Songs of Praise

30th October 2022

Welcome and Introduction to our second Songs of Praise

Our first one found me being prompted to share some of the life of Charles Wesley – more specifically his mother Susannah and the role she played in her two son’s life, a real influence on them!

This time I’ve been inspired by another hymnwriter which we’ll hear more about a little later.

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but in the front of our hymn books there is a quotation from Martin Luther which says: “Next to the word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the word of God through music! So let us continue to make His presence glorious in our service today!

Prayer – Father God we come before you to praise and worship Your Holy Name, thankful that we are in Your presence, our Creator – just simply to be a soul in Your presence and give our hearts to You!

HYMN 1 - 1040

Come Now Is the time to worship

Psalm 95

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving

and extol him with music and song.

3 For the Lord is the great God,

the great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,

and the mountain peaks belong to him.

5 The sea is his, for he made it,

and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,

let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;

7 for he is our God

and we are the people of his pasture,

the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice

HYMN 2 – 496 – Tess. O for a thousand tongues to sing.

In the Mission Praise songbook it is suggested for Health, Healing & Deliverance so I thought a good one for this season of thanksgiving, our survival of Covid etc.

Also, because I love it!

Psalm 69: verse 30

'I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.'


Prayer:

Lord, thank you that I can come before You with joyful songs. All the earth will shout for joy to Your name! I praise You today because You have wonderfully created me in Your image. You are my Good Shepherd, and You will lead and direct my life.

Charles and his brother, John, became friends with a group of Moravian Christians as they returned by ship to England from the American colonies. One of the Moravian leaders was a man named Peter Bohler -- a man that the Wesleys much admired for his deep faith. Bohler made the comment, "Oh, Brother Wesley, the Lord has done so much for my life. Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with every one of them." Those words inspired Wesley to write this hymn.

HYMN 3 – 122 – Janet. Eternal Father Strong To Save.

Verse 1 refers to God the Father forbidding the waters to flood the earth

Psalm 104:5-9

5 He set the earth on its foundations;

it can never be moved.

6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;

the waters stood above the mountains.

7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,

at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;

8 they flowed over the mountains,

they went down into the valleys,

to the place you assigned for them.

9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;

never again will they cover the earth.

Verse 2 refers to Jesus’ miracles of stilling a storm and walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee

Matthew 8:23-27

Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Verse 3 references the Holy Spirit’s role in the creation of the earth

(Genesis 1:1-2)

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Verse 4 refers to Psalm 107

23 Some went out on the sea in ships;

they were merchants on the mighty waters.

24 They saw the works of the Lord,

his wonderful deeds in the deep.

25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest

that lifted high the waves.

26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;

in their peril their courage melted away.

27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;

they were at their wits’ end.

28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and he brought them out of their distress.

29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;

the waves of the sea[a] were hushed.

30 They were glad when it grew calm,

and he guided them to their desired haven.

31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people

and praise him in the council of the elders.

HYMN 4 – 674 – Marie-Helene. There is a Green Hill far away.

Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-95) was the composer of this extremely popular hymn,

Cecile was a Victorian Irish hymn writer who wrote over 200 hymns, characterised by their ability to ‘make theology picturesque’

She apparently drew her inspiration from caring for children and the sick.

Cecile had such great passion for children, to the extent that the proceeds from her hymn book went toward a school for deaf and mute children, which initially met in a small building on the grounds of her family’s property

She married Rev. William Alexander in 1850, he was a rector in, County Tyrone, Ireland.

Her beloved husband survived her by nearly sixteen years, but he was always proud to be known as the husband of the great hymn writer and this hymn was sung at his graveside.

Her work was also born out of a personal commitment to Christ-like service toward others.

She was remembered for carrying soup and other nourishment to the sick and poor in the most remote parts of the parish

She sent a man to school whose education had been somewhat neglected in his youth, and gave him a weekly allowance towards his maintenance out of her own pocket, and when he had made sufficient progress she found an appointment for him as a national school teacher.

As it was written in her hymn, she trusted in His redeeming blood, and tried his works to do.[2]

So in 1848, while living in County Tyrone she published a set of hymns, and three in particular: were inspired from the Apostles Creed

“All things bright and beautiful” links to the creed with “Maker of heaven and earth”),

“Once in royal David’s city” links into “Conceived by the Holy Spirit,”

and “There is a green hill far away” (which links to how Jesus “Suffered under Pontius Pilate,” ).

The green hill is Calvary, far away in both time and geography and Cecile would often pass by a green hill between her home and Derry, and she associated it with what Calvary might look like.

She summarized the thoughts behind her hymn as:

Lord Jesus took the sinners place.

The sinless Christ willingly carried His Cross to that "green hill far away".

He faced the sinner's penalty - Unparalleled suffering at the hands of men!

