Monday, 20 August 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 20th August 2018

Call to Worship:   
The theme of the Service today was “The wisdom to do what God Wants.”
Hymn  TiS 107           “Sing Praise & Thanksgiving”
This hymn written by Lutheran Minister, Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) is one that always makes me feel encouraged by the words and the lilt as it builds to a crescendo which is like a beautiful prayer of supplication and praise.
“Lord, frame our desiring to do your requiring, that unto your glory be all that we do; and where we have faltered, give strength and give healing: O praise to the Almighty, sing praise to our God!”

Prayers of Thanks & Confession: 
After these prayers Warwick said; “In Jesus Christ we find the one who forgives us and gives us courage to begin again.”   And we responded; “Thanks be to God.”
Children’s Message:  “Keep praying. God is there. Ask him.”
A childhood memory of praying to God when he was seven years old and had broken his arm, was the way that Warwick introduced the children to the ideas of how and why we pray and for whom we might pray.  He did mention before he began, that his story was intended for all the children under 90 years old; however I am sure even those few people above that age, could also relate to the message. 
Offering & Dedication:
Hymn TiS 168            “For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God”
Frederick Pratt Green (1903-2000), who wrote this hymn, was an ordained British Methodist Minister who felt there was a need for some hymns to bridge the gap between the older traditional hymns and the very modern ones of more recent times.  I specially like the last few lines for the reminder that we still don’t know everything and we should enjoy God’s wonders and be thankful if we are loved; “Thanks be to God”.
Bible Reading:          Read by Stephen        1 Kings 2: 10-12, 3: 3-14       Ephesians 5:  15–20
In the reading from Kings Solomon asks for wisdom and discernment - God was pleased with that choice.  He granted it - and much more.
The reading from Ephesians elaborates on the importance of wisdom, not just in making daily decisions, but as a tool in following God’s will.     
Reflection:                 “What do we ask for?  - and the wisdom to do what God wants.”
Warwick began by asking; “What have been some of your prayers? Were they answered? Or answered in a different way? Are there some prayers that you are now glad that God didn’t answer?  “What requests have you made of God?”  After showing us a painted mural at Altkoetzchenbroda, Dresden he translated it to say; “God, protect this house against affliction and fire, local government planning - and taxes”.   




He then invited the congregation to “huddle” in small groups and discuss some of their prayer experiences. 

More questions from Warwick followed; “How do we tune out of ourselves and tune into God?       How do we do what God wants, doing it at the right time, in the right way or with the right attitude?”
He then read for us, from the Covenant Service in Uniting in Worship, John Wesley’s writing in 1755, in which he urged Christians to rededicate themselves to Christ:
“Christ has many services to be done: some are easy, others are difficult; some bring honour, others bring reproach; some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests; others are contrary to both. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves; in others we cannot please Christ, except by denying ourselves.  Yet the power to do all these things is given us in Christ, who strengthens us.”
Warwick also spoke of the other reading of the day from Psalm 111: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and they who live by it grow in understanding” a good understanding have all those who practice it.”
I found his comments most insightful:
“Wisdom is not just knowledge, but understanding - a fine distinction!“Fear” - not being scared, not something to escape from.  But respect, reverence and obedience.
Respect: Servants’ attitude to their master
Reverence: awe in the presence of greatness and holiness: “reverential affection for God”.
Obedience: doing what God wants, putting that wisdom into practice.”

