Monday, 12 February 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 28 January 2018




 

I was drawn in immediately the service began by the Call to Worship and the parts of the service which followed:

 

Call to Worship

(Abingdon Worship Annual 2009)

By this I have known the presence of the Lord:

in the rising of the sun, in the smile of another’s face,

in the touch of a hand or the sound of a laugh,

in the scent of a flower holding the promise of spring.

By this I have known the power of the Lord:

in the healing of hurts, in the forgiveness of sin,

in the giving of gifts beyond all expectation,

in the shower of love that comes from God’s Son.

Let us give thanks to the Lord with all of our heart!

Let us worship our God, whose presence and power

endures forever!

We see God around us in many ways but fail to see that one way others see God is through ourselves. Are we failing to show God to others?

 

Hymn TIS 52: “Let us sing to the God of salvation” I wonder if we are living out the theme of this hymn? Are we living lives of praise? If we are, we couldn't fail to show God to those around us.

 

Opening prayer

Almighty and most merciful God, we give thanks that you know us and love us. Help us, through the power of your Holy Spirit, grow deeper, wider, and fuller in our knowledge and understanding of your ways. Help us, through the bestowal of your divine Wisdom, bring others closer to you and to your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

And there it is! If we make this our minute by minute attitude to walking with God, I think our church would be a better witness to our God.

 

Rev. John then gave the children’s address (to the adults). He told about the pecking order in a chook yard and made a comparison between that and the functioning of society.

He spoke of the violence and aggression. Sometimes that is not so easy to identify and sometimes we don't believe that we are behaving in such a way because the aggression is quiet, the violence is emotional or intellectual.

 

When Rev. John began his sermon he spoke of experiences anyone of us may have had, where a charismatic leader caught our attention. In my experience that can happen simply because of the personal appeal of the leader. Or it may be that the leader makes their message so relevant to our way of thinking that we think we have found the good oil.

But when Jesus spoke to the people of his time or to people of today through hymns, scripture, preachers, creation or the lives of others, what drew and draws people is a recognition of truth.

Rev. John went on to speak of the ramifications of committing ourselves to that truth. We have to surrender our own personal desires and commit ourselves to the person of the one who is the foundation of all that is. The One who is love and light: the One who gave all that we could live a new life.

This commitment to truth is a very personal thing between each of us and our Lord who is truth.

And we need to commit anew each day. That is because we human beings are just so good at forgetting whose we are and who we need to connect with daily to continue living that truth.

 

This theme was continued in:

 

Hymn TIS 560: “All my hope on God is founded”  If only we could keep that before us each day!


Then the Benediction.  We have to act to share our treasure:

 

Go on; get out of here! God’s prophet, God’s Son, calls

us to teach others of God’s power and might.

From this worshipping fellowship, we go into the

community, seeking to tell others our stories.

Go on; get out of here! Share how God has transformed

you. Invite others to become disciples of this new

teacher.

We will invite others to share our journey, even if it

scares us to death.

Go on, I mean it; get out of here! Share how God has

brought you to knowledge and wisdom of new ways, new

opportunities, new ways of being.

We go with joy. We leave in peace. Amen.

 

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 11 February 2018






Today I would like to pay particular attention to the prayers and hymns because I am usually not able to say much in the space available.

Both prayers and hymns give us the words to express what we are unable to do on our own.

Rev. John introduced the Call to Worship with these words:

Chariots and horses of fire . . . a prophet taken up into heaven . . . a gospel unveiled . . . Moses, Elijah, and Jesus shining brighter than the sun . . . the time approaches and now is. Watch . . . listen . . . perceive . . . God is with us. Nothing is as it seems.


signalling that something beyond our
understanding is involved when God becomes known to humankind.

Depending on our particular bent, God will
come to us in a way we can understand.

For some of us that is through words, for others through music, for others through
creation itself or through the myriad of ways
 God is with us. However, because of God’s greatness we only glimpse a little at a
time:

 

Call to Worship

 The glory of God is too great for you to bear.

We are not afraid. We will not turn back.

The mystery of God runs too deep for you to fathom.

