Marsden Road Uniting Church Sunday 28th May 2017
Gathering God’s People
Call to Worship
(Mary J. Scifres, Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)
Called to be one with Christ, called to be one with each other, called to be one in ministry, we gather in the unity of God’s Holy Spirit, who calls us here.
Called to be one, we are here.
Called to be strong, we are here.
Called in devotion to God, we gather to worship and pray.
Hymn TIS 100 “All creatures of our God and King” verses 1,2,3,5. Voices raised in praise for all that God is and does.
Holy Spirit, descend upon us this day. Gather us into your presence, that we may be devoted to prayer and strengthened in unity and love.
In your holy name, we pray. Amen.
A Prayer of Confession
Rouse us with your grace and mercy, O God.
Scatter the fears within our hearts. Drive away our doubt and our sin.
Melt our insecurities and anxieties.
Banish our divisions and disagreements, that we may be one with you through the grace of Christ Jesus, and one with each other through the power of your Holy Spirit, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness
Sing to God! For we are forgiven and united by God’s power and grace.
Thanks, be to God!
Forgiven by Christ’s grace and united in the Spirit, let us share signs of unity and love this day.
Peace be with you! And also with you!
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us. Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts. And pour out your Holy Spirit on the ministries we offer to your world. Though our gifts and our offerings, may others may find generous friends and a loving community of faith.
Hymn AOV Vol 2/54 “Be Still and Know” If we just stop: stop and let God speak to us, we will hear that small voice that is just for us.
The Service of the Word
The Readings came from Acts 1: 1-11, Ephesians 1: 15-23 and Luke 24: 44-53. These three readings refer to the resurrection and ascension. Many of us are puzzled about the possibility of these events happening just as they are described here. However, those of us who experience the living presence of God with us can leave that aside, and draw comfort from the relationship we have with the Creator God.
Preaching of the Word.
Then He Opened Their Minds. – Lk 24:44-53
Rev. John spoke about the familiar experience of farewelling people and expecting them to return. The disciples had an experience which wasn't so familiar. They expected Jesus to return but the rest was very vague. But what did happen which changed them completely, was the coming of the Spirit.
The work of the Spirit changes people. Rev. John spoke of how it changed him and led to his entry into the ministry.
Most of us don't change our day to day work when the Spirit takes hold of our lives. But what does change is the way we live those lives, whether at work and at home or at leisure. If it doesn't, we should be asking ourselves questions. Are we showing others what our God can do to bring fulfillment to an ordinary life, but more importantly, what are we showing other people about God? If they know we are Christians. They expect to see God reflected in us. Do they?
Hymn TIS 474 “Here in this place new light is streaming” Gather us in. It is that closeness to our maker that we all yearn for.
Music to lead us to prayer. Our time to think over things.
Grahame began his prayer with the words of the hymns "O love that will not let me go," and "Jesus makes us shine" and then sang to lead us into the sense of our prayer being both given to us, and received from God. He reminded us of God's spirit being made known to us through everyday experiences and then prayed for the various needs of all those who suffer, offering to all the Loving arms of God as a place of refuge.
Hymn TIS 456 “Your hand, O God, has guided” Constancy. God's constancy to each of us, regardless of anything about us, is the thing we can depend on.
Called to be one, we go forth in unity and love.
Called to be strong, we go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Called in devotion to God, we go forth in ministry and witness to the world.
And may the one who calls us, almighty God creator, redeemer and giver of live bless us and keep us as we go forth. Amen
Hymn TIS 780: “May light come into your eyes." It is when we pray for each other in this way that we are at our best as a Christian community.