Home Worship Sheet 12 09 2021

Welcome to our worship together sheets.  Today is the last session of our Miracle Maker series, where we’ve been looking at the miracles of Jesus in the gospel of Matthew.  Before we see what happens in today’s reading, we’re going to worship our God.  Let’s start by praying this prayer together.

Loving Father God, we come to you with praise and worship.  We come to you with hope and expectations.  Please help us to know you are with us in all we do.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen

Call to worship: (inspired by Psalm 97)

The Lord is king!  Let the earth rejoice!
The heavens declare his righteousness;
every nations sees his glory.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods!

Let us praise and worship our Lord the king as we acknowledge his presence among us and sing/read/listen to “The king is among us”. 
Click here to find the song on YouTube.

The king is among us,
his Spirit is here!
Let’s draw near and worship,
let songs fill the air.

He looks down upon us,
delight in his face,
enjoying his children’s love,
enthralled by our praise.

For each child is special,
accepted and loved;
a love gift from Jesus
to his Father above.

And now he is giving
his gifts to us all;
for no one is worthless,
and each one is called.

The Spirit’s anointing
on all flesh comes down,
and we shall be channels
for works like his own.

We come now believing
your promise of power,
for we are your people
and this is your hour.

Graham Kendrick
1981 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

Thanksgiving:

Reading: Matthew 10:21-42

21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35 For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”[i]

Reflection:

You thought last week was a challenging reading…  what about this then?

Someone has counted that the phrase “don’t be afraid” is repeated 365 times in the bible.  One for every day.  If numbers is anything to go by it is the most important commandment for the people of God, to not be afraid.  And that is what the disciples of Jesus needed to hear as well.  Because they were going to face persecution, hardship and challenge.  Last week when we looked at the first part of Matthew 10 we saw Jesus sending the twelve disciples out into the villages and he warns them of what might come.  And if Jesus was accused to being in league with the devil (as we’ve seen a couple of weeks ago in Matthew chapter 9) his followers must be in league with the devil as well.  So “don’t worry” was necessary advice because if the disciples had started to worry, they might just have decided to stay home!  Fear of what people would do to them was a real pressing issue for the first disciples (and remains an issue today in some parts of the world).  But Jesus reassures them that whatever they face whatever they go through, God cares, he sees, he knows, and he understands.  God cares for the sparrows, he cares for his people, he knows how many hairs are on our heads.  Jesus encourages them to trust and stay strong because it would be worse to deny him than anything they might do to you because of him.

The part about fathers and sons and mothers and daughters and so on is I think one of the most challenging things Jesus says.  Is Jesus really saying that families will break up because of him, is he truly saying that? Verse 34 and 35 are actually a quotation from Micah 7.6, where the prophet warned the people of Israel that terrible divisions would always occur when God is doing a new thing.  Progress has never been achieved by doing the same thing over and over again.  People have always pushed off against what has gone before in order to go forward into new directions.  The disciples needed to be reminded of that, they needed to be reminded that it is in their own scriptures, because God was doing a new thing through Jesus.

It reminds me of my parents, they were never happy with new directions that my brothers and I wanted to take.  They always asked us whether we’d thought about it enough and why we needed to change.  But afterwards, when they saw that the new direction was working and we were happy, they didn’t mind at all.

God is constantly doing a new thing, bringing a bit more of his kingdom into this world, leading us forward and onward in our discipleship journey. Change has to happen for things to move forward.  God was doing a new thing in Jesus then, and God is still doing a new thing in us today.  Just like the first disciples we too need to remember that things can’t stay the same, that there will be challenges ahead as well as joys.  And we are invited to be part of this new thing, to bring the kingdom of God into the world, to make a difference and change lives.  And it is really simple.  Jesus said it here, whoever gives a cup of cold water to the least, to these little once, will never lose their reward.  Jesus is the example, Jesus is the priority, Jesus is the centre, Jesus is the reward.

Questions:

  1. How do you think the disciples felt after Jesus’ instructions and warnings and message to not be afraid?
  2. What has happened to the miracle in this reading?
  3. What helps you to not be afraid and trust God?

We’re going to sing a song in response to our discussions and thinking.  We’re going to sing a song that is also a prayer for Jesus to be at the centre of all we do and are.  Let us sing/ read/listen to “Jesus be the centre”. 
Click here to find the song on YouTube.

Jesus, be the centre,
Be my source, be my light,
Jesus.

Jesus, be the centre,
Be my hope, be my song,
Jesus.

Be the fire in my heart,
Be the wind in these sails;
Be the reason that I live,
Jesus, Jesus.

Jesus, be my vision,
Be my path, be my guide,
Jesus.

Be the fire in my heart,
Be the wind in these sails;
Be the reason that I live,
Jesus, Jesus.

Jesus, be the centre,
Be my source, be my light,
Jesus.

Michael Frye
1999 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire)/ Adm. by CopyCare

Prayers for others:

Gracious God, we bring before you our concerns for the world and those we know and love.

We pray for situations around the world, and for those who are caught up in them and for those who are leaders.  We pray for those situations where there is war and conflict, and for those where there are disasters.
(add your own concerns for the world here)

We pray for the wellbeing of all who live in our country.  For those who lead and those who care, for those who teach and those who serve. 
(add your concerns for our country here)

We pray for those we know who are sick or struggling or mourning …
(add the (first) names of those you are aware of who need help)

We pray for your church.  Help us all to live for you and give cups of water and more to those in need.  Help us to not be afraid but live boldly for you in all we do.  Help us to know your presence and care.

Let us pray the kingdom prayer together to respond:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For the kingdom,
the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever.  Amen.

We’re going to finish with a song where we commit ourselves to serve one another and our God and king.  We are going to sing/read/listen to “I will offer up my life”.  Click here to find the song on YouTube.

I will offer up my life
in spirit and truth,
pouring out the oil of love
as my worship to you.
In surrender I must give
my every part;
Lord, receive the sacrifice
of a broken heart.

Jesus, what can I give,
what can I bring
to so faithful a friend,
to so loving a King?
Saviour, what can be said,
what can be sung
as a praise of your name
for the things you have done?
Oh, my words could not tell,
not even in part,
of the debt of love that is owed
by this thankful heart.

You deserve my ev’ry breath
for you’ve paid the great cost
Giving up your life to death,
even death on a cross.
You took all my shame away,
there defeated my sin
Opened up the gates of heaven
and have beckoned me in

Matt Redman
1994 Kingsway Thankyou Music, Eastbourne

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore, Amen


[i] Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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