Sunday, 13 May 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 6 May 2018

Call to Worship - (Abingdon 2013 and Dorothy McRae-McMahon)

Sing joyful songs to God! Alleluia! We are Easter people!

God has worked miracles! Jesus is our joy!

Sing joyful songs to God! Alleluia! We are Easter people!

God’s love for us lasts forever. Jesus makes us into friends.

Sing joyful songs to God! Alleluia! We are Easter people!

Alleluia! Even the ends of the earth see the saving power of our God.

The sea roars with joy, and the floods clap their hands. Trumpets sound and horns celebrate with song!

Alleluia! The Holy Spirit falls upon all who hear the word of God.

When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love?

Alleluia! Jesus has extended to all people the friendship of our God.

We were strangers and then servants, but now we are God’s friends.


Hymn TIS 168: “Sing a new song, sing a new song...”  A new song denoting a new life, starting now.


Opening prayer

Holy God, you make us Easter people— a people transformed by the resurrection of your Son, Jesus. Your first and final word to us is Love. You reach out to us, offering joy and wholeness. Yet we often greet your resurrection by grieving at the tomb, doubting the good news we hear, or quaking in fear as we hide in our upper rooms. Still, you call us deeper into Easter, answering our resistance with your loving presence. You claim us as your friends. As we gather now to worship, teach us once more to abide in your love, that our joy may be complete. Amen.

 A Prayer of Confession

 Lord Jesus Christ, you reach across every boundary, even death itself, and draw us into loving intimacy with you.

Forgive us for resisting your love. You call us your friends, yet we act like minor acquaintances or even strangers. You send us into the world to proclaim your love, yet we gape in astonishment when you include all people in your love.

The light of your resurrection conquers the darkness in our lives, yet we act as if your love is a burden.

Give us Easter lives, we pray, for you alone have the power to save us. Amen.


Declaration of Forgiveness

Jesus promises, “You did not choose me. I chose you.” We know that we are God’s children, raised to new life with Christ. Abide in the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Thanks, be to God!  We then exchanged the sign of the peace.


Hymn TIS 236: “Jesus’ hands were kind hands”
Rev. John was focusing on Jesus’ view of his
disciples and us as his friends. Kindness makes

There followed the Communion, the intent of
which was summed up in these word. This has
been no ordinary meal. It has been one in which
we have been fed and nourished with the life of
Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord. May we go
from this table, refreshed and eager, to share that life with others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen

 The Service of the Word
Preaching on the reading John 15: 9-17, Rev. John focussed on our friendship with Jesus.

This friendship was expressed in the hymns and in the Communion meal. Rev. John

reminded us that Jesus said to his disciples and therefore to us: "I do not call you servant

any longer . . . I have called you friends."

We are servants and apostles but we are friends. Meals are share by friends. In meals we

offer hospitality to each other - we extend care to each other. However the Communion

meal fed and nourished us in a way quite different from our daily meals.

The men’s group had sung “Amen” sealing in voice the experience we all have in the

Communion but also in fellowship with each other and in prayer with God.

After such experiences whether physical or spiritual we feel refreshed to start anew. This is

what we can do for each other in friendship.

Rev. John pointed out that in calling his disciples friends, Jesus was doing something quite

revolutionary by way of imagining our relationship God. Friends care for each other and

show love to each other in all its forms and if we don't we aren’t being obedient to Jesus’

teaching. Rev. John went on to say that sometimes we want to take control and modify that


Think of the times when we think someone does not deserve our love or isn't one of us. As

Rev. John said, Jesus said “you are all my friends”.

We might make mistakes but we are drawn back. So when others offend us, we must

remember that God accepts them and so must we. We must look on others as Jesus does.

For myself, I know that I can be a pain in the neck but God draws me back and so do my


Rev. John told us that we are to love others in their best bits and their not so good bits. It's

not how we feel about each other. It's a matter of following Jesus Christ. We are defined by

our behaviour in obedience to Jesus.

As we live our lives must point to the one who leads us.

It has been said that we should walk a mile in another person’s shoes. We are all living the

same life. Think of the mistakes we all make. This of the times we unwittingly give offence.

Think of the times we lash out because we are hurt or feel threatened. Our friends take us

back. God welcomes us with open arms.

That's the way we must live

Space remaining does not allow all the hymns or prayers.



The whole creation celebrates God’s victory of love. Live lives of victorious faith.

When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love?

Jesus abides in the love of God. Abide in God’s love every day of your lives.

When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love?

Jesus calls you his friends. Carry the friendship of God to everyone you meet.

When God shows such generosity, how can we withhold our love? Amen.


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