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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Epiphany 8, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
February 27, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

PSALM 131

Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or awesome for me.
But I have stilled and quieted myself,
just as a small child is quiet with its mother.
Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
now and evermore.

GREETING

Neither life nor death,
neither the present nor the future
nor any creature can separate us
from the love of God our Parent.
God has shown us this love in Jesus.
May the Saviour Jesus Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

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

We have come together today into the presence of our God as people with cares and worries about so many things:
in our homes, our communities, the hard times we live in.
And yet we are told, let not these cares keep you from believing in life and trusting in God’s loving care.
We are forever engraved in the palm of God’s hands. In this Eucharist we entrust our cares to God.

Lighting the Christ Candle.

PENITENTIAL RITE

In the cares of everyday life,
we have at times forgotten God
and the people around us.
Let us seek the Saviour’s forgiveness.

Jesus, you remind us
to keep seeking the Creator’s will
and the happiness of the people around us:
God, have mercy.
God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ,
you tell us about the Creator
who can never forget us:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus,
you ask us to keep trusting
in a Creator who cares:
God, have mercy.
God, have mercy.

Have mercy on us, God,
and forgive us our lack of trust
in our generous Creator.
Help us to seek your kindom
and 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 for trust in our God
who loves and cares for us.

Loving God, you are our Father and Mother,
you care about the birds in the sky
and let them find food in due time;
you clothe the flowers in the field
with colours and fragrance.
So, why should we worry?
We thank you for the gift of life,
for loving us and caring for us,
free of charge.
We thank you for the people around us.
Keep us firmly in your hand,
on account of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

SONG TIS 184: “When trouble strikes and fear takes root”

FIRST READING Isaiah 49:8-16a

SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (745)

The people stand.

 Seek ye first the kindom of God,
 and God’s righteousness.
 And all these things shall be added unto:
 Hallelu, hallelujah!

GOSPEL Matthew 6:24-34

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

With the fullest trust we bring before God all our concerns and the needs of all people, Let us say: God of love, in you we trust.

• That the Church may be a living sign of God’s caring love for people by its concern for the poorest among us, let us pray: God of love, in you we trust.
• That the leaders of the world may look after the welfare of the people entrusted to them and bring them peace, justice and human dignity, let us pray:
God of love, in you we trust.
• That the poor and the needy may experience something of God’s concern for them through the generosity of our hearts, let us pray: God of love, in you we trust.
• That we may not burden ourselves with unnecessary worries and artificial needs, but may learn to entrust ourselves into the hands of a loving Creator, let us pray:
God of love, in you we trust.
• That all our loved ones who have died may live in the presence of Love and give lasting praise for God’s goodness, let us pray: God of love, in you we trust.

... Abba God, we trust in you and in the future you have prepared for us. Complete in us the work of your hands and stay with us through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

OFFERING

PRAYER

Abba God,
you have prepared for us, your children,
the feast meal of Jesus, your Own.
You provide us with food and drink
that lead to everlasting life.
We offer you our life and efforts,
our worries and our cares.
Accept them as a token
of our deep and lasting trust in you.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Saviour. Amen.

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.

Abba God gave us the Beloved to be with us even today.
What greater sign could God give us of lasting and deep loving care?
Let us give thanks through Jesus.

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.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for your mercy embraces the faithful,
one generation to the next.

L: You are the creator of heaven, earth and the teeming seas.

R: You promised mercy to our ancestors
 and sent prophets as an example of suffering and patience
 to prepare the Holy Way to you.

L: In Jesus Christ we saw your promises take flesh
 as the blind saw the light,
 the deaf heard the music,
 and the lame danced with joy.

R: When he was killed, you raised him to life
 and through him your good news still comes to the poor
 like springs of water to thirsty ground,
 uplifting the downtrodden
 and filling the hungry from the richness of your table.

And so with thankful hearts we patiently wait,
knowing that the day is near
when all the earth will see the fullness of your glory.

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

With Jesus we pray
the great prayer of trust:

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 Lamb of God,
who took our burdens on himself
to make us free for God and people.
Happy are we to receive him in trusting faith.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Sovereign God, our Creator,
in this Eucharist you have reassured us
that you know what we need
better than we ourselves do,
and that you stay with us
through Jesus your Own.
Help us to forget our self-created worries
and let Jesus give us the courage
to work for your kindom of goodness and mercy,
of integrity and committed justice.
For then we are sure that you will give us all else
through 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 TIS 128: “Sometimes a light surprises”

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on ‘The Service of the Lord’s Day’ in Uniting in Worship 2, Uniting Church Press, Sydney, 2005;
Psalm translation and music by Alison Clark.
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Movie Poster: LILIES OF THE FIELD, United Artists, 1963.
Directed by Ralph Nelson. Camera: Ernest Haller.
With Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann, Isa Crino, Francesca Jarvis, Pamela Branch,
Stanley Adams, Dan Frazer, Ralph Nelson.