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Marsden Road Uniting Worship - Wesly 2 - 09 August 2020

August 7, 2020 - 3:12am

Marsden Road Uniting Church

Carlingford

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Thoughts Upon God and Slavery

 09th August 2020 - Wesley 2 Sunday 9.30 am

Gathering God’s People

 

Acknowledgement of First Peoples

 We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Call to Worship

(The Abingdon Worship Annual 2020)      

As we worship God today, we sense the presence of a great cloud of witnesses around us. We stand in the tradition of Methodists whose faith sent them, like the early Church, to the farthest corners of the earth with the good news of Christ. It is a heritage made up of many cultures, times, and places, drawn together in one body by the one Spirit who is the Giver of life.

We come to hear the story of God’s faithfulness to past generations.

But we also look to the future as well as the past. The God, who was with our ancestors, is with us as well. Then we can go forward in hope. Whatever else fails, God remains faithful. Nothing can separate us from the love of God! Praise be to God!

Hymn TIS 129: Amazing Grace (how sweet the sound)

                  (Tune – Amazing Grace)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORTa86X4-sI  

1.  Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see. 

2.  'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed! 

3.  Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
'tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.  

4.  The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures. 

5.  When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

                     Author: John Newton (1779) Tune: Amazing Grace

 Opening Prayer

      Almighty God, who guided this church through these last 160 plus years, we give you thanks and praise for the many blessings you have bestowed on our congregation. Direct and prosper all that we undertake in accordance with your will and purpose, correct all that may be amiss or imperfect, and by the power of your Holy Spirit inspire and enable every member of your Church in word and deed to proclaim to all people the good news of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who with you and the same Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen. 

A Prayer of Confession

      Almighty God, you have loved us with an everlasting love, but we have broken your holy laws and have left undone what we ought to have done. We are sorry for our sins and turn away from them. For the sake of your Son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us and change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

O Lord, we beseech you, absolve your people from their offences; that, through your bountiful goodness, we may be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, loving God, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour.

Thanks, be to God! Amen

The Peace

God has received us, pardoned us and loved us; let us forgive each other in love and share the peace of Christ. Peace be with you.
And also, with you.

 (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)

A Word with the Children/Young People

Theme: Jesus came to heal and forgive.

Object:  A doctor's prescription

We often hear someone say, "That was just what the doctor ordered." What do they mean? They usually mean that something happened which was exactly what they wanted or needed. Do you know where we got that expression? Well, when we are sick, we usually go to the doctor. After checking us over to find out what is making us sick, the doctor takes a piece of paper like this one and writes out a prescription. The prescription tells us what kind of medicine we need to take to make us well. After leaving the doctor's office, we take the prescription to the drug store and the pharmacist fills the prescription with the medicine that the doctor ordered. If we take the medicine as the doctor ordered, we usually get well. That's where we got the expression, "That was just what the doctor ordered." 

When God created us, he wanted us to be happy and well. He didn't intend for us to be unhappy and sick. He never wanted people to be crippled or blind. But sadly, something happened -- and that something was sin. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they changed life for all of us. But God still loved us and he had a plan to make us well again. Jesus knew God's plan too.

One day Jesus was in Nazareth on the Sabbath so he went to the temple as he always did. When he stood up to read the Scriptures, he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He looked through the book until he found the part that said, "The Lord's Spirit has come to me and has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to free the prisoners, give sight to the blind, and to set everyone free from their suffering."

When he had finished reading, he handed the book back to the man who was in charge and sat down. Everyone in the place was looking at Jesus and waiting to see what he would say.

Jesus said to them, "What you have just heard me read has come true today."

What did Jesus mean? He meant that he was the one who came to make us happy and whole the way God intended for us to be. He came to heal the sick and the lame. He came to make the blind to see and to free us from sin. Now if we want to have what Jesus came to give, we must put our trust in him and do what he has told us to do.

Dear Father, we thank you for your love. We thank you for sending your Son to free us from sin so that we can know the joy that you want for us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

 Offering Prayer 

Eternal and loving God, we give thanks to you for your goodness through all the years of worship and witness in this place. May these gifts be blessed in your name. We give thanks for your grace in calling us to be your people, for your love revealed to us in Christ your Son, for your gift of the Spirit and the joy of salvation. Amen 

Hymn TIS 217: Love Divine all Loves excelling

                 (Tune – Hyfrydol) extra verse not in TIS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GenHMi5B7L4

  Love divine, all loves excelling,

Joy of heaven to earth come down;

Fix in us thy humble dwelling;

All thy faithful mercies crown!

Jesus, Thou art all compassion,

Pure unbounded love Thou art;

Visit us with Thy salvation;

Enter every trembling heart.

 

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,

Into every troubled breast!

Let us all in Thee inherit;

Let us find that second rest.

Take away our bent to sinning;

Alpha and Omega be;

End of faith, as its Beginning,

Set our hearts at liberty.

 

Come, Almighty to deliver,

Let us all Thy life receive;

Suddenly return and never,

Never more Thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,

Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,

Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,

Glory in Thy perfect love.

 

Finish, then, Thy new creation;

Pure and spotless let us be.

Let us see Thy great salvation

Perfectly restored in Thee;

Changed from glory into glory,

Till in heaven we take our place,

Till we cast our crowns before Thee,

Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

                            Author: Charles Wesley.

Tune: Blaenwern composed by W.P. Rowlands

                                      The Service of the Word

 The First Reading:                      Proverbs 22.16-25            

The Gospel Reading:                 Luke 4:16-30                      

Readings: NRSV Translation

Proverbs 22.16-25

16 Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss. 17 The words of the wise: Incline your ear and hear my words, and apply your mind to my teaching; 18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. 19 So that your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today—yes, to you. 20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings of admonition and knowledge, 21 to show you what is right and true, so that you may give a true answer to those who sent you? 22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor or crush the afflicted at the gate; 23 for the Lord pleads their cause and despoils of life those who despoil them. 24 Make no friends with those given to anger, and do not associate with hotheads, 25 or you may learn their ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

Luke 4:16-30 

16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

Preaching of the Word: Thoughts Upon God and Slavery

From our Study:

“My boss is such a slave driver. He reminds me of Dagwood’s boss in the comics, Mr. What’s-his-name. Always yelling, piling on more work, never showing me any appreciation, making me work on weekends and at night.”

“I’ve been slaving away all day, trying to make things nice for you. And you can’t even say thanks?”

“I’m just a slave to the system. The only way to keep up my house, my cars, my kids’ school and soccer and swimming and dance is to put in longer and longer hours.”

All those people are using “slavery” as an exaggeration for hard work. The reality of slavery is a topic we want to avoid in the Western World. It is the most painful memory in such places as the USA national culture. The forced labour of African slaves was a crime against humanity, and a blot on that nation’s honour. In Australia, the Blackbirding of Kanaka’s for the Queensland cane field work was also a form of slavery.

The USA fought a great war over slavery and, when the slaves were freed, they continued to hold them in economic bondage for nearly another century. The indenture of European servants was a form of slavery, and yet a notch above slavery, because at least those servants saw an end to their indenture. “Sweat shops” were, and are, a form of economic slavery. We’d rather not think about those awful parts of our past—and present, in some cases.

Slavery continues to flourish in our world today. People who are hungry, homeless, or otherwise vulnerable are lured into debt slavery because they are promised a better life. Some of them are forced into prostitution. Some are forced laborers. Some are illegal immigrants who pay large fees to an “agent,” who smuggles them into a nation, and then keeps them in virtual slavery because of the debts run up. Some are children sold as jockeys, as prostitutes, as laborers. Some are farm laborers whose parents passed on debts to them and they will, in turn, pass those debts on their children.

But let’s go back to our roots. Traditional Methodists cannot be surprised by social science data repeatedly linking poverty, health issues, inadequate education, crime and abuse with divorce, cohabitation, illegitimacy, promiscuity, gambling and substance abuse.  An effective and biblically faithful engagement for Methodist politics will have to rediscover Christian anthropology and understand humans as both body and spirit.

Wesley at times lamented that where the gospel was preached, so too did thrift, industry and riches.  He didn’t begrudge increased wealth per se but feared the distractions from faith they offered.  So too should we, while still working to rescue individuals and societies from beliefs and habits that oppress and impoverish.

The greatest riches are spiritual and moral.  And they are produced by a Gospel-enlivened society organically rooted in stable marriages and families, chastity, sobriety, self-denial, thrift, hard work and moral responsibility.  These virtues and practices are rightly encouraged by churches, which are called to redeem the fallen, and governments, which are responsible for public order.

Wesley and his followers of the first 150 years or so did not deploy the institutional church for routine engagement in political specifics.  Instead they produced Christians and citizens who understood they operated under God in a wider social accountability.  Their faithfulness could bring blessings upon their nation, and their sins could contribute to divine judgment and social decay.

In our own time we should recall their example of faithfulness and godly social engagement while constructing a new Methodist political witness that understands that every person is a moral agent bearing the divine image. This understanding led to the Wesley’s engaging in and being vexed by the issue of slavery. In their world that slavery was most obvious in the ownership by Europeans of those of other races such as Africans. Today slavery can take many forms.

It is a commonplace, although one not often examined closely, that John Wesley was a lifelong opponent of slavery. Such claims originate with Wesley himself. 'Ever since I heard of it first', he wrote to Granville Sharp in October 1787, 'I felt a perfect detestation of the horrid Slave Trade'. Whether that is true is impossible to know. What is certain is that Wesley actively opposed the slave trade from the early 1770s onwards. Scholars of both Methodism and of abolitionism have often noted in passing his contributions to the accelerating abolition movement, which have survived in the form of a pamphlet, a group of letters, and a number of Journal entries.

Wesley's main contribution to that movement, was his pamphlet, “Thoughts upon slavery,” written in 1774. We can read it not only as polemic, but also as 'literature' to demonstrate that Wesley's sentimental style is as important as his moral, religious and economic arguments. Indeed, Wesley, despite objecting to sentimental writing in his Journal, is in fact one of the first major writers on slavery to use a sentimental rhetoric to make arguments against it: an important innovation, since much of the ensuing debate was conducted in exactly those sentimental terms.

Although Wesley claimed to have been opposed to slavery from the first time, he heard of it, we have no way of knowing if this is true. Neither can we know with certainty when he first heard of slavery. He might have come into contact with slaves in England. In the early eighteenth century, it was fashionable for aristocratic women to employ black pageboys, and young liveried slaves were not an uncommon sight. Slaves were also brought to England by visiting colonists and by officers in both the Royal Navy and the merchant marine.

In 1736-7, Wesley visited North America including Georgia, which was then a British colony, and there he came into contact with enslaved people. This experience left him with a loathing of slavery but at first, he felt unable to act on this. From 1739 onwards, Wesley and the Methodists were persecuted by clergymen and magistrates. They were attacked in sermons and in print and at times attacked by mobs.

The focus that Wesley needed came when Granville Sharp contested the case of a runaway slave (James Somerset) in the courts. Wesley was moved to study a text by the Philadelphia Quaker, Anthony Benezet. Wesley's journal shows that Benezet's work, and Lord Mansfield's deliberations in the case of Somerset, caused him much disquiet.

Two years later, in 1774, he wrote that tract called "Thoughts on Slavery" that went into four editions in two years. In it, he attacked the Slave Trade and the slave-trader with considerable passion and proposed a boycott of slave-produced sugar and rum. In August 1787, he wrote to the Abolition Committee to express his support.

In 1788, when the abolition campaign was at its height, he preached a sermon in Bristol, one of the foremost slave trading ports. In those days, an anti-slavery sermon could not be preached without considerable personal risk to the preacher and a disturbance broke out.

He maintained an interest in the abolition movement until he died. Wesley also famously said:

"Give liberty to whom liberty is due, that is, to every child of man, to every partaker of human nature. Let none serve you, but by his own act and deed, by his own voluntary action. Away with all whips, all chains, all compulsion. Be gentle toward all men; and see that you invariably do with everyone as you would he should do unto you." 

Now Wesley was, by birth and inclination, a social and political conservative. But his religious convictions turned him into a radical reformer whenever and wherever conservatism interfered with liberty and human progress. He attacked slaveowners, the captains of slave ships, slave merchants, and even the judges who upheld the legal right to own slaves. “Are there any laws as binding as the eternal laws of justice?” he asked in response to court rulings. 

Wesley preached that we needed to be involved in “social holiness.”  He believed we could only grow as Christians in a community, surrounded by people of similar faith and conviction.  In his preface to the 1739 hymnal, he was insistent that “the gospel of Christ knows of no religion but social; no holiness but social holiness.”

One wonders, to what extent the economy of the Australia depends on some form of slavery, whether it is debt slavery, sweat shops, or other forms of bondage and injustice? Should we be concerned about child slavery in much of the world, about women forced into prostitution? Or laborers in virtual slavery because of generations of debt? Would Wesley say to us, as he said to Wilberforce, “Go on, in the name of God, and in the power of his might until (every vestige of) slavery” shall vanish away? What does our Christian faith, our understanding of God and salvation in our Wesleyan heritage, suggest to us about opposition to slavery? 

Hymn 629: When I needed a neighbour, were you there,

                  (Tune – Neighbour)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrJ190HIk1w

When I needed a neighbour
Were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty
Were you there, were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

I was cold, I was naked
Were you there, were you there?
I was cold, I was naked, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

When I needed a shelter
Were you there, were you there?
When I needed a shelter were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

When I needed a healer
Were you there, were you there?
When I needed a healer, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

Wherever you travel
I'll be there, I'll be there
Wherever you travel, I'll be there
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
I'll be there

Author: Sydney Carter (1965)
Tune: Neighbour


Intercessory Prayers

God of truth and justice, in your Son Jesus Christ, people of all races are adopted as your children. We thank you for Thomas Clarkson, Olaudah Equiano, and William Wilberforce, and all who devoted themselves to the abolition of slavery in the past.

Let me hear of your loving-kindness, O Lord.
For you are my hope and salvation.

Give your Church courage to stand for the dignity of all. Forgive the sins of past prejudice and slowness to recognise evil. Inspire all who proclaim the name of Christ with your wisdom to be agents of transformation and peace. God of truth and justice, in your amazing grace, hearts are turned from indifference to passionate pursuit of liberation.

Let me hear of your loving-kindness, O Lord.
For you are my hope and salvation.

Stir those in power to work for the eradication of all forms of slavery today. Sustain all trafficked and exploited peoples — those who are sold and abused as commodities for others’ gratification. May we hear today the fulfilment of your word. God of truth and justice, you announce good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed.

Let me hear of your loving-kindness, O Lord.
For you are my hope and salvation.


Extend the boundaries of our compassion to include fairness in trading at home and abroad. Give us the will to challenge structures that keep many locked into poverty and deprivation. Make us worthy of your majesty and honour.

God of truth and justice, you hear the cry of all in distress.
Pour out the abundance of your mercy on all weighed down by sufferings of mind or body . . .

Let me hear of your loving-kindness, O Lord.
For you are my hope and salvation.

Break the chains that restrict the spirit, that we may sing songs of praise and hope. God of truth and justice, in your Son we are born to new life, and no one is beyond your reach. Proclaim your favour to all who have entered the shadow of death . . . Give comfort to grieving hearts and bring us to rejoice in your eternity.

Let me hear of your loving-kindness, O Lord.
For you are my hope and salvation.    

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn TIS 209: And Can it be

                   (Tune - Sagina)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29myH7xXI4M

And can it be that I should gain

An interest in the Saviour’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain?

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!


'Tis mystery all! The Immortal dies!

Who can explore His strange design?

In vain the firstborn seraph tries

To sound the depths of love divine!

'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,

Let angel minds inquire no more.

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!


He left His Father's throne above,

So free, so infinite His grace;

Emptied Himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam's helpless race;

'Tis mercy all, immense and free;

For, O my God, it found out me.

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!

 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature's night;

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!

 

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus, and all in Him is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine,

Bold I approach the eternal throne,

And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!

Author: Charles Wesley (1738)
Tune: Sagina

 

Benediction       

       Faithful God whose Word does not return empty but accomplishes all that you purpose, may your blessings fall like rain to water the earth, nourishing seed for our food, and filling us with the abundance of your love, through Jesus Christ your living Word. Amen.             

Hymn 778: Shalom to you now

                 (Tune – Somos Del Señor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u-WxpmOpN4

Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends.

May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends.

In all your living and through your loving,

Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom

Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)
Tune: Somos Del Señor

 

 

 


Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship 02 August - Wesley 1

July 31, 2020 - 1:13am

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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What About God and Science?2nd August 2020 - Wesley 1 Sunday 9.30 am
Gathering God’s People
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.
Call to Worship (The Abingdon Worship Annual 2020)        Sisters and brothers, we meet to worship God, to give thanks for the vocation of us all as the beloved of Jesus Christ, to remember our roots in the teaching of the Wesley Family and to remember the commitments we have made, and to reflect upon our life and ministry.
God gives the Word Great is the company of the beloved of Jesus Christ. Young and old, from all walks of life, blessed with experience, imagination, compassion Great is the company of the beloved of Jesus Christ. Warmed by the Word within, Worshipping God in Spirit and Truth Great is the company of the beloved of Jesus Christ. God gives the Word Great is the company of the beloved of Jesus Christ.
Hymn AHB 229: Let Heaven and Earth Combine                   (Tune – St John) two extra verses not in AHB.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO1AihQTNFQ
1.  Let earth and Heaven combine,Angels and men agree,To praise in songs divineThe incarnate Deity,Our God contracted to a span,Incomprehensibly made man.
2.  He laid His glory by,He wrapped Him in our clay;Unmarked by human eye,The latent Godhead lay;Infant of days He here became,And bore the mild Immanuel’s name.
3.  See in that infant’s faceThe depths of deity,And labour while ye gazeTo sound the mysteryIn vain; ye angels gaze no more,But fall, and silently adore.
4.  Unsearchable the loveThat hath the Saviour brought;The grace is far aboveOf men or angels’ thought:Suffice for us that God, we know,Our God is manifest below.
5.  He deigns in flesh to appear,Widest extremes to join;To bring our vileness near,And make us all divine:And we the life of God shall know,For God is manifest below.
6.  Made perfect first in love,And sanctified by grace,We shall from earth remove,And see His glorious face:His love shall then be fully showed,And man shall all be lost in God.
Author: Charles WesleySt. John (13355)Composer (Attributed To): W. H. Havergal 1850
Opening prayer
     Living God whose Word became flesh in Jesus and whose Spirit of Truth speaks into our hearts all honour and glory and worship belong to you. As our praises pronounce your wonder may our lives overflow with love, that our words and deeds might tell of your goodness and declare your infinite grace. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Holy God hear us as we confess our sins. If we have taken too lightly the call to proclaim your gospel: Gracious God forgive us. Help us to live your Word. If we have been complacent in our preparation and forgetful of your people’s needs: Gracious God, forgive us. Help us to live your Word. If we have put our own ideas and concerns before the good news of your love. Gracious God forgive us. Help us to live your Word. If we have failed to listen to the promptings of your Spirit. Gracious God forgive us. Help us to live your Word. If we have not lived the message, we have voiced. Gracious God forgive us. Help us to live your Word. Silence May the living God forgive and renew us, give us victory over sin and set us free in Christ. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Gracious God with gratitude and gladness we hear your promise of liberation: that in Christ we are forgiven and set free and restored to serve you. Thanks, be to God! Amen
The Peace
Let us share the joy, the freedom, and the rest we find in God’s love, as we greet one another in the grace and peace of Christ.The peace of Christ be with you. The peace of Christ be with you always. (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Offering Prayer
Receive these gifts we now bring, God of gifts, and bless them to be gifts for your world. Through our giving, renew others, that they too may know the comfort and rest of living in the arms of your compassion and your love. Amen.
Hymn AHB 518: From you all skill and science flow                   (Tune – Kingsfold)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhK6Nl2ZiNw
From you all skill and science flow,
all pity, care and love,
all calm and courage, faith and hope
O pour them from above!And share them, Lord, to each and all,
as each and all have need;
so let your gifts return to you
in noble thought and deed.
And hasten, Lord, that perfect day
when pain and death shall cease,
and your just rule shall fill the earth
with health and light and peace:Whenever green the grass shall be,
and ever blue the skies,
and our destruction shall no more
deface your paradise.
Charles Kingsley (1819 - 1875)Tune: Albano                                     The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                      Romans 9.1-5                   NEB page 879The Gospel Reading:                 Matthew 14:13-21             NEB page 738
Readings: NRSV Translation
Romans 9.1-5
9. I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. 4They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; 5to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
Matthew 14:13-21 
13Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Preaching of the Word: What About God and Science?
John Wesley (1703 -1791) was a pioneer of the 1730s British evangelical movement. While best known to us as the founder of Methodism, his intellectual interests included a lifelong engagement with the ideas and activities of the natural philosophers (scientists) of his day. He encouraged his preachers to become conversant with science, incorporated scientific topics in his sermons and other writings, and used electro therapy apparatus in his medical clinics. Science correctly understood was to serve the cause of Christ rather than be feared.
The eighteenth century challenged Christians to adapt their ways to new ideas. Many intellectuals in John Wesley's England embraced a widening gap between the natural and the supernatural, natural law and providence, and rational faith and piety, which had roots in the mechanistic interpretations of nature epitomized by Sir Isaac Newton's accomplishments. The study which began our final of five series on John Wesley and the twenty first century offers an insight of Wesley's interaction with science and the challenges which the new understanding of nature and the physical world brought to believers.
Wesley's intellectual horizon included a lifelong interest in the progress of science and the ways that science could serve Christian purposes. Although he occasionally dabbled in the field or recommended projects to others, Wesley never had the interest (or time) to devote to serious experimental study and cannot be compared with contemporary scientist-clerics such as Joseph Priestley, Stephen Hales, Bishop Samuel Horsley, or William Derham. Mainly, John Wesley focused on science to serve his single goal and purpose of furthering the gospel and helping the sick. He also wrote inexpensive works on natural science for his constituency. Wesley's sermons and other writings point to an enthusiasm for the natural world as "God's World which could be exploited for humanitarian as well as traditional religious purposes.
It is interesting to note that Wesley seemed to be interested in science and he was guided by the empirical method of his day, not by proofs from Scripture. Indeed, he interpreted Scripture in the light of science. He was not interested in theories, but in description. Causes, or broad explanations of events were not his concern. What he was concerned with was facts, data that the mind could grasp. At the same time, he looked at the facts as ways of describing God’s work, as well as describing the world around us. Where the results of science conflicted with the Bible, Wesley gave up the literal meaning of the biblical text—because the Bible was not intended to teach scientific truth!
Wesley's student days at Oxford indicated a more than ordinary attention to science. He was interested in such disparate questions as the nature of "vacuums, the Chain of Being, and the ability of animals to reason."1 In later travels, he would meet and comment on the work of many individuals working in science. He was particularly concerned with unusual natural phenomena and would often speculate on their causes. An insatiable reader, Wesley read scientific works throughout his life, often from the back of his horse.
From his own reading and the advice of others, he developed short lists of scientific works for his correspondents, schools, and lay preachers. These collections included older works by John Ray, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards as well as current works by Benjamin Franklin, Charles Bonnet, John Hutchinson, and Oliver Goldsmith. Wesley followed the debates that swirled around the various interpretations of Newton's ideas.
As we heard in our study for Wesley scientific facts about the heavens, for example, are not dependent on Scriptural authority. When Scripture makes claims about the world that science has disproved, Scripture must then be interpreted in a non-literal way. One wonders, in that light, what Wesley might have said about the age of the earth and the evolution of life, if he had had at his disposal the data of modern scientific findings.
What would he have said, if he had seen the data, about the rich fossil record for the development of life, spanning hundreds of millions of years? What would he have said about the much sparser, but no less fascinating, fossil record of the development of humans? Would he have said that Genesis 1 and 2 need to be interpreted in a non-literal way? We have no way of knowing, definitively, what he might have said. In the light of the way he interpreted Scripture in relationship to the scientific data of his own day, however, we can guess he might have said, “Yes, we need to reinterpret Genesis 1 and 2.”
Wesley's view of the natural world and the position of nature in God's economy was never listed in one place or integrated into a system. In drawing together his ideas from various sources, we recognize that our understanding will be tentative and incomplete...an appropriate response to one who dealt with challenges in context rather that from a confession.
Hymn AHB 556: Creator of the earth and skies                         (Tune – Plaistow)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWoyZ3Fq-jI
1.  Creator of the earth and skies, To whom all truth and power belong, Grant us your truth to make us wise; Grant us your power to make us strong.
2.  We have not known you: to the skies Our monuments of folly soar, And all our self-wrought miseries Have made us trust ourselves the more.
3.  We have not loved you: far and wide The wreckage of our hatred spreads, And evils wrought by human pride Recoil on unrepentant heads.
4.  We long to end this worldwide strife: How shall we follow in your way? Speak to mankind your words of life, Until our darkness turns to day.
Words by: Donald Hughes
Music by: Jeremiah Clark

