jesus & to remember that we are known,
loved & valued by you, even when we let you down. May your Spirit of truth guide & empower us as we do our
best to be your disciples in the world. 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.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Reading Matthew 10:24-39 New International Version
24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like
their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much
more the members of his household!
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not
be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim
from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of
the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of
them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are
all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But
whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son
or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not
worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
S.T.F. 424 God forgave my sin
Reading: Romans: 6: 8 -11. Dead to sin. New International Version
8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised
from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin
once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus
Our readings remind us of the potential cost of carrying God’s
message to others. Yet, they also offer hope for life with Christ, beyond
the cross. In the gospel passage, Jesus points out that the disciples
must expect some opposition, including possibly from their own families,
in the same way that Jesus himself was opposed & called names. He
also assures them that God loves & values them.
In Matthew 10, at the start of our passage, Jesus is continuing his
message to the disciples about mission. Initially, the focus is on the
identity of the disciples with their teacher. If he has been persecuted, or
maligned, then they must expect the same. Jesus’ reference to
Beelzebub, as the Lord of the house, is derived from the Philistine god
Baal &; by Jesus’ time, was used to refer to a demonic force, so the
slander was effectively saying that Jesus was in league with God’s
Jesus went on to reassure & encourage his disciples that the gospel of
the kingdom is being revealed so they should not be afraid, even of
physical death. They should not be afraid of those who try to stop them
& they should: ‘Fear God, not those who kill the body.’ Jesus’ allusion to
sparrows highlights how little worth they had, but God knows when they
fall. The disciples are highly valued by God & he even knows how many
hairs on their head. Although Jesus describes himself as coming with a
sword, not bringing peace, we also know that his goal is peace on earth.
In v 34, which sounds harsh, Jesus points to the potential breakdown in
human relationships, even within families, if a believer puts anyone or
anything before God. The cost of following Jesus is spelled out as
following his example & taking up the cross.
Christian victims of floods in Chad & Cameroon in Oct 22, suffered
terribly when 2 rivers burst their banks following the heaviest rains in
more than 30 years. Tens of thousands of people were forced from their
homes, their crops were submerged in water &; livestock were lost. This
was yet another blow to Christians who had already suffered because of
repeated attacks on their communities by Islamist militants. The only
way to move between villages was by canoe. ‘Barnabas Aid’ provided
Emergency provisions to thousands of families. After the help they
received, A village chief said this: ‘God of love, God Provider. We had
lost everything &, lo &; behold, we have received a lot’. All the
persecuted Christians who were helped praised God & were happy that
Christians in other lands thought of them.
In the passage from Romans, Paul was urging the Christians in Rome to
believe that, just as Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, so they, too, might walk in newness of life. ‘But if we have died
with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. So you also must
consider yourselves dead to sin & alive to God in Jesus Christ.’
Paul stressed the close identification of each believer with Christ. Later
in the passage, (v14) he reminded the Roman Christians that they were
not under the Law, but under grace. As Christians today, we face many
challenges in life & Jesus promises to help us through the difficulties, but
we must also stay close to him & remember that, as our good shepherd,
he will be with us in everything that we face.
In our Circuit, this week, we have lost another minister, announced in our
pulpits last Sunday, as a suspension with immediate effect. It’s
bewildering for so many people when we’ve already had a tough time
since last September. I can’t imagine how upsetting it must be for the
minister & his family & anyone else involved. Whatever the rights &
wrongs of the situation, we need to remind ourselves continually that our
God is all-powerful, all-knowing & all-loving. Although we don’t always
understand his ways, we can always trust him. We’re called to seek his
face & follow his example.
In thinking & praying about this situation, I was reminded of a time in my
teaching career, when I was already in ministry, part-time as Minister in
Local appointment. I was based at a Pupil referral unit & also working in
schools with pupils with behaviour problems. Our Head & Deputy were
both suspended. It was not a Safeguarding matter, but it took a long time
for the whole matter to be resolved & initially, we were like sheep without
a shepherd. Arrangements were made for 2 managers from another
department to oversee our team & work carried on, but it felt very
different & many of us felt disorientated &; unsettled. I felt privileged to be
able to pray about the situation & also to be available to talk to those
who were struggling. Dealing with challenging children & young people
can be difficult & also rewarding in equal measure, but one of our
strengths had been that we worked together well as a team. One of the
things which I felt called to do was to write brief notes to our Head &
Deputy during the period when they were suspended. I simply let them
know that they were missed & we were thinking of them & that I was
praying for them. Nothing else.
In our Circuit situation, we know nothing about the current suspension,
but we do know that we’re individuals who are loved & valued by God &;
we should show that love to others. Rev Christine sent me an email
earlier this month, to let me know that the church Council had agreed to
take one of the commitments of the ‘Methodist Way of Life’ over the next
year &; that this month’s commitment would be ‘We will speak of the love
of God’. Each person leading worship this month has been able to
choose whether they want to preach on this subject. God’s love is so
much bigger than our human love, &; his compassion & forgiveness is
beyond our comprehension. We need to speak about that love & also
share that love with those around us. Each one of us here &; in our
different churches may have different priorities & different viewpoints, but
each of us has a mission in life. We were sent into the world by God, just
as Jesus was. He will use us as the people we are, to share his love &
hope with others. As modern disciples, we are to be like Jesus in his
teaching &; in his work & to share the same challenges sufferings &;
reward. To do that, we need to allow the Holy spirit to be at work in our
hopes, our fears & our uncertainties &; to work together as a team as we
share his love. Amen.
StF 652 Lord, we come to ask your healing.
Loving God, we pray for our world, where so many areas are
affected by war, unrest, poverty & despair. In the long-running conflict
between Ukraine &; Russia, we pray for justice & mercy & think of the many
innocent people who are losing their lives, living in restricted circumstances &
grieving over lost loved ones. We pray for those affected by the loss of the
submersible craft in the Atlantic & give thanks for those who did their best to
help, asking that you will comfort those who mourn. Lord in your mercy. Hear
We pray for our nation, & those ways in which different nationalities have
influenced our culture & tastes, especially the Windrush generation, on the 75 th
Anniversary of the arrival of citizens for the Caribbean. We pray for the many
people who are struggling in many ways, with falling interest rates, families to
feed & for those running businesses who are finding it hard to make ends
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray for our Circuit, for our leadership team & the different churches, &
their leaders, for Rev Christine, Deacon Sian & Arnold. We pray, also for the
Rev. Tony & Rev Andrew, who will be joining us in September. May we be
united as we speak of Jesus & share his love with those in our communities.
We offer our prayers in the power of the name of Jesus. Amen.
StF 673 Will you come & follow me
May God, the Father fill us with hope, Jesus, the Son fill us with peace
& May the blessing of God, Father Son & Holy Spirit be with us & remain
among us. 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.