Warwick admitted what most of us have found to be true; “Discerning God’s will is not always easy.”  He said; “My personal wrestle of faith includes; How do I know that God wants me to do this?  Particularly suspicious if it was something I WANTED to do!”  He went on to say; “Even Christians whom we admire, can make errors of judgment.”
Warwick then introduced the story of Deitrich Bonhoeffer who was a young German Lutheran pastor and theologian, who stood up against Hitler and the Nazi dictatorship and was involved with the German Resistance and Underground activities and was in the end, executed by hanging in April 1945, after being accused in a plot to assassinate Hitler.  Earlier, Bonhoeffer had been disappointed in his own behaviour in April 1933 in relation to a request from his Jewish brother-in-law to conduct a funeral for his father.  The Lutheran Bishop he consulted advised him that he should not “stick his neck out!”  By November he had written to his brother-in-law lamenting his unforgivable behaviour and asking for his forgiveness of his weakness.
It was, as Warwick pointed out, obvious that a person of his standing “A man of God, a modern day saint” ought to have behaved differently.  Then Warwick suggested the question we should ask ourselves when uncertain, is always; “What would Jesus do in these circumstances?
What would Jesus do?”
Hymn TiS 136            “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”
This hymn was written by Frederick William Faber, (1814-1863) and its message is uncomplicated and finishes; “If our love were but more simple we should take him at his word; and our lives would be illumined by the goodness of our Lord.”
Men’s Singing Group:
“It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, Standing in the need of Prayer” was chosen by the group with no prior knowledge of the theme of the service today.  God often surprises us the way he helps us make our worship fit together in such meaningful ways.  I really love it when this happens.
Prayers of the People:  Warwick led the prayers of Intercession today.  He spoke of the importance for him to be able to picture the face and circumstances of the people for whom we pray as he read out the names of the people and the issues that had been mentioned in our prayer sheets.  This is always a special time for our congregation as we pray for people and issues all over the world and close to “home”.  Then we shared together in the words of the Lord’s Prayer.
Hymn TiS 158            “God has Spoken by His Prophets”   
G. W. (George Wallace) Briggs, (1875-1959) who wrote this hymn was a Canon of Worcester Cathedral and a leading member of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland.  The words give us great reassurance and hope for the future. “In the world’s despair and turmoil one firm anchor holds us fast: God is king, his throne eternal, God the first, and God the last”.
Blessing:   “The blessing of the God of life be ours, the blessing of the loving Christ be ours, the blessing of the fire of the Holy Spirit be ours, the blessing of God - Father, Son and Spirit, rest upon us now and always.” Amen.

Hymn: TiS 779           “May the feet of God walk with you”

May the feet of God walk with you and His hand hold you tight.
May the eye of God rest on you and His ear hear your cry.

May the smile of God be for you and His breath give you life.

May the child of God grow in you and His love bring you home.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 29 July 2018



Today Lynette led our service, using the theme of gifts and talents to show us how we can serve God and build the Kingdom.

 

Lynette supported her reflections with a relevant and inspiring selection of hymns:

 

TIS 152 “Joyful, joyful, we adore you”. This hymn became very important when we thought about Lyn’s words later in the service, exhorting us to look to the Spirit to uphold us and guide us.

TIS 429 “Break now the bread of life, dear Lord to me.” Referring to the story of the loaves and fishes and Jesus’ ability to use any offering of ours to do so much good.

TIS 619 “Have faith in God, my heart” Good advice at any time. We need God’s support in this hard world.

TIS 675 “Lord, the light of your love is shining.” That's the thing that will lift us up at any time.

TIS 779 “May the feet of God walk with you.” How could we offer each other anything more?

 

To begin her message to us, Lyn showed a DVD and spoke to the kids about the story of the loaves and fishes. Using examples from the kids’ lives, she told the power of sharing and the good it brings.

 

Lyn continued this theme in the reflection for adults, stressing that we all have some gift or resource that we can use to show God’s love to the world.


 

An example Lyn gave was of a woman who did not have much by way of this world’s goods but who, after thought, came up with many ways of showing love to others.

 

She realised that she had a car and could transport people who needed to be taken somewhere and who had no way of getting there by themselves.

 

She knew that while her house was not “flash” it was a place where she could provide hospitality either through providing accommodation or for a shorter time offering others a meal or afternoon tea.

 

Lyn pointed out that even if we have no material resources, we can always listenso that a friend with difficulties can know that they are heard and not just alone in this giant sea of humanity to which we belong.

 

Picking up a tea towel is often a way to relieve the pressure off someone, reducing the chaos in their lives a little, as is picking up a pen to write a nice card or note to a person we know to be having a difficult time. Emails are fine for exchanging information, but there’s nothing like holding a card and being able to look at it across the room to lift the spirit of someone who feels alone in the dark times.

 

Lyn gave more examples of ways we can reach out to people who need to be touched by God’s love. When a person is suffering in some way it is like a miracle for them when someone steps in and solves the problem or at least part of the problem.

 

Then there is prayer. When we can't see anything that we can do ourselves we should do the same as Jesus did and turn to God in prayer.

