Welcome to our Online Sunday Service. Whether this is very familiar, or all quite new, it's great that you're here. I pray that the songs, the prayers, the readings and the message will be a great encouragement to you wherever and however you find yourself today. On this Pentecost Sunday, as we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first Christians, may we know the power of the Spirit in our lives as we come, wherever we are, to worship.
Our first two songs are wonderful reminders of a God who has the power to move mountains, but also the love to change our hearts:
'Everyone needs compassion', followed by 'Here I am, humbled by Your majesty':
Everyone needs compassion
Here I am, humbled by Your majesty
Thank you Lord, that though we are separated by our circumstances, we can share together in this act of worship.
We thank for who you are: a Saviour who can move mountains and a Father who can touch our lives. One who is mighty to save and merciful to us in our sinful weakness.
Lord, through our songs and prayers, the reading of the Bible and the message arising from it, may we be strengthened to cope with what has past, encouraged in our present and given hope for our future.
We ask these things in Jesus' name.
So last week we had the first of our two-parter on the incredible story of Jonah. Here's a reminder of the story so far, and a look at what happens next
Youth Slot: a modern take on the story of Jonah from Bath & Wilts Youth for Christ
Prayers of intercession at this time
Prayer Requests from Brazil Heavenly Father, we ask that You are with our brothers and sisters in Brazil. As the coronavirus peak becomes real for vulnerable families living in fragile countries, we pray that health services can be strengthened. And that other nations and governments around the world will reach out to help.
In lockdown, Lord we pray for the hardest hit who are having to forgo their health to ensure their families don’t face starvation. Send your protection Father.
Prayer Requests from Bangladesh Lord Jesus, we pray for all families living in Bangladesh who have lived through so many disasters in recent years. And now find themselves facing the threat of the coronavirus and the devastation caused by a Super Cyclone.
We pray Lord that our fears of devastation for this country are not realised, and that where there are needs, we are your hands and feet in that place.
Prayer Requests from Syrian Refugees
Father God, we continue to pray for refugees who have fled their homes due to conflict and war. Children living in locked down overcrowded tented camps, where the likelihood of catching a contagious disease like COVID-19 is extremely high. Where self-isolation is virtually impossible and where children who have already witnessed the atrocities of bombs are now even more afraid of an invisible enemy, Coronavirus.
Lord bring them hope that they are not forgotten.
Prayer for the UK
(take time in each section to pause and pray for those you know. It's good to go at your own pace here)
Father God, we pray for our land:
For the Government, that you would give wisdom and strength to them...
For those who work in health and social care, that you would help and protect them...
For those who mourn the loss of loved ones, that would you comfort them...
For those who suffer in body and mind, that You would bring peace to them...
For those who face uncertainty regarding their job or business that you would reassure them...
For those returning to their places of education that you would shield them...
We thank You, Lord, that You are a God of wisdom, help, comfort, peace, reassurance and protection. May we, in the power of the Holy Spirit, make a difference where we can.
In Jesus' name,
Here's our first reading, Jonah chapter 3, read by Matthew
Reading: Jonah 3
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’
Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.’ The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
‘By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.’
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
Here's our second reading: Jonah chapter 4, read by Julie
Reading: Jonah 4
But Jonah was greatly displeased, and became angry. He prayed to the Lord, ‘Is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.’
But the Lord replied, ‘Have you any right to be angry?’
Jonah went and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, ‘It would be better for me to die than to live.’
But God said to Jonah, ‘Do you have any right to be angry about the vine?’
‘I do,’ he said. ‘I am angry enough to die.’
But the Lord said, ‘You have been concerned about the vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh, has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left – and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?'
Here's the sermon from our speaker, Josh Wynn
Here's our final song: Oceans
Our speaker today was Josh Wynn and the service was compiled by Stephen Taylor. Thank you for being here with us.