We are a friendly Christian church, based in the small town of
Neston, Wirral, Cheshire, midway between Liverpool and Chester.
Part of the United Reformed Church, we meet on Sundays for morning and evening worship and other church groups and activities take place during the week.
Revd. Hilary Smith
In common with other UK churches our buildings are currently closed for services and
other activities. But while our buildings are closed - the church congregation
is not! And in the meantime our minister, elders and members are keeping in touch
with each other, and each Sunday we are also following together, virtually, a service
which is circulated each week. This week’s service is added below and we invite you to
join us as we share this together in our own homes on Sunday mornings. If you would like
to receive future services, please contact us by email
We are part of the United Reformed Church and you may also like to follow the URC Daily Devotions which you can access through this link - https://devotions.urc.org.uk/ - or on the United Reformed Church Facebook page. The URC page also carries a weekly service in the form of a podcast.
We hope and pray that it will not be too long before we can welcome friends old and new back to regular services in our church, and we are looking forward to seeing you once again!
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, move among us all; make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love, humble, caring, selfless, sharing – Spirit of the living God, fill our lives with love. Be with us we pray as we gather together now, one body, the body of Christ, in all our frail humanity, always in need of guidance. And yet we are strong, because we have Jesus as our Teacher, Lord and Saviour. We pray now that our worship will be acceptable to You, as we come before you in Spirit and in Truth. Amen
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.”
I know some of us have had a go at making pots from the original clay; I have fond
memories of watching “The Generation Game” and seeing the contestants trying to do
so, and of the many images of the potter and the clay the first one I think of
is that it is nowhere near as easy as it might look…
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul refers to followers of The Way as holding this treasure (that is, the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ) in jars of clay – to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are fragile jars of clay, and the treasure that we hold can be passed on to others, and to future generations; we are merely the vessel that takes care of it and nurtures it for a while.
So we have two images here; the whole nation (Israel/us) as a jar of clay, to be moulded according to the whim of the potter, and we have each individual person in the same situation.
We, as the body of Christ, are called to allow ourselves to be constantly open to change in what God is calling us to do, to be moulded into something new if that is God’s word to us.
But let’s back track, before we even get to be a jar of clay, there is so much process to go through. Clay is a type of fine grained soil that has to be mined, dug, cleaned, have water added, be stored and fired for use. It is extremely useful, if you know what you’re doing and have an image in mind of the result you are hoping to achieve.
So from before the beginning, we were waiting to be created and formed into what God wants each of us to be.
There is great comfort in the fact that God knows the plans he has for us; as individuals, as a society, as a nation, as a world. We are in his hands; what a lovely image that God can mould us towards our true destiny, that he has in mind for us. All we have to do is go along with it – remembering that to mould clay is nothing like as easy as it might look, so God has an uphill task with us.
Many people go through life as good pots, doing everything well, strong and faithful. Many others though are cracked pots, which are not perfect, which leak sometimes, and don’t do the job properly. God knows, it takes all sorts, and he is there as the potter, waiting to fix us.
I finish with some verses from the end of 2 Corinthians 4: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Lord of life, we remember before you now the beauty and the brokenness of the
world. We thank you for acts of light and love, for the coming Advent time,
reminding us of God With Us, a light in our darkness, hope in our suffering.
We pray for the world in its need, for those who are struggling with bereavement, fear, and anxiety in the current situation.
We pray for ourselves and we offer to you in a few moments of silence our need; our concerns, our confession, our yearning.
Grant strength to your servants we pray Lord, hold us in the hollow of your hand, enfold us with your love, keep us in the knowledge of your laws, and give us peace.
The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want,
He makes me lie in pastures green,
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.
May the road rise to meet you, the wind be always at your back, may
the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall softly upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
Why not come and join us for one of our services - you will be very welcome and we look forward to meeting you.