MARSDEN ROAD UNITING CHURCH SUNDAY 14th October.
Gathering God’s People
Today I was unable to attend this service, so for the first section, I have given you the direct words of the service so you can be blessed as were those who were present on the day.
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
From river to ocean, from campfire to hearth,
May the First People who have cared for this Land be blessed.
From breath to song, from step to dance,
May those who follow Your Song lines guide us on the journey of living honourable in this place.
From greeting to Amen, from silence to chorus,
Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2018)
“Still I’m not annihilated by darkness; [God] has hidden deep darkness from me.”
In times of trouble, in times of joy ...we call upon the name of God.
With steadfast faith, with wavering doubt ... we call upon the name of God.
Basking in God’s presence, aching in God’s absence ... we call upon the name of God.
Hymn TIS 727: In the presence of your people
Holy One, we call upon your name this day. When you seem most absent, we yearn to hear your voice. When you seem most present, we long to follow your teachings. Be with us now. Strengthen and guide us, that we may trust your call and follow your lead. In doubt, in trust, but most of all in hope, we pray. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Mysterious One, we cry out in our times of need—
for hope in times of despair, for faith in times of doubt, for comfort in times of grief, for grace in times of sin, and for love in times of loneliness. Answer our cry.
Be our refuge and our help. Restore our lives.
Revive our hope. Return us to the path of discipleship, where we may walk with you anew in confidence and joy.
In the name of Christ, our rock and our redeemer, we pray. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness
Draw near to Christ, who is our mercy and our grace, for in Christ, we are restored and made whole. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled to God.
Thanks be to God!
Creating us all as equals, and calling us to be generous in our faith, the Lord invites us to offer gestures of welcome as we share the peace of Christ.
Peace be with you! And also with you
Hymn TIS 589: Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult
The Service of the Word. I have deleted much to concentrate of the following part of the service.
12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart…16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions…
Preaching of the Word
Ask a Simple Question - Mark 10:17-31
A summary of some of Rev. John’s words to the congregation:
Haven’t you ever wished that you could get this one shot? That you could cut through the crowd all around Jesus, go right up to him and ask the one question you’ve always wanted to ask? I can’t count the number of times someone has found out that I am a minister and then blurted out,
“Can I ask you a question? What does the Bible say about . . .?” The character in this passage asks a simple enough question, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”…
One problem with this story is that we don’t quite know what to do with Jesus’ answer!…
If we interpret the passage in this concrete way, however, Jesus’ instructions to the man don’t quite fit with the rest of the passage or with what we know about God’s grace. Surely, we do not pay our way into the kingdom of God, into the Resurrection. Whatever eternal life is about, it is not a financial transaction. Eternal life is a gift from God. Interpreting this passage as a simple pay-as-you-go deal makes God into an extortionist, not a loving parent. We have to keep looking to understand what Jesus means here.
Perhaps Jesus is pushing us to see that we cannot earn our way into the dominion of God no matter what we do. … This passage is about more than our internal attitude toward money. Jesus really does call us to give, to share, to sacrifice.
My own view of this is that Jesus simply wanted the young man to offer all that he was and had to God. All we are and have is a gift from God and our part is to relinquish our grasp on whatever that is so that God can make use of it in the building of the kingdom.
Go now in hope. Go now in love. And may the peace that passes all understanding guide you along the way. And may the blessing of God Almighty, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of Life be with you and remain with you always.
Hymn TIS 779: May the feet of God walk with you