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A SERVICE OF WORD AND SACRAMENT

Season of Creation - Storm Sunday, Year C
South Sydney Uniting Church
September 15, 2013

We worship with the winds and the weather.

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 104:3-4)


“You make the clouds your chariots, you ride on the wings of the wind

and you make the winds your messengers.”


SONG OF PRAISE (181)


Come, O God of oceans wide:

shifting sands and crashing waves;

fish of every shape and size,

creatures of the reefs and caves.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


Come, Creator of the cat,

in the jungle, in the yard;

kookaburra and wombat,

species that we disregard.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


Come, O God, in wind and rain,

lightning flash and thunder roll;

refresh the Earth and life sustain,

shelter, inspire and console.

 Sing out, earth and skies! ...


GREETING


Welcome! We worship this Sunday with the storm.

We sing with the winds, the clouds and the thunder.

We feel the awesome presence of a hurricane.

We connect with the stillness before the storm,

the fury of the winds and the aftermath of a cyclone.

We celebrate God’s presence in the storm.


Acknowledgement of traditional owners. Welcome to visitors.


GATHERING


In the name of God, present in the thunder of the storm,

the name of Christ, present in the stillness after the storm,

and the name of the Spirit, present in the winds of the storm. Amen.

Holy! Holy! Holy! Earth is filled with God’s presence.


Christ, as we come to into this sanctuary today,

we enter your presence even in the storm.

Holy! Holy! Holy! Earth is filled with your presence.


PENITENTIAL RITE


We remember and confess our doubts.

We have doubted God’s goodness.

We have doubted God’s purpose when hurricanes and flash floods have hit.

We have doubted God’s presence in the aftermath of human suffering.

We are sorry. We are sorry.  

We are sorry. We are sorry.


ASSURANCE


Christ hears your confession, forgives your sins and answers your doubts.

Christ, assure us of your purpose, your goodness and your love.


In the name of Christ:

Your God is not high in heaven playing wild games with nature.

Your God is deep within each storm, feeling its power and awe.

Your God is the suffering God, revealed as such at Calvary,

and suffering with all who suffer in the aftermath of storms.

Shalom! Shalom! God too suffers in our storms.


As we raise questions about divine power. God, have mercy.

As we confess our doubts about storms. Christ, have mercy.

As we discover the divine presence. God, have mercy.


Glory to God in the highest!

And on Earth peace amid storms!


COLLECT


God, our Creator,

as we face the storms of this world,

we celebrate the wonders of the wind and the weather.  

Help us to see your presence,

not only in the forces of nature,

but also among those who suffer from natural disasters.

In the name of Christ who is the Wisdom of God

renewing all things in creation.

Amen.


The Liturgy of the Word


FIRST READING Job 28:20-27


PSALM 29


SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 1:21-31  


GOSPEL Luke 8:22-25


The Wisdom of God:

God’s word made new.


HOMILY (Dr Miriam Pepper)


AFFIRMATION


We believe that God creates all things,

renews all things and celebrates all things.


We believe Earth is a sanctuary,

a sacred planet filled with God’s presence,

a home for us to share with our kin.


We believe that God became flesh and blood,

became a piece of  Earth,

a human being called Jesus Christ,

who lived and breathed and spoke among us,

suffered and died on a cross,

for all human beings and for all creation.

We believe that the risen Jesus is the Christ at the core of creation

reconciling all things to God,

renewing all creation and filling the cosmos.


We believe the Spirit renews life in creation,

groans in empathy with a suffering creation,

and waits with us for the rebirth of creation.


We believe that with Christ we will rise

and with Christ we will celebrate a new creation.


PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION


We thank God for a wondrous creation.

We celebrate with all the forces of nature.

We pray for all those in need. We name them now ...


... Jesus Christ, teach us to empathise with Earth.

Make our spirits sensitive to the cries of creation,

  cries for justice from the air, the clouds and the sky,

  cries of our fellow creatures deserted and dying.

