Worship for Sunday 16th May 2021

7th Sunday after Easter also known as Ascensiontide

Prepare to worship God the Father, source of all goodness.
Prepare give thanks to Jesus the Son, your protector.
Prepare to celebrate the power of the Spirit, your truth.
Prepare to know that you belong to God, today and every day

Hymn “All people that on earth do dwell”

1   All people that on earth do dwell,
     sing to the Lord with cheerful voice:
     him serve with mirth, his praise forthtell;
     come ye before him and rejoice.

2   The Lord, ye know, is God; indeed,
     without our aid he did us make:
     we are his folk, he doth us feed;
     and for his sheep he doth us take.

3   O enter then his gates with praise;
     approach with joy his courts unto;
     praise, laud, and bless his name always,
     for it is seemly so to do.

4   For why, the Lord our God is good;
     his mercy is for ever sure;
     his truth at all times firmly stood,
     and shall from age to age endure.

5   To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
     the God whom heaven and earth adore,
     from earth and from the angel host
     be praise and glory evermore.

William Kethe (d. 1594)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 1.

Prayer of Approach and Praise

Wherever we are, at this time, here and now, we know we are with you our loving God:

We open ourselves to you and seek to worship you.

We pray that your word will both lift us beyond ourselves to new heights and plunge us down to greatest depths of profundity.

So, we offer ourselves in your praise.

Guide our prayers that they may draw us towards Christ

May we hear the echo the faith of the many generations of over the centuries who came before us as we listen your word,
as we sing our songs and as we pray in our hearts.

May your truth resound in the very core of our being,

so we may truly know you, loving God.

May our moments of silence feel filled to overflowing

with the presence of your Holy Spirit,

So that we may lost in wonder, love and praise. Amen.

KS 2021

Prayer of Confession

Forgive us, Gracious God, for times when we have twisted your truth to suit our own convenience.
Forgive us, God, and protect us from ourselves.
Forgive us, God, for times when we have kept quiet
and not spoken up for you and your Word.
Forgive us, God, and protect us from ourselves.
Forgive us for times when we have hidden you carefully in our secret being, and separating of sacred selves from the everyday world.
Forgive us, God, and protect us from ourselves.
Forgive us for times when we have recognised that our thoughts and words and deeds have not been as we know they should have been and for the times when we haven’t even noticed there is a problem.
Forgive us, God, and protect us from ourselves.

Taken from Roots Worship 2018 with significant alterations

Song “All my days I will sing this song of gladness”

1   All my days I will sing this song of gladness,
     give my praise to the fountain of delights;
     for in my helplessness you heard my cry,
     and waves of mercy poured down on my life.

2   I will trust in the cross of my Redeemer,
     I will sing of the blood that never fails,
     of sins forgiven, of conscience cleansed,
     of death defeated and life without end.

     Beautiful Saviour, wonderful Counsellor,
     clothed in majesty, Lord of history,
     you’re the Way, the Truth, the Life.
     Star of the Morning, glorious in holiness,
     you’re the risen one, heaven’s champion,
     and you reign, you reign over all!

3   I long to be where the praise is never-ending,
yearn to dwell where the glory never fades,
where countless worshippers will share one song,
and cries of ‘worthy’ will honour the Lamb!

Beautiful Saviour …

Stuart Townend (b. 1963)

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 343
Words and Music: © 1998, Thankyou Music.  Administered by worshiptogether.com Songs, excluding UK & Europe, administered by Kingswaysongs, a division of David C Cook <tym@kingsway.co.uk>  Used by permission.

Reading Gospel John 17:6-19

(6)  “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  (7)  Now they know that everything you have given me is from you;  (8)  for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.  (9)  I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.  (10)  All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.  (11)  And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.  (12)  While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.  (13)  But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.  (14)  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  (15)  I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.  (16)  They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  (17)  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  (18)  As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  (19)  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Reflection: Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

What does this mean? The Greek word that is translated here as “sanctify” would perhaps be better translated as “consecrate” as it is in some other versions of the bible. When you consecrate a church building you are giving it over to a particular purpose.

Yet consecration can also be about people. When I was younger, I lived in a shipyard town and as a result I go to go to the commissioning of various ships most of which were built for the Royal Navy. Sometimes I would get to go into the yard itself and hear the words of some worthy or other who had come specially to commission the ship “God bless this ship and all who sail on her” he or she would say. All too often those words would seem just like hackney empty platitudes. The sort of thing to you have to say when you commission a ship. Yet sometimes exactly the same words would seem to mean far more and be much more real. What made the difference was whether or not the special guest was an actual veteran naval officer who had struggled to keep the ships bow above the waves in stormy weather or had fought in battle against an often-invisible enemy in the vastness of the Atlantic, Indian or Pacific oceans who could sink you with a torpedo at any moment. Someone who knew what it meant to rely on God in the most desperate circumstances imaginable. Then same words seemed both sincere and grounded in reality. Consecration is a holy form of commissioning and Jesus is in some ways doing the same as those naval officers at the shipyard. He is commissioning a new vessel, not a ship but a new holy enterprise and new holy venture. A venture which we will later know as the church that will come into existence when Jesus returns to the Father and disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirt. Jesus is exactly the right person to commission or consecrate this venture because he has already committed himself to this enterprise. He about to show his absolute commitment by being ready to die on the cross to show God’s love that reaches out even to those who reject him. Jesus blazes the path for the disciples to follow. He has we heard in last weeks gospel reading willing to lay down his life for his friends. He simply asks and commissions his disciples to do the same.

