This is the service, prepared by Bruno, for this day.
You can listen to it by clicking the play button below, and/or follow the service in the text (also below).
Sunday 26th July 2020
Call to worship
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray:
Grant o Lord, that none may love you less this day because of me; that never word or act of mine may turn one soul from thee; and, ever daring, yet one more grace would I implore, that many souls this day, because of me, may love thee more. Amen.
Holy God, giver of light and grace, we have sinned against you and against our brothers and sisters, through ignorance, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We have belittled your love and betrayed your trust. We are sorry and ashamed; we repent of all our sins. In the name of Jesus Christ, please forgive us and lead us out from darkness to walk as children of light.
Assurance of Pardon
The almighty and merciful Lord forgives you from all your sins.
In gratitude we say:
God of love, give us a heart to love you and to love one another; through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, our Saviour.
New Testament Reading:
The Gospel of Matthew 11:25-30
25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
This is the word of the Lord
This passage of the gospel is divided into two section. In the first section Jesus talks about divine revelation. God’s plan is not human but divine. Those who think themselves intelligent and wise according to human standards, fail to see the beauty and wonder of divine revelation. People cannot find God by logical analysis holding on to pride in human understanding. Divine revelation is not an arbitrary selection where God chooses who to save and who to condemn. Divine revelation comes to those who are open to it. God’s salvation is offered to the world; but only those who are humble enough to trust God and open the door of their hearts, will see God in their lives.
There is an early hint to the Trinity here. There is an exclusive relationship between the Father and the Son and with the Holy Spirit bestowed to the disciples to know the Father through the Son and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God to the world.
How do we respond? With humility, trust, love, surrender, patience.
How will our life change?
A different perspective of life:
Those things that seemed so important before, are no longer a priority in comparison to the prospect of eternal life.
Spiritual life becomes as important (if not more important) than the physical aspect of life.
Those things that you thought made you happy, they no longer do. You sought after them because the world told you that you needed them but God is telling you that in Him you will find true life… and you are discovering that it’s true as you walk with Him.
Life in this world is insane. Career, success, money, security, power, popularity and all those things like these are what people chase all their lives but when we breathe our last breath and our life is over, we leave all these things behind.
Those are all the heavy burdens that we carry but we don’t really need…and we don’t want any more when we know the joy of knowing Jesus.
So, this is how life will change if only we open the heart and surrender to His love. We can leave all things in His care. Suddenly, we don’t need to pretend that we are invincible. We drop all things in Jesus’ hands. He carried the cross of our sins; His hands took the nails that we deserve to take; surely Jesus can take anything else off our shoulders. We just need to learn to trust in Him. We don’t trust Him enough these days and we still try to retain control, or the illusion that we are in control.
As we surrender to Jesus, we find that we can deal with every crisis of life in a different way from before. First of all, we no longer despair because we have hope; hope that God will care for us in every situation of life, even in death. Then, we can appeal to God for guidance, for direction, for learning, to form us and lead us to Him.
We can learn to live again. True life is joy; joy that goes beyond happiness or sadness. Life in Jesus is all about that feeling of your soul melting in a feast of love and joy and understanding and peace found in the realisation of being loved by God.
Hymn: In Christ alone
Prayer of Intercession:
Gracious God, through your Son you have taught us that nothing in life or in death can separate us from your love. Look in mercy on all of us as we go through this great sorrow of coronavirus worldwide pandemic and all its consequences. Help those who are ill, support the dying, the jobless and all those who are suffering the consequences of this worldwide disaster. Strengthen the members of the NHS and all those who bring relief and comfort. Console and protect those who have lost loved ones. Give your light in darkness to all who are near to despair, and assure them that you hold all souls in your care; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord.
The Lord’s prayer
At the Saviour’s command and formed by His divine teaching we pray together:
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. Amen
The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be with you always. Amen
Rev. Bruno Boldrini