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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Epiphany 6, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
February 13, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

SONG

GREETING

Jesus, the light of the world,
gathers us together.
May our faces reflect the light of Christ
and may God always be with you.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians.
Welcome to visitors. We welcome one another.

Some people look upon faith as a set of commandments to be obeyed and practices to be faithfully kept. Jesus’ message to us today is: our faith is much more than rules and observances imposed from outside. Our faith is within us, in our hearts, and that faith tells us what to do; the Spirit is prompting us. But remember we can do nothing without Christ, who is our model and our strength. We are united with Christ. We ask Jesus in this Eucharist to help us see and do what is right.

Lighting the Christ Candle.

PENITENTIAL RITE

If you are bringing your offering to the altar
and there you remember
that your neighbour has something against you,
go and be reconciled first with your neighbour
and then come back and present your offering.

Jesus, you want us to respond to God’s love
not just according to the letter of the law
but with our whole heart:
God, have mercy.
God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you have made love
the foundation of all commandments:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, all your life
was a Yes to Abba and to others.
Make our Yes join yours:
God, have mercy.
God, have mercy.

God, forgive us all our sins
and teach us to serve you and others
from the depths of our hearts.
Lead us to everlasting life.

Silence for personal confession.

Amen.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS

Hear Christ’s word of grace to us:
Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

COLLECT

Let us pray that we may share
in Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness.

God, loving Parent,
in your Beloved, Jesus, you have shown us
how we should seek and fulfill your loving will.
Dispose us to respond to your love
from the depths of our heart
and to be faithful to you in all we do.
Make us also respectful of one another
and attentive to the needs of others,
even when they remain indifferent and thankless,
that we may help to ban evil from this world
and bring to it your love and mercy.
We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

SONG

FIRST READING Deuteronomy 30:15-20

PSALM Psalm 119

Happy are those who seek God.
They cherish the way of goodness.
God’s way is their way.

How do the young stay single minded?
By cherishing the word of God.
God’s way is a treasured pathway.

Show me your kindness, God.
Against evil influences I cling to your Law.
Your word is my constant guide.
Suffering has been my teacher.
I am learning humility.

Your word is a lamp,
a light on my way.
I have pledged to be on the side of Justice.
Neither fear nor human judgement will ensnare me.
Keep me thirsty for your truth.
Let your encouragement lead me on.
I will be faithful to your name.

SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (653)

The people stand.

 Christ is alive, and goes before us
 to show and share what love can do.
 This is a day of new beginnings;
 our God is making all things new.

GOSPEL INTRODUCTION

GOSPEL Matthew 5:21-37

The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.

HOMILY

SILENCE

“So if it seems to you that you have understood the divine Scriptures, or any part of them, in such a way that by this understanding you do not build up this twin love of God and neighbour, then you have not yet understood them.”

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Let us pray to our God, whose law is a light for our life. Let us say: God, set your people free.
For the Church, God’s people on the march, that leaders and members may support one another in a spirit of service and sincere cooperation, let us pray:
God, set your people free.

For the leaders of nations, that they may respect and promote human rights and work relentlessly for justice and the happiness of all, let us pray:
God, set your people free.

For the poor, the sick and those living on the fringes of society, that the Good News of God’s love and mercy may be proclaimed to them first of all, let us pray:
God, set your people free.

For all of us, that we may never put the law above people but practice first the commandment of loving one another, let us pray: God, set your people free.

For our Christian communities, that we may seek God’s will together, accept one another, respect each other’s freedoms, and bear witness to God’s goodness, let us pray: God, set your people free.

... Abba God, hear our prayers for ourselves and for all of humanity. Give us the courage to be free and responsible for ourselves and for others as Jesus was, your Own, who lives with you for ever. Amen.

OFFERING

PRAYER

Abba God,
your Beloved gives himself to us
in these signs of bread and wine
as our tasty food and our drink of joy.
By the power that is in him,
help us to bear witness
that life is meaningful and worth living.
Make us people-for-others, with Jesus,
that our sense of justice and sharing
may give a taste for life and love
to those around us,
that they may see that your Beloved
is here with us, now and for ever.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

THE PEACE

The peace of the Saviour be with you.
And also with you.

We share a sign of Peace with each other.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

The people stand.

God is here.
God’s Spirit is with us.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to God.
Let us give thanks to the God of love.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Holy One, we offer you praise and thanksgiving
over this bread and this cup,
because in Jesus Christ, your Beloved,
you have joined yourself to us,
uniting heaven and earth.

We remember all that Christ has done for us:

L: his birth into our humanity
R: his baptism for our sin
L: his compassion for our suffering
R: his intimacy with our frailty
L: his rebuke of our pride
R: his bearing of the cross for our healing

his death in our place and his resurrection
that not only might his faithfulness be rewarded
but that we might rise with him.

Therefore we sing (761):
Holy, holy, holy God, wisdom, strength and hope,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of our God.
Hosanna in the highest.

We bless you, Sovereign God, ruler of the universe,
through our Saviour Jesus Christ ...

With this bread and this cup
we do as our Saviour commands:
we celebrate the redemption he has won for us.
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

Pour out the Holy Spirit on us
and on these gifts of bread and wine,
that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.

Make us one with him,
one with each other,
and one in ministry in the world,
until at last we feast with him in the kindom.

Through your Beloved, Jesus Christ,
in your holy Church,
all honour and glory are yours, God almighty,
now and for ever. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Aware that we are dependent on God,
we pray the trusting prayer of God’s Own:

Abba God in heaven,
 
glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal
 
helping, and not harming,
 
caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
 
the bread we need,
 
the money we need,
 
the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
 
we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident
 
that love is stronger than hate,
 
justice other than revenge,
 
true peace the work of your Spirit.

THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD

Let us receive what we are;
let us become what we receive.
The body of Christ.

LAMB OF GOD (765)

THE COMMUNION

This is Jesus the Saviour.
He said of himself:
I am the light of the world.
He says to us:
You are the salt that should give taste
to the life of the people around you.
You are the light of the world
that should not remain hidden.
Happy are we, for the Saviour trusts us
and invites us to receive God.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Abba God,
you have given us the salt and light
of your Word and the bread of life.
May they make your Christian community
a city of light on a hill-top
to bear witness to your integrity,
love and justice in this world.
Accept our humble thanks
for calling us to praise your name
and sustain us by the power of the One
who is the light of the world,
Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

BLESSING

May our love be like salt
that preserves what is good
and makes living worthwhile.
May our Christian living be a light
to those who live in darkness.
May our Christian communities
be cities of light to be seen from afar
as signs that God lives and works among people.
And may God bless you all for this mission ...+ Amen.

Go now, and let the light of Christ shine
on all those with whom you share life.
Thanks be to God.

SONG

 

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on ‘The Service of the Lord’s Day’ in Uniting in Worship 2, Uniting Church Press, Sydney, 2005; Psalm translation by Patricia Stevenson, rsj, Psalms: Songs from a Pierced Heart,
Sisters of St Joseph, Sydney, 2003; Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Artwork: Christ as Saviour by El Greco, c.1600 (http://3.bp.blogspot.com).