Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday Worship May 24

Links to our Sunday worship are below:

Morning Worship Podcast        Morning Worship Service sheet       Morning hymn words
Evensong Podcast                    Evensong Service sheet                    Evensong Hymn Words

View of Jerusalem from Olivet
Today is the Sunday after Ascension Day, which comes forty days after Easter. Ascension Day celebrates the moment when Jesus led his disciples out to Mount Olivet, the mount of Olives, which is to the east of Jerusalem overlooking it. It was the direction from which it was believed the Messiah would come to enter Jerusalem, and it was the same place which Jesus had set off from on Palm Sunday to enter the city. No wonder people were so excited to see him. They thought this was the moment when God would intervene in history, overthrow their Roman oppressors and usher in a new age of peace in which Israel would be recognised and honoured.
But Jesus' entry into Jerusalem led not to political or military triumph, but to the cross.

When he led his disciples there after the resurrection they must have thought that now, finally, the victory they had hoped for then was about to happen. Again, they had got it wrong, though. Instead of leading them into Jerusalem, Jesus was taken up into heaven, having told them that they were now the ones who would take Jesus' message out into the world, to Jerusalem and Judea, familiar territory, Samaria, a place which they normally avoided, since Jews and Samaritans didn't get on, and out to "the ends of the earth". The followers of Jesus were not to be an inward looking sect. Jesus had proclaimed a message of love for the whole world. Those first disciples, and many since, were called to go beyond their comfort zones to love others as Jesus had loved them. If they hadn't taken that call seriously, perhaps the message would never have reached the damp, cold island in the far, frozen north called Britannia, and we wouldn't be here today...

Ascension Day is a good day to remember the worldwide church and pray for its continuing mission of love (not least that it might be a mission of love, and not one of division and empire building!)

  • What is the furthest you have travelled? Do you have friends and relatives in other countries?
  • If you have a world map at home, think of the places you have links to through people you know or journey's you've made and pray for each of them. 
  • There is an online world map here - you can click on the countries to see them in more detail. 
  • What do you think God is calling you to do today? 
Our podcast worship today featured the hymn "All hail the power of Jesu's name" sung to a tune called  Coronation. We often sing it at Seal to "Diadem", a splendid hymn which breaks into two parts at the end, which always confuses the unwary... Sing along with this for practice! 
The words of the hymn were written by Edward Perronet (1721-1792,) who was the son of a Vicar of Shoreham, up the road from us. Edward Perronet was associated with the Wesleys in the early days of the Methodist movement. 

Ten minutes or so of peace. Prayers, guided silence and a Bible verse to reflect on each day from May 21 (Ascension Day) to May 30, the eve of Pentecost. 

All Age ideas

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