Transcript of on-line service for Kilrenny Parish Church Sunday 17th January 2021.

Friday 22 January 2021

Order of Service for Sunday 10th January 2021

Online worship 



Welcome to worship with the community of Kilrenny Parish Church. We may not be able to worship in the Church at this time, but we can still come together as a worshiping community give thanks and praise God.


Call to Worship

Lord Jesus, you call us to be your people in this place. Give us a sense of your power in our lives, your love in our hearts, and your joy in all we do. Join with us now as we worship you this day.



Hymn CH 251                      I, the Lord of sea and sky



Opening Prayer & Lord’s Prayer

During this prayer there are moments of silence to reflect on people that are important to you or for you to call certain things to mind.


God of abiding love,

present in all our beginnings,

acquainted with all of our ways,

intricately woven into the depths of all things –


You understand our thoughts from far off,

and know our ways intimately.

As we gather to worship You,

nothing is hidden from You.

May we recognise Your voice in our midst.

As we gather to give You thanks and praise,

may we relish all of the days You have written for us.

As we sing, pray and tell our stories,

Grant that when we come to the end of ourselves

we would find You.


Generous God

From our hearts we thank You

We say thank You for friends and for family


Generous God

From our hearts we thank You

We say thank You for our church and our community


Generous God

From our hearts we thank You

We say thank You for Your Church in the word


Generous God

From our hearts we thank You

We say thank You for the people in our community


Generous God

From our hearts we thank You

We say thank You for Your creation, the world in which we live


Generous God

From our hearts we thank You

We say thank You for the many ways You touch our lives.

For laughter, for conversation,

for bird song and frosty mornings,

for the people and places in our communities that are important to us.


We say thank You

for times of silence and space to just be,

for company and chance encounters,

for simple things and special moments.


Thank You that You are with us in the highs and lows of life,

when we are busy and when we are still,

When we believe with all our hearts,

and when we are barely hanging on by our fingertips to our faith.

You create and recreate and knit us together again.

And we say thank You

for the gift of Your love,

Given to us in Christ Jesus.

Generous God

From our hearts we thank You


And now, we join our voices together in the Prayer Jesus taught us:

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






Reading: John 1: 43 - 51

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come with me!” (Philip was from Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter lived.) Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the book of the Law and whom the prophets also wrote about. He is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” answered Philip.

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, he said about him, “Here is a real Israelite; there is nothing false in him!” Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

“Teacher,” answered Nathanael, “you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus said, “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you when you were under the fig tree? You will see much greater things than this!” And he said to them, “I am telling you the truth: you will see heaven open and God's angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”



Reflection: “Come with me!”

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of each of our hearts be acceptable in your sight Lord, amen.


Today we take a short digression from the Gospel of Mark into John’s Gospel to hear the story of the calling of two of the more enigmatic disciples: Philip and Nathanael. Philip reappears later in the book of Acts, but Nathanael is only ever mentioned in John’s Gospel and then disappears completely from sight. There are two things for us to note about these encounters: firstly, the immediacy of Philip’s call and secondly, Nathanael’s verification of Jesus as messiah after his doubts about His origins in Nazareth.


Let’s take these in turn. Philip is easy to deal with. We don’t know much about him, but John tells us he comes from the town of Bethsaida and, like Andrew, he sees Jesus and immediately accepts Him as the Messiah, the one all faithful Israelites were waiting on. Philip responds to Jesus’ call to “come with me” in the same way Andrew and Simon Peter had done. His acceptance was immediate, unquestioning and instinctive.


Nathanael is more interesting. When he is told by Philip that he’s found the Messiah, his first instinct is that of all good country folk: “nothing good comes out of Nazareth”! I’m sure many of you can relate to that parochial sense that the neighbouring villages are never as good as the one you come from. I won’t cast any aspersions on relations between, say Anstruther, Cellardyke and Pittenweem, but I know that the good folk of Dysart always cast a wary eye over anyone from the Gallatown, or Pathhead in neighbouring parts of Kirkcaldy. In all the years I’ve gone to Kirkcaldy, the dividing line between the linked villages of the Lang Toun and the former Royal Burgh of Dysart is still as mysterious to me now as it has always been!


