Weekly Intercessions and Worship Notes for 20th August

Worship Notes and Weekly Intercessions

Dear Friends,

Millennia ago the prophet Habakkuk, when faced with war, environmental disaster and consequent famine, sung:
 

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.
 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and makes me tread upon the heights.

Words which resonate as we face the consequences of human greed wreaking havoc on the fragile earth.  As the climate changes, the ice melts, and sea waters rise we will have to adapt and learn to mitigate the dreadful climate changes which are already upon us.  What I find fascinating is that Habakkuk didn’t turn away from God when faced with his traumas and, in these times of change and danger I hope we won’t either.

Habakkuk’s response was to turn to God and, in worship found the strength to make sense of his world and to adapt to his realities.  Week after week we gather to worship in church and chapel, in grand buildings and around computer screens.  As we sing, pray, listen and share in the simple things of bread and wine, we encounter the Risen Lord who strengthens and enables us to be His disciples.

In order to help local churches produce good worship the URC produces weekly Worship Notes.   This week’s notes were written by the Rev’d Lucy Brierley.  Lucy offers extensive notes on the readings, a lovely All Age activity, and the normal wide range of prayers and hymn suggestions as we reflect on the wideness of God’s mercy.  Lucy suggests using Stuart Townend’s hymn Vagabonds.  If this isn’t one your congregation now it might be helpful to have it played as a piece to reflect on after the sermon.  The link to listen to it is included in the hymn suggestions.

As Lucy produced these notes some time ago we also ensure that Weekly Intercessions are produced for people to use or adapt to their own local contexts.  The Rev’d Clare Downing has written this week’s prayers which can be found here.

I hope that your experience and discipline of worship delights, strengthens and empowers you as we adapt to the realities of our world.

With every good wish

Andy

The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship
 

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