Monday, 23 March 2020

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 22 March 2020



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 - (James Dollins, Abingdon 2016)

Show me your way, O God, my Shepherd. Open a right path and let me hear your call to follow. Show me your way, O Christ, my Healer. Open my eyes to the needs of my world...

Hymn TIS 10: “The Lords my shepherd” (Tune - Crimond)Probably as well known as any hymn could be world-wide. And with good reason because of the comfort it brings.

Opening prayer

Visionary creator; give us your vision. Show us our hearts,

our homes, our communities, and our world through your eyes. 

A Prayer of Confession 

Divine God, our Guide, give us the clarity to wake to our short-sightedness and stay woke.

Give us the courage to wake to our shortcomings and stay woke.

Give us the compassion to wake to our hurtful acts and stay woke.

Give us wisdom to face our fears, receive your grace, wake to your call and stay woke.

Hear our silent prayer, as we sit in awareness of our need.


Declaration of Forgiveness

Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ
will shine on you.”

Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ
will shine on you.”

Thanks, be to God!

The Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be called children
of God. We meet in the name of Christ and share his peace.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!

All of the above are a means of reaching out and making any wrongs right before we consider moving forward. It always needs to be done.

Offering

God of grace and truth; in Jesus, Light of the world, you have fulfilled your promise to be with us when we walk through the darkest valley.  May our gratitude for this evidence of your love for the world be made visible in these our offerings that we take up now.  


This is a timely message and I think many of us will grasp it close to our hearts.
 
Hymn TIS 256: From heaven you came, helpless babe    (Tune Servant King)



    The Service of the Word

 The Gospel Reading:    John 9:1-41NEB page 819

 (Maybe you have your own favourite version of the Bible from which God’s voice comes to you.)

Thanks be to God.

Preaching of the Word - Clay Vessels of Beauty

Rev. John began with an important warning:

Lent has often been seen as a time of intense self-reflection. But self-reflection without understanding the power that God holds to make something beautiful of our clay vessels, our little lives, is to defy the power of the God of Love. 

Then Rev. John made two points:

According to the book of Samuel, God picks David, a young child, to fight Goliath and to be king of all Israel. And through that kingship, which has its times of horror and times of victory, God makes David the king Israel needed for the moment.

In addition, in the Gospel of John, the blind man suffers consistently throughout his life because people look at him as deficient, as sinful, as someone not worthy.

So God can use very ordinary and unlikely people to reveal his enlivening power in amazing ways.
 
Rev. John goes on to remind us - and we all know from our experience - that self reflection can bring us to times of despair. However we all know from our experience that out of that despair, something beautiful can grow. This growth can remind us, not only what God’s power can do with ordinary souls such as we all are, but also reminds us that God is always ready to draw us closer.

We are all very swift to look at all our weaknesses and think that we could not possibly be of any use to lead anyone else to light but it is that very change which can cause others to wonder what turned us around .

And God says, Its in our vulnerabilities that we find the grace” and that finding grace and mercy is the ultimate goal of human existence within the Christian faith.

At this time we are very wary of the Covid19 virus. This should remind  us of being judgmental of others now or in ordinary times in regard to their behaviour. There are so many auto-immune-response diseases in the community at any time going undiagnosed which affect the ability of people to even get out of bed. Let’s be kind to each other - always. Amen

 
Hymn TIS 129: Amazing grace
 
Intercessory Prayers

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Hymn TIS 681:Lord, let me see
 
Benediction

Go forth, woke to the call of God, your creator. Go forth, true to the path lit by Christ, your redeemer. Go forth, woke to the conscience of the Holy Spirit, your helper and guide. Amen.

 

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