We are not deterred. We will not turn back.

The fiery chariot of Elijah is not for mortal sight to see. We are blessed with the eyes of faith. We will not turn back.

Come then, and worship our God, who took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind.

We will worship the Lord, who transfigured Moses, Elijah, and Jesus to shine like the sun

 

Even though God is great beyond anything we can imagine, as expressed in the first hymn: “Jesus shall reign where’re the sun”, we are invited to approach and fellowship with that Divine presence. How good is that!

 

 Opening Prayer

 God of mighty tempest and devouring fire, you come to us shrouded in mystery. Just as Elisha followed Elijah until he was taken up into heaven, we will follow Christ up the mountain to behold his glory. Who are Moses and Elijah that we should not join their ranks among the faithful? What is to prevent us from shining with Christ this very day? Give us eyes and ears of faith, Holy One, that we may see the heavens open and hear your voice, calling us to follow your Son. Amen.

 

Whenever we are touched by God, we know there is so much more to life over and above the daily trivia and dross, which is expressed in the

 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Through the light of the one who was transfigured to show us the power and glory of God, we find a way through the wilderness of our doubt and confusion; we find strength for the journey and courage for the road ahead. Thanks, be to God!

This Light is the subject of the next hymn: “Jesus the light of your love is shining.” Having the effect expressed in the line: “Set us free by the truth You now bring us”

It is that freedom from all that weighs us down that we all long for.

This theme was continued in the

 

Offering Prayer:

Light of Light, when we grow accustomed to dwelling in the shadows and painting with drab colours, you bless us with your radiance and the vitality of your love. Illumine these gifts, Holy One, that the world may see your light shining through our offering. Illumine our very lives, O God, that we may remain restless until we shine like Christ upon the mountain, until we follow Elisha’s footsteps and behold your glory. Amen.

 

In my experience, we are made restless until we reach out to the only source of Light and Love. And if we stray, that restlessness will return until we find the only cure.

And that comes in our own mountain top experiences. As Rev. John said:

 

 “We too have our "mountain tops." Each of us needs places and times set apart for us to take a good spiritual breath.”

 

But even when we are aware of God’s presence the mystery remains, inspiring the words of hymns like:

“Immortal invisible, God Only wise.”

 

The words of the next hymn: “Lord your almighty word” are a guide to finding God and God’s Light and Love to show to the world and thereby commune with God and build God’s Kingdom…now….here.

 

The words of the Benediction drew the service together and sent us on our way:

 

BENEDICTION

 Go forth with the courage to climb the mountain of God.

We will walk in the light and truth of Christ.

Go forth with ears to hear the voice of God.

We will hear the call to follow Jesus.

Go forth to live as people who shine with Christ’s glory. We will leave footprints of light as we walk.

Go forth in expectation and hope, for God goes with you, and may the blessings of that God go with you, Amen.

 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 21 January 2018






The Rev. John always draws us into our services with such evocative prayers that not only seek out our deepest yearnings, but give us the words to speak which we cannot say ourselves. Because of this I am tempted to reproduce them as they were prayed in the service but space does not permit. So here is some of each:


Call to Worship

(Abingdon Worship Annual 2018)

The light God shines forth in Jesus Christ changes everything... This is good news indeed.

 Jesus says, “Now is the time!”

Startle us, God, from our busyness and routines. Show us how very close your Kingdom is.

Jesus says, “God’s kingdom is at hand!”

Deliver us, God, from faith in our own strength. Free us from the traps of violence, dishonesty, and greed.

Jesus says, “Receive the good news from God!” Embolden us, God, to trust you anew. For we are as fragile as breath, and draw our strength from your mercy and compassion.


Opening prayer

 Loving God, in this season of Epiphany, your kingdom has drawn close— so close we can almost touch it. Help us see that we already live under your rule of peace. May our worship today draw us closer to you and to one another.


Confession

God, we know that you alone are unshakable. You alone are our stronghold and our refuge. You deliver and glorify us, yet we fail to love and glorify you in return. We live as if we can save ourselves, as if we can be our own stronghold and fortress against the storm. Yet we are fragile as breath. We are consumed by our desires to succeed and dominate. We blindly strive to get our way, and are greedy for all sorts of wealth.

