We might be distant from each other physically, but we needn't be spiritually - and we certainly need not be distant from God...
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(Sunday 21 June)
SUNDAY 28 JUNE
Led by Revd Bryn Rickards
Today, live at 3pm...
The traditional version:
A modern rendering:
Link to Open Doors website here.
Link to Barnabus Fund website here.
Link to Help the Persecuted website here.
Read by Phil Wells
(Good News Translation)
LAMENTATIONS 3:1-3, 16-33
I am one who knows what it is to be punished by God.
He drove me deeper and deeper into darkness
And beat me again and again with merciless blows.
He rubbed my face in the ground and broke my teeth on rocks.
I have forgotten what health and peace and happiness are.
I do not have much longer to live; my hope in the Lord is gone.
The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison.
I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed.
Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing:
The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue,
Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.
The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him,
So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—
And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.
When we suffer, we should sit alone in silent patience;
We should bow in submission, for there may still be hope.
Though beaten and insulted, we should accept it all.
The Lord is merciful and will not reject us forever.
He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong.
He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain.
1 PETER 4:12-19
My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you. Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed. Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ's followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you. If you suffer, it must not be because you are a murderer or a thief or a criminal or a meddler in other people's affairs. However, if you suffer because you are a Christian, don't be ashamed of it, but thank God that you bear Christ's name.
The time has come for judgment to begin, and God's own people are the first to be judged. If it starts with us, how will it end with those who do not believe the Good News from God? As the scripture says,
“It is difficult for good people to be saved;
what, then, will become of godless sinners?”
So then, those who suffer because it is God's will for them, should by their good actions trust themselves completely to their Creator, who always keeps his promise.
Message: Living Hope #8 - Suffering... To God be the Glory?
(Previous messages in the 'Living Hope' series are available on the Talks page)
Prayers of Intercession
Offered by Jan Dicks
At the close of the prayers, you are invited to say these words:
God grant me the serenity to live fully and generously
Through circumstances I cannot control,
Hope to keep on imagining better times for myself and the world
And courage to change what I can,
Instead of simply leaving it to others.
(by Nick Fawcett)
Gracious God, we bring you our gifts,
not to settle a debt or buy your favour
but as an expression of our love,
a token of our gratitude,
an outpouring of our worship
and a symbol of our commitment.
Use them, and use us, in your service,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A traditional version:
A modern rendering:
How firm a foundation
You saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in
His excellent Word
What more can He say
Than to you He has said
To you who for refuge
To Jesus have fled
Fear not I am with you
Oh be not dismayed
For I am your God
And will still give you aid
I’ll strengthen you help you
And cause you to stand
Upheld by My righteous
When through the deep waters
I call you to go
The rivers of sorrow
Shall not overflow
For I will be with you
Your troubles to bless
And sanctify to you
Your deepest distress
When through fiery trials
Your pathway shall lie
My grace all-sufficient
Shall be your supply
The flame shall not hurt you
I only design
Your dross to consume and
Your gold to refine
The soul that on Jesus
Has leaned for repose
I will not I will not
Desert to his foes
That soul though all hell
Should endeavour to shake
I’ll never no never
No never forsake
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