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January 24th - Living in a land of Shadows

Readings

Isaiah 9:1-4
Psalm 27:1,4-9
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Mathew 4:12-23
        From darkness to light
God is my light and salvation
Divisions bring darkness to light
Come, follow Jesus, the Kingdom of God is near

Hymns

        from Rejoice and Sing unless stated
229
286
367
558
600
Wild Goose Songs
Songs of Fellowship 346
We sing the praise of him who died
Rejoice the Lord is King
I want to walk with Jesus Christ
Will you come and follow me?
Christ is the world's light
Sing hey for the carpenter
Living under the shadow of his wing

Call to worship

The people who walk in darkness      HAVE SEEN GREAT LIGHT
We have lived in a land of shadows    BUT NOW LIGHT IS SHINING ON US
You have given us great joy O Lord   WE REJOICE IN ALL YOU HAVE DONE

Prayers

Prayer of praise - based on Psalm 27

to be said slowly and reflectively.

O Lord you are my light....

O Lord you are my salvation....

O Lord you are my comfort and my joy....

O Lord you are with me - and so I am unafraid....

O Lord you are my shield - protecting me from danger...

O Lord you are my cuddly toy - helping me feel safe and secure...

O Lord you are my guide - showing me just what I can do....

O Lord you are my shelter and my security....

O Lord you are my Rock...

O Lord you are my ever present help....

O Lord you are my Saviour....

And so I shout with joy that I love you
And so I sing that I love you
And so I praise you because I love you.
You are so much to me. Amen

Prayer of confession

We are truly sorry    FORGIVE US O GOD

United we stand but divided we fall.
And how often we fall O God.
With sorrow and shame we remember the divisions in our church
Divisions over the things we sing
Divisions over the way we make decisions
Divisions over the small details of Christian beliefs
Divisions over how we see the future
We are truly sorry    FORGIVE US O GOD

United we stand but divided we fall.
And how often we fall O God.
With sorrow and shame we remember the divisions in our families
Divisions over the way we should behave
Divisions over what belongs to whom
Divisions over personal space and privacy
We are truly sorry    FORGIVE US O GOD

United we stand but divided we fall.
And how often we fall O God.
With sorrow and shame we remember the divisions in our own lives
Divisions over how we spend our time
Divisions over giving of our whole selves to you
We are truly sorry    FORGIVE US O GOD

May your Spirit guide us and help us to be more united in love for you and for each other.

Everyone listen! Gather together and draw strength from these words. In repentance and faith receive the promise of grace and the assurance of pardon.
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
To all who turn to him he says - 'Your sins are forgiven'
He also calls us - 'Come follow me'
Let us follow our living Lord together.
thanks be to God. Amen.

Offertory prayer - based on Psalm 27

The Psalmist says
'I have asked the Lord for one thing;
one thing only do I want:
to live in the Lord's house all my life, to marvel there at his goodness.'
And yet he has given us many things.
Our lives, our world, his love, his Son.
And so with grateful hearts we offer to the Lord
our praises, our gifts of money and our lives.
Take them, use them, to bring all people to marvel at your goodness.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Prayer of intercession

Lord, bring them from the shadows, we pray,   INTO THE LIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

Jesus, light of the world, we pray for people who live in the shadows,
for those who live under the shadow of death...
for the people of Kosovo...
for those with AIDS, both here and in the nations of Africa, where communities are decimated by the disease...
for those with terminal illness....we pray for people who are under hospice care and those who nurse them...for those living out their last days at home and those who wait at the bedside...
for those who mourn for a loved one...those whose grief is sharp and raw and new, those whose grief is an old familiar ache...
Lord, bring them from the shadows, we pray,    INTO THE LIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

Jesus, light of the world, we pray for people who live in the shadows,
for those who live under the shadow of destitution...
for those who have so little to eat that every day is a struggle for survival...
for those who live in bed and breakfast accommodation or on the streets...
for those who have been brought low through an addiction to drugs or drink...
for those who feel helpless as they drown in a sea of debt....
Lord, bring them from the shadows, we pray,    INTO THE LIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

Jesus, light of the world, we pray for people who live in the shadows,
for those who live under the shadow of depression...
for people who feel trapped in their own world of sorrow and helplessness...
for those who are suicidal...
for those who see little in the future to give them hope...
for people whose poor self image leads to anorexia or bulimia or self-harm....
for families at their wits end over how to help...
Lord, bring them from the shadows, we pray    INTO THE LIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

Jesus, light of the world, we pray for people who live in the shadows,
for those who live under the shadow of division...
for couples seeking seperation or divorce and especially for children who find these events difficult to cope with...
for families who have fallen out and can se no way forward in reconciliation...
for the people of Northern Ireland, divided by culture even when they are united in love for you...
for the victims of ethnic cleansing...
at the end of the week of prayer for Christian Unity we are sorry for what has divided us in the past - suspicion, prejudice, fear of change - and ask your help in being your churches together in the future, both here in ........... and throughout the world.
Lord, bring them from the shadows, we pray,    INTO THE LIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

Jesus, light of the world, we pray in a time of quiet for those people and places who weigh heavily on our hearts today....
Lord, bring them from the shadows, we pray,    INTO THE LIGHT OF YOUR LOVE

We pray in the name of Jesus, light of the world. Amen.

Blessing

Let us go out to preach the good news.
The people who lived in a land of shadows can see a great light!
Jesus is Lord! The light of the world!
Come, share that light around.
And the blessing of God almighty......