Marsden Road Uniting Church Sunday January 17, Epiphany 2
Call to Worship:
We are the Body of Christ, gathered in celebration of your
transforming presence through which we can become new people, reaching out in
love to a waiting world.
Life can be enlarged and enhanced, bearing witness to the
creativity of God and the wonder of the Holy Spirit.
People: Thanks be to God!
Hymn TIS 121"God himself is present"
Let us now adore him. A reminder to ourselves of why we have
Prayer of Invocation: Ruth
Holy Spirit of God, hover over our lives and bring to us all
that we need, to be your true people. People:
Come Holy Spirit, come.
For we cannot be who we long to be without your presence
among us. People: Come, Holy Spirit,
Breathe your peace within us, and inspire us with your
wisdom, inviting in us your passion for good. People: Come Holy Spirit, come.Amen.
Prayer of Thanksgiving: Glenn
Thanks be to you, Holy God, as we discover with gratitude
small signs of your divine life within us and among us.
People: Thanks be to you O God, from whom all goodness comes.
Prayer of Confession:Margaret
O God, who listens to us as we face our humanness with
honesty, we confess that we are not always open to your enlivening work.
Sometimes we would rather cling to our comfortable ways. Help us step out into
whatever possibilities you have for us. Help us believe that you will always
support us whatever risks we take, in your name.
People: Forgive us and bring us to a new day, O God. Give us
the faith to act as your people and to believe that we can support each other.
Words of Assurance: Margaret
God, in Christ, understands our journey and the vulnerability
of our humanness.
Grace is always waiting for us, when we come in humble
prayer. Our lives are restored to hope and promise. For we are forgiven
People: Thanks be to God.
Hymn TIS 64:"O Bless the Lord, my
Again, reminding ourselves of all God's many blessings to us
and praising him for them.
Readings: Pat: Psalm 36: 5 - 10; the Psalmist has been in a
bit of a pit, telling all the evil people what is in store for them but in this
part of the psalm he remembers God's blessings on his own. John 2: 1 - 11 The account of Jesus first
public act after his baptism: the turning of water to wine. Not quite what we
were expecting. But there are lessons
there for all of us.
Sermon: Margaret: Are you a Water
Christian or a Wine Christian?
This service was mine and I took a different
view of the bible reading from the usual one. I think I was being tapped on the
shoulder by God about my own Christian life but I thought what I was thinking
was worth passing on. Water is unique
and essential to life on earth and so are "Water Christians" to the
faith. But wine is richer, richer in
colour and aroma and can add richness to other things such as a casserole. Also it comes in so many varieties. So it occurred to me that because of this
richness and variety, this is the sort of Christian who would be of greater
service to God's' kingdom. This is the sort of Christian who could contribute
to a richer Church. But to be a wine
Christian we need to open up every last little bits of our lives to God. That
takes courage. Are we up to it? The
condition of God's church depends on it.
Hymn TIS 398"Come down O Love
Having heard the challenge, this hymn provides us with a way
of giving an invitation for God to fully renew us.
Offering:Margaret : Now let us
bring our gifts to God and to others in grateful thanks for all we have
received. O God, we place these our gifts into your hands. Guide those that use
them for the continuing life of the church.
Prayers for the People:Margaret prayed for the leadership of our church and
our country and the leaders worldwide that they will all be guided by God's
Spirit. She then asked for God's hand to
guide in local concerns. Margaret asked
for God's blessing on the church at Marsden
Road and all that belong to it, including its
leaders and then turned our attention to the personal concerns of the
congregation. Then we joined in the
Hymn TIS 212:"Christ whose glory
fills the skies" Not so much just an invitation but an affirmation that we
know God is ready to act and that we are willing for his glorious work in our
Blessing: Margaret : Let
us go forth, holding each other in love.
Let us lift up our hearts in hope for new visions of who we
could be as Christ's Church, confident that Jesus has walked this way before
And may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy
Spirit be with you, and remain with you always.
Blessing Song: 781 "Father bless us as we go, Jesus walk beside us,
Holy Spirit guide us." And to show we mean it, we sang it twice,