Worship in Carlops Sunday 30th January 2022 10am


Welcome and lighting of candles       Galina Macneacail and Adam Salter


Call to Worship:                         Patsy Campbell


              Eternal God, you came down to Earth for us

              Lord your grace is for all of us

              By the power of your love, you changed the world

              Help us to recognise your grace freely given

              Help us to change to make us more like you

              May your grace be with us    



Hymn 182:       Now thank we all our God


  1.        Now thank we all our God,

              with heart and hands and voices,

              who wondrous things has done,

              in whom his world rejoices;

              who from our mothers’ arms

              has blessed us on our way

              with countless gifts of love,

              and still is ours today.


  1.        Oh, may this bounteous God

              through all our life be near us,

              with ever-joyful hearts

              and blessèd peace to cheer us,

              and keep us in his grace,

              and guide us when perplexed,

              and free us from all ills

              in this world and the next.


  1.        All praise and thanks to God

              who reigns in highest heaven –

              the Father and the Son

              and Spirit now be given:

              the one, eternal God,

              whom earth and heaven adore;

              for thus it was, is now,

              and shall be evermore.



Readings                         Laura Armstrong

1 Corinthians 13:  1-13     

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.

Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Luke 4:  21-30

He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.



Reflection:       Steven Whalley          


I wonder if you have ever seen or experienced a rapid and dramatic turnaround?

As a football fan, I can think of times when a substitute is brought on midway through a game and then scores a goal moments later with the first touch of the ball.

In curling, it may be when sliding the stone down the ice and clearing all the opponent’s stones from the house.

Outside of sport, it may be when someone tells you something about themselves which changes your view of them as it means you see some behaviour or comment made in a new light.

Sometimes an important moment of insight, typically one that leads to a dramatic transformation of attitude or belief is called a ‘Conversion on the Road to Damascus’ moment. We all know this is based on an event that happened to the author of one of our readings.

In our reading from Luke we have two rapid dramatic turnarounds.

The events on the clifftop were indeed very dramatic. The crowd was going to throw Jesus off a cliff. The reading tells us they got to the cliff edge but then things changed rapidly, and he was able just to walk through the crowd. We are not told what caused the turnaround.  Did the crowd come to some group realisation of what they were doing was wrong as it was based solely on the anger they felt?  Or was it more about Jesus’ gravitas which means he was able to influence them into stopping? 

This event reminds me that only a little earlier Jesus had stood up to the Devil who wanted him to throw himself off a cliff to demonstrate God would protect him.  Jesus’ gravitas at that time was to remind the Devil of the scripture that says ‘do not put the Lord God to the test’. Perhaps this strengthened his determination to pass through the crowd.  

Passing through the angry crowd was, chronologically, the second of the dramatic turnarounds. The first was how an appreciative crowd turned angry.

To understand the first, we need consider what got them angry in the first place.

If this was a TV programme you would see Jesus at the cliff edge and then on the screen you would see something like ‘20 minutes earlier’.

If we go back in time we see a different story. Jesus had just read from the Scriptures and the crowd was impressed and marvelled at the eloquent words he spoke.

They were so impressed that had to give themselves a reality check. Wasn’t this the son of Joseph?  They would know him as ‘just’ the carpenter’s son. Someone who had grown up in their town and now they suddenly see him in a new light. Jesus understood how they felt and challenged them by saying in the revised standard version – no prophet is acceptable in his own country. It seems here familiarity breeds contempt.

But given that he handled that concern – So far so good.

So how did we get to the point they all wanted to kill him?

Well, the reading explains that very well. They didn’t like his message.  Now remember In Luke’s version this is the one of the first messages Jesus had to say and it was shortly after he was in the wilderness thinking about what his Ministry should be like.     


And his message that he was the Messiah bringing good news to the poor and oppressed – a controversial statement in its own right. One his audience could just about accept, but also that the Messiah had come for all and not just Jews. This was not what his audience wanted to hear.

Yet this was a consistent theme throughout Jesus’ ministry. 

In John Ch 4 v4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well and at the end of the episode Jesus states all will worship God. And, of course, the parable of the Good Samaritan again highlights Jesus does not see his message for just Jews.

The theme is carried on through the early church. You may recall the story of Peters vision (Acts 10 v9-16). Here Pater has a vision of animals on a sheet from Heaven. When he is told to kill and eat he declines saying he does not eat anything unclean. The voice says do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.  So this means people do not have to become Jews and follow Jewish tradition to be Christians.

So, back to our passage, when Jesus quotes examples from Old Testament, the Jewish prophets are saving and healing Gentiles – the crowd become angry and hence the turnaround from being impressed to being angry and the move to the cliff top.

A dramatic turnaround from well-respected to loathed.


However, in modern parlance what we see is Jesus being inclusive.

