URC Daily Devotion Sunday Worship 18th September

Order of Service

Below you will find the Order of Service, prayers, hymns and sermon for today’s service.   You can either simply read this or you can
 

to listen to the service and sing along with the hymns.  This will open up a new screen, at the bottom of the screen you will see a play symbol.  Press that, then come back to this window so you can follow along with the service.

Sunday Worship from the United Reformed Church
for Sunday 18th September
This service includes Holy Communion

 

 Today’s service  is led by The Revd Andy Braunston.
 

Introduction
 
Hello and welcome to worship.  My name is Andy Braunston and I am the United Reformed Church’s Minister for Digital Worship.  I live up in Orkney and attend the Peedie Kirk, where I’m leading this service from today, which is our most northerly URC congregation.  Today we think of wealth – Amos’ anger with the rich over how they treated the poor and Jesus’ warning that we cannot love both God and wealth.  First, let’s become aware of being in God’s presence as we worship.
 
Call to Worship
 
O come and praise the Eternal One; sing praises to God’s holy name.
 
Blessèd be the name of God; from east to west the praise of God each day is to be spread abroad. 
O come and praise the Eternal One; sing praises to God’s holy name.
 
The Eternal One is high above the earth, with glory far above the sky.
Who else is like our God, the one who stoops down low to look on heav’n and earth? 
O come and praise the Eternal One; sing praises to God’s holy name.
 
God is the one who raises outcasts from the dust and lifts the poor from ash heaps.  God rewards the childless with love and legacy. 
O come and praise the Eternal One; sing praises to God’s holy name.

 
Hymn       Beauty for Brokenness
Graham Kendrick (b. 1950) © 1993 Make Way Music, PO Box 320, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  TN2 9DE  UK  Sung by Simon Bickerseth used with his kind permission
 

 

Beauty for brokenness,
hope for despair,
Lord, in the suffering
this is our prayer.
Bread for the children,
justice, joy, peace,
sunrise to sunset
your kingdom increase.

God of the poor, friend of the weak,
give us compassion, we pray,
melt our cold hearts, let tears fall like rain.
Come, change our love from a spark to a flame.

 

Shelter for fragile lives,

cures for their ills,
work for the craftsmen,
trade for their skills.
Land for the dispossessed,
rights for the weak,
voices to plead the cause
of those who can’t speak.
 
God of the poor…
 
Refuge from cruel wars,
havens from fear,
cities for sanctuary,
freedoms to share.
Peace to the killing fields,
scorched earth to green,
Christ for the bitterness,
his cross for the pain.
 
God of the poor…
 
Rest for the ravaged earth,
oceans and streams,
plundered and poisoned,
our future, our dreams.
Lord, end our madness,
carelessness, greed;
make us content with
the things that we need.
 
God of the poor…
 
Lighten our darkness, breathe on this flame,
until your justice burns brightly again;
until the nations learn of your ways,
seek your salvation and bring you their praise. 

God of the poor…
 

 
Prayers of Approach & Confession
 
From east and west, from south and north,
we come to worship you O Ancient of Days,
to enjoy Your peace, to rest in your presence,
and to praise Your holy Name.
 
From the ends of the earth, O Christ, Your Church gathers this day:
not only to praise – but to learn; not only to rest –  but to change;
not only to enjoy – but to be disturbed.
From the mess of our own lives and loves You call us O Spirit,
in churches and chapels, around screens and speakers,
on pew or easy chair, to rely on you, not mammon.  
 
Yet our world, O God, loves wealth and practices deceit,
tramples the poor and needy, 
creates unfair systems which value silver and gold over humanity.
 
Yet you are a God who never forgets these things,
a God from whom we cannot hide, 
a God who calls us to do better, to create a fairer world.
Give us time, O God, to change,
time to turn away from our greed and selfishness, time to repent.
 
Silence
 
Amen
 

Declaration of Forgiveness
 
The Eternal One is faithful and just, showering us with extravagant love and kindness in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit moves amongst us allowing us to know we are forgiven, giving us time to change, and the courage to make a difference; so know this loving kindness and forgive yourselves.

