Sunday 25th October 2020
Sunday morning worship at 11.15 am – Rev Marie Dove – ‘Harvest of the Sea’
Sunday evening worship at 6 pm – Rev Ian Greenfield
Worship Service – The Revd. John Fisher 11.10.20
(For home worship on 18th October)
Order of Service
Hymn: 88 – Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
Psalm 148 – Come, let us with our Lord arise
Hymn: 365 – Jesu, the joy of loving hearts
Exodus 32: 1-14
Hymn: 473 – ‘Moses, I know you’re the man’
Hymn: 250 – Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult
A Morning Prayer
Lord of heaven and earth, space and time, we offer you our praise and worship.
Meet with us afresh through our being here today.
Meet with us now and speak through the words we will hear, the hymns we will read, the
prayers we will offer and the fellowship we will share.
In these sacred moments teach us more of what it means to follow Jesus, challenge us where
we are lacking, forgive us where we resist your will, correct us where we have gone astray
and instruct us where we need guidance.
Open our hearts and help us to glimpse your light, love, grace and truth as you have shown us
in Jesus Christ your Son, our Saviour and Lord. Amen
“Moses, I know you’re the man, The Lord said”
And what a man! His story has been the subject of our Old Testament lectionary readings
from the Book of Exodus in recent weeks – his rescue as an infant from the bulrushes- his
encounter with God by the burning bush – his leading of the slaves out of Egypt.
Today’s reading from Exodus 32 is preceded by yet another significant episode in Moses’s
life – his going up the mountain to receive “the tablets of stone” – the Ten Commandments.
And at this point in the Exodus story we have two different scenes playing out
simultaneously – in one Moses is at the top of Mount Sinai after forty days and nights in
which he has been receiving instructions from God – and in the other the Israelites are at the
base of the mountain becoming restless, having begun to doubt that Moses will ever return.
And the contrast between what is happening at the top of the mountain and what is happening
at the bottom could not be greater! Disobedience and Dis-satifaction
After 40 days and nights the people’s anxiety about Moses’ absence appears to have gone
into overdrive! Maybe he had disappeared or perhaps he was dead!
Before this moment, the people have struggled to know that God was in their midst.
Moses had been their living link to the Divine Presence that eluded their senses.
They say to Aaron, “come make us gods to go ahead of us” – make us something we can see –
make us something that is both visible and tangible that will lead us through the desert.
It was supposed to be an image of the distant, faceless God they couldn’t picture.
As such it represented their frustration at not being able to touch or see the One who had
hitherto been both powerfully present and strangely elusive!
And in asking Aaron to make the golden calf – an idol they could turn to – an image they
could follow – they were brazenly denying their God who had called them by name and who
had led them out of slavery toward freedom.
The question raised by the people’s disobedience and disloyalty in creating a graven image –
is what is there in our own lives that obscures our view of God – that clouds our vision – that
mars our faith and commitment to him?
What are the idols – the things that take pride of place in our lives that would distract us from
our true goal as Christians?
How often have we sung William Cowper’s lovely hymn “O for a closer walk with God” and
“The dearest idol I have known, Blessing.
To God’s gracious care and protection we commit you,
Go in His peace. Amen
Whate’re that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only Thee “
And likewise Mrs Alexander’s hymn “Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult”
“Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying: Christian, love me more!”
Idols – the things that obscure our view of Christ – idols that hinder our communion with
Christ – idols that deflect us from the way of Christ.
Every idol – every obstacle that hinders our devotion to Christ must be repudiated and
Intercession and Revelation
The Psalmist, on more than one occasion, tells us that God is “slow to anger” but not on this
His anger is seen by Moses who is instructed to, “Go down at once!” For God has “seen how
stiff-necked they are” seen that “they are a stubborn people” and resolves to punish them.
But then on the mountain top we see how great a man Moses was – we note how close the
bond between him and his God – in the following chapter we read, “The Lord spoke unto
Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”
Surely that is the true nature of prayer? To feel at ease in God’s presence – to converse with
him as you would converse with a close friend. To have such an intimacy with him that
enables you to share whatever fears and concerns you may have.
It was as the friend of God – as one who was at ease in God’s presence – that Moses pleads
on behalf of the people God – that he implores him to change his mind and not bring disaster
on the people.
In contrast to the impatience and fickleness of the people at the foot of the mountain – there
on the mountain top we see the power of intercessory prayer – Moses appealing to God’s
sense of justice and redeeming grace.
Moses reminds God of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “I will multiply your
descendants like the stars of heaven”
His pleading – his intercession on behalf of God’s erring people is successful – for we read,
“The Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.”
Prayer doesn’t necessarily lead to our changing God’s mind – not does it always mean getting
what we want.
For the friends of God prayer always means a greater understanding of God!
As Moses continued his conversation with God so he slowly begins to discover the true
nature of the God who is his friend – as One who is, “slow to anger and abounding in
steadfast love and faithfulness…”
Intercessions – Homelessness Sunday
Lord Jesus Christ, So often during your ministry you had nowhere to lay your head.
On this day make us mindful, of those who walk the streets, young people who have run
away from home, those who have dropped out of society, the mentally ill, victims of abuse,
the poor and destitute, alcoholics and drug addicts.
Bless the work of churches, charities, hostels and agencies, all who strive to provide food and
shelter, and who offer prospect of new beginnings. Teach us where and how we can best
respond to others
In the name of him for whom there was no room in the inn and began his life as a refugee.
Beginning of Prisons Week
We pray, for those whose freedom has been taken from them, for those who have strayed into
a life of crime, prisoners on remand, those serving their sentences, for all whose vision of
your world is seen through bars, and in whose heart the lamp of hope burns low.
Make known to them your unchanging love, and turn their hearts to yourself in true
repentance. We pray for all who work in our prisons, whether as officers and governors,
social workers, probation officers or chaplains. Grant them your protection, and help them in
all they do to be firm and fair.
Finally, we pray for all who are imprisoned for their faith or conscience sake, for those who
have experienced a miscarriage of justice, for those wrongly imprisoned. Help them to come
to terms with their experience and to receive proper recompense.
In the name of him who bore all our sins and failings upon the tree. For ourselves, the Church
and the world. Amen
To God’s gracious care and protection we commit you,
Go in His peace. Amen
Val Emmersons Contact details
Further details of Church Activities and events are available on the SJB Website.
Just Google—Bridlington Methodist Church