"He is not here; he is risen"

We are still family even while we are apart, so while we are unable to gather because of the ongoing health crisis, I will be sharing material on the blog each Sunday morning, and posting notes to those unable to access the internet. Of course you are free to use this material at any time, but my hope is that as many of us as possible will be reading these words during our usual service time - Sunday at 10:30 if you're new or need a reminder! - gathering in time if not in space.

Over the next few weeks, we will be thinking about what resurrection life may look like for us in the light of the current health crisis. Where do we go from here? Is there still space for fear as well as hope? What might look like the old life and what will be made new?

As before, each 'service' includes prayer, links to song videos, a reading from scripture and a brief reflection. The reflection will now be followed by a question for you to ponder, and it would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments. I am also including some more songs which might not be familiar to the congregation at SBC, as this may offer an opportunity to introduce some new ones which we might like to learn when we come together. And I have attempted to use my limited tech skills to create multivocal recordings for the Lord's Prayer and the Grace, featuring the voices of five members of the church. (Thanks to Elisabeth, Mark, Clare, Liz and Steve for lending their voices.)

Call to worship

Begin by holding in your mind all those you would normally be worshipping with, and others that you love and are currently distanced from, then hear these words from Lamentations 3 as an invitation to wait on God in worship.

Song: Great is thy faithfulness

(The lyrics below differ slightly to those in the video - I include the alternate version from Baptist Praise and Worship as it is the one I prefer, but please sing whichever works best for you.)

Great is your faithfulness, O God my Father,

you have fulfilled all your promise to me;

you never fail and your love is unchanging,

all you have been you forever will be.

Great is your faithfulness! Great is your faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed your hand has provided -

great is your faithfulness, Father to me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,

sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

join with all nature in manifold witness

to your great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is your faithfulness...

Pardon for sin and a peace everlasting,

your living presence to cheer and to guide;

strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow -

these are the blessings your love will provide.

Great is your faithfulness...

Thomas O Chisholm © Public Domain


Here you may like to return to one of the patterns of prayer suggested previously, but I also offer a particular prayer for key workers. However you pray, I invite you to end with the Lord's Prayer.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our sins,

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory

forever and ever.


Readings: Matthew 4:18-22 and Matthew 28:16-20, read by Elisabeth Burleigh

Song: Shout to the north

Men of faith rise up and sing of the great and glorious king

You are strong when you feel weak, in your brokenness complete

Shout to the north and the south, sing to the east and the west

Jesus, Saviour to all, Lord of heaven and earth

Rise up women of the truth, stand and sing to broken hearts

Who can know the healing power of our awesome King of Love

Shout to the north...

We've been through fire and we've been through rain, we've been refined by the power of His name

We've fallen deeper in love with you, you've burned the truth on our lips

Shout to the north...

Rise up church with broken wings, fill this place with songs again

Of our God who reigns on high - by his grace again we'll fly.

Shout to the north...

Martin Smith ‎© Copyright 1995 Curious? Music

Reflection, by our minister Leigh Greenwood

You can also find the text of the reflection here.


How can you act on the outward impulse of Jesus while you’re stuck inside?

Song: Freely, freely

God forgave my sin in Jesus' name; I've been born again in Jesus' name.

And in Jesus' name I come to you, to share his love as he told me to.

He said 'Freely, freely you have received; freely, freely give.

Go in my name, and because you believe others will know that I live.

All pow'r is giv'n in Jesus' name, in earth and heav'n in Jesus' name.

And in Jesus' name I come to you to share his pow'r as he told me to.

He said...

God gives us life in Jesus' name; He lives in us in Jesus' name.

And in Jesus' name I come to you, to share his peace as he told me to.

He said...

Carol Owens © 1972 Bud John Songs


Close your time of worship by again holding in your mind those you love and would be worshipping alongside, and use the words of the grace: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit remain with us all evermore. Amen.

And to play us out, another rendition of Great is thy faithfulness, this time played by SBC's own Mark Burleigh.

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