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Epiphany 2, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
January 16, 2011

Come and See

Most of the opening prayers in this liturgy came from the Uniting Churches in Queensland in response to the floods and the suffering of people there. Our congregation in South Sydney also gathered in the people of Brazil, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who are also struggling for life after floods.

On this day, amid the suffering of many people,
we begin our service with a cry of pain from them:
God of all creation, hear our prayer.
From the eye of the storm we call to you.
Our hearts are weary and we are weary
and we are frightened.
O God of creative power, we call out to you
as creation groans around us.


SONG TIS: 682 “When human voices cannot sing”

Blessed is the Holy Trinity of love
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
One God, mothering all creation;
and blessed is the reign of God,
now and ever and to the ages of ages.
May Christ be always with you.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors.
Lighting of the Christ candle.

As rivers roar to life, claiming all in their pathway,
we cry out to you for help.
Are you listening to us, God?
O God of calm waters, we cry out to you
as we walk through the floodwaters.
As water stakes its ownership on our towns,
sitting, waiting, insidiously wrecking our possessions:
Are you walking with us God?
O God, who walked the earth,
we weep for those among us who have lost everything.
As they try to reclaim their lives,
broken and demolished in spirit, exhausted and overwhelmed:
Are you weeping with us God?
O God, of wisdom and justice,
we struggle to understand the force of nature.
Do you have the answers God?
Do you have the energy?
Do you have the resilience?
We need you God.
We need you . . . . .
Where are you God?

Water is poured into a chalice as an expression of the weeping of the people which is gathered into the loving life of Christ, who weeps with us.

God says “I am with you always . . . . . .
in the people who care,
the emergency services,
The people who risk their lives to help strangers,
in neighbours helping each other,
in dry, safe places to stay in the tough work of cleaning up.
God, we see water everywhere,
but we see your presence too . . . . .
We see you everywhere.
Thanks be to you, O God.
O God, we thank you
for every time we meet the Christ among us,
in the lives of others and within our own.
Just as with Christ’s first friends,
we know that we are in the presence of good
and that everything is possible
to those who believe.
We thank you that we often find you
in surprising places and people,
so that we are encouraged
to hold our minds open
to your never ending possibilities.
We praise your faithfulness to us, O God,
as one who waits to greet us
around every bend of life’s road
and who breathes hope into our souls each day.
Thanks be to you, O God.

The Liturgy of the Word

Your word, O God, is a lamp to our feet:
a light to our path.

FIRST READING Psalm 40: 1-11

May your word live in us, O God;
and bear much fruit to your glory.


God your word abiding,
and our footsteps guiding
gives us joy forever,
binds us all together.
GOSPEL John 1: 29-42
The Good News and Power of God.
Praise to you, O Jesus Christ.




O Jesus Christ, call to us
in the streets around us and beyond.
Help us to see where you wait
on the margins of life,
with those who are pushed to the edge of hope.
We pray for these people now:
The people pray
Create here, a community of prophetic life
which announces to those around us
that your friends embrace all who come,
in a spirit of humility and love.
Stand in our midst, we pray Jesus Christ,
warming us with your encouragement
and inspiring us towards living out your Gospel.
Then make us brave enough
to walk into the unknown,
confident that you will never leave us alone.
Build up trust among us,
so that our prayers and singing come from
the depths of our hearts
and give us strength for the days to come.
This we pray in faith.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING TIS : 468 “We are your people”
O God, we realise that some people find it hard
to believe in you, as they struggle with need.
May these, our offerings, be of help to them
and to your mission in the world.
Receive them now, we pray.

Jesus Christ,
let the gift of your peace rise among us today.
In its gentleness, may we learn
to love and to serve one another,
and may we share the joy of your peace
with all willing to accept it,
now and forever.

The peace of the Beloved One be with you all.
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 you are the fulfilment of all our searching.

L:Since the time you created all things
you have had a plan
hidden in mystery through the ages
to draw all the world into one body,
and to share with all peoples your promise of glory.

R:And now the light has risen,
the mystery is made known:
your Beloved, Jesus, is revealed to the whole world
as Saviour and Redeemer,
and as the One who reigns in justice and peace.

You draw us again to the feet of Jesus,
the crucified and risen Christ,
to offer our gifts of praise to the light of the world.

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.

To you indeed be glory, almighty God,
because on the night when he was betrayed ...

God of hope and joy,
we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
With this bread and this cup
we proclaim the mystery of our faith ... (757):
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

Therefore, loving God,
recalling now Christ’s death and resurrection,
we ask you to accept
this our sacrifice of praise.

Send your Holy Spirit upon us
and our celebration,
that we may be fed with the body and blood of Christ
and be filled with your life and goodness.
Strengthen us to do your work,
and to be your body in the world.
Unite us in Christ
and give us your peace.

Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere, now and forever.

In the light of salvation for all, we pray:
L:Abba God in heaven, hallowed be your name!
R:May your reign come,
may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven:
L:give us today the bread we need.
R:And forgive us our debts,
as we hereby forgive those who are indebted to us.
Don’t put us to the test, but free us from evil.

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

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace, grant us peace.


This is Jesus, Beloved of God.
Happy are we to be called
to share this table
and to bring this light to all.

Abba God,
you have shown us your Beloved today
and in the bread of life given for us.
May the light of Christ shine in us
and may our hope and joy reflect this light,
that our church
may show forth goodness and peace
for all to see.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

The Sending Forth of the People of God


SONG TIS : 473 “Community of Christ”

Let us go into the world in faith,
inviting others to come and see a new hope.

And may the light of Christ shine within our lives,
the loving hand of God the Parent be beneath us
and the Holy Spirit guide and guard us as we go.



Prayers by Dorothy McRae-McMahon
Eucharist based on ‘The Service of the Lord’s Day’ in Uniting in Worship 2, Sydney, 2005