 
Introduction
 
Imagine you’ve won the lottery.  I know, it’s a nice thought isn’t it?  Say you’ve won a million pounds, or ten million – it’s imagination after all!  What might you want to spend the money on?
 
Would you buy a house?   A new car?  A sports car – a Tesla of course as we’re all very conscious of the environment.  Would you go on a holiday?  If so, where?
 
Imagine your luck and happiness.  All that money.  All yours…
 
Except… it isn’t really yours, is it?  As Christians we believe not only that all good things come from God, but we have to use what we’re given on trust. We’re stewards of the resources that we have.  So what might we use the money for if we were to be good stewards?
 
Might we support a foodbank? Might we support a hospital? Might we support a local or an international charity? Of course we’d remember the Church!
 
We’re going to think quite a bit about wealth today.  Amos condemns the rich in his day and Jesus told a story about a dishonest steward who cheated his master to save his own skin, yet was rewarded – such are the strange things that money makes us do.  Jesus tells us that we can’t love both God and money – and, of course, we often try to fool ourselves and do both!

 
Prayer of Illumination
 
Challenge us by your Word, O God as it is read and proclaimed, pondered and wrestled with, embodied in our lives and enfleshed in the things we love, that we may hear, understand, and respond. Amen.

 
We Listen to God’s Word

 
Reading: Amos 8:4-7
 
Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, “When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.” The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
 
 
Psalm 113
From Sing Psalms © The Praise and Psalmody Committee, the Free Church of Scotland.  Recording by unknown choir organised by Connor Quigley and used with his kind permission.  Tune: Sagina
 

 

O praise, you servants of the LORD;
sing praises to his holy name.
O blessèd be the name of God;
His praise for evermore proclaim.
From east to west the praise of God
each day is to be spread abroad.
 
The Lord is high above the earth,
His glory far above the sky.
Who else is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high?
He is the one who stoops down low
to look on heav’n and earth below.
 
He raises outcasts from the dust and from the ash-heap lifts the poor,
exalting them to dignity, with noblemen to sit secure.
The childless woman he’ll reward with home and children. 
Praise the LORD!
 

 
Reading: St Luke 16:1-13
 
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ 

Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ 

So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. 

And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 

If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 
No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. 

You cannot serve God and wealth.”

 
Sermon
 
Both our readings today are challenging lifted only by the words of praise in Psalm 113, which we’ve just sung. Amos rails against the rich who oppress the poor and Jesus seems, at first reading, to suggest that using sharp practice is a good thing! We’re used to Old Testament prophets railing against the rich, but not really used to Jesus seeming to reward dishonesty. Those who have gone before us have puzzled over this parable and Jesus’ words.  
 
Augustine felt Jesus praised the steward for making provision for his future.  Other Church Fathers thought that the point was to contrast the worldly – who used wealth to gain friends in the here and now – with the faithful who would use their wealth to serve God in the poor and so gain friends in the hereafter.  To refuse to give, for many early Church thinkers, was to steal from God. Wesley felt the parable was about good stewardship. Some think the steward was praised as he remitted unfair debt the master had imposed on the poor, others thing he’s praised for his ingenuity. Calvin uses the parable as a way to rely on God’s eternal providence and deal kindly with our neighbours but notes, rather sniffily I think, that “to inquire with great exactness into every minute part of a parable is an absurd mode of philosophising.”  Clearly, like us, Calvin struggled with the text too!  So, if you were puzzled as you listened to the reading you’re in good company.  Let’s see if we can make some progress.
 
When we read of a steward we tend to think of someone employed to be a manager. We think of job descriptions and person specifications. We think of employment laws protected by Employment Tribunals. We think, in short, of how things are now, not how things were then. Instead, we should think of the steward as being, if not a slave, then not far off one.  He’d have relied on his master for his board and lodging, his employment, and the security that came with it for him and maybe for his family. Clearly, he’d not been very good at his job and his master, hearing that the steward had been squandering his property, summons him and threatens him with the sack. Being sacked would have been devastating – loss of income, home, security and reputation. No one else would have hired him if he’d been sacked and the future would have been uncertain.  
 
