FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT SUNDAY 10TH MARCH 2024

John 3:16 For God so Loved the World - Bible Verses To Go

OPENING SENTENCE
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his mercy endures for ever.

HYMN

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are 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 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

God, who is both power and love,

forgive you and free you from our sins,

heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,

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

KYRIE
sung by Dougie Byers

COLLECT

Almighty God,

grant that we, who are weighed down by our sins,

may be relieved and encouraged by your grace;

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
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
read by Andrew Ratnam

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Many Troubles

Psalms 107:1-3 Let everyone give all their praise and thanks to the Lord!  Here's why—he's better than anyone could ever imagine. Yes, he's always  loving and kind, and his faithful love never

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

Some were sick through their sinful ways
and because of their iniquities endured affliction;
they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
 and he saved them from their distress;
he sent out his word and healed them
and delivered them from destruction.

Psalms 107:17-22 Fools, because of their transgression, And because of  their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food,  And they drew near to the gates of death. Then they

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.

SECOND READING
Ephesians 2:1-10
read by Amie Byers

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

Free Saved By Grace Art Prints and Wall Artwork | FreeArt

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

GRADUAL HYMN

GOSPEL
John 3: 14-21
read by Reverend Steven Ballard

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St John chapter 3 beginning at verse 14

Glory to Christ our Saviour

John 3:16 For God so Loved the World - Bible Verses To Go

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”


Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord

SERMON

We Are God's Handiwork — Knit Pray Share

“We are God’s handiwork created to do good works”.

I wonder if you have ever thought of yourself as God’s handiwork. Think about what being God’s handiwork means! Allow those words to sink into your heart and mind! Imagine, the God who created the heavens and the earth and everything within them, also created you! The God who created the mountains and rivers, the God who created the whales and the ants, took exceptional care to create you! He made us with His own hands and oversaw every detail. We are no accident! God purposely created every one of us. He did so because He loves us and wants us to have a relationship with Him.

In the art world, many people call their finished work a ‘masterpiece’, and they go on to sign it so that everyone knows who the artist was. In a sense, God calls us His ‘masterpiece’, and He proudly puts His signature on our lives. It’s true that in the art world you can buy certain copies of a masterpiece, but the truth is, there’s only one original. In the same way, when God created us, He created us as originals, there is only one of you; you are unique! There is no- one like you. All of us have different personalities, different abilities, different gifts, and desires. God has constructed us to be something so useful and valuable to Him. He has made us for a purpose and our lives are rich in meaning. But what is that meaning? Mark Twain said that the two most important days in your life are the day that you were born and the day that you work out the purpose or meaning of your life.

When we discover our WHY, we will discover our PURPOSE – BUTTERFLY LIFESTYLE

Philosophers and scholars over the years have been exercised by this question – what is the purpose of our life on earth? This search for the purpose of life has puzzled many people for thousands of years, and Rick Warren, the writer of one of the great best seller books “The purpose driven life” would argue that we have struggled to find the answer to this question because we have started with the wrong reference point. We have chosen the reference point to be ourselves and have sought to answer a series of questions: “What do I want to be?” What should I do with my life? What are my goals, ambitions, my dreams for now and the future.” We tend to be self- orientated in our quest for the answer. This approach of looking within, contrary to what many popular books, movies, webinars tell you, will not discover your life’s purpose and meaning. You need to turn to the Creator as your reference point instead of self. You need to turn to the one who created you in his image to find out your purpose and meaning.

As we turn to our Creator, we learn that God’s motive for creating us was Love. The Bible says that long before God laid the foundations of the earth, he had us in mind and he had settled on us as the focus of his love. We are the focus of God’s love and the most valuable of all his creation. The Bible tells us that God is love. It doesn’t say that God has love but that God is love. Love is the essence of God’s character. There is perfect love in the fellowship of the Trinity, so God didn’t need to create us. He wasn’t lonely but he wanted to create us in order to express his love. God made you and me for a reason, and our lives have profound meaning. We find our purpose and meaning when we make God the Creator as our starting reference point. Without God life has no purpose, and without purpose life has no meaning.

God Is Love -The Message Of Faith, Hope And Love

As Christians our lives have meaning. In Christ we have an intimate relationship with the living God and our purpose is to cherish that relationship and become more Christlike. What matters is our character and our becoming. We long for our character to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and mirror that Christ-like love that is patient, kind, forgiving in 1 Corinthians 13. So, our primary purpose is worship God and become more like Christ, through our worship, our reading of scripture, our prayer, and action. Our primary purpose if you like is to accept God’s love and to love him back.

Our second purpose is that we are created for good works. The writer, whom most assume is Paul, is at pains to tell us that we are not saved by our good works, we are saved by faith for good works. We cannot earn salvation by our works. Salvation is only given to us through the acceptance of the work of Christ on the cross. Salvation creates us anew; it makes us alive; it shapes our vision; it directs our loving; and clarifies our mission and purpose. We are in Christ to do good works.

Morning Inspiration - CREATED TO DO GOOD WORKS! * bzioninspires

Good works for God- seems scary and we can feel that we are unworthy to do such lofty work. We fear that we are inadequate and do not have the skills or gifting to do the tasks that we feel God is inviting us to do. Remember Moses. Moses felt inadequate for the task. But God was not going to send him alone. He would go with Moses. So too with us. God never gives us good works and leaves us to ourselves. He will equip us. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” God will be with us and empowering us.