 

With this Lyn moved into the next part of the reading about the disciples out at sea in the storm but as soon as they looked up and saw Jesus, they were transported to the shore. The message: keep our focus on Jesus. He will carry us through in love, whatever the circumstances.

 

And then the other way to find the way to be God’s hands in this world: scripture.

As we read, the Spirit will speak to us and guide us and we will be given the Grace to proceed.

 

Thank you, Lyn.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Unitng Church 15 July 2018




 

This week the reading I focused on was from Ephesians 1: 3-14 where Paul was trying to assure the gentile community of their place in the Kingdom.

He tells the people there that God has called them from before the beginning of time, despite what anyone else may have been saying to them.

Much has been made of these verses over the years and there has been discussion about how it clashes with the notion of free will. Further, if some are predestined to belong, the corollary is that some are predestined not to belong which is at odds with all that Jesus preached.

So, my interpretation is that in an effort to cement in the minds of the Ephesians that they were valid members of the kingdom in a way which could not be undermined later, Paul used extreme language to make his point.

Of course, some people have not accepted the invitation to be redeemed, which is clear, because of all the evil in the world.

I added to this by making the point that we should be very careful about judging others because some so-called “sins” we see in them or suffer guilt about ourselves could simply be breaks in cultural norms.


Therefore our assumption should always be that others are children of God, whether they know it or not.

And whether a person has accepted the redemption offered or not, our task is to continue showing them the love of God.

As an application of this, I shared details about the work done by our local Christian Community Aid. It should be noted that most of the people helped by CCA are people who are isolated for one reason or other and more than anything need gathering into the community.

The message was timely because on the previous day our National Assembly released the decision made about whether the Uniting Church in Australia would marry same-gender couples.

A decision was carried by more than two-thirds majority was:

“that the most profitable way forward was to offer two different definitions of marriage, essentially one between ‘a man and a woman’ and the other between ‘two people.’” and then that both ministers and church councils should decide separately as to whether they could, in good conscience marry or not marry same-gender couples.

It was noted that for some this was a more radical change than they were comfortable with, while for others it did not go far enough.

The implication is that there are now people in the Uniting Church in Australia who are grieving over this matter. Our prayer is that they will find a way to experience solidarity with those who are in favour of the change as they find previously.

Division was never sought. Those seeking change wanted it in the name of offering people of any sexual orientation the same gift of marriage as heterosexual people enjoyed.

However, as in any disagreement, our concern for each other can hold us together. One of our ministers wrote most eloquently:

 

The Uniting Church has a courageous heritage. This Assembly has seen us live this out in a range of bold, wonderful, and painful decisions. We are all God’s people, so may we now focus on what unites us and be about God’s business - reconciliation and renewal.

 

To that I can only say AMEN! v

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 8 July 2018




This was a service which I led myself and there were two themes but the one I wish to focus on in my reflection is the issue of pride and our need for status and recognition. The reading came from Corinthians and face the account of Paul speaking about his vision.

Paul isn't known for his meekness and as a Pharisee he proudly persecuted the people who followed the teachings of Jesus.

He was so sure that he was doing the work of God in ridding the place of these people who were polluting the Jewish people.

God brought him undone and through a vision that was at the same time a revelation, God blasted Paul with the truth. I think we are all familiar with the account.

Paul could have acted with great pride and  started telling people of his exalted status in God’s kingdom in being given such a vision but he says that he was given a thorn in the flesh to remind him of his lowly status, so he isn't going to boast about being given such an experience but that he will boast in the exceptional character of the revelation.

I should say at this point that I don't believe that God ever does bad things to any of creation. However, there are consequences, so, for example, if Paul fell down and injured himself around the time of having that vision, I can see how he would attribute that to God’s action. There are many possibilities.

It would appear that this “thorn” is quite debilitating to the point that Paul asked God to take it from him no less than three times. But Paul tells us that instead of doing that God let him know that His grace was sufficient to carry Paul through any suffering caused by the affliction and still do God's work effectively.

We really want people around us to see us in our successes but the times that I have thought the most highly of people is when I have witnessed them struggling with some difficulty and clearly calling on God’s grace to get them through.

We visited one of our very elderly friends and despite having to lean on every piece of furniture on her way around her house, she insisted on providing afternoon tea.

