Virtual Services

Easter 5 – 10th May 2020

Welcome

Good Morning everyone and welcome to All Saints Virtual Church. It’s good to share this time and space with you, whether you are an All Saints regular, if you joined us over the past few weeks, or even if this is your first time! Thank you for being with us.

This weekend the country has been remembering and celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, when the sounds of war fell silent on this continent.

So as we come together this morning, let us be conscious of our need for God’s forgiveness for the sin and the desire to dominate others that leads to conflict between people, and war between nations.

And as we remember the many soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives restraining evil and opposing tyranny, so we also come in thanksgiving for the years of peace that the nations of Europe have enjoyed since the Second World War.

We gather joyfully, as those who gathered on that first Victory day, knowing that we are not alone and glad of each other’s company, grateful for the laughter and love that follows times of sadness and loss. But above all things, let us pray that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven, as we join our voices together and say:

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.

Worship

Praise

Hymn – Praise to the Lord the Almighty the king of Creation

Alternatively or if you would prefer, play and/or sing another hymn or song that praises God.  

So I wonder how people might have felt on that day when they heard the news that the war had ended or taking part in the Street parties that were held to celebrate. Perhaps you could speak to someone who was alive and remembers the day or listen explore some of the stories which can be found using the link below.  

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/10-photos-of-ve-day-celebrations

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-ve-day/z7xtmfr

What do you think people would have been thankful for at that time?  

What are you thankful for today?  

Perhaps use the words of Psalm 103 to help you say thank you or the hymn below – Now thank we all our God  

 

Word

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] the old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5
16-21

This weekend, all over the country, we have been celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the war in Europe and remembering those who gave their lives throughout the conflict. We remember too, those who came home, forever changed by what they had seen and experienced. 

So holding this in mind, the theme of our reading this morning is reconciliation. It is taken from the letter we know as the second letter to the Corinthians, which despite been named as such, is not actually the case. Paul did not have an easy relationship with the church in Corinth and within this letter there are references to another letter, (see Chapter 2: 3-4 and 7: 8) which has since been lost. It is often known as the severe letter, as it was written following a visit from Paul to the church, to try and resolve a disciplinary issue which had not gone well. It seems that the letter may well have achieved its purpose, for in Chapter 7:7-12 it refers to a change of heart and a possible reconciliation between Paul and the church. Commentators suggest that the first nine chapters are written in response to the news of the churches change of heart and to urge forgiveness for the one that caused the initial issue. It is in this section that Paul speaks about the ministry of reconciliation. 

In the verses immediately before, Paul is talking about what motivates him. The real controlling force in his life, is the love of Christ, as stated in verses 14 and 15. 

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 

So as a consequence of Jesus’ death, those who are in Christ, no longer see others as they once did, for through Jesus’ death they have been transformed into a new creation. That transformation is grounded in God himself who was ‘reconciling the world to himself in Christ.’ For those in Christ their understanding of the world and their actions now stem from that new understanding. Paul says that it is through Christ’s work that our sins – that is where we have missed the marked, not living as God created us to – have been transferred onto him and his righteousness has been transferred to us, thus bridging the gap to bring humanity back into relationship with its creator. The ministry of proclaiming this good news has been entrusted to those believers, who in turn are called upon to be ‘Christ’s ambassadors or representatives in the world. 

This passage holds a powerful reminder of all that Christ achieved through his death and resurrection. For those of us who believe and trust this, we too are in a process of being transformed, of becoming a new creation. We are encouraged to let go of the past and our old ways of looking at the world and those around us, to let our choices and actions be driven by the new.  

It is also a reminder that we are Christ’ representatives in the places where we find ourselves, in the workplace, in the home, in our interest groups, in our local communities, in our church community. As we go about our days and as we interact with those around us, we are to be people who influence and enable reconciliation, be it between people and God, between people and people or between people and their work.

So, think about your current context, are there areas which need reconciliation, pray about these asking God to intervene and show you how to act in these areas, Or 

Think about the context that you hope to return to, once the lockdown has been eased and lifted. Again, are there areas which need reconciliation, pray about these asking God to intervene and show you how to act in these areas 

Witness

Act of Remembrance - A Tribute to the Millions

Let us remember those who so selflessly gave their
lives at home and abroad, whose
sacrifice enables us to enjoy the
peace and freedom we have today.

Let us remember those who came home
wounded, physically and mentally, and
the friends and family who cared for them.

Let us remember those who returned to
restore their relationships and rebuild
their working lives after years of dreadful
conflict and turmoil.

Let us remember the families that lost
husbands, sons and sweethearts.

Let us remember the servicemen, merchant
seamen, miners, brave civilians and others from
Commonwealth and Allied countries –
who fought, suffered and died during
four years of war.

Let us remember those in reserved occupation
and the brave people who
kept us safe on the home front – the
doctors and nurses who cared for the wounded,
the women and men who toiled in the
fields, those who worked in the factories,
who all played such a vital role
in the war effort at home.

Prayers of Intercession

In peace let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for the leaders of the nations,
that you will guide them in the ways of freedom, justice and truth.
Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who bear arms on behalf of the nation, 
that they may have discipline and discernment, 
courage and compassion. 
Lord, in your mercy 
hear our prayer. 

We pray for our enemies, and those who wish us harm, 
that you will turn the hearts of all to kindness and friendship. 
Lord, in your mercy 
hear our prayer. 

We pray for the wounded and the captive, 
the grieving and the homeless, 
that in all their trials they may know your love and support. 
Lord, in your mercy 
hear our prayer. 

Most holy God and Father, 
hear our prayers for all who strive for peace 
and all who fight for justice. 
Help us, who today remember the cost of war, 
to work for a better tomorrow; 
and, as we commend to you lives lost in terror and conflict, 
bring us all, in the end, to the peace of your presence; 
through Christ our Lord. 

Amen. 

An Act of Commitment

Let us pledge ourselves anew to the service of God
and our fellow men and women:
that we may help, encourage and comfort others,
and support those working for the relief of the needy
and for the peace and welfare of the nations.

All: Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind,
in the cause of peace
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful now and always. Amen.

O Lord our God, as we remember,
teach us the ways of peace.
As we treasure memories, teach us to hope.
As we give thanks for the sacrifices of the past,
help us to make your future in this world, until your kingdom come.

All: Amen.

Community

The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”

The Wardens of All Saints Totley have been producing regular newsletters with helpful links, thoughts and resources. The latest of these is here.

We have also started to add resources for the younger members of our church, to add to this virtual service. They can be found here, and here.

Close

Blessing  

God grant to the living, grace;  
to the departed, rest;  
to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth, and all people, peace and concord;  
and to us and all his servants, life everlasting;  
and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, come down upon you and remain with you always.  

All: Amen. 

 

Reminder: 
If you have any feedback on this service or any other ideas, suggestions or contributions, for future services please do send these to comments@allsaintstotley.church