God has good works for us to do. “What are “good works”? Good works is anything that loves God and loves others. Good works draw people’s attention to the God behind us. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” You are recreated for good works. We as a church are designed to do good works. All of us reflect back on God so that He receives the glory.

Something of this glory was seen in a young boy who by his loving action mirrored Christ’s sacrificial love. A volunteer told this story from Stanford Hospital. she said: I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the colour returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale, and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?” Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood and he would die. He was willing out of love to give his life for his sister. Such an attitude mirrors Christ and the good works he wants us to do.

sacrificial love | SeekGrowLove.com

How do we know what works God has for us to do? We have three key sources to help us know what works to do. First, we can know what good works to do through reading His Word. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” God’s Word teaches us who we are to love- our neighbours. And who is our neighbour according to the story of the Good Samaritan? Anyone we come across that is in need. How are we to love our neighbours? Love them as ourselves. Scripture gives very practical ways to love our neighbours. How would we treat a neighbour that is hungry? Feed him. How do you treat a neighbour that is thirsty? Give her something to drink. Practical actions that are good works. What about our enemies? Jesus says to love them. How do we love our brothers and sisters in Christ? Love one another as Christ has loved us. He sacrificed. He spoke words of love. He did acts of service- even to the disciples who would betray and deny Him. As you read the Bible, God will nudge you to do something practical with what you have learned. He is leading you to the good works He has prepared for you to do.

Prayer – KS2 Resources – Be Inspirational

Another source to determine what God has for you to do is prayer. Talk with Him. Ask Him whom God wants you to love today. Tell Him you want to be a useful vessel for Him today. If we pray to be used by God, will He answer our request? Yes, because we are praying according to His will.

The third source to determine what God has for you to do is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works through reading scripture. He works through our prayer. And He works as we walk with God. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Walk and live are synonymous. As we go about our days, the Spirit will prompt us to do a good work. He will lead us to someone we are to speak with or serve or pray for. The key to hearing Him is to be sensitive to His internal voice. He will place a thought or impression to do something- often out of our comfort zone.

Come Holy Spirit Come – WorshipNOW Publishing

Each Sunday, when we come together, we have opportunities to do good works. Getting involved in a ministry blesses all of us. The church needs more volunteers in various ministries. One example, if that helps, is that we are struggling for volunteers in the coffee rota.. can you serve tea and coffee, or perhaps help with the cleaning up afterwards. Simple tasks are important ones that make all the difference. They enrich our fellowship. As we serve, we feel more fruitful and fulfilled.

God's Masterpiece – Praxis: Faith in Action

So, consider what good works in the church and outside the church are you being asked by God to do… don’t worry about what others are going to do and don’t be tempted to think someone else will just do it. The question is “what good works is God asking you to do?” Remember we are all God’s handiwork created for good works. 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

Gracious God,

on this Mothering Sunday

we thank you for our Mother Church.

We thank you for St John’s

for the faith and worship shared over the generations,

for teaching that has inspired

and for the wonderful fellowship shared.

For the blessings that this church and others

has brought to our lives, we are most grateful.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

St John's Dumfries – Harrison & Harrison Ltd

Gracious God,

we think today of those gifted

with the responsibility of motherhood.

We pray for mothers the world over

recognising both the joys and demands they experience,

the privileges and pressures, hopes and fears

pleasure and pain that motherhood entails.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

Mothers Day Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

We pray for single mothers,

bearing the responsibility of parenthood alone,

struggling sometimes to make ends meet.

Grant them the emotional, physical and financial resources they need.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

We pray for mothers who have experienced heartbreak

whose children were stillborn, injured,

or killed through accident or assault,

or struck down by debilitating disease or terminal illness.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

A yellow flowers in a glass jar

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We pray for those who are denied the joy of motherhood

for one reason for another.

We think of all who endure the trauma of infertility,

prevented on health grounds from risking a pregnancy,

or unable to establish a relationship

into which children can be born.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

We pray for those who foster or adopt children,

those who long to do so but are denied the opportunity

and those who for various reasons have given up their children

and who are haunted by the image of what might have been.

Grant them your strength and support.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

Mother's Day 2020: How to Spoil Your Mum at Home

We pray for those who long to discover their natural mothers,

those who have become estranged from them,

those whose mothers have died

all for whom Mothering Sunday

brings pain rather than pleasure

hurt rather than happiness.

May your love enfold them always

and remind them that you are their loving parent.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

Week of Sunday 22nd March 2020, Mothering Sunday - Little Gaddesden Parish  Church

We pray for everyone this Mothering Sunday

for their role in nurture and in caring

and for their willingness to exercise

their maternal side as well as their paternal side

in their relationships with children and others.

Hear us

Hear us, good Lord

Gracious God, you possess

the maternal and paternal natures within you,

May we who are made in your image,

celebrate these natures within ourselves

and reflect your maternal and paternal love to others.

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

May Christ give you grace to grow in holiness, to deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow him; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. 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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