Worship for Sunday 21st August 2022, by Rev Ken Stokes

Call to worship

Rejoice in the Lord!

Come, delight in the one who crowns us

with steadfast love and mercy.


Hymn: StF 17 With gladness we worship

  1. With gladness we worship, rejoice as we sing,
    free hearts and free voices how blessed to bring;
    the old, thankful story shall scale thine abode,
    thou King of all glory, most bountiful God.

  2. Thy right would we give thee – true homage thy due,
    and honour eternal, the universe through,
    with all thy creation, earth heaven and sea,
    in one acclamation we celebrate thee.

  3. Renewed by thy Spirit, redeemed by thy Son,
    thy children revere thee for all thou hast done.
    O Father! Returning to love and to light,
    thy children are yearning to love thee aright.

  4. We join with the angels, and so there is given
    from earth alleluia, in answer to heaven.
    Amen! Be thou glorious below and above,
    redeeming victorious, and infinite love!

    George Rawson (1807-1889)


Gifted with this sabbath day, we gather in the freedom light of joyful praise,
to rejoice, honour and worship your holy name.

God whose kingdom can never be shaken, we let fall the encumbrances of the week
and draw near in worship with reverence and awe.

Lord, there are so many reasons to be thankful.
We thank you:
for your provision day by day – the clothes on our backs, and the food for our mouths, as well as for our souls…
for your blessings that are too numerous to count – those we are aware of, and those behind life’s scenes…
for your gift of the sabbath, when we can join together in praise and honour of you, recharge batteries and spend quality family time…
for the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ…
for your goodness that forgives, heals, redeems, crowns and satisfies…

For all this and more than we can name we praise and thank you, Lord God. Amen.

Lord God, we seek your forgiveness for our weaknesses.
We’re sorry for the times our eyes have been cast down
and we’ve trodden a worldly path rather than looking up to you.
Forgive us, Lord:
for poking fun at others;
for walking past a homeless person without giving a thought;
for harsh, cruel words that have erupted from our tongue;
for neglecting you and going our own way.
Lord, we’re sorry.
Thank you for your gracious mercy, and your love that never wanes. Amen.

Hymn: StF 495 Dear Lord and Father

  1. Dear Lord and Father of mankind
    forgive our foolish ways;
    reclothe us in our rightful mind;
    in purer lives thy service find,
    in deeper reverence praise.

  2. In simple trust like theirs who heard
    beside the Syrian sea
    the gracious calling of the Lord,
    let us, like them, without a word
    rise up and follow thee.

  3. O sabbath rest by Galilee!
    O calm of hills above,
    where Jesus knelt to share with thee
    the silence of eternity,
    interpreted by love!

  4. With that deep hush subduing all
    our words and works that drown
    the tender whisper of thy call,
    as noiseless let thy blessing fall
    as fell thy manna down.

  5. Drop thy still dews of quietness,
    till all our strivings cease;
    take from our souls the strain and stress,
    and let our ordered lives confess,
    the beauty of thy peace.

  6. Breathe through the heats of our desire
    thy coolness and thy balm;
    let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
    speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
    O still small voice of calm!

    John Greenleaf Whittier (1807- 1892)

Reading Gospel of Luke, Chapter 13, verses 10-17 (New Revised Standard Version)

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.


In our bible reading Jesus says that the woman who comes to him deserves to be healed because she is a Daughter of Abraham. The woman’s seems to have meant that she was on the edge of society before not really able to take part in life but now she is fully part. She is once again at the centre of her Jewish society: she belongs she is part of the people of God. We can see this in the way the people join with her as she celebrates.

The other day I was listening little girl in house next door to me singing one of the songs from the Musical Annie – “It’s a hard Knock life”. The song is all about life being tough and hard but the way she sang it was the opposite of sad. She sang with so much enthusiasm may be because it was a bright sunny day and she was able to dance around and sing in her summer clothes. Her sing made me smile, but I smiled even more both of the adults who were outside enjoying the sun with her began to join in the song too. Joy and freedom can be infectious. It seems that the same thing happened when the woman started to celebrate what God had done for her through Jesus.  It has  an impact all the people around her. She sings a song of Praise to God and other people started to join in. They wanted to celebrate too because when one person is set free, we are all a little freer and life feels a little bit better for everyone. The salvation of all people is at hand and can already be felt. Those people are already beginning to know and experience the coming of the Kingdom of God through Jesus. The Kingdom where God lifts up the lowly and rescues his people Israel.

