Stronger Together (11 April 2021)

11 Apr 2021 by Jan C (Service) in: Worship Services: 2021

 

Let us begin our service by acknowledging the traditional custodians of this land.

 As we look upon the hills and valleys, we see the love poured out upon this land by those who have cared for this place since time beyond measure.  

We honour those who have gone before and those who are yet to come.

May we be mindful of the calling God places on humanity to care for Creation.  

May we take the lead from the Dharawal people, whose stories are entwined with the stewarding of this place. May we learn from them and walk with them.

 

Lighting the Candle

 

A candle is lit today to symbolise that God is with us this day.  Each in our own way whether at  homes by ourselves or with partners or family members or friends let us continually remember God is with us always and forever.          

 

Be with us today as we share this service.  Keep us strong and patient as we go through difficult times.  We pay for people worldwide  sharing your words of love and comfort and hope.

 

HYMN - ‘Come In, Come and Sit Down’

 

Chorus

Come in come and sit down
You are a part of the family
We are lost and we are found
And we are a part of the family

You know the reason why you came
Yet no reason can explain
So share in the laughter and cry in the pain
For we are a part of the family
God is with us in this place
Like a Mother's warm embrace
We're all forgiven by God's grace
For we are a part of the family

Chorus

Children and elders middlers and teens
Singles and doubles and in-betweens
Strong eighty-fivers and streetwise sixteens
We are a part of the family
Greeters and shoppers long time and new
Nobody here has a claim on a pew
And whether we're many or only a few
We are a part of the family

Chorus

There's life to be shared in the bread and the wine
We are the branches Christ is the vine
This is God's temple it's not yours or mine
But we are a part of the family
There's rest for the weary and health for us all
There's a yoke that is easy
And a burden that's small
So come in and worship and answer the call
For we are a part of the family.

 

WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION & WORDS OF GRACE

Forgiveness is always at hand. Let us pray.

Merciful God, please don’t let it ever seem that as far as we are concerned Christ has died and risen in vain. Please forgive and deliver us from the sins that can hamper and harden us against the Easter Gospel.

 

We confess to you that sometimes we live pessimistically, as if Christ was dead and buried forever, leaving us to go it alone.

We confess to you that sometimes we live guiltily, as if Christ’s forgiveness is only attainable by those who are worthy.

We confess that sometimes we see ourselves as losers in spite of Christ’s victory. We live like paupers in the midst of the riches of his grace, we busy ourselves like church slaves in this era of Easter liberty.

 

Please help us to ‘get it together’ both as individuals and as a Christian community. Forgive our sins and fill us with the breath of your Spirit. Deliver us from negative thoughts that can cripple us, from fashionable ideas that can mislead us, from wounded memories that can infect us, and from a pre-Easter faith that can entomb us. Restore to us the joy of Easter and lead us in the way everlasting. Amen!

 

 

FORGIVENESS

Our Lord Jesus said: “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” He then breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” If we acknowledge our sins, God is true and consistent: we will be forgiven and cleansed from the contamination of evil.

With the authority of the risen Christ, I can confidently proclaim to you:

Our sins are annulled and our hopes are restored.

 Thanks be to God.

 

 

BIBLE READINGS  

John 15: 9 – 17                                

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

 

1 Corinthians 12: 12 – 25           

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honour, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.

 

Through these reading we hear God speak.

Thank you God for your words of life.

 

MESSAGE        Dr Sureka Goringe

 

HYMN

 

Brother, sister let me serve you

let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ light for you
in the night time of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I'll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow,
till we've seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
we shall find such harmony,
born of all we've known together
of Christ's love and agony.

Brother, sister, let me serve you;
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that l may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.

 

 

 

 Hymn 681    Lord Let Me See

 

Lord let me see, see more and more

See the beauty of a person, not the colour of the skin

See the faces of the homeless with no-one to take them in

See discouragement because she’ll never win:

See the face of our Lord in the pain:
Lord let me see.

 

Lord let me hear, hear more and more

Hear the sounds of great rejoicing, hear a person barely sigh

Hear the ring of truth, and hollowness of those who live a lie

Hear the wail of starving people who will die;

Hear the voice of our Lord in the cry:

Lord let me hear.

 

Lord let me learn, learn more and more

Learn that what I know is just a speck of what there is to know

Learn from listening to my neighbour when I’d rather speak and go

Learn that as we live in faith and trust and we grow

Learn to see, hear and care, with our Lord:

Lord let me learn.

 

Lord let me love, love more and more

Love the loveless and the fragile, help them be what they can be

Love the way that I would like them to be looking after me;

For to know you is to love them and be free

And in love Jesus Christ will be found:

 

 

SENDING OUT

Christ is risen.

 Christ is risen indeed!

There is now no negative force that can finally defeat us,

and no power on earth or in the heavens that can ultimately destroy us.

Leave this house of prayer confidently, walk purposefully, and travel joyfully,

love generously, serve gladly, and arrive safely.

For all things are ours, and we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

 

As we sing ‘Shalom’

Shalom to you now, shalom my friends. May God’s full mercies bless you my friends.

In all your