Worship for Sunday 7th August, by Rev. Joy Rulton

Call to worship:

We put our hope in the Lord;
the Lord is our protector and our help,
the root of our gladness
and in the Lord we trust.
May your constant love be with us, Lord,
as we put our hope in you.



Sing of a God in majestic divinity,

     seeding the heavens with numberless stars,

forming our dust and our dreams of infinity,

     God of our genes and the judge of our wars.

Sing of a child who was cradled so tenderly,

     sing of a boyhood by Galilee’s lake;

sing of a cross and a Saviour who wondrously

     suffered and died for humanity’s sake.

Sing of a Spirit who daily addresses us,

     lives in our sciences, nature, and arts;

moving through all of creation and blessing us,

     guiding our minds and engaging our hearts.

Sing of this God who in glory and mystery

     chooses to lie in humanity’s womb,

enters the prison and pain of our history,

     rises triumphant and opens the tomb.

Words © 1981 The Hymn Society (admin. Hope Publishing Company)

Prayers of adoration…..

Our hearts overflow with praise and thanksgiving as we realise
that God is not ‘out there’, distant

and seated high above us,
but is here with us in this moment,

not distant but close.

Our hearts overflow as God’s being infuses ours,
as God’s love warms us, shelters and comforts us,
as God’s Spirt gives us strength and hope, passion and purpose.

Our hearts overflow as we know we need not fear God,
that God’s treasure is closer than we can feel
and deeper than we can know,
wider than we can see and more real than we can imagine.

Our hearts overflow to know that the place we have searched for is this place,
and that the time we have been searching for is here and now.

Our hearts overflow with praise and thanksgiving

for the faith that sustains us
as we make our own journeys through this world.
Just as Abraham did, we follow you in faith, Lord,
trusting in your promises, now and for ever.

and confession…..

We strive in life for things to make us comfortable,
for things that give us pleasure.
We save in life, if we are able, for rainy days and stormy times.
We work to make life better, always hoping it will make us happier.
We burden ourselves with so much so-called ‘treasure’
that we cannot often see the wood for the trees.
We work to give enjoyment, but we struggle along the way.
Forgive us, Lord, and help us in a moment of reflection
to see the damage that our ‘treasures’ can cause
if they become the centre of our living.
Forgive us in our busy-ness to store up treasure here on earth,
if we lose sight of the treasure that is you in the here and now.
Forgive us if in our busy-ness we fail to share your treasure
with family, friend, foe and neighbour.


God, in his love for us,
offers us, each of us, every one of us, forgiveness for our sins, things done and undone, things spoken and unspoken.
God in his love for us offers assurance that our sins – yes, even ours – are forgiven.
So, let us go this day sharing the treasure that is
God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.



All my hope on God is founded;
he doth still my trust renew.
Me through change and chance he guideth,
only good and only true.
God unknown,
he alone
calls my heart to be his own.

Human pride and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple, fall to dust.
But God’s power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

God’s great goodness aye endureth,
deep his wisdom, passing thought:
splendour, light, and life attend him,
beauty springeth out of naught.
from his store
new-born worlds rise and adore.

Daily doth the Almighty giver
bounteous gifts on us bestow;
his desire our soul delighteth,
pleasure leads us where we go.
Love doth stand
at his hand;
joy doth wait on his command.

Still from earth to God eternal
sacrifice of praise be done,
high above all praises praising
for the gift of Christ his Son.
Christ doth call
one and all:
ye who follow shall not fall.


Genesis 15:1-6

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord, and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Hebrews 11:1-3

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

Luke 12:32-40

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night or near dawn and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”


There was little light pollution when we lived in Appleby. We would walk up to the station in the evening and look at the sky, marvelling at the stars. Creation is truly awesome! Astronomers believe that there are about 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way alone. At the end of a long day, it really put things in perspective!

Abraham, (Abram as he was known then), didn’t have to worry about light pollution. He would have been able to see far more than we can now.

God had made some wonderful promises to Abram: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

So, Abram had set out faithfully on the path God called him. It meant obedience to God, leaving his home and travelling around, moving his tents from place to place, not knowing where he was going, although he became wealthy in the process. But he is childless. At this point, his heir is Eliezer of Damascus, a servant. God promised that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. It seems an impossible promise. How could they possibly become a great nation when they can’t even have a child? And there are still years to go before God delivers on his promise and Sarah has a son.

Abram faced difficult circumstances throughout his life that brought worry and fear. Yet he trusted God. It gave him hope. He and Sarah trusted in the future God had planned.

The writer to the Hebrews takes Abraham as an example of faith. He was writing to Jewish people who had become Christians and were being persecuted for their faith. Faith, he tells us, is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.”

There are times when we can’t see the way ahead or understand why God calls us to a particular place or course of action. We must just go in faith, trusting in the future God has planned for us.

Thomas Merton wrote, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Therefore, will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me.” Amen.


In the wonder of creation,

when all nature shares one song,

showing God’s imagination,

all may see his love goes on.

Through the Holy Story spoken,

of God’s people called as one,

gathered, exiled, saved and broken,

this we learn: His love goes on.


In the Christ who died to save us;

in God’s risen, living Son;

through the Spirit, whom he gave us;

this we know: His love goes on.

In the telling of the Gospel,

Matthew, Mark and Luke and John

join the Church in testifying

through the years, his love goes on.

From the perfect days of gladness

when the sun has brightly shone,

to the slog of working madness,

all the while his love goes on.

Through the times of harsh temptation,

seeking strength but finding none,

in our human desperation,

mercy comes; His love goes on.

In the joys of celebration,

of new birth or victory won,

in the deep peace of salvation,

tell the world his love goes on!

Through the dark days of depression,

when all sign of faith is gone,

hope may find no fresh expression,

but we trust his love goes on.

Through the hopes of our tomorrows,

and the things we’ve left undone –

future joys and present sorrows –

through all time, his love goes on.

In our Kingdom-shaped endeavour,

when God’s glorious work is done,

to the promise of forever,

God is here: His love goes on.

© Andrew T. Murphy 2008

Prayers of Intercession:

As the earth journeys round the sun,
countless journeys are made around the globe.
For all who travel the paths of life, we pray.

Let there be food for the hungry:
Lord, hear our prayer.

Let there be shelter for the homeless:
Lord, hear our prayer.

Let there be rest for the weary:
Lord, hear our prayer.

Let there be healing for the sick:
Lord, hear our prayer.

Let there be comfort for the bereaved:
Lord, hear our prayer.

As the earth journeys round the sun,
we travel in faith towards you, Lord,
for your kingdom is our journey’s end.




Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word;
be thou ever with me, and I with thee, Lord.
Born of thy love, thy child let me be,  
be thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight.
Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might,
be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower.
O raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor earth’s empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Be thou and thou only, the first in my heart,
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, thou bright heaven’s Sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.


When your journey brings happiness and fulfilment,
remember God’s providence.
Look towards heaven and count the stars.
When you are lost, and hopeless,
remember God’s promise.
Look towards heaven and count the stars.
When you are bogged down in the trivia of everyday life,
remember God’s call.
Look towards heaven and count the stars.
When you draw near to your journey’s end,
remember whose you are.
Look towards heaven and count the stars.
As we journey into the week ahead:
let us walk by faith,
filled with hope,
holding fast to God’s promises.


CCL: 5441182

Prayers adapted from Rootsontheweb