Monday, 26 February 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 25 February 2018

Ill health prevented my attendance, so as far as I can, I will let Rev. John’s words speak for themselves.
Call to Worship
(Abingdon Worship Annual 2018)
God’s voice calls to us, naming us in holy love. Christ’s voice chastens us, correcting us when we lose our way. The Spirit’s voice sounds within us, drawing us back to the paths of righteousness. God’s voice heals us, naming us as God’s own.
From generation to generation, God names us and claims us.
Let heaven and earth praise God’s holy name.
From our earliest steps, Christ guides our wayward feet. Let all who draw breath come back to the Lord.
From death to life, the Spirit sets us free.
Let the faithful rejoice in God’s holy covenant.
From generation to generation, God names us and claims us.
Let heaven and earth praise God’s holy name.
Hymn TIS 52: “Let us sing to the God of salvation”
Opening Prayer (reduced)
Spirit of the ages, as you called to Abram and Sarai, renaming them according to your purposes, call to us this day. Open our ears to the sound of your voice….
Prayer of Confession (reduced)
God above every name, when our vision dims, and we prefer human thoughts to your thoughts, heal our eyes of faith.
Grace above every grace, when our suffering closes us off from the joy on the other side of suffering, grant us your strength to follow Christ in hope and promise.
Declaration of Forgiveness
By saying no to ourselves, and picking up our cross to follow Christ, we find ourselves. By saying yes to the good news of God’s Spirit working within us, we find faith and wholeness. God’s promises are sure; God’s love eternal.
Thanks, be to God!

The Peace
Let all who would become Christ’s followers deny themselves and follow Christ in love and grace. Let all who seek freedom pick up their cross and follow him, even when the road is long. On this journey, let us turn to one another and share signs of grace and peace. Peace be with you! And also with you!
(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you)
Offering Prayer
Bless us this day, Eternal God, that we may be a blessing to a world in need. Bless our gifts and our offerings in your name, that they may light the way home for those who have wandered far and lost their way. As these gifts go forth to do your work, may they help others hear you call their names and bring them peace. Amen
Hymn TIS 412: “God sends us his Spirit to befriend and help us”
The First Reading: Romans 4:13-25
The Gospel Reading: Mark 8:31-38
Just Who Is This Man?
“…there must have been a good deal of speculation about who Jesus was. All of his activities, separately and together with his disciples, had to have attracted the attention of many. Certainly, we know the authorities took notice. Just who was this man, Jesus?
Finding out exactly who Jesus was brought the disciples more than even they had bargained for when they answered Jesus’ call…Jesus had to continue his teaching to reveal to them the true nature of his mission on earth and, by extension, the mission both for the disciples and us as well. Just as Jesus in his healing ministry gradually opened the eyes of the blind man at Bethsaida, so he gradually revealed to his disciples and others the nature and implications of his journey and way. They must be prepared to deny themselves, to abandon any thoughts of self-centeredness…
What Jesus asks of each of us is that we follow him, keeping our eyes on him who endured everything for us. Wherever life's path takes us, we are to let his love and his light, be our guide. How trusting and faithful are we? Can we do better? Let us try during this Lent to be the disciples Christ calls us to be, disciples who truly follow Jesus to the cross.
Then truly nothing in this life can touch us for, as St. Paul says, "Whatever may happen, in Christ we prevail. Neither death nor life, neither things present nor things yet to come, shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen
Hymn TIS  657: “God of Freedom, God of Justice” (Picardy)
Following the Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer…
Hymn TIS 456: “Your hand, O God, has guided...”
Hear the voice of God calling your name.
We will follow where God leads us.
Hear the voice of Christ claiming you as his own.
We will live as brothers and sisters in faith.
Hear the voice of the Spirit sending you forth.
We will go where the Spirit sends us.
Go forth, called, named, and claimed by God.
Hymn TIS 780: “May light come into your eyes”

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