Take time to worship - think, reflect and respond to God 
in your own space using ideas related to this Sunday's readings from the Bible.

Click here to head over to our Children and Young People's page for ways to explore this passage with young people.

It's two weeks to Easter and so our journey to the cross has just two candles lit this week.

We join a family whose life has been disrupted; Jesus didn't appear to be there when they wanted him. It's Mary, Martha and Lazarus. 

Let's focus our minds on God as we say these words of prayer as a call to worship.

 Holy One, like Lazarus we wait for rebirth,
for the brightness of life after death.
Two lights for two weeks.
We come to worship.
We follow Jesus to the brink of death,
and watch in awe for the signs of new life.
We, like Lazarus, are reborn, 
renewed, ready for action.

Our first hymn is a great favourite of ours, a version of the 23rd Psalm written by and led on the video by Stuart Townend. It's up to you whether you stand when he asks you to!

As the lyrics are not on the video, we've put the video onto this page this week and you'll have the words available too.

Click on the red and white boxed arrow to start it playing.

 

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me lie in pastures green.
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.

 

Chorus:

And I will trust in You alone,
And I will trust in You alone,
For Your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home.

He guides my ways in righteousness, And He anoints my head with oil,
And my cup, it overflows with joy, I feast on His pure delights.

And though I walk the darkest path, I will not fear the evil one,
For You are with me, and Your rod and staff, Are the comfort I need to know.

Stuart Townend Copyright © 1996 Thankyou Music (Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, songs@integritymusic.com)

A number of people across Scotland paused to say the Lord's Prayer together this week.

We say it together now. Click on the black arrow to be led, as during the week, by 

the Right Reverend Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

 

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

 

Our reading this week is from John chapter 11 verses 1 to 45.

You could use your own Bible or find it online here.

Click here to listen to the chapter being read by David Suchet

A Prayer for others and ourselves from the Spill the Beans material we've been using this year. Don't rush through. Pause to make it your own prayer.


Loving God, thank you for life, for all the people who bring joy to our lives,
for all the people who make us angry, for all the people we disagree with,
for all the people who love us.

Life is a wonderful mystery, given as a gift for us to savour.
Death is a strange mystery, given to us as a gift 

which leads us into the next phase of eternal life.
Facing death, our own or another’s, is difficult and something we would prefer to avoid, if we could.
Grief consumes us at times and makes it difficult to continue to live life to the full.

 

Hear our prayers, Lord, for the people who are facing their own death today.
For those people who are coming to terms with illness or facing long and difficult
treatments or investigations.
Lord, may they know your presence around them and within.

 

Hear our prayers, Lord, for the people who are already grieving the loss of a loved one.
For those people caught up in the anger and despair that loss can bring.
Lord, may they know your presence around them and within.


Hear our prayers, Lord, for the people who care for those at the end of life,
in hospitals, hospices and care homes,
for the doctors and nurses, the health care assistants, the porters and the clerks.
Lord, may they know your presence around them and within.

 

Hear our prayers, Lord, for the people who care for people in their homes,
for the staff who travel to their patients and provide a way for people to be at home.
Lord, may they know your presence around them and within.

 

Hear our prayers, Lord, for the people who live in places where there is no NHS,
where health care is limited and end of life care non-existent.

Lord, may they know your presence around them and within.


Hear our prayers, Lord, for the people who are forced to provide care themselves
for their loved ones, who struggle to cope with their own feelings and lack of experience.
Lord, may they know your presence around them and within.

 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers this day.
Give us patience to await your answers and strength to be the answer when you ask it of us.
Amen.

From Mairi

This is a passage so full of emotions, of pain and of disappointment. Mary and Martha falling at Jesus’ feet, the disciples confused, the Jews grieving and then we find the shortest verse in the Bible. It simply says “Jesus Wept”.

 

If we look deeper into the passage, we are faced with the question about how did Mary and Martha face and experience their grief and disappointment. In our world today there is much fear, uncertainty and disappointment as event after event is cancelled and we are restricted from seeing loved ones. How do we face that, is it with grief and disappointment or can we see it as an opportunity for seeing and engaging our lives and our world in a different way or do we see it as a wound that makes us retreat from engaging any longer?

This was a question that was continuously put to Jesus because don’t think for one moment that Jesus did not have disappointments or feel the pain in life. Yes, ”Jesus Wept” when His friend Lazarus died but don’t think he didn’t feel the pain of Peter’s denials, Judas’ betrayal, his disciples sleeping in the garden of Gethsemane, the world’s denial of him and so many other incidents. Every single disappointment and trial laid before him and us is ours to own or reject.

 

The choice of engaging or retreating from the world is ours alone. Jesus always refused to be stopped by his disappointments, instead he used them as means of entering our hearts and our minds, changing our lives.

My question is, are you prepared to take life as it is today and work towards something more positive for each and every one of us and for future generations? Because I know that by putting our trust, faith and belief in God we will come through this stronger. AMEN

Here's our final hymn. It's one of Charles Wesley's great hymns,

O for a thousand tongues to sing my great redeemer's praise. 

 

 

A blessing from Numbers 6:24-26

 The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 
Amen

A wee challenge for your "exercise period" this week.

See if you can find the verse quoted from this passage within the old church on the hill overlooking Blackford.

The Bible Study will be at 8pm on Tuesday in your house.

Email gordon.roy@outlook.com for a link to the Zoom online event.

Mairi will be leading Julian Crawfurd's funeral at Perth Crematorium on Friday afternoon. Only Jacqui, Emma, Andy, Gabriel and Nate are allowed to be there but we support them in our prayers.

We're also looking ahead to how to do the Hot Chocolate Youth Club online.

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday; look out for Palm Crosses around the village and for the cross in the church window. It's a symbol of hope and assurance. 

Both BBC Scotland and Colin Sinclair (see above) have used the series of readings that we use.

Click on either link for more reflections drawn from the passage from John 11. 

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