Worship for Sunday 7th February 2021, by Rev. Krystyna Kwarciak

Call to worship

With all my heart, I praise the Lord!

With all that I am, I praise God’s holy name!

I will never forget how kind God has been.

He forgives our sins, heals us when we are sick,
and protects us from death.

His kindness and love are a crown on our heads.
Each day that we live he provides for our needs
and gives us the strength of a young eagle.

For all who are mistreated, the Lord brings justice.
He taught his Law to Moses,

and showed all Israel what he could do.

The Lord is merciful!
He is kind and patient,
and his love never fails.

Opening prayer

God, I am weary.
I am worn by my daily tasks,
burdened by all that is demanded of me,
tired of the world’s turbulence.
Even my faith, sometimes, is too tired
to get up and go.
There is so much to do, so much to worry about.
Restore my energy.
Be my heartbeat, my breath,
the spark of my nerves.
Like a leaf carried on the river of your love,
bear me through this world
by your grace, not my effort.
May your love and hope and courage
rise in me like the sun,
and shine me through this day,
in the love and presence of your Spirit.

StF 89: Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

Isaiah 40,27-31

Why do you say, O Jacob,
   and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
   and my right is disregarded by my God’?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
   his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
   and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
   and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
   they shall run and not be weary,
   they shall walk and not faint.

Mark 1,29-39

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.


The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. {..} He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless.’ Isaiah 40,28-29

Dear Friends,

King Canute, who ruled over Denmark, Norway and England more than one thousand years ago was a wise ruler and worked very diligently to make the lives of subjects better. As often is the case with kings, he was surrounded by people trying to gain influence and prominence with him, but he grew tired of their continual flattery and decided to put an end to it. Legend has it that one day he ordered that his throne be carried out to the seashore and gathered all his courtiers around it. By the sea, the king commanded the tide not to come in, yet soon there was water lapping around his legs. King Canute rose from his throne and said: ‘Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but God whom heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws.’

How empty and worthless is our false sense of power. There are so many things in our lives we have no control over. We can’t force our loved ones, neighbours or colleagues to change, we can’t prevent a storm from happening, we can’t control how other people feel or what they think of us, we haven’t been very successful at keeping the coronavirus pandemic under control. What is the one the thing you wish you had control over today, but don’t? It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?

In our Old Testament passage for today prophet Isaiah is encouraging us to acknowledge our powerlessness in order to let God be our source of strength. Depending on God alone doesn’t mean being weak, passive or irresponsible. A friend of mine shared with me that whenever he feels stressed or overwhelmed, he repeats the words: ‘God is God and I’m not. God is in control, I don’t have ultimate control. I’m a child of God, but I’m not God.’ Depending on God alone means acknowledging the fact that we are His dearly loved, grace-adopted children, but it is Him who always has the last word.

Leonard Bernstein, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra was asked what was the most difficult instrument to play. Without hesitation he replied: ‘The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.’

Recognising our powerlessness and dependence on God means playing the second fiddle joyfully, with enthusiasm, and letting God be the first violinist, letting Him lead. It means tuning into His voice and following Him faithfully, step by step, through happy times and through painful, dark times in our lives. It means realising that in the kingdom of heaven there is only one King and the rest of us are equal – equally dependent on God’s grace, power and forgiveness.


Discussion questions:

  1. In what way do you sense God showing you how you need to grow in trusting Him in all of your ways?
  1. Have there been times when you felt that God disregarded your pain and your struggles? How did you feel? How did you respond? Would you share your story with this group?

StF 651: Lord of life we come to you

 Lord of life, we come to you.

Lord of all, our Saviour be.

Come to bless and to heal

With the light of your love.  (3x)

Closing prayers

Lord Jesus Christ,

when you walked on dusty roads

or sat by glistening waters,

you met people where they were.


When you bent down low

to touch the leper,

or raised your eyes to touch Zacchaeus’ heart,

heaven and earth were met.


And so our prayer today is that our world will know

your healing touch

and your forgiving heart.

That those who have been hurt

by insincere actions

and damning words

will hear your healing voice.

That those whose lives are filled with dark thoughts,

or unimaginable fears,

will know your peace.


Walk beside those who are close to giving up hope

and where life seems to have no point;

where people struggle to make ends meet

and fear the bailiffs’ knock on the door.


And may all who weep and mourn,

or feel abandoned and unloved

turn towards your voice,

move towards your arms

and hear the whisper of your presence

in the long hours of night.


Inspire us and encourage us to bend down low;

to embrace those for whom society has no time or patience.


Raise our eyes upwards to see the struggling patient

and the exhausted caregiver.

And where young and old stumble and fall, may we be there to offer support, that all will know your love that transcends all others.


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

For thine is the kingdom

The power, and the glory

For ever and ever.


StF 657: You give rest to the weary


You give rest to the weary
You bring strength to weak
As they wait in Your presence
There is grace for their need

So I’ll wait, I’ll wait
Yes I’ll wait for You

I will say of the Lord ‘He is my refuge’
I will say of the Lord ‘He is my strength’
I will say of the Lord “He is my shelter, my hiding place’
I will come to the source of all creation
I will drink from the well that never dries
I will draw from the one who won’t grow tired, the Lord of all

You can come in the silence
You can come in the noise
Bringing peace in a moment
Bringing comfort and joy

So I’ll wait, I’ll wait…


Go now, and trust in God’s mercy for your strength.
Proclaim the good news wherever God calls you,
and do not set yourselves apart from others,
but be all things to all people for the sake of the gospel.

And may God give you the strength and freedom of an eagle.
May Christ be the bread that nourishes and renews you.
And may the Holy Spirit be the rising wind beneath your wings.