enlarge our hearts that they may be big enough to receive the greatness of your love.
Stretch our hearts that they may take into them all those around the world who,
with us, believe in Jesus Christ.
Stretch our hearts that they may take into them all those who are not lovely in our eyes,
and whose hands we do not want to touch; through Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen.
(Pilgrim Prayer, 101, adapted)
Responsive Psalm 29
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendour.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end.
Scripture Reading: John 3: 1 – 17
1Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
The Word of the Lord,
Thanks be to God.
(Rev. Dr Daniel Ntoni-Nzinga, Evangelical Baptist Church in Angola, former WCC staff and 1st General Secretary of Christian Council of Angola)
♪ Utima Wange (My heart is thirsting)
Prayers of Intercession
The Lord’s Prayer (each in the language of our hearts)
We who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
We who are children of God have been adopted by God.
We in whom the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits, that we are children of God.
We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Hallelujah! Amen.