Circuit Worship: 21st March 2021

Led by Peter Powers

If you would like to join this service of worship using just the videos playing one after another, you can visit our playlist on Youtube by following the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc2KHyGgDaLt4B9rowB424VjLKlqMGFyN

Welcome and call to worship

Hello and welcome to worship for the fifth Sunday of Lent in the Oxford Methodist Circuit. It’s good to welcome you as we gather for worship today, with the theme in our minds “we want to see Jesus”. We begin with our call to worship. We come into the presence of Jesus to worship him today. Let us make our church a place where all are welcome and all are included. We begin with Singing the Faith number 508, if you’re using the hymn book, the video with the words and music and those singing will appear next and that is Purify my Heart.

Hymn – Purify my Heart – StF 508

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OYoJB_wiGU

Opening Prayers

Let us pray. O God we come before you knowing that we are welcome in your house. A warm feeling stirs within as we direct our footsteps her,e knowing that our presence is wanted and anticipated and that you have good things in store for your children. Help us we pray to learn from you and be like you in the welcome we extend to others, for all people are your children, and whether they join us or we meet them in the places common to all, your welcome must show in our loving acceptance. Thank you for welcoming us as we should welcome others unconditionally. Yours Lord were the arms stretched wide on the cross a welcome to all in the midst of your agony. Yours were the arms spread in blessing after the resurrection. Crucified Lord, risen Lord, we adore you in your pain and in your victory. Your welcome ever the same, gathering us to you and blessing us and folding us in your loving embrace. Lord of all we thank you for giving your all to include us in your love. Help us to follow your example and to take up our cross and follow you. Make us ready to receive and welcome all who come to us, so that they too may see Jesus. Lord forgive us for not welcoming others as you do, for looking askance at the stranger in our midst. We confess that we are quick to note the differences between ourselves and others, but you treat all people the same. Forgive us for revelling in the presumed privilege of being your children. Help us to break down barriers to you. We cannot keep you to ourselves. Help us to welcome unconditionally all who seek you within these walls and to take your welcome wherever we go to be church without walls. Thank you for welcoming us back no matter what we have done; for that initial embrace that welcomed us, though we were sinners; for the forgiveness that greets us every time we turn back to you. Help us to embody your forgiveness in our dealings with one another and with those outside the flock. May our welcome be the sign of the greater welcome that comes from you. Amen.

Reading: John 12:20-33

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM6Ivj-MZyo

Hymn – Let us build a house where love can dwell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3Pb77ylz_Q

Sermon

Prayers of intercession

We now take time to pray. First of all, a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, and then we share our prayers for the needs of others and of the wider world in our prayers of intercession. Let us pray. Lord our God in covenants old and new you have held your arms open wide to your people, in the arms of a baby in a manger, waving in delight at strangers from near and far, you embraced all humanity. On the cross you held your arms open to the world. God incarnate, God crucified and risen, we praise you for all you have sacrificed to welcome us. Help us to give up our pettiness, our selfishness, in order to embrace others in the welcome that comes from you. Amen. And as we share our prayers of intercession, you’ll recognize the well-known response. When I pray Lord in your mercy if you would join in by praying hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who, like Christ, are ridiculed for what they believe, and persecuted for what they hold dear. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ put their lives on the line for others in the full knowledge of the risks they are taking. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ are beaten and abused, the victims of torture and brutality. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ are betrayed by friends and colleagues who run away at their hour of greatest need. Lord in your mercy hear our prayer. God of all we turn to you to pray for those who like Christ know their need of you and turn to you in prayer, and be with us now as we share together in the prayer that you have taught us of Christ. The lord’s prayer. Our father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Forgive us today 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 forever. Amen. And we turn to our closing hymn: Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew.

Hymn: Breathe on me breath of God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmkzSjs9eAw

Blessing

Thank you for joining us. It’s been good to gather together. You’re welcome again to our online service next Sunday and we look forward to Holy Week when we will have a number of service and worship opportunities for you during Holy Week as we approach Eastertide. A blessing as we go to the rest of our day. Welcoming God, thank you for the welcome that Jesus offers out of his great love for all people. Help us to follow his example, teach us to consider the needs of others, even when this means we must lay something down. Bless us as we meet with others. Day by day give us a spirit of welcome and friendship. As you welcome us, help us to welcome those whom you send to us and may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us and with those we love and seek to love, now and forevermore. Amen.

Organ Voluntary

Ciacona in E minor (Dietrich Buxtehude)

Kimberly Marshall plays the Fritts organ of Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

https://youtu.be/EV3yR_qDsmc

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