Welcome to the lovely town of Peebles, in the Scottish Borders.
These bells, which featured recently on BBC Radio 3, are in the
tower of the Old Parish Church, a congregation whose history
stretches back to the 13th century. These days, the Old Parish is
linked to other historic neighbours - Eddleston, and Stobo and
Drumelzier. All of us join together to extend this invitation to join
us in worship.
The congregations are (we pray) coming towards the end of a
period of vacancy, and this morning’s worship is led by Rev John
Smith, our Locum Minister. Today’s theme is “brought near by the
blood of Christ” - words from Ephesians 2:13.
Also this morning we announce that the church in Peebles High
Street will open for Sunday Worship for the first time in 66 weeks of
Covid restrictions. All are very welcome at the 10:00 am service.
More details appear on our website.
Online worship continues as usual meantime.
As the bells fade, we hear that great psalm of praise and unity “All
people that on earth do dwell.” This is the well known setting by
Ralph Vaughan Williams, sung by the choir of King’s College,
8th Sunday after Pentecost
May we honour, worship and adore you with every fibre of our being.
Father, we proclaim that you are the Holy One, the Lord God Almighty, who
was and is and is to come. Your beauty and majesty are beyond compare.
On this day we join with all those who worship and confess you as Lord,
from generations past and present, and with all the angels that sing in
heaven of your greatness and splendour.
Lord we adore you.
Lord we love you.
Lord we bow down and worship you.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
St Paul's letter to the Ephesians 2: 11-22
So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called "the
uncircumcision" by those who are called "the circumcision" --a physical
circumcision made in the flesh by human hands--
remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from
the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise,
having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been
brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one
and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.
He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances,
that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus
and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the
cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.
So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and
peace to those who were near;
for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens
with the saints and also members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ
Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy
temple in the Lord;
in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place
you call us to love and serve you with body, mind, and spirit
through loving your creation and our sisters and brothers.
Open our hearts in compassion and receive these petitions
on behalf of the needs of the church and the world.
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory.
Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world towards the Father's love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good.
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made.
God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
hear our prayers and make us faithful stewards
of the fragile bounty of this earth
so that we may be entrusted with the riches of heaven. Amen.
THE BLESSING and BENEDICTION
The peace of God which is beyond all understanding
keep guard over your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus
And the blessing of God almighty,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you - this day and in all the days to come.