In our story the woman who is healed is not given a name perhaps this is because Luke sees the woman as representing everywoman and everyman who suffers and is held down in their lives. The ordinary suffering people of Israel and every nation do not need to give up hope, they are not lost, and they are not forgotten by God. God is working to change the world and change their lives for the better. The Kingdom of God is coming in Jesus. So, like that woman who was once crippled, and trapped in suffering, we can rejoice because Christ wants to set both you, me and everyone and everything in this world free.

Two questions to think about?

  1. When did you last feel free? Where were you? What were you doing? Who was with you?
    Were you aware of God in that moment? Or perhaps can you recognise that God when you look back?
  2. oHoFreedom is meant to be shared. How can we join in with Jesus in helping to set people free today?

Hymn: StF 247 “I danced in the morning”

  1. I dance in the morning
    when the world was begun,
    and I danced in the moon
    and the stars and the sun;
    and I came down from heaven
    and I danced on the earth,
    at Bethlehem
    I had my birth.

    “Dance, then, wherever you may be,
    I am the Lord of the Dance”, said he
    “and I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
    and I’ll lead you all in the Dance,” said he.

  2. I danced for the scribe
    and the pharisee,
    but they would not dance
    and they wouldn’t follow me;
    I danced for the fishermen,
    for James and John;
    they came with me
    and the Dance went on.

  3. I danced on the Sabbath
    and I cured the lame:
    the holy people
    said it was a shame.
    They whipped and they stripped
    and they hung me on high
    and left me there
    on a Cross to die.

  4. I danced on a Friday
    when the sky turned black;
    it’s hard to dance
    with the devil on your back.
    They buried my body
    and they thought I’d gone;
    but I am the Dance
    and I still go on.

  5. They cut me down
    and I leapt up high;
    I am the life
    that will, never, never die;
    I’ll live in you
    if you’ll live in me;
    I am the Lord
    of the Dance, said he.

    “Dance, then, wherever you may be,
    I am the Lord of the Dance”, said he
    “and I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
    and I’ll lead you all in the Dance,” said he.

Sydney Carter (1915-2004)

Prayers of intercession

Caring God, we rejoice in the fact that you are loving, healing God: heal all those sick in mind or body.
Christ in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Loving God, we rejoice in the fact that you are gracious God: pour your grace upon those who are mindless of the sabbath and seek to follow their own interests; may realisation bring them to your feet in worship and praise.

Christ in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Loving God, we rejoice that you are God who meets needs in times of trouble: bless the people who have to work on a sabbath and especially our emergency services.
Christ in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Loving God, we rejoice that you are redeemer God: bring into relationship with you all those bound by their own rules, and those who do good works believing that they are enough for entry into your kingdom; release them into your freedom and the knowledge of your foundation that can never be destroyed.

Christ in your mercy: Hear our prayer
Loving, healing, gracious, redeeming God,
hear our prayer. Amen.

Hymn: StF 106 Thou whose almighty word

God whose almighty word

Chaos and darkness,
and took their flight,
hear us we humbly pray,
and where the gospel day
sheds not its glorious ray,
let their be light.

Christ you have come to bring
on your redeeming wing
healing and sight,
health to the sick in mind,
sight to the inly blind,
O to all humankind
let there be light.

Spirit of truth and love,
lifegiving, holy Dove,
speed forth your flight;
move on the waters’ face
bearing the lamp of grace,
and in earth’s darkest place
let there be light!

Blessed and holy Three,
Glorious Trinity,
Wisdom, Love, Might,
boundless as ocean’s tide
rolling in fullest pride,
through the world far and wide
let there be light!

John Marriott (1780-1825)


And now, go out into God’s world in peace, be of good courage, hold fast to that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; support the weak, help the afflicted, honour everybody, love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in his presence and may the blessing of God, Creator, Redeemer and Holy Spirit remain with you always. Amen.