SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 7TH JULY

Paul's Thorn in the Flesh - Daily Word

OPENING SENTENCE-

Our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he shows us his mercy.

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA sung by Billy Dewar Riddick

COLLECT

O Lord,
let the world be ordered in peace,
according to your will:
that your people may be free to worship you with joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God world without end. Amen

PROCLAIMING & RECEIVING GOD’S WORD

FIRST READING 2 Samuel 5: 1–5, 9–10 read by Robyn Brotherston



God Was With Him – 2 Samuel 5:1-5; 6:1-5 – Pastor Mandi

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, ‘Look, we are your bone and flesh. 2 For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The LORD said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.’ 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. 9 David occupied the stronghold and named it the city of David. David built the city all around from the Millo inward. 10 And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.

SECOND READING 2 Corinthians 12: 2–10 read by Margaret Morton



Growing strong in weaknesses” 2 Corinthians 12:2-10 | The Kingdom @  Glandore-Underdale

I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And I know that such a person – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows – 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Sneads Assembly Of God - “My grace is sufficient for you! 12 Corinthians  12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength  is made perfect in

HYMN

GOSPEL READING Mark 6:1-13 read by Rev Chris Wren

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Mark chapter 6 beginning at verse 1

Glory to Christ our Saviour

Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching.

Traveling Light - Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Livonia, MI

7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel.

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

On Surviving Your Darkest Hour | Blog | Think Theology

Some years ago, I watched the film “The Darkest Hour”. This film was deemed to be one of the most highly praised motion pictures in the last few years. It was released in 2017 and was about Winston Churchill. As one of the prominent statesmen of the twentieth century, Winston Churchill achieved what others only dream of. He courageously led his country, the United Kingdom, to fight against the tyranny of Adolph Hitler. As renowned and successful as he was, however, Winston Churchill had his struggles.

Churchill as a young man was confronted with two big challenges. First, he suffered a speech impediment–a lisp caused by a dental condition. But this did not stop him from becoming a celebrated public speaker. We’re told that he often wore an artificial tooth, designed to ease this impediment. He also avoided words in his speeches that he had difficulty pronouncing. Yet his speeches were both inspiring and motivating.

The second obstacle Churchill had to overcome was a mental health challenge. He called it the “Black Dog.” Winston Churchill suffered severe bouts of clinical depression from his youth until his death. The condition became especially severe during times of military setbacks. Nevertheless, Churchill wouldn’t allow this condition to stop him from carrying out his duties as Prime Minister. He believed the needs of his country came before his personal needs. It is most interesting that, despite his speech impediments, Churchill went on to become one of history’s greatest inspirational speakers. And, despite his depression, he was an inspiring leader.

Leadership Quotes from Winston Churchill - Manager Training

All of us have weaknesses. Some of our weaknesses are physical, some are mental, some are moral. Some of these weaknesses have to do with our work, some with our family life, some with our relationship with Christ. Some of us, for example, have short tempers, others of us lack diplomacy. Some of us are too proud, others of us lack back-bone. Some of us have an illness or disability that is our weakness. There are no perfect people.

Saint Paul had his weaknesses. One, in particular, caused him much heartache. We don’t know for certain what it was. He called it his “thorn in the flesh.” Some have suggested that St. Paul suffered from epileptic seizures. If so, he was in good company. Two of the most powerful men who ever lived–Julius Caesar and Napoleon–were epileptics, as have been many other great individuals. In St. Paul’s day there was no medication to control seizures. If that was his thorn, he was stuck with it. Although others say it was blindness that was his thorn in the flesh as in Galatians Paul wrote ‘See what large letters I am writing to you with.’ Others would claim that Paul’s thorn in his flesh was his opponents who caused him great difficulties and trouble. Paul had certainly more than his fair share of persecution, but whether that was his thorn in the flesh we will never know. We can only speculate about the nature of his affliction, but we will never know for certain.

