Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 24 December 2017



Hymn 265: O come, O come, Emmanuel
Hymn 286 All verses: Light one candle for hope

Hymn 302: The angel Gabriel from heaven came,

Hymn 161: Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord

Hymn 282:The voice of God goes out…”

Hymn 777: May the grace of Christ our Saviour,


Call to Worship

(Abingdon Worship Annual 2011)

Host of Hosts, from sunrise to sunrise, and generation to generation, we are your people.

You have been with us wherever we have gone. You will be with us wherever we may go.

You planted us in a land flowing with milk and honey, then you planted our salvation in Mary's womb.

Jesus, who is the Christ, is planted firmly in each one of us.

Our souls magnify the Holy One.

Our spirits rejoice in God, our Saviour.



Rev. John spoke to the children about their names and the meaning of their names and some other names. When parents name their children they do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the eldest boy takes a name that is passed down from generation to generation. I am named after both my grandmothers. Other names are given in the hope that the child will grow up to be the person of the meaning of the name such as ‘grace” or “courage”.


Rev. John told us that in the Bible it says that God gave Mary the name she was to give her child -  “Jesus” - which means “the Lord saves” which indicated the reason that Jesus was to be born.
We may not have such a name but God knows each one of us as closely as Mary and Jesus were known. Also, just as Jesus had a reason for being born so do each one of us have a reason for being here. We have our own place in this world and our own task in building God’s kingdom.


In the first of the Bible readings from 2 Samuel 7, we hear that the Ark of God had always been in a tent but that a place was to be built to keep the Ark in one place, signifying that God’s people were to stop roaming where they would need to carry The Ark with them. From then on they would be able to stay in one place and The Ark, a sign of God’s presence, would remain with them.


God is with us wherever we are. The idea of God being in one place has developed as people realized that God is with all creation, everywhere. Therefore we can be assured that God is with us, anywhere we are. Wherever we are, we can depend on God watching over us and guiding us if we look for that guidance which can come to us in a variety of ways. It can come through other people, through our reading, through listening to other people speaking, through our God-given talents or simply as thoughts appear in our heads.


Another way of looking at that story is that we can stop roaming, looking for wholeness and fulfillment, when we settle with God. Then the emptiness stops.


The second reading and the one Rev. John spent time with focuses on the very ordinary people God uses to play out the amazing drama of redemption. We may think we are not worthy or talented enough but we only have to be willing.


Coming up to Christmas we having been lighting the candles of Hope, Peace, Joy and finally, today, Love. These are not the prerogative of the rich, educated, or the “cool crowd”  but are characteristics anyone who opens themselves to God’s handiwork can experience and thereby show God, and all that knowing God offers, to the world.



Be strengthened according to the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Go, do all that you have in mind, for the Holy One is with you. Nothing is impossible with God.

Go forth in the name of the living Word, the One whose words bring forth the fruit of the kingdom in your own lives! Amen.

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