Jesus Christ, make our faith sensitive to the groans of the Spirit

 in creation, groans of longing for a new creation.

Jesus Christ, make our hearts sensitive to the songs of our kin,

 songs of celebration all around us.

Christ, teach us to care. Amen.


The Liturgy of the Eucharist


OFFERING


God, our Creator,

through your love you have given us these gifts to share.

Accept our offerings as an expression of our deep thanks

and our concern for those in need,

especially those suffering the effects of natural disasters.


PEACE


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.


God, our Creator, source of everything that is,

we bring before you this day, bread and wine

and with it we bring before you all creation to say:

Thank you, God, thank you!

Thank you for weaving the web of creation

for living and dying among us to redeem us and all creation:

Thank you, God, thank you!

Thank you for rising to life,

permeating all things with your Spirit to heal and sustain all things:

Thank you, God, thank you!


Therefore with voices of thanks echoing throughout the cosmos

from the first day of creation until this very moment in time,

we praise and thank you, God, singing (761):

Holy, holy, holy God,wisdom, strength and hope,

Earth, sea and sky are full of your glory;

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is the Onewho comes in the name of our God.

Hosanna in the highest.


Your presence is the living impulse in all things,

the Christ deep among us, filling Earth – land, sea and air;

in every element and place;

in the grain and the grape we share with you ...


INSTITUTION


THE LORD’S PRAYER


God our Mother and our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,your dominion come,

your will be done,on Earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trialand deliver us from evil.


LAMB OF GOD


Lamb of God, who takes away all sin against heaven,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takes away all sin against Earth,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, who takes all sin from the world,

receive our prayer.


COMMUNION


Come, for all things are now ready.

Come to the table with all your kin and share with all in need:

 the gift of healing for those in pain,

 the gift of forgiveness for those in guilt,

 the gift of assurance for those in doubt,

 and the gift of hope for those in tears.

May we who share these gifts,

share Christ with one another and all our kin.


PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION


Let us give thanks for this meal.

We thank you Christ, for the meal we have celebrated with you

and we pray that through your body and blood we may be healed

and become agents of healing for our kin on Earth.

Amen.


The Sending Forth of the People of God


Notices.


BLESSING


Christ calls you to be his disciples,

to celebrate storms and to discern God’s Wisdom,

goodness and suffering present in all the forces of nature.

 

Will you care for creation?

We will care for creation!

We will be in awe before the storm.

We will celebrate God’s presence!


May the Spirit of God blowing in the wind,

fill you with the knowledge of God’s Wisdom in Earth

and the peace of Christ within you.


Go in peace! Serving Christ and loving Earth!

We go in peace, serving Christ and loving our home.


SONG ‘Why, O why this wild tsunami?’ (Tune: 152)


Why? O why this wild tsunami?

Why this cruel mystery?

Why? O why these raging waters

Sweeping loved ones out to sea?

Was our God consumed by anger

As when Noah faced God’s rage?

Or is there a deeper reason

Earth has taken centre stage?

 

Why? O why this mass compassion?

Why this change of human heart?

Why amid the graves of thousands

Do our hatreds fall apart?

Even in the poorest village,

Even where the outcaste live,

Those with something sell their jewels,

Those with nothing give and give!

 

Lord, you’ve suffered down the ages,

Waiting for a surge of love;

People of your planet hating

In the name of God above!

Now you speak in one tsunami,

Stirring what lies deep inside.

Is this how your son once suffered,

Died when love was crucified?

 

Is that God among the debris,

Weeping on a battered shore,

Holding in her arms an infant —

One! No, two! No, maybe more!

God made flesh knows human grieving;

God made flesh knows our distress.

Help us, God, to find you weeping

With an infant at your breast!




Acknowledgements:

Based on liturgy at seasonofcreation.com;

‘Song of Praise’ Additional words by Andrew Collis, 2013;

‘Why, O why this wild tsunami?’ Norman Habel, July 2005;

Artwork: Lightning (www.kansasfirstnews.com).