Intercessory Prayers  
Almighty God, you raised up your servants, John and Charles Wesley, to proclaim anew the gift of redemption and the life of holiness. Pour out your Spirit, and revive your work among us; that inspired by the same faith, and upheld by the same grace in word and sacrament, we and all your children may be made one in the unity of your Church on earth, even as in heaven we are made one in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Some pointers for prayer: 
Pray for the Church throughout the world – that the Spirit will revive and refresh the Church in every part; • Pray for your local church and the churches in your area – that you may be waiting attentively for the ways God is speaking through the Spirit; • Pray for those who come to your church, and for those on the fringes - that they may have an assurance of God’s love and know that they are saved through Christ; • Pray for those who are in leadership in the Church - that they may be strengthened & upheld in their ministries; • Pray for those who you know who do not know of God’s love – for friends or family, for neighbours or colleagues, that God’s Spirit may fill their hearts; • Pray for the Kingdom of God - that it may break through in us & among us, that the earth may be filled with the glory of God; • Pray for yourself - that God’s Spirit will speak in your heart, that you may be bold to proclaim the gospel in your words and actions.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn AHB 297: Come, let us with our Lord arise                          (Tune – Surrey) extra verse not in AHB
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvvr6TG7RX4
Come, let us with our Lord arise,Our Lord, Who made both earth and skies;Who died to save the world He made,And rose triumphant from the dead;He rose, the Prince of life and peace,And stamped the day for ever His.
‘This is the day the Lord hath made’ −That all may see His love displayed,May feel His resurrection’s power,And live again to fall no more;Their heart and mind and will renewed,And filled with all the life of God.
Then let us render Him His own,With solemn prayer approach the throne,With meekness hear the Gospel word,With thanks His dying love record;Our joyful hearts and voices raise,And fill His courts with songs of praise.
Honour and praise to Jesus payThroughout His consecrated day;Be all in Jesus’ praise employed,Nor leave a single moment void;With utmost care the time improve,And only breathe His praise and love.
                                  Text: Charles Wesley | Tune: Surrey
Benediction                Faithful God whose Word does not return empty but accomplishes all that you purpose, may your blessings fall like rain to water the earth, nourishing seed for our food, and filling us with the abundance of your love, through Jesus Christ your living Word. Amen.             
Hymn TIS 779: May the Feet of God Walk with You                        (Tune – Aubrey)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X5FHNGM2HA
May the feet of God walk with you, and his hand hold you tight.May the eye of God rest on you, and his ear hear your cry.May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give you life.May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring youhome.
          Author: Aubrey Podlich
Tune: Aubrey




Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Worship Pentecost 8

July 24, 2020 - 1:41am

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford--------------------------------
Today Let's Picture the World...,
Sunday 26th July 2020Pentecost 8 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30 am
Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.
Call to Worship - (Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)        Waiting is seldom easy. Yet, in the process of waiting, we discover new growth. The Spirit moves and breathes, and treasures are sometimes discovered. As we wait this day, may God’s miraculous presence be revealed in us and through us.
Waiting and hoping, we gather together, seeking God’s presence and singing God’s praise.Waiting and hoping, we come now to worship, praying and listening for the Spirit’s guidance. Waiting and hoping, we gather together, seeking God’s presence and singing God’s praise.
Hymn 093: Praise the Lord, you heavens adore him               (Tune – Austria)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNvoTbO8JFg
Praise the Lord: ye heavens, adore Him;Praise Him, angels in the height.Sun and moon, rejoice before Him;Praise Him, all ye stars of light.Praise the Lord, for He hath spoken;Worlds His mighty voice obeyed.Laws which never shall be brokenFor their guidance He hath made.
Praise the Lord, for He is glorious;Never shall His promise fail.God hath made His saints victorious;Sin and death shall not prevail.Praise the God of our salvation;Hosts on high, His power proclaim.Heaven and earth and all creation,Laud and magnify His name.
Worship, honour, glory, blessing,Lord, we offer unto Thee.Young and old, thy praise expressing,In glad homage bend the knee.All the saints in Heaven adore thee;We would bow before Thy throne.As Thine angels serve before Thee,So, on earth Thy will be done.
Words: Vs 1 & 2 Foundling Hospital Collection 1796 Vs 3 Edward Osler 1798-1863Tune: Austrian: Franz Joseph Haydn 1732-1809
Opening prayer
Holy One, your kingdom always takes us by surprise— like a mustard seed growing into a great shrub where the birds of the air can build their nests; like a treasure hidden in a field, or a pearl of great price. May we desire your kingdom more than we value worldly things, through Christ, who shows us the way. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Eternal God, waiting is hard— waiting for justice, waiting for peace, waiting for love, waiting for your presence to heal us. Give us the patience and passion of Jacob, to work for the deepest desire of our hearts. Give us the perseverance of Abraham, to keep going when all hope seems lost. Transform our hope into action, that we may help build your kingdom here on earth. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Nothing can separate us from the love of God: Not death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come. No power on heaven or under the earth can separate us from the love of Christ: Not height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation. Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
Nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love and peace of God in Jesus Christ. Let us share this love and peace with one another today.Peace be with you! And also, with you!
A Word with the Children/Young People
Theme: We find our treasure at the cross.Object: A map to hidden treasure that you can make              yourself, and a wooden cross.
There was a time, when someone who had something of great value would often bury their treasure so that no one could find it and take it away. Of course, there was always the risk that one might forget where their treasure was buried, so to make sure that they would remember where it was, they would often make a map like this one. Usually they would mark the spot where the treasure was with an "X" like the one on this map.
That is where we get the expression, "X marks the spot."Have you ever dreamed of finding an old map and following it to a spot where a pirate had buried a chest full of glittering gold? Well, this morning I want to tell you about a treasure that is more valuable than a chest full of gold -- and I will even tell you how to find it.
Jesus once said, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and then hid again; in his joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field." If you would like to find the treasure that Jesus was talking about, perhaps the Bible could be the map that leads us to that treasure. The Bible has a lot of information in it, but it is sometimes hard for us to understand, so how do you know exactly where the treasure is? That's easy, because "X marks the spot."
(Hold up the cross at an angle so that it looks like the letter x.) Jesus died on the cross so that you and I could enter into the kingdom of heaven. When you look to the cross and put your trust in Jesus, the treasure will be yours.
To enter the kingdom of heaven is the greatest treasure one could ever desire. It is more precious than silver, gold, or jewels. That is why Jesus calls us to give up all that we have and follow him.
Offering Prayer
Giver of all good gifts help us be kingdom builders as we offer our gifts to the world. May our gifts be like treasure in a field for those waiting for new life. May our offerings be like yeast for those hungering for their daily bread. Bless our lives and our giving, that we might be part of the great mystery of kingdom building, in world waiting to be remade. Amen.
Hymn 106: Now thank we all our God                  (Tune – Nun Danket)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s99dNPKYtHk
Now thank we all our God,With heart and hands and voices,Who wondrous things hath done,In whom His world rejoices;Who from our mother's armsHath blessed us on our wayWith countless gifts of love,And still is ours to-day.
O may this bounteous GodThrough all our life be near us,With ever joyful heartsAnd blessed peace to cheer us;And keep us in his grace,And guide us when perplexed,And free us from all illsIn this world and the next.
All praise and thanks to GodThe Father now be given,The son, and him who reigns,With them in highest heaven,The one eternal God,Whom earth and heaven adore;For thus it was, is now,And shall be evermore.
Translator: Catherine WinkworthAuthor: Martin Rinkart (1636)
Tune: Nun Danket
 
                               
The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                      Romans 8.26-39                 NEB page 878The Gospel Reading:                 Matthew 13: 31-33; 44-52   NEB page 737
Readings: NRSV translation
Romans 8.26-39
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?
33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Matthew 13: 31-33; 44-52
44 ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls;46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. 47 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51 ‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ 52 And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’ 53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place. 54 He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did, this man get all this?’ 57 And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.’ 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.
Preaching of the Word: Today Let's Picture the World...,
Today let’s picture the world as an ungainly, promising mass of dough. The comedian comes out on stage and starts his routine. In a rapid-fire monologue, he serves up jokes. His timing is masterful, and the one-liners burst forth in succession, with precision, so that you can’t help but laugh.
Jesus comes out in front of the crowds and starts his teaching. In a rapid-fire monologue, he serves up parables. His timing is masterful, and these word-pictures burst forth in succession, with precision, so that you can’t help but see.
Here there’s a similarity between Jesus and a stand-up comic. The comedian makes you laugh; Jesus makes you see. And what you see is something of the kingdom of heaven, that realm where God’s sovereignty is recognized.
The routine Jesus offers in today’s gospel is a bonanza: five short parables in a row. All of them are gems. Parables about a mustard seed, treasure buried in a field, a pricey pearl, a fishing net. Then there’s the one we might focus on this morning: the parable about yeast in the flour.
It’s a one-liner. You might have missed it if you sneezed when the gospel was read. It goes like this: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
Three measures of flour. Do you know how much that is? About eighty pounds! This woman is not Margaret Fulton whipping up a couple delicate, exquisite little biscuits that together weigh less than a canary. No, no. This woman is a baker!
She’s emptying sixteen five-pound bags of flour into the biggest mixing bowl you’ve ever seen. She’s pouring in forty-two cups of water. She’s got a mass of dough on her hands that weighs over a hundred pounds. Kneading this lump of dough, shaping it, pounding it. It looks like some scene at the end of a professional wrestling match. Here we have a no-nonsense operation. Sports fans, this is the art of baking at its best. A woman, with her apron dusted with flour, her ten fingers deep into the dough – she’s a combination of Julia Child and Hulk Hogan.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” Jesus tosses out this parable, this one-liner, and he does so for a purpose. Just as the stand-up comic wants us to laugh, Jesus wants us to glimpse the kingdom of heaven, that realm where God’s sovereignty is recognised.
Take another look at that huge mass of dough. It’s not just the flour anymore. The yeast is in the dough, invisible, but permeating the mass, and having its effect. A mystery is bubbling away inside, with much more happening than meets the eye.
As this process continues, the hidden will become manifest. There’s no way to stop it! The movement from mystery to manifestation: Jesus presents this to us as the pulse of the kingdom of heaven. Here is how God’s sovereignty becomes apparent: it resembles the strange transformation that turns flour into dough.
We get to watch the baker woman at work. We’re invited to look at this process and see it for what it’s worth. But if we’re to get a glimpse of the kingdom, if we’re to look down to the centre of this parable, then two things are asked of us: we must be patient, and we must exercise discernment.
Yeast takes a while to work, and its working is mysterious. So, we have to be patient as the dough rises and comes to life. This dough is not a dead lump, a hopeless, shapeless pile, but instead a universe where opportunities become real. The baker woman is at work with our life, our circumstances, and the people around us. Nothing is outside this lump of dough.
We need to be patient and to exercise discernment if a lump of dough is ever to be bread for the world. And we must exercise this same patience and discernment about the universe. Life is something other than a pile of flour and a bit of yeast. Life is an ungainly, promising mass of dough, on its way to becoming abundant bread. Just as yeast permeates the entire lump, so the kingdom is present everywhere, and everywhere it becomes manifest for those with eyes to see.
If we look around us and within us, we can recognize the presence of the kingdom. That kingdom is at work, just as yeast is active in the dough. And as yeast is invisible and known by its effects, so the kingdom is hidden, concealed, buried deep in ordinary circumstances, yet known by its effects.
Look at your life in the light of grace. Something is there for you to find – whether you feel happy or sad, whether your life seems successful or disastrous, whether you call yourself a winner or a loser. That something is the activity of the kingdom, yeast bubbling away in your corner of the lump.
And when you find the kingdom among the realities of your life, nothing prevents you from finding this same kingdom present as well in the circumstances around you, in the lives of other people, and everywhere you choose to look.
There’s one caution to keep in mind. The kingdom does not come with brass bands. It is not the subject of headline news and public-relations efforts. We are talking here about yeast working invisibly in the dough, a hidden yet potent activity.
As it takes faith to believe that bread will rise, so too faith is necessary to see the kingdom manifest in the everyday and the ordinary. We must exercise patience and discernment wherever God places us. Then we will see that what seems like a dead lump is in fact bubbling with divine life.
So may each of us go forth this week, and encounter places and people and circumstances, and look there for the kingdom: not as distant, but near at hand; not as obvious, but hidden; not as static, but alive and becoming manifest; a kingdom making room for all of us.
When we look for the kingdom, then we find it present, abundantly present. And when we do, then we have more reasons to give thanks than we ever expected.We discover it’s true, that one-liner Jesus tells us. All the world is a lump of dough, flour with yeast mixed in, and SURPRISE! God’s a baker woman making bread.
Hymn 547: Be Thou My Vision                   (Tune - Slane)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY54pCBs-1o
1      Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art--
thou my best thought by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
2      Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my great Father, I thy true son;
thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
3      Be thou my battle shield, sword for my fight;
be thou my dignity, thou my delight,
thou my soul's shelter, thou my high tower:
raise thou me heav'n-ward, O Pow'r of my power.
4      Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
thou mine inheritance, now and always:
thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.
5      High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
6      Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art--
thou my best thought by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Translator: Mary E. Byrne; Versifier: Eleanor H. Hull
Tune: Slane
Intercessory Prayers  
O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, into this fullness of time You have sent our Messiah, woman-borne, to redeem us as Your own children. Let us rejoice with our whole beings, as heirs of Your eternal Kingdom, justified by faith, and proclaiming Christ’s grace and truth.Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier GodMay our lives reflect Your Light and Glory.O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, with the Spirit of the Son that You have sent into our hearts let us not keep silent. Grant us courage to speak without ceasing to lawful governments and to vengeful despots until righteousness, peace, and mercy prevail across our Earth, across our Country, and across our Communities, great and small. We pray especially for ……………..: Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier GodMay our lives reflect Your Light and Glory.O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, refresh the bodies, hearts, and souls and give hope to all who suffer serious illness, despair, or fear, and to all who give love and support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need………Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier GodMay our lives reflect Your Light and Glory.O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, dispel the darkness of grief as we remember and celebrate all who have gone ahead and now live again, complete in the radiant joy of Your eternal life. We pray especially for:  add your own petitionsCreator, Redeemer, Sanctifier GodMay our lives reflect Your Light and Glory.O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently……………….Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier GodMay our lives reflect Your Light and Glory.O God of All That Is, Seen and Unseen, we give You gracious thanksgiving for those entrusted to bring us Your Word and Sacraments. Fill us all with unwavering faith that we may walk together as constant witnesses of Christ Jesus, our Saving Lord. We pray especially for: add your own petitionsCreator, Redeemer, Sanctifier GodMay our lives reflect Your Light and Glory.Holy Triune God: Lord, Word, & Spirit, we are created by You to be Your fertile soil in this world. Let us each, by word and example, sow seeds of forgiveness, hope, and salvation, by grace upon grace, now and in the life to come. We ask through Jesus, Your Word Made Flesh; the Holy Spirit, Your Sacred Breath; and our Almighty Creator, who, together, reign as One God, now and forever.  Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 658: I, the Lord of sea and sky                   (Tune – Here I am Lord)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz9idECYVNg
I, The Lord of Sea and Sky,I Have Heard My People Cry.All Who Dwell in Dark and Sin,My Hand Will Save.I Who Made the Stars of Night,I Will Make Their Darkness Bright.Who Will Bear My Light to Them?Whom Shall I Send?
Here I Am Lord, Is It I, Lord?I Have Heard You Calling in The Night.I Will Go Lord, If You Lead Me.I Will Hold Your People in My Heart.
I, The Lord of Snow and Rain,I Have Borne My People’s Pain.I Have Wept for Love of Them, They Turn Away.I Will Break Their Hearts of Stone,Give Them Hearts for Love Alone.I Will Speak My Word to ThemWhom Shall I Send?
Here I Am Lord, Is It I, Lord?I Have Heard You Calling in The Night.I Will Go Lord, If You Lead Me.I Will Hold Your People in My Heart.
I, The Lord of Wind and FlameI Will Tend the Poor and Lame.I Will Set A Feast for Them,My Hand Will SaveFinest Bread I Will Provide,Till Their Hearts Be Satisfied.I Will Give My Life to Them,Whom Shall I Send?
Here I Am Lord, Is It I, Lord?I Have Heard You Calling in The Night.I Will Go Lord, If You Lead Me.I Will Hold Your People in My Heart.
            Author: Daniel L. Schutte (1981)
Tune: Here I Am, Lord
Benediction                Like treasure hidden in a field, Christ offers us the kingdom of God.         All things work together for good for those who love God.         Like a pearl of great price, Christ offers us the kingdom of heaven.         All things work together for good for those who wait for God.        Like a mustard seed that grows into a great shrub, Christ offers us the realm of God’s blessing.         All things work together for good for those who abide in God’s Spirit.        And may the Holy Spirit fill and inspire you with the wonderful knowledge that nothing is able to separate you from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Hymn 781: Father bless us as we go                 (Tune – Kookaburra)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POBe6v4fB10
Father bless us as we go.Jesus, walk beside us.Holy Spirit guide us.
Author: Robin Mann
Tune: Kookaburra



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship Pentecost 7 19 July 2020

July 16, 2020 - 11:50pm

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford-------------------------------------------------------------



Can We Stamp Out Darnel? Sunday 19th July 2020Pentecost 7 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30 am
Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2020)        While we are waiting, God is waiting with us. God’s promises are both now and yet to come. Wait and see.
We wait with hope,for God’s promises are sure. We wait with patience, for God’s time is a mystery. Come and worship. We will wait upon the Lord together.
Hymn 130: We plough the fields, and scatter                  (Tune – Wir Pflügen)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du-5yPKfSRc

1.  We plough the fields and scatterThe good seed on the land,But it is fed and wateredBy God's almighty hand:He sends the snow in winter,The warmth to swell the grain,The breezes and the sunshine,And soft, refreshing rain.
      All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above;            Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,            For all his love.
2.  He only is the makerOf all things near and far;He paints the wayside flower,He lights the evening star;The winds and waves obey him,By him the birds are fed;Much more to us, his children,He gives our daily bread.
      All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above;            Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,            For all his love.
3.  We thank thee then, O Father,For all things bright and good,The seed time and the harvest,Our life, our health, our food.Accept the gifts we offerFor all thy love imparts,And what thou most desirest,Our humble, thankful hearts.
       All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above;            Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,            For all his love.
Translator: Jane M. CampbellAuthor: Matthias Claudius (1782)
Tune: Wir Pflügen
Opening prayer
     Holy God of mystery and miracles reveal your presence to us, as we gather in worship. Send your Holy Spirit to descend upon us, as angels once descended to Jacob. Raise our thoughts, that we may reflect on your promises and trust with hope in promises yet to come. In your holy name, we pray. Amen
A Prayer of Confession
Patient, loving God, when we are groaning and griping, comfort us and forgive our shortcomings. When we are doubting and afraid, comfort us and reveal your promises to us. Help us trust with hope, and wait with patience, even as you patiently love us with your mercy and your grace. In your loving name, we pray. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       We have this hope: God’s promises are sure, and Christ’s mercy is ours.All is well. All will be well.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
As God’s beloved children, let us share signs of love and peace with our sisters and brothers in Christ.Peace be with you! And also, with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Announcements
A Word with the Children/Young People
Rose was 9 years old and she was well-behaved - except when she had to tidy her bedroom!  Annabel was also 9 and her behaviour could only be classed as bad - so bad that no one wanted to be her friend.  Annabel didn’t go to the same school as Rose, but she lived only four houses away, and the girls’ mothers often chatted if they saw one another in their gardens or when shopping. 
Annabel’ s mother had an idea - she asked Rose’s mother if Rose could come and play with Annabel in the hope that Rose’s good behaviour would rub off on Annabel.  Guess what happened.  When Rose came home after playing with Annabel - she was just plain naughty.  She kicked the dog, pinched her little brother, pressed her face against the fish tank and made horrible faces at her beloved fish.  She even let the chooks (hens) out, who made a beeline for her mother’s herb garden!   Not like Rose at all.  Her mother couldn’t believe the difference in Rose’s behaviour and told Rose this in no uncertain terms. 
The next day was Sunday and the lesson in Sunday school was based on today’s verses from the gospel about the weeds and the wheat growing together.  Rose listened very carefully and, on the way, home she asked her mum - have I been more like a weed than a rose?  Her mum nodded and said that when she had been like a weed she made everyone cranky and no one - not even her brother or the dog - wanted to be near her - so wouldn’t it be a lot better being Rose again?  Rose nodded and said how her Sunday school teacher had told them how Jesus’ love not only helped them to blossom but also helped them to spread love to others so that they could blossom too. 
And Rose went on to say “That’s what I’m  going to do the next time I see Annabel and if we end up playing nicely that would be just like pulling the weedy parts out of her wouldn’t it.”  Rose’s mum had to agree and gave her a big hug.  “Maybe we could invite Annabel to our place tomorrow after school” she said, as Rose skipped off happily..

You may want to speak about the imagery of the roots of the weeds and the wheat becoming intertwined as they grow together, it is almost as though they are embracing one another.  The more we learn about Jesus, the more we understand how he wants to embrace us with his love and that can happen any time - maybe even here and now through the embrace -  the touch of another person in love and acceptance which definitely helps us become less weed-like.  This would be a good time to pass the peace - taking time for young and older people to share a touch or embrace.

Offering Prayer
God of ancient times and future hope, we bring these gifts to bless your world with hope. Please bless these gifts, that they may be a blessing to others. And bless us with patience and faith, that we may bring hope to a hurting world. Amen.
Hymn 238: Christ is the world’s true light                  (Tune – Darmstadt)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEmon2MxaBg                                    1.  Christ is the world's true light,
its captain of salvation,
the day-star clear and bright,
desire of every nation;
new life, new hope awakes
for all who own his sway:
freedom her bondage breaks,
and night is turned to day.
2.  In Christ all races meet,
their ancient feuds forgetting,
the whole round world complete,
from sunrise to its setting:
when Christ is throned as Lord,
all shall forsake their fear,
to ploughshare beat the sword,
to pruning-hook the spear.
3.  One Lord, in one great name
unite us all who own you;
cast out our pride and shame
that hinder to enthrone you;
the world has waited long,
has travailed long in pain;
to heal its ancient wrong,
come, Prince of Peace, and reign.
Author: G. W. Briggs (1931)Tune: Darmstadt  The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                       Romans 8:12-25                NEB page 878The Gospel Reading:                  Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43   NEB page 737 After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the LordPlease respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God.
Readings: NRSV Translation
Romans 8:12-25
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
24 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow, good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” 28 He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” 29 But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ 36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ 37 He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
Preaching of the Word: Can We Stamp Out Darnel?
        Have you had any trouble with darnel lately? It seems to me that this inquiry might bring a big question to our mind. What is it? What does it look like? Does it itch? Will "Head and Shoulders" (that dandruff shampoo we hear so much about) get rid of it?
        When we read the Gospel lesson for today, it is difficult for us. Can we put ourselves in the place of the people in Jesus' time? The people of that time were part of an early society, by our standards; it was primarily agricultural. Their concepts of distance and communication were quite different from our own. As an agrarian economy, the output or crops from the farms-wheat in this parable-were critically important. It was not something that you read about in the newspapers and wondered if it would affect the price of bread. The yield from the farms had a clear meaning to the people.
        It was the difference between starving and living. It was the difference between feeding themselves and their families adequately and going hungry. Jesus uses the allegory of the darnel in the wheat. He does it with the full recognition that his audience will understand what he is talking about. He knew how important it was to them.
        Darnel is not in our daily vocabulary. In fact, it was not even listed in two of the bible dictionaries that were consulted in the preparation of this sermon. It is a weed from my understanding. The definition that was finally located was: "several grassy plants." It sounds like something you might have in your lawn or your footy field or your golf course. However, what it translates into is competition for the vital elements that produce wheat, the "staff of life." The people understood that this was a real threat to their livelihood. While we would probably suggest a trip to the chemical shop to get "Roundup" or some other selective darnel-killer, that was not an option in Jesus' time. The reality was that he was painting a picture of a crop failure, reduced yields, and possible starvation.
        It is hard for us to relate to this story in our land-of-plenty. How many times have you gone to the supermarket and found no bread on the shelf? It just does not happen in Australia or in New Zealand the lands where there are "amber waves of grain." We would dismiss any reports we heard of darnel, get in one of our cars, and go to the market to fill our grocery needs. Pretty hard to get our attention with threats of darnel!  So, it seems pretty obvious that Jesus knew his crowd and how to get their attention. Let's join them and try to see what he is saying and how it impacts our lives today, in our time and society. There are many conclusions that we could reach in reading this parable. Some of them are:
        1. There is good and evil in the world.
2. Bad things happen that are beyond our control.
3. Jesus & God are aware of the evil deeds in our life and world.
4. Jesus blames the bad deeds on the evil presence in the world.
5. The farm in this parable is the world.
6. Jesus is the sower.
7. The good seed represents the good people in the kingdom or those in a relationship with Christ.
8. The darnel or evil ones will not be a part of the kingdom nor will they have a relationship with Christ.                 How are we impacted by these observations? Do we believe them? What do they mean in our lives? Am I darnel? Are you darnel? How do we know who is or is not? Or like most who have faith in God through Jesus Christ do we have times when we are darnel and blessed times when we are wheat? How do we do our best to be a part of the Kingdom or to be a part of Jesus' family?
        In the first place, we can’t argue with Jesus or his knowledge. He says that there is good and evil. We have to agree with this old observation that is confirmed with each morning paper. Each of us has scars in our daily lives that seem to be inflicted by others. We would probably agree that many people in our society live beyond the acceptance of the love of Christ. We see that they live without the knowledge, without the reality of the acceptance of the love of Christ. We would not and should not call them darnel! But our observation may be that their lives are damned or at least without the joy of life with Christ. In a world that can be nurtured by the beauty and love that Christ shares, they seem to be weeds, darnel. Rather than sharing and producing for the good of society, they seem to be on a different path or in a different world from many. 
        It seems that is not our concern or within our ability to determine who is and who is not in the Kingdom of God or family of Christ. Each of us has the responsibility to be the good plant, the good producer, and to devote ourselves to the many teachings of Christ. Ours is to accept, reflect, praise, and share the love of Christ, and the good life that he shares with us.
        When we are tempted to judge and separate the good and bad, we need to back off and remember that we are to love our neighbor. Without this love as the focus of our lives, it is likely that we would be considered to be darnel-the weed that Jesus intends to use for bonfires.
        The challenge is for each of us to live our lives as the good grain, the wheat, the staff-of-life. Let us pray for the strength, faith, and concentration to allow us to keep our course and to inspire others to join us. Let us pray that we are enabled to share the good news of Christ. Who knows--we may stamp out the darnel.
Hymn 087: You are before me, Lord you are                 behind                                              (Tune – Highland Cathedral)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVPs_9rNAPo
1.  You are before me, Lord, You are behind.And over me You have spread out Your hand;Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,Too high to grasp, to great to understand.
2.  Then from Your Spirit where, Lord, shall I go;And from Your presence where, Lord, shall I fly?If I ascend to heaven You are there,and still are with me if in hell I lie.
3.  If I should take my flight into the dawn,If I should dwell on ocean's farthest shore,Your mighty hand will rest upon me still,And Your right hand will guard me evermore.
4.  If I should say, "Let darkness cover me,And I shall hide within the veil of night,"Surely the darkness is not dark to You;The night is as the day, the darkness light.
5.  Search me, O God, search me and know my heart;Try me, O God, my mind and spirit try;Keep me from any path that gives You pain,And lead me in the everlasting way.
Author: Ian Pitt-Watson (1973, 1989)Tune: Highland Cathedral
Intercessory Prayers         Empowering God, you gave the church the abiding presence of your Holy Spirit. Look upon your church today and hear our petitions.Holy Spirit, rest upon the church, inspire our witness and service that the whole world may know the love and grace of God. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Holy Spirit, rest upon creation, work healing in wholeness where there is brokenness and knit all life into a glorious tapestry. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Holy Spirit, rest upon the nations and their leaders, grant all of humanity to find unity, peace, and justice. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Holy Spirit, rest upon the broken-hearted, wrap them in the loving arms of your care and lead them to the knowledge of your presence. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Holy Spirit, rest upon the sick and the dying, bring healing, comfort and peace at the last. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Holy Spirit, rest upon this congregation, show us how best to use the gifts you have given us for service in the name of Christ. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Holy Spirit, rest upon us who are still on our pilgrimage and unite us into one body with all who have gone before. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Grant that, gathered and directed by your Spirit, we may confess Christ as Lord and combine our diverse gifts with a singular passion to continue his mission in this world until we join in your eternal praise. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 626: Lord of creation, to you be all praise                     (Tune – Slane)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLqezg9dWiQ
        Lord of creation, to you be all praise!
Most mighty your working, most wondrous your ways!
Your glory and might are beyond us to tell,
and yet in the heart of the humble you dwell.

