I was drawn in immediately the service began by the Call to Worship and the parts of the service which followed:
Call to Worship
(Abingdon Worship Annual 2009)
By this I have known the presence of the Lord:
in the rising of the sun, in the smile of another’s face,
in the touch of a hand or the sound of a laugh,
in the scent of a flower holding the promise of spring.
By this I have known the power of the Lord:
in the healing of hurts, in the forgiveness of sin,
in the giving of gifts beyond all expectation,
in the shower of love that comes from God’s Son.
Let us give thanks to the Lord with all of our heart!
Let us worship our God, whose presence and power
We see God around us in many ways but fail to see that one way others see God is through ourselves. Are we failing to show God to others?
Hymn TIS 52: “Let us sing to the God of salvation” I wonder if we are living out the theme of this hymn? Are we living lives of praise? If we are, we couldn't fail to show God to those around us.
Almighty and most merciful God, we give thanks that you know us and love us. Help us, through the power of your Holy Spirit, grow deeper, wider, and fuller in our knowledge and understanding of your ways. Help us, through the bestowal of your divine Wisdom, bring others closer to you and to your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.
And there it is! If we make this our minute by minute attitude to walking with God, I think our church would be a better witness to our God.
Rev. John then gave the children’s address (to the adults). He told about the pecking order in a chook yard and made a comparison between that and the functioning of society.
He spoke of the violence and aggression. Sometimes that is not so easy to identify and sometimes we don't believe that we are behaving in such a way because the aggression is quiet, the violence is emotional or intellectual.
When Rev. John began his sermon he spoke of experiences anyone of us may have had, where a charismatic leader caught our attention. In my experience that can happen simply because of the personal appeal of the leader. Or it may be that the leader makes their message so relevant to our way of thinking that we think we have found the good oil.
But when Jesus spoke to the people of his time or to people of today through hymns, scripture, preachers, creation or the lives of others, what drew and draws people is a recognition of truth.
Rev. John went on to speak of the ramifications of committing ourselves to that truth. We have to surrender our own personal desires and commit ourselves to the person of the one who is the foundation of all that is. The One who is love and light: the One who gave all that we could live a new life.
This commitment to truth is a very personal thing between each of us and our Lord who is truth.
And we need to commit anew each day. That is because we human beings are just so good at forgetting whose we are and who we need to connect with daily to continue living that truth.
This theme was continued in:
Hymn TIS 560: “All my hope on God is founded” If only we could keep that before us each day!
Then the Benediction. We have to act to share our treasure:
Go on; get out of here! God’s prophet, God’s Son, calls
us to teach others of God’s power and might.
From this worshipping fellowship, we go into the
community, seeking to tell others our stories.
Go on; get out of here! Share how God has transformed
you. Invite others to become disciples of this new
We will invite others to share our journey, even if it
scares us to death.
Go on, I mean it; get out of here! Share how God has
brought you to knowledge and wisdom of new ways, new
opportunities, new ways of being.
We go with joy. We leave in peace. Amen.