And so, we confess our failings to you and to one another, trusting in your forgiveness and your grace. Amen.


Declaration of Forgiveness

Beloved, God repays us according to our deeds, and yet in Jesus Christ, we have nothing to fear. Trusting God with everything, we rest in God’s faithful love. Allowing Christ to change our hearts and our lives, we find God’s strength and hope.

Thanks, be to God!


The Peace

God alone gives us peace, a peace that is trustworthy and sure. Greet one another with the good news of peace in Jesus Christ.

Peace be with you!

In the service that followed we worshipped in practical ways, the announcements giving evidence of our Christianity lived out in our church and out in the world and the offering our worship with our gifts for God’s work around us.



The Readings looked at God's warning to Nineveh in Jonah and Jesus calling of the disciples in Mark:

In both readings the people spoken to responded immediately and wholeheartedly. Of
course in the case of the people of Nineveh the threat of dire consequences motivated their jump to action but even though there was no threat to the fishermen to whom Jesus spoke, in each case the people involved knew they had heard the voice of truth. 

I have always wondered about the response of those fishermen. They were poor enough, making a regular income, so why were they so ready to give that up for no guarantee of income at all? And what about their families? My only conclusion has been that Jesus’ word carried with it such authority and truth that the men had no alternative other than to obey.

When Jesus spoke to those fishermen, he promised that they would fish for more followers. That is Jesus’ word of truth to us, but have we responded as quickly and as wholeheartedly as did the fishermen? Have we risked all for the only thing that matters?

In Rev. John’s talk to the children, he recalled the paperboys calling out from street corners, promising that if we bought their papers, we would be able to “Read all about it!”

When people see us, when people hear us, when people interact with us…are they able to “Read all about it?” Does anyone even know we are followers of Jesus of Nazareth?

And are we so convincing that anyone would ever act with such quickness as the people of Nineveh did?

Of course, God allows for our less than stellar performances. God can speak in other ways to anyone who is seeking the truth, but we do have our part to play. 

Rev. John used a DVD to play a prayer, part of which said:

You have come down to the lakeshore seeking neither the wise nor the wealthy,
But only asking for me to follow. You know full well my possessions.
Neither treasure nor weapons for conquest, just these my fish nets and will for working…

O Jesus, you have looked into my eyes; kindly smiling, you have called out my name. On the sand I have abandoned my small boat, now with you, I will seek other seas.


 Benediction

 Go forth and share the good news from God.

God rewards us and our deeds, not with doom, but with mercy. In circumstances both difficult and joyful, God remains our place of safety.

Go forth and proclaim God’s kingdom.

The world as we know it is passing away. We belong to God’s kingdom, which is coming and now is.

Now is the time to be the good news.

We go forth to tell the world the good news of the strength and mercy of our God.

 

Hymn 779: “May the feet of God walk with you

 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sunday service Marsden Road Uniting Church 14 January 2018






Today I led the service myself, with other people contributing at various places in the service. I chose the hymns to complement the read and spoken word, so more space will be given to them than is usually so.

There are many facets of hymns that influence us.  Of course, good Hymns are written to convey a message of significance to people of faith but the music to which they are sung does more than enhance the message and underpin the emotional impact.

The tune cements the hymn in our memory, for retrieval in times of need. And so when the hymn with its message is called upon it returns, with the tune, contributing to the impact it has upon the heart and mind of the one who knows it.

After acknowledging the original carers of the land and giving thanks for the care they showed for the land, we called on God to open our ears and minds to the presence of the Divine so that we would be sure that what we say, hear, think and do is of God.


Invocation -

O God who is wisdom, light and love.

God who creates and enlivens all that is, or could be.

Our need is great but your gifts are without end.

As we listen for your call, may we be attuned to your voice.


The Call To Worship was based on 1 Samuel 3:1-10. In short this said:

What do we do, when God calls?
What do we do? Wake up. Listen. Act.