Lord of all power, I give you my will,
in joyful obedience your tasks to fulfill.
Your bondage is freedom, your service is song;
and, held in your keeping, my weakness is strong.

Lord of all wisdom, I give you my mind,
rich truth that surpasses man's knowledge to find.
What eye has not seen and what ear has not heard
is taught by your Spirit and shines from your Word.

Lord of all bounty, I give you my heart;
I praise and adore you for all you impart;
your love to inspire me, your counsel to guide,
your presence to cheer me, whatever betide.

Lord of all being, I give you my all;
if ever I disown you, I stumble and fall;
but, sworn in glad service your word to obey,
I walk in your freedom to the end of the way.

            Author: Jack Copley Winslow (1961)
Tune: Slane
Benediction                  May patience pave your path.          May hope comfort your world.          And may love to guide your lives.         Let us share the blessings of Christ’s eternal covenant         and praising God for the Spirit’s call to love and give.    Amen.                                                                             Hymn 778: Shalom to you now                     (Tune – Somos del Senor)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u-WxpmOpN4
Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends.May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends.In all your living and through your loving,Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom.

                  Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)
         
Tune: Somos Del Señor


Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship Pentecost 6 12 July 2020

July 9, 2020 - 11:19pm

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford--------------------------------------------------------------




The Responsibility of Hearing.Sunday 12th July 2020Pentecost 6 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30 am
Gathering God’s People
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Call to Worship - (Abingdon Worship Annual 2020)        Ask the Sower to cast you onto good, fertile soil, that you may bear the fruit of faith and love.
You are the Sower, O God, we are the seed. God’s word is being sown in our lives this day with the promise of new growth. You are the Lover, O God, we are the beloved. God’s love blossoms in our lives with a beauty greater than the lilies of the field. You are the Healer, O God, we are the healed.God’s healing flows through our lives with every beat of our heart. You are the Potter, O God, we are the clay. God’s hand fashions us to shine with the glory of Christ’s light. Come! Let us worship the one who sows us in fields of love.
Hymn 261: Lord, you are the light of life to me                 (Tune – Fairmead)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guaLiGTHDf8
1         Lord, you are the light of life to me;
when darkness hides my path, you help me see.
Shine on me, O Lord, that now and all my days
your light may lead me on, guiding my ways.
2         Lord, you are the rock on which I stand,
stable and strong in you, held by your hand.
Keep me safe, O Lord; in weakness let there be
your loving, firm embrace upholding me.
3         Lord, you are the truth that sets me free;
only in you is found true liberty.
Teach me then, O Lord, in all things to pursue
your good and perfect will, growing like you.
4         Lord, you are the Lamb of God who died,
suffering for love of me, scorned, crucified.
Love me still, O Lord; let others daily see
your selfless, serving love flowing through me.
5         Lord, you are the King who ever reigns.
Earth's rulers rise and fall: your throne remains.
Rule my life, O Lord; I yield myself anew
your name to glorify, living for you.
Brian R Hoare (born 1935)
© Brian Hoare/Jubilate Hymns Ltd
9 10 11 10

Opening prayer
Great Sower, cast us like seeds upon the winds of yourmercy, that we may grow in fertile ground. Keep our livesfrom stony pathways, where the heat of life’s cares andstrife strips our strength and vitality. Protect us fromthorny gullies, where the snares of life’s worries and fearsblock the sunshine of your Spirit. Land us safely in rich soil, Master Gardener, and bless us with the kiss of gentle rain, that our faith may increase, and our joy may be complete. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Caretaker of our souls, we yearn to resist the allures of status and prestige, for we often pierce ourselves with wounds of our own making. We long to bloom where we are planted, that righteousness and peace might flower in our lives. Free us of the fear of appearing foolish before others, as we seek new growth in your Spirit. Nurture us with your grace and mercy, that we might blossom and bloom as followers of Christ. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Those who abide in the Spirit are set free. Those who reside in Christ find no condemnation. Rejoice that we have been planted in the fertile ground of God’s love and mercy.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
The Sower has planted us in the fertile ground of this church. Let us express our gratitude for the love that grows within our fellowship by offering one another signs of Christ’s peace.Peace be with you! And also, with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Announcements
A Word with the Children/Young People
Theme: Growth depends upon where the seed is planted.Object: Several packages of seeds.
Have you ever planted anything? Perhaps you took some packages of seeds and planted a garden of vegetables. If so, you know that the type of soil that you have is very important to the success of a garden. If the ground is too hard, or full of rocks and weeds, you probably won't have a very good crop of vegetables.
In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a story about a man who went out and planted some seeds. This story that Jesus told is usually called "The Parable of the Sower," but actually, the story is more about the soil than it is the sower or the seed. Some of the seed that was planted fell on the path where the ground was very hard. The seeds just lay on top of the ground and the birds came and ate the seeds.
Some of the seed fell on rocky ground. The seeds sprang up quickly, but when the sun came, the plants dried up because they didn't have good roots. Some of the seeds fell among weeds and plants grew for a little while, but the weeds took over and choked them out. Fortunately, some of the seed fell on good soil and the plants grew strong and healthy and produced a good crop.
In Jesus' story, the Word of God is the seed, and we are the soil. Often, when we come to church, the preacher is preaching the Word, but we aren't really paying attention. Perhaps we are thinking about what we are going to do that afternoon or about what we did yesterday. We are hearing the Word, but we are not listening. That is like throwing seed on the top of the ground. It won't ever grow into anything in our life.
There are other times when we hear the Word and we get excited about it, but then our excitement fades and we drift away. That is like the seeds that fall on the rocky ground. The plants spring up, but then die because the roots are too shallow.
Sometimes we hear the Word and we believe what it says, but we want to keep on doing the same things we have been doing. That is like planting the seed in with a bunch of weeds. I can tell you what will happen, the weeds will soon take over!
When we hear the word, and we listen and try to understand what it says and put it into practice in our daily life, then we are like good soil. We are like soil where the seed takes root and grows and produces a plentiful harvest. That is the kind of soil that Jesus wants us to be. What kind of soil are you?
Dear Jesus, we want to be like the good soil. Help us to listen to God's Word and put it into practice in our daily life. In your name we pray. Amen.
Offering Prayer
Master Gardener, as you have sown our lives in a rich and fertile soil, may we bear much fruit through our giving. With these offerings, may your realm be brought to earth, as we plant seeds of hope in the fields of life. Bless our gifts and our ministry, that the world may reap a harvest of generosity and love. Amen.
Hymn 607: Make me a channel of your peace                  (Tune – Channel of Peace)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT8bybL_DqY
Make me a channel of your peace.Where there is hatred let me bring your love;Where there is injury your pardon, Lord;And where there's doubt true faith in you.
Oh, Master grant that I may never seekSo much to be consoled as to console;To be understood as to understand;To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace.Where there's despair in life let me bring hope;Where there is darkness, only light;And where there's sadness, ever joy.
Oh, Master grant that I may never seekSo much to be consoled as to console;To be understood as to understand;To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace.It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;In giving to all men that we receive;And in dying that we're born to eternal life.
Oh, Master grant that I may never seekSo much to be consoled as to console;To be understood as to understand;To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Author (attributed to): St. Francis of AssisiAdapter: Sebastian Temple
Tune: [Make me a channel of your peace]                                   
The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                       Romans 8:1-11               NEB page 878The Gospel Reading:                  Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23       NEB page 736After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the LordPlease respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God.
Readings: NRSV Translation
Romans 8:1-11
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!’ 18 ‘Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’
Preaching of the Word: The Responsibility of Hearing.
        We commonly call this the parable of the sower, but it is more accurately described as the parable of the soils. It is the reaction of the soils, of the hearers, that makes the difference. This is the important part of the parable. The sower must possess the seed. There is no point in our being concerned for a messed-up world characterized by crime, starvation, illicit sex, drug addiction and the rest, if we ourselves are part of the problem. We need to first experience the truth of the gospel in our own lives before we can share it with others.
        A sower needs to be skilful and know something of ground composition and soil preparation. We need to be aware of the laws of growth and patiently wait for results. All too often in our enthusiasm we are inclined to become overbearing. We can get into jamming religion down the throats of others and turn the very people we desire to win away. Nor is it enough to simply to have                    know-how and be attentive to our work. We need faith and trust. The farmer needs to be willing to spend money long before being sure of a return.
        Naturally the task of the sower cannot be overlooked. None of us can give eternal life nor can we make it grow & develop. That is God's prerogative - God's work. God alone gives the increase. What the sower sows is equally significant and that is the seed. When he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside. In explaining the parable to his disciples, Jesus left little doubt as to what he meant by the seed. The seed is clearly the word of God.
        There are many today who are not sowing the seed of the living word. You can tell the kind of seed by the kind of fruit that is brought forth. Look around you. How much evidence is there in many of our churches today of transformed lives? As I have said, before, we are all ministers; how are we showing in our lives and through our words and actions the word of God? Are we showing change to our lives that are tarnished by sin? Are we living out the promises that were made at our Baptism?
        Jesus pointed out that it was really the condition of the soil that determined the harvest of the grain. Some seed fell by the wayside, on the well-trod path that led through the fields. Through constant usage the ground had become packed and hard. The seed had no chance to take root and grow. Soon the wind came and blew it away, or the birds swooped down and devoured it.         There are those who have become callous to the message of the gospel. In failing to respond to God's claim upon their lives, their hearts have been hardened and their minds closed.
        Prejudice can blind us to things. Behaviour not of God, can keep us from being objective in evaluating our own lives. Pride, fear of the unknown and change are all factors that harden our hearts. The very pressures of everyday life have a tendency to crowd out any sense of the sacred. There is no one as blind as the person who will not see.
        Other seed fell on rocky ground. Immediately it began to grow as there was a thin layer of soil. But just below the surface a hard ledge of rock kept the roots from digging deep. Soon the hot sun and blustering wind killed the new life. Our churches have many what could be described as superficial Christians in them. In a moment of emotion, they take their stand, but over the long haul, when the going gets rough, they are nowhere to be found. We need to encourage the church to be a place for people whose lives are cluttered by rocks to work at removing those very rocks and not to be a place for them to hide.
        Other seeds fell upon thorny ground. This is the best soil yet, but it is uncleansed. To the eye it looks rich and productive. The seed is sown with every good intention. Only when it begins to grow do we become aware that it will be impossible to harvest. There is no way of separating the thorns from the grain. In due course it to, gets choked out by the uncontrolled weeds of the field.
        Jesus indicated three types of thorns to be wary of: cares of the home and family life, bills and sickness, schooling. All of these are legitimate but can become enemies as they change our priorities despite our best intentions. Riches can trap us and chop off the word. We can go after worldly things such as business, success, pleasure, power and acceptance to such an extent that they keep us from putting God first. The thorn of compromise has ruined many a Christian life.
        Not all of the seed feel on poor soil or poorly prepared ground. Some fell on good ground and brought forth fruit. In comparing this kind of soil to the hearer, Jesus says it is a person who hears the word, understands, and responds to that same word. Most of us hear, but it is important that we understand and respond in both word and action also. How important it is for each of us to know our own hearts our response the gospel of Jesus.
Hymn 187: Let all creation dance                  (Tune - Darwall)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GybOFak_a8
Let all creation dancein energies sublime,as order turns with chance,unfolding space and timefor nature's artin glory grows,and newly showsGod's mind and heart.
Our own amazing earth,with sunlight, cloud and stormsand life's abundant growthin lovely shapes and forms,is made for praise,a fragile whole,and from its soulheaven’s music plays.
God's breath each force unfurls,igniting from a sparkexpanding starry swirls,with whirlpools dense and dark.Though moon and sunseem mindless things,each orbit sings:"Your will be done."
Lift heart and soul and voice:in Christ all praises meetand nature shall rejoiceas all is made complete.In hope be strong.All life befriendand kindly tendcreation's song.
Author: Brian A. Wren (July 1989)Tune: Darwall
Intercessory Prayers         Gracious and loving God, we come to you with hearts that need to be opened to your word and your love. There is so much around us that tears at us and causes us to tremble. Keep us ever mindful of your presence and the hope that you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ.Lord in you mercy: hear our prayer Guide us, we pray, as your church, struggling to spread the good news. Keep us focused on the mission and ministry to which you have called us and lead us forward. We know, Lord, that there will often be bumps and holes in the road along the way. Save us from dwelling on them and make us secure in the goals you have placed before us.Lord in you mercy: hear our prayer Hear our prayers for all who need your tender touch of healing in their lives—those we name before you each day, and those who are known only to you in the depths of our hearts. Be with those who mourn. May we all remember the love and grace that your faithful people have brought to our world.Lord in you mercy: hear our prayerWe pray for all your creation, always at odds with one another. Guide our leaders and those of other nations that this world might truly be as you created it to be—a world of peace, hope and love.Lord in you mercy: hear our prayerThese are our prayers, together with those that lie on the hearts of all your faithful people, which we offer to you in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who said “not my will, but yours be done.”Lord in you mercy: hear our prayer
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 439: What shall we offer our good Lord                     (Tune – Duke Street)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLd04tjvKtw
1      What shall we offer our good Lord,
poor nothings, for his boundless grace?
Fain would we his great name record
and worthily set forth his praise.
2      Great object of our growing love,
to whom our more than all we owe,
open the fountain from above,
and let it our full souls overflow.
3      So shall our lives thy power proclaim,
thy grace for every sinner free,
till all the world shall learn thy name,
shall all stretch out their hands to thee.
4      Open a door which earth and hell
may strive to shut but strive in vain;
let thy word richly in us dwell,
and let our gracious fruit remain.
5      O multiply the sower’s seed!
and fruit we every hour shall bear,
throughout the world thy gospel spread,
thy everlasting truth declare.
             Author: August Gottlieb SpangenbergTranslator: John Wesley
Tune: DUKE STREET
Benediction                God’s word is a lamp to our feet.         Christ’s teachings are a light to our path.         May God’s word take root in our lives.         May Christ’s love nourish us like sunshine and spring rain.        God’s word is a lamp to our feet.         Christ’s teachings are a light to our path.
Hymn 777: May the grace of Christ our Saviour                     (Tune – Waltham)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq25i6PmCl8
1.  May the grace of Christ our Saviourand the Father's boundless love,
with the Holy Spirit's favour,
rest upon us from above.
2.  Thus, may we abide in union
with each other and the Lord,
and possess, in sweet communion,
joys which earth cannot afford.
              Author: John Newton (1779)                   Tune: Waltham



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship Penetcost 5 HC 05 July 2020

July 3, 2020 - 6:15am

Marsden Road UnitingChurch Carlingford--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Come to me Sunday 5th July 2020Pentecost 5 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30 am

Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.  Call to Worship (The Abingdon Worship Annual 2020)        “Come to me... and I will give you rest,” Jesus promises. Where do we go, and to whom do we turn, to discover the truth of these words?
The music is playing, and God is calling. We have come to sing and dance with God.The prayers are flowing, and Spirit is moving. Breathe on us, breath of God. Christ promises rest and renewal, when we come to him. We are here, trusting this sacred promise.
Hymn 585: I heard the voice of Jesus say                  (Tune – Kingsfold)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUVCpF8-VuE
1.  I heard the voice of Jesus say,"Come unto me and rest;lay down, thou weary one, lay downthy head upon my breast."I came to Jesus as I was,so weary, worn, and sad;I found in him a resting place,and he has made me glad.
2.  I heard the voice of Jesus say,"Behold, I freely givethe living water; thirsty one,stoop down and drink, and live."I came to Jesus, and I drankof that life-giving stream;my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,and now I live in him.
3.  I heard the voice of Jesus say,"I am this dark world's light;look unto me, thy morn shall rise,and all thy day be bright."I looked to Jesus, and I foundin him my Star, my Sun;and in that light of life I'll walktill traveling days are done.
Author: Horatius Bonar (1846)Tune: Kingsfold
Opening prayer
     Creator God, you have created us to walk with you. Help us walk with you in this time of worship, that we may be strengthened to walk with you all the days of our lives. As we come to you this day, bless us with your grace and your rest, that we may find renewal and the strength to serve with confidence and joy. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Come to Christ with the confidence of children, for Christ will carry our burdens, renew our souls, and give us rest, through his mercy and grace.
Prophetic One, you call us to new places and new ways. You challenge us to dance new steps and to sing new songs. We yearn to follow you with confidence and joy, but our resistance is often stronger than our willingness. At times, our steps falter. At moments, we can’t even hear your voice, let alone recognize your song in our hearts. Strengthen us with your mercy. Renew us with your grace. Sing to us with your compassion. Connect us with the yoke of unconditional love, that we may follow joyously, dance confidently, and sing praise and love with every act and with every word of our lives. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Rejoice and give thanks. With grace, Christ is already carrying our burdens to renew our souls. With mercy, Christ is already shouldering our load to strengthen our lives.Thanks, be to God! Amen
The Peace
Let us share the joy, the freedom, and the rest we find in God’s love, as we greet one another in the grace and peace of Christ.The peace of Christ be with you. The peace of Christ be with you always. (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Offering Prayer
Receive these gifts we now bring, God of gifts, and bless them to be gifts for your world. Through our giving, renew others, that they too may know the comfort and rest of living in the arms of your compassion and your love. Amen.
Hymn 650: Brother, sister, let me serve you                 (Tune – Servant Song)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qblqtb4jzL8
Brother, sister, let me serve you,let me be as Christ to you;pray that I may have the grace tolet you be my servant too.
We are pilgrims on a journeyand companions on the road;we are here to help each otherwalk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ-light for youin the night-time of your fear;I will hold my hand out to you,speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping;when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;I will share your joy and sorrowtill we’ve seen this journey through.
When we sing to God in heavenwe shall find such harmony,born of all we’ve known togetherof Christ’s love and agony.
Brother, sister, let me serve you,let me be as Christ to you;pray that I may have the grace tolet you be my servant too.
Richard Gillard 1953 - arr. Betty Pulkingham 1928 -                      The Service of Holy Communion
The Great Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.       And also with you.       Lift up your hearts.       We lift them to the Lord.       Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.       It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is a right, good, and a joyful thing always and everywhere to give our thanks to you, who saved Abraham from sacrificing his beloved son, Isaac, and has given us the gift of eternal life in Christ. We give you thanks for freedom and friendship, for love and for laughter, for parents and children who travel together in the ways of peace. We give you thanks for new understandings of ancient stories, for happy endings and new beginnings, for cups of cold water on hot, sunny days. And so, with your creatures on earth and all the heavenly chorus, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest!Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, and holy is your child, Jesus Christ, who taught his friends to spread the good news of freedom from evil, oppression, and violence, and who teaches us to welcome those who come in his name. On the night in which he gave himself up, Jesus took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, and gave it to the disciples, saying: “Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” When the supper was over, Jesus took the cup, offered thanks and gave it to the disciples, saying: “Drink from this, all of you; this is my life in the new covenant, poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” And so, in remembrance of your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died.Christ is risen.Christ will come again!
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be the body of Christ to a world filled with temptations. God of light and vision, God of mystery and truth, God of love and grace, we praise your saving, gracious name.
Blessing and honour and glory and power are yours for ever and ever. Amen.    
The Breaking of the Bread
The Bread we break is the Bread of LifeThe Cup We Share is the Cup of PromiseThese are the gifts of God for the people of God.Thanks, be to God.
Lamb of God
Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
Invitation to Communion
Come to the table of love. At this table, we will find strength for our journeys and rest for our souls.
Prayer after Communion
God of compassion, through your son, Jesus Christ, you reconciled your people to yourself. Following his example of prayer and fasting may be obey you with willing hearts and serve one another in holy love. Amen.
The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                      Romans 7.14-25                   NEB page 877The Gospel Reading:                 Matthew 11:15-19, 25-30      NEB page 734After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the LordPlease respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God.
Readings: NRSV Translation
Romans 7.14-25
14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can, will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.
Matthew 11:15-19, 25-30
15 Let anyone with ears listen!16 ‘But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, 17 “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.” 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He has a demon”; 19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.’ 25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Preaching of the Word: Come to me - Matthew 11: 25-30
There was once a time when any of us going to a service of Holy Communion in many Churches might hear some of Jesus' words in today's Gospel. "Come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Or, in a slightly older form of the English language: "Come unto me all ye who travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you."
Often these words were spoken to us by the Celebrant, right after the Confession and Absolution, and -- along with a few other well-chosen sentences of Scripture -- they were part of what were popularly called, in the tradition of the old Anglican Prayer Book, " The Comfortable Words," and were introduced by the celebrating priest with the invitation, "Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith to all that truly turn to him..."
Those of us who are old enough, remember that there was something quite wonderful about hearing those Comfortable Words at that particular point in the liturgy. We had heard the Word of God proclaimed in the lectionary readings of Scripture, just as we do now; and we had heard the preacher's sermon. We had responded to God's Word by asserting our faith in God's unbreakable covenant with us, in the words of the Nicene Creed.
We had brought to God all the concerns for "the whole state of Christ's church and the world" in intercession and petition. Then, as now, we had confessed our manifold sins and wickedness, unburdening ourselves of our grief and guilt by acknowledging our disobedience and our failures of love towards God, our neighbours, and ourselves. We heard the authoritative assurance of pardon to all those who humbly repented and firmly intended to amend our lives-that great declaration of forgiveness intended to raise us up from the dust and ashes of penitence and set us on our feet in joyful liberation and thanksgiving.
And then came the Comfortable Words, to strengthen us and give us courage: "Come unto me ..." They were the compass setting, re-orienting us once again towards this gracious God of our hope, the maker and sustainer of our renewed reconciliation and peace, the faithful source of never-ending love in our hearts and lives, the author of that new life in Christ which had been given us in Baptism and was still ours by God's merciful forgiveness. Now we could affirm and acknowledge the peace of Christ coming into our personal and corporate life -- and, refreshed by this, we turned to the Eucharistic offering of ourselves, our souls, and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
In their Eucharistic context, the words of Jesus, "Come unto me all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you," were -- and still are -- comforting and strengthening indeed. But they resonate a bit differently here today in the context of Matthew's Gospel where, if we look at them more closely, they reveal to us what kind of comfort Jesus had in mind.
In this section of Matthew, Jesus is speaking as a teacher -- as he so often does, in Matthew. In fact, we can imagine Jesus as a second Moses, delivering the new Law under the same Covenant that Moses himself revealed. Here, Jesus is reassuring his disciples that the yoke of his teaching is easy, and burden of learning from him is light.
We need to realize that the rabbis of this period in history routinely referred to the responsibilities of living by God's Law as a "yoke" -- as something people took on themselves to steer and guide them down God's paths in life. And it seems to have been a common complaint, addressed above all to the scribes and Pharisees as interpreters of God's Law that their teachings had become complicated and difficult to follow, a burden rather than a guide to holy living. 
Those of us who enjoy cooking and read food magazines and cookbooks know that there are some food writers who can turn a simple recipe for mashed potatoes into something so complicated it is intimidating, and not at all the sort of recipe one would give to one's children who were learning how to cook.
The trouble with the Pharisees and their complicated interpretations of the Law was the same sort of problem: they had managed to make some basic guidelines very complex and intimidating. Of course, by doing this they retained their professional authority and power, but they also managed to turn people away from holiness of life with God, just as a complex recipe for puree of mashed potatoes can send a hungry person off for the box of instant rice.
Jesus the teacher takes great issue with this: God has given his people basic guidelines for holy life, but the Pharisees have ended up making God's Law inaccessible and impossible to follow. So, Jesus assures his disciples that by learning God's Law his way, they will not be intimidated by complexity or burdened, and condemned to failure, by Pharisaic rules and regulations. Jesus is returning to the simplicity of God's original Covenant and Law, to give them what they need to steer and guide their path easily, and by following Jesus' way they will find peace, rest, and refreshment.
By putting these Comfortable Words back into the context of Matthew's Gospel, we can see they have a depth that is not immediately obvious from their Eucharistic setting. The absolution and forgiveness which we have received as repentant sinners is neither conditional upon our ability to follow complicated rules, nor is it a permissive wave of the hand of an overindulgent parent implying that our sins don't matter.
The Comfortable Words, "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will refresh you," remind us that God's incomparable, compassionate forgiveness is a gift that releases us into life with God as responsible human beings who want to grow deeper in love and joyful obedience. After all, we are called not only to find peace, refreshment and rest for ourselves but also to live the kind of lives through which others, too, find God's peace, God's refreshing grace, and the joy of placing their lives in God's hands. AMEN
Hymn 613: Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy                  (Tune – Slane)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwAjdkMUAXw
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy:Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe:Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace:Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm:Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Author: Jan Struther (1931)Tune: Slane

