Saturday, 27 July 2019

Marsden Road Uniting Church Sunday Service 21 July 2019



Today, as I have indicated previously, I am focussing on specific parts of the service. 

Much is being said about our First People recently and so I intend to reflect on the
acknowledgement. I also wish to spend more time on the sermon than usual.


Gathering God’s People


Acknowledgement of First Peoples


“From river to ocean, from campfire to hearth, 

May the First People who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal,

 be blessed.


From breath to song, from step to dance,


May those who follow Your Song lines guide us on the journey of living honourably in 

this place.

 

From greeting to Amen, from silence to chorus,


May our worship join with the voices of he First Peoples of this Land.”


To think more on these words, we need to
do more than just imagine how the first people have cared for this place we now
call home. Perhaps a little study of factual records would help. It is
difficult to appreciate the thought and effort that was needed on the part of
the people who originally lived here without some hard facts on the
difficulties that they faced.


Call to Worship.(Abingdon Worship Annual 2016)


“The ungodly laugh in their conceit,
plotting the destruction of the righteous with sharp tongues and works of
treachery. They are fools. For the righteous are like green olive trees in the
house of the Lord, and will dwell in God’s steadfast love forever and ever.”


Those of us who have always worshipped
at this church might be quite surprised at what was said and thought about them
by their neighbours. As someone who was on the outside, looking in, I know the
level of contempt still held by those around us for those of us who choose to
follow God’s way.


“Like green olive trees in the house of God,

we come into God’s presence.


Like young saplings in the courtyard of the Lord,

we drink deep from the waters of life.


Like the fruit of God’s vineyard,

we ripen in the light of God.


Come, let us worship the Lord.”


Opening Prayer


 “Loving God, your gift of abundant
life is like a basket of summer fruit — a delight to the eye and a pleasure to
the tongue; your presence in our lives is like a green olive tree— a joy to the
heart and a blessing to the spirit. Speak to us your words of life that we may
sit at your feet and know that we are yours. Amen.”


Prayer of Confession


“Merciful God, buffeted by the winds of life, we have grown weary and yearn for your hand
to hold us.
Pour forth your words of peace, and bring us back to life.


Forgive us when we are heedless to the needs of others.
Correct our ways when we are self-centred and neglect the poor and powerless.


Be our vision when we seek refuge in our wealth and possessions.
Draw us to you, Holy One, and lead us into life. Amen.”
 
“Declaration of Forgiveness


 Hear the good news: In Christ, we are united
and reconciled with God Rejoice in the knowledge that we receive forgiveness
and abundant life in his name.


Thanks be to God! Amen.”


The Peace


“Peace is a gift
beyond price. In Christ, we find peace as we are reconciled to God. Let us
share this precious gift with one another in joy and thanksgiving.
Peace be with you! 



And also, with you!”



The Service of the Word


 The First Reading: Amos 8:1-12Corruption has always existed, and those that practice it
have always ended up badly.


The Gospel Reading:
Luke 10: 38-42I think we have all found this reading difficult. There is always work to be done. Surely we must
all share the load but I think this is saying we should think more about our priorities.


(Readings: Kaye)


Preaching of the
Word – “Crazy Love: The Search for Unquenchable


“We live amidst the reality of economic
instability and religious volatility. Yet, there’s something deep inside all of
us that desires another kind of crazy. It’s a crazy love. Our souls are thirsty
for a love that’s everlasting. And yet, reality shows, political parties, and
public institutions alone cannot quench this thirst. We need something more.”


Rev. John then spoke of observing his
step-sons at play and more professional sportsmen
       playing and...needing to have their thirst quenched. At home parents choose water with all it’s health giving benefits but professionals often choose commercial drinks which claim to have added ingredients to aid recovery from strenuous exercise and which for the most part don’t.


He also spoke of people who expect God
to come to their aid when they are in the position they are in because they
have not been good stewards of God’s gifts or have grasped at God’s gifts and
simply expect more.


Rev. John then guided our thinking
towards choosing spiritual refreshment over any physical or earthly pleasure or
reward.


To recap: Martha was right in one way.
Hospitality is a great gift but she wasn’t being hospitable. The way she approached
her work made it seem like Jesus was a burden to her whereas Mary made Jesus
wholly welcome by focussing all her attention on him.


No matter how much we attend to our
physical, social and employment needs, we will still experience that deep
thirst which can only be quenched by continuous replenishment of our spiritual
needs by the only one who can meet those needs...God, the source of all things
good.

As Rev. John said at the end of his sermon:

“ we need to come to Gods table and
drink from the fountain of everlasting love. May our God be our eternal love
and thirst quencher?”


Then after the Prayer of Intercession and the Lord’s Prayer:


Benediction: “Though we may leave God’s house,

 we do not leave God’s presence.


Like green Olive Trees in the house of God, 

our roots go deep in the soil of holy love.


Know that Gods presence goes with us 

as we go forth to share Gods love for all. Amen.


Hymn TIS780: May light come into your eyes. Amen”


 






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