Gathering God’s People
Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2015)
Come! Here you will find a family of faith where you will always belong. Come! Here you will find friends who will love you as a child of God. Come! Here you will worship a King who rules with equity. Whoever you are, and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
All who need a place to belong . . Come join the family of God.
All who seek spiritual brothers and sisters . Come join the family of God.
All who strive to grow in faith and love . . . Come join the family of God.
All who are unsure and feel unworthy . . . Come join the family of God
Hymn TIS 693: “Come as you are”
Loving Mother, Caring Father, in the midst of our brokenness, knit us together as your family. Heal our wounded hearts, that we may welcome the strangers into our midst and treat them as beloved sisters and brothers.
Prayer of Confession
Sovereign God, we so often lose our way.
You seek to be our King— to lead us on right paths; to teach us the ways of truth and life; to shelter us from our foes, yet we look to the rulers of this earth for leadership, wisdom, and strength.
You seek to be our comforter— to love us as our Father; to nurture us as our Mother; to shelter us as our Brother; to assure us as our Sister, yet we look elsewhere for love, compassion, and hope.
When our government fails us, and our families disappoint us, you alone remain faithful and true. Open your arms to us once more, O God. We will be your people, and you will be our God and King.
Declaration of Forgiveness
Christ looks to each of us and says: “Here are my mother and my brothers. Here are my father and my sisters. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister, mother, father.” As the family of God, as brothers and sisters of Christ, we are loved and forgiven by our gracious God. Thanks, be to God!
As the family of God, let us share signs of familial love and compassion, acceptance and forgiveness, as we pass the peace of Christ.
Peace be with you! And also with you!
Hymn TIS 738: ‘My Jesus my Saviour’ (Shout to the Lord)
The Service of the Word
The First Reading: 1 Samuel 8:4-20
The Israelites wanted to be like everyone else and have a king. They told Samuel that his sons weren't following him so they wanted their own king. God told Samuel that that's the way they were. They had rejected him from the beginning so God directed Samuel to warn the people what kings did which was take the sons and daughters to carry out his commands and take the slaves to work for him as well as takeover land and raise taxes. Anyone in their right mind would have woken up to the pitfalls of such a situation but the people demanded their king anyway,
The Gospel Reading: Mark 3:20-35
Jesus’ family were not impressed with his performance nor were they happy about all the attention he was getting. They decided that he had lost his sanity and went to take him away. The teachers said he was using the power of the devil to do his works but Jesus set them right by pointing out that it wasn't possible for Satan to drive out Satan. He went on to speak in parables along the same line but the radical move came when he was told that his family were outside wanting him and he reached out to those around him and said that they were his family.
Preaching of the Word
Who Really is the Strong Person?
The following is a shortened form of Rev. John’s sermon.
So, who do you think was the strongest man in the Bible? Are you thinking of the book of Judges and the guy with long hair who could kill a lion with his bare hands? …Leadership has often been decided on physical strength over history and the true strengths often needed for leadership were ignored. This must have been on Samuel’s mind in this morning’s reading (concerning the people wanting a king)
After hundreds of years of crying out to God, this people seemed to have forgotten the one who not only answered their prayers, but the only king who has the supernatural power to answer them. The elders wanted a human king like all the other nations..
Like many of us today, however, the Israelites were not willing to be led by God while they waited for the King of kings whom God promised. Through the miracles, signs, and wonders that God had shown them throughout their liberation from multigenerational oppression, the Lord more than proved that he had all the attributes they were seeking in a leader.
The term power is a constant in everyday language. We talk about power in the contexts of business, government, even the church. As the Gospel of Mark reminds us, however, only Jesus Christ has true power. Through Jesus, we have the gift of forgiveness of sins. When Jesus died on the cross, it would seem as if He had been defeated. But on Easter Sunday morning the rest of the message was received. Jesus defeated the enemy! And we can rejoice today. The World’s Strongest Man has defeated our enemy!
Hymn TIS 609 'May the mind of Christ my Saviour'
We prayed for the needs or those around us in the world, followed by the
Hymn TIS 613: ‘Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy’
With God as our King,
we go forth to build God’s kingdom.
With our inner nature renewed,
we go forth to proclaim God’s glory.
With our sisters and brothers in Christ, our mothers and fathers in the faith,
we go forth to be Christ’s family.
Go with God.