"At home"

“At home” on Sunday September 20th


Begin by sitting quietly; light a candle if you can


Opening prayer:

God who creates us in God's own image, you hold us and hug us and love us for who we are. Gather us together this morning, that we may reflect your beauty, to ourselves, to each other and beyond.


Prayer of confession

Loving God, when we lose our temper or go off and sulk, thank you that you still love us and want the best for us.

When we are selfish and don't think of others, thank you that you still love us and want the best for us.

When we are down on ourselves, thank you that you still love us and want the best for us.

When we exclude someone else because of their looks or behaviour, help us to see it is what is on the inside that counts.

When we don’t make the effort to be someone's friend, help us to see it is what is on the inside that counts.

When people are shy and lacking in confidence, help us to see it is what is on the inside that counts.



Reading: Jonah 3 verse 10 – 4 verse 11:

When God saw that the people of Nineveh had turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.

The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’

But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?’ And he said, ‘Yes, angry enough to die.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’



The ancient city of Nineveh was in modern-day Iraq (then Assyria), on the outskirts of Mosul.

Jonah is not keen on his job as prophet and quite angry with God. At first, he didn’t believe the Gentile Ninevites were worth saving. But he was also pretty sure that God would forgive the people of Nineveh anyway so he thought his role was a bit of a waste of time, and he would be made to look a fool. Even so, God continued to interact with Jonah. A plant grew and Jonah became attached to it. Then the plant died. Jonah was sad, and angry with God again. But God still persisted with Jonah, and reproved him for being more upset about the fate of a plant than the 120,000 inhabitants of Nineveh. 


Pause and reflect upon how often you are angry with God. How often do you feel God has forsaken you?

Don’t be alarmed about this, even Jesus on the cross thought God, his Father, had forsaken him when he cried out “My God; my God; why have you forsaken me?”


Hymn: All I once held dear. You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxpPIa-BskY



God who sees the bigger picture, we thank you for the vastness and richness of your creation that puts our own lives into perspective. We thank you for our place in that bigger picture, that you care about for each one of us, that you do not give up on us

even when we are angry, that you do not give up on others even when we write them off as a lost cause. God who sees the bigger picture, help us to see through your eyes, to treasure ourselves within the wider context of your creation, to root ourselves in your love, and to spread your love across the world. Amen.

Eternal, ever-living, ever-present God, in the struggles and joys of this day, we pray:

For those who are overburdened, weighed down, demoralised, fearful or desolate because of what life has thrown at them. God, be with them.

For those engulfed in pain and anguish, facing illness and death. God, be with them.

For those troubled in mind and spirit, who find no peace or calm. God, be with them.

For those alone and lonely, without friend or comfort. God, be with them.
For those frightened and bewildered, who see no direction or purpose in their lives. God, be with them.
Eternal, ever-living God, bless them all in this and every hour, in this and every step of life’s journey. Amen.


Hymn: All hail the power of Jesus’ name. Its number 140 in Hymns Ancient and Modern New Standard, or you can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMywo32hGlI


Final prayer

Lord give us a way to go, a path to follow, a purpose to fulfil and meaning to our deeds. Amen


Parts of this service are copyright Roots for churches 2000-2020



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