Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 29 October 2017


Today’s service was the result of a combined effort of many people of goodwill.

Margaret was unable to deliver the sermon and so Warwick did that for her and he did that very well too and we were very blessed by the outcome. Today I want to pay attention to the prayers and the reflection.

After acknowledging the Barramattagal people, the traditional carers of the land we continued:

The Gathering of the People of God.

Call to Worship

Let us start this service well, by reminding ourselves: That it is not we who chose Christ,

but Christ who chose us,

That we are not here because of our goodness but because of Christ’s grace,

That we are not here to enlighten ourselves, but to allow Christ to enlighten us,

That we have not come to be entertained but to worship God with heart, soul, mind and strength. Amen ~ written by Bruce Prewer


Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. We thank you that you have enshrined your name in our hearts

That we will always be looking to you and longing for that wholeness That only you can provide. We open ourselves to you, in this place, Lord.

May your Spirit enter into and direct our worship today.


Prayer of Adoration and Thanksgiving -Alexis

You, loving God, are the ground of our being and the river of life;

P. You both steady our roots and draw them to seek the living waters.

You are like the sunlight enticing us taller P. And like the breeze rustling our leaves.

You are with us through hard seasons of summer heat,

P. And in the nights when winter’s frost ice the landscape

your love warms and sustains us. P. You are everything to us.

O let our gratitude be great, let our praise be plentiful, let our worship be wonder-full!

Through Christ Jesus your ever-living Son. Amen! — written by Bruce Prewer


Prayer of Confession.

Together: O God

We confess the blindness that is not even aware of our offences; The pride that dares not admit that it is wrong; the selfishness that can see nothing but its own will; the self- righteousness that knows no fault; the callousness that has ceased to care;

the defiance that does not regret its own actions; the evasion that always tries to make excuses;  the coldness of heart that is too hardened to repent.

God, we have failed and let you down. Our plea- be merciful to us. Amen.

Words of Assurance.

Through God’s generous mercy your sins are forgiven  Take hold of this forgiveness

And live your life in the power of the Spirit.


Lord, generosity and kindness are the characteristics of your way of being. We thank you for all the blessings we enjoy and ask that these offerings will be used in your service for the building of your kingdom.

Reflection - Margaret - “The Big Picture” delivered by Warwick.

The reflection began by setting the scene and providing background to the conversation between Jesus and the Sadducees and Pharisees in Matthew. That made it clear that though Jesus had angered the leaders by preaching and living out God’s liberating message, he wasn't going to stop even under threat to his life. In reference to the attitude of the leaders to not being able to answer Jesus’s question:

They really wouldn't have liked that. They were shown to be short of expertise in their own area…in public. This would not be the end of it.

Whenever, I hear a bible story I think about what character in the story I would be.

Where would we fit in these stories?

It could be something touched you early in today's reflection and that's where God is talking to you. It may be that it happened later in the reflection. Or if you are like me, there is something about each character you can identify with.

I have completed more formal education than most Australians, and yet there are times when I am absolutely floored by my own stupidity.

I need the sort of help in life that the law was meant to give to the Jews. Rules guide me. Especially ones like not braking as I'm steering around a corner. That did not come naturally to me. And when my little granddaughters are acting up I have to control my voice and hug them close to find out the cause of the problem. (BTW it's usually that we are late with their food and they are hangry).

And there are times when I worry that I'm being like a Pharisee or Sadducee. I pray that when that appears to be the case, my will may be thwarted and that God’s will may be done.

But there are times when I remember that Jesus is my Way and I try to do what he would do. If there's anything I've learnt in that formal education I spoke about, it's that it's impossible to even imagine how much more there is to know. For that reason, I lean on the only One who does know.

Lord, speak to each heart here today. Show each of us what our next step should be. For the sake of your kingdom. Amen

Prayers of the People (excerpt)

O, Lord, we reach out to grasp your outstretched invitation to be one with you.

We place our will within yours and ask that your wisdom will inform all our actions.

May that wisdom inform the decisions of all leaders worldwide, nationally and locally. We pray for the leadership of your church, especially here at Marsden Road. Bless John and Wendy, our elders and our councils and committees as they seek direction for our congregation here.

O, Lord, we reach out to grasp your outstretched invitation to be one with you.

Words of Mission

Now go into the world with confidence, trusting that Christ is walking with you.

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy  Spirit be with you, now and always. Amen









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