Worship for Sunday 17th October 2021, by Matt Smith

Call to Worship

Let us still ourselves before our God, Lord of all, and creator of all things, through who all things are made.

Hymn: Be still for the presence of the Lord (StF20) 

1. Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy one is here
Come bow before him now
In reverence and fear
In Him no sin is found
We stand on Holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The Holy one is here.

2. Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with Holy fire
With splendour He is crowned
How awesome is the sight

Our radiant King of light

Be still for the glory of the Lord

Is shining all around.

3. Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister His grace
No work too hard for Him
In faith receive from Him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place.


O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.

Lord hear our prayer.

We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendour of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thorn bush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,

Lord, hear our prayer.

O Lord, grant us the grace to grow deeper in our respect of and care for your Creation.
Help us to recognize the sacredness of all of your creatures as signs of your wondrous love.
Help us turn from the selfish consumption of resources meant for all and to see the impacts of our choices on the poor and vulnerable.

Lord, hear our prayer.

May we have the wisdom to see the ways that we too impact on your creation,

And repent from our damaging ways

When your creation includes others and ourselves

And we damage those as well

And look on with distain

We as for your forgiveness

Lord, hear our prayer.


Loving God we thank you for your forgiveness

For your mercy and grace to each of us

Thank you that you make us whole again

Through the power of your love

You power to renew and restore

Has no limits


We pray all these things in the name of Christ Jesus

Lord, hear our prayer.



OT Reading: Job 38:1-7, 34-41

The Lord Answers Job

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man,
   I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
   Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
   Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
   or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
   and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

‘Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
   so that a flood of waters may cover you?
Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go
   and say to you, “Here we are”?
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,
   or given understanding to the mind?
Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?
   Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
when the dust runs into a mass
   and the clods cling together?

‘Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
   or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
when they crouch in their dens,
   or lie in wait in their covert?
Who provides for the raven its prey,
   when its young ones cry to God,
   and wander about for lack of food?

Hymn: God is Love: Let heaven adore him (StF103)

  1. God is Love: let heav’n 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 heav’ns above,
    he who breathes through all creation,
    he is Love, eternal Love.
  1. God is Love: and he enfoldeth
    all the world in one embrace;
    with unfailing grasp he holdeth
    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.
  1. God is Love: and though with blindness
    sin afflicts the souls of all,
    God’s eternal loving-kindness
    holds and guides us when we fall.
    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.

NT Reading: Mark 10:35-45

The Request of James and John

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’


In both of our readings today the recipients have been put in their places. Firstly with find Job, loyal and righteous all the way through the torrent of catastrophes that he went through finally demanding from God to know why. Personally I don’t blame him, wouldn’t you have a few choice words after all he went through? In true God fashion, the reply doesn’t answer Jobs question, but responds with asking who are you to question the one who created and continues to hold the world in balance?

James and John too are put in their places, as with the other disciples when they want to have the best places of honour in heaven. Don’t be like everyone else wanting the honour, but be the best by serving everyone else.

As ecumenical churches all over the country today make some noise to bring attention to the climate crisis we are facing, we too must be put in our own places. There is no need to demand of God why the earth is in such a damaged state. Stripping the world of its resources at astounding rates, pumping damaging gas and chemicals back into the ground and atmosphere, there are no shortages of places to point fingers at of who to blame, but do they also point at ourselves?

 The problem is that to bring about change means changing the way we live and do things and that costs. It costs money, as we build new infrastructures, invent new technology and don’t take the easier dirty option. That is part of what is being called for from the government. More funds into helping fund climate loss and damage projects and an end to the use of public money to subsidise fossil fuels. These may in turn cost us too! It will also cost us in having to go without our favourite things that we know are polluting, taking more time to do activities in cleaner ways like, reusing, reducing and recycling. It also means that those more fortunate may need to help those who struggle to meet their basic needs already, to do so.

Just as it costs us to be servants to others, it is our responsibility as Christians to serve future generations by taking better care of God’s creation and holding the government to action. It is our responsibility as churches to show through action that we care for God’s creation, not just through words. For who are we to destroy a world that we did not create, that we cannot control, but that we rely on for our every breath.

Brothers and sisters, now is the time to make our voices heard and our actions seen as we serve the God of heaven and earth in all that we do, before it is too late for the generations to come. Let’s make some noise and make COP count!!

Hymn: The Church of Christ in every age (StF 416) 

  1. The Church of Christ in every age

Beset by change but Spirit led,

Must claim and test its heritage

And keep on rising from the dead.


  1. Across the world, across the street,

The victims of injustice cry

For shelter and for bread to eat,

And never live until they die.


  1. Then let the servant Church arise,

A caring Church that longs to be

A partner in Christ’s sacrifice,

And clothed in Christ’s humanity.


  1. For he alone, whose blood was shed,

Can cure the fever in our blood,

And teach us how to share our bread

And feed the starving multitude.


  1. We have no mission but to serve

In full obedience to our Lord:

To care for all, without reserve,

And to spread his liberating Word.


Prayers Intercession

Almighty God, you created the world and gave it
Into our care so that, in obedience to you,
We might serve all people:
Inspire us to use the riches of creation with wisdom,
and to ensure that their blessings are shared by all;
That, trusting in your bounty, all people may be
Empowered to seek freedom from poverty, famine, and oppression.

Let us pray for an end to the
Waste and desecration of God’s creation
For access to the fruits of creation
To be shared equally among all people
And for communities and nations to find sustenance
In the fruits of the earth and the water God has given us.

May those who have much share with those who have little

Regardless of gender, age, colour, ethnicity or religion.

And that your creation can sustain all your children together

Help us to speak out when actions are not enough

And be your light and voice in our community for justice.

Help us we pray, to be the change that is needed,

Even when it may cost us.

To help those who must decide between heating and food,

To look after the vulnerable this winter

And care for the bereaved and lonely


Lord’s Prayer

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.

Hymn: To God be the Glory (StF94) 

  1. To God be the glory, great things He hath done,

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,

Who yielded His life our redemption to win,

And opened the life-gate that all may go in.



Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the earth hear His voice;

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the people rejoice;

Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,

And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.


  1. Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,

To every believer the promise of God;

The vilest offender who truly believes,

That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.


  1. Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,

And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;

But purer, and higher, and greater will be

Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see.


Lord, grant us the wisdom to care for the earth and till it.
Help us to act now for the good of future generations and all your creatures.
Help us to become instruments of a new creation,
Founded on the covenant of your love.

In the name of Christ our Lord and saviour we pray