Hymn TIS 161 “Tell out my soul, the greatness of my Lord.”  Lyn led us as our hearts swelled and we lifted our voices in this great hymn. I remember reading an article by someone who was reminding us to look and act as though our lives were secure in God’s hand. Let others know.


The Prayer of Adoration and Thanksgiving was based on Psalm 139 (in part)

All: O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

A:   You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. Despite knowing this, we try to hide and pretend and so confession is needed to reconcile ourselves with the Lord:


Prayer of Confession:(in part)

All seeing God, how foolish we are to think we can hide our failings from you. We fail to see our bodies as sanctuaries for your Spirit. We get drunk on the seductions of our society, while daintily sipping at your living water. We doze under the tree of temptation, hoping you won't see us and expect us to get up and follow Jesus. Lord, you call, but we do not always recognize your voice.

As  frail and weak as we are we know forgiveness is assured:

 



Words of Assurance.

For nothing is impossible with God. There is no place you can go, no end of the earth you can run, where God cannot find you. There is nothing on earth or beyond death that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. You are forgiven. You are loved. You are reconciled to God. Go and live with the love of God. Amen

The practice of our Faith was the focus of the announcements and the offering where we rededicated ourselves to God’s service:

O God, open our ears and hearts to hear your call to follow Jesus.  Receive and bless our lives and these gifts - may they be devoted to sharing the love of Christ with all those whom we meet.   Amen


Hymn MHB 848 “Hushed was the evening hymn” This hymn introduced the story of God’s call to Samuel and the accompanying message to Eli that his time of leadership had come to an end…from which the theme of today’s service is drawn,


1 Samuel 3: 1 - 20.    John 1: 43 - 51.  These were about people being called by God. God called Samuel and at the same time delivered a message to Eli that his leadership was coming to a close. In John, Jesus called his disciples. In all of the above, all those involved simply accepted the message, and obeyed.


Reflection - In delivering the reflection the focus was kept on believing that God knows what is best.


Using examples from my own life and the lives of others, plus everyday situations, I reflected on times when our lives take a turn which doesn't seem to be to our advantage but in hindsight, led to greater things and unexpected joy, not just for ourselves but for others. I followed this with a prayer:

Holy and Loving God, when your light shines, nothing is hidden;

and when your light shines on us, there is joy in seeing and discomfort in being seen.

Help us by your love, to bear the light of your truth and your integrity, your

forgiveness and your faithfulness. Bring us out of hiding, that we may become children of light, through Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. Amen


Hymn TIS 658  “I the Lord of sea and sky” Our affirmation that we accepted the message of the story of Samuel and Eli and the calling of the disciples.


Brief musical interlude for congregation to simply be or privately pray, followed by the Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer


The Sending Forth of the People of God. - we sang asking for God’s guidance:

Hymn TIS 547 “Be thou my vision” and then went out:

Now go into the world with confidence, trusting that Christ is walking with you.

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, now and always. Amen

 

 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 7 January 2018


 

This Sunday is the first after the Epiphany. An epiphany is an experience of suddenly becoming aware of new knowledge or, as some would say it, a time of gaining new light.

This was the concept on which Rev. Bill based the following

 

Call to Worship

Arise, shine: for your light has come

And the glory of the Lord is risen upon us.

“From the rising of the sun till its going down, my name shall be great among the gentiles” says the Lord of hosts, “and in every place incense shall be offered to my name and a pure offering

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: those who follow me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

 

That is, Jesus is the source of all knowledge, all understanding. The response to that could be: “Knowledge and understanding of what?” The answer to that is not quite straight toward because while it could be said that it is knowledge and understanding of the important and fundamental issues, that would miss the mark. If we think about the “light” itself instead of any subject, we approach the meaning more closely. Jesus bestows upon us, a state of being in which we perceive ourselves and the way we operate in this world, in a totally new way. A way defying description. A way which only makes sense to those who have opened themselves to its experience.

 

This was reflected in the collect used:

 

Collect (Together)

Almighty God, your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world.  May your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped and obeyed to the ends of the earth; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever.  AMEN

 

We can speak about the above in different ways. We may pray that we will act in a God-like way. We may be constrained to show friendship to the friendless and operate from a place of love but whatever we ask for, or pray to be it all comes down to God’s light acting through us.


