On a wet Sunday morning worshippers were met as always with a warm welcome to a service at Ashley Methodist Church. Bunty Hodgkins introduced Rev. Mark Lawrence who began with words from Psalm 29 – ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Rod Smith accompanied us in singing Crown him with many crowns, followed by prayers of praise to our Creator and confession of our shortcomings.
Rod Smith and Norma Buckley read to us from Matthew 5 where Jesus makes clear the way God wants us to live but also his great mercy when we fall short of those standards. In prayer Mark thanked God for the comforts we enjoy today and prayed for wisdom for the governments of countries in turmoil.
Mark emphasised that in our readings on standards of behaviour there is no compromise. We are all in the same boat striving for perfection but falling short when we let our focus stray to other desires instead of putting God first. Family integrity is important but God knows our weakness and is merciful not condemning us to permanent failure. We have messed up our world but thank God for Jesus Christ whose sacrifice gives us hope. Through His grace we can receive forgiveness.
We celebrated Jesus’ personification of the love of God by taking Holy Communion served by Rev. Mark assisted by Jill Harrison.
Mark brought the service to a close with The Grace.