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  • Writer's pictureRev Claire

Sunday 14th March - Living Differently


Welcome to worship. Today is Mothering Sunday and we are thinking about our own role models and how we can be role models for Christ, as we continue our series on Living Now in 1 Peter. We will be gathering on zoom at 12.15pm to share in communion together - bring your own bread and wine. If you can't make it on zoom, then the words for communion are at the end of this service. The link is here


This week on Monday at 8pm and Wednesday at 10.30am we will be having the final sessions of our Bible Study on God's heart for mental health. You are welcome to join on the zoom link above. The leaders meet on Wednesday at 8pm where we will be making some decisions on how we follow the roadmap out of lockdown and how we are going to walk through Holy Week and celebrate Easter together. Please pray for us as we meet. There will be news to share after that meeting.


Worship


Call to Worship (from re-worship.blogspot.com)


We gather together to worship

our loving, nurturing God,

Who, as like those who are mothers to us

knows us intimately

loves us unconditionally

teaches us the way we should go

and comforts us in times of need.

Praise God,

the source and sustainer of life!


Songs


A playlist of songs for today is in the link. You might want to save the last two for before and after the sermon.



Celebrating Family


Mothering Sunday was traditionally a day when servants working away from home could have a day off to go and see their family who were far away and celebrate being family together. It is also traditionally a day when people have gone back to their Mother churches - the places where they were nurtured and grew in faith and remember and give thanks for their roots.


We never stop giving thanks for our church family, for those who are there for us when our families are far away, for those who care for us and get in touch when things are tough, for each different person with different gifts made in the image of God. When we are part of a church family we know we belong. We long for the day when it is safe for us to be together again, but in the meanwhile we can give thanks for those who are part of our family.


Have a watch of this video which thinks about what a church family is like:



How can you celebrate the wider church family today? Perhaps you might want to send someone a card or leave something nice on their doorstep. Perhaps you might want to call someone up you haven't seen for a while or make them a video to say hello. As we celebrate mums today let us celebrate the wider family and give thanks.


Prayers


We asked some of our congregation members to share something about the women who have inspired them. They are in this video and will help us give thanks as we pray. Thank you to everyone who took part!






Word


Claire thinks about what it means to live differently, reflecting on 1 Peter 3:8-22. You might what to read it before you listen to the sermon. The reading can be found here





Communion


These are the words we will be using in communion on zoom at 12.15pm.


On the night before he died Jesus gathered in the upper room with his closest friends. We imagine that there were 13 of them – the 12 disciples and him, but there were probably more – both women and men – all ages – all different types of people – gathered together for that final meal.


Family.

And today as we remember that meal we gather as family around our tables in our homes, part of the family of God scattered in the community but standing together as family. We have children and parents, Grandparents and grandchildren, Mums, Dads, Sons, Daughters. Aunties and Uncles and cousins. Where we are not related in the human sense, we come together as the family of God who has adopted us as his own.


Family.


As family we gather.


On this Mothering Sunday we remember our roots. We remember the churches of our childhoods, the churches of the places where we grew up. We remember the churches of our first steps in the ways of Jesus, where our faith began to grow and blossom. We remember the church where our parents – our mothers and fathers of the faith welcomed us into the family of God.


We remember our church family, many who we haven’t seen face to face for a year or more, we remember their embrace, their warmth, that feeling of family life as we sat down and worshipped and ate together. We remember that each one of us matters, a child of God, called, chosen and loved as part of the local community we have been called to.


As family we gather.


And as we gather today we gather with many, scattered and gathered across the world. Many for who this remembrance meal speaks of the same story, our story, the story of the family of God.


As we gather today we are taken to that upper room on the night before Jesus died where his closest friends gathered together as family and were told the story of the what next as bread was broken and wine poured. As they waited and listened together, held together by bonds unseen, the story where history would change forever was laid before them.

As the family gathered, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, saying, “This is my body broken for you.”


And then after supper he took a cup of wine in his hands and said, “This is the blood of the covenant, of my promise to you, find freedom in it’s story, and remember this night”.


Let us pray and give thanks


Loving God, you are our perfect parent.

As we gather as family today, scattered but tied together with unseen bonds,

We stand with families we have known, with families far away, with those in our homes.

And we remember. And we give thanks.

We thank you for this bread broken, this wine poured and the story it tells. This is your story, gifted to us and made our story as you pour out your grace and your love and your salvation on each of us.

We praise you and we give thanks for all you are to us, for all you have done for us, and we run into the arms you are holding out to us as you make each one of us part of your family once again.

Amen


Share the bread and the wine using the words:


The body of Christ broken for you


The blood of Christ shed for you


After the elements have been eaten and drunk


As we have gathered at our tables today, we have been reminded of the story of God. It’s a story that brings us together as family, with Christ as our head. It’s a story that speaks of the unseen bonds that unite us, that speaks of the restoration that can be found in Jesus, of the forgiveness we find as we sit at his feet and of new life – life in all its fulness lived out within the family of God. As we gather we are reminded that we all belong, that we are all called as equals and that we are all are adopted as children of God.


As family we gather, and we give thanks.


We are the family of God.



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