This week’s worship resources have been created by Margaret Reeson, a special thanks to her, the worship team, Chris Dodd and others who have contributed.
Mark Beresford, the Pastor at the Gungahlin campus of Mosaic Baptist and Darren had a conversation about this week’s reading from the book of Acts, you can access the conversation on Soundcloud here, it’s 40 minutes of two pastors talking about the bible. Mark’s a good friend and we’re thinking we’ll do more of these and get better as we go.
This week Darren is leading the Assembly Facebook worship, a weekly worship service streamed via Facebook by a number of different ministers from across Australia. If you’ve been tuning in you would have heard some remarkable voices and been able to worship alongside many from the UCA.
You do not need a Facebook account to watch, just head to this link for a 10am EST service from our lounge room. https://www.facebook.com/UnitingChurchAu/ Not long after the service I’ll put the video on our website.
But until then, welcome to worship.
Call to Worship
Come. Sit quietly.
Light your candle.
Prepare your heart and mind to sit with Jesus.
Loving God, you have led us to this place,
not to shield us from heartache and the pain of human life,
but to heal us and inspire us,
to gently redirect us,
till we see the world as you do
and love it with your love. Amen
From Psalm 68
Our God, you are the one
who rides on the clouds,
and we praise you.
Your name is the Lord,
and we celebrate
as we worship you.
Our God, from your sacred home
you take care of orphans
and protect widows.
You find families
for those who are lonely…..
We praise you, Lord God!
You treat us with kindness
day after day,
and you rescue us.
He Walked On Earth – TiS 260
He walked on earth, showing glimpses of heaven;
Demons, death, disease had no hand.
The wind and the waves were obedient before him:
well may they say, “Who is this man?”
Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away our sin,
The light of the world, the son of God.
Worthy is the Lamb to receive our praise
and glory and honour and power.
On the third day he was raised up with glory,
Reigning on high, the risen Son:
We have new life, a new hope, a new future;
Now we cry, ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come!’
Prayer of Confession
You are invited to use your hands during prayer.
Close both hands into fists and turn them over.
Loving God, we come to you as your children,
trying to hide things from you,
hoping you can’t see what is hidden in our hands.
You say to us: What are you hiding, my child?
You say to us: What is it that you cannot let go, my child?
You say to us: Open your hand and let it go.
I will not prise your hand open, finger by finger.
You know what is hidden and hurting.
You can empty your hands,
you can open your heart.
See the open hands of Christ, torn by nails.
This pain was offered for us.
This loving sacrifice can set us free.
Let us open our hands.
Let us place our fistful of pain into the wounded hands of Christ.
He will hold it for us.
Thank you, Christ Jesus.
Bible reading John 17:1-11
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
“I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
Meditation on the scripture
Imagine that you are sitting with the other disciples. You are listening to Jesus speak these words. Read them again. As Jesus is praying this prayer to his Father, he is thinking of those who follow him, then and now. Is there a word or sentence here that is his word for you today? Mark it in some way, or copy it as a reminder.
The great love of God – TiS 164
The great love of God
is revealed in the Son,
who came to this earth
to redeem everyone.
That love, like a stream
flowing clear to the sea,
makes clean every heart
that from sin would be free.
It binds the whole world,
every barrier it breaks,
the hills it lays low
and the mountain it shakes.
It’s yours, it is ours,
O how lavishly given!
The pearl of great price
and the treasure of heaven.
Prayers for others
Our Loving God
The book of Ecclesiastes remind us “to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” The seasons of our life I’m not always times of comfort and love and peace. Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time to die; a time to weep, a time to mourn, and a time to refrain from embracing – all apt to this season of our lives.
Today Lord we live in a season of trial. A season not experienced by the generations living on this small, fragile planet. We struggle, we are rage, we are confused
and we are sad, and we want this to end.
And it will but in its own time. Until then we must continue to struggle.
This day we pray for those who help us be the burden of this difficult season. Too many who are workers on a minimum wage.
We pray for our health workers – doctors, nurses, administrative staff, paramedics, ambulance drivers – and ask that you keep them safe and well and that they may find times for rest and recuperation before they face their next shift.
We pray for those who work in our shops, especially those in shops that supply the essentials of life – food, cleaning products and yes coffee. Many of them are young and for those who wonder what the next generation will offer we already see the future of our world here is in good hands and we thank you for that foresight.
We ask your blessing on cleaners, for their early starts and thoroughness. In their anonymity they are doing a vital service for us all. And also for those in our nursing homes. We pray that staff and residents will be safe and the isolation they are feeling is not proving unbearable.
And for our teachers whose value is now appreciated by so many, be with them as they move back to classroom, teaching and explaining this confusing time to their students.
Finally we thank You that through this pandemic we have found out who and what is truly important, and maybe hold onto that truth in the days and years to come.
Be with us during this season of our life. Walk with us. Help us understand.
May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
you may abound in hope.
And may Almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 RSV