Intercessory Prayers  
Come to prayer, all who labour and are heavy laden, and God will give us rest. Come to praise, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for the revelation of your gift of abundant life and for the rest coming to those who put their trust in you. For such life and rest, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for entrusting us with the message of your grace and love, that we might speak a reconciling word to our age. For such mercy, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for leading us into the ways of peace and for transforming weapons of war into tools of charity. For such peacemaking, we pray to you Lord,Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for the gifts of creation and for wholesome times of recreation. For such times of harmony, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for those who tend the sick, accompany the frustrated, visit the lonely, comfort the dying, confront the addicted, or minister to any need. For such attention tohuman anguish, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for sustaining all who are oppressed, all who suffer for reasons of conscience, all who are passionate for justice and all those in need of our prayers for any reason, [especially N.]. For such relief from their burdens and refreshment in you, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.We thank you for the people of faith who surround us, and for family and friends, teachers, and clergy, especially ………... and for all who assist our growth in grace. For such companions through life, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 531: Sent forth by God’s blessing                   (Tune – The Ash Grove)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3Pm8dAALls
Sent forth by God’s blessing, our true faith confessing, the people of God from this dwelling take leave. The service is ended, O now be extended The fruits of our worship in all who believe.The seed of the teaching, receptive souls reaching, Shall blossom in action for God and for all.God’s grace did invite us, and love shall unite usTo work for God’s kingdom and answer the call.
With praise and thanksgiving to God ever living,The tasks of our everyday life we will face.Our faith ever sharing, in love ever caring,Embracing God’s children of each tribe and race.With Your grace You feed us, with Your light now lead us;Unite us as one in this life that we share.Then may all the living with praise and thanksgivingGive honour to Christ and that name which we bear.
Author: Omer Westendorf (1964)Tune: Ash Grove
Benediction                Go forth, as people renewed by the love of God. Go forth, to renew others with this very love. Let us go forth to fill the empty cups of all who ask; let us give in the name of the Breath of Resurrection, the Wellspring of Grace, the Teacher of Truth: The One, Triune God, who gives eternal life. Let us share the blessings of Christ’s eternal covenant and praising God for the Spirit’s call to love and give. Amen.                 
Hymn 776: The Lord bless you and keep you                  (Tune – John Rutter)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZN1mryHEnQ
The Lord bless you and keep youThe Lord make His face to shine upon youTo shine upon you and be graciousAnd be gracious unto you
The Lord bless you and keep youThe Lord make His face to shine upon youTo shine upon you and be graciousAnd be gracious unto you
The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon youThe Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon youAnd give you peace, and give you peaceAnd give you peace, and give you peace
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Unting Worship Pentecost 4 28 June 2020

June 26, 2020 - 12:43am

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Whom Ought I Welcome?Sunday 28th June 2020Pentecost 4 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30 am
Gathering God’s People
Prelude Music to prepare for worship
Call to Worship (Deborah Sokolove, The Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)       
God’s love is steadfast, inviting us to rejoice and find eternal life in love of God and others.
The Holy One calls us to trust God’s steadfast love. With our ancestor Abraham, we say: “Here I am.” The Holy One calls us to be guided by prophets. With the first followers of Jesus, we say: “Here I am.”The Holy One calls us into eternal life. With the Gospel writers, we say: “Here I am.” Let us worship the God who calls us. Amen.
Hymn 102: Praise to the living God                      (Tune – Leoni)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u6diH2jVlI
Praise to the living God!All praised be His name,Who was, and is, and is to be,And still the same!The one eternal God,Ere aught that now appears;The first, the last: beyond all thoughtHis timeless years!
His Spirit floweth free,High surging where it will;In prophet’s word He spoke of old;He speaketh still.Established is His law,And changeless it shall stand,Deep writ upon the human heart,On sea or land.
He hath eternal lifeImplanted in the soul;His love shall be our strength and stay,While ages roll.Praise to the living God!All praised be His name,Who was, and is, and is to be,And still the same.
Text: Jewish Doxology Translated by: Max Landsberg and Newton Mann 1914 Tune: Leoni arr. by: Meyer Lyon 1770 Source: Episcopal 1940 Hymnal #286
Opening prayer
     Wellspring of Grace, Teacher of Truth, Breath of Resurrection, you welcome us into your life, and invite us to welcome others with a cup of water, a bite of bread, a moment of conversation. As we drink from the overflowing spring of your endless love, fill our hearts with thanksgiving and joy, that we may become the body of Christ pouring our lives into a world that yearns to be filled. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Teacher of Truth, you tell us to welcome prophets and teachers, and to give to those in need. Yet we want to hug your salvation to ourselves and keep your gifts for our own use. You call us to be servants of your teaching, and to remember that we are no longer slaves to sin. Yet we want to continue doing what we have always done before, hanging onto old habits and opinions, even when you show us a better way. You even offer us eternal life when we surrender to your will.Forgive us, Holy One, when we mistake our will for your own. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       God is a wellspring of grace, offering the gift of eternal life to all who do God’s will. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven, loved, and free.Thanks, be to God! Amen
The Peace
In gratitude for the gift of eternal life, let us greet one another with signs of peace. Peace be with you! And also, with you!  (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
A Word with The Young People –
Theme: Opening our hearts and homes to othersObject: "Welcome Mat"
Good morning. Have you ever seen a Welcome mat? Where have you seen something like this? Usually we'd see a mat like this outside the door to our home, wouldn't we? A mat such as this usually has two purposes. Do you know what those two purposes are?
Well, for one thing, it is a friendly reminder for people to wipe their shoes off so that they won't track dirt or mud into your home. And second, it is placed outside your door as a sign to let people know that they are welcome in your home.
Welcome — what does the word "welcome" mean? It means to receive someone in a warm and friendly way. Are people always welcome in our homes? Do we welcome people into our home if their skin is a different colour from ours? Do we welcome people into our homes if they don't have as much money as we do?
How about in our church? Do you think that we make everyone feel welcome in our church? Do we speak to those people who are visiting our church that we do not know? If someone comes to our church and they are not dressed the way we are dressed, do we make sure that they are made to feel welcome?
Jesus said, "He who receives you receives me." If we turn that around, we will understand that if we do not welcome others into our homes and into our churches, it is the same as if we are refusing to welcome Jesus. We wouldn't do that, would we?
Well, let's put the welcome mat out — and let's be sure that we mean it!
Announcements
Offering Prayer
God of grace and truth, you welcome us into your presence and provide refreshment and renewal for our lives in Jesus, your Son, our Lord.  Receive and bless these gifts and our lives which we offer in response to your many gracious gifts to us.  May our hands be always open to welcome people in Jesus’ name.  Amen

Hymn 129: Amazing grace               (Tune – Amazing Grace)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4_--goDv70
1.  Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

2.  ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
3.  Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
4.  When we’ve been there ten thousand years,Bright shining as the sun;We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,Then when we first begun.
5.  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,That saved a wretch like me;I once was lost, but now am found,Was blind, but now I see.Was blind, but now I see.
Lyrics: John Newton (1725-1807)Music: Traditional American melody                                     The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                                            Romans 6:12-23The Gospel Reading:                                        Matthew 10:40-42
Readings: NRSV
Romans 6:12-23
12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?17 But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18 and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. 20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death.22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Matthew 10:40-42
40 ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
Preaching of the Word
Whom Ought I Welcome? – Matthew 10:40-42
“Jesus said, ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’”Just so we get this straight: whoever welcomes you welcomes Jesus, and whoever welcomes your friend or neighbour or family member or work colleague or elected official or mother-in-law or next door neighbour or chatty seat companion on an airplane or the stall holder at the Farmers market or grocery checkout person or barber (if you still use one) or the Startrack driver or the child who hit your new car with a soccer ball…and so on and so forth…welcomes God? We could have fun with this! But would there ever be an end to such a list of those who are welcome? If there is an end to such a list of who is welcome, what does this mean? And if not, well- what does that mean?
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me. And whoever welcomes any one of us welcomes Jesus, welcomes God.The message we hear in this morning’s gospel reading from Matthew was important enough to Jesus and to the early church that some variation on this theme shows up in each gospel, and often more than once. There are numerous other examples and variations throughout the New Testament record. The bottom-line emphasis seems to be on inclusion, reciprocity, welcome and doing for others—all those things it takes to build up community, to include the stranger as neighbour. If we can believe the record of today’s lesson and so many other passages, Jesus and the early disciples and later apostles put a high value on welcoming and proclaiming the presence of God thereby.
Pause for a moment and think about what we’ve been hearing through all the election drama and to the present day about division, exclusion, keeping people separated, kicking people out.
There may be legitimate and compelling reasons to consider the economic impact or national safety issues in such things, but if an inhospitable, exclusive attitude goes along with these ideas, then they are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus who talked so very much about welcome, inclusion, hospitality.
Hospitality is a primary ethic of the cultures and peoples of the Middle East even now. Whether one is brought into a family home of Muslims, Christians or Jews, there is joy in welcoming, there is the belief that it is desired of God, the welcoming of strangers who are strangers no longer, but beloved friends, believing that in welcoming people into one’s home they are earning their crown in heaven, doing as God would have them do in welcoming the living God among us.
Such an understanding of hospitality, of the obligation of welcome, dates back to well before the time of Jesus. It was a matter of survival and community health which translated into the religious understanding of what God wants of us. Where and how do we experience such welcome today?
“Jesus said, ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’”Is this what we hear? Or do we hear, instead, words of separation, words of breaking relationship, words of opposition and repudiation?
So many of the ugly attitudes playing out on the world stage and in the evening news have spilled over into our popular culture, showing up in a variety of television shows with comments about the increase in bullying not only among children in our schools, but flowing out into our neighbourhoods, showing up in stepped-up immigration strictures and deportation raids, among other things.
Where is our witness to welcoming others, and thereby welcoming Jesus and the one who sent him? This Sunday falls is close two other occasions marked by some on their Church calendar: Queens Birthday Weekend celebration here in NSW and other states and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. It is important to note this for a number of reasons. First, think about Peter and Paul. They did not agree on many things, didn’t get along at all, and finally went their separate ways in the proclamation of the Gospel.
Peter insisted that the early believers must follow Jewish ways, must be circumcised, must hold to the Law. Paul’s vision led him to distant lands proclaiming faith in a risen Christ and urging believers to conform their lives to that faith. What they had in common, though, was the conviction that God had visited humanity in Jesus, and that Jesus had brought something new and remarkable to humankind demonstrated in a way to live, a way to relate and a way to witness to God’s love. And they both understood that the welcome of God was an invitation to a place in God’s kingdom.
As we celebrate this this Queens Birthday, and as some sing Advance Australia or God Save Our Queen, and as we have parties, picnics, BBQ’s etc., let us also ask ourselves what Jesus meant in telling us over and over again, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matthew 10:40).
We may believe differently about the details of faith, as Peter and Paul certainly did and as Christians are wont to do. We may understand civic responsibility differently; Americans have always held a variety of opinions on things.
But for us as Christian Australians the question of the day growing out of this gospel text asks: What does it mean to welcome, and how do we do that? What does it look like in our churches, in our neighbourhoods, in our national policies, in our very attitudes? For we are Christians first, as citizens of God’s kingdom, living that faith in an Australian context of privilege and challenge.Jesus didn’t say that we have to agree on everything, but he pretty clearly told us to be welcoming. Like Peter and Paul, we won’t all agree on everything. And as Australians, we will stand proudly to celebrate on the Fourth. When we put all that together, one possible outcome is that we may have to agree to disagree on some aspects of Australian policy as we live our Christian faith in daily practice.
Christian people are called to be welcoming, for in welcoming others we welcome God. Can we at least agree on that? As the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews reminds us, when we welcome strangers, we may be entertaining angels unaware. 
Hymn 585: I heard the voice of Jesus say                 (Tune – Kingsfold)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUVCpF8-VuE
1.  I heard the voice of Jesus say,"Come unto me and rest;lay down, O weary one, lay downyour head upon my breast."I came to Jesus as I was,weary and worn and sad;I found in him a resting place,and he has made me glad.
2.  I heard the voice of Jesus say,"Behold, I freely givethe living water; thirsty one,stoop down and drink, and live."I came to Jesus, and I drankof that life-giving stream;my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,and now I live in him.
3.  I heard the voice of Jesus say,"I am this dark world's Light;look unto me, your morn shall rise,and all your days be bright."I looked to Jesus and I foundin him my Star, my Sun;and in that light of life I'll walk,'til travelling days are done.

Author: Horatius Bonar (1846)Tune: Kingsfold
Music to lead us to prayer
Intercessory Prayers  
Come to prayer, all who labour and are heavy laden, and God will give us rest. Come to praise, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for the revelation of your gift of abundant life and for the rest coming to those who put their trust in you. For such life and rest, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for entrusting us with the message of your grace and love, that we might speak a reconciling word to our age. For such mercy, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for leading us into the ways of peace and for transforming weapons of war into tools of charity. For such peacemaking, we pray to you Lord,Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for the people of faith who surround us, and for family and friends, teachers and clergy, especially ………... and for all who assist our growth in grace. For such companions through life, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for the gifts of creation and for wholesome times of recreation. For such times of harmony, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for those who tend the sick, accompany the frustrated, visit the lonely, comfort the dying, confront the addicted, or minister to any need. For such attention to human anguish, we pray to you Lord, Lord, hear our prayer.We thank you for sustaining all who are oppressed, all who suffer for reasons of conscience, all who are passionate for justice and all those in need of our prayers for any reason, [especially N.]. For such relief from their burdens and refreshment in you, we pray to you Lord,Lord, hear our prayer.Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn 650: Brother, sister, let me serve you                   (Tune – Servant Song)                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qblqtb4jzL8
Brother, sister, let me serve you;let me be as Christ to you;pray that I may have the grace tolet you be my servant too.
We are pilgrims on a journey,and companions on the road;we are here to help each otherwalk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ light for youin the nighttime of your fear;I will hold my hand out to you,speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping;when you laugh I'll laugh with you;I will share your joy and sorrow,till we've seen this journey through.
When we sing to God in heaven,we shall find such harmony,born of all we've known togetherof Christ's love and agony.
Brother, sister, let me serve you;let me be as Christ to you;pray that I may have the grace tolet you be my servant too.
Authors: Richard GillardTune Name: THE SERVANT SONGArranger: Betty Pulkingham

Benediction                With prophets and teachers, and all who seek to do the will of God— let us go forth to fill the empty cups of all who ask; let us give in the name of the Breath of Resurrection, the Wellspring of Grace, the Teacher of Truth: The One, Triune God, who gives eternal life. Let us share the blessings of Christ’s eternal covenant, and praising God for the Spirit’s call to love and give. Amen.                    Hymn 778: Shalom to you                  (Tune – Somos del Senor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u-WxpmOpN4
Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends. May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends. In all your living and through your loving, Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom
Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)
Tune: Somos Del Señor



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship Pentecost 3 21 June 2020

June 18, 2020 - 11:12pm

Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let Nothing Disturb You...,Sunday 21st June 2020Pentecost 3 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30 am
Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2020)        Great are the works of God’s hands. Wondrous are the blessings of Christ’s love. Holy are the works of God’s Spirit.
When we have been cast aside in the deserts of our lives, you open our eyes to life-giving water that sustains us in our need. When our future seems lost and others have taken our place of honour, you restore our hope and promise us an inheritance of our own. Who is like you among the gods?Who answers prayer in times of deepest need? We are here to worship you, O God, for you alone can save us.
Hymn 111: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,                  (Tune - Lobe Den Herren)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JvCmvlm-Qg
1.  Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
2.  Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
3.  Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
4.  Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
5.  Praise to the Lord, oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Author: Joachim Neander (1680)Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Tune: Lobe Den Herren
Opening prayer
     Eternal God turn and be gracious to us, for the road is long and we are weary. We feel beaten down by the trials of life and need your strength to sustain us. Show us your favour, and offer us your blessing, that we may abide in faithfulness and not be put to shame. Comfort us, O God, and revive our souls. Grant us the endurance to take up our cross and follow the difficult roads in life. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Holy One, your words cause us to tremble: “nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not be known.” There is much in our lives that we wish to hide from others, even ourselves. We fear those who kill the body, while ignoring those who kill the soul. Teach us once more, O God, that your Son came to bring us life— even if turned son against father, and daughter against mother. Remind us of our higher calling, and the promises you offer of life in your realm which has no end. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Those who seek to preserve their life will lose it, but those who lose their life for Christ’s sake will find it. Those who have died with Christ through baptism are united with him in his resurrection.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
With Christ’s peace in our hearts and God’s hope in our lives, let us share signs of joy and love this day.
Peace be with you! And also, with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Announcements
A Word with the Children/Young People
Have you ever gone camping in a tent or caravan? How did you enjoy it?  Has anyone had ever spent your holiday in a tent or caravan, and it rained the whole time?  How were relationships at the end of the holiday?  Or how would you imagine relationships would be after being confined to tent/cabin/ caravan etc. for the whole vacation - strained? 
Imagine what it would be like to live in a tent all the time, no house, just a tent, coping with heat, cold, wind, rain, flies, etc.  I think that there would be plenty of occasions when relationships would be strained to breaking point.  The reading about Abraham and Sarah and Hagar is a story that was told over many years about the people's strong belief that God was guiding them at all times.  In the story, we discover that Abraham had two sons, Isaac whose mother was Sarah, and Ishmael, whose mother was Sarah's servant, Hagar.  
In the time when they lived, people lived in tents - maybe even all their lives were spent in tents.  Can you imagine what that would have been like? Perhaps Abraham and Sarah and Hagar and the two boys all lived in the same tent because it seems that relationships between the two women were very strained to the point where Sarah told Abraham to throw Hagar and Ishmael out.  Out into desert type country like the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia.
Hagar ended up wandering in this wild country thinking that her son and she would surely die, but God guided her to where there was water and they survived.  This is a story about broken relationships and faith.  Faith that God is there, when times are really difficult, helping people to cope.  How does that happen?  God works through people just like us - no matter how young or how old we are. 
Hagar and Ishmael were a couple of refugees - people without a home, like many of the refugees who find themselves in detention centres in this country, and many around the world who spend their lives living in tents in refugee camps.  God works through the people who reach out to help them in their distress.  We are always to be on the lookout for ways in which we can be used to show that God cares for people.

Offering Prayer
Receive the gifts of our hands, O God, that they may be signs of your love and grace for a divided world. Through our offerings, help others follow the ways of life. Fill the world with your mercy, Holy One, that your faithful everywhere will honour you, by sharing your kingdom each and every day. Amen.
Hymn CAHON 752: Will you come and follow me                               (Tune – Kelvingrove)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHEjyGfRO7s
Will you come and follow me,If I but call your name?Will you go where you don't knowAnd never be the same?Will you let my love be shown,will you let my name be known,will you let my life be grownin you and you in me?
Will you leave your self behindif I but call your name?Will you care for cruel and kindand never be the same?Will you risk the hostile stareshould your life attract or scare,will you let me answer prayerin you and you in me?
Will you let the blinded see
if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free
and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean
and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean
in you and you in me?
Will you love the ‘you' you hideif I but call your name?Will you quell the fear insideand never be the same?Will you use the faith you've foundto reshape the world aroundthrough my sight and touch and soundin you and you in me?
Lord, your summons echoes truewhen you but call my name.Let me turn and follow youand never be the same.In your company I'll gowhere your love and footsteps show.Thus I'll move and live and growin you and you in me.
Author: John L. Bell
Tune: Kelvingrove                      
The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                          Genesis 21:8-21The Gospel Reading:                     Matthew 10:24-39      
Readings: NRSV
Genesis 21:8-21
8 The child grew and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. 10 So she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.’ 11 The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named after you. 13 As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.’ 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, ‘Do not let me look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.’ 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. 20 God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Matthew 10:24-39
24 ‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! 26 ‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. 34 ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
Preaching of the Word: Let Nothing Disturb You...,
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing make you afraid,
All things are passing,
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is lacking to the one who has God--
God alone is enough.        These words, from a meditation titled "St. Teresa's bookmark," are a fine summary of today's readings from Scripture. They all speak to us, strangely enough, about the gift of patience. We are taught that patience is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it often feels like a heavy burden. People in today's society mistake patience for submission in the same way they mistake kindness for weakness -- and they walk all over you. But as usual, we must look beyond the surface. God has a greater message in store.        Some truly great people in the history of Christianity have been "walked on" in this way, you see. Just as one example, St. Teresa, known as Teresa of Avila, is world famous as a theologian, reformer of the Carmelite Order, and spiritual advisor to the great medieval Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross. But Teresa's ministry was not well received in the community that she loved. Her sisters had grown lax in faith and practice, she called for reform, and their response was to throw her out of convents that she herself had established.
On one occasion, she was turned out at night in the middle of a rainstorm. Dressed from head to toe in her coarse wool habit, she got back into her donkey cart and was riding along when the wheel of the cart hit a ditch and the cart turned over, dumping Teresa into the mud. She sat there, in mud-soaked wool, looked up to heaven, and said, "Lord, if this is the way you treat your friends, it's no wonder that you don't have many."
But frustrated as she was, Teresa clung to God. Her writings also lead us to suspect that she got a response from God while sitting in that muddy ditch. One of her meditations on the Disciplines of the Holy Spirit talks about how we must not be deceived by the appearance that evil triumphs over good, for sometimes, as she wrote, "God uses the Devil as a sharpening-stone for Christians." Teresa not only taught this lesson, she lived by it. She did not give up on God, even when her sisters fought her every step of the way, going to priests and bishops to make trouble for her.
She kept right on teaching what she knew to be the truth. And eventually, she won out. Her desire was not to be right but to be faithful, and God prospered her efforts. Today, the very same saint who was treated so cruelly is known as a Doctor of the Church -- an exemplary teacher and thinker -- while the nuns who treated her so badly are long dead and unknown to us. And the Carmelite convents of Teresa's Reform continue to outnumber those of the unreformed group to this very day.
You see, Teresa understood what the prophet Jeremiah was talking about and what Jesus was teaching in today's Gospel lesson. It's a lesson you could put in very simple words. "Sometimes, when things go wrong, you just have to sit back -- and pat your foot." This is what Teresa did, and it's at the heart of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Lord himself. He endured persecution wordlessly and embodied the triumph of God over evil while waiting upon God. This Christian example is not a sitting back that does nothing. It is not passive submission; it is active waiting that is grounded in ultimate faith in the righteousness of God. Neither is it surrender to the belief that nothing can be done about the wrong; it is understanding that it is God who makes things right.
When you do everything you know to be right and then sit back and pat your foot, you imitate the long-suffering God who has been watching all along, watching patiently and mercifully, waiting for folks to do what is right. When you do all you can and then sit back and pat your foot, you see that when people refuse to "get it" and God runs out of waiting time, God comes forward to do what only God can. And if Scripture teaches us nothing, it is that when God gets tired, all kinds of things happen.
So, yes, we must be patient because the God we serve is patient. But the patience of God is a mysterious thing that comes in mysterious ways. We do not know how long it will last. We do not know how the solution will come when God steps in to make things right. The only thing we know for certain is that it is very good idea to be on the right side of God when it's time for God to act. Holy Scripture teaches us that misery is waiting for people of ill will, but miracles happen for those who walk by faith.
Holy Scripture gives us lots of examples to follow. The Bible tells the story of a God who recognizes the righteous human, striving to do right in the midst of people who would do harm. Jesus spoke of "sheep among wolves" and warned of the harm that comes from people of ill will. But his warning is intended to teach us to handle our problems with the patience of God and to trust in God's righteous outcome, for "A disciple is not above the teacher." When we try to be like God, giving people the chance to do what is right, God steps in at decisive moments -- and miracles happen.
An old, wandering nomad with no home to call his own ends up with children and great-grandchildren and a great land in which to enjoy God's protection. A parade of persecuted refugees who walk to safety on dry land in the middle of a sea. A woman in labour away from home with no place to bear her child is given warmth and shelter in a rocky cave, and wise men are sent to protect the child's life from a man who would kill it. The One who is killed for speaking God's truth is raised from the dead and goes on to prepare others to witness to God's triumph. The God of the Scripture is a God of miracles-and they happen in our day, too. Martin Luther King taught that "right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant" and the whole world continues to benefit from his legacy of patient but active faith.
So, we do not strike back in the darkness of our own anger and impatience and arrogance. We do not take the problem into our own hands, tempting God by "flying out in front" with our own solutions. Instead, we turn to God with the truth in our hearts, in the Spirit of the Psalmist. And God will protect and shield us from harm, while dealing with the wrong in God's own way and time. We've all seen it happen -- people banding together to run somebody out of a job and end up losing their own.
School children banding together in a lie to get another child in trouble and ending up suspended themselves. Folks in clubs and societies banding together to harass and mistreat new people and end up with their own organisation disbanded. Indeed, what goes around, comes around. No matter what anyone may choose to do to us, we are all called to love justice, do mercy, and walk humbly before our God-and when we do not, the consequences when we don't can be an awful thing to behold.
As it is written, "weeping comes in the night, but joy comes in the morning." This is the Good News of the Gospel, this is the faith that carries us through, and this is God's own response to evil and sin in this world. So, when troubles come, do just what you know is right and pray for protection. Then sit back, pat your foot, and watch God bring deliverance. Teresa's words are a message of ultimate triumph: "God alone is enough." So, as we come to the Table of Grace, let us come with spirits lifted and hearts grateful for the patience and providence of Almighty God-and let the People of God say, AMEN.
Hymn 186: Give to our God immortal praise                                      (Tune - Truro)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxImKByscwU
       Give to our God immortal praise;   mercy and truth are all his ways:
   wonders of grace to God belong;
   repeat his mercies in your song.
       Give to the Lord of lords renown;
the King of kings with glory crown:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when lords and kings are known no more.
        He built the earth, he spread the sky,
and fixed the starry lights on high:
wonders of grace to God belong;
repeat his mercies in your song.
        He fills the sun with morning light;
he bids the moon direct the night:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when suns and moons shall shine no more.
        He sent his Son with pow'r to save
from guilt and darkness and the grave:
wonders of grace to God belong;
repeat his mercies in your song.
        Through this vain world he guides our feet,
and leads us to his heavenly seat:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when this vain world shall be no more.
Author: Isaac WattsTune: Truro
Intercessory Prayers         Strengthened by the Spirit who gives us words to speak and hearts that care, let us bring our hopes and needs to God who listens.Fill your church with bold witnesses who will work for justice, serve with compassion, share your love, and spread the gospel. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Pour out your Spirit on those without access to fresh water, and on those who dig wells to provide it for them, that they may be refreshed. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Stir in the hearts of those who thirst for justice, that they bring peace, speak out against oppression, and preserve human dignity across the globe. Lord, in your mercy,hear our prayer.Make families everywhere be places of safety, encouragement, and love. Protect and uphold healthy relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and neighbours, and all your people. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.Wherever there is brokenness, bring healing. Bind up our wounds, teach us compassion, and dry our tears. Be especially with those we name now. (Pause) Give themcomfort, reconciliation, and hope. Lord, in your mercy,hear our prayer.Thank you for those who through their words and deeds have passed on the faith from one generation to the next. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.We lift our prayers to you, God of mercy, confident that all things are in your hands. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 583: Take up your cross                  (Tune – Breslau)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxw3jRhsVVY
“Take up thy cross,” the Saviour said,“If thou wouldst My disciple be;Deny thyself, the world forsake,And humbly follow after Me.”
Take up thy cross, let not its weightFill thy weak spirit with alarm;His strength shall bear thy spirit up,And brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.
Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,Nor let thy foolish pride rebel;Thy Lord for thee the cross endured,And saved thy soul from death and hell.
Take up thy cross then in His strength,And calmly sin’s wild deluge brave,’Twill guide thee to a better home,It points to glory o’er the grave.
Take up thy cross and follow Christ,Nor think till death to lay it down;For only those who bear the crossMay hope to wear the glorious crown.
To Thee, great Lord, the One in Three,All praise forevermore ascend:O grant us in our home to seeThe heavenly life that knows no end.
Text: Charles Everest 1833 Tune: Breslau from: As hymnodus sacer 1625
Benediction                Though we have been cast aside,        you restore our future. Though others seek to banish us from sight, you bless us with opportunities for new life. Go with the blessings of the one who loves us fiercely. We go to share God’ love with the world.        And may that same Almighty God, creator, redeemer and giver of life guide your dance in life forever. Amen
Hymn 777: May the grace of Christ our Saviour                     (Tune – Waltham)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq25i6PmCl8
1.  May the grace of Christ our Saviourand the Father's boundless love,
with the Holy Spirit's favour,
rest upon us from above.
2.  Thus, may we abide in union
with each other and the Lord,
and possess, in sweet communion,
joys which earth cannot afford.
              Author: John Newton (1779)                   Tune: Waltham





Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Church Worship Pentecost 2 Sunday 14 June 2020

June 12, 2020 - 1:24am

Sunday 14th June 2020Marsden Road Uniting Church

Carlingford---------------------------------------------------------------------




We Have So Many Ways.Sunday 14th June 2020Pentecost 2 Sunday in the year of Matthew9.30 am
Gathering God’s People
Prelude Music to prepare for worship
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Gathering God’s People

Call to Worship (Mary J. Scifres, Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)        Hope in God. Expect miracles. For with God, anything is possible!
We call to the Lord, and God hears our prayers. We lift up our praise, and God hears our songs. We wait for the Lord, and God answers our hope.
Hymn 672: Lord of earth and all creation                                   (Tune – Westminster Abbey - Purcell)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2vPYrbzeGc
1.  Lord of earth and all creation,let your love possess our land:wealth, and freedom, far horizons,mountain, forest, shining sand:may we share, in faith and friendship,gifts unmeasured from your hand.
2.  People of the ancient Dreamtime,they who found this country first,ask with those, the later comers,will our dream be blessed or cursed?Grant us, Lord, new birth, new living,hope for which our children thirst.
3.  Lord, life-giving healing Spirit,on our hurts your mercy shower;lead us by your inward dwelling,guiding, guarding, every hour,Bless and keep our land Australia:in your will her peace and power.
Author: Michael Thwaitesand Honor Mary ThwaitesTune: Westminster Abbey; Composer: Henry Purcell (1680)
Opening prayer
Miraculous, wonderful One, come to us now. Pour outyour grace and your love. Shower us with the power ofyour Holy Spirit, that we may become people ofmiracles— people filled with the laughter of hope. Amen
A Prayer of Confession
Holy One, be with us in our weakness.When we laugh out of fear, calm us with your courage. When we laugh out of doubt, empower us with your faith. When we laugh out of our confusion, guide us with your wisdom. Transform our nervous laughter into songs of praise and shouts of joy and trust. In your blessed name, we pray. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       In God’s faithfulness, we are made righteous. In Christ’s love, we find peace and hope. In the Spirit’s strength, our laughter of derision is transformed into laughter of joy.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
With Christ’s peace in our hearts and God’s hope in our lives, let us share signs of joy and love this day.Peace be with you!And also, with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
A Word with the Children/Young People
Theme: God’s LoveObject: A String of pearls or pearl earrings
This morning I’d like you to think about a string of pearls. Do you know where pearls come from? They come from oysters. An oyster is a shellfish that lives in the ocean. They have a very hard shell that protects them, but sometimes something like a small grain of sand can get inside the shell and it causes a lot of pain and discomfort for the oyster.
God has given the oyster a way to ease that pain. When a grain of sand gets in there, the oyster oozes out a liquid that coats the grain of sand and then it hardens. The oyster keeps doing this over and over until the grain of sand no longer causes pain. This is how these pearls are made. Something that started out being painful turned into something very beautiful and valuable.
The same thing happens to us. Sometimes something comes into our life that causes a lot of hurt and pain. When that happens, God gives us something to help ease the pain. He gives us His love. If we ask Him to, He will ooze out His love to ease our pain and suffering. Often what started out to be very painful in our life can turn into something beautiful.
Dear Lord, we thank you that when we have pain and hurts in our life, you ooze out your love to ease the pain. Help us to remember that you can take the most painful hurts in our lives and turn them into something beautiful. Amen.
Offering Prayer
Bless these gifts, O God, with your hope and love, that others may know your healing power and your miraculous possibilities. In joyous trust, we pray. Amen.
Hymn 235: A man there lived in Galilee                  (Tune – Tyrolese)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ficsjHnilZ4
A man there lived in Galileelike no one else before,for he alone from first to lastour flesh unsullied wore;a perfect life of perfect deedsonce to the world was shown,that everyone might mark his stepsand in them place their own.
A man there died on Calvaryabove all others brave;he gave to all, he saved and blessed,himself he scorned to save;no thought can gauge the weight of woeon him, the sinless, laid;we only know that with his deathour ransom price was paid.
A man there stands at God's right hand,divine, yet human still;that grand, heroic, peerless souldeath sought in vain to kill.All power is his: supreme he rulesall realms of time and space;yet still our human cares and needsfind in his heart a place.
Author: Somerset Corry Lowry (1926)
Tune: Tyrolese
 
                               
The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                          Romans 5.1-8          NEB page 875The Gospel Reading:                     Matthew 9:35-10:8   NEB page 732After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the LordPlease respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God.
Readings:
Romans 5: 1-8
1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
Matthew 9:35-10:8
9 35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; 38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his arvest.’10 1 Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.
Preaching of the Word: We Have So Many Ways...,
We have so many ways of learning about God. We learn from Holy Scripture, of course. We learn from our worship, from the seasons of the year and the glories of nature, from one another, in our prayers.
There is a way of watching movies that can open our minds and hearts to God in ways more powerful than we might imagine. When we see a movie strictly for entertainment, we've received our money's worth, but when we watch the screen through the eyes of faith, God can touch us in ways that are worth much more, ways that are surprising, even transcendent. Ordinary, commercial films become "Jesus movies."
Take the film, The Green Mile, for instance. The Jesus figure in The Green Mile is obvious, of course. John Coffey, an enormous black man in the South, has been accused of murdering two small girls, and upon his arrest he is delivered to "the Green Mile," death row in a southern prison. It becomes apparent fairly early in the film that John is innocent; he is sweet and what we used to call "simple-minded;" despite his huge size, he weeps quietly at times and is afraid of the dark. He shows tenderness to all but the truly evil ones he encounters on the Green Mile, and after a couple of miraculous healings, there's no doubt in our eyes just who John Coffey represents. He's our Jesus figure in this movie.
Jesus showed us the nature of the Divine as he walked this earth among us. So, what can John Coffey show us about the nature of God if we view him through the lens of Christ, praying that the Holy Spirit guide us to any truth?
In Matthew's Gospel today, we learn that "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness." Matthew continues: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Compassion. "Com-passion." "Feeling with." Feeling another's pain, another's suffering.
In The Green Mile, one of the several climactic scenes shows us a gruesome execution, one in which a sadistic rookie deliberately omits a step in the electrocution process, essentially cooking a Cajun inmate named Edouard Delacroix, a man for whom John Coffey -- and the movie's viewers -- have developed a fondness. In one of the most graphic death scenes in cinematic history, as Del screams and jolts and jerks and smokes, John Coffey, in his own death row cell, experiences exactly the same torture. He jerks and grimaces as though he were sitting in "Old Sparky" himself. The lights on the Green Mile dim, then burst, as he lives through Del's electrocution from afar.
After the body has finally died and has been removed for burial, the officer in charge of the Green Mile, Paul Edgecomb, returns to his block and walks to John's cell. Sweat pours from John's body; he is still trembling. He says to Edgecomb through clenched jaws, "Boss, Del, he the lucky one. He out of it now."
"Do you mean you heard that all the way down here, John?" asks Edgecomb.
"No, Boss. I felt it," replies John.
John Coffey, our Jesus character, actually felt the pain of his friend. He experienced his torture, as though he had somehow been in the body of Edouard Delacroix.Compassion. Feeling with.
"Freely you have received, freely give," Jesus tells the twelve as he sends them out to preach and heal those for whom Jesus has such great compassion. We might overhear him saying something like, "Heal every disease and sickness. Cast out evil spirits. Take the message of the Kingdom to those who live on death row every day of their lives. Help me care for them. Have "com-passion" on them. Feel with them. I can't do it all by myself. The task is too great to be done alone, even by me. And it's not God's purpose that it all be done by me. You're in this, too. We can't do it without you. You're going to be my Body on earth soon, so you'd better get out there and start learning what that means before I leave you."
So the followers of Jesus, his disciples, the ones who had left fishing nets and families to follow and learn from this magnetic young man who spoke so winningly of his heavenly Father, these twelve meagrely prepared ones were now to take their first steps as apostles -- those who are sent out to do for the hurting of the world that which Jesus himself wishes done.
As we step into their shoes today, let's listen to this story carefully, because it is our story, too. We are his disciples today and more -- we are his Body. Christ, the compassionate one, is the Head of the Body. Information Central. Where the commands to the Body come from. Unless our own head tells our index finger and thumb to move closer together, we can't do so much as pick up a pencil. We need, as Christ's Body, to listen more carefully to Christ, our Head.
What is Christ telling us? To go out and be do-gooders in the name of the church? No! Some people see this passage as a mandate for evangelism, and that can look scary, even impossible, especially for western white protestants. I read of a plan in the 90's, where someone was heard to say that their plan for evangelism was to build a really attractive aquarium next to the ocean and then wait for the fish to jump in. That's not what Jesus is calling us to here.
Jesus is sending us out to do the work that springs from a heart filled with compassion, with empathy, with doing our best to experience another's pain. We can never reach this ideal, of course; each person's pain is unique. But the heart of the compassionate Christ, which is and must be our own corporate heart, has no place for criticism, for judgment, even for merit. We help those who need help, not those we deem worthy of our help. It is not our own help we offer, of course; we are merely the vehicles for Christ's healing touch, his saving grace, his Word of hope.
As we move more deeply into our identity as Christ's Body, as 21st century apostles, in this work of embodying Jesus today, church growth is a side effect of Christ's impact on those we encounter. Evangelism happens because the "evangel" is Good News indeed! And as we do the will of the one who sends us out, our own lives become daily more filled with the love and grace of our Saviour.
Freely we have been given, not deserving. Freely and with compassion we are called to give. The harvest is plentiful, and we are the laborers today in a field filled with weeds and hungry for the harvest. Shake off the dust and let's go!
Hymn 186: Stars and Planets flung in orbit                  (Tune - Lauda Anima (Goss))
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee_fmMl9trg
Stars and planets flung in orbit,galaxies that swirl through space,powers hid within the atom,cells that form an infant’s face:these, O God, in silence praise you;by your wisdom they are made.
Skies adorned with sunset splendour,silent peaks in calm repose,golden fields awaiting harvest,foaming surf and fragrant rose:earth, its bounty clothed with beauty,echoes all creation’s praise.
Life in wondrous, wild profusion,seed and fruit, each flower and tree,beast and fish and swarming insect,soaring bird, rejoicing, free:these, your creatures, join in chorus,praising you in wordless song.
Humankind, earth’s deepest mystery,born of dust but touched by grace,torn apart by tongue and colour,yet a single, striving race:we, in whom you trace your image,add our words to nature’s song.
Gracious God, we bring before yougifts of human life alone,truth that throbs through song and story,visions caught in paint and stone:these, O God, we gladly offer,gifts to praise the Giver’s name.
Christ, the Word before creationas creation’s final goal,once you came for earth’s redemption;by your Spirit make earth whole:then, O God, the new creationwill your praise for ever sing. 
Author: Herman G. StuempfleTune - Lauda Anima (Goss)
Intercessory Prayers  
We pray for our local community that we can all learn to share with one another. We ask for your blessing on all people in this community in their daily life and work. For the young and the elderly, for families and for all who are alone. Guide and enable all who lead and serve our community and on those whom we depend for our daily needs. We give you thanks for human skill and creativity and all that reveals your glory in our lives.Lord in Your Mercy Hear Our Prayer We pray for you church throughout the world, for all involved in mission and outreach. We ask for your blessing on our church here and we thank you that there is so much friendship here. Show us how to help each other so that the worship we now offer is the worship of a true family, through Jesus Christ who is head of the Church. Give us grace to proclaim the gospel joyfully in word and deed and help us to fulfil our calling and to care for one another in an unselfish fellowship of love; and to care for the world around us by sharing with it the good news of your love; and serving those who suffer from poverty hunger and disease.Lord in Your Mercy Hear Our Prayer Loving God, in your hands are the destinies of people and of nations, we bring before you in our prayers those who have been entrusted with special responsibilities for the life of our nation. May all involved in negotiations uphold goodwill and mutual understanding and show due respect to each other.Lord in Your Mercy Hear Our Prayer Loving God, we pray for all of us here this morning, for our families and friends. Inspire us to work at our relationships and remind us to welcome you in every situation we meet. We ask for your blessing on our family members and on all for whom we love and care. May we always be ready to forgive, respect and value them.Lord in Your Mercy Hear Our PrayerLoving God, we commend to your healing all who are in pain or are ill at home or in hospital. We pray for those about to undergo or who are recovering from surgery: for all who depend on others for life and movement. May they be reassured by the strength of your presence. In a moment of quiet we name in our hearts those whom we know who are in need of our prayers.Lord in Your Mercy Hear Our PrayerWe pray for the bereaved and the desolate: may all in trouble or sorrow draw strength from your life and your victory over death. We pray for those who have died that, falling asleep to this life they may wake to eternal life in the joy of heaven.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world; a light which no darkness can quench. We pray for all who have died and light a candle to symbolise the light of Christ which eternally shines and brings hope.
Lord in Your Mercy Hear Our PrayerWe thank you Father that we are all invited to share your life-giving love: make us worthy of all you have promised.Merciful God accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour – Jesus Christ.  Amen
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 233: I will sing the wondrous story                     (Tune – Hyfrydol)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCyxs4udKi0
I will sing the wondrous storyOf the Christ who died for me.How He left His home in gloryFor the cross of Calvary.
Yes, I'll sing the wondrous storyOf the Christ who died for me,Sing it with the saints in glory,Gathered by the crystal sea.
I was lost, but Jesus found me,Found the sheep that went astray,Threw His loving arms around me,Drew me back into His way.
Yes, I'll sing the wondrous storyOf the Christ who died for me,Sing it with the saints in glory,Gathered by the crystal sea.
I was bruised, but Jesus healed me;Faint was I from many a fall;Sight was gone, and fears possessed me,But He freed me from them all.
Yes, I'll sing the wondrous storyOf the Christ who died for me,Sing it with the saints in glory,Gathered by the crystal sea.
Days of darkness still come o'er me,Sorrow's paths I often tread,But the Saviour still is with me;By His hand I'm safely led.
Yes, I'll sing the wondrous storyOf the Christ who died for me,Sing it with the saints in glory,Gathered by the crystal sea.
He will keep me till the riverRolls its waters at my feet;Then He'll bear me safely over,Where the loved ones I shall meet.
Yes, I'll sing the wondrous storyOf the Christ who died for me,Sing it with the saints in glory,Gathered by the crystal sea.
Author: Francis H. Rowley (1886)Tune: Hyfrydol
Benediction                Go now in peace. Laugh this week with hope. Take God’s love with you wherever you go!        Go now in peace. Go now in hope. Go now with the love of God. And may that same Almighty God, creator, redeemer and giver of life guide your dance in life forever. Amen
Hymn 778: Shalom to you now                 (Tune – Somos Del Señor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u-WxpmOpN4
Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends. May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends. In all your living and through your loving, Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom
Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)
Tune: Somos Del Señor


Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship Trinity Sunday 07 June 2020

June 4, 2020 - 11:33pm
Sunday 07th June 2020Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to Basics.Sunday 07th June 2020Trinity Sunday in the year of Matthew 9.30 amWithout Holy Communion
Gathering God’s People
Prelude Music to prepare for worship
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.
Call to Worship (B. J. Beu, Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)        Are we ready to call God our Mother or Father? Are we prepared to hear God say to us, “You are very good!”? Can we leave our doubts and insecurities behind and claim our heritage? Will we stand in our truth?
God, how majestic is your name in all the earth. Your glory surrounds and enfolds us. Your image resides within us and completes us. You made us but a little lower than the angels. How majestic is your name in all the earth?
Hymn 132: Holy, holy, holy Lord God almighty                  (Tune – Nicea)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrg7jQ5Ic8c
1 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
   Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
   Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
   God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2 Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
   casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
   cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
   who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
3 Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
   though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
   only thou art holy; there is none beside thee
   perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.
4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
   All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky & sea.
   Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
   God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Author: Reginald Heber (1826)
Tune: NICAEA (Dykes)

Opening prayer
Triune God, your Spirit danced over the waters, your Wordwas spoken, and the glory of your creation sprang forth: sun and moon, earth and sky, creatures beyond count. We thank and praise you for putting your image within us and for creating us but a little lower than the angels. Abide in us, as you abide in the fullness of your holy mystery. Teach us to be caretakers and stewards of your good earth, that we may walk gently upon the meadows, and leave puddles of light wherever we tread. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
God of grace and glory, who are we that you are mindful of us? You sustain us through the gift of your indwelling Presence, yet we turn from you again and again, and succumb to feelings of inadequacy and despair. We turn from communion with you and with one another, even though it is only in community that we have the strength to endure the mystery of your glory and weight of our failings. Claim us anew as your beloved children, and we will be healed. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       The love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the blessings of the Holy Spirit are ours without price or condition. Rejoice in this good news and live.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
Sisters and brothers, when we live in peace with one another, the peace and love of God are ours. Let us share this great gift with one another as we share signs of the peace of Christ.Peace be with you! And also, with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Offering Prayer
Your gifts overwhelm us, Creator God. We praise you for placing your image within us— an image that makes us who we are. May these gifts reflect the glory of your image as they go forth to move creation forward toward its fulfillment in you. Amen.
Hymn 188: Where wide sky rolls down                  (Tune – Hanover)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFX7VBH_2ZQ
Where wide sky rolls down and touches red sand,where sun turns to gold the grass of the land,let spinifex, mulga and waterhole telltheir joy in the One who made everything well.
Where rain-forest calm meets reef, tide and storm,where green things grow lush and oceans are warm,let every sea-creature and tropical birdexult in the light of the life-giving Word.
Where red gum and creek cross hillside and plain,where cool tree-ferns rise to welcome the rain,let bushland, farm, mountain-top, all of their daysdelight in the Spirit who formed them for praise.
Now, people of faith, come gather aroundwith songs to be shared, for blessings abound!Australians, whatever your culture or race, come, lift up your hearts to the Giver of grace
Author: Elizabeth J. Smith
Tune: Hanover (Croft)                                    
The Service of the Word

The First Reading:                      2 Corinthians 13.11-13     NEB page 905The Gospel Reading:                       Matthew 28.16-20      NEB page 755After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the LordPlease respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God.
Readings:
2 Corinthians 13.11-13
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Matthew 28.16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
Preaching of the Word – Back to basics
Trinity Sunday, that anomaly of Sundays. A day when we celebrate a doctrine or foundation of our faith within the context of the celebration of Christ's resurrection as every Sunday is. It is always a Sunday that has provided most clergy with anxiety or anguish or consternation as they attempt to prepare a sermon on the Trinity that is not boring or so full of theological jargon that parishioners will fall asleep.
How often have you heard clergy lament on having to preach on the Trinity? Well today is no exception for me. However, I would like to share with you some reflections on how it shapes and forms who we are as a people of faith.
From Advent until through Pentecost we focused all of our attention on the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Even Advent focuses our attention on the coming saviour. The one who came and will come again. We have lived the liturgical drama of Christ Sunday by Sunday climaxing with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, The Easter Vigil and Resurrection Sunday. Now comes the hard part living the faithful life, "with the Spirit's gifts to empower us for the work of ministry." In order to understand the Trinity, one must go back to basics. To understand how that early faith community understood their life that resulted in the adoption of the Trinity as a way of being and doing.
That community knew their story as found in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Gospel stories. They knew God as their creator and in whose image, they were created. Not only did they know God as their creator, but that God created all that was and is as reflected in the Genesis reading for this day. But God was more than just their creator, God was in an intimate relationship with them as a parent as a father, a mother.
We glean that from the stories where their God hears the cries of the people and brought them out of bondage cares for her children as a hen cares for her chicks, where God calls Israel my children, and weeps over their destruction, as parents weep over the actions of their brood. No, this God is not a God from afar or just a judging God, but a loving and gracious God who created them, and even when Adam and Eve sinned stayed with them and clothed them. The stories of God as creator and intimate parent, father/mother abounded in their in-salvation story and continues in ours.
For this community another understanding of God came through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. God became flesh and dwelt among us. The incarnate Word. Through the early apostles and disciples, the community heard the story of Jesus and how God lived and acted in new and profound ways among the people. It wasn't until after Jesus' resurrection that his life made sense to the apostles. For during his life, the disciples were still trying to understand. We know from the Gospel of John how difficult that last night was as Jesus was explaining what had to happen and what it all meant. They didn't get it fully until after the centurion said, "truly this was the Son of God."
The disciples finally get the full meaning at the Ascension when "they return to the temple rejoicing and praising God." God was made manifest in Jesus to ensure that the faith community understood that God was not just out there but lived as one of us as our brother through God's son Jesus. The new community had also experienced the resurrected Christ and knew like Mary that with God nothing was impossible for the Easter story is the knowledge that the impossible is possible. Now the new community had all those stories to know God as not only their creator, but as their saviour and redeemer.
Finally, this community understood God as the Holy Spirit. As promised by Jesus, the gift of the Spirit came on Pentecost. It came to the whole community and not just a select few. One would have thought that the spirit would come to the disciples and their friends only, but the spirit came to the gathered group that represented people from all over the region. Jesus lived and preached a life of welcome and inclusion even when his followers didn't. The community now has experienced God as the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine of the Trinity is not a "top down" theology that began with Augustine or Thomas Aquinas, but a way for the faith community to understand the God of our salvation history. Throughout our tradition and the stories handed down this is still be best way to understand God.
Why celebrate Trinity Sunday? For us it is the time when we begin the struggle to understand how it is, we live in this community of faith. The liturgical dramas of Jesus' life are over and we the ones left to tell the story. We are the ones to go out into the world to proclaim the good news, to baptise in the name of God, the Parent, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need to understand how God acts and lives in our lives in order to share the good news in the world.
People are not converted to Jesus because we can articulate a theological doctrine, but because we can share our faith in very human terms. Sharing how God has acted in our lives as creator/parent, redeemer, brother, and empower spirit. Our God is a loving and generous God who gives to us unconditionally. The God we worship is the God who created all of us and accepts all of us as we are. God does not make mistakes.
Understanding God in this way gives us knew insight into loving and accepting others who are different from us for we are all made in God's image. It is us, not God, who has put limits and parameters on who is acceptable to God. Understanding God this way also calls us to reach out and care for all of God's children especially those who cannot care for themselves.
Paul reminds us there are a variety of gifts but one spirit. We are variety of people in one Spirit. We are called to live out and develop our gifts to the fullest. Our gifts are complimentary to one another and there is no scale of 1-10 on the gifts of the spirit.
Trinity Sunday is a day for the church to celebrate how it understands God and how it lives out that understanding. It is an opportunity for us to wrestle with, to struggle with, to celebrate the meaning of God in our lives and in the life of our faith community. It is about getting back to basics.
To the community that lives the resurrected life of the risen Christ and makes itself manifested in the world by living as Jesus lived a welcoming and inclusive life. It really is simple this Trinity. Very basic and very profound. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen!
Hymn 245: We have a gospel to proclaim                  (Tune – Fulda)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-SPYAgCtkw
1.  We Have A Gospel to ProclaimGood news for men in all the earth;The gospel of a Saviour’s name,We sing His glory, tell His worth.
2.  Tell of His birth at Bethlehem,Not in a royal house or hallBut in a stable dark and dim,The Word made flesh, a light for all.
3.  Tell of His death at Calvary,Hated by those He came to save,In lonely suffering on the cross,For all He loved His life He gave.
4.  Tell of that glorious Easter moon,Empty the tomb, for He was free.He broke the power of death and hellThat we might share His victory.
5.  Tell of His reign at God’s right hand,By all creation glorified,He sends His Spirit on His Church,To live for Him, the Lamb who died.
6.  Now we rejoice to name Him King,Jesus is Lord of all the earth,This gospel message we proclaim,We sing His glory, tell His worth.
Author: Edward J. Burns (1968)
Tune: Fulda
Intercessory Prayers         On this Trinity Sunday we have come before you Lord to offer our praise and adoration. You are God the creator, giving us richly all things to enjoy. You are Christ the Saviour of the world, made flesh to set us free. You are the Spirit of truth and love, willing to dwell in us. You are holy and blessed. One god, eternal Trinity, be near to us the people formed in your image, and close to the world your love brings to life.Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayerLord we pray for your church throughout the world, for those that are thriving and those which have lost a sense of direction. We give thanks for our church and its people, and gladly acknowledge all the gifts you have given us through its life, we ask you to open wide our hearts that we may welcome the stranger and share our faith with others.Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayerLord we pray for peace in the world, create in us a love for peace, not peace that is absent from struggle, nor peace that is blind to injustice but peace that makes whole what now is broken. We remember those who struggle against injustice, for men and women who have to establish loves supremacy in violent and oppressive societies, and for those whom war and famine have robbed of homes, families and friends, may they be filled with your strength and wisdom.Lord, in your mercy Hear our prayerWe remember those who are sick, sad or lonely and those who are brave and patient when things are going wrong. We pray that they may be aware of your comforting presence and know that in your hands they are safe and loved. Lord we pray for all saddened by the death of a loved one, be with them in their loneliness and let them know that Jesus Christ is the light of the world a light which no darkness can quench. We bring our prayers to conclusion by saying together the Lord's Prayer 
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 405: O Spirit of the living God                   (Tune - Church Triumphant)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RvfYXWgeSk
1.  Spirit of the living God,In all the fulness of Thy grace,Where’er the foot of man has trod,Descend on our apostate race.
2.  Give tongues of fire and hearts of loveTo preach the reconciling word;Give power and unction from above,Whene’er the joyful sound is heard.
3.  Be darkness, at Thy coming, light;Confusion, order in Thy path;Souls without strength inspire with might;   Bid mercy triumph over wrath.
4.  Spirit of the Lord, prepareAll the round earth her God to meet;Breathe Thou abroad like morning air,Till hearts of stone begin to beat.
5.  Baptise the nations; far and nigh,The triumphs of the Cross record;The name of Jesus glorify,Till every kindred call Him Lord.
Text: James Montgomery Tune: Church Triumphant
Benediction                Go forth in the fullness of holy mystery. May the love of God enfold you. May the grace of Christ Jesus flow through you. And may the communion of the Holy Spirit complete you. And may that same Almighty God, creator, redeemer and giver of life guide your dance in life forever. Amen
Hymn 777: May the grace of Christ our Saviour                    (Tune - Gott Des Himmels)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj2sKDQDhDM    
1 May the grace of Christ our Saviour
   and the Father's boundless love,
   with the Holy Spirit's favour,
   rest upon us from above.
2 Thus may we abide in union
   with each other and the Lord,
   and possess, in sweet communion,
   joys which earth cannot afford.
Text by: John Newton 1779Tune - Gott Des Himmels - Heinrich Albert (1643)



Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Worship for Penetcost Sunday 2020

May 29, 2020 - 1:23am
Sunday 31st May 2020Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Gathering God’s People


Call to Worship (Dorothy McRae McMahon, Liturgies for High Days, 2007)        Remember a time when your hopes and dreams died. Remember your feelings of despair and powerlessness. Then remember your surprise when something stirred within, when new seeds of hope sprouted forth. That is the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of Pentecost.
Holy, Holy, Holy God, wonder, mystery and all-goodness, in the power of the Spirit we are carried into your presence.You are God and we are your people. Holy, Holy, Holy God, wonder, healer, liberator and all-justice, in the power of the Spirit we are called into the world.You are our God and we are your people, and come to worship you in faith and in hope. Come in, all who are empty and exhausted. The Good Shepherd fills our lives with goodness and faithful love.        Hymn 398: Come down, O Love divine
                  (Tune – Down Ampney)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HPKL1wOVXk
1.  Come down, O love divine, seek thou this soul of mine,and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;               Comforter, draw near,within my heart appear, and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
2.  Let it freely burn, till earthly passions turnto dust and ashes in its heat consuming; and let thy glorious lightshine ever on my sight, and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
3.  Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,and lowliness become mine inner clothing; true lowliness of heart,which takes the humbler part, and o'er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.
4.  And so, the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,shall far out pass the power of human telling; for none can guess its grace,till Love create a place wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.
      Words: Bianco da Siena,? – 1434 trans. Richard Frederick Littledale, Jr., 1867         Down Ampney D Ralph Vaughan Williams 1872-1958
Opening prayer
Be alive among us this day, Jesus Christ, drawing all eyestowards your word as it is revealed before us, opening all ears as your Spirit speaks into our hearts and moving within our lives in ways which touch us deeply so that we bow in humble faith before your holiness. Come to us now, we pray, O God. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Loving God, if our faith has become so mundane to us that we have ceased to expect to be surprised by your holiness, treading each day as if we know all that is possible instead of looking around us for your new word. Stride into our lives, Jesus Christ, and interrupt us with your grace. O God, when we look at others and fail to see the godliness which may6 be present there, assuming that we know all there is to know about them and closing our minds and hearts to fresh gifts. Stride into our lives, Jesus Christ, and interrupt us with your grace. O God, if we rarely search ourselves to see if you are inviting the sharing of beauty and wisdom from within our own lives and inspiring us to be the vehicles for your holy word in this day. Stride into our lives, Jesus Christ, and interrupt us with your grace. Forgive us when we expect less than you give. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Turn your lives towards our Holy God, for all grace there, all freedom and hope. The word of God will not fail us. We are forgiven.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
Renewed with the gifts of the Spirit and blessed by visions and dreams of peace in our world, let us share Christ’s peace with one another.
Peace be with you! And also, with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
A Word with the Children/Young People
Do you remember your first reading ABC book like the ones children and grandchildren have today. How many can remember learning to read from a book such as this.  Ask some of the older adults if they can remember their first reading book
Why do they remember it? I remember a sense of excitement when I think back to my early reading books -probably because they opened up a whole new world.  Hold up the later book and ask how they moved from the ABC book to one such as this.  Hopefully they’ll mention the work of their teachers. Ask if they feel a sense of excitement or anticipation when beginning to read a new book.  Our vocabulary and our knowledge expand every time we read a book.  We can thank our teachers for that.  The Holy Spirit is a teacher too.  We learn a whole new language with the Holy Spirit as our teacher because we learn the language of love - the language that Jesus lived and spoke.  The Holy Spirit lives in us and teaches us that language.  We show that we have learned the language by how we live and how we speak.
Offering Prayer
Gracious God, this is a day of new beginnings. The birth of your newest updated message of love for all of humanity, spoken on the lips not just of one man, but on the lips of many. We speak loudly of our faith and trust in your will and way for us, through our commitment to your church. Bless our gifts to spread your message far and wide, to all who need relief, assurance, and mercy in the name of the Christ. Amen.
Hymn 411: Filled with the Spirit’s power                  (Tune - Woodlands)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43wnrzFb73c
  1. Filled with the Spirit’s power, with one accord
    the infant church confessed its risen Lord:
    O Holy Spirit, in the church today
    no less your power of fellowship display

  2. Now with the mind of Christ set us on fire,
    that unity may be our great desire:
    give joy and peace; give faith to hear your call,
    and readiness in each to work for all.

  3. Widen our love, good Spirit, to embrace
    in your strong care all those of every race:
    like wind and fire with life among us move
    till we are known as Christ’s, and Christians prove.

R. Peacey1896-1971 alt. © 1978 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188 All rights reserved. Used by permission.                                     The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                       Acts 2:1-21                    NEB page 837The Gospel Reading:                  John 20:19-23              NEB page 832     
Readings:
Acts 2:1-21
[2:1] When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. [2] And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. [3] Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. [4] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. [5] Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. [6] And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. [7] Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? [8] And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? [9] Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, [10] Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, [11] Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." [12] All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" [13] But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine."  [14] But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice andaddressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. [15] Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. [16] No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: [17] 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams. [18] Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. [19] And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. [20] The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
[21] Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'
John 20:19-23
[19] When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." [20] After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. [21] Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." [22] When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. [23] If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
Preaching of the Word–The Gift of Presence – John 20_19-23
In John's Gospel this morning, the gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus' disciples seems to be part and parcel of their initial experience of Jesus' resurrection. If our worship schedule in church followed John's picture, we would be celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit on Easter Sunday evening. The fact that we don't do that is not only a mercy -- many of us are so exhausted by the liturgies of Easter that we would be hard pressed to find the energy to come to church on Easter Sunday evening -- it is also, and much more so, that our liturgical calendar sticks quite closely to the early pattern of worship in ancient Israel. Fifty days after the Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, came what they called the "feast of weeks," celebrating the first harvest of new grain.Sunday School children could possibly tell us that the emblem of the Holy Spirit is a dove. The people that pre-publish church bulletin covers all seem to think the dove is the right thing for Pentecost, the "sweet heavenly dove" of the Holy Spirit. And there is much to be said for this dove. It was a dove bearing an olive branch that flew back to old Noah on his Ark, signalling the good news of dry land after the great Flood. The Spirit of God descends "in bodily form like a dove" upon Jesus at his Baptism, according to Luke's Gospel. A nice white dove suggests innocence and purity, peace, and the olive branch of reconciliation. Certainly, the Holy Spirit is deeply involved in purifying our hearts and minds so that we "may have in us the same mind that was in Christ Jesus," as St. Paul says. Certainly, the Holy Spirit is actively engaged in the human enterprise of peace making whenever we work our way through conflicts great and small toward the goal of reconciliation.St. Paul did not have the benefit of Hallmark Cards, which thinks doves are just like lovebirds, billing and cooing come Valentine's Day. But St. Paul knows for sure, that the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit is love -- not the love sold to us by Hollywood and the greetings card industry, but the love of God which is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, binding an aggregate of different and unlikely people together, creating new community on new common ground in the Body of Christ.Is it not striking, then, that as we gather to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, our first reading from Scripture, from the Acts of the Apostles, has nothing to do with the innocence and purity and peace and reconciliation that are associated with the Spirit as dove. On the contrary, Acts gives us the stunningly powerful imagery of a raging wind and flames of fire -- elements of nature to be respected and handled with care, for they can be dangerous and destructive, as well as cleansing and comforting.The author of Acts has moved way beyond doves here. He is rooted not so much in the symbolism of Noah's Ark, but in the great passage of Ezekiel concerning the valley of dry bones, where the Spirit blows like a rushing wind bringing the energy and dynamism of new life to a destroyed, limp, and lifeless nation. He is echoing the voice of John the Baptist as he points to Jesus and says, "I baptise with water, but one is coming who will ... baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire." He has in mind the figure of the prophet Isaiah, who was touched by coals of holy fire when he received the divine mandate to go forth and speak the word of God to the people of God.The author of Acts knows that the Resurrection is simply the beginning of God's mighty work of redeeming us in Christ; we still have to be charged with energy and fired up with our divine mandate from baptism. The dynamics of new life through the death and resurrection of Jesus still have to be fleshed out in our lives, and this is the work of the Holy Spirit, this is how we will be caught up in God's work and God's purposes so that God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven, in our lives, our times, and our places.By giving us the forceful images of wind and fire, our author suggests that God still has one more surprise in store, even after the climactic shock of the Resurrection. God has a yet more wonderful purpose afoot. God has finished commanding his people, telling his people, speaking to and shouting at his people. Through the gift of new life in Christ, the Spirit of God is going to involve all God's people in God's work.At the end of Matthew's Gospel, the risen Jesus is shown appearing to his disciples in Galilee, and sending them forth to baptize all nations, to preach and to teach everything that he has taught them. At the end of John's Gospel, the risen Lord appears to the disciples and says, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you," and then Jesus breathes on them just as God breathed life into Adam in the beginning. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he says. And here in Acts 2, we see the effect and the result of this gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus' disciples ready to go forth into the world. It is as though the rushing wind has caught them up into God's purposes, and the flames have set their heart and minds afire with the desire to bear witness to the good news of salvation.Filled with the Spirit of God, the disciples can now speak, preach, teach, and communicate in such a way that they are understood by all sorts of different people in many different languages. The power of God to recreate the human community in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit breaks through the human boundaries of language and culture. It does so just as effectively as that same mighty power of God in Christ broke through death, the ultimate boundary of human life on earth, and broke through hell, the barrier constructed by evil and sin. In the words of the old hymn, we are "ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven," in Christ-and now we are put to work with the Holy Spirit.But is this scene from Acts 2 really about us? Isn't it just one more miracle story affecting only a handful of high-class saints long dead? St. Paul, who quite famously was not there at the time and knew nothing of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection or the wind and fire of Pentecost first hand, was absolutely and utterly convinced that just as Jesus was Emmanuel, God-with-us and God-for-us, so the Holy Spirit is God-for-us and God-in-us. This is why Paul writes so passionately and convincingly in 1 Corinthians about how God is now getting the job done in us that he started in Jesus.We have a variety of gifts, he says, but it is the same Spirit that activates them. We are engaged in a variety of ministries and activities, but it is the same Spirit of God who energizes them in us. Wherever, and in whomever, we find wisdom, faith, knowledge, and healing-there is the Spirit of God at work for the common good of all.There are times when we need to focus on the gifts of the Spirit to each of us as individuals, and that's when the issues of Christian life and work come into play for every one of us. What shall we be, and do as we grow up in Christ? There are times when we need to focus on the gifts of the Spirit to the whole community of faith, to congregations and denominations and to the whole Church at large. How does anyone congregation live and work for the common good of its community; how does any given Vestry communicate, discuss, and decide for the common good of the whole parish -- these are matters of our common mission grounded in Christ and energised by the Spirit.But there are also times, and surely we are now living in one of them, when we have to stand back from our self-oriented examinations and concerns as Christian people living and working among other Christian people, and ask the Holy Spirit of God to blow mighty winds of change into the way we live with men and women of other faiths in our local and nation-wide communities.We are surely living in a time when we have to pray that the Spirit of God will descend with wisdom, knowledge, and discernment upon the political and military leaders of our country, to change the ways we deal as a nation with other nations and stateless peoples of the small world we live in. As St. Paul characteristically puts it: just as the body is one, and has many members, all the members of the body, though many, are one body. So, it is with the world we live in.It is almost overwhelming to consider that God invites us to receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds to build us up individually, and to receive the same Holy Spirit into our lives in the body of Christ to build up the community of faith, and to receive the same Holy Spirit into our lives to bring reconciliation and peace to all the communities of the earth. But this is God we are talking about: God with us, God for us, God in us; God involving and engaging us in his work. And with God, all things are possible, and with the Spirit of God with us, in us and for us, all things can work together for good. Let it be. Amen.
Hymn 414: There’s a spirit in the air,                 (Tune – Lauds)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHSF6tkVrDk
1. There’s a spirit in the air,     telling Christians everywhere:    praise the love that Christ revealed,     living, working, in our world.
2. Lose your shyness,     find your tongue;     tell the world what God has done.     God in Christ has come to stay,     live tomorrow’s life today.
3. When believers break the bread,     when a hungry child is fed,     praise the love that Christ revealed,     living, working, in our world.
4. Still the Spirit leads the fight,     seeing wrong and setting right:     God in Christ has come to stay,     live tomorrow’s life today.
5. When a stranger’s not alone,     when the homeless find a home,     praise the love that Christ revealed,     living, working, in our world.
6. May the Spirit fill our praise,     guide our thoughts and change our ways:     God in Christ has come to stay,     live tomorrow’s life today.
7. There’s a spirit in the air,     telling Christians everywhere     praise the love that Christ revealed,     living, working, in our world.
Words: Brian Wren, copyright © 1979 Hope Publishing Company. Music: Jim Strathdee, copyright © 1993 Desert Flower Music. 
Intercessory Prayers         Living God, in this world of disposable cups and disposable heroes, throwaway lines and throwaway lives; set our sights upon those gifts which are sourced in you and continue beyond forever.Ground us in your living Spirit, that we may be witness to the new birth of your love in our livesand the world around us.Slow down the consumption of our communicationand push us beyond the tweets and posts of the 24-hour news cycle.Help us to pause before the pain and confusionof our fractured and fragmented world that we might perceive the story of your Good News in Jesus Christ.Fill us with Pentecost fire and attune us to the needs of others, while not neglecting that which heals our own wounds.Push us beyond simple explanations and proximate solutions onto the steep path of true reconciliation and deep listening.Remind us of the gifts already within us and the challenge of those talents not yet discovered.For all good things are from you, and all good things are of you. Just as we are from you and we are of you.In your spirit-filled and living, giving name, we pray.Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 409: O breath of life,                   (Tune – Spiritus Vitae)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1QZw7q1Xyc
1 O Breath of life, come sweeping through us,   revive your church with life and power;   O Breath of Life, come, cleanse, renew us,   and fit your church to meet this hour.
2 O Wind of God, come bend us, break us,   till humbly we confess our need;   then in your tenderness remake us,   revive, restore, for this we plead.
3 O Breath of love, come breathe within us,   renewing thought and will and heart;   come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us,   revive your church in ev'ry part.
4 Revive us, Lord! Is zeal abating    while harvest fields are vast and white?   Revive us, Lord, the world is waiting,   equip your church to spread the light.
Author: Bessie Porter Head (1920)
Tune: Spiritus Vitae
Benediction                Go forth and point to the wonders of God of God. Go forth and carry justice and compassion into the world, for this is the word in Christ to us.           And may Almighty God, rise up in majesty before us, Christ Jesus draw our eyes towards true life and the Holy Spirit be discovered in every new day. Amen        Hymn 778: Shalom to you now                 (Tune – Somos Del Señor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u-WxpmOpN4
Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends. May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends. In all your living and through your loving, Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom
Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)
Tune: Somos Del Señor


Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Worship for Ascension 24 May 2020

May 22, 2020 - 12:57am
Sunday 24th May 2020Marsden Road Uniting ChurchCarlingford--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical Absence, Spiritual Presence. Sunday 24th May 2020Ascension Sunday in the year of Matthew9.30 am
Gathering God’s People
Prelude Music to prepare for worship
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Call to Worship (Mary J. Scifres, Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)        Called to be one with Christ, called to be one with each other, called to be one in ministry, we gather in the unity of God’s Holy Spirit, who calls us here.
Called to be one, we are here. Called to be strong, we are here. Called in devotion to God, we gather to worship and pray.
Hymn 100: All creatures of our God and King(Tune – Lasst Uns Erfreuen)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An1BzakUTms
All creatures of our God and King,Lift up your voice and with us sing,Alleluia! Alleluia!Thou burning sun with golden beam,Thou silver moon with softer gleam!O praise Him! O praise Him!Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou rushing wind that art so strong,Ye clouds that sail in heav’n along,O praise Him! Alleluia!Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,Ye lights of evening, find a voice!O praise Him! O praise Him!Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou flowing water, pure and clear,Make music for thy Lord to hear,O praise Him! Alleluia!Thou fire so masterful and bright,That givest man both warmth and light.O praise Him! O praise Him!Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
And all ye men of tender heart,Forgiving others, take your part,O praise Him! Alleluia!Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,Praise God and on Him cast your care!O praise Him! O praise Him!Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let all things their Creator bless,And worship Him in humbleness,O praise Him! Alleluia!Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,And praise the Spirit, Three in One!O praise Him! O praise Him!Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Paraphraser: William H. DraperAuthor: St. Francis Of Assisi (1225)
Tune: Lasst Uns Erfreuen
Opening prayer
Holy Spirit descend upon us this day. Gather us into your presence, that we may be devoted to prayer and strengthened in unity and love. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Rouse us with your grace and mercy, O God. Scatter the fears within our hearts. Drive away our doubt and our sin. Melt our insecurities and anxieties. Banish our divisions and disagreements, that we may be one with you through the grace of Christ Jesus, and one with each other through the power of your Holy Spirit, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Sing to God! For we are forgiven and united by God’s power and grace.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
Forgiven by Christ’s grace and united in the Spirit,let us share signs of unity and love this day.Peace be with you! And also, with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Announcements
A Word with the Children/Young People
Do you enjoy puzzles? I like puzzles especially cross word puzzles but not cryptic cross words. Word jumbles are something that I like doing at times. That is a puzzle where the letters of a word are all mixed up and you have to figure out what the word is. Sometimes it is easy to figure the word out. Other times I will look and look and can't figure out what the word is. Then, all of a sudden, it seems my mind is opened, and the word is clear to me.
We have a word puzzle for you today. The letters are not mixed up. The word is just hard to see. I am going to hold it up and show it to you. If you see the word, don't say what it is until everyone has had time to figure out what the word is. (Hold up the puzzle and wait for a short time.) If you can see the word, raise your hand. Who can tell us what the word is? That's right, the answer is Jesus!
This puzzle reminds me of something that happened in our Bible lesson today. The Bible tells us that Jesus appeared to some of his disciples and said, "Peace be with you." The disciples were afraid and weren't sure what they were seeing. They thought they were seeing a ghost.
Seeing that they were afraid, Jesus said to them, "Why are you troubled? Why do you have doubts? Look at my hands and my feet. Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like I have."
Jesus could see that they still weren't convinced, so he asked them, "Do you have anything to eat?" They gave him a piece of fish and he ate it as they watched.Then Jesus opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. He taught said, "It was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer, die, and be raised from the dead on the third day. It was written so that this message would be told to every nation, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.' You are witnesses of all these things."
As Jesus opened the minds of his disciples, let us pray that he will open our hearts and minds to spread the Good News to everyone we know that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again so that we could have forgiveness of sin.
Heavenly Father, open our minds to understand your Word, open our hearts to live your Word, open our lips to share the Word with others. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Offering
Invitation to the Offering
Showered with God’s abundant grace, let us share abundant love in the gifts and offerings we bring.
Offering Prayer
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us. Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts. And pour out your Holy Spirit on the ministries we offer to your world. Though our gifts and our offerings, others may find generous friends and a loving community of faith.
Hymn: Be Still and Know
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbqCJNeUaNU
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.Be still and know that I am God.
Composer: John L. Bell                                    
The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                                 Acts 1.1-11            NEB page 836The Gospel Reading:                            Lk 24:44-53           NEB page 808After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the LordPlease respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God.
Readings:
Acts 1:1-11
1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Lk 24:44-53
44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so, stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them; he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
Preaching of the Word - Physical Absence, Spiritual                                 Presence – Acts 1:1-11
Today is one of those relatively obscure Christian holidays of which many are unaware: Ascension Sunday. This is the day in the church calendar when we celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. In all honesty, the ascension is a rather difficult idea for the modern mind to handle. It’s the story of how Jesus went to the Mount of Olives after his resurrection from the dead. There, according to the book of Acts, Jesus literally flew off into heaven. “He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.”
In the first century, the understanding of the cosmos was very different from ours. People understood heaven to be a place that was literally, geographically, “up” from the earth. They could visualise Jesus leaving them and going “up” into heaven. With our scientific view of the cosmos, we know there is not an up or down in the universe. Even our notion of heaven is not of a geographical location or direction. When contemporary people think of the ascension, it is a little hard to imagine the Lord Jesus Christ flying off like a one-person space shuttle into the skies.
Yet, despite our scientific reservations, the story of the ascension is spiritually important to us. The ascension was the church’s way of dealing with a fundamental fact. The earliest disciples had experienced the bodily presence of the risen Lord, the one who was no longer under the claim of death. After a passage of time, this experience of the risen Lord as bodily present with them seemed to pass. He didn’t appear again. They accounted for his absence by saying that the risen Lord was now in heaven. They had to go forward without his physical presence.
He had ascended into heaven. Christians today have the same circumstance. We believe in a risen Lord who is no longer physically present. The body of Jesus is not here any longer, except in the church as the body of Christ. So, on Ascension Sunday, we do well to think about what Jesus’ physical absence means for Christians today.
First, the absence of the physical Jesus calls us to take seriously the church as the body of Christ. This is a concept with which we all are very familiar. We say that the church is the body of Christ without thinking about what that might actually mean. If the church is the body of Christ, then we are called to give to the church the devotion and respect that Christ deserves.
Think about it. How precious to you is the church? How central to your life is the mission of the church? It is easy for us to think that we would respond to the physical presence of Jesus with all the love and devotion we could humanly summon. Yet we often treat the church as just one more volunteer community organization. Now civic clubs do good work; health-related charities appeal to us, especially if we have lost a loved one to the disease the charity seeks to overcome; organizations that support our schools do important work. But none of these organisations are the body of Christ. Only the church is Jesus among us. Its mission is to be consistent with Jesus’ mission. The love we have for it is the love we have for Jesus.
The church is the closest we will ever come on earth to having Jesus to care for and to love. On Ascension Sunday, we are called to reassess our devotion to the church as the physical body of Christ still among us. The risen Lord is not here; he has ascended. The body of Christ is very much here, and the way we treat the church is the way we treat the risen Lord.
Second, Ascension Sunday reminds us that we are each, individually, a part of Christ’s body. To honour the church as we honour Christ is also to remember that in a powerful way, we are each a part of this body of Christ. When we neglect our part in the mission of the church, we disable the body of Christ. As Paul said, each of us is a physical part of the body of Christ. We are the arms and legs, the eyes and ears; we are limbs and organs of Christ’s present body. When we fail to do our part, the body becomes disabled. Christ becomes disabled without the limb or organ that each of us is called and gifted to be.
The absence of the physical body of Jesus places a claim upon us to relate to the church as we would relate to Christ. It also reminds us that without our individual faithfulness to our role in the church, the body of Christ is weakened and disabled.
Last, Ascension Sunday reminds us that if Christ’s work is to continue, it is up to us to do it. Now that is not to say we receive no godly help. Next Sunday is Pentecost, and we will celebrate our empowerment by the Holy Spirit. But this divine help comes to empower us in doing the work of Christ. Jesus is no longer here to heal the sick. He is no longer here to touch the outcast. He is no longer here to feed the hungry. It is up to us, the body of Christ, to continue this work. If the church fails to be the body of Christ, Jesus is absent. If the church fails to be the body of Christ, Jesus is nowhere to be seen.
Yes, this is an obscure Christian holiday. It celebrates an event that is difficult for the modern scientific mind to take literally. At the same time, this is a critical day in our personal and collective self-understanding. It is significant that the risen Lord ascended into heaven. His ascension invites us to relate to the church as we would to Christ.
It reminds each of us of the critical nature of our role in the body of Christ. It calls us to take up Jesus’ work on earth. This is a most important obscure day.
Hymn 474: Here in this place new light is streaming                  (Tune – Gather us in)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8S5t1LrCSY
Here in this place, new light is streamingnow is the darkness vanished away,see, in this space, our fears and our dreamings,brought here to you in the light of this day.
Gather us in the lost and forsakengather us in the blind and the lame;call to us now, and we shall awakenwe shall arise at the sound of our name.
We are the young -- our lives are a mysterywe are the old -- who yearns for your face.we have been sung throughout all of historycalled to be light to the whole human race.
Gather us in the rich and the haughtygather us in the proud and the stronggive us a heart so meek and so lowlygive us the courage to enter the song.
Here we will take the wine and the waterhere we will take the bread of new birthhere you shall call your sons and your daughterscall us anew to be salt of the earth.
Give us to drink the wine of compassiongive us to eat the bread that is younourish us well and teach us to fashionlives that are holy and hearts that are true.
Author: Marty Haugen
Tune: Gather Us In
Intercessory Prayers         God of Christmas Calling, Easter Joy and Pentecost Fire,our days are filled with strange actions, our world is filled with hurt, our too-quick breath is filled with anxiety.We seek after solutions and solace that ease the pain,but do not lighten the load.Help us cast our cares upon your shoulders, help us to rest our anxiety in your love.Attune us to the needs of others that we might be for them, the comfort promised by you.Help us to be present to our inward unrest that we may show up for others with gentle words and quiet comfort.Be with those filled with angst and anger that so often threatens to devour them.Help us cast our cares upon you that we might know and be led to show your deep care for us and all of creation. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 456: Your hand, O God, has guided                    (Tune – Thornbury)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nGeM_24sJU
Thy hand, O God, has guidedthy flock, from age to age;their wondrous tale is written,full clear, on every page;thy people owned thy goodness,and we their deeds record;and both of this bear witness;one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
Thy heralds brought glad tidingsto greatest as to least;they bade men rise, and hastento share the great King's feast;and this was all their teaching,in every deed and word,to all alike proclaimingone Church, one Faith, one Lord.
Through many a day of darkness,through many a scene of strife,the faithful few fought bravely,to guard the nation's life.Their gospel of redemption,sin pardoned, man restored,was all in this enfolded:one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
Thy mercy will not fail us,nor leave thy work undone;with thy right hand to help us,thy victory shall be won;and then, by all creation,thy name shall be adored,and this shall be their anthem:one Church, one Faith, one Lord.
                    Author: E. H. Plumptre (1864)
                
