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This is Sunday 28th June - the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost. Today we are taking one more step along Abraham’s spiritual journey - and a rather tense and frightening step it promises to be.
But first of all, let us come to worship God. The bells of the Old Parish Church ring to bid us welcome.
Still, we cannot gather together in our building, but in our thoughts we can remind ourselves that we are part of God’s family. Ready to praise and pray and call upon God’s holy name, as we invite him into our hearts. This day, and all our days..
Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
(click on picture for bigger image)
Loving Father, we bring before you the week that has gone,
With its ups and downs, its kindnesses and faithful goodness,
Its mixture of the regular and the surprising.
If there were moments of great happiness.
Or great sadness, or both,
We bring them all to your strengthening comfort
And healing mercy.
We ask you to confirm whatever is good and useful in our experience,
And to transform or take away
The things that are harmful and wrong.
We offer this prayer
In the name and Spirit of Jesus Christ,
In whom the holiest in the height
Touched our hearts
And shared our joys and sorrows
THE LORD’S PRAYER
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And
he said, "Here I am."He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you."
So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two
of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the
burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God
had shown him.
On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. Then
Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I
will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you."
Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac,
and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on
together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Here I
am, my son." He said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the
lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, "God himself will provide the
lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.
When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an
altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid
him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand
and took the knife to kill his son.
But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said,
"Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am.” He said, "Do not lay
your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear
God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns.
Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering
instead of his son.
So Abraham called that place "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this
day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
by Rev John Smith
Thank you, Father, for your immense graciousness to us in giving us your
Son, your Only Son, Jesus, as the sacrifice for our sins. How can we say
"Thank you" in any adequate way? Help us to trust you as did your
servant Abraham, with the things most precious to us. We thank you for
your blessing of grace, unearned and undeserved. In Jesus' name, we
PRAYER IN TIME OF CRISIS
In the midst of a storm,
You said, ‘Peace be still.’
Bid our anxious fears subside,
Sustain your church in faith, hope and love,
Bring our nation, and our world through this tumult, Grant wisdom to those with heavy responsibilities, And healing and hope to those who are infected. Amen.
God’s promises endure from generation to generation.
May the God of Abraham and Sarah,
the God who sent Jesus to redeem us,
the God whose covenant is eternal,
bless you and make you fruitful.
And may that same blessing of Father, Son and Spirit continue with you this day, and in all the days to come.