Sunday 10th May 2020 

Hi, I'm Simon Shaw the Trainee Lay Pastor at Upper Edge. 

Welcome to worship at the online Upper Edge this morning!

Lets start with an opening reading from Psalm 31: 1-5, 15-16

In you, O LORD, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name's sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

Lets Pray

Father God, as we meet together this morning, we pray for your Holy Spirit to work amongst us. 
Holy God, you have called us to follow in the way of your risen Son,
and to care for those who are our companions,
not only with words of comfort, but with acts of love.
Seeking to be true friends of all,
we offer our prayers on behalf of the church and the world at this time for all your children.

Churches across the UK came together earlier this week to sing 'The Blessing' across our country.  IT'S AMAZING! 
It's nearly seven minutes long and you will love it!
Click the link below to watch it ..


I told you that you'd love it!

As we move towards Pentecost when I am planning to do a live video sermon we take a look at a story from the Bible where the Holy Spirit is at work.

This weeks reading is from Acts 7:55-60 - The Stoning of Stephen

But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
"Look," he said, "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"
But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.
Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he died.

As the first Christian martyr, Stephen set the example for countless thousands of martyrs who would follow, even through today.

Martyrs are especially esteemed by God. This is shown in Revelation 6:9-11, in which martyrs in heaven are given white robes, a symbol of blessedness.

Stephen was stoned because he preached the truth and stood his ground.   We would do well to follow his example and take our stand regardless of the persecutions, the false accusations and stones that will come.  Jesus promised, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matt. 5:10-12).

As you live out your life on your front lines you will no doubt come up against doubt, accusation and (hopefully) maybe a much milder form of persecution.   

Will Jesus be rejoicing at your response?  Will Jesus count you as a blessed one? 

The front line is not an easy place but be strong. 

Be filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven!

I played this song in church last year and feel it is very relevant to the situation at present.
Click the link below to watch it....


I pray you are all OK and if you are not then take solice in the fact that YOU WILL BE.  
GOD LOVES YOU and God IS walking through these difficult times with you.

Lets finish with the grace..

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God,
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
Be with us all, now and for evermore