Tune: Thornbury
Benediction                Called to be one,         we go forth in unity and love.         Called to be strong,        we go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit.         Called in devotion to God,         we go forth in ministry and witness to the world.        And may the one who calls us, almighty God creator, redeemer and giver of live bless us and keep us as we go forth. Amen
Hymn 778: Shalom to you now                 (Tune – Somos Del Señor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u-WxpmOpN4
Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends. May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends. In all your living and through your loving, Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom
Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)
Tune: Somos Del Señor
Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Order of Worship 17 May 2020

May 15, 2020 - 12:50am
Sunday 17th May 2020Marsden Road Uniting ChurchCarlingford  ------------------------------------------------------------------
Once a Young Man..., Sunday 17th May 2020Easter 6 Sunday in the year of Matthew9.30 am
Gathering God’s People
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land

Call to Worship (Mary J. Scifres, Abingdon Worship Annual 2020)        The Spirit of truth dwells among us. Bask in this awareness. In the Lord, we live and breathe and have our being. Rest in this presence.

God made the world and everyone in it. Our life and breath come from God. God made all nations under heaven. We are all God’s offspring. Search for God in our time of worship. When we search, we find God near.
Hymn 134: Praise, my soul, the King of heaven                  (Tune – Praise my Soul)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyRIVbdsi4c
1.  Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;to His feet thy tribute bring;ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,who like thee His praise should sing?Praise Him! Praise Him!Praise Him! Praise Him!Praise the everlasting King.
2.  Praise Him for His grace and favourto our fathers, in distress;Praise Him still the same for ever,slow to chide, and swift to bless.Praise Him! Praise Him!Praise Him! Praise Him!Glorious in His faithfulness.
3.  Father-like He tends and spares us;well our feeble frame He knows;In His hands He gently bears us,rescues us from all our foes.Praise Him! Praise Him!Praise Him! Praise Him!Widely as His mercy flows.
4.  Angels help us to adore Him;ye behold Him face to face;sun and moon, bow down before Him;dwellers all in time and space.Praise Him! Praise Him!Praise Him! Praise Him!Praise with us the God of grace.
Words: Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) Music: Lauda anima John Goss (1800-1880) Public Domain
Opening prayer
     Hear our prayers, O God, as we come to sing your praises. Bless us with your steadfast love, in times of peace and in times of trial. Make your presence known to us this day, for we seek to know you better. Enliven us with your Spirit of truth, and increase our faith, even as we place our hope and trust in you. Amen.

A Prayer of Confession
Sometimes, O God, your ways are a mystery to us. When we cry out in desperation, we don’t really expect you to hear our prayers. When we suffer for doing the right thing, it just seems like par for the course. When we deny or doubt your presence, forgive us, O God. Make your presence known to us, and receive our prayers and praise, as those who long to feel your presence. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness       The Spirit of truth abides with you and will be with you. Because the Lord lives, you also will live. Love God and receive God’s abiding love.
Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
As we are forgiven and reconciled to God through Christ Jesus, let us be reconciled to each other. The peace of the Lord be with you all.
Peace be with you! And also with you!
(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
A Word with the Children/Young People
Amy and Jill were friends - both ten years old, they lived in the same street and were in the same class at school.  While Amy had lots of friends, she often felt that she was Jill’s only friend.  So Amy was surprised when Jill invited her to come to her house after school one day to meet her friends.
 After school, Amy walked to the other end of her street to where Jill lived and rang the bell.  Jill opened the door, invited Amy in and took her down the hall to her bedroom.  Amy looked in amazement at the number of bears and dolls that filled every corner of the room.  Jill saw her expression and said, “These are my friends” and she began to introduce Amy to every doll and bear by name.   

Amy was stunned by the way Jill treated the dolls as though they were real people, but then Jill said, “Now come and meet my Mum’s friends”.  She led Amy to a room at the back of the house and said proudly “These are my Mum’s special friends”.  On shelves and in cabinets around the room were blonde-wigged dolls dressed in every possible outfit you could imagine.  Again, Jill began to introduce them all by name and to explain what activity their style of dress suggested. 
Amy had a couple of these dolls herself and enjoyed playing with them, but she realised that this was different.  She interrupted Jill “They’re lovely but how can you and your Mum call them your friends when they’re only dolls!”  “But they are our friends, we love them” replied Jill. “But they are only make-believe friends - they can’t love you back” said Amy. Looking away from Amy, Jill said “They’re the only friends we have.” “Come on” said Amy “am I not your friend?  I like you and I care about you.  Do these dolls care about you?” Jill shook her head and hugged Amy “Tell me more” she said.
When the Apostle Paul visited Athens and saw all the statues of their gods, he said “Let me tell you about the God who made the world and loved it.  This God came in person to show us that love and how we can share it.”  Let’s hope that each person who heard him said the same as Jill “Tell me more.”
Offering
Invitation to the Offering
As the people of God, let us bring our offerings and gifts, so that others may know the loving foundation we have found in Christ Jesus.
Offering Prayer
God of love, you are present in all things. Be present to a hurting world in these gifts. Help us use this offering to create a community of love and a place of belonging for all people. Help us reach those who seek, and those who doubt. Use these gifts to help people know the blessings of being your beloved children. Amen
Hymn 567: God of all power, and truth, and grace

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WQgoW-NJTc
1 GOD of all power, and truth, and grace,
   Which shall from age to age endure,
   Whose word, when heaven and earth shall pass,
   Remains and stands for ever sure;
2 That I your mercy may proclaim,
   That all the world your truth may see,
    Hallow your great and glorious name,
    And perfect holiness in me.
3 Purge me from every sinful blot;
   My idols all be cast aside;
   Cleanse me from every sinful thought,
   From all the stain of self and pride.
4 Give me a new, a perfect heart,
   From doubt, and fear, and sorrow free;
   The mind which was in Christ impart,
   And let my spirit cleave to thee.
5 O that I now, from sin released,
   Thy word may to the utmost prove,
   Enter into the promised rest,
   The Canaan of thy perfect love!
Author: Charles WesleyTune Ombersley - William Henry Gladstone
                                              The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                                            Acts 17: 22-31The Gospel Reading:                                        John 14: 15-21
After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the LordPlease respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God.
Readings:
Acts 17: 22-31
22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, ‘Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23 For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, “To an unknown god.” What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26 From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28 For “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we too are his offspring.” 29 Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30 While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’
John 14: 15-21
15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 18 ‘I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.’
Preaching of the Word - Once a Young Man..., Acts 17: 22-31
Once a young man mentioned to his pastor that he had a love of poetry but that he noticed poetry was never mentioned at church. "Would it be possible," he asked the minister, "to introduce poetry sometime into the service?" The following week the pastor obligingly produced a poem. After explaining to the congregation why she was doing it, she read the poem. No comment; just the poem. Quickly returning to the usual order of the Sunday liturgy, it was evident that she had taken care of another of those little duties that are expected of ministers. A poem had been read in church.

After the service, thinking she might have given the young man short shrift, the pastor asked him to take part in a discussion group -- on the Bible and poetry. The young man jumped at the opportunity and found himself with friends in the wonderful garden of biblical metaphor. This minister had reached out. She had, in effect, built a bridge. What are St. Paul's words in Acts this morning? "They would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him...."

Exactly. That is what this young man was doing. In bringing his interest in poetry to the minister, he was bringing himself to church. He wanted to be received. Trying to link poetry with the Bible, he was clearly looking for ways to link himself with the scriptures. His searching could have been ignored, and it nearly was. But the minister built a bridge -- a bridge over troubled waters, to use words from an old song. With this bridge, the minister was able to bring the young man into the Waters of Life.
Building bridges is hard work. The process inevitably results in confronting the ever-present bridge toll (or troll, if you remember the old children's story about the "three billy goats gruff.") We can almost hear the voices in our heads: "It'll take time and money to get this thing started;" or "It isn't worth it;" or "They won't listen;" or "A lot of wasted effort!" But this kind of bridge building is well worth it, and it isn't wasted effort. And it isn't only the business of ministers you know, but that of parents and congregation members as well. Christians are all, or should all be, disciples. Bearing witness and spreading the Word is the business of every Christian and finding bridges between the teaching of scripture and the outside culture is necessary to aid that process.
In the reading from Acts that we have heard this morning, St. Paul gives us a good example of the productive process of bridge building. He finds himself in the rather hostile environment of Athens. It is a university city and there are many people there to challenge his words. He is clearly an alien among them. He is not one of them. There is actually a 10th century illumination that shows Paul being mocked by his audience. The name the people call him, after he begins to speak, is often translated as, " babbler." But in fact the Greek word of derision was really closer to the old English expression, "cocksparrow," meaning a person who picks up scraps of what he finds around him much as a male sparrow picks up the odds and ends of straw and twigs he finds to build a nest for his mate.
And it is clear that St. Paul was doing just that. He had not come to speak about the well-formulated philosophy of the Athenians. In fact, he was picking up what he could, struggling to give body to his ideas, and in doing so, he was indeed making use of the materials he found around him, of what was at hand. Although St. Paul was "speaking in prose," his was truly a poet's craft.
And just as there was little of the Sophist's philosophy with which Paul could identify, there were also few elements of Greek religion or Greek poetry with which he could feel comfortable. But in speaking to the Athenians he did not choose to denounce or ridicule their beliefs or values. He did not attempt to criticise Greek philosophy or Greek poetry. Rather he confronted the people of Athens with elements of their culture and religion with which he could form a bridge.
How did he do this? He mentioned a famous Greek inscription "to an unknown god" and he cited two Greek poems, one by Epimenides and one by Aratus of Soli. From these points in their culture he formed a bridge in order to develop the image of God he was trying to convey to them.
Although there is much made of the poetry of the Old Testament -- the poetry of the Psalms and in the book of Job, for instance -- we don't hear much about the poetry of Jesus. This is perhaps because we have chosen a very restrictive definition of poetry -- as that which is arranged in verses, or which rhymes, or both. When we accept this restrictive definition of poetry, we are ignoring the use of figurative language, the use of metaphor. Poetry, understood properly in this light, is everywhere in the words of our Lord.
Jesus uses poetry, metaphorical language, to link us to worlds unseen, especially unseen in the culture that surrounds us. In fact, there was no other language that Jesus could have used. "Poetry," one famous poet said, "makes the unseen seen." Wasn't Jesus trying to make us see things we couldn't otherwise see by telling us stories about things we could see? As we read in John, "I have said these things to you in figures of speech." (John 16:25)
Again, we need not go far from today's readings to discover examples of powerful and poetic metaphor. In the Gospel, Jesus uses the symbol of the vine in an effort to express the relationship that exists between him and others. He is the vine and we are the branches. "Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me." Here, the metaphor is about incorporation; the incorporation of all of us in the Body of Christ.
But who are the agents of this incorporation? We are. We must act ourselves as disciples so that others are brought into the words of our Saviour. These are seeds that must be watered. Blanketing them with a hostile blast of snow is hindering and fruitless. In place of a sarcastic cultural critique, how about a little sun, a little water Then the taproots of such powerful images will go deep into our minds.
There may be much to dislike in the culture that surrounds us. It is true there is often more interest in the swimsuit issue of a popular magazine than in the figures in poetry. And often the imagery in a certain amount of modern poetry and song merely seems to meander through the materialistic malls of our country, bereft of any transcendence. But this is not always the case. No one is won through denunciation or dismissal. Just as Jesus formed a bridge between the branches and the vine and our life in him and in God, we must learn to form bridges to the secular culture that surrounds us.
The seeds of understanding and belief must be watered as in a reading from Isaiah:When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them. I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water....
It is often said that scripture is irrelevant to today's people. How can a book so filled with universal imagery be called irrelevant? Rather, it is made irrelevant by those who burn all the bridges between the culture and the words of the scripture. This is done more often by blame and denunciation. Ironically, then, those called to preach the Word are hindering its being spread by their exclusionary attitude towards the culture that surrounds them. The blamed simply withdraw, protective of what is theirs, cutting themselves off from the Vine itself.
There are, of course, materials for this kind of bridge building everywhere. It need not be done only with poetry. But as it was with the minister in this story and with Paul, poetry may be a fine place to start.
In an age in which the Bible is under fire, poetry might serve as a good place to build a helpful bridge from the Bible to the surrounding culture. The minister in this story moved quickly from using poetry to satisfy a young man's request, to using it as a bridge, recognising its great potential for proclamation. The materials for such bridge building are everywhere around us. We need only to stop and pick some of them up and set to work. By doing this, we are doing our part to help others forge a link to the Kingdom of God.

Hymn 408: O breath of God, breathe on us now                 (Tune – Galilee)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTi5D-Ef3Bk
1 O breath of God, breathe on us now
   and move within us while we pray;
   you are the spring of our new life,
   the very light of our new day.
2 How strangely you are with us, Lord,
   neither in height nor depth to seek:
   in nearness shall your voice be heard;
   spirit to spirit you will speak.
3 Christ is our advocate on high;
   you are our advocate within:
   O plead the truth and make reply
   to every argument of sin.
4 But what a faithless heart of mine:
   the way I know, I know my guide:
   forgive me, O my friend divine,
   that I so often turn aside.                    5 Be with me when no other friend
   the mystery of my heart can share;
   be always known, when fears descend,
   by your best name of Comforter.
Author: Alfred H. VineComposer: Philip Armes

Intercessory Prayers         Ever loving God, in the long years since the world has seen you, we come together in prayer in the hope and assurance of your commitment to us, and the life of this world.We pray for ourselves, that we might be filled with your Holy Spirit, that we will be agents for peace, in a world where destruction seems insurmountable, that we will be confident in your commandment to go forth in love for you and each other.We pray for our church, as it continues to change, to evolve, to seek out the best way to follow you, that it will be a conduit for your promise to the world, that it will work for your purpose, not its own concerns of bricks and mortar,arbitrary numbers, or the dreams of past glories.We pray for all those on the margins of our societies, our communities, and our interests.We pray for those who are cast aside by a world obsessed by monetary wealth, the eternal goal of so-called growth, while those with the most continue to gain, and those with the least continue to lose.We pray for our world, torn apart by fighting, by greed, by disregard for the environment. In particular we pray for all your children who have been ravaged by the sin of war, for families destroyed, lives lost,dreams shattered and liberty denied, for all those orphaned by this evil, that they will know your love, and through your people peace might become a reality. In your love,in your spirit, in your life, we pray these things. Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen

Hymn 398: Come down, O Love divine                     (Tune – Down Ampney)
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi78bnzMyws
         Come down, O Love divine,
 seek thou this soul of mine,
 and visit it with thine own ardour glowing;
 O Comforter, draw near,
 within my heart appear,
 and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
        O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming. 
             Let holy charity         my outward garment be,
and lowliness become my inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart,         which takes the humbler part,
and for its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.
        And so, the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.
          Author: Bianco da Siena            Translator: Richard Frederick Littledale Tune: Down Ampney
Benediction                 Go in the name of God, the one who created all the nations of the earth. Go in the name of Christ, the one who abides in love and abides in you. Go in the name of the Spirit of truth, the one who advocates for you and guides you. Amen.
Hymn 779: May the feet of God walk with you.
         (Tune – Aubrey)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X5FHNGM2HA
May the feet of God walk with you, and his hand holdyou tight.May the eye of God rest on you, and his ear hear yourcry.May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give youlife.May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring youHome.

       Robyn Mann (1949 -)         Aubrey Podlick (1946 -)


Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Order of Worship 10 May 2020

May 7, 2020 - 11:58pm

Sunday 10th May 2020Marsden Road Uniting ChurchCarlingford--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Strange and Peculiar.Sunday 10th May 2020Easter 5 Sunday in the year of Matthew9.30 am
Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.
Call to Worship (Mary J. Scifres, Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)        Come to Christ, the living cornerstone. Come to rest on the foundation of God’s love. Come to be strengthened and renewed in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
Once we were not a people, but now we are God’s people. Once we were alone, but together we are the household of God. Here in this time of worship, and later when we go forth to serve, Christ is our cornerstone, strengthening us for the journey. In our living and in our dying, Christ is our sure foundation, strengthening us along the way.
Hymn 161: Tell out, my soul,                  (Tune – Woodlands)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf3mgRUZkAk
1.  Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of his word;
In God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice
2.  Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name!
Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
His mercy sure, from age to age to same;
His holy Name--the Lord, the Mighty One
3.  Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might!
Powers and dominions lay their glory by
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight
The hungry fed, the humble lifted high
4.  Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word!
Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
To children's children and for evermore!
Author: Timothy Dudley-Smith (1961)
Tune: WOODLANDS
Opening prayer
Shine your face upon us, O God. Help us see your face inone another and hear your voice in the words that arespoken. Through your grace, make us holy, that we mayoffer spiritual sacrifices that honour and glorify your holyname. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Gracious God prepare us for the difficult road ahead.  Like Stephen, help us be ready to forgive even the most horrendous of sins. Like the psalmist, help us accept your forgiveness and grace. Like newborn infants, help us receive your unconditional love. (A time of silent confession may follow.) With steadfast love, shine your face upon us, that we may know the beauty of your mercy and your grace. In Christ’s beloved name, we pray. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Whoever believes in Christ will never be shamed, for in Christ we are forgiven and loved.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
Together as God’s people, let us shine upon one another with signs of grace and peace.
Peace be with you! And also with you! (You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)
Announcements
A Word with the Children/Young People
If you are going on a trip, you need to know where you are going and how to go to get there. I have two things with me this morning that you might use to help you to find your way when you are traveling. I have a map and a compass. I'm sure all of you have seen a map, but perhaps some of you have never seen a compass. The map will show you where you want to go, and the compass will point you in the right direction. The compass shows you whether you are going north, south, east, or west.
I heard about a lady who was taking a group of children to a soccer game in another city. She knew the right road to take, but she became confused and turned east instead of west. They had travelled for almost an hour before one of the children told her that they were going the wrong direction.
When we are trying to find your way through the journey of life, we need some help in finding the right way to go, don't we? Each day we face many difficult decisions and it is sometimes hard to know which way to turn. Some people use their feelings to make decisions. They say, "I'm going to do this, because it just feels like the right thing to do." That's no good. Our feelings may change from day to day, and just because we feel good about something doesn't mean that it is the right thing to do.
Some people make choices by what's popular. Have you ever tried to convince your parents to let you do something by saying, "Everybody's doing it"? Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean that it is the right thing to do, does it? Besides, tomorrow everyone might be doing something else.
There is one sure way to know if we are going in the right direction in life—and that is to follow Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." We know where we want to go, we want to go to heaven. And now, we know the way. Jesus is the way. If we follow him, we know we are on the right path and headed in the right direction.
Loving God help us each day as we journey through life to follow Jesus, because we know he is the way, the only way. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Offering Prayer
Through these gifts, proclaim your word of grace. Shine forth through our offerings and our lives, that others may see your face and know your steadfast love. In your love and grace, we pray. Amen.
Hymn 162: Thank you for giving me the morning                  (Tune – Thank You)                                     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yiu-1YX1WvE
1.  Thank you, for giving me the morning.
Thank you, for ev’ry day that’s new.
Thank you, that I can know my worries
can be cast on you.
2.  Thank you,
for all my friends and brothers.
Thank you, for all the men that live.
Thank you, for even greatest enemies
I can forgive.
3.  Thank you, for many little sorrows.
Thank you, for ev’ry kindly word.
Thank you, for everywhere your guidance
reaches ev’ry land.
4.  Thank you, I see your Word has meaning.
Thank you, I know your Spirit here.
Thank you, because you love all people,
those both far and near.
5.  Thank you, O Lord, you spoke unto us.
Thank you, that for our words you care.
Thank you, O Lord, you came among us,
bread and wine to share.
6.  Thank you, O Lord,
your love is boundless.
Thank you, that I am full of you.
Thank you, you made me feel so glad
and thankful as I do.
Author: Martin G. Schneider
Tune: THANK YOU (Schneider)
The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                               1 Peter 2:2-10         NEB page 949The Gospel Reading:                          John 14:1-14           NEB page 825
Readings: NRSV Translation
1 Peter 2:2-10
2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” 8and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
John 14:1-14
1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’8 Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ 9 Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name, you ask me for anything, I will do it.
Preaching of the Word – Strange and Peculiar. – 1 Peter 2:2-10
The scripture lesson for today is a call to a new way of living. It is a call to be a “holy priesthood,” a different people who “long for the pure, spiritual milk.” It is a fitting text as the glow of Easter recedes. It is a reminder that we are called for special work and have been made, by God’s gracious action in Jesus Christ, into a new people. Today’s text culminates in a strong call to the people of faith. We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that [we] may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvellous light.”
In older translations of this verse there is an interesting variation on the wording. The King James Version renders the phrase “God’s own people” as “a peculiar people.” While I enjoy the clarity of newer and more modern translations, there is an intriguing meaning in being designated “a peculiar people.”
The word peculiar is not one that we wear easily. Most of us want to be normal and fit in. Who wants to be peculiar? I read somewhere that there is a town in west-central Missouri named Peculiar. I often wonder how it feels for those people born and raised there to say they are from a place called Peculiar. I also in my research found there was a church that was named Strange. Apparently, the name Strange United Methodist Church was and is something of a joke in the local ministers’ association.
Strange and peculiar are terms we would rather apply to people other than ourselves. Yet this is exactly the label the text from the King James Version of our scriptures asks us to wear. When you consider the call of Christ to live as a disciple in today’s world, there may not be a more fitting label. We Christians are strange, and we are peculiar. We love our enemies, we care for the forgotten, and we believe that the last shall be first. There is a new world, an alternative community that rises out of the pages of the New Testament, which you and I inherit.
God offers the church as an alternative community for the world’s redemption. This fellowship operates under a new economics that believes people matter as much as profits. This community has a new vision that sees every life as an image of God. Here, in this fellowship, a dynamic of inclusion thrives in a world that has made exclusion a fine art. That is our call.
Christians are different. We are called to practice the ethic of grace in a world that lives by an ethic of law. We are called to embrace cooperation rather than competition. We are called to live with an awareness of the gracious hand of God and not from a sense that we must have more and more things to be happy. This is true because we long for the “pure, spiritual milk” that Christ offers. This diet makes us a different people, a peculiar, strange people, who dare to seek to live the life of love in a world in love with alienation, competition, and winning.
I heard about a mythical village where disturbing things began to happen. The people of the village were going insane. Slowly, madness was taking over and no one knew the cause. After careful observation, the villagers realized that their insanity was tied to the food they were eating. Something was wrong with their diet and it caused insanity. The village elders gathered to find a solution. In the end they concluded they had little choice but to eat the bad grain and go crazy. It was better to be crazy and alive than sane and dead. So, this is the statement they prepared to share with the people.
But just before the elders were to address the villagers, someone came running from another village with an announcement. A warehouse of good grain had been discovered. People who ate this grain did not go crazy. They remained sane and sound. The only problem was, there was not enough grain for everyone. So, the elders gathered again and considered this news. They decided to appoint a special group from the village whose job would be to eat a different diet of good grain. Then, when all the other villagers had become insane, this group could remind them of what sanity was. Because, the elders knew, if enough people are crazy then crazy can begin to look normal.
Our culture has poisoned itself with a bad diet. Racism, sexism, and militarism have been our food. Consumerism, anxiety, and the speed of everything have become the staples of our diet. We have bought it all, raced it all, tried it all, and gone mad in the process. In our collective insanity, we come to live fearful lives, we come to regard the stranger as an enemy, we come to send our young to die in war, and children are denied health care and access to good water and food. There is no question that this is the way we must live for we have bought into a corporate insanity that says, “This is the way life is.”
Then there is the church, the community that eats a diet of prayer, scripture, and love. This is the different diet that many have not known about, but we do. From this diet we live the peculiar and strange lives that show what the kingdom of God looks like, that demonstrate what servant love is, that claim every life as a precious gift.
The world looks at the church and says, “You’re crazy.” But the church knows better, for it lives a sanity born of love and grace. It points to a new way and invites others to the table where the food of love and redemption is served.
You, Church, are one strange-looking, peculiar-acting community. You are beautiful to behold as you “proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Continue to yearn for the pure, spiritual milk, the special diet of love and grace. By this you show the world a better way, a different way, a way of sanity that is the way of Christ.
Hymn 468: We are your people, Lord, by your grace                 (Tune – Whitfield)
https://vimeo.com/171332675
1.  We are your people,Spirit of grace,you dare to make usto all our neighboursChrist's living voice, hands and face.
2.  Joined in community,treasured and fed,may we discovergifts in each other,willing to lead and be led.
3.  Rich in diversity,help us to livecloser than neighbours,open to strangers,able to clash and forgive.
4.  Glad of tradition,help us to seein all life's changingwhere you are leading,where our best efforts should be.
5.  Give, as we venturejustice and care(peaceful, resisting,waiting or risking)wisdom to know when and where.
6.  Spirit unite us,make us, by grace,willing and ready,Christ's living body,loving the whole human race.
Words © 1975, 1995 Hope Publishing Company, 380 S Main Pl, Carol Stream, IL 60188

