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A SERVICE OF WORD  AND SACRAMENT

Ordinary Sunday 26, Year A
Social Justice Sunday
South Sydney Uniting Church
September 25, 2011

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16)

I’ll begin with a story.
I will tell of mysteries
welling up from ancient springs.
These truths have been the treasure of our elders.
These stories are the heritage of our children.

The stories are of God’s great deeds
throughout the ages.
Stories of creating, of saving,
of teaching, of healing;
stories of trust,
of fidelity and commitment.

We will never forget
what God has done for us.

SONG OF PRAISE: ‘Now thank we all our God’

Now thank we all our God
In whom this Earth rejoices,
For creatures great and small
Who now have lost their voices;
And species calling us
Before they disappear,
To love this fragile Earth
That God would have us share.

O may this bouteous God
In ev’ry tree be near us,
To help us feel the pain
Of barren lands so cheerless;
Where once like Eden fresh
Wild birds in freedom flew,
To celebrate a land
Where life rose crystal new.

GREETING

In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit; one God, Mother of us all.
Amen.

The free kindness of our Saviour Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the shared life of God’s Holy Breath
be with you all.
And also with you.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous custodians; welcome to visitors. The Christ candle is lit.

PENITENTIAL RITE

Silence.

How quick we are to say yes to you, O God,
and then we turn around and forget our bold words of commitment.

We really want to serve, but we are very weak
and are easily drawn away by cares and fears.

We pledge ourselves to working for your kindom
but find ourselves pulled this way and that
by other demands on our time and energy.

Forgive us when we so quickly drop our commitments to serving you.
Heal our spirits and give us the bold courage to truly be your disciples.
For we ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

Though Christ was one with God,
he humbled himself and became obedient
even to the point of death on a cross,
so that we might drink deeply from the well of grace
and know the mercy of God at work within us.

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

COLLECT

Help us to empty ourselves, God,
of all that resists your will
like timidity and selfishness,
false humility and worldly ambition.

Help us to empty ourselves, God,
so that we can stumble our way
into your plans for us
to extend healing hands to the hurting,
to speak words of comfort to those who mourn,
to keep watch on behalf of the powerless,
to cradle the forlorn in your love.

Help us to empty ourselves, God,
so that Christ may be seen in our lives.
Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

Here we are: called to your service, O God.
Let it be with us according to your word.

FIRST READING Exodus 17:1-7

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

We stand.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION (543)

 Now is Christ raised and will not die again;
 death has no more dominion over him.
 Through him we die to sin and live to God.
 Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matthew 21:23-32

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

HOMILY

SILENCE

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

For those whom God calls.
May we answer willingly “Yes!”
and may our deeds match
what we say we will do.
God of generosity, hear us.
God of generosity, hear us.

...

Let us pray,
in the silence of our hearts
for our own personal intentions ...
God of goodness, hear us.
God of goodness, hear us.

God of generosity and goodness,
hear our prayers,
and help us to walk
in the ways of justice and peace.
We make this prayer,
through Jesus Christ,
our Saviour and Friend. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist

OFFERING: ‘Since the world was young’ (544)

THE PEACE

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles:
I leave you peace, my peace I give you.
Look not on our sins, and help us
not to look on the sins of others,
for we all need the peace of your forgiving love
and of each other’s pardon.
Grant us the peace and unity of your kindom
where you live for ever and ever. Amen.

The peace of Christ
be with you always.
And also with you.

INVITATION

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

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 at work among us,
conforming our will and our work to your sacred purposes.

L: In the first of your mighty wonders,
 you divided the waters
 and brought forth a newborn earth.
R: You rescued your people from slavery,
 and though their faith dried up in the desert,
 you split the rock and quenched their thirst,
 with waters welling up from the depths.

Your child Jesus, though one with you,
was born as one of us and humbled himself,
passing through the waters of baptism,
and following the ways of righteousness,
even to the point of death on a cross.

Therefore you raised him to life
and exalted him above every other power.

Now you embrace all who in action confess Christ the Sovereign,
baptising them in Christ and into the life of your kindom.

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 thank you that on the night before he died for us ...

And so remembering all that was done for us:
the cross, the tomb, the resurrection and ascension,
longing for Christ’s coming in glory,
and presenting to you these gifts your earth has formed
and human hands have made,
we acclaim you, O Christ:
Dying, you destroyed our death.
Rising, you restored our life.
Christ Jesus, come in glory!

Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine
that they may be to us the Body and Blood of your Christ.

Grant that we, burning with your Spirit’s power,
may be a people of hope, justice, and love.
Giver of Life, draw us together in the Body of Christ,
and in the fullness of time gather us with all your people
into the joy of our true eternal home.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ,
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
we worship you, Abba God, in voices of unending praise.
Blessed are you now and for ever.
Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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.

BREAKING OF THE BREAD

LAMB OF GOD (766)

 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.

COMMUNION

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION: ‘God made me to love’

The Sending Forth of the People of God

Notices.

BLESSING

Go now to will and to work for God’s purposes.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
Be filled with the same love
and look to the interests of others.
With reverence for God, work out your salvation.

And may God quench your thirst with loving consolation;
May Christ Jesus strengthen and encourage you;
And may the Holy Spirit lead you on and make your joy complete.

DISMISSAL

Let us walk with one another
in the generous love of Christ.
Thanks be to God.

 

 

Acknowledgements:
Based on a liturgy in Uniting in Worship 2.
Lyrics to hymn by Norman Habel (1991);
Prayer of Confession by Rev. Nancy Townley
(www.worshipconnection.cokesbury.com);
Collect by Rev. Dr Safiyah Fosua (www.gbod.org/worship);
Eucharistic Preface based on prayers by Nathan Nettleton
(www.laughingbird.net).
Icon: Christ Emmanuel (Byzantine).