Worship for Sunday 15th May 2022, by Rev. Sue Williams


Id do anything for love but I wont do that …

Love, love changes everything …

Love is all you need …

I wanna know what love is …


How many other songs about love

can you think of?

StF 103: God is Love

God is Love, let heaven adore him;

God is Love, let earth rejoice;

let creation sing before him,

and exalt him with one voice.

He who laid the earth’s foundation,

He who spread the heavens above,

He who breathes through all creation,

He is Love, eternal Love.


God is Love and he enfolding

all the world in one embrace;

with unfailing grasp is holding

every child of every race.

And when human hearts are breaking

under sorrow’s iron rod,

then they find that selfsame aching

deep within the heart of God.


God is Love, and though with blindness

sin afflicts each human soul,

God’s eternal loving-kindness

holds and guides and keeps them whole.

Sin and death and hell shall never

o’er us final triumph gain;

God is Love, so Love for ever

o’er the universe must reign.

Timothy Rees

Words: © Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd

Prayers of adoration and confession

Lord of the heavens and the earth,
Lord of all creatures above and below ground,
Lord of the oceans, the ebb and flow of tides:
Lord of everything, your glory and majesty is supreme.

Lord of all our yesterdays, written in the pages of history.
Lord of what is to come, the story that is yet to unfold.
Lord of our now, your presence among us:
Lord of everything, your glory and majesty is supreme.

You love us without questioning,

heal and bring wholeness without prejudice,
embrace us as a parent would their child.

Forgive us when we forget,
feel isolated and alone,
and don’t know where to turn.

Forgive us when we fail you,

choose those we will minister to

and don’t listen to your word.

You love us without questioning;

may we bring compassion,

healing and peace without prejudice

to all whom you might lead us to this day.


(Adoration from Roots on the Web;

Confession John Birch, Faith and Worship)

 StF 420: Because you came

Because you came and sat beside us,

because you came and heard us speak,

and we ignored you and we refused you,

we ask forgiveness, Lord Jesus Christ.


Because you laughed and loved the child-like,

because you lived from day to day,

and we love status and steady money,

we ask forgiveness, Lord Jesus Christ.


Because our peace was your agenda,

because you wept to see us war,

and we love power, and winning battles,

we ask forgiveness, Lord Jesus Christ.


Because your Cross compels an answer,

because your love absorbs our sin,

and we are wounded because we wound you,

we ask forgiveness, Lord Jesus Christ.


Because you came on Easter morning,

because you come at Pentecost,

and in the Spirit, we are forgiven

we live to praise you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Shirley Erena Murray

Words © 1996 Hope Publishing Company,

380 S Main Pl, Carol Stream, IL 60188

John 13:31-35 : The New Commandment

When he [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.  If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.”  

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’


So, how many other songs about love did you think of?  I dare say you thought of a few, because songs about love are so popular.   And think of all the sonnets that Shakespeare wrote about love.   And of course we all know that it’s love that makes the world go round.  Now let’s think about the kind of love which Jesus is talking about.

It seems a little odd to me that five weeks after Easter we are being transported back in time to the evening of the last supper.   I wonder why?  Maybe it’s because during Holy Week our eyes are focused more on Jesus taking the bowl and towel and washing his disciples feet, then imagining the events in the garden.  Whereas this Sunday perhaps we are being encouraged to listen to the words and teachings of Jesus rather than to watch the action.

So what does in mean for us as we listen to Jesus saying, ‘I give you a new command-ment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’?

Imagine yourself at a dinner party.  Everyone gathers together and greetings are exchanged, and you take your seat at the table.  The meal is served and eaten and conversation is light.  Then, with the crumbs and crockery still on the table, the talk turns serious.  As the host begins to speak you realise there’s no getting off home just yet. 

