Carlops Zoom Devotion Time      Sunday 17th May 2020

Welcome and lighting of candles (Adam and Galina)


Opening words (Chris)

Lord God, although we are apart, 

We are together in your Spirit.

Lord Jesus, although you had to leave your disciples

You did not abandon them

Holy Spirit of Truth, you give life and breath to all,

You keep our faith alive

Help us to live and worship as your people,

And to show your love by our actions.


Hymn 600    

Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,

gentle as is the dove,

teach us the truth and help us believe,

show us the Saviour’s love.

You spoke to us long, long ago,

gave us the written word;

we read it still, needing its truth,

through it God’s voice is heard.

Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,

gentle as is the dove,

teach us the truth and help us believe,

show us the Saviour’s love.

Without your help we fail our Lord,

we cannot live his way;

we need your power, we need your strength,

following Christ each day.

Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,

gentle as is the dove,

teach us the truth and help us believe,

show us the Saviour’s love.


Bible reading           (Bridget)

John 14: 15-21        

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’


Reflection (Mary)              

 This is Life

 The context for our reading is the Upper Room on the night of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. He tries to explain to the disciples that he will have to leave them soon and go where they cannot follow. Then he gives them a new commandment “Love one another as I have loved you”.  Then in response to their concerns – “do not let your hearts be troubled”.  This is clearly goodbye; we can imagine the disciples’ consternation and anxieties as their world is turned upside down.  In our own lives we can relate to that disconnect between understanding words and sentences, yet lacking any clear concept of what future they describe. 

Jesus was aware of the storm gathering around him and how it must end; although he’d rather it wasn’t necessary, in obedience, he would face it.  Yet there, when he needed support himself, Jesus is found once again comforting his friends, the disciples. Trying to help them understand that although he’d soon leave them, he wouldn’t be abandoning them.  

“If you love me” he said “you will obey my commandments”.  He might well have added – “I know that won’t be easy, but “another” will come to help you.” Foretelling the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus tries to explain that while in the flesh he could be only in one place at a time, in the Spirit he would be with all His followers all the time; not simply alongside them but within.

Our Invisible Friend

We know that some children can develop their imaginative play so far as to create an invisible friend. These friends come in many forms and are usually a wonderful gift for that child.

So, let’s go back to that upper room and try to imagine this ‘friend’ Jesus was promising us.  What might we have been thinking?

Online, I found this reflection which purports to allow our invisible friend (the Holy Spirit) to speak.

Here I am— your friend for life.
Jesus sent me just as he said he would.
You know Jesus—always as good as his word.
And every word he said about me is the truth.

We are going to get to know each other better, you and I,
and we’ll discover a lot of truths along the way.

That’s my job—
to keep flagging up all the important things Jesus taught you,
to help you see how it all works in practice,
so stick with me and you’ll have no need to worry about forgetting.

I’m on your side—your helper, your Advocate—defending you;
cheering you on; lighting you up from inside!

A friend for life, that’s me.
So call on me, lean on me, work with me, rest in me.

You might find me a bit of a mystery at times,
but only because I don’t draw attention to myself.
I like to infiltrate, motivate, energise, with no need to be recognised.

I’ll be like a bubbling spring of never ending freshness;
a source that never runs dry.
This is what Jesus was preparing you for—
not absence and abandonment, but presence and companionship”.


We are assured that The Spirit will, if we permit it,

overcome our ignorance and forgetfulness

by reminding us of what Jesus taught the disciples and still teaches us.

The key point, of course, is “if we permit it”.

We must be open to the Spirit – inviting it in.

Love is to be given, not earned.  Love is granted not demanded.

God’s love is free, uncomplicated, simple, for all.


Prayer (include brief quiet time) (Julie)

Eternal and ever-blessed God, we give You thanks for the joy that comes when we gather to worship together and are truly united as your people.

We thank You for the family of faith, united in our desire to follow Jesus. Thank You for those with whom we have laughed. who have made this world a more cheery place. Thank You for those with whom we have wept and shared our sorrows. We bless You for those who have shared our dreams and pursued our visions, as partners in a common purpose.

Thank You for those with whom we worship together, for those with whom we pray together, for those in whose company we have listened to Your voice and sought to see You face to face.

Let us take our weariness and tiredness to God who picks up those who have fallen and raises up those who are brought low Bless those, good Lord, who are bowed down under the burdens they must carry. We pray for those who are crushed by their responsibilities at work and those who feel the pain of our world. Help them to keep on going. Bring supportive friends alongside them. Give them tokens of Your grace, fresh vision and courage and signs of encouragement in their struggle.

Let us take our loneliness to God, who delights to put the solitary into families. God our Father, bless those who are lonely those who have grown old and lost those close to them. Bless those who are shy, who find it hard to initiate conversation and have never known real friendship. We pray for strangers in a foreign land, for asylum seekers and refugees, separated by language and culture  from familiar ways and much loved customs. We remember all those who, even in the midst of crowds, feel alone.

Help the Church, we pray, to be a place of acceptance and belonging, a place of welcome and inclusion, where all can find a home, a listening ear, a friendly smile and a helping hand. Let us take our sorrows to God, who binds up the broken-hearted and comforts those who mourn. Bless those whose hearts are sore today.

 We remember those who have lost loved ones for whom they have cared, whose needs they have met, whose lives have been so intertwined that they still listen for a voice they will not hear again.

We remember those who have lost their partner in life; parents who have lost children, who find their homes strangely silent and empty now. Children who have lost parents, who are confused by a world that seems less secure and more frightening than before and all who for whom familiar places, and sounds and smells awaken memories that bring tears in their wake. We remember our care homes – the residents, their families and the workers keeping them going in these circumstances.

Jesus said “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

We each carry burdens and cares which we bring to you now in a moment of silence.

God, may we seek you and follow the path laid for us through the teachings of Jesus who lived among us, died for us and rose again. Renew our faith and cause us to be filled with joy, with the Spirit you gave to us and with an unfailing love for all mankind. In your name we pray, amen.

Closing words and Benediction (Chris)

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.