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 – parts in bold to be said aloud
The seed is sown and the crop is grown.
Come, Lord, strengthen us as we grow in you.
The rain hydrates and the sun radiates.
Come, Lord, quench our thirst
in the warmth of your love.
The land is tilled and the flour milled.
Come, Lord, refine us by your Spirit.
Come let us worship the Living God
as the seed of the Word is sown
here with us today.
HYMN – All Things Bright and Beautiful
God, we thank you:
for the farmers who sow the seeds,
for the millers who grind them into flour,
for the bakers who make the flour into bread,
for us to eat and enjoy.
We pray for people in poorer countries,
and even here in our parish of Newbattle
who do not have enough to eat
especially the children and families referred to our Newbattle Storehouse Foodbank.
Help us to be generous,
and to share what we have with them.
If our world is a field, and we are like farmers
sowing the seed and looking after it,
help us to do our work well.
May we sow seeds of kindness and goodness,
gentleness and love, and wait patiently,
to bring in a rich harvest of joy.
Reading: Matthew 13 v 1-9, 18-23 read by Susan Cochrane
HYMN – For the Beauty of the Earth
Sunday School Activities for all ages:
What Might Grow?
You will need: many different types of seeds (mustard,sunflower, pumpkin, variety of flowers, and so on), pictures of the plants that will grow from them. Note: use child-friendly seeds and ensure children do not try to eat them!
Gather together seeds of different sizes, shapes, and varieties and let the children explore them. Encourage the children to think what might grow from each type of seed, how tall the plant might be, and what it might look like when it is fully grown.
Share some pictures of the mature seeds with the children to let them see if they were accurate in their thinking. Then have a discussion together about what the seeds need to grow to maturity. Use this as a way into the story.
Sowing Post-Its Of Love
You will need: Post-It notes, pens.
Ask each person to write encouraging words of love on three or four post-it notes. Brainstorm creative ways of sharing these notes with the congregation, friends, or family.
God calls us to share the love that Christ sows.
HYMN – Morning has Broken
Prayer for Others and Ourselves
God of wanton grace and abundant love,
we give thanks for all the good gifts
you have showered upon us:
in each other,
and especially in Jesus,
whose stories help us to see the world differently;
whose life was the living embodiment of your love;
whose death was a seed which is bearing harvest still.
We pray for farmers, who work night and day,
to bring produce from the land:
those in poor lands
who struggle to survive;
those in rich places
who feel isolated and lonely,
and whose future is also insecure.
God who scatters love as generously on your world
as the farmer scattered seed on the land,
we give thanks for all that enabled us to grow and thrive,
if we were fortunate: in body, mind and soul.
We pray for children
who do not have the nurture they need in early years,
and for parents
who cannot provide what they did not know.
God of love, make up every deficit of love, we pray,
and enable us to be co-workers in this field.
In an age when not just seeds are broadcast,
but images and sounds,
news and opinions,
helpful information and cruel lies,
we give thanks for all the good and vital connections,
that social media has made possible,
but pray also for those who have been harmed
by something with so much potential for good.
We pray for young people
concerned already about the future of the planet,
who must now be wondering even more,
what sort of life lies ahead for them and their children;
and for older people,
forced to question all that they thought was secure.
May we find our security and our hope in you,
whose love is in all, and for all,
and available always in plentiful supply.
HYMN – We Plough the Fields and Scatter
Prayer of Dedication
Most generous God,
you lavish your love upon us and all people:
with no thought to who deserves it,
and no guarantee that it will be returned.
You give: it is what you do.
You love: it is who you are.
We call ourselves your people,
and we want to be more like you.
Help us to cast caution to the wind,
along with our gifts of substance, love, and action;
then let us wait to celebrate with you,
when the harvest comes in. Amen.
Go and sow,
go and scatter,
go and spread
the Word of God is for the world;
the Word of God is the song of love for all. Amen