Church of England Diocese of Sheffield Stannington

Service outline and talks from March Explore service

13 Mar 2021, 9:30 p.m.

Explore service 070321: to be thankful for and receive God’s compassion as shown in Jesus

The Lord be with you

Bible readings Philippians 2:1-11

Question 1: ‘how did Jesus’ actions demonstrate God’s compassion?’

Plenary comments: God gave us Jesus who gives us all we need. Jesus gave up everything to be with us. Jesus took nature of a servant, showing us how to live. Jesus had time for people that society rejected. Jesus was willing to listen & was not bound by set rules. Jesus came alongside us as our friend – all you would want as a good friend (there through good & bad times). Jesus gave his life for us & suffered a cruel death for us.

Luke 7:10-15

Question 2: ‘in what way do Jesus’ actions show His compassion?’

Plenary comments: Jesus showed pity and did something: at the right place & at the right time, in bringing the widow’s son back to life. The woman faced destitution and Jesus met her at her point of need.

Clip: https://www.solas-cpc.org/does-the-existence-of-suffering-prove-there-is-no-god-andy-bannister/

Question 3: ‘What is your response to this and the comment, “only in Jesus is the beginning to the answer to the biggest problem facing humanity” – and in what way is it only the beginning?’

Plenary comments: Andy Bannister explains how Jesus is an example of compassion (suffering with – not just empathising with pain). Being a disciple is a start (the beginning) in following God & not an entry to a ‘quiet way of life’ (in a lot of ways just the opposite). Jesus came to comfort the challenged & challenge the comfortable (which includes us). The church toilet twinning venture is an example of us seeking to come alongside those in poorer countries without good sanitation to make provision for toilets & good health education. The children at church have supported this through cake selling & giving of their pocket money to raise significant amounts of money with support of parents & others in the church family. This is harder than writing a cheque & reminds us of the importance of ‘getting our hands dirty’ and that there is ‘pain in the offering’ of our lives. We were also reminded of the 300k step challenge for Christian Aid (more details in the upcoming March church magazine – available on the website) as a way of supporting those in poorer countries. Suffering with regard to mental health (not just physical suffering) was mentioned (a subject highlighted at yesterday’s men’s breakfast – support links are available) and this is an area which affect a lot of people in relation to the isolation suffered as part of the pandemic.

Suffering is a big issue to deal with and can seem overwhelming at times but God has done something about this in sending Jesus – we are called to play our part in this too & simply making a start (beginning) is important (not feeling we have to sort it all out in one go) being there at the right time at the right place. In this way as disciples of Christ we participate in the sufferings of Christ and God can help us grow as Christians through this – Romans 5:3-5 talks of suffering producing perseverance, perseverance, character & character, hope. And 2Corinthians 1:4 talks of us helping others with the help we have received from the God of compassion. In this way Jesus continues to make a difference in the suffering in our world.

Responsive creed:

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,

source of all being and life,

the one for whom we exist?

All We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,

who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again?

All We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,

who gives life to the people of God

and makes Christ known in the world?

All We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

All This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Confession

Compassion and forgiveness belong to the Lord our God,

though we have rebelled against him.

Let us then renounce our wilfulness and ask his mercy

by confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

We confess to you our selfishness and lack of love:

fill us with your Spirit.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess to you our fear and failure in sharing our faith:

fill us with your Spirit.

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

We confess to you our stubbornness and lack of trust:

fill us with your Spirit.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Absolution

May the Father forgive us

by the death of his Son

and strengthen us

to live in the power of the Spirit

all our days. Amen.

Collect

Eternal God, give us insight to discern your will for us, to give up what harms us, and to seek the perfection we are promised in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayers:

Heavenly Father thank you for your love, as seen in sending Jesus; thank you that we are never alone in suffering, and that you are always with us.

Please help us to show such love as we seek to care for others; please help all those who care for others at this difficult time.

Please help those in need to know your love, and that with you, they are never alone.

Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

Song: ‘Come now is the time to worship’

Summary: God meets us in our suffering. Jesus understands and is with us. Holy Spirit helps us to show compassion.

Grace:

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000) (including the Psalter as published with the common worship) material from which is included in this service, is/are copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000.