Call to Worship
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love, may be open to your word to us today, and may come to know how we can truly invest what we have to grow your kingdom here on earth.
As we gather here to worship you this day, let us give our thanks and praise to God as we join in this celebration. We are invited, we are the people chosen to gather here, we are part of God’s Kingdom, so let us enter this time of worship with praise and thanks giving. A prayer much used over many years, and for good reason. It prepares us for this time before our God
Opening Hymn: AHB 557 Lord of Creation, to you be all praise. Praise to the king of our world and lives, thanking God for the life he gives us and the joy we derive from service to him and the great gifts we receive in that service,
Prayer of Praise & Thanks;
God, Creator, Saviour and Life giving Spirit, we come to you this morning with our prayers of praise and thanksgiving. From the many experiences we have had throughout the week, we come together this morning as a community to express what it means to have you in our lives. Dan gave thanks and praise on our behalf for the use God can make of our simple offerings and the difference that can be made in our ordinary lives through the work of the Spirit.
Prayer of Confession
We offer our praise and adoration Lord, and we also offer our Prayers of Confession.
Loving and merciful God, we have sinned in thought and deed, in what we have done and in what we have failed to do. Jesus Christ we pray. Dan prayed for forgiveness for our lack of love and our waste of our God-given talents.
Assurance of Forgiveness
Hear then these words of assurance, nothing will make God happier than for us to be whole and at peace with Him. So God forgives our sins, renews our spirit and heals our wounds. God wants us to rejoice, and to celebrate his grace and love. Amen
Hymn: TIS 161 Tell out my Soul. Voices were raised. Hearts were lifted up as we absorbed the significance of the service to this point and gave grateful thanks for our relationship with God.
Offering We returned just a little of our blessings and asked that it will be used for God's work.
Notices There were a few but the important one is that Elaine's back next week.
Important Bible Words Jan Roden. Oliver read the important words: "The Lord is King."
Bible Readings:1 Timothy 6: 11 – 21 Colin read this exhortation to live rightly before God as we have been commanded. Sometimes it's good to get a clear reminder of what being Christian is all about.
Matthew 25: 14 – 30 The parable of the talents. I think we sometimes become upset for the poor servant who tried not to take risks with his master's money. However when we think in terms of our personal talents, and remember the mobility rule, "use it or lose it" it starts to make sense. But as Dan will say in the sermon - there's more.
Sermon: Investing what we have for God. Dan began by warning us that the parable of the talents isn't quite the straightforward story it might appear to be. He pointed out how extravagantly generous the master was. That lesson is about us every day. Then the second point is about being responsible stewards of the gifts we are given. I have seen people move into a home with a most beautiful garden, only to neglect it and end up with a huge mess. Thirdly, Dan revealed that the parable is a warning about being a religion that is "cautious and resentful". Jesus makes it clear that the cautious, resentful person is no use to the Kingdom. Dan's sermon was much more complex but I think if we just act on the warnings so far given, the world will be more like the one God wants.
Hymn:AHB 520 Take my life and let it be. Our response to the message of the Matthew reading and to Dan's words. As in the old hymn, "All for Jesus"
Prayers of Intercession Dan prayed for the needs of our community, particularly for those concerns mentioned by members of the congregation, asking for God's comfort and support for those who are ill or in need.
Final Hymn:AHB 543 God of Grace and God of Glory. A prayer that God will, through his spirit, work in us that we will be fruitful servants and thereby bring about his will in the world around us.
(Tune : Regent Street TIS142)
Benediction & Dismissal
In the power of the Holy Spirit we go out into this community to fulfil our calling as people of God and as the body of Christ. Go in peace, love and care for one another, and share God’s grace with those around you.
May God bless you with every gift and talent you need for his service, and may you invest what you have in willingness to risk yourself for the Good News of the Kingdom, and may the love and grace, the hope and faith of Jesus dwell in your heart this day and always. Amen
Three Fold Amen