Mark Savill was our preacher this week. He opened our worship by reading Psalm 24 – the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. Mark’s keyword, Lifted, was reflected in his choice of hymns accompanied by Rod Smith. Mark led prayers that we might be lifted by God’s Holy Spirit and gave thanks for God’s constant presence and continuing care. Keith and Jill Harrison read to us from Psalm 40, James 4 and 1 Peter 5.
Mark described his experience of descending into the big pit in south Wales, the feelings of fear, isolation and depression, the relief of surfacing to light, safety and freedom. If we put our trust in Jesus he lifts us from the pit of despair, he takes on the weight of our burdens and directs our sights towards heaven. First we must humble ourselves, recognise that our all powerful God cares for us. Our self-seeking, angry world needs his compassion more than ever. We must encourage each other to turn to Christ to be rescued from our low places.
Mark prayed for our minister, Mark Lawrence, and his team on mission in Brazil this week, for peace in Ukraine, for help for the victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and for those of concern to us. He concluded with a song: He lifted me!, arranged by his brother, Paul, and we shared the Grace together.