If you’re viewing this page as a group, pick someone to be the reader to read the normal print, while everyone else can respond with the words in bold.
We open our service with words from Psalm 96:2-3
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous deeds among all peoples.
Our musicians have done us a great service in recoding some songs for us to sing together. Let’s join in with them now
We meet in isolation, yet we share common beliefs with Christians in all locations. Let’s say together the Apostle’s Creed, a summary of what we believe
Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
We believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe and trust in God the Son?
We believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven.
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
from there he will come again to
judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy, catholic Church,
the fellowship of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and life eternal. Amen.
As we prepare to hear from the Bible, let’s ask God to be helping us.
Thank you Father for making yourself known to us, showing us the way of salvation through faith in your Son. We ask you now to teach us through your word, so that we may be ready to serve you, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness
4 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:
I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.
2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
3 But better than both
is the one who has never been born,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.
4 And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
5 Fools fold their hands
and ruin themselves.
6 Better one handful with tranquillity
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind.
7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:
8 There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Advancement Is Meaningless
13 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. 14 The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. 15 I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. 16 There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Fulfill Your Vow to God
5 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.
3 A dream comes when there are many cares,
and many words mark the speech of a fool.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
Marty will now preach the sermon
In Acts 17:30-31 we read
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.
In light of these facts let’s confess our sins together
our maker and our judge,
we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed:
we have not loved you with our whole heart,
we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves:
we repent, and are sorry for all our sins.
Father, forgive us.
Strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God is slow to anger and full of compassion.
He forgives all who humbly repent and trust in his Son as Saviour and Lord.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Allow Emily to lead you in prayer. Finish with the Lord’s Prayer.
Let’s conclude our time of prayer with the 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.
Loving God, we thank you for hearing our prayers,
feeding us with your word,
and encouraging us in our meeting together.
Take us and use us
to love and serve you, and all people,
in the power of your Spirit
and in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thanks for sharing with us! See you next week.