The cups clattered onto the saucers from her unsteady hands and the water didn't quite all make it into the cups but she did it all with a smile you couldn't beat, all the while saying how pleased she was that we were there.

Her wounds were always getting better. She didn't fall over, just lost her balance for a bit. And as far a she was concerned everyone did everything so well…it was all so lovely!

My 94 year old brother-in-law is another one…he is always doing what he can for the old people. Until quite recently he would cook rice puddings and deliver them to “the old people” who were probably younger than he is.

These are angels walking the earth.

What would the world be like if we could all be like them!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 1 July 2018




Today I thought I would focus on the Prayer of Intercession and the hymns.

Before she led us in prayer, Joan directed our attention to some of the verses of TIS 690:

Beauty for brokenness. Hope for despair

Lord, in your suffering. This is our prayer

Bread for the children. Justice, joy, peace

Sunrise to sunset. Your kingdom increase!

                  Shelter for fragile lives. Cures for their ills

                  Work for the craftsman. Trade for their skills

                  Land for the dispossessed. Rights for the weak

                  Voices to plead the cause. Of those who can't speak

God of the poor. Friend of the weak

Give us compassion we pray. Melt our cold hearts

Let tears fall like rain. Come, change our love

From a spark to a flame…

 

Some people seem to live broken lives and the above words bring hope to anyone in such a situation. But all of us have times when we experience brokenness, despair and suffering. Whether such times are limited or prolonged, the belief cradled in the words above can lift us out of our desperate state.

 

Not just lift us above our poverty but sweep us up into a place of joy.


 

The source of all this was reflected in the first line of Joan’s Prayer of Affirmation:

“God of everlasting love, who provides everything.”

 

The Prayer continued, raising our awareness that in everything we are dependent on God and that the transformation from despair to joy can only work as we surrender all we are, as individuals and as a congregation, into God’s keeping.

 

As Joan continued we were opened to an understanding of how suffering can take so many forms and how we as Christians must look to God so that we can alleviate the suffering of others.

 

It is easy to think we are not qualified or that we may be intruding but a hand outstretched in love allows another person in need to be aware of our offer to give any help we can, even if all we can do is sit and be with the suffering one.

 

Joan prayed for God’s guidance through the Spirit and that each of us, as Christians will seek to show God’s love to the world. If we try to carry out some plan of goodwill founded on our own ideas, we are sure to fail, because we cannot know what another needs, but God does.

 

This intention to follow God’s will was the idea in line one of the first hymn:

TIS 474, “Here in this place, new light streaming” with the same idea continuing until “make us your own” rounded off the ending.

And for those who think they are not good enough, the old favourite TIS 693 “Come as you are” gave the assurance that the invitation to be God’s child and to do God’s work is for everyone.

But we can't sit still hugging ourselves with our self satisfaction. TIS 531 “Sent forth by God’s blessing,” calls us to action so that others will benefit from God’s love through us.

But TIS 778 says it all: “Shalom to you now…shalom my friends”. In this we wish the very best of everything to all, again a reflection of the Prayer of Intercession, binding the service and our participation in it, together.




Monday, 25 June 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 24 June 2018





I try to vary the form the blog takes and today I thought that the hymns were very uplifting, so I intend to focus on them.

 

Having said that, Lynette began with verses from Psalm 9 that I think are worth noting:

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you;

    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

 


These verses framed our mental and spiritual approach for the next hour, focusing our attention on the One who is the reason for our being, not just our attendance at this service. It is easy to lose sight of our centre and think the things we have or the things which are happening are random or “natural” if they are good and bad luck if they are not. God is the author of all good but if we or others mess with His plan there are consequences.

 

“Make me a Channel of Your Peace.” How many of us pray to God hoping that our plans or wishes will be fulfilled? We are the servants of God, not the other way around. And God is not there to fight our battles like some sort of big brother. God's plan may not coincide with ours (who would have thought?) and it is the words of this hymn that give us an idea of how we are to carry out that plan as difficult as it might be for us, being humans who are basically fairly selfish.

 

“May the Mind of Christ my Saviour live in me from Day to Day.” I was sitting at the back of the church and could see so many people swaying in time with the music as they sang. Their whole bodies were absorbing the music with the intent of the words. What if we meant these words 100%? What a world it would be! What if we opened ourselves to be changed to be like Jesus? But I think we all secretly keep at least a little back to cover our own wants.