 

Rev. Bill reminded us of a story that told of a time when three men experienced a new understanding of a natural event; an event that was to change their lives forever:

 

“These men from the East journeyed to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him”.  

You see, they saw an object in creation that revealed something of God, something that made them want to worship.  A created thing led them to worship Christ.”

Their experience brought them joy and when we experience something similar it is very difficult to tell someone else why it has been on a different level from other experiences.

As the Rev. Bill put it: “It is enough to say “Here’s a mystery, a wonder. It’s way beyond me; it’s about something so much bigger than I am.”

Rev. Bill continued to speak about the possibility of other epiphanies, when we know something more than the ordinary and then linked this to the Communion service which was to follow:

 

We approach the Table of the Lord.

We can remember what happened for the wise men – the light, the insight, the epiphany.  It happens, in what we do here at the Communion Table.

1. The Epiphany of the World. From out of the world, God’s created creatures - we take ordinary things – bread and wine but in this sacrament they take on a special meaning – they represent the body and blood of Jesus.

2. The Epiphany of the Word. We take the Word of God  as the authority for what we do.  The words of institution given by St Paul who quoted the very words of Jesus, his very instructions to obey -Take Bread, take wine – do this in remembrance of me.

3. The Wonder of the World, and the Word.  Here we meet with the very same Jesus of Bethlehem and like the Wise men we worship.  As Horatius Bonar, the Scottish minister wrote in his much-loved hymn:

Here O my Lord, I see Thee face to face.

Here would I touch and handle things unseen.

Here grasp with firmer hand the eternal grace

And all my weariness upon Thee lean.

Indeed by eating the bread and drinking the wine we get a firmer grip on Jesus. And thus are ready, after the wonder of Worldly creatures, Word and Worship, we are ready for

4. The Way ahead.  We  go from here a new way, because our direction is more clearly set for us, having been with Jesus, who now goes with us into the unknown way, the New Way.

Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear;
The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.
The bread and wine remove; but Thou art here,
Nearer than ever, still my Shield and Sun.

The commonplace, our everyday life, is shot through with the glory of God, And it is right here to bring us into fellowship with our Living Lord.

 

So how is it with us?. Is that our experience, or do we struggle each day to be better Christians?  Is the commonplace shot through with the glory of God? Are we in fellowship with the living God?

Think hard upon those questions.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 31 December 2017






Hymn 268: “Joy to the world”

Hymn 301: “The first Nowell”

Hymn 210: “O for a thousand tongues ...”

Hymn 309: “Angels from the realm of glory”

Hymn 779: “May the feet of God walk with you

Readings:

Isaiah 61: 10 - 62:3;  Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2: 22-40.


 
Call to Worship

Joy to the world! Christ has come and Christmas is here! Let all of creation sing praise to our God

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants, you ordain praise and thanksgiving to silence the foe and the avenger.

You make everything beautiful in its own time.

You set eternity in our hearts, yet we cannot fathom what you have done from beginning to end.

What could be better than to be happy and to do good while we live?

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

O God, our God, you are Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.

 

 Opening prayer

 We come to you today, God, the Alpha and the Omega, as people blessed by your tender care. Today, we come to seek your guidance, that we may better understand how to follow the teaching of Christ, our Lord and Saviour, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

I have begun by including the beginning of the service as Rev. John delivered it because it evokes a true and vivid sense of what Jesus of Nazareth did for the world.

 

The world as God created it was a wondrous place but the flawed nature of people means it has been reduced to something not at all like what was intended.




If we look at photos or are fortunate enough to visit places untouched or relatively untouched by humans, we see what could have been for us all.

Not that we should have remained living as nomads necessarily. There are places where the built environment is beautiful because it has been put together to complement the natural environment. In places like that care is taken to maintain the total environment in a healthy state.

The population there see themselves as stewards, who have a responsibility to the natural and built environments to keep both in a healthy state and in a state that supports whole living by people.

Such people also see themselves as being responsible for each other.


