Sunday 19 June ’22

Sunday 19 June 2022

Welcome!

We know not everyone who is part of Westwood Church is able to be in church on Sunday morning however, we though it would be good to offer some excerpts from the Sunday morning service. Where we can, we offer parts of the service in text and audio file, whichever works best for you. If you want to plug in headphones to your computer, tablet or mobile phone now is a good time to do it ! If you want to offer some comment or feedback just use the comment box at the end of this post.


The prayers and address included here were prepared for worship at Hamilton Gilmour Whitehill and Hamilton West Churches as they celebrated the Lord’s Supper.



Lord you have come to the seashore

Scripture

Luke 6: 27 – 38

Galatians 3: 23 – 29


Prayers of Approach

audio track

Living God, we have come together to worship you, to meet her with Christ, not simply because we feel we should nor because it is expected of us, but because we have a longing in our hearts to know you better.

We have come not merely to spend time with friends, nor just to be in the intimacy and care of fellowship but to encounter you in a fresh and living way.

Help us then to bring our heartfelt worship, to reflect on you and not ourselves, to think about your love rather than our problems, to seek your will for us rather than our expectations of you.

Living God, there is so much in our lives that is not as it should be, nor as it could be, if only we walked more closely with you.  And here at your table that is what we seek to do, to walk more closely with you, to have our souls nourished by you as we seek your forgiveness.  We gather in the name of Christ assured through his death and resurrection, assured through the Gift of the Spirit of forgiveness, guidance, love and life.

We remember Lord, your giving of yourself in such a sacrificial way and ask you now to receive the offer we make, giving of our resources, giving of ourselves, making our sacrifices so that through us you might be glorified.  Lord we ask that you receive our offering humble as it is and that you use these gifts to further the presence of your Kingdom amongst us. 

Hear us as we join in the words of the Lord’s Prayer saying…

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 debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory forever.  Amen.


How Deep the Father’s Love


Address

audio track

I consider myself to be a pretty normal person,  Whatever “normal” is.  Maybe, I’m just pretty normal for a minister.  I don’t think all ministers are “normal” people. Some are exceptional people, some are very able, some are just a bit weird!!  Put me in a room full of ministers and it won’t take long until I’d prefer not to be in the room full of ministers.

So, I think on myself as normal, though I don’t have any interest in football, I don’t support any team.  So now some of you are thinking; actually, he’s a bit weird, how can anyone not have a football team.  Instead, I prefer to be locked away in a workshop building something that will take years to finish and probably not work when I’m done.  I don’t mind a solitary pursuit like that, I don’t mind spending time on my own so long as I’m building something.  And some of you will think that’s a bit weird.

So how do you think on yourself?  Are you “normal” or just a bit weird?  Are you different to others in your circle of friends, or do you all share the same interests and talk about nothing but football, or the grandchildren, or your latest aches and pains?

Being different is not an easy path in life.  You might be a misunderstood genius like Albert Einstein, or you might be someone who finds it hard to make friends because you struggle to sustain good mental health, or you might be painfully shy and a bit of a loner.  And generally speaking, people are good at spotting those who are different in some way and are good at keeping a distance from them.  I suspect we’ve all done that at some time in our lives – shied away from someone who’s different because we don’t know how to react and we don’t want to get involved.  I’m not judging or criticising; I’m just observing that that’s what we often do.

Here’s the tricky thing though… as Christians, Christ calls us to be different.  Don’t acknowledge only those who are your friends, even the pagans do that.  If you love only the people who love you what’s so remarkable about that?  If you are only kind to those who are kind to you what’s so special about that?  If you lend only to those whom you know will give it back you are no better than anyone else.

So, love your enemies and do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you.  Lend and expect nothing back.  Give to everyone who asks you for something.

It takes work and thought and determination to go about life in a different way, to respond differently, to see things from a different point of view, to hold a different set of values and be confident that this different way of living is in fact going to make the world a better place one relationship at a time.  The world can be harsh on those who are different, who see things differently, do things differently and that’s why our Lord invites us to His Table; he knows what it is to be different, to be non-conformist, to love when it would otherwise be natural to hate, to give generously of one’s self out of love that seeks nothing in return.  It is here that our hurts are healed and our failings forgiven, it is here that our weakness is exchanged for strength, and our doubts exchanged for faith.  It is here that we begin to see the great reward our Heavenly Father has in store for us who dare to be different. AMEN


Prayers for Others

audio track

This Lord is our time for saying thank you, expressing our deepest gratitude for all that you have done for us.  When we were lost, you found us.  When we were searching, you gave us meaning.  When we were empty, you filled us.  You did all this so that we need not be the same, that we do not need to go back to what we once were, nor repeat the mistakes that hurt us again and again but find a different way, the Kingdom way, the way of the cross, the way of love that brings us out of darkness and into the light.

Give to us the strength of our convictions that this different way is the way that sets things right and to share the way of love with those who are caught in ways of injustice, discrimination, exploitation and hatred.  Lord hear us in our prayers…

Lord Jesus, we know we live in an imperfect world caught between light and dark.  Where every solution creates its own problems.  We pray for the problems we and other nations face over refugees and immigration, those seeking asylum; a safe place to live.  And we seem to make that so difficult for those who have no resources, no voice, no home, no sanctuary.  Lord Jesus, if your way is that the measure we use for others is the one that God will use for us, how can we stand by and let the refugee be so badly treated?  Would we want to be treated this way; would we gladly make Rwanda our home?  So, we pray Lord not only for the refugee frightened and anxious but for a different approach to borders and barriers and legislation, to offer something that is kind, loving and caring; to do this differently.  Lord hear our prayers…

We thank you Lord for hearing the words of our hearts.  Simple and quiet those words may be may they also be bold enough and loud enough to change this world.  AMEN.


Longing for light


The Grace

And now, may the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and all whom you love now and forever more. AMEN.

3 Replies to “Sunday 19 June ’22”

  1. Jean

    I was just thinking about the subject of being different, I guess I never really thought about it whilst I was still working and the people were diverse, but since retirement things are different. Yes the word again- when I attend groups/ meetings of the 60 plus I am waiting on that one question. ” Do you have children/ Grandchildren?” My answer is No- therein lies the difference! Then the silence. Minds ticking over.. What now? I actually left a current affairs news group I joined when I realised that many in the group had not read the articles and simply wanted to discuss Grand Children and ailments! Now don’t get me wrong, I know how much people love their Grand kids, and I am ok not having family of my own, however I feel different! Is it worse for women? I imagine non football loving men might feel out of it too?? Where two or more men are gathered… The talk turns to football does it not?

    • RevKev

      Hi Jean,

      Thanks for offering your thoughts and experiences. I would not be surprised if many other people have had the same experiences as you but not even thought to voice it but simply endured the sense of isolation and “not fitting in” that it can bring. Sometimes the common denominators of football or grandchildren are just not common denominators.
      Kevin

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