 

“Marching, Marching, in the Light of God.” Whether we are marching in the light of God, or living in the light of God, or moving in the light of God, or doing anything at all in the light of God we would be guaranteed to do God’s will and stop messing up in the way we all do so often. That's not to say that we always mess up but if we keep living in God’s light all the time instead of when it's easy, everything would be so different.

 

“May the feet of God walk with you.” Sometimes I think this is the best part of the service when the prayers and reflection have brought God’s voice to us and have  done their work in us and we are at our very best in terms of our intent to our fellow humans. Here we have the evidence of what has been said above. If we were like this always. Wow! What a World!

 

 

 

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 17 June 2018


Why are we afraid?

The early Christians adopted a simple drawing of a boat with a cross for a mast as the symbol of the church. In an age of persecutions from the outside and controversy and conflict on the inside, in their experience, the emerging church must have seemed like a boat on a storm-tossed sea. Recalling the story of Jesus' calming of the sea, like those first disciples in the boat, the early Christians must have joined in their desperate prayer, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"

 

Little has changed in the intervening years. The winds of change and the waters of chaos continue to beat hard on the worldwide church and the people of faith. Christians are still being martyred in shocking numbers in tribal, ethnic, and religious wars around the world. At home, the church is fiercely divided around issues of authority, liturgy, sexuality, and cultural diversity, so that members to each successive leadership body such as Synods and Assemblies must arrive with feelings of foreboding as they look to the business before them with suspicious eyes, preparing to build alliances of power to bolster their respective sides. Today, the prayer of many in the church is: "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"

 

Our private lives are not spared stress and storm as our individual little boats are tossed about by the waves of economic uncertainty and change, war, divorce, sickness, and death. Hardly a week goes by that we do not face the fearsome realities of these events, either impacting us personally or our neighbours or our friends in the church, and nightly the troublesome images of television news intrude into our homes from the larger world. "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"


 

In Mark 4 the gospel reading for this week, Jesus calms the wind and the waves and says to the tense disciples, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" He surely intended the link between faith and fear. The opposite of faith is not doubt or unbelief; those tend to be doctrinal differences. No, the opposite of faith more often as not is fear.

 

We fear the unknown. We fear the undiagnosed lump in the breast, or the persistent cough. We fear Swine Flu, Ross River Fever or Dengue Fever. We fear losing control of our bodies and our health because of aging. We worry about how changes in politics, technology, or the economy will influence our jobs and the income from our savings and retirement funds. Fear is like waves ever seeking to knock us off our footing -- our faith footing.

 

When facing fear, a priest once told people about how he could be so calm during such times. He explained that in his childhood he had very little supervision from his parents, so he spent many hours each day at the beach. Sometimes a huge breaking wave would catch him by surprise and thrust him under the water, rolling him in the sand. But he said that he learned just to relax and see the thousands of air bubbles as the fingers of God catching him up and lifting him to the surface. Now, whenever he found himself in trouble, he just relaxed and waited for the fingers of God to reach under him and lift him up."

 

Faith is a stance toward life. Back in the Cold War, when we were all living with the possibility of nuclear holocaust, some researchers interviewed children to see how worried they were. What they discovered was that the children with the least fear were those whose parents were active in nuclear disarmament, or who regularly attended church, or who were deeply involved in the social issues of their communities.


 

These parents did not feel hopeless in the face of tremendous challenges. They invested themselves in actions to change the world around them and remained optimistic that what they could contribute would make a difference. As a result, the attitudes of the parents infected the emotional and intellectual stance of their children. These children did not feel helpless as they saw parents and others doing something toward resolving problems.

 

"Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" In these rather impatient words directed to his disciples, our God through Jesus brings into focus the polarities of faith and fear. Faith is a stance of how we stand up to those things that would threaten us and how we manage our fears, and this makes all the difference. In the midst of troubles, try reaching up your hand to God and saying, "Help!" And when you reach your hand out to others around you and say, "Help!" the fingers of God will never fail to reach down and lift you into new and reassuring experiences of God's grace.

 

 

 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 10 June 2018




Gathering God’s People

Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2015)

Come! Here you will find a family of faith where you will always belong. Come! Here you will find friends who will love you as a child of God. Come! Here you will worship a King who rules with equity. Whoever you are, and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.

