Sitting in different chairs, joining in at different times throughout the day, God’s people still gather for worship on this, the Lord’s day. Welcome, to Sunday worship.
Call to Worship to say aloud
God of love,
as Jesus reminded his disciples
that love is always the answer,
receive our imperfect response and our lack of love,
receive our reactions and our worship today.
HYMN – Longing for Light
God, we love you,
we love each other,
and we love what you have created:
our planet, the people who look after us,
our families and friends;
all the things and people
that show love for us.
Love is the way that we know you;
we know you as the Creator,
as the Son, as the Spirit,
we know that you are always
with us, always in our lives,
taking care of us,
Your message is love,
your commandments are love,
so, we live our lives,
happy that you have promised
to be here forever,
because of your love for us.
Reading – John 14:15-21
HYMN – Make me a Channel of your Peace
If we love you,
we will keep your commandments.
An easy phrase,
a comforting thought,
but how we love to complicate it.
How do we corrupt this
simple message of love?
Love the Lord, your God, with your… all.
Love your neighbour as… yourself.
and yet, we find a way
to complicate it.
We make love conditional,
we reserve it for those
we remove it from those
who have wronged us,
we hide our love
behind walls, and borders,
in groups, out groups.
Love is given, not earned.
Love is granted, not demanded.
God’s love is free,
How can we live this love?
Sunday School Activity: For children and/or adults
Hearts Full Of Love
You will need: red wool, wadding or stuffing like cotton wool, stiff card hearts in a variety of sizes (two or three per child), scissors, fabric glue or strong glue or glue dots, A4 card, ribbon (optional).
Give each child a heart shape, a piece of wadding and a long length of red wool. Ask them to place their heart shape onto the wadding and cut around it. Attach the now heart shaped wadding to the heart using a small spot of glue or a glue dot. Now ask the children to take their wool and stick the end of the wool to the back of their heart shape. Show them how to wind their wool loosely around the heart in lots of different directions until the whole heart and wadding is fully covered and a red puffy heart has been created. Get them to tuck in the end of the wool at the back of the heart and glue this end into place to stop the heart unravelling. Let them repeat with another size of heart. The hearts could then be glued onto a piece of card to make a 3D picture or have a piece of ribbon attached to them to let them hang.
Talk to the children about love and how it feels to be loved. Talk about those who love them and who they love. Talk of how Jesus loves us even more than that and discuss how knowing that makes them feel.
Gifts Of Love
You will need: heart shaped sweets, love hearts or chocolates, little plastic or drawstring bags or small boxes, small gift tags, coloured pens.
Give the children a little bag or box each and ask them to fill it with some of the sweets.
Talk with the children about love and who loves them and who they love. Talk about how they think love can be shared.
Talk about Jesus sharing his love with us and ask them who they would like to share their Gift of Love with and why. Let them decorate one of the little gift cards and help them to write the name of the person to whom they would like to give it.
HYMN – Be Still my Soul
Prayer for Others and Ourselves
Ever loving God,
in the long years
since the world has seen you,
we come together in prayer
in the hope and assurance of
your commitment to us,
and the life of this world.
We pray for ourselves,
that we might be filled with
your Holy Spirit,
that we will be agents for peace,
in a world where conflict and tension seem insurmountable,
that we will be confident in your commandment
to go forth in love for you and each other.
We pray for our church,
as it continues to change,
to evolve, to seek out the
best way to follow you, especially in these virus days,
that it will be a conduit for your
promise to the world,
that it will work for your purpose,
not its own concerns of bricks and mortar,
or the dreams of past glories.
We pray for all those on the margins of
our societies, our communities,
and our interests.
We pray for those
who are cast aside by a world
obsessed by monetary wealth,
the eternal goal of so-called growth,
while those with the most continue to gain,
and those with the least continue to lose.
We pray for our world,
torn apart by fighting, by greed,
by disregard for the environment.
In particular we pray for all your children
who have been affected by war, disaster or disease
for families destroyed, lives lost,
dreams shattered and liberty denied,
for all those needing a friend today,
we pray that they will know your love,
and through your people
peace might become a reality.
In your love,
in your spirit,
in your life,
we pray these things.
HYMN Love Divine all Loves Excelling
We love God,
we strive to love others,
we worship God,
we share that knowledge
with those whom we meet. Amen.
Blessing: The Lord Bless you and keep you
Today you can watch the Church of Scotland General Assembly’s “Heart and Soul” live from 2pm on the Church of Scotland website www.churchofscotland.org.uk