MId-week Special 32a - Tuesday 20th October by Rev Peter Baxandall

(32a) – Mid-week extra

On a couple of occasions in the past I have produced a Mid-week extra to add to our sense of ‘worship’ and the feeling of being together throughout the week, and to try to encourage everyone.

In recent weeks I have sensed that many are feeling a bit down just now as this Covid19 continues to take its toll in so many ways – and it is for this reason that I have felt it right to send another Mid-week extra this week – and with it, I hope that it will encourage us all at a time of fresh uncertainty.

As I look ahead to the ‘Thought for the week’ for this coming Sunday I am aware that one of our set Readings is from Colossians 3:12-17.

As we look at that Bible passage, we read the following words:

        ‘as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God’.      (Colossians 3:16)

It crossed my mind that for this Mid-week extra we could have a ‘psalm, a Hymn and a spiritual song’ to listen to and sing to our hearts content as we sit in our homes but sharing together as ‘the family of God.

With this in mind, I have chosen a song based upon a Psalm, a hymn and a spiritual song as we are encouraged to do, with the prayer that these will lift our hearts to God in praise.

There are many of our songs that are based on a Psalm and the first song that I have chosen for us to sing today is taken from Psalm 42, and it is the song,  ‘As the deer’- and the words are printed below.

 

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after You’

You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship You.

    You alone are my strength and shield,

    to You alone may my spirit yield.

    You alone are my heart’s desire,

    and I long to worship You.

 

I want You more than gold or silver, only You can satisfy.

You alone are the real joy giver and the apple of my eye.

    Chorus

 

You’re my Friend and You are my Brother, even though You are a king.

I love You more than any other, so much more than anything.

    Chorus

 

Alongside the many new songs that we sing we must never forget that there are plenty of really special ‘old’ hymns that can lift and inspire us.

And with that in mind I want to turn to a well-known hymn that is a favourite to many, and it is ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’

While this hymn is a favourite it is good to remind ourselves of the message behind it that we can take all our needs and thoughts to God in prayer – especially at a time like this.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear!

What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear -

All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer

 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged: Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness - Take it to the Lord in prayer

 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Saviour still our refuge, Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.

 

And so, after a Psalm, (or at least a song taken from a Psalm) and an old favourite Hymn, we now turn to one of the newer ‘spiritual songs’ that we are growing to love.

This is a song that reminds us of the events of the crucifixion and the central message of Easter and is often called ‘The power of the cross’ – written by Stuart Townend.

 

Oh, to see the dawn of the darkest day:

Christ on the road to Calvary.

Tried by sinful men,

torn and beaten then

Nailed to a cross of wood

 

This the power of the cross:

Christ became sin for us.

Took the blame, bore the wrath

We stand forgiven at the cross.

 

Oh, to see the pain written in your face,

Bearing the awesome weight of sin

Every bitter thought, every evil deed

Crowning your blood-stained brow.

        Chorus

 

Now the daylight flees, now the ground beneath

Quakes as its maker bows his head.

Curtain torn in two, dead are raised to life;

“Finished!” the vict’ry cry.

        Chorus

 

Oh, to see my name written in the wounds,

For through your suff’ring I am free.

Death is crushed to death, life is mine to live,

Won through your selfless love

 

        This the power of the cross

        Son of God slain for us.

        What a love! What a cost!

        We stand forgiven at the cross.

 

As mentioned at the beginning – this is a Mid-week extra sent with the desire to help and encourage us all.

The regular ‘Thought for the week’ will be produced in time for Sunday in the usual way whether we have a service together or not.

Don’t forget that this weekend is the weekend when we change our clocks and we put them back one hour.

This often catches people out on the Sunday of such a weekend and whether in church or at home, it is at 10:00 GMT that we meet in church or turn to our ‘Thought for the week’ at home.

May God bless this Mid-week extra to us all.

Peter

 

 

 


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