Ardoch Parish Church

Sunday 11th October 2020

Download a pdf copy of the Order of service: Order of Service 11th October 2020 pdf

Welcome to our Service of Worship and First Hymn

Hymn: “Think of a world without any flowers”

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever.


Our reader this morning is Maureen James.

She is reading from Isaiah Chapter 25 v 4,5

Psalm 48 v 1-4

Maureen introduces the Hymn “Who put the colours in the rainbow”

Let’s just re cap on todays reading

You are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD,

a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.

You are a refuge from the storm

and a shelter from the heat.

For the oppressive acts of ruthless people

are like a storm beating against a wall,

or like the relentless heat of the desert.

But you silence the roar of foreign nations.

As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat,

so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.

There are numerous passages in the Bible where God is described as our shelter. In Isaiah 25, God is compared to a tower, a safe place for refugees, a shelter from the storm and a cloud that brings shade.

Different writers in the Bible saw different needs for shelter. David spent time on the run, and God as a hiding place was a powerful metaphor for him. Isaiah lived at a time when the nation of Israel was threatened by a foreign power. The prophet’s words would have resonated with those displaced by an invading army. The opposite may be true in Scotland, but as a desert people, there was comfort in the prospect of cloud – finally, some respite from the baking heat of the sun.

We would all have our own idea of what safety might be, and the wildlife around us will have a different perspective too. Small garden birds find safety in the tangled branches of shrubbery, something they can dart into when the shadow of a larger bird passes. For those birds of prey that they fear, shelter might mean a nook in a cliff face or a high branch of a tree. Others find shelter lower down. The deer feed in the open and return to the forest at night. Hedgehogs are at home in a pile of leaves. Puffins burrow themselves an underground nest.

As the autumn brings the colder weather, now is a good time to look at your garden and your church grounds, and think about making them a place of shelter for wildlife. What birds and animals could take refuge here? What could you add or enhance in order to create more safe places? We are invited to find peace and rest in the presence of God. How can we share and pass on that sense of welcome and protection to the wildlife around us?

Do you remember the birds in the temple?

In Psalm 48, the Psalmist expresses his longing for God’s presence. It’s like a hunger or thirst, a physical yearning for the peace of the temple and the refreshment of being with God.

As he thinks about the temple, he observes the wildlife that have found a place there. Sparrows visit the temple, perhaps picking up the scraps from the market or leftovers from the grain offerings.

Swallows are nesting in the temple, raising their young on the high walls and in the eaves. How blessed it would be, he muses, to live like those birds, always in the presence of God. Their whole lives would be praise.

Today we have the Holy Spirit. The presence of God is no longer uniquely found in the temple, but we may still experience a hunger for connection with God, or for the fellowship of God’s people.

And today we have a variety of creatures that live in and around the church. Each of them live out their animal lives to the glory of their creator, and they are worshippers at this church in their own ways.

Let’s look out for them, just as the Psalmist watched the birds in the temple. Let’s care for them and make room for them, taking pride in their coming and going.

We can do simple but very practical things to create our eco church community for the wildlife that share this home with us and this was going to be the exciting bit when I had hoped anyone who wanted, young and old alike could make a bird box , an insect homes or a hedgehog house to put up in the church grounds, so that we can invite new life in and so that more of God’s creatures can find shelter here at God’s house.

So my challenge to you this week is to make one of these in your own unique way and whatever colour you want , bring it down to the church and leave it on the bench and we will put  them up around the church grounds, lets create a place to come and be still with Lord, a place where we can be one with nature, a place where all feel welcome. A place that reflects the glory of God.

Our closing hymn is : “Makaton UK Blessing

Initiated by Becky George

Music “The blessing by Coventry Church Collective”

Editing Emily & Ben Williams

Promotion Rachel Donne—Davis