Worship for Sunday 30th January 2022, by Rev. Joy Rulton


Call to worship

Come to God who calls you in Christ.
God calls us in Christ.

Come as you are for God is with you.
Come as you are for God works with you.
Come as you are for God walks alongside you.

God is with us.
God works with us.
God walks alongside us.

Come to celebrate God’s blessing, the gift of life.
The gift of life is ours to share.
Come to rejoice in the grace of God, the gift of hope.
The gift of hope is ours to share.

Come to be glad in the glory of God, the gift of love.
The gift of love is ours to share.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn:  StF 340

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad his wonderful name:
The name all-victorious of Jesus extol:
His kingdom is glorious, and rules over all.

God ruleth on high, almighty to save;
And still he is nigh, his presence we have:
The great congregation his triumph shall sing,
Ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.

Salvation to God who sits on the throne!
Let all cry aloud, and honour the Son:
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
Fall down on their faces, and worship the Lamb.

Then let us adore, and give him his right:
All glory and power, all wisdom and might,
All honour and blessing, with angels above,
And thanks never-ceasing, and infinite love.


Prayer of adoration and confession

Lord, we come before you now just as we are,

Each of us with our own thoughts and feelings,

Our own difficulties in life,

But we come with a common purpose,

To worship you,

To give glory to you,

To praise your holy name.


Great and wonderful God,

With awe and wonder we come to you.

You are beyond all space and time,

Greater than our minds can fully grasp,

Ruler over all that is and has been and shall be,

More powerful than we can ever imagine,

Beyond our highest thoughts.

Sovereign God,

Receive our worship.

God, our Father,

You love us completely.

Valuing us for who and what we are,

Caring enough to call us your children,

Providing for us

And guiding us throughout our lives.


In Jesus, your Son,

You have shared our humanity,

Identifying yourself wholly with our lives,

Experiencing our joys and sorrows,

Demonstrating your love in action,

Showing us the way of service.


By your Holy Spirit

You are with us each and every day,

Working in us and through us,

Teaching, guiding, encouraging,

And leading us to new experiences of your love.

Loving God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

We thank you that you are here among us

Open our eyes to all that you are.

Help us to recognise the wonder of your love,

The constancy of your care

And the greatness of your mercy.

as we come you now recognising that

So often we fail you.

We thank you, Lord, that we can always come to you,

You will never turn us away

In silence, we remember those things we have done wrong,

Things that we know we’ve done

And those of which we are unaware,

And we ask your forgiveness.


Thank you, Lord,

That whenever we are truly sorry and turn to you

We can know ourselves forgiven.


May every part of our lives reflect your glory and proclaim your goodness.

So that we may be witnesses to your love and grace,

Ready to serve you whenever and wherever you lead,

In the power of your Holy Spirit.

We offer our prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Hymn:  StF 343

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.

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!

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, 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!

Stuart Townend (b. 1963) © 1998, Thankyou Music.


Jeremiah 1:4-10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.”

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,

“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Luke 4:21-30

21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.


How often do we become irritated with people who challenge our way of doing things because we know what’s right or how things should be done?

Jesus is in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. I wonder how he felt, all eyes on all eyes on him, as he made his way to the front. As a child he would have worshipped there, learned there, made friends there. Jesus was one of their own. He knew them, and they knew him – they thought.

You can imagine the scene, the congregation listening as Jesus reads familiar words from the prophet Isaiah, words that promise good news for the poor and downtrodden, the fulfillment of God’s promise to set things right.

They wait for his words. “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

The people are amazed. Wow! This is good news. Here, now, the day of deliverance has arrived. Murmurs of approval must have been rippling round the congregation. “Doesn’t he speak well.”

He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” After all, Nazareth is a proper Jewish community, whereas Capernaum has more than a few Gentiles. If he’s been a busy “do-gooder” there, then surely he owes as much and more to the people of his old home town.

But no, instead of working a miracle in their midst, Jesus speaks again, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.”

It happens time and again to the prophets. After all, they tell people the truths they don’t want to hear. Elijah got death threats, Jeremiah was put down the well, Daniel was thrown to the lions.

Jesus has read that congregation’s hearts. They see themselves as part of the in-crowd. Their vision doesn’t extent any further than taking care of their own and they expect exactly the same from their hometown prophet.

Then Jesus reminds them of two stories that were familiar – the widow in Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian. Both were Gentiles.

The congregation are furious – to the point of throwing him out of the synagogue, hauling him to the edge of town and trying to throw him off the cliff. Yet Jesus walks through them and goes on his way.

I wonder if we can see anything of ourselves in those people in Nazareth. We have our own in-crowd. We like to know God, but on our terms. We don’t like being disturbed.

If our faith just gives us a warm fuzzy feeling and never disturbs us or unsettles us, then surely something is wrong.

If our faith doesn’t inform how we react to situations around us and in the wider world, then surely something is wrong.

Bigotry, prejudice, corruption, racism – all need to be challenged. Jesus calls us all to take up the challenge of living as his people, even, or especially, when it means being unsettled and challenged.

Hymn:  StF 662

Have you heard God’s voice; has your heart been stirred?
Are you still prepared to follow?
Have you made a choice to remain and serve,
 though the way be rough and narrow?
Will you walk the path that will cost you much
and embrace the pain and sorrow?
Will you trust in One who entrusts to you
the disciples of tomorrow?

Will you use your voice; will you not sit down
when the multitudes are silent?
Will you make a choice to stand your ground
when the crowds are turning violent?

In your city streets will you be God’s heart?
Will you listen to the voiceless?
Will you stop and eat, and when friendships start,
will you share your faith with the faithless?

Will you watch the news with the eyes of faith
and believe it could be different?
Will you share your views using words of grace?
Will you leave a thoughtful imprint?

We will walk the path that will cost us much
and embrace the pain and sorrow.
We will trust in One who entrusts to us
the disciples of tomorrow.

Words and Music: © 2008 Jacqueline G. Jones

Prayers of intercession

Let us pray for the world and the Church,

thankful of God’s goodness.

We pray for the poor and for prisoners,
for the unemployed and for the homeless,
for those who will go without sustenance today,
and for those who have the power to feed them.
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who live in places of conflict,
for refugees and those fleeing war,
for those who experience conflict at home or at work,
and for those with the power to negotiate peace.
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who have been oppressed,
for victims of crime, both disclosed and secret,
for children, women and men who feel unsafe,
and for those who administer justice.
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for those we know who are in need,
for those who are ill or housebound,
for the very young and very old,
and for all those who care for them.
Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for ourselves,
for faith and hope and love to flood our lives,
and for the grace to pass those gifts of God to others.
Lord, hear our prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer

We say together the prayer that Jesus gave us:

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.


Hymn:   StF 663

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in deepest sin
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them,
Whom shall I send?

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?

C: OCP Publications


God of love, help us to be loud,
to speak your word, to spread your love,
to be a voice for the voiceless.
Help us to be quiet,
to listen to you,
to listen to those that most need to be heard.
Let it be so.

The blessing of God,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you, now and always. Amen.


 Some prayers adapted from Rootsontheweb

CCL: 100765