Monday, 26 February 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 18 February 2018


Rowena introduced her theme with a poem which I think is worth printing in full. 

Call to Worship: Reaching for Rainbows – Ann Weems

(Rearranged to reduce size)

I keep reaching for rainbows. Thinking that one of God’s good mornings

I will wake up with rainbow ribbons in my hair, With my hurts painted over in hues that only angel wings could brush, With black obliterated and chaos hurled beyond the rainbow and my vision. But I keep reaching for rainbows...The world created in a myriad of colours: The hungry fed, The dying held, The maimed walking, The angry stroked, The violent calmed,

The oppressed freed, The oppressors changed, And every tear wiped away.

I keep reaching for rainbows, But instead of colours in the storm, Grey and black infiltrate and dirty the sky, And I hear human voices wailing in the darkness ...Just the same I know the promise of the rainbow. I keep thinking I’ll turn the corner one day And find a litany of rainbows Flung across the sky. Hosannaing back and forth Through all the ages and Out into eternity forever amen! Every tear wiped away – It’s God’s promise

When we become rainbows to each other.  Amen.


Rowena then followed this with a prayer of Adoration, seamlessly continuing the theme of God’s goodness overcoming the darkness that humans carry with Prayers of Adoration:

Let us pray:

God of storms and rainbows, God of rain and sunshine, God of all creation we worship and adore you.  We gaze in wonder at the beauty of your creation and marvel at stormy skies transformed with the vibrant colours of a rainbow.  Like Noah and his family, we praise you for this everlasting sign of your love and care for the whole creation in your desire to preserve and not destroy life.  And at Jesus’ baptism, the sky again revealed your love when you identified him with the same Spirit who empowers and strengthens each of us.  For all these assurances of your love for us and for the whole creation, we praise and worship you, O God, in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, Amen.  from

We had been each given a slip of paper on which was printed a rainbow and on each band of the rainbow, sins of which we are all sometimes guilty.

At this point we were invited to make personal confession and take that piece of paper with our confession and offer it to God. We placed those confessions in a bowl and then took another Rainbow printed paper where the bands of which were overprinted with the words: love, creativity, joy, peace, faith and wisdom, all characteristics which grow from the good the Spirit can infuse into us.

Interestingly the first slip of paper was just that…paper, which could disintegrate quickly. The second piece with the solid virtues which can sustain a life of light was laminated to protect it from weathering. The symbolism of the exercise was clear.

Also clear, was readiness of the members of the congregation to accept the opportunity to lay their burdens at the feet of the only one who can relieve us of the sin that is the result of our flawed humanity

Rowena then exhorted us, in the coming week: “to focus on the good things on this card and look to how you can bring them more into your daily living.”  Then:

So, in this way, the time of confession and lifting of burdens was to go with us, even as we proceeded with the rest of the service and our lives after the service.

In her Reflection, Rowena offered:

 We enter and the cross, we cling to the signs of God’s covenantal love.  Seasons of the Spirit – SeasonsFusionLent * Easter 2018 copyright (c) Wood Lake Publishing Inc.2017

Rowena offered many wise and helpful words but space does not allow me to pass all of them on. Let me finish with

In the amazing cosmic moment when sunlight and raindrops interact in just the right balance, like a prism, to create this thing of beauty, God says, “remember.....” remember my promise! Seasons of the Spirit – SeasonsFusionLent * Easter 2018 copyright (c) Wood Lake Publishing Inc.2017

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