A prayer of adoration
All-inclusive and ever-loving God,
we praise and adore you.
With you there is no south or north,
no east or west – no borders.
You care for each one of us.
You are a healing God, who heals us
wherever and whenever we need your touch –
whether in body, mind or spirit.
We look upon you now,
our hearts ablaze with love for you.
StF 24 Come, now is the time to worship (Sung by the Oslo Gospel Choir)
Mark 7:24-37 dramatised
(Jesus, looking tired, moves slowly towards one side of the space)
Narrator: Jesus left Galilee. He went to Tyre, where the people were not Jews. They followed other gods, and the Jews called them Gentiles. Jesus had been working hard, and the people of God had followed him wherever he went. Jesus wanted to escape all the attention he was getting, but even people who had never met him or his followers wanted to get close to him.
(The woman enters and stops Jesus as he walks by, by kneeling at his feet)
Narrator: A woman with a young daughter knelt at Jesus’ feet. She begged Jesus to heal her daughter who had an unclean spirit. Jesus looked at the woman. She was an outsider, a Gentile. But she had faith in God. He asked her to complete a riddle: ‘Let the children be fed first, for it isn’t fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ I wonder if his eyes were sparkling and a smile played around the edges of his mouth as he awaited her response? (pause) The woman looked up. She looked Jesus in the eye and took the challenge. ‘Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Jesus laughed. ‘For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.’ And the woman got up and ran. And when she got home she found that God had healed her daughter.
(Jesus turns and moves towards the other side of the space. A man comes towards him, and Jesus leads him to the side)
Narrator: Jesus returned from Tyre through Decapolis, another Gentile area. The people brought a deaf man with a speech impediment to Jesus. Jesus chose a private spot away from the crowd. Then he put his fingers in the man’s ears, and he spat on his hand and touched the deaf man’s tongue. The man was healed and spoke clearly. The crowd was amazed. Jesus told them to be quiet and not to tell anyone the story. But the more he told them, the more they couldn’t help but broadcast what had happened to their families, friends, even strangers. They shouted out: ‘Jesus does everything in God’s name. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’
StF 256 When I needed a neighbour were you there (Sung by Frodsham Methodist Church Cloud Choir accompanied by Andrew Ellams.)
Questions to think about.
Whether we like it or not our lives are full of borders – walls of a building, constraints of different kinds of weather, our own abilities, etc.
Reflect on the thoughts you have had over the answers to the above questions and offer those to God in prayer and conclude with Lord in your mercy hear my prayer. Amen
Short gathering words
A prayer of confession and an Assurance of forgiveness
Forgive us, Lord, for all the times
we are too quick to form opinions,
too quick to judge others;
the times we don’t give people the benefit of the doubt;
or fail to consider what they might be going through.
Open our eyes to see and our ears to listen, as you do.
Assurance of forgiveness
The Gentile woman and the deaf man
opened their minds and hearts to Jesus.
When we open our minds,
God helps us to understand his ways.
We bless you, Lord.
When we open our hearts, God sees deep within.
He loves us and wants us to turn to him,
even when we’ve done wrong.
We bless you, Lord.
God comes to us now and listens to us,
loves us, and forgives us.
He makes us whole.
We bless you, Lord.
A prayer of thanksgiving
Lord God of healing,
we thank you for the different ways you answer our prayers.
The Gentile woman wasn’t frightened to answer you back –
and you knew she was right.
We thank you for the power of words.
The deaf man had the confidence in you,
to jump up and receive your healing.
We thank you for the power of actions
that speak louder than words.
Thank you that you are available
to each one of us who truly believes.
StF 409 Let us build a house where love can dwell (version by A Community of Christ Sings resource)
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen
These are the Worship at Home Services, led by our Minister :-