Sunday Service


The Vine at Home

Climate Sunday – 6th June 2021

Call to Worship

Here we are Lord, gathering to meet with you in worship.

Come amongst us, by your Spirit, as we pray, sing, listen and share.

Open our hearts to fall in love with your creation again, O God.  Amen.[i]

Hymn: My Jesus, My Saviour – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhADB_-GCHY

Opening Prayers

Wonderful God,

Today we celebrate you.

We celebrate your creation.

We thank you that at the beginning of time

you breathed life into us.

We thank you that today you live amongst us

Walking with your creation day by day.

We come to you in worship today God,

Ready to listen to your word

and respond in love.

Open our hearts today God,

that we might love you and love our neighbour.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen.[ii]

We say together the Lord’s Prayer

Readings: Genesis 1:1-31 (or you may wish to read 1-4 and 20-31 to keep the

Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,[d]and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them;[f]
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Revelation 21:1-7 The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Psalm 104 God the Creator and Provider

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honour and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent, 3 you set the beams of your chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, you make the winds your messengers,  fire and flame your ministers.

You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken. You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, 11 giving drink to every wild animal; the wild asses quench their thirst. 12 By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. 13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, 15 and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine,

and bread to strengthen the human heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees. 18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys. 19 You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. 21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens. 23 People go out to their work and to their labour until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great. 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season; 28 when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works 32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke. 33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. 34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. 35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!

Reflections on the Reading

‘God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.’

In each of the passages we read today, we hear of God pouring life into creation.

In Genesis 1, each aspect of earthly life is created, made to be fruitful and to thrive.

At the hands of God, the birds of the air, the creatures of land and everything around

them comes into being. In Psalm 104, God’s hands are at work in creation again,

moving and shaping, setting light and dark, feeding and ‘rejoicing in his works’. And

in Revelation 21, God steps down to the earth and ‘dwells’ with people, seeking to

make all things new, transforming their mourning and instead bringing the water of

life.

Each of these encounters between God and creation paint a picture of a creator who

gets stuck into the process of creating.

God calls humanity to be among creation, that we too might marvel at its

wonder, but also play a part in its flourishing.

Where do you find yourself in wonder at creation today?

Where do you find yourself playing a part in the flourishing of creation?

What are you being called to?

As part of today’s Climate Sunday, we have begun in worship. Like the psalmist, we

have taken time to marvel at creation, and singing praise to the God who created it.

But we’re also invited to respond to the next part of our calling – to commit to playing

our part in the flourishing of creation.

How might we begin this today?

As individuals?

As community?

We are invited and inspired by a God who loves deeply each aspect of creation, and

longs to get stuck into its flourishing. How will we respond?

If you are already an Eco Church or Eco Congregation, could you take the next steps to achieving an award? If you haven’t stared on this journey, perhaps now is the time? Explore more at climatesunday.org/commit .

Prayers of intercession

Call: God who lives in and with creation,

Response: Be with us here.

Living God

Thank you that at the beginning of time, you breathed life in to creation.

We marvel that from then until now, you have continued to dwell among us,

Rejoicing and celebrating all that you have made.

We pray that today we might notice you in the creation around us,

Taking time to see life flourish,

And worship you as creator God.

Call: God who lives in and with creation,

Response: Be with us here.

Generous God

There are too many ways in which we ignore how our lives limit your creation.

For when our quick and easy choices have a lasting impact,

When we choose us over the earth,

And for when we have no other good choice available to us –

We are sorry.

Would we be inspired and empowered by your love for creation

To put life before ease, and commit to change.

Call: God who lives in and with creation,

Response: Be with us here.

Loving God

We know that changes to our climate and environment aren’t just a future possibility,

but a present reality for so many.

We hold before you those who live on the frontlines of the climate crisis,

Whose lives and livelihoods have been flooded by sea level rise, crops spoilt by

drought, families worn down by illness.

Might we weep with them, and turn towards action,

Knowing that you call us to better living which enables all your people to thrive.

Call: God who lives in and with creation,

Response: Be with us here.

Empowering God

As we approach COP26, we hold before you our elected leaders, who have the

opportunity to seek your justice and peace.

In the months ahead, we pray that they might encounter you,

In stories, in lives, in creation.

We pray that they might be inspired by hope, to make choices which are filled with

the possibility for new life.

Help them to be courageous, to seek new structures and choices that enable all

creation to flourish.

Call: God who lives in and with creation,

Response: Be with us here.

Transformational God

We are agents of your change, and have been called to be alongside you in the

journey of renewal.

Help us not to take this calling lightly, but to speak up,

Using our voices to be part of transformation.

Helps us to see that the time is now for new life to come,

And that we can usher in your kingdom in our daily lives today.

Call: God who lives in and with creation,

Response: Be with us here.

We hold all of these prayers before you,

God who created at the beginning of time,

And continues to breathe life in us today.

Empower and embolden us to be courageous,

That we might live for your glory in all the earth.  Amen.[iv]

Hymn: 350 STF – I cannot tell why he whom angels worship – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDXFTkhRuGg

Blessing

Go from this place inspired and encouraged that you can make a difference.

Go from this time knowing that this is your moment – this day, this week, this year is

the moment to make a change.

Go from this act of worship, overflowing with worship and praise for a God who

created the whole earth and everything in it. Amen. [v]


[i] Call to Worship written by Tim Baker

[ii] Opening prayers written by The Joint Public Issues Team.

[iii] Reflection and What are we being called to written by The Joint Public Issues Team

[iv] Prayers of intercession written by The Joint Public Issues Team

[v] Additional prayers by Tim Baker

Bible Text is from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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