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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Epiphany 3, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
January 23, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

TIS 638: “O Christ the healer, we have come ...”

GREETING

May Christ, the true light of the world,
always brighten and inspire our lives.
May our faces reflect the warmth and love of Christ,
and may the Saviour always be with you.
And also with you.

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

We acclaim Jesus here among us as the light of our life together.

SONG 261: “Lord, you are the light of life to me”

Lighting the Christ Candle.

PENITENTIAL RITE

Let us ask pardon
for all the times when our sins
kept us from letting the light of Christ shine.

Jesus, let your light shine
in the darkness of our world:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, let your light shine in us
and drive all our sins away:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, let your light shine
on the Churches that profess your name
and make them all one in you:
God, have mercy. God, have mercy.

Silence for personal confession.

God, let your forgiving love
drive away all sin from our hearts
and let your light shine in us.
Lead us to everlasting life. 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 follow Jesus all the way.

Abba God,
your Beloved invites us, gently but insistently,
to follow as faithful disciples.
Open our minds to your light,
make us respond to your love
and entrust our whole being to you.
May your reign grow in us
and in the whole world,
that Christ may lead us in hope
to the joy you have prepared for us in your home.
We ask you this through Christ our Sovereign. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

SONG 597: “Master, speak, thy servant heareth”

FIRST READING INTRODUCTION

In days of oppression and deportation, God promises the light of joy and salvation.

FIRST READING Isaiah 8:23-9:3

PSALM 27

God is my light, my strong defence.
Why should I fear when storms threaten me?
When problems come at me from all directions
I will hold firmly to my trust in God.

I would love to live my life
fully aware that, with the universe,
I am a temple of God.
As a tent pitched on firm ground,
secure and open I live in safety.
I will play and sing like a child.

EPISTLE READING INTRODUCTION

The Christians of Corinth are divided into factions, each with a personality cult around those who preached the Gospel to them.

EPISTLE READING 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17

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.

GOSPEL INTRODUCTION

Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah: he is the promised light, for he brings the Good News of salvation.

GOSPEL Matthew 4:12-23

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

HOMILY

SILENCE

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

PROFESSION OF FAITH

We believe in God,
holy Source of all that is.
We believe in God,
who has spoken the eternal Word in Jesus Christ.
We believe in God,
ceaselessly breathing the Spirit into creation.

We trust in God's love and wisdom:
fully revealed in the humanity of Jesus Christ,
present to us through the Spirit's working
in the Church and beyond.

We believe that God is calling the whole creation
into a future of justice and peace.
We share in Christ’s risen life,
and commit ourselves today to receive
the coming reign of God.
To the only God, Three yet One,
be all honour and glory and praise
now and for ever. Amen.

OFFERING

We offer these gifts and our lives
O God, to be blessed by you,
rejoicing in the knowledge
that you can accomplish great
and wonderful things through them.

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Let us pray to Abba God that the light of the Christ may bring hope and salvation to all. Let us pray: Let the light of Christ shine on us.

• That the People of God may in this world be like a great light shining in the darkness; that they may be people committed to build up a better world, let us pray:Let the light of Christ shine on us.
• That peace and unity may brighten our homes, all our human communities, our nation, and that there may be no mere slogans in the Christian community, let us pray: Let the light of Christ shine on us.

... God, do not allow those who believe in Christ to suffer in the darkness of evil. Let Jesus be our guide. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

THE PEACE

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

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,
and to bring to you a joyful sacrifice,
an offering of prayer in your temple.

L: At the dawn of creation
 you were the light that split open the darkness
 and brought all things into being.
R: You called a people to live in your presence
 and walk in the light of your law and prophets.

L: In Jesus the Christ you have proclaimed to us
 the good news of the nearness of heaven
R: and called us to repent
 and to follow him as disciples.

He was killed but you raised him to new life,
and although his cross is derided as foolishness,
to us who are being saved it is your power at work,

L: breaking the grip of our oppressors,
R: teaching us your truth,
L: healing our sicknesses,
R: increasing our joy
 and leading us home to you.

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

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,
who said of himself:
“I am the light of the world.”
Happy are we to follow him,
for we will have the light of life.

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

Like Christ may we be a light to the world,
bringing a spark of hope where there is despair,
the radiance of joy where there is sadness,
the glow of love where there is indifference.
We ask you this in the name of Jesus the Saviour.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

SONG “The Summons”

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen,
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

BLESSING

Go and take the light of Christ with you
that it may shine in the world.
Speak with your lives the message of hope and joy,
and show by what you do and who you are
that Christ is alive in you.
And may Almighty God accompany you
and bless you ...+

Walk in the light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

 

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: Duccio, The election of the Apostles Andrew and Peter
(http://vhoagland.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/duccio_di_buoninsegna_036.jpg).