So given that risk, he certainly bucks his ideas up and wins friends for his master by remitting some of the debt that was owed to him. It’s probable he didn’t have the authority to do this. Some commentators think he was remitting the interest on the debt – the Bible, after all, condemns the lending of money with interest and so people would charge an administration fee at the end of a loan; or have a bill of sale saying that so many things were purchased for an agreed price but, in fact, only a proportion was actually sold – the difference being interest. 

If the steward, then, was remitting the unfair interest that would please the debtors and keep his reputation good – maybe he’d need them to be on his side if he was to be sacked.  

The master, however, seems impressed.  No doubt the debtors would be back and want more – giving another chance to earn money. No doubt they’d be loyal to both the master (who they might assume had suggested this) and to the steward – those who bring good news are always popular after all! The master might have been impressed also that faced with the crisis of destitution the steward acted and, in so doing, saved the day.
 
So this might be a parable about how we respond in a crisis?  Jesus’ words are difficult “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.”  Is Jesus really telling us to make friends with “dishonest wealth”?  I hope not.  
 
Jesus stood in the tradition of the earlier prophets who, again and again, called on the people to be righteous in following God’s laws – laws which were very clear about supporting the poor, the dispossessed, the stranger.  Back in the summer we celebrated the Queen’s jubilee, but didn’t think much about the roots of the word jubilee – it comes from the book of Leviticus and was meant to be a time when debts were forgiven, the enslaved free, and land returned to its rightful owners.  An early attempt, if you will, at what our current government calls “levelling up.”  
 
In the passage before today’s reading, we meet the prodigal son – a man who squandered his inheritance; an inheritance claimed before his time.  In the passage after today’s reading, we read of Dives and Lazarus: where the one who was rich on earth is punished in hell whilst Lazarus, the poor man, is seated in glory. Dives tries to say he didn’t know, but he’s reminded that the prophets had told him. So it would be odd if in the midst of those two teachings we had Jesus say to use the system to do well.
 
Instead I think Jesus was being ironic.  There’s lots of places in the Gospel where Jesus uses humour and irony to make his point.  
 

  • He called the Pharisees whitewashed tombs.  
  • He told people to look to the beam in their own eyes rather than the specks in other people’s.  
  • Again he told the Pharisees off by saying they strained at gnats whilst trying to drink a camel.  
  • He said it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.  

 
These are all devastatingly funny and his hearers would have laughed – well, the Pharisees wouldn’t have laughed, but you get the point.  
 
After the lesson of the prodigal son, where wealth was squandered and brought only ruin, Jesus wouldn’t really want us to make friends with dishonest wealth. Worldly wealth doesn’t win true friends – as the prodigal found when he was left to find food in a pigsty.  

Jesus says that those he earlier called “sons of darkness” will let you into their eternal homes – but if they are, indeed, sons of darkness, they won’t have eternal homes.  More irony.  

Later in the passage, Jesus says that one cannot serve both God and mammon – something at odds with his ironic comment about being friends with dishonest wealth.  And the Pharisees scoff at Jesus as they are condemned by Jesus’ words about loving mammon – wealth and property.  
 
So if the context of the passage and what else we know of Jesus means he’s being ironic, what might he have meant with this passage?   
 
The ending is the point – we can’t serve both God and mammon.  Add to this the sense of crisis that the steward had at the thought of losing everything and we might make some progress…
 
What are the crises we face? How does our relationship with wealth fit into this?
 

  • There’s the crisis of housing. Younger folk find it more and more difficult to rent or buy property at a reasonable cost.  
  • There’s the crisis in our economy with rising prices, but not rising wages and pensions. 
  • There’s the ecological crisis which looks set to change our world and our lifestyles more profoundly than any of us can imagine.  

 
All of these things are related to how our society works, how we value money, wealth and economic growth regardless of the cost. We’re seeing that for all the riches of the world, there’s no real security for the poor or even those who aren’t poor but aren’t rich.  
 
All of these things show that, like ancient Israel, we’ve forgotten God’s command to care for and nurture the poor. Our response must always be to turn back to Jesus for:
 

  • Jesus tells us not to look for security in worldly mammon.  
  • Jesus tells us to use our wealth to serve God and the poor – the prodigal who squandered his inheritance gained nothing.  Dives, who had all the comforts on earth but oppressed the poor man Lazarus, ended up in hell.  
  • Jesus echoes Amos’ words cry down through history challenging us not to oppress the poor.

