Singing the Scripture
A playlist of music reflecting on this week’s readings to travel with you throughout the week.
Call to Worship
Into your presence we come,Source: Spill The Beans Issue 36
Lord of freedom,
remembering those who fled captivity
and found freedom in your sanctuary.
Into your presence we come,
Lord of forgiveness,remembering your Son’s gift to us,
and your gracious reconciliation.
Into your presence we come,
Lord of grace,
and we know your generosity to us
is beyond our understanding.
Into your presence we come,
may we lift up our praise to you!
God, we are here today
because you love us,
you made us, and
you want us to be your friends.
You have given each one of us
the skills we need,
to help make the universe
all it was meant to be.
From being kind and helpful,
to forgiving someone who has hurt us.
You sent Jesus to help us to learn
how to live and love each other.
Saying sorry when we get things wrong,
and forgiving others when they hurt us
are just two things we can do
to make the world
a better place for everyone.
Neither of these are easy,Source: Spill The Beans Issue 36
but life is not always easy.
Help us to try to do all we can
to make our world a better,
Prayer of Adoration and Confession
God of grace,
your love created the universe,
and all that it contains.
Earth, air, fire, and water
the traditional ‘elements’ of all life.
Every part of creation
made from the same
tiny atoms of life-giving energy.
Each one made with love.
You give us so much more
than we deserve,
and you ask only
that we love you in return.
You give us free will,
which allows us to choose
to say yes or no to your love.
Merciful God, forgive us,
for those times we chose to say no,
help us desire to say yes.
Father, you promise to forgive us;
to restore our relationship with you
when we turn and say yes to your love.
You invite us into a relationship
and desire us to play our full part in it.
You also ask us to treat the rest of creation
as you do, with love and mercy.
You have given us a great responsibility
over all creation and too often,
over millennia, we have failed to act wisely;
we have been greedy and selfish,
and have forgotten to care and share all that creation gives us.
Merciful God, forgive us.
Help us to seek to be better co-creators,
and to make the changes we need to
so that our world can flourish as it should.
Your son, Jesus, has left us the example
we can choose to follow.
Give us courage to want to choose his path.
In his name, we pray.
Amen.Source: Spill The Beans Issue 36
Prayers for Others
Sometimes we get stuck in prayer, not knowing where to start. Our lives may be filled with chaos, our hearts with pain and our minds with confusion.
At times like this, help us to remember to rest in Your presence as we seek strength and peace that only You can provide.
Sometimes we try to fix our lives or other people with our own strength and in all our hasty efforts, forget to let You lead the way. We may often get caught up in overwhelming situations that seem far bigger than we can handle.
At times like this, help us to take these situations to You and trust that You will work in our favour.
Sometimes we find it hard to accept our daily circumstances and physical conditions. We fail to see how wonderfully You created us and disregard how we can use the gifts You gave each of us to enrich our own lives and the lives of others.
At times like this, help us to find the strength to change our habits, to stop complaining about our problems and start being grateful for all the problems we do not have.
Sometimes You tremendously bless us with instant answers to our prayers, with great relationships, fulfilling jobs, and good health.
At times like this, help us to take a moment to thank You Lord and reach out to others who may be feeling less blessed.
Sometimes we fail to love others in the way You instruct us to love each other. You are slow to anger and quick to forgive, yet we neglect to do the same, even with people who are near and dear to us.
At times like this, forgive us once again and help us to be more like you…gentle and humble in spirit.
Merciful Father help each of us to lean not on our own understanding, but in all things acknowledge You and trust You. Absolutely resting in Your sovereignty and faithfulness. In Your infinite wisdom, lead all Your children in these uncertain times.
Continue to remind us of Your loving and healing presence. We trust that You are with us all and will watch over us wherever we go in our different life journeys.
In Jesus’ name,
AmenSource: Caroline Wallace
Set up a jar or a container of some kind.
Each day, challenge yourself to write down seven ‘wrongs’ from your life.
They could be recent things said or left unsaid, deeds done or
not done; they could also be world issues that worry you, or people you have an instinct to dislike.
At the end of the week, pray over the jar or container;
take to God your guilt or worry.
Then, if you have a suitable and safe way to do this,
set them on fire. Let them burn away.
If setting them alight is not possible, find another way of destroying them, such as tearing them up into little pieces and putting the little pieces in your recycling bin.Source: Spill The Beans Issue 36
Action – Psalm 114
Action – Build A Story
Put out your LEGO bricks/pieces for everyone to play with, build a scene from the story.
After you’ve all build something engage in conversation about what parts you each built and why, what do you think forgiveness looks like?Source: Spill The Beans Issue 36
Action: Kindness Charades
Hand everyone three pieces of paper, ask them to write one act of kindness on each piece. Fold the paper and place them in a bowl or hat. (There are some ideas listed below)
One person closes their eyes while everyone else looks at one act of kindness charade topic.
Everyone acts out the charade while the person opens their eyes and tries to work out what the act of kindness is from the different ways everyone else is acting out the clue.
Some examples you could use might be:Source: Spill The Beans Issue 36
• Try to act out helping some cross the road.
• Writing a card to someone.
• Delivering a prescription.
• Doing shopping for someone.
• Fitting a lightbulb.
• Digging the garden for someone.
Forgiveness is really hard. Both the being forgiven and also forgiving people who have done wrong to you.
- When have you seen someone forgive someone else? • Was it a small thing to forgive or a big thing?
- Was the person who was forgiven changed?
This story Jesus was telling had a small forgiveness that was withheld, in the context of a big forgiveness that was given. He wanted to say if you have been forgiven a big thing, then you should forgive as a response.
- Why did Jesus want the disciples to hear this?
- How are people changed as a result of forgiveness?
- Is it easier to forgive a big thing than to forgive a small thing? If so, why do you think that is the case?
The By The Well Podcast explores this week’s scripture readings here
The Working Preacher Podcast explores this week’s scripture readings here
- Exodus 14:19-31 Commentary
- Matthew 18:21-35 Commentary
- Romans 14:1-12 Commentary
- Forgiveness Is at the Core
The Rob Bell Podcast explored Forgiveness a while ago, you can access the episodes here
- Episode 38 – The Forgiving Flow – Part 1 – What it is
- Episode 39 – The Forgiving Flow – Part 2 – Drop the Jawbone
- Episode 40 – The Forgiving Flow – Part 3 – The Dog and its Vomit
- Episode 41 – The Forgiving Flow – Part 4 – Sending it Away
- Episode 42 – The Forgiving Flow – Part 5 – Power, Presence, Control and Surprises
Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness
If you ever get the chance, pick up Archbishop’d book on forgiveness, the internet is peppered with Tutu speaking on forgiveness, I highly recommend listening to what he has to say.