Sunday 26th June 2022
Hymn - Be Thou My Vision
Gracious and merciful God,
we gather in one heart and mind to pray for all families and individuals who have left or fled their country,
their land, their homes, seeking safer and better lives.
We lift up to you their hopes and dreams, their fears and anxieties, and all their needs and necessities,
and that they may be protected on their journeys, their dignity and rights may be fostered,
honoured and upheld, and they may be welcomed with open arms into generous and compassionate communities.
All these we ask, through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.
Hymn - God is our Strength and Refuge (Psalm 46)
Hymn- Thou Dids't Leave Thy Throne
What comes to your mind when someone tells you follow the Lord? How does it sound? How do you want to follow Jesus? When the time of His cross had come or His time on earth had come to an end, Jesus was heading to Jerusalem and had to pass through the village of Samaritans. But He was not accepted, because He was heading to Jerusalem (vv51-52). Many of us might not be accepted because we are heading towards Jesus, but Jesus said the world will not accept you because it did not accept Him. As long as we are following and heading towards Jesus, the world will not accept us. But will you stop there because it did not accept you, or will you continue as Jesus continued to Jerusalem?Jesus' disciples asked Him to bring fire from heaven to burn the people of the Samaritan village because they refused to accept Him, but Jesus replied to them: "don't you know the Spirit in you?" referring to the Holy Spirit which is a Spirit of peace. The Lord Has come to save people's lives and not to destroy them. This is teaching us that when our enemies do us wrong, we cannot do the same against them. The Spirit of the Lord teaches us peace. We cannot take an eye for an eye. We, the followers of Jesus, have to be full of love, care and peace to others and especially to our enemies – those who do us wrong.
A certain man asked to follow Jesus but he did not know the reality of following Jesus (vv57-61). He did not know that he has to carry his cross and follow Him every day. It's not about going to the church every week but it's about doing the will of God: each must carry his cross – we must show peace, love and compassion to others.
Jesus asked two people to follow Him, but they wanted to do other things first. They were very busy with other stuff and they were not ready yet to follow Jesus. This teaches us that we have to make a decision whether to follow Jesus or do other stuff.
A lot of us are busy with other stuff and have not given our heart, body, mind, family and even wealth to Jesus yet. We cannot serve two masters. It's either Jesus or other stuff. We have to submit to the Lord. The Lord doesn't accept us when we are divided between God and the world. Jesus said to the last person (v62) "No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God". The Lord wants us to do greater things; winning souls to the Lord. Are you doing this? Are you winning souls to the Lord? Think about it and start acting on it.
Written by Amira Abdulgader Musa. Originally from Sudan, she has been in Egypt since May 2017. She is the Deputy Director of Operations at St Andrew's United Church of Cairo Refugee Services (StARS).
Song - I will offer up my life
The Lord's Prayer
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
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
Hymn - Facing a Task unfinished
May God bless us,
our God, who called the world into being, who breathed us into life, who provides us with new strength.
May God bless us,
our God, whose love does not know borders nor walls, whose justice will come.
Our God, who casts down the mighty from their thrones and lifts up the lowly.
May God bless us, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer,
Translated AR, from Türen Auf! Gottes Volk kennt keine Fremden
Material taken from Church of Scotland Website service for Sunday 26th June