 
Of course we don’t personally oppress the poor.  

Of course we don’t think we try to serve both God and mammon.

Of course we personally don’t control the systems and structures that rule our world… but there are a myriad number of small ways we can make a difference.  
 

  • we can support credit unions so the poor can get access to loans they can afford
  • we can give provisions to food banks which will be needed more and more in the months ahead, 
  • we can put pressure on our elected officials to reverse the decline in social housing and look at new models of housing, so that there is a plentiful supply of good, warm, and cheap housing.  

 
We can show we love God more than we love mammon in a myriad number of small ways in how we use our money. 

We can show we love God more than mammon as we challenge with our actions and our words the way our world works. 

We can show we love God more than mammon by ensuring we care for the poor – not by using what Jesus called dishonest wealth, but with the values of the coming kingdom.  

Will you pray with me?
 
Eternal One,
you raise the poor, give security to the insecure, 
challenge the rich and powerful and yearn for a fairer world.
Help us to remember we can’t serve both you and wealth.
Inspire us to use our money, our wealth and our resources
in your service.  
Amen.
 

Hymn: When the Poor Ones
A Liver and Miguel Manzono translated by G Lockwood 1971 
sung by the choir of the First Baptist Church, Nashua
 

 

When the poor ones who have nothing share with strangers, 
when the thirsty water give unto us all, 
when the wounded in their weakness strengthen others, 

 
then we know that God 
still goes that road with us, 
then we know that God 
still goes that road with us.
 

When at last all those who suffer find their comfort,
when they hope though even hope seems hopelessness, 
when we love though hate at times seems all around us, 
 

 
When our joy fills up our cup to overflowing, 
when our lips can speak no words other than true, 
when we know that love for simple things is better, 
 
 
When our homes are filled with goodness in abundance,
when we learn how to bring peace instead of war,
when each stranger that we meet is called a neighbour,

 

 
 
Affirmation of Faith
 
Today, we affirm our faith that we cannot serve both God and wealth. 
 
Yet we recognise that’s hard.  Prices are rising faster than wages and pensions; we worry about the power, fuel, and food bills and, despite fine words about trusting in God, we are worried.  We struggle to remember that, even in these times, we cannot serve both God and wealth. 
 
The One we follow, left the richness of heaven for the poverty of earth. Living a simple life, owning very little, he challenged the rich and powerful reminding them that, we cannot serve both God and wealth. 
The Spirit who formed the earliest Church, and called them to live in community sharing their wealth, calls us to use our resources to relieve poverty, challenge the comfortable, and change our economic systems because we cannot serve both God and wealth.
 
From before the ages the Eternal One calls us to live justly, to love righteousness, to lift up the poor and broken, and work for the coming of the Kingdom where we will no longer try to serve both God and wealth.
 
Until then we work and pray for change, so that the pain and oppression of our world will be transformed into justice and joy and we will forget that we ever attempted to serve both God and wealth.

 
Offertory
 
Our economic system is based on growth at any cost, profit or surplus without regard to the consequences, the acquisition of consumer goods that wear out or fail all too soon so we are forced to buy more.  We know this needs to change but have no idea how; in the meantime we can show a different way of using money.  Instead the desire to gain more, get richer, have more in the bank we can change the story and give.  
 
Giving frees us from our addiction to always wanting more.  Giving frees us from the fear that we don’t have enough.  Giving frees us from the poison of capitalism.  Giving reflects the divine nature in that God loved us so much that He gave without regard to the cost.  
 
We give in many ways, through the collection, straight to the bank, through our time and talents, through our gentle presence with others in need.  But now, at this point, we give thanks for the financial gifts which are used to show a different economic theory, a different way of working, a different kingdom.  Will you pray with me?
 
O God of the ages, we give because you first gave;
help us to use our resources to bring about change
that the poor will be lifted up, the broken healed,
and the despised included,
let our love for you increase and our love of mammon fade away.
Amen.
 

Intercessions
 
God of the ages,
we bring our world to You, thanking You for its beauty,
yet remembering places of pain and persecution.
Bless with Your love the poor and dispossessed this day,
those who have fled home for fear of war, violence, and persecution.
Lead, with Your grace, those who struggle in desperate situations,
strengthen those who work for peace and justice,
and make us ever open to our world, its glory and it’s pain.  
 
God, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
 
God of the poor,
we bring You the leaders of our world,
those elected, appointed, or who have seized power,
that they may always remember where true power comes from,
and You, to whom they will, one day give account.
We pray for the leaders of our own nations,
that truth, legality, justice, and compassion may again become 
the hallmarks of our state. 
 
God, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
 
God of the outsider,
we pray for the Church throughout the world.
We remember those, this day, 
who meet in secret for fear of the authorities,
those preparing for baptism 
– especially for those who will be baptised in secret –
that their faith and commitment will help renew us.
We pray for those who dare to lead the Church,
those in places of persecution and those in places of indifference,
that, through creativity, an ability to read the signs of the times,
and faithfulness to You, we may 
through evangelism, witness, loving service and worship,
honour You, our rock and redeemer.  
 
God, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
 
We pray for our own congregation,
that in these times of challenge and opportunity,
we may serve, witness and, through loving kindness,
show of Your grace to those in need.
Help us to not only welcome those You send,
but enable us to invite our friends and family,
to feast with You in this place, that Your people may know You,
be enriched, and enabled to change our world,
into Your coming Kingdom. 
 
God, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

 
In a moment’s silence, we bring to You, O God,
those we love and worry about,  and all in any kind of need.  

 
God, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
 

We join all our prayers together as, with Jesus, we pray…

Our Father…
 
 
Hymn: Come Now You Blessed, Eat At My Table
Ruth Duck © GIA Publications.  Sung by the choir and congregation of First Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, Nebraska
 

“Come now, you blessed, 
eat at my table,”
said Jesus Christ 
to the righteous above.
“When I was hungry, 
thirsty, and homeless,
sick and in prison, 
you showed me your love.”
 

When did we see you 
hungry or thirsty?
When were you homeless, 
a stranger alone?
When did we see you 
sick or in prison?
What have we done that 
you call us your own?

“When you gave bread 
to earth’s hungry children,
when you gave shelter
to war’s refugees.
When you remembered 
those most forgotten,
you cared for me 
in the smallest of these.”

 
Christ, when we meet you 
out on life’s roadways,
looking to us 
in the faces of need,
then may we know you, 
welcome and show you
love that is faithful 
in word and in deed.

 

 Holy Communion
 
We gather around the Lord’s table, in person, around a screen or speaker, and welcome the Lord into our hearts as He welcomes us into the heavenly places where all are called to make a home.
 
Gratitude, praise, hearts lifted high, 
voices full and joyful; these You deserve, Eternal One,
 
For when we were nothing, you made us something;
when we had no name and no faith and no future,
You called us to be Your children; 
when we lost our way or turned away, You did not abandon us; 
when we came back to You, Your arms opened wide in welcome.
And look, You prepare a table for us,
offering not just bread, not just wine, but Your very self
so that we might be filled, forgiven, healed, blessed, & made new again. 
You are worth all our pain and all our praise and so with angels and archangels we praise your name singing…
 
O holy, most holy, the God of creation,
for ever exalted in power and great might.
The earth and the heavens are full of your glory.
Hosanna, hosanna and praise in the height!
How blessed is He who is sent to redeem us,
who puts ev’ry fear and injustice to flight;
Who comes in the name of the Lord as our Saviour.
Hosana, hosanna and praise in the height!
 
© The Rev’d Michael Forster 1995, 1999 Kevin Mayhew Ltd  
Vocalist: Lucy Bunce
 
Eternal One, as we come to share the richness of Your table,
we cannot forget the rawness of the Earth.
 
We cannot take bread and forget those who are hungry.
Your world is one world and we are stewards of its nourishment.
God, put our prosperity as the service of the poor.
 
We cannot take wine, and forget those who are thirsty.
The ground and the rootless, 
the earth and its weary people cry out for justice.
God, put our prosperity at the service of the poor.
 
We cannot hear Your words of peace and forget the world at war
or, if not at war then preparing for it.
Show us quickly, O God, how to turn our weapons into welcoming signs
and the lust for power into a desire for peace.
 
