Worship for Sunday 15th August, by Rev. Joy Rulton


Call to worship:

Jesus, our living bread,
we have an appetite for you,
and we come wanting to feed on your word.
Jesus, you offer life to the world,
eternal life, raising us up on the last day.
Keep us hungry for you,
with the anticipation of a feast
of the finest food – food that brings life.

Hymn:  StF 364

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and king,
the triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honours of your name.

Jesus – the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
’tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’tis life, and health, and peace.

He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean,
his blood availed for me.

He speaks; and, listening to His voice,
new life the dead receive,
the mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.

See all your sins on Jesus laid:
the Lamb of God was slain,
his soul was once an offering made
that all may heaven gain.

In Christ, our Head, you then shall know,
shall feel, your sins forgiven;
anticipate your heaven below,
and own that love is heaven.

                                                Charles Wesley

Prayer of thanksgiving:

We give thanks to you, our constant God,
in the fast-changing world of beauty and pain.
So let us give thanks.

For your company when we’ve struggled to cope,
your clarity, when life has become muddled and confused.
So let us give thanks.

For your understanding when we made our mistakes,
your readiness to forgive when we’re ready to come home.
So let us give thanks.

For your generous gift of life in all its complexity,
your wonderful creativity and offer of hope.
So let us give thanks.

For your power to change and make a difference,
your graceful invitation to share in your work of redemption and healing.
So let us give thanks.

For your love, so freely given,
your acceptance and welcome to us as we are.
So let us give thanks.

and confession:

For expectations of appreciation
and reluctance to show gratitude

For greed and waste
and unwillingness to share

For unkind thoughts
and lack of charity,

For all we have failed to do
and all we would like to undo,
Lord, forgive us and help us.

Hymn:   StF 365

Jesu, joy of loving hearts,
the fount of life and light of all;

from the best bliss that earth imparts
we turn unfilled to heed your call.

Your truth unchanged has ever stood;
you save all those who on you call;
to those that seek you, you are good,
to those that find you, all in all.

We taste of you, the living bread,
and long to feast upon you still;
we drink of you, the fountain-head,
and thirst our souls from you we fill.

Our restless spirits long to be
with you, where’er our lot is cast,
glad when your gracious smile we see,
blest when our faith can hold you fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay;
make all our moments calm and bright;
chase the dark night of sin away,
shed on the world your holy light.

                                                Ray Palmer


Ephesians 5.15-20

15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 6.51-58

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”  

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”


Bread has been a staple of the human diet for about 10,000 years. Just about every culture around the globe has their own type of bread, from ciabatta to chapati to baguette to sliced white. What’s your favourite? Have you eaten any today?

Different types of bread have been loved by so many for so long, so it’s not surprising that a crop of superstitions about the foodstuff have arisen. Whoever eats the last slice, for example, will have to kiss the cook, or, I remember my mum telling me that eating the crusts will make your hair curl. (It never worked, I wouldn’t eat them).

This reading from John comes soon after Jesus has fed 5000 people with five loaves and two fish. Are we surprised that people then want to follow him? If he can do catering on this scale they’d never be hungry again! They wanted material bread. They love the miracle, but miss, or ignore, its meaning.

When Jesus tells then that he is the Bread of life, people begin to get agitated. The words come next, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink,” would have been shocking. Although people would have been familiar with sacrifice and blood being spilt, an invitation to “eat my flesh” would have been a step too far for many. It’s just plain wrong.

It’s worth considering how people new to church would view the words we say at Holy Communion:

On the same night that he was betrayed,

our Saviour Christ took bread and gave you thanks.

He broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying,

“Take, eat. This is my body, given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

After supper, he took the cup of wine,

gave thanks and gave it to them, saying

“Drink from it, all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

poured out for all people

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in remembrance of me.”

It’s intended to express how we desire Jesus to have that close relationship with him, a “oneness” with him, allowing him to feed us with all that we need. He lives in us and we live in him. We know his love, mercy, forgiveness, compassion. We begin to see the world through his eyes.

So, take and eat.


Lord Jesus, you feed us with your word

and with our daily food.

We thank you for interweaving your life with ours, being an unseen guest at every meal.

Help us to be grateful for all we eat and drink,

for the nutrition we receive to give us strength for life.

As we eat, may we also be reminded that you are part of us, life giving, always within us.

By the power of your Holy Spirit,

may we share your word of life with others.



Father of life draw me closer
Lord, my heart is set on You
Let me run the race of time
With Your life unfolding mine
And let the peace of God
Let it reign

Oh Holy Spirit, Lord my comfort
Strengthen me, hold my head up high
And I stand upon Your truth
Bringing glory unto You
And let the peace of God
Let it reign

Oh Lord, I hunger for more of You
Rise up within me, let me know Your truth
Oh Holy Spirit, saturate my soul
And let the life of God, fill me now
Let Your healing power
Breathe life and make me whole
And let the peace of God
Let it reign

© Music Services, Inc

Prayers of intercession:

Loving God,
you are the living bread that recreates

and sustains us,
the bread that brings life to the world,

the crucified and living Christ
whose Spirit teaches us to dance to the rhythm of your heartbeat.

As you have called us to be wise,
we pray for those who seem to rely on their own strength and wisdom –
those who turn away from faith,

those who believe they are never wrong …
Living bread:

bring life to your world.

As you have filled us with your Spirit,
we pray for a world so often filled with its own importance –
those who will not look for the kingdom of God …
Living bread:

bring life to your world.

As you teach us to sing,
we pray for a world crying in pain –
victims of injustice, those on the margins …
Living bread:

bring life to your world.

As you ask us to give thanks,
we pray for those whose pain is too much –
the friend and stranger asking to be healed …
Living bread:

bring life to your world.

As you accept our offering,
we pray for those who feel they have nothing to offer –
the bullied and the different, the invisible and poor
Living bread:

bring life to your world.

You are the living bread. You call us to feed your world.
Bless us, challenge us, feed us and nurture us,

as you hear our prayers.
In Jesus name we pray.



The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father….


Hymn:     StF 303

I know that my Redeemer lives –
What joy the blest assurance gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my everlasting Head!

He lives to bless me with His love;
He lives to plead for me above;
He lives my hungry soul to feed;
He lives to help in time of need.

He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death;
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to lead me safely there.

He lives, all glory to His Name;
He lives, my Saviour, still the same;
What joy the blest assurance gives,
I know that my Redeemer lives!

                                                            Samuel Medley  


After being fed by you, Jesus the living bread,
send us out to feed others.
Now that we are filled with your Holy Spirit,
guide our hands as we offer your life to others.
Now that we have the promise of eternal life with you, Lord God,
give us your love to share with the world.


May God’s Word be in your heart.
May God’s Word be on your lips.
May God’s Word be in your touch.
May God’s Word direct your feet.
On this day and all your days to come
May God’s Word be the life you live.

Prayers adapted from Rootsontheweb

CCL: 57681