Call to Worship led by Hugh
L: Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim his greatness; tell the nations what he has done.
P: Sing praise to the Lord; tell the wonderful things he has done.
L: Be glad that we belong to him; let all who worship him rejoice.
P: Go to the Lord for help; and worship him continually.
L: You descendants of Abraham, his servant; you descendants of Jacob, the man he chose:
P: Remember the miracles that God performed and the judgments that he gave.
L: Dear children of God. The Lord is our God. Let us worship him together.
The Lord is with you;
P: And also with you!
Hymn "Be Still for the Presence of the Lord" A reminder that we are before the Holy One and on Holy ground. So, Be Still. This is an opportunity to experience God's very presence: to know holiness about us: to experience God's light, shining on our very being, illuminating all things. Our chance to hear God's voice to each of us, moulding us, directing us.
Prayer of Adoration Hugh prayed, proclaiming God's name, the name of the Lord of all. The Lord who is glorious, who is our rock, who is faithful and perfect. The Lord who is beautiful and who can do no wrong, asking that he would be with us as we worshipped together and to accept our hymns and prayers, but most especially, our hearts, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Prayer of Confession (All)
Dear Heavenly Father, we lower our heads before you and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if there was no God and we fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may live our life and relationships as your Kingdom people. Remind us always that we are your children.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Offering Hugh, on our behalf, offered our thanks for God's love and grace to each one of us and to each of our families and friends. He gave thanks for God's loving support of our congregation, asking for his blessing on our offering, and that it should be used for the sake of God's kingdom and be a blessing to many people.
Hymn TIS 703 "As the deer pants for the water" Another type of confession, as we admit that we are nothing without God's strength and direction. As we admit that our show of bravado to the world: our facade of being in charge is all just that, and that all we want and need is God in and through our lives.
Bible Readings: Kaye read to us from Romans: 8: 26-39. If you need encouragement, this is one reading that will lift you up. I recommend that everyone read it in full because there is no possibility of doing it justice in a summary. The last two verses show its power. "For I am convinced the neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52 A number of analogies to explain, through everyday situations, concepts relating to the Kingdom of Heaven. The mustard seed that grows into something much bigger: no matter how lacking in talent we think we are, that could be us. Then, the Kingdom is something of such value that it's worth trading everything else we have to be able to acquire it. But then it seems that some will not see that value and will cling to things that, in eternity, are worthless.
Reflection Hugh focused his reflection on the parable of the treasure a man found in a field, which was possible in the time of Jesus, because there were no banks and people buried their wealth where they thought it would be safe. Because some people died before retrieving their wealth if was possible for someone else to discover it and claim it. To do so the lucky person would need to buy the field, and so, the story. This story is impressed on the hearers even further with another tale of a man that sees a pearl of unsurpassed value. In both cases the men sell everything they have to acquire the treasure. The kingdom of a Heaven is like that. To belong is worth more than everything you have or could have. Hugh stressed that we have to discover this treasure and that it is for now, not just after we die. He illustrated his next point with another story about a Texan farmer, who was in despair, because of his inability to survive during a particularly bad time. The farmer had nothing. Nothing, that is, except an enormous reserve of oil under his farm that he knew nothing of. The Kingdom of Heaven is within the grasp of us all - free. All we have to do is give up our grasp on everything else. Many people pursue the Kingdom for a lifetime but never embrace it, to live in the joy it offers. We have often heard the first point of the hidden treasure but Hugh's last point of embracing the gift we have been given may be the one we need to give serious thought to,
Hymn TIS 717 "Give thanks with a Grateful Heart" a simple message of thanks to God and the result of his reversal of the world's order into the heavenly order where the weak are strong and the poor, rich because those things are measured so differently in God 's eyes.
Prayers for the People and the Lord's Prayer Chris prayed to our most gracious and loving Father, asking for protection for our fragile planet and its resources. He asked that people should be rescued from the tyranny of grief and for support for those suffering as a result of war, oppression, poverty and disease. He turned our attention to all the airplane crashes and the discord in the Middle East and asked that the suffering of those involved should be relieved. He thanked God for meeting our needs and for his blessing on all who need comfort, hope and companionship. He prayed for those known to our members and then we joined in the Lord's Prayer
Recognition of Rev. Beth as Minster in Association Hugh thanked Beth for agreeing to become our Minister in Association and for her continued presence with us and then made a presentation to her recognizing her new role. In reply, Beth thanked us for our friendship and proclaimed that "God is Good"
Hymn TIS 666 An echo of the last hymn. "We are marching in the light of God". That makes the rhythm we follow quite different.
Benediction - Hugh - Lord our Father, give us the mind of Christ that we will see things in our life through that mind and plan our lives accordingly.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and those you love, now and always.
Retiring Hymn TIS 720 "Halle, halle, Hallelujah" and we have so much for which to give thanks and praise.