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Epiphany 5, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
February 6, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God




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.

What is striking in today’s message is how much trust Christ puts in us, perhaps more than we do in him. He entrusts to us the mission of being his light shining in the world, the salt that preserves and spices the world with the aroma of the Gospel, the mission of being a city of light that attracts people to our God.
What a responsibility! Today, let us ask Jesus to kindle this light in us.

Lighting the Christ Candle.


How little the light of Christ has shone in us!
Let us seek the Saviour’s pardon.

Jesus, you are the true light
that enlightens all people:
God, have mercy.
God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you said of yourself:
I am the light of the world;
anyone who follows me will have the light of life:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, you tell us:
You are the light of the world.
Your light must shine in people’s sight:
God, have mercy.
God, have mercy.

God, let the light of your mercy
take away from us the darkness of sin.
Give us the light of life
and lead us to everlasting life.

Silence for personal confession.



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


Let us pray that we may do the good works
that lead people to God.

Abba God,
we are important to you,
for you keep entrusting to us the mission
of making your name and your love known.
Strengthen us in our weakness,
make us savour the message of the Gospel,
that in the footsteps of your Own, Jesus,
we may bring your light and taste to the world
and carry out this task with great joy.
We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word


FIRST READING Isaiah 58:1-9a,(9b-12)


Parents who love God and delight in God’s leadership
will have children who are truly blessed.
They will grow strong and true.

Their households will thrive with integrity.
The light of God’s mercy and justice
will banish the darkness of fear.
They will share generously and deal fairly with others.
They will support the poor.

Bad news will not destroy them.
They know that hatred and revenge are destructive.
SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 2:1-12,(13-16)

Let us stand to acclaim God’s saving justice,
attested by the law and the prophets,
and now revealed through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe.

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.


According to Jesus, our task in the world is to live according to the Gospel,
so that God’s light can shine in the world.

GOSPEL Matthew 5:13-20

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



Lest the word of life be lost,
let us allow God to confront us
in the sound of silence.


Let us now pray to the God of light that we may truly become the salt and the light of the world. Let us say: God, let your light shine in us.

... God, we pray that your light may shine on all the earth. However limited we are, let our words and actions reflect the light of your love, in the name of Jesus the Saviour. Amen.



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


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 and justice are a light in our darkness
and your Word outlasts even heaven and earth
which you have created.

L: Before the ages, your wisdom destined us for glory
 and you have revealed your depths to us through the Spirit.
R: When we failed in righteousness
 and turned our worship into a mask
L: hiding our oppression, contempt and disregard of others,
 you rejected our fasts and prayers
R: and sent prophets to denounce our rebellion
 and call us back to your ways.

In your child, Jesus, and him crucified,
we have seen the light of the world,
and found a spring of healing that never fails.
You raised him from the dead,
and through him, gave us your Spirit,
who has begun the rebuilding of our integrity
on the ancient foundations of justice, mercy and compassion.

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.


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.


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



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.


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.

The Sending Forth of the People of God


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 ...+

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



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: Inca Salt Pans, Sacred Valley