Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 24 July 2016

The Responsibility of Hearing

Welcome to this time of worship and community. We hope you find the service helpful and encouraging.

Call to Worship - (L. J. Bartlett, Abingdon 2016)

Come in angry people! This is a safe place to vent your fury. Come in hurting ones! Here you will find compassion and grace to heal your wounds. Come in, all who are need of love and peace. Here, we gather as children of the living God.

Lord, you have been kind to your land.

You have changed our circumstances for the better!  

You are the God who saves us.

Youve forgiven your peoples wrongdoing.

Because of you, O God, faithful love and truth have met.

Righteousness and peace have kissed.

HYMN TIS 555: Put all your trust in God Why wouldn't you? Or why would you put your trust in anyone or anything else? Even when things are not going well, if we pull ourselves up, we know we are still in God's hand.

Opening prayer

Gracious and loving God, your steadfast love and faithfulness assuredly meet in Jesus.  In him, your righteousness and peace are truly united.  Through him, we have received these great gifts of your mercy and grace. The prayer continued, but my thought was that when we have such gifts, why would we complain about our lack of anything else?

A Prayer of Confession

Dear God you have every right to be angry with us. We have such good intentions, but we continue to mess up. Forgive us, God.

We joyfully sing of your love on Sunday morning, but by Monday were feeling lost and unlovable. Forgive us, God.

We preach tolerance and compassion, but we find ourselves raging at the person who cuts us off in traffic. Forgive us, God.

How did he know about me?

Declaration of Forgiveness

Then you forgive our sins, and once more show us how to forgive others. You offer us a vision of truth and love meeting together, and you invite us into their warm embrace.

As your forgiven people, beloved children of your promise, you renew us in holy love. I was going to abbreviate this prayer but just couldnt find anything to leave out.

Thank you God.

The Peace

Peace is a gift beyond price. In Christ, we find peace as we are reconciled to God. Let us share this precious gift with one another in joy and thanksgiving.

The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you. We then reached out to each other offering that peace to each other.

Offering Prayer

Loving God, you fill our lives to overflowing like baskets of summer fruit. May the offering we return to you this day show our gratitude for your many blessings, and our commitment to love our neighbours as you have loved us. Through your goodness and the sharing of these gifts, may all come to know the richness of your love. Amen.

Hymn TIS 162: Thank you for giving me the morning A hymn that seems to have been written for children but it speaks to every area of my life.

Bible Readings: Hosea 1: 2-10: Colossians 2: 6 -19: Luke 11: 1-13. The Hosea reading seems to reveal a very unbending God. Certainly that's how these people saw God's power playing out. I think God's mercy is so much bigger than that. Colossians speaks of the freedom and abundant life we are offered through God's love. Count me in. Luke teaches us to persevere, that God does hear us. But what I hear is that God is so generous in His persistence in seeking each one of us.

For the Word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God

Preaching of the Word The Responsibility of Hearing.

John began by placing the situation within the context of our own lives. How would we react if someone wanted us to open the door when all the family was in bed and the chaos of the previous day was strewn all through the house.

The factor that made the story a little different from our own is that in Greek the word translated as "persistence" in the NRSV has a connotation of "shameless". That is on top of the cultural requirement of offering hospitality. So the householder had to open the door because of the neighbour's shameless persistence.

Then to the point: The God of all is shameless in his persistence at knocking at the door of  our lives. May as well give in now, you will eventually. All those things that prevent us from opening to God are known to him anyway. And all that will happen when you do is that you will have life abundantly. Amen

Hymn TIS 209: And can it be It always amazes me - how could the God of all that is - the essence of love and life- the source of abundant life - how could I be invited into this realm of grace?

Musical Interlude while we thought about our own lives and those of the people about whom we are concerned.

Prayers of Intercession Margaret Johnston led these. That's me, by the way. There was much to pray for. We expressed our thanks for God's unbelievable generosity as He persists to draw us to Him. We prayed for the Grace to take the message of Gods love to the world and then turned our attention to all those suffering because of the insane violence in the world. We also prayed for the victims of violence anywhere and visitors to Rio de Janeiro that they will be kept safe.

Then we prayed for all those involved in criminal acts - the victims, that they will be comforted; and the perpetrators, that they will find a better way. Our prayers raised up the sufferers of physical and mental illness everywhere, and then the Church, especially our Uniting Church that we should keep faithful to our mission. We then prayed for the personal concerns of the congregation and drew to a close together with the Lord's Prayer.

Hymn 755: You shall go out with joy Not just us, but all of creation will rejoice. Amen


Go in peace, knowing that you are a forgiven people.

Go in faith, knowing that God hears your prayers and understands your needs.

Go in love, knowing that God invites you into the holy embrace of truth and righteousness.

Go now as children of the living God to serve others in Christs name.


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