Worship for 17th May

Opening prayer:

In your love we trust, creator God:

your love for your world;
your love for each one of us;
your love that invites us
to love others, to love ourselves, and to love you.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
receive our love now, and our thanks.



Hymn: To remind us of God’s presence with us

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.


A prayer of praise and confession:

God of truth,
as we give thanks for all we know of your love,
we praise you for all we are yet to learn.

As we give thanks for all you reveal in Scripture,
we praise you for all we are yet to discover.

As we give thanks for the presence of Christ within us,
we praise you for all the ways we have yet to grow.

As we give thanks for the gift of prayer,
we praise you for all the ways in which we are yet to be changed.

For all we know, and for all we do not yet know,
we praise you, in the name of Jesus,
and in the power of the Spirit.                         (from Roots)

But, as we bring our praise,

we bring our confession.

Just as we are, we come,

full of regret for the neglect we have shown,

full of sadness for the times we have failed to listen.

We have not loved you with our whole heart.

We have not loved our neighbour as ourselves.

Just as we are, we come, confessing our sins and seeking forgiveness,

Forgive us, heal us and restore us.


Thank you, Lord, that when we come before you,

truly sorry for the things we’ve done wrong,

we can know ourselves forgiven.

Your mercy is new every morning.

Lord, you are our source of wisdom and strength.

Open our minds and hearts to your word.

Fill us again with your Holy Spirit,

inspiring and equipping us to be your people in the world today.

Loving, forgiving God,

we bring these and all our prayers to you in Jesus’ name

and for his kingdom’s sake.



Reading:   John 14:15-21 (NRSV)           

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”



Promises aren’t always easy to keep. We can make them with the best of intentions, but things don’t work out according to plan. When our children were young I promised to take them on a picnic. Guess what – it poured – all day! All morning it was, “When are we going?” and “You promised!” In the end, we had a picnic on the living room floor. You can picture the scene.

Picture the scene at the time of that gospel reading. It is dark. This is the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus has fed his disciples, washed their feet Judas has left to betray his friend. The Jesus tells them he will be leaving them. The disciples are afraid and unsettled. Of course they don’t want Jesus to leave them, they don’t want to face the future without him and his guidance.

“What next? What will we do? How can we cope? Who’s going to help us now? We left everything for you,” the disciples must have been thinking. I suspect these are questions echoed by many of us now as we begin to tentatively look to the future.

The disciples struggled to understand. Jesus makes an amazing promise. He will not leave them alone. The Holy Spirit will come among them, the Spirit of counsel, of truth and of love, the Spirit who will comfort, guide and watch over them. Jesus asks a lot from his disciples, but they will have the resources they need to cope. With the gift of the Spirit the future is full of hope. They will know grief, pain and sorrow. They will feel alone in the world and all will seem lost, yet later all will be well. That same Spirit is there for us, too, counselling and guiding, helping us to cope with life and to work for Christ. The Spirit is there for us if we’re just struggling to put one foot in front of the other when we get up in the morning.

The promise that we will not be left alone, the Holy Spirit is always there to comfort us and guide us, is a promise to hold on to. And God keeps his promises.

Our response to that love, revealing our love for him, is in keeping his commandments. We are called to love radically, unconditionally, without boundaries, to love with all that we have and all that we are, just as he loves us with all that he has and all that he is.



As a sign of commitment, cross hands over your chest – it is the sign for love. Read this verse slowly and sign the word ‘love’ each time it occurs.

‘If you love me, keep my commandments. Those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and show myself to them.’



Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
And companions on the road;
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christlight for you
In the night-time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow

till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony,
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony.

Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.

C: 1977 Scripture in Song Admin by Song Solutions Copycare


Prayers of intercession

Hold out your hands as if you are about to receive something precious.

Imagine that you are holding the world there to keep it safe as you pray:

Gracious and loving God,
your son Jesus reassured his disciples, fearful for their future, that your Spirit would be with them in good times and bad.

We pray for those who work in hospitals and care homes, doctors, nurses, administrators, receptionists and others, who together seek to offer healing and comfort to people separated from their homes, their familiar routines and their health.

We pray for those who are unwell in body, mind, or spirit, for those already infected by the virus and those most vulnerable to the disease.

We pray for those who mourn, who have lost loved ones. We pray for those who are particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse, suffering from the cruelty of others.

We pray for those tasked with leading us as they seek the way forward.

We pray for those having to return to work when they don’t yet feel ready, who are apprehensive and anxious.

We pray for the situations on our hearts and minds which we wish to pray for.

Loving God,

In loneliness, be our comfort;

in anxiety, be our hope;

in darkness, be our light.

Merciful God,

Hear our prayers.

Bring to all for whom we have prayed

your blessings of love, joy and peace.

We ask this in the name of, your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father…..



Love divine, all loves excelling,

Joy of heaven, to earth come down:

Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,

All Thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesu, 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.



May God bless you, guide you and direct you.

May God bless you, give you strength and the assurance of his love.

May God bless you and fill your life with his presence, today and always.