Friday, 14 July 2017

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 9 July 2017

Today we were very happy to welcome Akosita to our church to lead our Sunday Worship. She drew us into the warmth of her relationship with God, through prayers that evoked heartfelt responses from the members of the congregation, hymns that brought back memories and a sermon that spoke to each of us in our individual situations.

Drawing on Matthew 11, Akosita Called us to Worship

One: God invites us to venture into unknown places. We can do that, for we know that God goes with us.

All: We trust, we dare, we follow.

One: Jesus calls us to take his yoke upon us, and learn from him. We can do that, for Jesus also says, “If you are tired, come to me, and I will refresh you.

All: We trust, we dare, we follow.

One: Let us worship God, who challenges us, and who comforts us.

All: We trust, we dare, we follow.

Hymn TIS 52 “Let us sing to the God of our salvation” The one we can rely on…always.

Opening Prayer:

Akosita opened in praise, allowing each of us to lift our hearts to God:

God of Eternal Promise, we are in awe of your amazing goodness.

We praise and adore you, O God, for doing wondrous things in our lives.

For loving and forgiving us, even when we become distracted by the events of our daily existence.

We are aware of your divine activity in our lives, prompting us to deepen our trust in you.

She then reminded us of the eternal invitation to everyone who lives:

Jesus has invited us to come to him and receive a yoke that fits us well, to lead us and guide us in his ways. Loving God, may we step forward…May we step forward boldly and with trust, assured that you care for us deeply and wonderfully. Amen

With this Akosita drew us all into the circle of God’s everlasting arms, and being in this trusting state we were able to confess freely that we aren't what we should be.

Prayer of Confession and Pardon

One: Sometimes, our lives seem out of control. We know what to do.

All: But we just don't do it.

One: We are torn between doing what is right, and doing what is popular. We know what you do.

All: But we just don't do it.

One: Other times, we hide from doing what is right, hoping God won't notice. So we can rejoice, knowing that God also forgives us and gives us strength to begin over.

All: Thanks be to God.

We could all identify with the words that were spoken to us and the words we read, and as a result we were all aware of burdens lifted and a sense of newness.

Lynell then brought to us the readings from the Bible:

Romans 7: 15-25a

Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30


Akosita took the second half of the Matthew reading on which to base her reflection and delivered a measured introduction, drawing attention to the verses she was using…vv 28-30.

Her theme was Come and Rest, and she spoke of these words in Matthew as a soothing balm to the ears for time when we are struggling and overwhelmed.

She said, that for her, it was a beloved passage, given to invite people to discipleship. It was addressed to the people of Israel who were, at that time, weighed down with the do’s and dont’s of legalism. And so the people were given this marvelous invitation….encouraging the people to come to Jesus.

These words had an awakening effect, providing assurance, forgiveness, and renewal, for which we give thanks to God.

We all need rest….from school, from work, from family and friends and the Holy Spirit refreshes us.

Akosita pointed out that God created the universe and then rested. The whole point of creation is to rest in it and that is the whole point of turning your Jesus…to rest in him. Jesus wanted to lift up people but was seen as ineffective by some because he wasn't the saviour who came to liberate the people from the rule of other political powers. But they and people in this time are looking to the wrong sort of liberation.

We have to see that our worth comes from the gift of love from God. We belong to God who  makes everything and every day holy. Amen.

Hymn TIS 590 “What a friend we have in Jesus” An old hymn that comforts us in difficult times.

Prayers of the People

Akosita led us in praying for those that follow Jesus and those that haven't made that decision yet. Again her words were ones of comfort, keeping our focus in the love that is offered to all. We then joined in The Lord’s Prayer.

Hymn TIS 154 “Great is your faithfulness” another old hymn where we joined to express our praise and our confidence in God for his faithfulness to us in all things.

Sending Out

Go with God who calls you by your name, secure in your relationship with Jesus Christ, and trust in God in so you do. Akosita then pronounced the

Benediction  after which we blessed each other in the words of

Hymn TIS 779 “May the feet of God walk with you’. Our prayer for all.

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