Nathanael displays all the normal prejudices any villager will have about their neighbours. Remember that in a world full of prophecy, Nazareth was never mentioned as having any connection with the Messiah. At this point in our story, Philip could have pleaded with him or tried to twist his arm to meet with Jesus, instead he simply says “come and see for yourself”. Jesus immediately spots the nature of Nathanael’s faith and speaks directly to his sense of expectation in the Messiah. Within moments, the doubts are gone, the prejudices put to one side and Nathanael is a convert. Jesus may come from the wrong town, but He speaks to Nathanael in the language he understands. He taps into Nathanael’s expectations and He displays all the attributes Nathanael is looking for.


The sense of calling we see demonstrated in this Gospel passage is reflected in the famous Old Testament story of the calling of Samuel. In a full-blown service I would have normally used that story as the counter-point to the Gospel, to demonstrate how God had called the young Samuel in a time when the nation of Israel had lost its way. The reading from 1st Samuel, chapter 3, is reflected in today’s first hymn: I the Lord of Sea and Sky. Young Samuel has never heard God’s voice, but the aging Eli realises what is happening and tells the young boy what to do.


All of these callings are important. They tell us about the nature of God’s action in the world and how He works with ordinary people like you and me. The Church is once again looking for people who feel God’s call to do His work. Sometimes God will speak directly to you, sometimes it will be an encounter in the street. For me, God’s call was more of a gentle, nagging whisper, something I could ignore for so long but eventually had to acknowledge and act on. Like so many people involved in the work of the Church, we can find it difficult to hear God above the clamour of good works and service, but, if like Samuel or Philip, we listen to that prompting, it can take us in new and unexpected directions. I had no intention or idea that I would ever become a Minister of religion, I thought that it was enough that I use my gift for talking as a Reader, but God continued to prompt me to take my service further. And I now find myself serving Him in the wonderful surroundings of Kilrenny. My journey of service is not remarkable for many, but it is for me.

So now is a good time to ask yourself: what is God wanting me to do? Has God been quietly nagging you for a long time to take your service forward, but you’ve been ignoring Him? Sometimes we have to listen to that inner voice, the one we try to put out of our mind. Sometimes we need to take a chance and respond like Philip, Nathanael or Samuel. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone and take the ‘leap of faith’ that the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard described. We need to stop thinking about what the right thing to do is in the eyes of the world and focus on what the right thing is for God. Our disciples did just that: they stepped out of their ordered, everyday worlds and followed Jesus. They had expectations of what Jesus would look like, act like and where they would find Him, but He defied all of these and came at the most unexpected moment and in the most unexpected place. We too can have those encounters with Jesus, if only we open our eyes and our hearts to His prompting and take that leap of faith to a new life, with new challenges and new possibilities.


When Jesus next asks you to “come with me”, will you turn your back on Him and stay in your comfortable life or will you say yes and take that leap of faith?






Hymn CH 502                      Take my life and let it be


Prayers of Intercession

This prayer of Intercession comes from a book by the Rev David Ogston called Scots Worship for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. It is a rich resource for prayers and other materials, some of it in Scot’s dialect. In particular, there is a wonderful section called “a quarry of prayers”, from which I’ve taken this prayer.


Let us pray.

O Lord, who art the hope of all the ends of the earth: Our fathers and their fathers before them placed their hope and faith in you, and you answered them in their day of trouble for your names sake.

Hear us now, O thou preserver of our lives and lover of our souls.


O Lord, have pity on our race: raise us from the life of tension and care to the life of gladness and trust.

Lord, helper of the helpless, remember those in trouble who need rescue and relief from pain, respite from worry and redemption from error.


O Lord, who art the Shepherd of the Church, remember this day all those who have believed, and grant to all believers one heart and one soul.

O Lord, the giver and the sustainer, strengthen the weak and reassure the fearful, and halt the careless in their hurry to go adrift.


Lord of lords, ruler of rulers, speak powerfully and with persuasion to all rulers, that they may be ashamed of any loss of truth, or loss of reason, or loss of honour.


Grant to our farmers good seasons and kind weather;

Grant to our fishermen fair skies and rich waters;

Give honesty and just dealing to all those who trade in coins, ideas, words and pictures, and watch over all our bargains, O Lord, lest we be deceived.


Lord, help us to love those who love us. Help us to pray for those who are too busy to pray. Lord, help us to be true to Jesus Christ for the sake of those who have no time for him, no sorrow for his cross, no joy in his redemption. Lord, help us to be like Christ for all his people here in this place.




Now go in peace;

may this day, this year unfold as it should;

may you find solace in scripture and spirit;

and may your journey into this new year

be filled with the hope and promise of God

for the sake and the peace of the world.




Kilrenny Parish Church, Kirk Wynd,
KY10 3JJ
(view map)