 All who need a place to belong . .               Come join the family of God.

All who seek spiritual brothers and sisters . Come join the family of God.

All who strive to grow in faith and love . . . Come join the family of God.

All who are unsure and feel unworthy . . .   Come join the family of God


Hymn TIS 693: “Come as you are”


Opening Prayer

Loving Mother, Caring Father, in the midst of our brokenness, knit us together as your family. Heal our wounded hearts, that we may welcome the strangers into our midst and treat them as beloved sisters and brothers. 


Prayer of Confession

Sovereign God, we so often lose our way.

You seek to be our King— to lead us on right paths; to teach us the ways of truth and life; to shelter us from our foes, yet we look to the rulers of this earth for leadership, wisdom, and strength.

You seek to be our comforter— to love us as our Father; to nurture us as our Mother; to shelter us as our Brother; to assure us as our Sister, yet we look elsewhere for love, compassion, and hope.

When our government fails us, and our families disappoint us, you alone remain faithful and true. Open your arms to us once more, O God. We will be your people, and you will be our God and King.


Declaration of Forgiveness

Christ looks to each of us and says: “Here are my mother and my brothers. Here are my father and my sisters. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister, mother, father.” As the family of God, as brothers and sisters of Christ, we are loved and forgiven by our gracious God. Thanks, be to God!


The Peace

As the family of God, let us share signs of familial love and compassion, acceptance and forgiveness, as we pass the peace of Christ.

Peace be with you! And also with you!


Hymn TIS 738:My Jesus my Saviour’ (Shout to the Lord)


The Service of the Word

The First Reading: 1 Samuel 8:4-20

The Israelites wanted to be like everyone else and have a king. They told Samuel that his sons weren't following him so they wanted their own king. God told Samuel that that's the way they were. They had rejected him from the beginning so God directed Samuel to warn the people what kings did which was take the sons and daughters to carry out his commands and take the slaves to work for him as well as  takeover land and raise taxes. Anyone in their right mind would have woken up to the pitfalls of such a situation but the people demanded their king anyway,

 

The Gospel Reading: Mark 3:20-35

Jesus’ family were not impressed with his performance nor were they happy about all the attention he was getting. They decided that he had lost his sanity and went to take him away. The teachers said he was using the power of the devil to do his works but Jesus set them right by pointing out that it wasn't possible for Satan to drive out Satan. He went on to speak in parables along the same line but the radical move came when he was told that his family were outside wanting him and he reached out to those around him and said that they were his family.


Preaching of the Word

Who Really is the Strong Person?

The following is a shortened form of Rev. John’s sermon.

So, who do you think was the strongest man in the Bible? Are you thinking of the book of Judges and the guy with long hair who could kill a lion with his bare hands? …Leadership has often been decided on physical strength over history and the true strengths often needed for leadership were ignored. This must have been on Samuel’s mind in this morning’s reading (concerning the people wanting a king)

After hundreds of years of crying out to God, this people seemed to have forgotten the one who not only answered their prayers, but the only king who has the supernatural power to answer them. The elders wanted a human king like all the other nations..

Like many of us today, however, the Israelites were not willing to be led by God while they waited for the King of kings whom God promised. Through the miracles, signs, and wonders that God had shown them throughout their liberation from multigenerational oppression, the Lord more than proved that he had all the attributes they were seeking in a leader.

 The term power is a constant in everyday language. We talk about power in the contexts of business, government, even the church. As the Gospel of Mark reminds us, however, only Jesus Christ has true power. Through Jesus, we have the gift of forgiveness of sins. When Jesus died on the cross, it would seem as if He had been defeated. But on Easter Sunday morning the rest of the message was received. Jesus defeated the enemy! And we can rejoice today. The World’s Strongest Man has defeated our enemy!


Hymn TIS 609 'May the mind of Christ my Saviour'


Intercessory Prayers

We prayed for the needs or those around us in the world, followed by the


Hymn TIS 613: Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy’


Benediction

With God as our King,

we go forth to build God’s kingdom.

With our inner nature renewed,

we go forth to proclaim God’s glory.

With our sisters and brothers in Christ, our mothers and fathers in the faith,

we go forth to be Christ’s family.

Go with God.