Thorn in the flesh bible verse scripture & how to deal with it - Christian  Life Coaching for Professional Women

What we do know, is that this thorn in the flesh was debilitating and St. Paul prayed that God would remove it from him. Three times Paul prayed to God about this thorn, but God’s answer to him was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God was saying to Paul, “Trust me, Paul. I will take care of you. I can use your weakness to demonstrate my power.” And God did use Paul’s weaknesses in a wonderful way. Paul’s influence over the Christian community has been second only to Christ himself. No wonder. Look at how strong Paul’s faith was in God. He prayed three times about his “thorn in the flesh,” then let it go.

We can learn from Paul’s experience. Paul not only learned to accept his thorn, he even began to boast about this weakness in order to show the power of Christ. Paul, by God’s grace, turned his weakness into strength and so can we. Here are some principles we can apply to our weaknesses.  

Why your perceived weakness might actually be a strength - Leadership VITAE

A weakness can become a strength, first of all, if we do not give in to it. Winston Churchill once gave a speech to some school pupils and he said this “ Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!” As someone has said, “Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to.” It might be a physical weakness or a disability that is your thorn in the flesh.

I am not sure if you have heard of Wilma Rudolph. Wilma didn’t get much of a head start in life. A bout with polio left her left leg crooked. Her foot twisted inward so she had to wear leg braces. It took seven years of painful therapy before she could walk without her braces. She was 11 years old when, through sheer diligence and determination, she forced herself to walk without braces for the first time.

Her older sister was a good runner, and at age 12, Wilma started to think about running too. Less than 2 years later, she outran every other girl in her high school. A college track coach saw her run. He talked her into letting him train her. By age 14 she had outrun the fastest sprinters in her age group in the U.S.

Wilma Rudolph - IMDb

In 1956 Wilma made the U.S. Olympic team, winning a bronze medal. That, actually, was a disappointment to her. Wilma wanted to win the gold.  So, she motivated herself to work even harder for the 1960 Olympics in Rome–and there Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals, the most a woman had ever won at that time. Wilma Rudolph simply would not give in to her weakness or give up and she became a champion.  To think, this was someone who spent the first seven years of her life with braces on her legs in order to be able just to walk. She’s a good reminder that a weakness can by God’s grace become a strength, if we don’t give in to it.

Author Irving Stone spent a lifetime studying greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo, Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin. Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that ran through the lives of all these exceptional people. He said, “I write about people who sometime in their life . . . have a vision or dream of something that should be accomplished . . . and they go to work. “They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified and for years they get nowhere. But every time they’re knocked down, they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives, they’ve accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do.”

Never Give Up" Images – Browse 14,426 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video |  Adobe Stock

St. Paul had that kind of attitude, that kind of determination. Besides this “thorn in the flesh,” Paul faced many other obstacles in his ministry. He writes, “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked . . .” and despite all of that Paul never quit. He never gave up!

Paul’s experience shows that our weaknesses can become our strengths, if they compel us to lean on God and be dependent upon him. It would have been easy for Paul to boast of his influence on the early Christian community, but he knew that the glory did not belong to him. His weaknesses should have condemned him to failure. Only by the grace of God could he make his life count. And he did so in a magnificent way.

Depend on God. — Steemit

Isn’t that a beautiful metaphor for the life of faith? Frank Sinatra may have sung, “I Did It My Way,” But no one truly succeeds in life on their own. Self-made man? Self-made woman? It’s a myth. There are actually very few worthwhile goals in life you can achieve on your own. The truth of the matter is that true success only comes to the man or woman who realizes that, try our hardest, we are only truly successful when we realize that a loving Father is working with us and in us. That is the lesson St. Paul learned. Can you hear him testifying about what God had done in his life? “Look at me,” he would say, “I once persecuted the church. Look at me, a man who has to battle this humiliating affliction–this thorn in the flesh, and yet Christ has used me to plant churches all over the known world.”

