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Ordinary Sunday 17, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
July 24, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God


SONG ‘Sing praise and thanksgiving’ (107)


Acknowledgement of traditional owners. Welcome.


We spend so much time accusing ourselves,
judging ourselves,
punishing ourselves for what we have done,
or not done.
Our God would draw us closer to the Heart of forgiveness,
that we might be filled with healing and grace.

What then are we to say about our lives,
Searcher of our hearts?
We know how often we have duped others with our deceit.
We remember how often we promise one thing,
only to do the opposite.
We struggle to trust you,
while we so easily listen to the promises of those
who would lead us away from you.

Forgive us, Heart overflowing with mercy.
Your grace is more powerful than any of our sins,
your hope is more durable than our silly choices,
your love will traverse anything, any thing,
which separates us from you.



Hear the good news:
the One who could accuse us, saves us from sin and death.
The One who could condemn us, cradles us in grace.
The One who could punish us, prays for us.
Now we know, there is nothing, no thing,
that can separate us from God.
Lighting the candle.

Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven!”
Jesus says, “I am committing myself to you!”
Thanks be to God!


Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving
and honour and power and strength be to our God
forever and ever! Amen!
(Revelation 7:12)


God of love,
Help us find the real treasure in our world
and in our lives.

The Liturgy of the Word

OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 29:15-28

PSALM 105:1-11, 45c

Give thanks to YHWH,
and call on God’s Name;
proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples!
Sing to God; sing praise,
and tell of all God’s marvels!
Glory in God’s holy Name;
let the hearts that seek YHWH rejoice!
Turn to YHWH to God’s strength
and seek God’s presence constantly.
Remember the marvels God has done
the wonders performed and the judgements pronounced
you descendants of Sarah and Abraham,
God’s faithful ones,
you offspring of Leah, Rachel and Jacob,
who are God’s chosen.
YHWH is our God,
whose authority covers all the earth.
God remembers the Covenant forever,
the promise God made for a thousand generations,
the pact made with Sarah and Abraham,
the oath to Rebecca and Isaac,
the decree confirmed to Leah, Rachel and Jacob,
an everlasting covenant for Israel.
I give you the land of Canaan, said God,
as the portion you will inherit.

We stand.

‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God’ (745)

GOSPEL Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

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




The Liturgy of the Eucharist


We offer these gifts from you, to you,
knowing that you have entrusted to us the greatest of treasures.




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 offer thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you are faithful to the covenant you have made
with a thousand generations.

L: You alone are the creator and judge of all the earth
 and in all things you work for good for your chosen ones.
 Your servant Jacob laboured seven years
 for the love of Rachel;
 and, for love of us,
 your child Jesus has laboured even unto death.

R: Christ came among us, sowing your word,
 and from that tiny seed your kingdom has grown,
 a pearl of great price,
 a treasure for which we would give everything,
 a home of welcome and grace for all people.

Though rulers and powers turned against him
and he was killed,
you raised him to new life
and now there is nothing in all creation
that can separate us from the love given in Christ.

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...
And so in this great sacrament
we celebrate and proclaim
the mystery of our faith.
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come in glory.

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.

Through your Holy Spirit,
burning as a flame, gentle as a dove,
may we who receive these gifts
live lives of justice, love, and prayer,
and be a voice for those who are not heard.

In union with your whole church
we worship you, O God,
in songs of everlasting praise.

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


Our Mother
and our Father in heaven,
may your name be hallowed;
your reign of love come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us the wrong we have done,
as we have forgiven those who have wronged us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.


 Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world:
 have mercy on us.
 Bread of Life, you take away the sin of the world:
 have mercy on us.
 Word made flesh, you take away the sin of the world:
 grant us peace.


This is Jesus the Sovereign,
who sows in our hearts
the good seed of his message.
He himself is the message:
let us receive him well and listen to him.


Holy God,
people hunger today
for truth, authenticity,
for the deeper meaning of life.
Open their hearts to your Good News,
fill our stammering words
with your Word of life
and teach us to speak to them
a language they understand,
especially the language of hope and love.
We ask this in the name of the Christ.

The Sending Forth of the People of God



Go now secure in the love of God
from which nothing can separate you.
Delight in seeking God
look always for the power and the presence of love,
and let love, like yeast in dough, permeate all you do.

And may God work for good in all things for you;
May Christ Jesus confirm you in the image of his kindness;
And may the Holy Spirit help you in your weakness,
interceding for you, and in you, according to the will of God.


Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

SONG ‘You shall go out with joy’ (755)



There is nothing “ordinary” about “ORDINARY TIME”. Ordinary Time is not about common, regular, mundane, or run of the mill. Ordinary Time comes from the word “ordinal” as in “ordinal numbers”. Cardinal numbers answer “how many?” “Ordinal Numbers” tell the rank, they answer “what position?” Ordinal Numbers are first, second, third, fourth, etc.

There are normally fifty-two weeks in a year. These are made up of the Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter Seasons. Normally that leaves thirty-four weeks of “Ordinary Time”. Those weeks start from The Baptism of the Lord up to Lent, and start again at the Day of Pentecost.

May your Ordinary Time be extraordinary


Based on UIW2;
Prayers by Nathan Nettleton (www.laughingbird.net);
Prayers by Rev. Nancy Townley (www.worshipconnection.cokesbury.com);
Lord’s Prayer translation based on The Revised English Bible (Cambridge).

Image: The parable of the mustard seed, Stained glass window
at First United Methodist Church of Glendale