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Worship Sheet for Sunday 25 October – Love God and neighbour

Jesus is asked a genuine question for once – “What is the greatest commandment?” Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbour as you love yourself. We don’t like to think it but we’re pretty good at loving ourselves – with God’s help we need to get it all together and love God, neighbour and ourselves in an integrated, complementary way – in God’s strength for his glory.
Call: Loving self can be hard though we’ve had plenty practice. Loving others can be a pain at times though we know we’ve to try, loving God can be great but sustaining it difficult. Lord you came to share your love in all its fullness. Help us to accept that gift and love God, neighbour and ourselves.

Mini Service
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Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray: Lord, love is at the heart of our faith, at the heart of being human. It is so important to us, yet it can be so hard to sustain our love for you or our neighbour. Help us to remember that love is a gift – to be received from you and to be shared generously. It isn’t based on rights or deserving, ultimately it is undeserved. Forgive us when we have withheld love from you or from others – to prove a point or because we feel they don’t deserve it. Work your miracle of love we pray in us as individuals, in this congregation, in our community and beyond. May love for God and neighbour work together to change attitudes and actions and bring your purposes of the world and its people nearer, through Jesus your Son, who taught us to pray together: Our Father…

Read or print the Passage for the week by clicking this link:
Matthew 22: 34-46. The greatest commandment – Love God and your neighbour as yourself
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 Read or Print the Sermon by clicking this link            
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Thought: Although this is usually called a commandment, we need to understand that the ability to love in the way Jesus is talking about can’t come from our own resources. We need to be willing to work with God but we need his blessing to deliver on loving God with all our heart, soul and mind and loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. Love is a grace gift from God rather than the product of our efforts though real love will work its way out in practical and demonstrable ways. We need to look to Jesus for this kind of love. Secondly, love for God, for neighbour, for ourselves, all hangs together. Shutting ourselves away and just seeking to love God won’t work for we learn to love by loving, by caring and serving other human beings. And as children of God we need to learn to love ourselves in the light of Jesus’ love for us – not ignoring our own needs though not pandering at the expense of others. It is a whole. Loving God, neighbour and self in the light of Jesus self giving and costly love. In the sermon I suggest we need to look after ourselves esp when we’re all under pressure and that as we give thanks for harvest we should thank God for his sustaining us through these dark days and look to him for a harvest of love going forward

Praise: CH4 489 Come down O Love Divine v 1-3
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray: Heavenly Father, how different folks’ lives would be were they to appreciate just how much you loved them. Yes there is love in the world, but it bypasses so many; it’s is sold short, it is misused and misunderstood. Let your love, unselfish, generous, all embracing love in all its fullness be seen in your people, shown to our neighbours in thought, word and action. May your love transform us and our communities so that people will want to love you with all their heart, soul and mind and be equipped to go on to love their neighbour (wherever they live) as themselves. Not able to celebrate harvest as we normally would accept our thanks for the harvest in all its facets, for all who’ve worked especially hard this year with the pandemic in the food supply chain and all the other sorts of “harvest” that make our lives rounded. Bless the efforts of foodbanks, aid agencies, charities and other organisations who seek to love and care for those most in need. Help us to be more open in our understanding of “neighbour”. Bless those who are under real pressure all the more because of the restrictions – help us to be open about not being fine, and help us to get help when we need it. Guide those working to care for us, those seeking to steer a way through the virus dangers and give us all the resilience we need to come through together. In our prayer walk this week we remember those who live in Rue de Luzarches.
Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen Blessing May the Lord bless you. Amen.