Monday, 12 February 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 11 February 2018

Today I would like to pay particular attention to the prayers and hymns because I am usually not able to say much in the space available.

Both prayers and hymns give us the words to express what we are unable to do on our own.

Rev. John introduced the Call to Worship with these words:

Chariots and horses of fire . . . a prophet taken up into heaven . . . a gospel unveiled . . . Moses, Elijah, and Jesus shining brighter than the sun . . . the time approaches and now is. Watch . . . listen . . . perceive . . . God is with us. Nothing is as it seems.

signalling that something beyond our
understanding is involved when God becomes known to humankind.

Depending on our particular bent, God will
come to us in a way we can understand.

For some of us that is through words, for others through music, for others through
creation itself or through the myriad of ways
 God is with us. However, because of God’s greatness we only glimpse a little at a


Call to Worship

 The glory of God is too great for you to bear.

We are not afraid. We will not turn back.

The mystery of God runs too deep for you to fathom.

We are not deterred. We will not turn back.

The fiery chariot of Elijah is not for mortal sight to see. We are blessed with the eyes of faith. We will not turn back.

Come then, and worship our God, who took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind.

We will worship the Lord, who transfigured Moses, Elijah, and Jesus to shine like the sun


Even though God is great beyond anything we can imagine, as expressed in the first hymn: “Jesus shall reign where’re the sun”, we are invited to approach and fellowship with that Divine presence. How good is that!


 Opening Prayer

 God of mighty tempest and devouring fire, you come to us shrouded in mystery. Just as Elisha followed Elijah until he was taken up into heaven, we will follow Christ up the mountain to behold his glory. Who are Moses and Elijah that we should not join their ranks among the faithful? What is to prevent us from shining with Christ this very day? Give us eyes and ears of faith, Holy One, that we may see the heavens open and hear your voice, calling us to follow your Son. Amen.


Whenever we are touched by God, we know there is so much more to life over and above the daily trivia and dross, which is expressed in the


Declaration of Forgiveness

Through the light of the one who was transfigured to show us the power and glory of God, we find a way through the wilderness of our doubt and confusion; we find strength for the journey and courage for the road ahead. Thanks, be to God!

This Light is the subject of the next hymn: “Jesus the light of your love is shining.” Having the effect expressed in the line: “Set us free by the truth You now bring us”

It is that freedom from all that weighs us down that we all long for.

This theme was continued in the


Offering Prayer:

Light of Light, when we grow accustomed to dwelling in the shadows and painting with drab colours, you bless us with your radiance and the vitality of your love. Illumine these gifts, Holy One, that the world may see your light shining through our offering. Illumine our very lives, O God, that we may remain restless until we shine like Christ upon the mountain, until we follow Elisha’s footsteps and behold your glory. Amen.


In my experience, we are made restless until we reach out to the only source of Light and Love. And if we stray, that restlessness will return until we find the only cure.

And that comes in our own mountain top experiences. As Rev. John said:


 “We too have our "mountain tops." Each of us needs places and times set apart for us to take a good spiritual breath.”


But even when we are aware of God’s presence the mystery remains, inspiring the words of hymns like:

“Immortal invisible, God Only wise.”


The words of the next hymn: “Lord your almighty word” are a guide to finding God and God’s Light and Love to show to the world and thereby commune with God and build God’s Kingdom…now….here.


The words of the Benediction drew the service together and sent us on our way:



 Go forth with the courage to climb the mountain of God.

We will walk in the light and truth of Christ.

Go forth with ears to hear the voice of God.

We will hear the call to follow Jesus.

Go forth to live as people who shine with Christ’s glory. We will leave footprints of light as we walk.

Go forth in expectation and hope, for God goes with you, and may the blessings of that God go with you, Amen.


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