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Worship Sheet for Sunday 1 August David’s shame

Nathan tells David a story about a rich man taking a poor man’s only sheep. It provokes outrage from the king who demands punishment. Bravely, Nathan tells David that he is that man! Sometimes we need a “story” or “mirror” to let us see ourselves as we really are. God gives us that in Jesus – and more than that in Jesus provides us with a way to change. Are we open to that?
Call: Hold a mirror before us, Lord. What image of ourselves is reflected back? A version of who we are edited to look better than it is, or an image that fails to show the glory of the true created potential behind the grime of fault and weakness? It is so hard to see that we share similarities with the characters of the bible who are flawed, yet also share with them the fact that we are eternally under your love and mercy. Today, let us find integrity in self-understanding, and comfort in the knowledge of your love for us.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Lord, thank you for the people you give us to help get our lives on track again, who are brave enough to bite the bullet and gently but firmly challenge us to take a good look at ourselves and our behaviour; for the stories, news items, videos and personal testimonies that call into question our contentment with life and failure to appreciate how we impact on others. Deepen our sense of responsibility, our regard for relationship not just with a few friends but how we relate to the world and especially the poor and vulnerable. Help us not just to point the finger at others but to take action to sort our own lives out – being guided by your plans and purposes and equipped to love and serve by your Spirit. So, once again we ask your forgiveness and the grace to forgive others and to change to conform to your Son’s love and in his name we pray together saying Our Father…

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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2 Samuel 11: 26 – 12:13a Nathan tells a story
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Thought- Educators have long advocated the significance of storytelling. Many of us can probably recall enjoying bedtime stories – not just the tales themselves but the time with the storyteller. Stories can foster relationships. Stories can play a part in helping grown ups to understand and reflect too. Nathan the prophet, chooses the medium of story to help David face up to his reckless and wanton conduct. He tells the tale of a rich man and a poor man. When he receives a visitor whom he wants to feed, instead of drawing upon his many sheep he simply takes from the poor man his one and only sheep that has almost become a family member. David is outraged and demands retribution, instructing Nathan to find the culprit so that he may be punished. “You are that man” replied the prophet. David is forced to face up to the impact he has had on others and concludes “I have sinned against the Lord”. There were to be ongoing consequences for generations but this, at least, was a beginning. Up until this point it seemed as though David was either unwilling or unable to see how his conduct was wrecking his own life and that of many others. We need to listen to “stories”, others’ input, sifting out the truth but honestly facing up to how we have erred and impacted negatively on others and towards God. We may not entirely agree with others’ diagnosis or prescription but we need to reflect and we need to act to conform to God’s requirements, accepting his forgiveness and readiness to work with us. What we can’t do is pretend that all is well and ignore the responsibilities we have towards others, the planet and God. Dare we look in the mirror? Dare we not?

Praise: CH4 567 Focus my eyes on you, O Lord.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Loving God, in praise and in hope, with eyes open to the wonder of your grace, we present ourselves before you in this building, in our homes, apart in space but united in your love. Be among us today, join us together in the radical spirit of change and new perspectives, shine your light on the possibilities and the potential for a different way through you. As your church continues to discern our path forward we ask for the boldness to hold what is good, and overturn what blocks our path towards service of you and each other. We pray for all those who bear the heavy burden of leadership, that they find the wisdom to serve all peoples; we pray for the isolated and the lonely, that they will find strength and comfort in you; we pray for all those who are ill that they will find healing in your love. And on this day as we strive to follow your Son Jesus, on the path of love for all, caring for ourselves, and each other, help us to work to see and to seek the change for which this world is so desperate. In our prayer walk this week we pray for those who live or work in Graham Street. SILENCE
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.