Sunday Morning Reflection 21.6.20

Sunday Morning Reflection   21.6.20    Everyone has value

Good Morning , I am Karen Harbison, the Minister of Westburn Parish Church , Greenock and I am glad to welcome you  to this time of worship. Everyone is welcome, whether you are often at Westburn Parish Church, or whether you have never been there in person before. Everyone is welcome as we, each in our own places, our own homes, come to worship God.

Today we are reminded that we are all valued and loved by God. We hear Jesus telling his followers that even the life of a sparrow is cared for and noted by God and that each of us is one of a valued flock. And so  I am outside in the garden hoping that you can hear some of the birds, here in the garden where I have noticed more than usual the birds and the flowers and the bees buzzing around the clover. Take a few moments to  look out your window or to stand in your garden and notice the birds….. can you see a sparrow ?

Opening words

Come as precious people

Come as cherished children

Come and be still in the presence of God

Come and be still, open to be touched by God’s love

Come to worship God

Let us pray

O God

We gather as your children

known, accepted, valued.

We gather as your children

welcomed, cherished, loved

and we worship you-

For you are the God who

cares, gathers, nurtures

You are the God who

journeys with us, shares each day, gives security and hope.

Forgive us O God

when we have not taken time to get to know other people,

when we have shut the doors of our hearts against other people,

when we have not cared for our neighbours in our community or in our world.

Forgive us O God

help us to grow in love,

so that we are able to follow the example of Jesus Christ, your Son, more nearly , just as we follow his example when we pray together as he taught

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.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil

for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory

Now and forever

Amen

We continue to read from Matthew’s gospel from chapter 10 and Patricia Robertson will read for us today.

Bible Reading – Matthew  10:24 – 31

For a few years in a row, around this time of year, I was one of a team of folk who took young people from a group of churches in the Hamilton/ Blantyre area on a weekend away. One of the centres we often stayed in had these words on the wall around the main meeting room ‘ There is nothing you can do to make God love you less… there is nothing you can do to make God love you more….’ The words of Jesus we hear from Matthew’s gospel today affirm each one of us, each person  as children of God, beloved and known, each hair of our head counted by the God who values something so small and so seemingly insignificant as a sparrow. God values each one of us and there is no quality or unique personality that is not recognised by the God who knows every part of us. God knows us, cherishes us and rejoices in us. Amidst the many other noises in the world today that tell people they are of lesser value than others, this resounding affirmation of God loving each of us and each person is heard with thankfulness by us . And these same words call out to us to see other people the way God sees us and to value and cherish each person for who they are this and every moment. May every sparrow we see remind us we are loved and may every birdsong call us tp love others. Amen

Let us pray

Lord – Though the sparrow may not fall without your knowledge, many of our brothers and sisters fall unnoticed through all too many ordinary, everyday needs. We take our daily needs for granted, yet lack of food or lack of water brings too many to their untimely end. We take our homes for granted, yet lack of home or lack of security brings death by the thousand. Oh Lord, how long must it be so that good people, children, parents, grandparents, must tolerate and endure such an unfair world. How long will it go on that billions go without the basics, whilst billionaires increase their wealth year on year. Hear our cries, oh Lord, for justice. Hear our cries, oh Lord, for fairness. Hear our cries, oh Lord, for the forgotten people of our modern world, your children, members of our human family. And amongst us too, God, there is pain and plight. We think of our community where food banks are in use, or where homes are threatened by financial constraint. We think of the strain upon our health services, or those who feel isolated and alone. We think of those who have lost loved ones to death, and feel lost in their grief now themselves. For your Church, world and people we pray. In your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. Silence Yes, Lord, we are taught that all are worthy in your sight. May it be that all will be worthy in the sight of the powerful and in our sight too.Amen.

Sing hymn – Glorious things of thee are spoken.

Jesus tells his followers that each one of them is loved , each person is loved and that good news is for sharing in broad daylight and is for shouting from the rooftops.

Good news deserves to be shared

shared from the rooftops,

not just whispered –

God’s love merits telling loudly

to one and all

You are loved.

From the tips of your toes

to the top of your head

God’s attention to detail

is beyond compare and

God’s love knows no bounds

You are loved.

In light, love is revealed

and darkness retreats

and the good news is to be shared

It is no secret for

You are loved

by God whose wonderful light banishes darkness,

embracing all creation in love.

Blessing

May the Lord bless you ,

May the Lord keep you,

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,

And give you peace , and give you peace. Amen

Listen to ‘The UK Blessing’ – youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U

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