Many of us may have been to a dinner party like that.  In fact, a few weeks ago friends of ours came for coffee, stayed for lunch and were still with us at four o’clock.  They’d just said no to a cuppa and were getting ready to leave when my friend got a phone call from her Macmillan nurse telling her she needed a further test.  At that point I made tea, we all sat down again and my friend told us what the nurse had said.   Is it true that love is all she needsI’d do anything for love but I won’t (because I physically can’t) swap places with her,  but I can be a listening ear to her and offer practical help.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the news reported that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Manchester to unveil the Glade of Light Memorial at Manchester Cathedral for those killed in the arena bomb five years ago.  At the end of his speech William said, “…let’s look back with love for those we lost. Let’s look back with love for the people who cared for and protected this community.  And let’s look back with love for the ongoing strength of the great city of Manchester.”    We all hope and pray that love changes everything.

I read this morning that between 2021-2022, The Trussell Trust provided more than 2.1 million food parcels to people across the UK, the first time foodbanks in the Trust’s network have provided more than 2 million parcels outside of the pandemic. As the cost of living rises, more and more people are being forced to turn for help just to get the basics.  Is love all these families need?    Do we really ‘wanna know what love is’ in the way Jesus means it?

Perhaps the Trussell Trust can help us with one idea.   The Trust is calling on the government to take responsibility for the cost of living crisis, and to increase the amount of welfare support people receive, so that people not only have enough for today, but so that we can work toward a future where everyone has a stable base to thrive and not to have to make impossible choices between food and warmth.  And so the Trust is asking people to sign their petition.  The link is below if you would like to sign.

Trussell Trust information: Find out more and sign the Trussell Trust petition here.

Let us pray:

Your commands are not burdensome;

your way of life is our example,
your footsteps there to be found.

‘Love one another;
care for children,
brothers, sisters and outcasts.
If you are my disciples,
then show the world; demonstrate your discipleship and love both lovely and unloved. Show God’s grace to this world!’

As we open our hearts
and follow as you have shown,
others will discover you through our words and by the life we share.

For the love that you have given us and the blessings you have shown us, we thank you, God of love and grace.

From The Act of Prayer by John Birch

StF 250 : Jesus calls us

Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea,
day by day his voice is sounding,
saying, “Christian, follow me.”

Long ago apostles heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for his dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying “Christian, love me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these.”

Jesus calls us; by your mercies,
Saviour, may we hear your call,
give our hearts to your obedience,
serve and love you best of all.

Cecil Frances Alexander

Prayers of Intercession:

God of love,

our prayers today are for those who are victims of prejudice, denied opportunities, excluded, pushed to margins.

The Lord our God is one:

We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.


Our prayers today are for all those who’re betrayed, who don’t know loyalty,

who fear to trust, or to love, and who don’t realise that they’re already loved by you.

The Lord our God is one:

We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.


Our prayers today are for the landless and homeless, the refugee and evicted,

those who find themselves in foreign places and strange places.

The Lord our God is one:

We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.


Our prayers today are for the overworked and the underpaid,

for those in dangerous work and those in compassionate work,

for those who long to work but are denied the opportunity

The Lord our God is one:

We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.


Our prayers today are for the Church,

for all the branches of the vine

including those we would gather with,

body of Christ, people of Christ,

for whom the Lord our God is one:

We will love with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength.


Our prayer today is for those who are close to our hearts,

those whom we worry about,

those whom we miss,

those who carry disproportionate burdens at this time …

(you are invited to pray your own concerns)


We gather up all our prayers as we say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

~ written by Rev. Iain Macdonald.  Posted on the Church of Scotlands Starters for Sunday website.

StF 503 : Love Divine

Love divine, all loves excelling

Joy of heaven to earth come down

Fix in us Thy humble dwelling

All Thy faithful mercies crown

Jesus, Thou art all compassion

Pure, unbounded love Thou art

Visit us with Thy salvation

Enter every trembling heart


Come, almighty to deliver

Let us all thy life receive;

Suddenly return and never,

Never more thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,

serve thee as thy hosts above,

pray, and praise thee without ceasing,

glory in Thy perfect love.


Finish then thy new creation,

pure and spotless let us be

Let us see thy great salvation,

perfectly restored in thee:

changed from glory into glory,

till in heaven we take our place,

till we cast our crowns before thee,

lost in wonder, love, and praise!

Charles Wesley

The Blessing

May the blessing of God,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen


Information from ‘The Vine at Home’.