No one is not of God’s people.

  • The grace of our Lord is open to everyone,
  • The Holy Spirt can work through everyone.
  • God’s gifts are for everyone.
  • God’s love is for everyone.

This brings us to our reading from Corinthians. And a well know reading it is.

The writer, Paul is very much in the same mould of being inclusive. Paul operated over a wider geographical area than Jesus and so in some ways his comments recognised broader groups to be included. Paul would have had more exposure to the different types of groups. Groups often excluded from the things we take for granted. This would be slaves, migrants and others without Roman citizenship with the privileges and rights such a status guaranteed.       

In Galatians 3:28, Paul writers:  

So, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Jesus Christ.

So how do we behave in an all-inclusive Christian way?

Paul tells us that is:

  • not through having specialist knowledge,
  • not through having specialist skills like speaking in tongues being able to share inspirational messages.

It’s much simpler than any of that – it’s through love. Love for one another. Love for our neighbour.

Love which is:

  • patient and kind,
  • not selfish or keeping score of wrongdoings.

This brings us nicely back to the good Samaritan who Jesus uses as an illustration of the love of our neighbour.  

So, it is love of our neighbour that guides us to think about if we need to turnaround anything in our lives. And it is the love of the neighbour that will help us to do it.

As someone once sang – Love changes everything.

As will Gods gifts to us:

  • The gift of his grace that offers us redemption and
  • the gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us strength to do the things we find hard.

Loving your neighbour who is an enemy is no easy task.

It would be very easy to finish at this stage with the question of

  • what do we as individuals need to turnaround in our lives.
  • What do we need to show more love for our neighbour?

Perhaps to help us think about this I can share an inspirational checklist attributed to St Francis of Assisi that is not the entire list but is very familiar and very powerful.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life


Prayer                Chris Levison

Lord of the morning, you are with us at the start of each new day.  Help us to be aware of your presence in all our beginnings, in new relationships, new activities and in all the decisions we make which shape the future. 

Lord of the daytime, you are at the heart of all we do, in the high noon of life you are there at the centre. Help us to know your presence, your vulnerable but unstoppable love, encouraging us to follow your way, often costly but ultimately fulfilling. Not as an afterthought but at the very core of who we are and what we do.

Lord of the evening, in the twilight of the day, when we can look back, see your hand in the good things we have known, in the love shared with family and friend.  Help us to make good use of all our experiences, give us wisdom to be promoters of peace, equality and justice for all who are in need.  Help us in the laying of good foundations in preparation for the next dawn.

Lord of time and space, for the gift of creation we give you our thanks for the beauty of our world, for days of roaring wind and days of tranquil peacefulness.  For the stars above and the earth beneath. For the changing seasons, for the sleep of winter and the early hints of longer days, for bulbs sleeping under the soil, beginning to stretch towards the light.

Help us to be more aware of the fragility of our planet, the animals, plants and people who inhabit, forgive our capacity for destruction, and teach us to encourage each other to better care for a healthy and sustainable future.

We pray for our world, especially those places in the throes of war and it’s threat. For Ukraine and Syria, for Yemen and Ethiopia and all places where people live in fear of violence. That peaceful ways may be found to establish a more just and compassionate way of living together.

We remember those who lack the basics of life, of food and warmth, vaccines and healthcare, education and security, that some day soon we will learn to share better the riches and wealth available to some but not to others.

We pray for those with leadership responsibilities in politics, in industry, in social and medical services, that they will know and learn wisdom.

We pray for our own community for our families and friends, especially those going through difficulties at this time.  In a time of silence, we pray for them now …….

Lord of the days, be with all who are in need, make us your eyes to look out on the world, your hands to work for justice and peace, your community sharing and showing the value of each person, and so contributing to a more kind and compassionate society.

Help us to be bringers of wholesome joy for the sake of that love, seen once and for all in the life and words, the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Hymn 528:                      Make me a channel of your peace

  1.        Make me a channel of your peace.

              Where there is hatred let me bring your love;

              where there is injury, your pardon, Lord;

              and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.


               Oh, Master, grant that I may never seek

               so much to be consoled as to console;

               to be understood as to understand;

               to be loved, as to love with all my soul.


  1.        Make me a channel of your peace.

              Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope;

              where there is darkness, only light;

              and where there’s sadness, ever joy.


  1.        Make me a channel of your peace.

              It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

              in giving of ourselves that we receive;

              and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.



Benediction                   Steven Whalley


Lord, make each of us a blessing.

To those we meet – make us a blessing

As we walk down the street – make us a blessing

This day, even this hour – make us a blessing

 It lies in your power – make us a blessing

At work and at home – make us a blessing

Wherever we roam – make us a blessing

That people may see – we are a blessing

For God is with us.


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.