Because I can’t include the whole service each week, I need to reflect on different aspects of the service where that is possible. This week, after sharing with you the introduction to the service, I have decided to reflect on the prayers, hymns and bible readings.
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal.
May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.
Call to Worship - (Laura Jaquith Bartlett, Abingdon 2016)
Wanted: Light-Shiners.Application Deadline: Always Open
Job Description: Feed the hungry, clothe the poor, shelter the homeless, free the
oppressed. Salary& Benefits: Living in God’s light....
Then our light will break forth like the dawn!
You are the light of the world. Shine God’s light in your good works.
Then our light will shine forth for all people to see!
That says it all!
Hymn TIS 447: “Lord, your almighty word”. All it took was for the worst of all, that is: “chaos and darkness” to hear God’s Word and they took off. The prayer continues asking that wherever God’s life-giving message does not penetrate, that God’s light does so now. Isn’t that that our daily prayer?
God of justice, you call us to shine the light of your abundance into our world. Equip us, we pray, to feed those who hunger for bread and thirst for love. God of Compassion, you call us to shine the light of your grace into our world.
We are to be the conductors of God’s light. Not necessarily by wise words or courageous actions but perhaps simply by a kind word of a friendly thought conveyed through a note or card.
A Prayer of Confession
Dear God, over and over again, you have taught us how to walk in your light.
But we have sought to hide under a bushel,...Sometimes we don’t want to appear to be interfering or in some cases, soppy, but it’s amazing what a small gift of something nice to eat or a friendly invitation to share an activity does for someone who needs light to be shone into their lives.
Declaration of Forgiveness
Hear these words of comfort and assurance from the prophet Isaiah: “The Lord will guide you continually and provide for you, even in parched places. [The Lord] will rescue your bones. You will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water that won’t run dry.”
Thanks be to God!
Sometimes we run dry and can’t summons the ability to rise above our own needs to tend to others. But by God’s grace we can be the person we couldn’t imagine that we would be, and bring that Light into the lives of others and thereby Light our own lives.
Men’s Group Singing “The Old Rugged Cross”. For many, these familiar words give comfort in a time of trial.
Hymn TIS 474: “Here in this place new light is streaming.” A new light that makes the our world change, immediately.
The Service of the Word. Reader: Alan Craymer
Isaiah 58: 1-12
Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways.
Of course there was more, but the meaning was the same and isn’t that how our lives work.
...‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Today, it was the same message over and over but we can’t hear it too often...as encouragement as much as anything else.
Music to lead us to prayer
The rhythmic affect on our senses calms and brings us to be in touch with things spiritual.
Men’s Group- “Just A Little Talk with Jesus” It sounds a little childish but its message is true. Just a few words puts us in touch with the source of our light...our light which we can show to others.
A time when we bring our personal, congregation and community needs to the only one who can meet them, followed by the Lord’s Prayer: we pray this together as one.
Hymn TIS 473:“Community of Christ.” Here we spoke to ourselves about how showing the light of Jesus works in the world. We don’t literally hold up lamps but simply raise those around us up from the burdens that are weighing them down by whatever practical means fits the occasion.
You are the light of the world! Now take that light into all the places that need the light and love of God. Take that light into all the places that need the light and grace of Jesus Christ. Take that light into all the places that need the light and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Go and be the light of the world!
Hymn TIS 779: “May the feet of God walk with you.” How could we pray for anything else for each other?