What is the truth to which Jesus is asking the disciples to dedicate their lives? It is the reality of the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus that is about to take place. The love of God that we meet in Jesus, the love that is the essence of the Father will be shown to be triumphant not just in fantasy world Harry Potter is victorious in Joanne Rowling’s popular books or  the story world of romantic novels where the heroine always finds love in the end No Jesus is saying the truth is that love is victorious in real life  in a world that had what in many ways were similar problems to those we experience here and now A world which had more than its fair share of falsehood, bitterness, hatred and tragedy. Yet the disciples would witness the triumph of God’s love in that reality, and they will be called to bear witness to this truth. 

This is also our task today too. To proclaim the triumph of love that we meet and know in Jesus our crucified, risen and ascended Lord. There is no greater truth that we can know or share!

A song to further reflect upon “Praise you in this storm” by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now

God, you would have reached down

And wiped our tears away

Stepped in and saved the day

But once again, I say, “Amen” and it’s still rainin’


Well, as the thunder rolls

I barely hear your whisper through the rain

“I’m with you”

And as your mercy falls

I’ll raise my hands and praise the God who gives

And takes away


And I’ll praise you in this storm

And I will lift my hands

For you are who You are

No matter where I am

And every tear I’ve cried

You hold in your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise you in this storm


I remember when

I stumbled in the wind

You heard my cry to You

And raised me up again

But my strength is almost gone

How can I carry on

If I can’t find You?


But as the thunder rolls

I barely hear your whisper through the rain

“I’m with you”

And as your mercy falls

I’ll raise my hands and praise the God who gives

And takes away


And I’ll praise You in this storm….


I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I lift my eyes unto the hills

Where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

The Maker of Heaven and Earth

(I lift my eyes unto the hills)

(Where does my help come from?)


And I’ll praise you in this storm ….

And though my heart is torn
(Though my heart is torn)

I’ll praise you in this storm
(Praise you in this storm)

Songwriters: Bernie Herms, John Mark Mark Hall

Three questions to think about…

  • Does your name have a meaning? If so, do you think you live up to your name?
  • Have you ever felt that God has in some sense protected you? If so, in what way, how and when?
  • Have you ever felt called or commissioned? In what ways to do you think that God might be calling you to act in the Church or in wider world today?

Prayers for other people

To this moment of worship, we bring our everyday selves, with all our concerns about the burdens of the people we know and love; all the burdens of the people some we barely recognise; some hidden from us on other continents, some living in what seem to us to live in almost different worlds.

All-gracious God, who understands our needs before we think and speak, we unload upon you our pains and joys, our sorrows and our celebrations, and bring our prayers before you:

For those who are hurting and those who hurt others; we remember countries where there is conflict and we think of people Afghanistan, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For those who know they are loved even in moments of great trial or tragedy and also those who feel they are loveless and unwanted; we pray for youngsters who leave home for home on the streets because as terrible as that is, it seems preferable to what they have already suffered.

For those who ill and those in pain and distress; we remember those people with long Covid and those folks who have had a much longer wait for treatment because of the pandemic

For the dying and those whose lives have been turned upside down as they seek to care for a loved one in their final days.

For those who are grieving and whose minds are bewildered and burdened by grief partly because the pandemic has made grieving so much more difficult.

For young people who may feel their needs are forgotten and ignored in the midst of concerns about the impact of the pandemic on older people.

For faithful as they seek to walk your path of love who are searching to find the way to life in all its fullness.

For those certain of their faith and those who waver.

For those of different faiths and identities from us.

For non-believers, both those who value and treasure love and also those despise love as weakness and seek meaning and solace in wealth and power.

All-gracious God, we ask you to surround all these for whom we pray and everyone with the circle of your protective love.


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 for ever. Amen.

Song “We do not hope to ease our minds”

tune “Before the throne of God above”

   1   We do not hope to ease our minds
        by simple answers, shifted blame,
        while Christ is homeless, hungry, poor,
        and we are rich who bear his name.
        As long as justice is a dream
        and human dignity denied,
        we stand with Christ; disturb us still
        till every need is satisfied.

   2   We cannot ask to live at peace
        in comfort and security
        while Christ is tried in Pilate’s hall
        and drags his cross to Calvary.
        As long as hatred stifles truth
        and freedom is betrayed by fear,
        we stand with Christ; give us no peace
        till his peace reigns in triumph here.

   3   We will not pray to be preserved
        from any depth of agony
        while Christ’s despairing cry rings out:
        God, why have you abandoned me?
        As long as we have hope to share
        of life renewed beyond the pain,
        we stand with Christ all through the night
        till Easter morning dawns again.

Marnie Barrell (b. 1952)

The last line of each verse is repeated.

Reproduced from Singing the Faith Electronic Words Edition, number 717
Words: © Marnie Barrell

Blessing and Commissioning

As we leave this sacred space and take ourselves and your truth, O God, into the ordinary, messy, mixed-up world to proclaim the love we have discovered in Jesus:
may your Holy Spirit always be our strength and our guide.