Unimaginable suffering at the hands of God! "What pains He had to bear!" He paid the sinner's price In the darkness of Calvary, at infinite cost, He 'paid the price of sin' and three days later He rose again.

Jesus did so much for us– but there is something that we must do and that’s to respond to His love: "We must love Him too". and

"Trust in His redeeming blood." because

"He died to save us all",

"There is a Green Hill" – is a hymn that tells an old, but real story.

Its good to sing and reflect on the words.

Its good to know the meaning.

But best of all, it’s so good to know the Lord Jesus as our Saviour.

Amen

So let’s stand to say together and share the beliefs and truths of our faith in the words of the

CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;

He descended to the dead.

On the third day He rose again; He ascended into Heaven,

He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN

HYMN 5 – 435 – Lord Jesus Christ. Trevor’s choice leads us beautifully on from this

You have come to us, born as one of us, Mary’s son.

HYMN 6 – 249 – How lovely on the mountains. Charlotte & Martin’s choice

Of course words straight from Isaiah 52

7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, They shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes When the LORD restores Zion.

9 Break forth, shout joyfully together, You waste places of Jerusalem; For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.

10 The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.

HYMN 7 – 907 – O God of Bethel. Neil’s choice.

Genesis 28:10-15.

10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[d] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

PRAYER TIME

Our vows, and our prayers we now present before God’s throne of grace

LISTENING - I give you all the honour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic0QYTxK0GU

Lord we do indeed give You all the honour and praise and we thank You that You call us to You.

We pray for our church here in Mirepoix, asking for Your Holy Spirit to move upon every one of us as we work to do Your will, to spread Your kingdom here in this town and build Your church. We pray for Martin and Charlotte, and for the Co-ordinating group, praying especially for the next meeting taking place in a few days..

Lord In Your Mercy – Hear our prayer

Father God I want to pray and lift up to you some of the business owners here in this town where we meet every week - praying for Gabriel as he recovers from his illness, for Christophe as he tries to build his business, for David who needs some of your wisdom, for Julie as she tries to bring together activities within the community of this town, for the Maire - for his responsibilities, asking for wisdom to guide the changes he is organizing which are often questioned and challenged. For Sebastien as he battles with the issues that surround him

Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer

And we take a few moments of silence as we name anyone on our hearts who is in need of your love, your healing and your grace

Lord in Your mercy – hear our prayer

We Say together 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 trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen

HYMN 8 – 445 - Shine Jesus Shine. Pam’s Choice

Shine Jesus Shine!

From Mattthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven

AMEN!

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all ever more. Amen


31st July 2022


Opening Prayer – Father God, we come before you this morning in praise, thanksgiving and adoration. As we lift our praises to you, we thank you for the gifts you give to songwriters old and new, for the many memories they create and the meanings they contain as we worship you. Amen

Welcome to our first Songs of Praise here at church, often we have gone to the home of Neil and Helen to sing our songs of praise for which we have always greatly appreciated the hospitality, fellowship and wonderful playing of Neil – plus the afternoon tea added by Helen!!!

As you may know the church is trying out how we can be church every week and for those months with 5 weeks we try and do something a little different! Hence our service today – so thank you to everyone who has chosen a favourite hymn – hope we’re not too hoarse after singing 8 of them this morning!


I promised Francoise I would not be doing a ‘sermon’ but just say a few words here and there together with bible readings for some of the chosen songs!

As I was planning the service, it became obvious that there is a link with the learning that we are experiencing now with Martin, what is church?

In one of Martin’s earlier sessions, we concluded that church is a community of those called out to do God’s will which made me think about when Jesus called out his first disciples

Bible Reading – Matthew 4 :18-22

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

‘The Chosen’ is a new online filming of Jesus life on earth and this particular scene is so moving! I’m watching it now and it just so brings Jesus and his teachings to ‘life’!

When Jesus began his teaching ministry, he began to gather those who would hear his teaching and then preach the message themselves. They would witness the many miracles he performed and then be witnesses to testify to them.

He went to the sea of Galilee, amongst the fishermen, normal working people, not priests, not educated professionals, not legal executives.

He chose these disciples to share God’s love in Christ with the entire world.

And God’s message through them has changed the history of the world and led to the establishment of the church

God chooses us to change us, and for us to then be an agent of change wherever we live, work or travel!

By his grace he has chosen us to BELIEVE in him as our Lord and Saviour, to STAND firm in the truth of His word, in spite of the wicked opposition in the world, to SERVE Him through loving those around us, and to faithfully and joyfully FOLLOW wherever he leads us.

Opening Hymn – I’ve chosen because it encompasses for me many of these callings

1. Opening Hymn: Here I Am Lord – 857

2. Diane’s choice - And Can It Be – 33

Romans 6:17-18 - Sue

Thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed

Having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness

I look at many of these wonderful lines of truth in this hymn, BUT the ones Diane shared with me when she asked for this hymn were:

My chains fell off, my heart was free

I rose, went forth, and followed thee!