Intercessory Prayers      Loving God, we, gathered together, in worship of you, still our hearts in prayer as we focus our minds towardsyour promise of love for us.We pray for ourselves, for this congregation of believers,each at a different stage of life and faith, thriving, struggling, wondering, hoping and trusting.Grant us the grace to meet each person where they are,not where we think they should be.We pray for our communities, for our families, friends, children, parents, neighbours, and enemies, each one your child and our sibling through the love of Christ.Grant us the power to love all others as you love us.We pray for our church and all your communities of faith. In these times of declining numbers as Christianity fights for relevance in many nations around the worldgrant us the wisdom to remember the purpose of your church, not numbers, but salvation in your name.We pray for our world as the planet continues to bear the wounds inflicted upon it by our waste, our arrogance, our inability to see the beauty of your creation.In our constant misuse of the resources given to us,grant us the boldness to see the error of our ways,to act now before it is too late. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Hymn 581: Happy the home that welcomes you,                   (Tune – Welwyn)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuyFl-ltoEs
    1: Happy the home that welcomes You, Lord Jesus,
Truest of friends, most honoured guest of all,
Where hearts and eyes are bright with joy to greet You,
Your lightest wishes eager to fulfill.
    2: Happy the home where man and wife together
Are of one mind believing in Your love:
Through love and pain, prosperity and hardship,
Through good and evil days Your care they prove.
    3: Happy the home, O loving Friend of children,
Where they are given to You with hands of prayer,
Where at Your feet they early learn to listen
To Your own words and thank You for Your care.                             Translator: Honor Mary Thwaites      Author: Karl Johann Philipp Spitta     Tune: Welwyn
Benediction               As we have been strengthened,         we go forth to strengthen others.         As we have been blessed,        we go forth to bless the world.         As we have been loved,         we go forth to love with compassion and grace.        As we go forth may remembering the nurture of our mothers, the nurture of God through Jesus and his body the Church, may the same God, creator, redeemer and giver of live bless you and keep you. Amen
Hymn779: May the feet of God walk with you.
         (Tune – Aubrey)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X5FHNGM2HA
May the feet of God walk with you, and his hand holdyou tight.May the eye of God rest on you, and his ear hear yourcry.May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give youlife.May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring youHome.
       Robyn Mann (1949 -)         Aubrey Podlick (1946 -)




Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Uniting Order of Worship for 03 May 2020

May 1, 2020 - 12:42am

Sunday 03rd May 2020
Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford
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Experience the Living Christ  Sunday 03rd May 2020Easter 4 in the year of Matthew 9.30 am
Gathering God’s People

Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.
Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)        Sheep move slowly, chew on things repeatedly before digesting them, and stay close to one another. They remember the face and the voice of their shepherd. God invites us to be like sheep: to chew on thongs, to stay closer together, and listen for the voice of our shepherd. God invites us into green pastures to know the love of our Good Shepherd.
Come in, all who are tired and thirsty. The Good Shepherd leads us to grassy meadows and restful waters. Come in, all who are anxious and afraid. The Good Shepherd protects us and leads us through dark valleys. Come in, all who are empty and exhausted. The Good Shepherd fills our lives with goodness and faithful love. Come in, to be refreshed, to rest, and to receive. The Good Shepherd has brought us here.
Hymn 10: The Lord’s my shepherd                 (Tune - Crimond)
https://my.hymnary.org/song/dynamic/53?toolkit=veroviostatic&width=1600Click triangle on lower left of screen to start & has words
Opening prayer
God, Beloved Shepherd, Guardian of our souls, we come to listen for your familiar voice. Call to us above the noise of our lives. Gather us in from our comings and goings. Feed us in the pastures of your love and lead us to abundant life. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Loving Shepherd, you lead us along right paths and give us abundant life. Still, we resist your call. We want to be in control; we wish to determine our own direction. Forgive us when we ignore your voice and turn away. Bring us back into your fold through the gates of your redeeming love.
Declaration of Forgiveness       Even when we stray like sheep, the Good Shepherd finds us and brings us home. Through Christ, we are forgiven.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
God makes peace within us. Let us claim it.
God makes peace between us. Let us share itPeace be with you! And also, with you!
A Word with The Young People –
Theme: The sheep know the shepherd's voice.Object: Look at or have in your mind a picture of a dog
How many of you have a dog? I don't have a dog. I grew up with there always being a family dog around and ours were usually hunting dogs or Labradors. However, my Uncle next door always had a dog to help him with the sheep on their 10-acre Railway Lease in New Zealand. One of those dog's was called Spike he was mainly a Border Collie. When we were not at home, our dogs had their kennels in the back yard, but when we got home, we would go down and unchain them to enable them to exercise, calling their name to stop them barking loudly.
Once released we would call out the dog’s name. When we called his name, Spike would come running. Do you know what would have happened if you had gone out the back and called Spike? Nothing! Spike would not come because he didn't know you and wouldn't recognise your voice.
Sometimes we would call our dogs to take them for a walk. If a stranger had come to the gate and called them, do you think Spike, or our dogs would come to them? No way! A dog knows his master's voice and will only do what his master tells him to do.
Did you know that same thing is true of sheep? Jesus said that sheep know the shepherd's voice and they will follow him. He then went on to say that he is the shepherd and we are his sheep. If Jesus is our master, we will know his voice and will do what he wants us to do. Sometimes, other people will try to get us to do something we should not do. If Jesus is our master, we won't listen to their voice. Sometimes, evil tries to get us to do something that we should not do. If Jesus is our master, we won't listen to that voice of evil.
The shepherd always wants what is best for his sheep. He leads them into green pastures where they have plenty to eat. He leads them to water so that they have plenty to drink. He leads them to the shelter where they will be safe from the storm. Jesus wants what is best for us. He said that he came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. We will, if we listen to his voice and follow him.
Offering Prayer
Holy One we offer these gifts with gratitude for the many ways you care for us. Use these gifts, and our very lives, O God, that all might have life, and have it abundantly. Amen.
Hymn 588: In heavenly love abiding                 (Tune – Penlan)
https://my.hymnary.org/song/dynamic/575?toolkit=veroviostatic&width=1600Click triangle on lower left of screen to start & has words                                       The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                          Acts 2:42-47       NEB page 839The Gospel Reading:                     John 10:1-10      NEB page 820
Readings: From NRSV Translation
Acts 2.42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and theprayers. 43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
John 10:1-10
1 ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Preaching of the Word - Experience the Living Christ – Acts 2.42-47
No one can make the case that the Christian faith is theoretical. It is not a system of thought, a bank of words, or a collection of ideas. Ultimately the Christian faith is about living in relationship and community. The Easter legacy is the church of Jesus Christ. Try as we might to clean up Christianity, this faith of ours always brings us back to the same place—the church. What Jesus leaves on this earth to continue his work is the church. I know people who like the idea of religion, but they don’t want the church. Some people enjoy the warm, pleasant feelings that come from spiritual thinking, but they don’t want the church. Some are excited by the idea of love, but they don’t want the church. Some people certainly want heaven for eternity, but they don’t want the church for today. That is a problem because, like it or not, if we are going to follow Jesus, we are going to be involved in the church. Someone said, “I love Jesus. I just wish he wouldn’t bring his leprous bride every place he goes.” But church and Jesus go together like “love and marriage” or “horse and carriage.”So just pause and reflect for a moment. Easter has come. The tomb has been emptied. The Lord has appeared to his disciples, and the announcement has gone forth: “He is alive!” Jesus is alive! Where do we find him for ourselves? Where do we experience his aliveness in personal ways? The answer is through the fellowship of the redeemed, in the quarters of the church, in the embrace of the manifestation of the body of Christ. What I am saying elevates the church to a status that some may not appreciate. In today’s passage, we get a glimpse of the church in its earliest moments, and it is a beautiful thing to behold. The people are united, everyone is attentive to the teaching of the apostles, no one misses a service or a Bible study, there are enough volunteers for every task, people are giving generously to support the church, and people are lining up to join. If you know your Bible and the story of the church, though, you know this way of life does not last. Soon the church will be dealing with all sorts of unpleasant matters. For example, today’s text is from the second chapter of Acts. By the fifth chapter, people are dropping dead in the church for lying about their financial support. We’re talking about lying about their pledge. Hello! Is this the church? Yes, this is the church, we affirm and believe in. This church is the aftermath of Easter. Do you want to experience the living Christ? Go to the church. Oh, I know there will be frustration. The church likes to “major in the minors,” quarrelling over the most foolish things. I know all this. But I also know that if you want to find Jesus, it will be in his church. I think of my own life. Both my parents didn’t attend, they grew up in the Great depression, often their relationship was angry, and we received much of that anger as children. We lived from day to day in a volatile world of economic uncertainty. We led a life that was different to others including supply of most of our food from the land. We often felt outsiders. Our second home which was rented was owned by Presbyterian Social Services. And then I was sent to Church where I felt welcomed into their fellowship. They made me part of their choir. Some said I was important to them. I had nothing to offer in return, but they did not care about that. They offered a new economics, the economics of grace. All I knew was that I was a young person trying to find their way and these good people put the arms of Jesus around my life and sent me in a new direction of hope and meaning and purpose. Slowly but surely as my life passed, I realised that I had found Jesus, or Jesus had found me, and life had forever changed. The Christian faith is never theory. It is not about religious thinking. The Christian faith is about relationship, it is about love and compassion. In the midst of the comings and goings of our lives, the risen Christ appears, community happens, and the church takes shape. Easter has come, and Easter continues. Easter continues in the imperfect, grace-filled community we call church. Remember this the next time you are tempted to give up on church. If you want to experience Jesus, this is the place and the people, for in spite of their imperfections and idiosyncrasies, the church is where the living Christ lives. Give thanks for your church and your place in it. There is no better place to find what you are looking for, which is the touch of the “Master’s” hand in your life. I know because I have experienced it. Thanks be to God for church!
Hymn 655: O let the Son of God enfold you                 (Tune – Spirit Song)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5pUXm57wMA
O let the Son of God enfold you
With His Spirit and His love
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul
O let Him have the things that hold you
And His Spirit like a dove
Will descend upon your life and make you whole
Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs
Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs

O come and sing this song with gladness
As your hearts are filled with joy
Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name
O give Him all your tears and sadness
Give Him all your years of pain
And you'll enter into life in Jesus' name
Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs
Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs
Writer(s): John Wimber Publisher: Vineyard Publishing
Intercessory Prayers  
(This week’s Intercessions come from spillbeans.org.ukwww.facebook.com/spillbeansresources © 2020 Spill the Beans Resource Team)
Lord, in a world when many search for the protection you offer, for a shepherd to welcome them in and to sit by their side, we bring our prayers for others.We pray for those who wonder where their next meal will come from, and we pray for food justice to become a priority in our world.We pray for those who wonder when and if they will ever wake in the morning to peace, and we pray for an end to fighting and for the courageous role of peacekeepers.We pray for those who wonder when they might be paid a fair price for their labours, and we pray for fair trade practises to become the norm. We pray for those who wonder when they might see their family again, and we pray for those working to reunite refugee families.We pray for those who wonder when they might be able to fully support their family, and we pray for wages that are fair and able to support individuals and families.We pray for all those who wonder where their help might come from, and we pray for communities that mirror your love and care.For all looking for the shelter of a shepherd we pray for your presence to be known. Lord for all these people and situations we pray. Amen.      THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn 147: To God be the glory,                    (Tune – To God be the Glory)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-15v9iworAU
1      To God be the glory, great things he has done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life gate that we may go in.
Refrain:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro' Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he has done!

2      O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To ev'ry believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus forgiveness receives.
Refrain:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro' Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he has done!


3      Great things he has taught us, great things he has done,
and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
but purer and higher and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
Refrain:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro' Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he has done!

            Author: Fanny Crosby (1875)
Tune: TO GOD BE THE GLORY (Doane)
Benediction        As you go out into the world practice being sheep…..        and slow down. Chew on things. Stay close together. And listen for the voice of the shepherd calling to you.        And may the Almighty God, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of Life bless you and keep you safe out in his world through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen        Hymn 778: Shalom to you                  (Tune – Somos del Senor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u-WxpmOpN4
Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends. May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends. In all your living and through your loving, Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom
Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)
Tune: Somos Del Señor
Categories: Syndicated Blogs

Marsden Road Worship for Easter 3 26 April 2020

April 23, 2020 - 11:49pm

Sunday 26th April 2020Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford---------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Corrected Vision Sunday 26th April 20207Easter 3 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30am
Gathering God’s People
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.  May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.
Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)        Walking down the road of life, how often do we meet Christ in a stranger? Chances are good we won’t recognize him, even though our hearts may burn within us. Chances are even better he will move on to bless another unless we offer hospitality to our fellow travellers. Walking down the road of life, look for Christ . . . and be prepared to find him in a stranger.

When you feel alone, don’t despair . . . Christ is here. When your hope falters, open your ears . . . God is still speaking words of comfort and love. When your spirit flags, open your hearts . . . The Spirit is here to guide you home. Here in this house of worship . . . enter, rejoice, and come home.
Hymn 137: For the beauty of the earth                   (Tune - Lucerna Laudoniae)
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTcJ_SQruhE
1 For the beauty of the earth,
   for the beauty of the skies,
   for the love which from our birth
   over and around us lies,
Refrain:
Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

2 For the beauty of each hour
   of the day and of the night,
   hill and vale, and tree and flower,
   sun and moon and stars of light,
Refrain:
Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

3 For the joy of ear and eye,
   for the heart and mind's delight,
   for the mystic harmony
   linking sense to sound and sight,
Refrain:
Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

4 For the joy of human love,
   brother, sister, parent, child,
   friends on earth and friends above,
   for all gentle thoughts and mild,
Refrain:
Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

5 For each perfect gift divine
   to our race so freely given,
   graces all of your design,
   flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
Refrain:
Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise.
  6 For the church that evermore,
   lifting holy hands above,
   offers up on every shore
   the pure sacrifice of love,
Refrain:
Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

                     Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1835-1917                             David Evans ('E Arthur'), 1874-1948
Opening prayer
God of mutual love, plant an imperishable seed of faithwithin us this day. Nurture the roots of life and hope withinour souls, that our hearts might burn within us when wehear your voice. During times of suffering and doubt, helpus grow strong and true, through your enduring word. Staywith us now and reveal your presence to us, as we showhospitality to strangers and break bread in your name.Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
God of Easter hope, it is easy to dismiss your resurrection miracles in the world we live in. When we fail to recognize you on the road, speak your enduring word to us, that our hearts may yearn to know you better. Help us follow our hearts when we meet you on the road and invite you to stay with us, that our eyes may be opened your life-giving presence. During times of confusion and doubt, open our eyes to the many ways you reveal yourself to us, that we may have the confidence to proclaim the miracle of Easter.
Declaration of Forgiveness       In Christ Jesus, we find mutual love and an imperishable seed of faith and joy. Risen with Christ, we are born anew.Thanks, be to God!
The Peace
There is a peace that comes only from welcoming Christ in a fellow traveller on the journey of life. Turn to those around you and offer these words of welcome and peace.Peace be with you! And also, with you!
A Word with The Young People –
A young man was making his final preparations to leave for college. The only thing left to be done was receiving that final piece of advice from his dad. He expected a list of do’s and don’ts, but instead his dad gave him just one piece of advice: “Son, I have only one thing to give you. It's my name. Don't take it anywhere I wouldn't take it. Don't associate it with anything I wouldn't.” With this counsel, the dad sent his son into the world.
We ought to take this story to heart as followers of Jesus Christ. What a powerful word it would be indeed if Jesus looked to those of us who call ourselves Christians—children of God—and reminded us that we carry His name. Carrying His name includes living a life of holiness, reflecting His standards and character.
Peter beautifully conveyed the idea that our beliefs really do affect our behaviour. Since God is holy, we are called to live holy lives. Since God is Judge, we are called to live with fear and reverence. Since God’s Word has transformed us according to the gospel, we are called to live with love toward other believers.
That son who received the simple advice from his father apparently went on to be a Minister, head of a theological college, and author. That man explains that just as he was called upon to carry his family name, he is also called upon to carry our heavenly Parent’s name as well. How well are you carrying the name Christian?
How are you conducting your life as a follower of Jesus Christ? Is it with holiness, fear, and love? Do you want to see Jesus? ( which you will hear about in Sunday Kids as you look at the Road to Emmaus story)  The Bible says, "You will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)
Oh, he may not appear to you in the same way he did to the disciples in your story, but If you study the Scriptures and seek him with all your heart, he will reveal himself to you.
Dear Lord, open our eyes, we want to see Jesus! In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Offering Prayer
Loving God receive our thanks and praise. For your presence on the road, we thank you. For opening your word to us, we praise you. For revealing yourself to us in the face of a stranger, we offer you our deepest gratitude. May the gifts of our hands reveal the love in our hearts. Amen.
Hymn 601: O Master, let me walk with Thee                                        (Tune – Maryton)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utggz7PN0Lw
1 O Master let me walk with Thee
   in lowly paths of service free;
   tell me Thy secret; help me bear
   the strain of toil, the fret of care.
2 Help me the slow of heart to move
   by some clear, winning word of love;
   teach me the wayward feet to stay,
   and guide them in the homeward way.
3 Teach me Thy patience, still with Thee
   in closer, dearer company,
   in work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
   in trust that triumphs over wrong.
4 In hope that sends a shining ray
   far down the future's broadening way;
   in peace that only Thou canst give,
   with Thee, O Master, let me live.
Washington Gladden (1836 -1918)                    H. Percy Smith (1825 - 1898)

The Service of the Word
The First Reading:                                            1 Peter 1.13-25The Gospel Reading:                                        Luke 24.13-35
Readings from NRSV Version of Scripture
1 Peter 1.13-25
13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ 17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.
18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.
20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.
21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. 22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For ‘All flesh is like grass all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord endures for ever.’  That word is the good news that was announced to you.
Luke 24.13-35
13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ 19 He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ 25 Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Preaching of the Word - Corrected Vision. – 1 Peter 1.13-25
One of the blessings of medicine is good eye care. When our vision becomes compromised by age or disease, we are fortunate to be able to go to the ophthalmologist or optometrist and take care of the problem. Often the doctor prescribes eyeglasses or contact lenses, which correct our vision so we can see clearly. Good vision gives us the right perspective and enables us to function well.
However, when we first try out a new prescription, we may find that it takes a while to get used to the corrected vision. At first things can seem a little strange, as though we are not seeing clearly. Gradually, our eyes adjust to the correction of the new lenses and we are able to see well. The Easter season is a time of adjusting to a new vision. God has done an incredible work. The tomb has been emptied. Death has been defeated. On the Sunday of the resurrection, our hearts fill with joy and our voices soar with the hymns of new life. A new world has been born, a new vision has been given, and a new way of living has been prescribed. The church is invited to wear its Easter lenses as it looks out upon the world and responds to the challenge of living in light of the resurrection.
We live from the perspective of Easter. Perspective is important. The right perspective can bring joy and happiness; the wrong perspective can lead to disaster. A little boy and a little girl, brother and sister, were shopping with their mother in a large department store. The mother needed to have some time for her shopping, so she took the children to the soda fountain, bought them ice-cream cones, and told them to stay there till she came back. Well, the children were fascinated by the elevator and could not resist the temptation to ride it one more time. So, with ice-cream cones in hand, they jumped off their stools and went to ride the elevator.
They were enjoying their up-and-down ride, but the little boy’s ice cream was melting faster than he could eat it. Finally, it was dripping down the cone and onto his hand despite his best attempts to eat the delicious treat before it melted. At one floor the elevator stopped and an elegantly dressed woman in a full-length fur coat got on. She stood in front of the children waiting to be taken to her floor. The little boy was desperately trying to deal with his melting ice cream. Seeing the back of the lady’s fur coat, he gently began to wipe the sticky, melting ice cream on her coat. His sister said, “Be careful, Billy, or you will get fur in your ice cream.” Now that illustrates perspective. That which seems is a solution to one could be seen in another way as the damage an expensive garment. It’s all in the perspective.
Easter people live with the perspective of the resurrection. God has won the victory over death. The worst that can happen to us has been overcome by God taking Jesus from the tomb. That is our perspective. This vision challenges us to live boldly and daringly. “You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). In other words, you have a new perspective. Live from this perspective. Dare to “love one another deeply from the heart” (v. 22).
The early church had to get used to its Easter lenses. It must have seemed strange to live from the perspective of love in a world that was used to living in alienation. It must have been disorienting to include the outcast and the marginalised in the fellowship of the church. But this is what the Easter community did, and its witness was powerful. The world stood in awe as it watched a community of love live its life with redemptive acts of service and inclusion. Such a community was a new reality that embraced a way of living that others had never imagined.
The story continues as Easter people put on their new lenses and dare to live the way of love in a world of alienation and hurt. We are people of new perspective. We have seen what God has done in Jesus Christ. We no longer live in fear; rather, with radical love we go forth to practice the perspective of love as we follow the way and example of our risen Lord.
The church has to put on its Easter glasses and see life from the perspective of the resurrection. We are the people who dare to live the hope that other people believe can never be realized. From the Easter perspective, we live the “as if” principle. That is, we live “as if” the world has more love than it does, “as if” there is more hope than people are willing to embrace, “as if” the kingdom of God can reign on the earth today. Our Easter glasses also give us the holy boldness to ask, “What if?” What if every child had a warm, safe place to sleep? What if there was enough food for every person on this earth? What if we all lived from a sense of abundance rather than scarcity? What if today all the killing of all the wars stopped?
It all starts with vision, with perspective. Have the right perspective and you can live the right life. Our perspective is Easter. “Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God” (1 Peter 1:21). We are the people of Easter whose vision has been forever corrected by what God has done in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Hymn 390: Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks                   (Tune - Alleluia, Alleluia)
       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k2UqKcFIW8
Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Jesus is Lord of all the earth.
He is the King of creation.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Spread the good news o'er all the earth:
Jesus has died and has risen.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

We have been crucified with Christ.
Now we shall live for ever.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

God has proclaimed his gracious gift:
Life eternal for all who believe.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Come, let us praise the living God,
Joyfully sing to our Saviour.
Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Donald Fishel (1950 -)Betty Pulkingham (1928 – 2019)
Intercessory Prayers
(This week’s Intercessions come from spillbeans.org.ukwww.facebook.com/spillbeansresources© 2020 Spill the Beans Resource Team)
Lord God, each of us walks our own Emmaus Road.Some seem to have an easy route, for others it is a bumpy, twisty, uneven road. And so for them we pray this day.
For those who are ill and see no end in sight for their pain, we pray for healing and for a sense that you are there with them.
For those who face financial difficulties and see no end to their problems we pray for solutions and for a sense that you are there with them
For those who struggle to put food on the table and see no end date to their empty cupboards we pray for fairness and a sense that you are there with them.
For those who are caring for loved ones and see no end to their fatigue we pray for rest and a sense that you are there with them.
For those who struggle with the daily juggle of responsibilities and see no end to their merry-go-round life, we pray for moments of stillness and a sense that you are there with them.
Lord, so many people, so many challenges, it is often difficult for us to know where to begin. Help us to take each situation as it comes, to know what the priorities are, to work out the ways in which we can help.
Help us to stick to your path of righteousness,justice and peace, in all we say and do. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn 613: Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy                   (Tune – Slane)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-D_aT8CXyc
1            Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy:
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.
2       Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe:
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.3            Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace:
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.
4      Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm:
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.
Joyce Placzek ('Jan Struther'), 1901-53Erik Reginald Routley, 1917-82
Benediction                As you meet strangers on the road, let mutual love increase. Born of the imperishable seed of God’s love, we will grow in grace and power. As you experience Christ in the smile of another, be purified in the presence of the Holy One. Born to grow into oaks of righteousness, we go forth to reveal the glory of God in our lives. We go with God’s blessings.
Hymn 779: May the feet of God walk with you.                  (Tune – Aubrey)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X5FHNGM2HA
May the feet of God walk with you, and his hand holdyou tight.May the eye of God rest on you, and his ear hear yourcry.May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give youlife.May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring youHome.
          Robyn Mann (1949 -)         Aubrey Podlick (1946 -)

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