Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 31 December 2017

Hymn 268: “Joy to the world”

Hymn 301: “The first Nowell”

Hymn 210: “O for a thousand tongues ...”

Hymn 309: “Angels from the realm of glory”

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


Isaiah 61: 10 - 62:3;  Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2: 22-40.

Call to Worship

Joy to the world! Christ has come and Christmas is here! Let all of creation sing praise to our God

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

From the lips of children and infants, you ordain praise and thanksgiving to silence the foe and the avenger.

You make everything beautiful in its own time.

You set eternity in our hearts, yet we cannot fathom what you have done from beginning to end.

What could be better than to be happy and to do good while we live?

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

O God, our God, you are Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.


 Opening prayer

 We come to you today, God, the Alpha and the Omega, as people blessed by your tender care. Today, we come to seek your guidance, that we may better understand how to follow the teaching of Christ, our Lord and Saviour, in whose name we pray. Amen.


I have begun by including the beginning of the service as Rev. John delivered it because it evokes a true and vivid sense of what Jesus of Nazareth did for the world.


The world as God created it was a wondrous place but the flawed nature of people means it has been reduced to something not at all like what was intended.

If we look at photos or are fortunate enough to visit places untouched or relatively untouched by humans, we see what could have been for us all.

Not that we should have remained living as nomads necessarily. There are places where the built environment is beautiful because it has been put together to complement the natural environment. In places like that care is taken to maintain the total environment in a healthy state.

The population there see themselves as stewards, who have a responsibility to the natural and built environments to keep both in a healthy state and in a state that supports whole living by people.

Such people also see themselves as being responsible for each other.

There was a “big blow” in the NSW North Coast town of Maclean yesterday. I have an elderly sister-in-law living there and was anxious to contact her but her phone didn't work. The first phone number that worked was for the pub across the road from where she lives. They were able to assure me that she was safe and well because they had gone over to check on her and her house. The church isn't the only place to find loving people who look after their community.


Another word about Maclean. There isn’t any litter. When I commented in this, I was met with a question about why there would be any if the residents don't drop any.

Some of us know how to care for what we have that is a good gift from God.

Our relationships need nurturing too. At any given time in our lives we have many different types of relationships of varying levels. Relationships develop in different ways: work, neighbours, church, sport, or a myriad of other interests. Usually the relationship is established before we notice, but then if we value it, we must show care for the other/s involved.


Otherwise, in all the above situations, we will find ourselves spoiling something about which we should be shouting the praise that is at the beginning of this blog.


But the greatest gift we have been given is the invitation to dwell with the Creator, but we have to say “Yes” to that invitation and we need to care for that relationship on a daily basis.

Otherwise, we will lose the sense of our connection and drift away, and look elsewhere when we need help instead of to the author of Love and Peace.

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