Worship for Sunday 6th February 2022, by Deacon Pru Cahill

The first followers of Jesus were able to look back on profound experiences of awe and wonder which inspired their commitment to Jesus. Amazing things happened to them which stirred their hearts, captured their imaginations, and made them committed to a cause — the way of Jesus of Nazareth.

Sunbeams at Sea, Dudarev Mikhail

 Prayer of Approach

We praise you, Lord God, for you are the holy one, the creator of all things, and our Saviour, redeemer and friend.

Help us to know you today as our loving heavenly parent that, sensing your holiness, we may in awe hear your truth and allow you to transform us.

We offer you our devotion and ask that you will be glorified in the place we are today and in our lives, for you are our God for ever. Amen.

Hymn: StF 79 I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath

I’ll praise my maker while I’ve breath,
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall possess my noblest powers;
my days of praise are never past
while life and thought and being last
or immortality endures.

Happy are those whose hopes rely
on God the Lord, who made the sky,
the earth, the sea, the night and day;
his truth for ever stands secure,
he keeps his promise to the poor,
and none who seeks is turned away.

The Lord gives eyesight to the blind,
he calms and heals the troubled mind,
he sends the wounded conscience peace;
he helps the stranger in distress,
the widow and the fatherless,
and grants the prisoner glad release.

I’ll praise him while he lends me breath,
and when my voice is lost in death
praise shall employ my noblest powers;
my days of praise are never past
while life and thought and being last
or immortality endures.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Prayers of Praise and Confession

Father, we praise you for allowing your kingdom to break through into our lives;
for the things that to you are ordinary,
but to us are extraordinary;
and we thank you that you have called us
to be part of your story,
ordinary people caught up in the extraordinary tale of your plan for salvation.
In your hands our tarnished natures turn to gold.

Lord Jesus, you call us to follow you
and we confess that we find your call demanding.
In the face of our love for our family
and the needs of our colleagues,
we find it hard to put you first.
Forgive us, Lord Jesus.

We cling to our possessions for comfort; we cannot imagine how we might manage with less.
Forgive us, Lord Jesus.

To count the cost of following you
is an intimidating prospect;
we would rather not do it.
Forgive us, Lord Jesus.

We like the lives we have built
and we don’t want to change them.
Forgive us, Lord Jesus.

Give us the courage, Lord, to take up the cross
and be your disciples,
knowing that this is the path to peace.

The 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. Amen.

Psalm 138

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    and will praise your name
    for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
    that it surpasses your fame.
When I called, you answered me;
    you greatly emboldened me.

May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,
    when they hear what you have decreed.
May they sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for the glory of the Lord is great.

Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
    though lofty, he sees them from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
    with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will vindicate me;
    your love, Lord, endures forever—
    do not abandon the works of your hands.

Luke 5: 1-11

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Hymn: StF 462 Come With Me, Come Wander

Come with me, come wander,

Come welcome the world,

Where strangers might smile

Or where stones may be hurled;

Come leave what you cling to,

Lay down what you clutch

And find, with hands empty,

That hearts can hold much.


Sing Hey for the carpenter

Leaving his tools!

Sing Hey for the Pharisees

Leaving their rules!

Sing Hey for the fishermen

Leaving their nets!

Sing Hey for the people

Who leave their regrets!


Come walk in my company,

Come sleep by my side,

Come savour a lifestyle

With nothing to hide;

Come sit at my table

And eat with my friends,

Discovering that love

Which the world never ends.

Sing Hey


Come share in my laughter,

Come close to my fears,

Come find yourself washed

With the kiss of my tears;

Come stand close at hand

While I suffer and die,

And find in three days

How I never will lie.

Sing Hey


Come leave your possessions,

Come share out your treasure,

Come give and receive

Without method or measure;

Come loose every bond

That’s restraining the spirit,

Enabling the earth

To be yours to inherit.

