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Minister’s Website Article April 2022

This is my last article, as I’m leaving to take up the joys of retirement. I pray that all those I have served, and all those who may read my words, will continue to find encouragement and faith in our Lord Jesus.

As I pondered what to write, I remembered a Communion service I led years ago. I felt how poignant and true the words are of many of our worship songs. Sometimes you don’t need a preacher; instead, you need to take the words of worship songs to heart.

Songs kept people together. Songs powerfully spread faith to those who couldn’t read or write. Songs are remembered and sit in hearts easier than a theological argument. Songs have power. I invite you, then, to work through the words below, including an excerpt from different songs. Read or sing the excerpts, or search out the full songs and sing with gusto. It is Communion. You don’t have to share bread and wine, but considering these things whilst you eat and drink at home could be good for your soul. Here we go:

 

Communion Through Song

Christ is here first. Christ is the fore-runner, the one before. We lay aside our desires and needs, and give Christ the glory. Here, he is the one.

 

Song: Make Way (MP 457)

Make way, make way,

for Christ the King in splendour arrives;

fling wide the gates

and welcome Him into your lives.

Make way, make way,

for the King of kings;

make way, make way,

and let His kingdom in!

 

Our God of love has done this for us, so we are invited to come. We come with thanksgiving and declare:

 

Song: I will enter his gates (MP 307)

I will enter His gates

with thanksgiving in my heart,

I will enter His courts with praise;

I will say, 'This is the day

that the Lord has made,

I will rejoice for He has made me glad.'

He has made me glad,

He has made me glad;

I will rejoice for He has made me glad.

 

Jesus has done all for us on the cross. He tore the curtain in two. He removed all barriers between us and God, that we may enter. Yet, we have a holy God, before whom sin cannot exist. Jesus removes sin. And this is ours, if we choose to accept the forgiveness offered, and place our faith in our Saviour. If we refuse, there is no other way. So we pray, using the following:

 

Song: Within the Veil (MP 778)

Within the veil I now would come,

into the holy place to look upon Thy face.

I see such beauty there,

no other can compare,

I worship Thee, my Lord, within the veil.

 

Stay in prayer. Bring before God your failures and problems. Acknowledge your weakness. Now take hold of God’s promise. You have a new heart, a new spirit. You are cleansed, made right with God, and seated with Christ. Because of him alone, all is well. We are invited to this feast.

 

Song: Come and see (MP 85)

Come and see, come and see,

come and see the King of love;

see the purple robe

and crown of thorns He wears.

Soldiers mock, rulers sneer

as He lifts the cruel cross;

lone and friendless now,

He climbs towards the hill.

We worship at your feet,

where wrath and mercy meet,

and a guilty world is washed

by love's pure stream.

For us He was made sin -

oh, help me take it in.

Deep wounds of love cry out,

'Father, forgive.'

I worship, I worship

the Lamb who was slain.

 

This is the table of Christ. We come as guests. Lord, we are poor, yet you call us from the highways and byways of life. In you we are rich. As we share, may your Spirit enliven our hearts. Move amongst us, and through this bread and wine. Then, as we share in childlike faith, and trust in none other, this may become for us the body and blood of our Lord and Saviour. He died and rose again, to rescue us and draw us to you. We are one people, joined by our Lord. And we are at peace. Amen.

 

Song: The love of God comes close (MP 940) verse 2

The peace of God comes close

to those caught in the storm,

forgoing lives of ease

to ease the lives forlorn.

The peace of God is here to stay;

embracing those who walk His way,

the peace of God is here to stay.

 

In Christ’s name, I offer you his peace. Let us acknowledge we are all his children, and offer each other a sign of his peace. Peace be with you.

 

Song: The love of God comes close (MP 940) verse 5

The Son of God comes close

where people praise His name,

where bread and wine are blessed

and shared as when He came.

The Son of God is here to stay;

embracing those who walk His way,

the Son of God is here to stay.

 

Share bread and wine.

 

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ has come again. Heavenly Father, we praise you for the sustenance you give. Strengthen our hearts. Enliven our spirits. Open our minds fully to your love. Then others may find their own place in you. Amen

 

We have shared this mystery. Yet it is no mystery to those of faith. It has been made plain. We share in the truth of God’s love for this world. Let us speak these facts to each other, encouraging all to speak them out to this world.

 

Song: Over the mountains (MP 1006)

Over the mountains and the sea

Your river runs with love for me,

and I will open up my heart

and let the Healer set me free.

I'm happy to be in the truth

and I will daily lift my hands

for I will always sing

of when Your love came down, yeah.

I could sing of Your love for ever (x 4)

 

May you find God standing with you wherever you sing, and may your future be glorious.

 

Duncan


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