And now, O God, send down Your Spirit on us 
and on these gifts of bread and wine, 
that they may become for us Your body,
healing, forgiving and making us whole;
and that we may become for You, Your body,
loving and caring in the world until Your Kingdom comes.
 
And we remember Jesus who among friends on the night that he was betrayed, took bread, broke it, blessed it and gave it to his friends saying;
 
“Take this all of you and eat it, this is my body which is given for you,
do this and remember be.”
 
In the same way, after the meal, he took the cup filled with wine, blessed it and gave it to his friends saying: 
 
“Take this all of you and drink from it, this is the cup of my blood, 
the blood of the new and everlasting promise of God 
for you and all people. Do this and remember me.”
 
As we share in this meal we ask you, Loving God, 
to watch over and guard your Church throughout the world.  
Grant it peace and unity and bless those who are persecuted 
for believing in you; bring relief to all who are oppressed.
 
Remind us that we are to proclaim your death and new life until you come again bringing in the Kingdom where there will be no more pain, no more persecution, no more injustice, no more tears.
 
Until then we serve and praise You, Father of All who with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, reigns forever, one God world without end.  Amen.
 
This is the table, not of the Church, but of God, it has been made ready for those who love God, and those who want to love God more. So come, those who have much faith, and those who would like to have more; those who have been here often, and those who have not been for a long time, those who have tried to follow, and those who have failed.
 
Come, not because I invite you, for it God who invites us here, and it is God’s will that all who want it should find life and beauty and happiness here. Come and share this meal.
 
To prepare ourselves to meet the Lord in Holy Communion 
let us sing the Lamb of God.
 
O Lamb of God, come cleanse our hearts, and take our sins away.
O Lamb of God your grace impart, and let our guilty fear depart,
have mercy, Lord, we pray, have mercy Lord, we pray.
 
O Lamb of God, our lives restore, our guilty souls release.
Into our lives your Spirit pour and let us live for evermore
In perfect heav’nly peace, in perfect heav’nly peace.
 
The Rev’d Michael Forster © 1999 Kevin Mayhew Ltd, 
Vocalist Lucy Bunce
 
 
 Hymn       Show Me How To Stand for Justice
Martin Leckebusch © 1999, Kevin Mayhew Ltd. Performed by Joy and Ruth Everingham © 2020 used with their kind permission.
 
 
Show me how to stand for justice, how to work for what is right,
how to challenge false assumptions, how to walk within the light.
May I learn to share more freely in a world so full of greed,
showing your immense compassion by the life I choose to lead.

Teach my heart to treasure mercy, whether given or received –
for my need has not diminished since the day I first believed:
let me seek no satisfaction boasting of what I have done,
but rejoice that I am pardoned and accepted in your Son.
 

 
Gladly I embrace a lifestyle modelled on your living word,
in humility submitting to the truth which I have heard.
Make me conscious of your presence every day, in all I do:
by your Spirit’s gracious prompting may I learn to walk with you.
 

 
Blessing
 
May the One who used humour to make devastating points,
the One who challenged the structures of His Day,
the One who championed the poor,
fill you with His Spirit,
that you may reject mammon’s false security,
challenge the economic systems of our day,
and turn your backs on dishonest wealth,
and lift up the poor and dispossessed.
And the blessing of Almighty God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
be with you, and all whom you love,
now and always,
Amen.
 
 
 
Sources: Call to Worship from the Sing Psalms! version of Ps 113.  Communion Prayer from the Iona Community, both adapted by Andy Braunston.  Sanctus and Agnus Dei by URC Minster the Rev’d Michael Forster.  
 

Thanks to Chris and Esther Watson, John Wilcox, Mandy Hibbert, John Young, Graham Handscomb, Diana Cullum-Hall, Mairi Macdonald, Kathleen Haynes and Pam Carpenter for recording the spoken parts of the service.

Hymn lyrics are public domain, the music in the podcast is delivered subject to the terms of the URC’s licence.

Where words are copyright reproduced under the terms of Barrhead URC’s CCLI licence number 1064776,
Some material reprinted, and streamed, with permission under ONE LICENSE A-734713 All rights reserved.
PRS Limited Online Music Licence LE-0019762

 

Copyright © 2022 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book