ANOTHER LINK TO GOD CALLING US TO FOLLOW HIM

Charles Wesley wrote this hymn to celebrate the “amazing love” he had come to know just after he found his faith in God!

Thank you, Lord, that we can still experience your amazing love in our lives!

What do we know about Charles Wesley, his influences and his parents?

Every morning and evening I use an app on my phone to read God’s word, pray and learn many things – it’s from an English church called 24/7 Prayer and is called Lectio 365

You can either read the daily verses and prayers or you can listen to it being read by one of the leaders of the church! Its brilliant when sometimes last thing at night and I’m too tired to read – just to relax and listen!

This week, co-incidentally, there was a focus on Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley.

She was a formidable leader long before her sons rose to fame. She endured a difficult marriage to a preacher who was imprisoned twice! Her husband was a rector of their parish church in Epworth, but he was sent to prison for financial mismanagement. Their home was burned down twice and very tragically nine of their nineteen children died in infancy. She raised their remaining ten children single-handedly, seeing motherhood as a vocation from God.

With nowhere at home to pray very privately – and I would imagine she needed to pray very much for her difficult situation – she was often found with her apron over her head! The children quickly learned that mum was not to be disturbed when they saw her in this unusual posture! But she would pour out her heart to God, no doubt mourning her lost babies, praying for her infuriating husband and praying for each of her remaining children individually.

Her husband’s replacement in the pulpit failed miserably to preach the gospel so she took matters into her own hands!

She started a Sunday school for her own children in her kitchen, it attracted so many of her neighbours that it had to be moved into the barn. Before long, 200 people were gathering every Sunday to worship, to pray and to listen to Susanna reading sermons.

She developed into a world-class leader, educator and prayer warrior but her mission was always firstly to her own family and her neighbourhood. She devoted herself tirelessly to this task, praying faithfully for those ten children, teaching them all diligently, giving the three boys and 7 girls the same education for six hours a day. She also gave an hour of exclusive time to each child each week.

She was a housewife with a hard life from a small town in rural England but she became known as the mother of some eighty million Methodists in more than 130 nations today! The example of faith and religious reverence she set for her children inspired John and Charles to become powerful spiritual leaders, and to launch the Methodist movement

Praise God for Susanna’s calling!


3. Trevor’s Choice - Meekness & Majesty - 465

Ephesians 3 :14-21

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

4. Marie-Helene


He’s got the whole world in his hands - 225

Psalm 24 – Marie-Helen to read

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it

The world, and all who live in it,

For He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters

Prayer

Lord God, You created our beautiful planet – it is your gift for us to share but Father you also gave us the responsibility to care for, and to protect your world. Forgive us Lord for not owning this responsibility

As creation groans with the pollution of land, air and seas, with the effects of climate change, with the abuse and exploitation of the earth, help us Lord to make every effort we can to make a difference.

Lord in your mercy - hear our prayer


5. Neil’s Choice

When I survey the wondrous cross – 755

Neil’s words - Isaac Watts is the epitome of hymn-writing hero's, showing that the meaning of the words transcends the generations, definitely as real now as 300 years ago!

6. Helen’s choice

God Is Working His Purpose Out - 189

7. Dear Lord & Father of mankind - 111

Sheryl’s choice because of such great memories of the first hymn sang at her wedding to Bob in 1984

8. FINAL HYMN - Pam's Choice

How Great Thou Art – 506

What a wonderful hymn to finish our praises to God!

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin

Romans 8:32

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also freely give to us all things!

Chorus

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Psalm 8:1-9 – Helen

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory in the heavens.

2 Through the praise of children and infants

you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?[c]

5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]

and crowned them[f] with glory and honour.

6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;

you put everything under their[g] feet:

7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,

8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea,

all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Final Prayer - Sue

Lord God how truly great you are!

Psalm 86 tells us

All the nations you have made

will come and worship before you, Lord;

they will bring glory to your name.

10 For you are great and do marvellous deeds;

you alone are God.

Father God, we ask that Your Holy Spirit will help our church to focus our priorities on sharing Your good news, welcoming everyone to come to know Jesus our Saviour, and to experience just how great You are!

Using one of Susanna Wesley’s prayers as our own we say together

Help us Lord to remember that religion is not to be confined to the church, but that everywhere we go, we are in Your presence

May our every word and action have a moral content

May all the happenings of our lives prove useful and beneficial to others and to You

May everything, I encounter, give me an opportunity to learn daily and grow into Your likeness

Amen

The Lord’s Prayer - All


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 trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom,

The power and the glory

For ever and ever. Amen.

The Grace - All

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen.