Categories
Video Worship

Sunday Worship

The service is led by Rev. Peter Nimmo, our new Minister at Cambuslang Parish Church, with a bible reading from Anne Scott which has been recorded observing social distancing guidelines.

Please join us for Worship.

The music this week is from the Music Group. The Communications Team, AV Team, Music Group and Piggery Brae have all contributed greatly to the production of these videos. We hope you enjoy. Auto-generated Closed Captions are available.

Hello, and welcome to this Sunday ’s church service from Cambuslang
Parish Church. It’s great to have you join us, either via the internet, or if
you’re listening on CamGlen Radio.

I’m Peter Nimmo, your new minister, and this is the first service I have
done for Cambuslang. I t’s been recorded before my induction, so I’m sitting in my former home in Inverness to record this, but by the time you see or hear this, I should be settling into my new manse in Cambuslang.

In this service you will hear some more familiar voices the Cambuslang
worship band, and from Ann Scott, who will be reading Scripture for us.

If you want to read along, the Bible passages are: Psalm 13; and from the
Gospel of Matthew, chapter 10, reading from verses 40

In today’s service, we have two hymns. They can be found in the Church
Hymnary, Fourth Edition. They are: Hymn 623 Here in this place (also known as ‘Gather us in’ and 157 Sing of the Lord’s goodness.

I should add that everybody recorded their parts in their own homes, and
we mix them together by computer magic. Thanks to all our participants
today!

The ‘place’ referred to in the hymn is usually a church building, but of
course, we aren’t gathering in our church building, today. I t will be a wee
while, before we can gather there safely.

But I hope that, wherever you are as you join us for worship, new light will shine whether it’s your front room, or you kitchen table, or wherever you
are. For we are still gathering together, thanks to the wonders of technology, we are gathering to worship a God who cannot be limited to any particular place or time.

And as the last verse of the hymn reminds us, God’s light can shine in all
sorts of places:

Not in the dark of buildings confining
Not in some heaven light years away
But here in this
place the new light is shining
Now is the kingdom, now is the day

Let us pray.

O God of time and eternity-
creator of all that is,
beyond our imagining
and yet present to each person who call on you-
in our different places,
yet united by our faith in Christ
we worship you today.

In peace, and in the quietness of your holy presence,
we would be still
and know that you are God.

In silence,
we would draw near to you
as you draw near to us,
and be aware of your hidden, vulnerable presence
in our lives.

We do not worship in order to boast of our faith
or brag about our commitment, O God,
for we know how weak and wayward we are,
and how easily seduced we are
by the ways of the world.

Nor do we come to you
to showcase our achievements
or speak of our success,
for we are all too conscious
of what we have failed to do
and the people we’ve let down.

Rather, we come before you now,
in the hidden, but very real presence
of all those others who are worshipping with us:
our friends, our church family,
even people we do not know
but united in praise and prayer.

For we rejoice in that grace
which is sufficient for all our needs,
and we celebrate the love
we cannot fall beyond,
and we seek to be drawn again
into your purposes of good for all our lives.

So we would fix our eyes,
not on the things that are seen
which are passing away,
but on the unseen things which are eternal.

We would focus on the Jesus
who is the author and finisher of our faith,
learn of his ways and be wise,
and thereby come to know
the things that make for our peace,
today and all the days of our lives.
So, let it be, for your love’s sake.

Amen.

So, how are you doing? Are you coping with lockdown? Have you been able to take advantage of some of the easing of the lockdown, perhaps to see family and friends in the flesh for the first time in a long time? Or are you shielding, still unable to leave the house you’ve been stuck in for months? Or maybe you have to go to work, but always with the nagging worry that by doing so, you are exposed to risk much more than normally.

It’s all going on a lot longer than we expected. Yet most of us do not complain, because we have to do all this, not just for our own safety, but also for the safety of others. For this coronavirus is a nasty disease. As some of you may well know, if you have suffered from it yourself, or know people who have. And especially if you have lost family or friends, to something we had never heard of six months ago.

How much longer, Lord, we wonder, echoing the cry of the writer of Psalm 13. This Psalm is what is known as a ‘Psalm of Lament’. The Psalmist feels that God has forgotten him, that God is hiding for him. For he is beset with many troubles, he feels great sorrow, his enemies seem to be getting the upper hand, and he cries, ‘How long, O Lord?’

We have all known moments- or even seasons- of despair. And if you are in a dark place, it can be hard to make other people understand just how you are feeling. Who can come with me into that dark place? With whom can I share feelings I hardly understand myself?

That’s why the ‘talking cure’ is really important. If we can get past the pleasantries and gossip which takes up so much of our conversation, then perhaps we can get to the level of sharing how we are really feeling. Whenever we feel like the Psalmist, wondering how long our troubles will endure, it is always, as they say, ‘good to talk’.

And you are also doing a good thing if you are able to listen. Do you know someone who could do with sharing what’s on their mind? Can you lend your ear to a worried child, a harassed parent, an anxious elderly person? Is there someone you need to phone today? In this time of physical separation, it’s important for us to be talking and listening to one another. It can literally be a life saver.

Whoever wrote Psalm 13 had someone they can talk to. They felt that God had forgotten them, was hiding from them, and yet the Psalmist wants to talk to God. The seeming absence of God doesn’t turn the Psalmist into an atheist- instead, it has them demanding that God hears their case: ‘Look at me, O LORD my God, and answer me!’ they cry.

Sometimes we think that we always need to be nice to God. We pray as if it would be wrong to raise our voices. We don’t want to accuse God of not playing fair with us. So that ‘look at me!’ in Psalm 13 might seem a bit jarring.

Yet the Bible has a number of instances of people wrestling with God, asking God to justify what is happening to them. That’s what these Psalms of Lament are about. There is an entire book, the book of Job, about a man who has experienced disaster, who demands an explanation from God. And Jesus, dying on the cross, experiences a sense that God is absent or hiding, as he cries out in the words of another Psalm of Lament, Psalm 22: ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’

It’s OK to be angry with God. It’s not uncommon to feel that God is hiding. There is nothing wrong with feeling that it’s all too much, and taking that feeling to God, even when God is absent. For we all have times when our faith seems a bit shaky. None of that is unchristian; in fact, it’s completely Biblical. We cry out to God, not because we don’t believe in God, but because God is God, and the ultimate court of appeal to those seeking justice, and the ultimate ground of our hope.

I rely on your constant love;
I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
I will sing to you, O LORD,
because you have been good to me.

Psalm 13

Our short text from Matthew’s Gospel today comes at the end of a section of the Gospel when Jesus is speaking of discipleship and service. He has called on them to hold fast to his teachings, to speak up about their faith in him, to love Christ more than anything else. In fact, right before the passage that Ann read, Jesus says,

Those who do not take up their cross and follow in my steps are not fit to be my disciples. Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.

Jesus does not claim that it will be easy being a disciple. We can easily be led astray, and put our faith in something less. But that would be stupid, because God is the only real source of hope.

And so, Jesus says to the first disciples: if someone welcomes you, they welcome me, because it was me who sent me. To give hospitality to a disciple to welcome Christ himself: give even a drink of cold water to one of Jesus’ followers, and you will be rewarded.

The reward, I think, is knowing the presence of Christ among us. What’s hard for us at the moment is being separated from one another. Our buildings lie empty, but I suspect that, for most people, it is not the buildings themselves we miss, but what usually goes on inside them. A church building is a meeting place- a place to meet our friends, to give and receive hospitality. Because it is when we share a cup of water, or tea, or coffee- or, indeed, bread and wine- it is in these human interactions that we meet God. Christianity isn’t, usually, an individual experience. It is when we share with one another that we realise we are sharing Christ. It’s the place where we love to sing of the Lord’s goodness, in times of joy, but also in our times of sorrow.

How long, O Lord, before we can enjoy the presence of one another, and, therefore, the presence of Christ, in the most meaningful way? But meantime, do not hide yourself for us, but be present to us in our loneliness and isolation, and even in our despair. May we rely on your constant love, and sing to you, because you have been good to us. Amen.

How long, O Lord,
must the troubles and sorrows of these days continue?
How long, before we can meet our friends
hug our families,
return to something like normality?
How long will this deadly virus
continue to take lives?
How long must the lonely, the stressed and the anxious
endure the difficulties of lockdown?
How long, O Lord, will you forget me?
Will you not answer me, and restore my strength?

And yet, as we echo the thoughts and feelings of the Psalmist,
so we also hear his words of faith and hope:

I rely on your constant love;
I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
I will sing to you, O LORD,
because you have been good to me.

Help us be aware, good Lord,
of those things for which we should be thankful
even in this difficult days.

We thank you for friends and neighbours
looking after one another in practical ways
keeping in touch and looking after us.

We thank you for families
using the phone and the internet
to let us know how much they love us.

We thank you for health service staff and carers
looking after the ill and the vulnerable.
We thank for you key workers
bringing us goods and services we need in order to live.

And we pray for all these people
and place them in your care.

Above all, may we be thankful
for the grace and love and joy
which flows from our faith in Jesus Christ.
For in Christ, you have shown us love without limit.
In that faith, we can bring to you all our prayers.

So hear our prayers for those who are ill,
in body, mind or spirit.
For those who have Coronavirus,
and for all who are unwell and worried,
and for their family and friends,
and those who have a care for them,
we bring our prayers today
In your mercy, surround them with your love.

For all those who have recently lost loved ones
and those who grieve, still, a long time afterwards,
we bring our prayers today.
We take a moment to remember
the names of those who have died most recently.
and anyone else who we know particularly needs our prayers today.

In your mercy, surround them with your comfort.

For all in authority, in this land and around the world;
for health experts and all who are involved
in making heavy decisions;
we bring our prayers today.
In your mercy, surround them with your wisdom.

For young people, anxious about the future;
for the elderly, worried about themselves
and their children and grandchildren;
for parents and members of families of all kinds
dealing with the reality of work and school
all entering into already stressed family homes
we bring our prayers today.
In your mercy, surround them with your peace.

For all people who become victims of violence and prejudice
because of their colour;
those without rights because of their nationality;
those who face religious discrimination;
those whose lives are blighted by poverty;
and those with no place to call home
we bring our prayers today.
In your mercy, bring them your justice.

For the leaders of your church
as they work to bring hope and share your message
among your people;
and for all followers of Jesus around the world
but especially, today,
those of us in Cambuslang Parish Church
as we set out on a new stage in our congregation’s life,
we bring our prayers today.

In your mercy, surround us with your strength.

Loving God,
may we rely on your constant love
and be ever glad and sing to you
for your constant goodness.

We sum up all our prayers in the words Jesus taught us,
saying together:

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.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.
Amen.

The Lords Prayer

Thank you for joining us for worship today. Thanks, again, to all who have
participated, and those who have helped with the technical stuff.

Of course, even in lockdown, the pastoral work of the church continues. So, if you have a request for prayer, or any other pastoral matter, or if you would like just to chat, I’m happy to talk to you any time.

God does not forget you,
but holds you close to his heart,
even when you cannot see it.

Go in peace,
relying on
God’s faithfulness:
and the blessing of God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Be with you all,
Amen

At this time of lockdown, it seems a bit strange to be saying ‘Go in peace’, since many of you can’t go to many places, and some of you are confined to your homes. Yet more than ever, I have a sense of the life of faith being like a journey.

Well, brothers and sisters in Cambuslang, you’ve invited me to walk with you on the next stage of your journey, and I’m pleased and privileged to do so.

One reply on “Sunday Worship”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *