Worship in Carlops Sunday 16th January 2022 10am


Welcome and lighting of candles      Adam Salter and Galina MacNeacail


Call to Worship:

Sing a new song to the Lord, all the earth!

              Sing to the Lord, and bless his name.

Declare his glory among the nations,

              his marvellous deeds to every nation.

The Lord made the heavens; majesty and splendour attend him,

              might and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad

              before the Lord when he comes.



Hymn 106:       Bring to the Lord a glad new song      (Tune: Jerusalem)


  1.        Bring to the Lord a glad new song

              children of grace extol your King;

              worship and praise to God belong –

              to instruments of music, sing!

              Let those be warned who spurn God’s name,

              let rulers all obey God’s word;

              for justice shall bring tyrants shame:

              let every creature praise the Lord!


  1.        Sing praise within these hallowed walls,

              worship beneath the dome of heaven;

              by cymbals’ sounds and trumpets’ calls

              let praises fit for God be given:

              with strings and brass and wind rejoice –

              then, join our song in full accord

              all living things with breath and voice:

              let every creature praise the Lord!     



Readings                     Alex Gray

John 2:  1-11

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee.  Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”


Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.  Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”  They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.


He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.  Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”  What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.


1 Corinthians 12:  1-11

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.

You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore, I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.


Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.


Hymn 607:       The bright wind is blowing (Verses 1 and 2)


  1.        The bright wind is blowing, the bright wind of heaven

              And where it is going to, no one can say;

              But where it is passing our hearts are awaking

              To stretch from the darkness and reach for the day.


  1.        The bright wind is blowing, the bright wind of heaven,

              And many old thoughts will be winnowed away;

              The husk that is blown is the chaff of our hating,

              The seed that is left is the hope for our day.


Reflection                      Spiritual Gifts      Patsy Campbell                          

Here we are still at the beginning of the year.  For Murray and for me, our university students start their classes tomorrow, and we all remain in uncertainty about how far we will get with our plans for teaching and learning during the new year before they need to be changed.  However, we do know now that we must be prepared to change, and that we can do things in different ways than in the past, especially if we co-operate with colleagues with different, special skills – special gifts, like technology of how to run a large Zoom session or specialized knowledge of the whereabouts of the key to a suddenly needed room.

Our first reading about Christ turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana is perhaps unexpected.  Earlier Christ had rejected the chance to perform an (apparently similar) miracle of turning stones into bread when tempted by the Devil, but the purpose of that was to make a spectacular, personal, vulgar display.  This miracle was for other people, for the common good, just like the miracle of the Feeding of the 5,000. Not all of us have the gift to perform this type of generous action for other people!

On the other hand, when Jesus was at the end of his physical ministry on earth he used his spiritual gifts to heal the soldier who was taking him into custody, the man whose ear Peter cut off trying to defend Jesus. Even on the cross, after suffering a day of such brutality that he was unable to carry his own cross to Calvary, Jesus was able to comfort the thief on the neighbouring cross with promises of Paradise and remembered to commit his mother and John to each other’s care.

In the second reading Paul identifies the Holy Spirit as working in every single one the squabbling Corinthian Christians. Paul says in verse 7 : ‘ In each of us the Spirit is seen to be at work for some useful purpose.’ He explains that we need to feel part of the same body, inter-dependent, each supporting all the others with their special, particular gift in spreading the Gospel, each contributing to worship in order to build up the church. Paul urges people to work and worship together throughout his letter.

Later at the end of his letter to the Ephesians Paul names further spiritual gifts which arm us when we step out into the world to do his work. The belt of truth, breastplate of integrity, shoes of the gospel of peace, the great shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the word of God, and the power of the Spirit found in prayer. Christ himself prayed constantly, often alone. He also instructed the disciples how to approach ‘God directly in prayer, and finally entreated them to watch and pray with him during his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was taken into custody.

We have been hearing since advent of all the gifts that we ourselves have been given, Murray told us of the gifts of hope, peace, joy, faith and love represented by the Advent candles. Our minister Tony Foley reminded us that God is with us always, a part of us.  Last week Kevin Scott spoke of the additional power that God gives us in every task we undertake with faith in the example of Jesus and trust in His name.

Paul’s reminder that the power of Christians lies also in praying and working together. I used to think it was more satisfactory to pray out in the garden, as more thankful prayers spring spontaneously to mind while looking at the natural world. However. If we think of God working within everyone here it makes sense to bring all our gifts together in prayer.

Praying together is like making music together.  Each person has her or his own line and can play that part in a group of players in an orchestra and combine in unity to produce a mellifluous symphony.  Every part is significant, would be missed if not there, and will be best when it adapts to the consensus of the group.  This does not happen as soon as the players get together: some play faster or slower than others or louder or softer, but the conductor guides them eventually to a satisfactory form.

No performance is ever exactly the same as another, and there are many ways to come to a satisfactory deliverance. Even if you share no other common ground with a fellow player, you can work together to produce wonderful music together in a united performance – with the right guidance.

There is a well-known story of a bass player who commented on his wonder on hearing the Toreador song in the opera Carmen by Bizet.  He had played the pounding bass line – ‘Pom Pom-ty   Pom Pom, Pom-ty Pom-ty Pom,…’- for the recording, found it rather pedestrian, and later went to hear the opera.  He was amazed at the wonderful variety, richness and dramatic effect of the full orchestra, and astonished to hear the tremendously impressive, vigorous solo by the male lead, to which his own bass part gave invaluable support.

We can use our gifts in ways we never thought of, with people we have never considered co-operating with, and will be astonished at the effect we produce. When we remember that God is within us, this gives all of us power to ask guidance in all the work we try to do in his name – it makes us brave enough to carry out work for others without fear for ourselves.

In my childhood one poem was always read at this time: the older people here will recall that it was our Queen’s mother’s favourite, by Minnie Louise Haskins:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year;

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”

And he replied: “go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

Whether we find it best to follow this advice, as we go onward through the New Year or prefer to prepare ourselves like the soldier Paul, we will know that God is with us and within us helping us to use the unique gifts we each have been given for the common good.


Prayer                              Sophie Pilgrim

In this season of Epiphany

We think of a star in the night sky

Let there be a star within each of us

A place of peace and hope


As we pray together

We feel each other’s presence

We are together

In a tumultuous world


We think of those around the world

Those who lost their lives in a hill town in Pakistan

We think of the people of Tonga

And all those who feared a Tsunami


In a few moments of silence we think of those dear to us

and wish them peace and hope:


We give thanks for the gift of our peaceful community

As we wait for the first signs of spring.


Hymn 529 :      Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go


  1.        Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,

              my daily labour to pursue,

              thee, only thee, resolved to know

              in all I think, or speak, or do.



  1.        The task thy wisdom hath assigned

              Oh, let me cheerfully fulfil,

              in all my works thy presence find,

              and prove thy good and perfect will.


  1.        Thee may I set at my right hand.

              whose eyes my inmost substance see,

              and labour on at thy command,

              and offer all my works to thee.


  1.        Give me to bear thy easy yoke,

              and every moment watch and pray,

              and still to things eternal look,

              and hasten to thy glorious day;


  1.        For thee delightfully employ

              whate’er thy bounteous grace has given,

              and run my course with even joy,

              and closely walk with thee to heaven.



Benediction                   Patsy Campbell


God of Love, through your Son you gave us a new commandment,

to love one another as he loved us.

We ask you, in his name, to give us each a will to seek the good of others

and a heart full of love to all.


We ask you to show us how to use the many gifts you have given each of us

in the service of your people, and to be with us always.

May the God of peace go with us as we travel from this place;

May the love of Jesus keep us firm in hope and full of grace.



Sung Blessing:

              May the God of peace go with us,

              as we travel from this place;

              May the love of Jesus keep us,

              firm in hope and full of grace.