Paul was a man of tremendous intellect. He was also a man of unquestionable persuasive powers. Perhaps if it had not been for his thorn in the flesh, he would have leaned upon his own ability rather than the power of God working through him. And you and I would never have heard the name of Paul of Tarsus. That’s the way life works. His weakness became his strength. And the same thing can happen to us–if we don’t give into our weakness, and if our weakness causes us to rely upon God.

That’s why Paul says: “I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians - So I Fix My Eyes

His antagonists were boasting about their visions. Paul however boasts about his weaknesses. He has learned that Christ is seen most clearly in his life when he is not the one standing on centre stage. When Paul steps back and allows God to work through him, that’s when things begin to happen. When we step back and allow God to work through us that’s when things begin to happen. When the church steps back and allow God to work through us that’s when things begin to happen. Only when the church recognises her weakness and her dependency on God, will growth come.

Paul discovered this wonderful and counterintuitive truth that when he is weakest, he actually has the greatest strength, because God takes over and works through him. Paul can testify that God’s grace was sufficient for him. Whatever our thorn in the flesh is, arthritis, cancer, Parkinsons, broken relationships, financial difficulties, or work relations, that weakness can ironically enough become our strength with God’s help. Maybe that thorn in the flesh after much prayer might remain, but by God’s grace this thorn in a bizarre way like Paul can

I Can Do All Things Through CHRIST Who Strengthens Me | Daily Inspiration –  Lisa's Thoughts

become a blessing, and may we like Paul say with conviction and faith “God’s grace is sufficient for me” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”. Amen

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME

Knowing that our loving God

supplies all our needs

let us pray to him now

on behalf of the church and the world.

Generous God, you chose to reveal yourself to us in Christ.

In Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit

we can draw close to you

through the privilege of prayer.

Help us to cherish prayer

and to never take it for granted.

Like your first disciples we ask

“Teach us how to pray.”

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

Generous God,

you choose to work your purpose and love

through us the church, your holy body.

help us to reflect your generosity

and to be your hands of love and care to others.

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

The Free Methodist Church in Canada | New Generosity Tools in 2018!

Generous God,

you never gave up or abandoned your people

but met them at their physical and spiritual points of need.

may we not forget or ignore those in difficulty

but generously help them

in whatever ways we can.

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

Generous God, you have blessed us with many gifts

and we thank –you especially for the gift

of education and technology.

We are grateful for the benefits they bring to our lives

and as we read and watch the news

help us to take to heart,

those struggling in different parts of the world,

and we lift them to you in prayer.

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

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Generous God, we pray for the Middle East

with all its internal turmoil

and ask for cessation of hostilities and for peace.

We lift to you in the quiet-

the broken and damaged countries

and communities in our world,

thinking particularly of Ukraine,

seeking your help, support and restoration.

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

Generous God,

we offer to you our homes and relationships

for you to generously work in and transform.

We offer you our meetings and conflicts

and ask that your will is done

and your love and kindness prevail.

Help us with out thorns of the flesh,

to lean on you and rely on your grace.

Help us to be people who never give up

and whose weakness you turn to strength.

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

240,009 Healing Stock Photos | Free & Royalty-free Healing Images |  Depositphotos

Generous God, we lift to you all

all who suffer or are heavily burdened;

hear us as we pray for their comfort and refreshment,

wholeness and restoration,

but above all for the consciousness

of your presence in their pain and your love for them.

In the quiet of our hearts,

we bring to you people known to us,

and ask for your holy touch and healing.

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

739,915 Heaven Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Generous God, you call all in faith to yourself,

be especially close to those

who are coming to the end of their earthly lives.

Prepare them for the heavenly place

you have for them,

and be with their families,

as they reluctantly let them come to you.

Give to all a holy death and a heavenly welcome.

Loving Father

give us our daily bread

Generous God, in

whom we live and have our being,

fills us with gratitude for all we have,

and help us to count our blessings

and give you, our praise.

5,902 Blessings Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

HYMN

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BLESSING

The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord:

and the blessing of God the Father,

the Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen

DISMISSAL

Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

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You can donate to St John’s by credit or debit card by following these links.

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Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

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