There was a “big blow” in the NSW North Coast town of Maclean yesterday. I have an elderly sister-in-law living there and was anxious to contact her but her phone didn't work. The first phone number that worked was for the pub across the road from where she lives. They were able to assure me that she was safe and well because they had gone over to check on her and her house. The church isn't the only place to find loving people who look after their community.

 

Another word about Maclean. There isn’t any litter. When I commented in this, I was met with a question about why there would be any if the residents don't drop any.

Some of us know how to care for what we have that is a good gift from God.

Our relationships need nurturing too. At any given time in our lives we have many different types of relationships of varying levels. Relationships develop in different ways: work, neighbours, church, sport, or a myriad of other interests. Usually the relationship is established before we notice, but then if we value it, we must show care for the other/s involved.

 

Otherwise, in all the above situations, we will find ourselves spoiling something about which we should be shouting the praise that is at the beginning of this blog.

 

But the greatest gift we have been given is the invitation to dwell with the Creator, but we have to say “Yes” to that invitation and we need to care for that relationship on a daily basis.

Otherwise, we will lose the sense of our connection and drift away, and look elsewhere when we need help instead of to the author of Love and Peace.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 24 December 2017


 



Hymns:

Hymn 265: O come, O come, Emmanuel
Hymn 286 All verses: Light one candle for hope

Hymn 302: The angel Gabriel from heaven came,

Hymn 161: Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord

Hymn 282:The voice of God goes out…”

Hymn 777: May the grace of Christ our Saviour,

 

Call to Worship

(Abingdon Worship Annual 2011)

Host of Hosts, from sunrise to sunrise, and generation to generation, we are your people.

You have been with us wherever we have gone. You will be with us wherever we may go.

You planted us in a land flowing with milk and honey, then you planted our salvation in Mary's womb.

Jesus, who is the Christ, is planted firmly in each one of us.

Our souls magnify the Holy One.

Our spirits rejoice in God, our Saviour.

 

 

Rev. John spoke to the children about their names and the meaning of their names and some other names. When parents name their children they do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the eldest boy takes a name that is passed down from generation to generation. I am named after both my grandmothers. Other names are given in the hope that the child will grow up to be the person of the meaning of the name such as ‘grace” or “courage”.

 

Rev. John told us that in the Bible it says that God gave Mary the name she was to give her child -  “Jesus” - which means “the Lord saves” which indicated the reason that Jesus was to be born.
 
We may not have such a name but God knows each one of us as closely as Mary and Jesus were known. Also, just as Jesus had a reason for being born so do each one of us have a reason for being here. We have our own place in this world and our own task in building God’s kingdom.


 

In the first of the Bible readings from 2 Samuel 7, we hear that the Ark of God had always been in a tent but that a place was to be built to keep the Ark in one place, signifying that God’s people were to stop roaming where they would need to carry The Ark with them. From then on they would be able to stay in one place and The Ark, a sign of God’s presence, would remain with them.

 

God is with us wherever we are. The idea of God being in one place has developed as people realized that God is with all creation, everywhere. Therefore we can be assured that God is with us, anywhere we are. Wherever we are, we can depend on God watching over us and guiding us if we look for that guidance which can come to us in a variety of ways. It can come through other people, through our reading, through listening to other people speaking, through our God-given talents or simply as thoughts appear in our heads.


 

Another way of looking at that story is that we can stop roaming, looking for wholeness and fulfillment, when we settle with God. Then the emptiness stops.

 

The second reading and the one Rev. John spent time with focuses on the very ordinary people God uses to play out the amazing drama of redemption. We may think we are not worthy or talented enough but we only have to be willing.

 

Coming up to Christmas we having been lighting the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and finally, today, Love. These are not the prerogative of the rich, educated, or the “cool crowd”  but are characteristics anyone who opens themselves to God’s handiwork can experience and thereby show God, and all that knowing God offers, to the world.

 







Benediction

Be strengthened according to the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Go, do all that you have in mind, for the Holy One is with you. Nothing is impossible with God.



Go forth in the name of the living Word, the One whose words bring forth the fruit of the kingdom in your own lives! Amen.