Worship for Sunday 4th July 2021, by Rev. Joy Rulton

Call to worship:

Shake off the dust of tiredness: come and be refreshed.
Shake off the dust of complacency: come and be challenged.
Shake off the dust of hesitancy: come and be encouraged
to be Christ’s hands and feet in our world today.

Hymn:  StF 157

God has spoken – by his prophets,

       spoken his unchanging Word,

each from age to age proclaiming

       God, the one, the righteous Lord!

‘Mid the world’s despair and turmoil

       one firm anchor holding fast:

God eternal reigns forever,

       God the first, and God the last.

God has spoken – by Christ Jesus,

       Christ, the everlasting Son,

brightness of the Father’s glory,

       with the Father ever one;

spoken by the Word incarnate,

       God of God, ere time was born;

Light of light, to earth descending,

       Christ, revealing God to all.

God is speaking by the Spirit,

       speaking to our hearts again;

in the age-long word declaring

       God’s own message, now as then.

Through the rise and fall of nations

       one sure faith yet standing fast:

God abides, the Word unchanging,

       God the first and God the last.

Words © 1953, Ren. 1981 The Hymn Society

Prayer of adoration:

Almighty God,

your name is holy

and your ways are endlessly loving.

You hold us and all things in your hands.

You are at the heart of all that was, all that is and all that will be.

Lord, you are great and glorious

and your majesty, power and authority

are beyond anything our words can hope to express.

Lord, you are the divine communicator.

Down the centuries you have spoken through those who knew you

and those to whom you were a stranger.

You call us by name

and commission us to make know the gospel of Jesus.

We stand amazed that you would choose us, sending us to declare your word of grace,

so that injustice is challenged

and broken lives are made whole.

We bring our praise,

not because we must,

but because you and you alone are worthy,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In the name of Christ,


and confession:

Forgive us, Lord, when we do not travel light;
when we are weighed down by our fear of failure,
with wanting to be approved,
with needing to do things the way we’ve always done them.
Forgive us, and free us to voice your wisdom,
embody your compassion and share your healing.

Hymn:  StF 447

Jesus, be the centre
Be my source, be my light

Jesus, be the centre
Be my hope, be my song

Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails
Be the reason that I live
Jesus, Jesus.

Jesus, be my vision
Be my path, be my guide

C: 1999 Vineyard Songs UK


Ezekiel 2:1-5

He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Mark 6:1-13

He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.


At the end of May, we drove to Eastbourne to see my family, picking up our son, Chris, on the way. We were driving a two door Corsa, a small car. On arriving at his home, we soon discovered that Chris does not travel light! Backpack, games, food – it all somehow fitted in, but it was not the most comfortable journey!

Jesus gives instructions to his disciples to travel light. He tells them what they can take with them, but also what not to take as they start out on the journey. They are going out on their own, in his name and they are to depend on God to provide for their needs. They must rely on hospitality of those they will encounter as they travel.

Jesus knows that there will inevitably by some opposition as they go and they must shake off the dust on their feet, leaving behind any place that does not receive them or their message. Their mission seems, however, to be successful. Jesus faced opposition from those whose way of life he threatened. But still he continued, even though it led to the cross.

As we share the gospel, in whatever way we can, we may find we face opposition and rejection. It really isn’t much fun when people walking past spit at you. Some people don’t want to listen. But it doesn’t mean we stop trying. We may have sown tiny seeds of faith in those who appear to reject the message of hope that we Christ offers. There are others who do respond and begin to ask questions and explore faith for themselves. All we can do is trust that Christ can use whatever we offer to further his kingdom.

The author David Lose wrote, “Mark is simply inviting us to contemplate the possibility that we actually have something to do, that we have an important role to play in the manifestation of the kingdom. To say it another way: this isn’t about salvation, it’s about the role each one of us is invited to play in sensing, experiencing, and making known God’s will and work in the world.”

Hymn:  StF 407

Hear the call of the Kingdom
Lift your eyes to the King
Let His song rise within you
As a fragrant offering
Of how God rich in mercy
Came in Christ to redeem
All who trust in His unfailing grace.

Hear the call of the Kingdom
To be children of light
With the mercy of heaven
The humility of Christ
Walking justly before Him
Loving all that is right
That the life of Christ may shine through us.

King of Heaven we will answer the call
We will follow bringing hope to the world
Filled with passion filled with power to proclaim
Salvation in Jesus’ name.

Hear the call of the Kingdom
To reach out to the lost
With the Father’s compassion
In the wonder of the cross
Bringing peace and forgiveness
And a hope yet to come
Let the nations put their trust in Him.

King of Heaven we will answer the call
We will follow bringing hope to the world
Filled with passion filled with power to proclaim
Salvation in Jesus’ name.

Songwriters: Keith Getty / Stuart Townend / Kristyn Getty © Thank You Music Ltd.

Prayers of intercession:

Gracious God, we pray for your Church throughout the world
as she seeks to share in your ministry of healing
and to proclaim your gospel of hope.
May we be inclusive, not insular;
adventurous, not afraid; decisive not defensive;
wise not wordy.
We pray for those whose faith puts them in danger,
for those whose calling is costly.
We pray for ourselves, as we live out our faith day by day.
And we give thanks for those,
who through their lives and their faith,
have challenged us to take seriously
our role in your mission to your world today.
We ask all our prayers in the name of Jesus, our Lord.

Hymn:  StF 410

Lord, your church on earth is seeking
power and wisdom from above:
teach us all the art of speaking
with the accents of your love.
We will heed your great commission
sending us to every place-
‘Go, baptize, fulfil my mission;
serve with love and share my grace!’

You release us from our bondage,
lift the burdens caused by sin;
give new hope, new strength and courage,
grant release from fears within.
Light for darkness, joy for sorrow,
love for hatred, peace for strife-
these and countless blessings follow
as the Spirit gives new life.

In the streets of every city
where the bruised and lonely live,
we will show the saviour’s pity
and his longing to forgive.
In all lands and with all races
we will serve, and seek to bring
all the world to render praises
Christ, to you, redeemer king.


Send us out, Lord, into the places that we know,
bearing the good news of your risen life.
Send us out, Lord, into the less familiar places:
the unknown and less trodden paths.
Give us strength there to speak your word,
to live your truth and to make known the story
of a people and a world made new.


Prayers adapted from Rootsontheweb

CCL: 57681