Sing Hey

John Bell (b 1949)


they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:11

I’m writing this reflection in late December when in the days after Christmas the Radio 4 news programme, Today, has a tradition of inviting guest editors to bring their own topics for discussion. One of the 2021 editors, Nick Carter, is a newly-retired army officer. (Until November he was the UK’s Chief of Defence Staff.)

In a planned conversation Sir Nick talked with former champion jockey AP McCoy about their experiences of taking the step away from careers which had defined them. AP admitted that he had found this hard. Sir Nick could identify with this sense of disorientation.

The feelings described by both men reminded me of the first disciples and the step of faith they needed to leave everything to follow Jesus, to move into a new phase of their lives.

What these fishermen did was contrary to the world’s wisdom of hanging onto a secure job and being at home for the family. Something they’d seen of Jesus gave them a strong conviction to go with him, particularly after Jesus showed himself to be someone who was trustworthy.

Peter and the others brought their boats back onto the shore before leaving to follow Jesus. A distinction between abandoning and leaving, as if to make a definite statement of moving on.

Peter’s fishing skills wouldn’t be lost, rather they would be used in a different way, and how! I wonder whether on the day of Pentecost Peter looked back on the moment he began to follow Jesus. Fishing for people would see several thousand asking to be baptised as a result of Peter’s convincing sermon in Jersusalem.

This passage of scripture challenges its readers to trust in Jesus and to take the step of discipleship.

It also challenges and encourages disciples to allow Jesus to use our skills and experiences in new ways to build up the body of Christ.

Jesus needed fishermen like Peter with skills of discernment, patience, strength.

I wonder, what gifts and graces, skills and experiences do you have, even from a former career?

How might these be used to serve your community?

What is God saying to you about this?


Hymn: StF 28 Jesus Calls us Here to Meet him

Jesus calls us here to meet him

as, through word and song and prayer,

we affirm God’s promised presence

where his people live and care.

Praise the God who keeps his promise;

praise the Son who calls us friends;

praise the Spirit who, among us,

to our hopes and fears attends.


Jesus calls us to confess him

Word of life and Lord of all,

sharer of our flesh and frailness,

saving all who fail or fall.

Tell his holy human story;

tell his tales that all may hear;

tell the world that Christ in glory

came to earth to meet us here.


Jesus calls us to each other,

vastly different though we are;

creed and colour, class and gender

neither limit nor debar.

Join the hand of friend and stranger;

join the hands of age and youth;

join the faithful and the doubter

in their common search for truth.


Prayer of Intercession

Lord, who created order from the chaos,
bring light to darkness.
Lord, hear our prayer.

In places of war and conflict, where there is famine and suffering,
where we struggle to see how we can make a difference,
bring light to darkness.
Lord, hear our prayer.

In our own communities, for those who are poor,
for the homeless and hungry,
for the lonely and the prisoner,
bring light to darkness.
Lord, hear our prayer.

In those whose lives are made harder by illness …,
and those who search for peace and cannot find it,
bring light to darkness.
Lord, hear our prayer.

In the lives of those who are grieving …,
bring light to darkness.
Lord, hear our prayer.

In the lives of those we live with,
those we work with and those we journey with,
and for ourselves, bring light to darkness.
Lord, hear our prayer.


Hymn: StF 323  I Will Sing the Wondrous Story

I will sing the wondrous story

Of the Christ who died for me.

How He left His home in glory

For the cross of Calvary.


Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story

Of the Christ who died for me

Sing it with the saints in glory

Gathered by the crystal sea.


I was lost, but Jesus found me,

Found the sheep that went astray,

Threw His loving arms around me,

Drew me back into His way.

Yes, I’ll sing …


He will keep me till the river

Rolls its waters at my feet;

Then He’ll bear me safely over,

Where the loved ones I shall meet.

Yes, I’ll sing …


Closing Prayer

Living Saviour, lead us and guide us.
Help us in our lives this week
to reflect your good news to all we meet.
In your name we pray,
and in your name we go. Amen.