Thursday, 19 November 2020

Marsden Road Uniting Worship - Christ the King - 22 November 2020

 

Marsden Road Uniting Church

Carlingford

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The Star Thrower

Sunday 22nd November 2020

Christ the King in year of Matthew 9.30 am

URL: https://uca-nswact.zoom.us/j/96239994683

               Phone: 80156011 Meeting Number: 962 3999 4683

Gathering God’s People

 Acknowledgement of First Peoples

 We acknowledge the first people who have cared for this Land, where we worship, the Wallumedgal. 

May our worship join with the voices of the First Peoples of this Land.

Call to Worship - (Abingdon Worship Annual 2011)

       Make a joyful noise to the Lord.

Worship God with gladness.

Come into God's presence with singing.

We are God's people, the sheep of God's pasture.

Give thanks to the Lord; bless God's holy name,

for God's steadfast love is present now and endures forever.

Hymn TIS 738: My Jesus, my Saviour (Shout to the Lord)

                  (tune – Shout to the Lord) Sing through twice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGmZcTCXjmM

My Jesus, My Saviour

Lord, there is none like You

All of my days I want to praise

The wonders of Your mighty love


My comfort, my shelter

Tower of refuge and strength

Let every breath, all that I am

Never cease to worship You


Shout to the Lord all the earth, let us sing

Power and majesty, praise to the King

Mountains bow down

And the seas will roar

At the sound of Your name

 

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands

Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You 

My Jesus My Saviour Words and music Darlene Zschech

© 1993 Darlene Zschech/Hillsongs Australia 

     Opening prayer 

Tender, comforting Shepherd, your steadfast love is present in this place and resides within each of us. But sometimes it is hard, so very hard, to open ourselves to your love. We feel like scattered sheep, frightened and alone. Help us know your loving presence as we live as your gathered community. Enlighten our hearts, that we may know the hope to which we have been called. Amen. 

A Prayer of Confession 

Holy One, we are like sheep that stray from your fold. We are the perpetually hungry, ever in spiritual need, and at times in physical want.

We are the naked, with wounds exposed and bleeding. We are the sick, fevered, chilled, and in pain. We are the strangers, separated from others and even from ourselves.

Hear us now as we confess our brokenness and our need. Amen. 

Declaration of Forgiveness      

Our creator God sees our hunger and gives us food. Christ, the healer, touches our wounds, offering comfort and blessed relief. The Spirit blows through us, cools our fever, and eases our pain. God sees and touches and heals our wounds.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace 

When we were strangers, Christ welcomed us. Let us share the peace of Christ with friends and strangers with words of welcome:

The peace of Christ be with you.

And also, with you!

(You may like to exchange a sign of peace with those around you.)  

A Word with the Children/Young People 

Theme: How do you tell a sheep from a goat?

Object:  Need Photos of sheep and goats.  

How many of you think you can tell a sheep from a goat? Wait a minute! It may not be as easy as you think. If you had some pictures it would soon test how well you can tell a sheep from a goat.

It’s not as easy as we think as I remember seeing on the show QI when they put up pictures and asked which were sheep and which were goats. Here are a few hints that might help. The easiest way to tell a goat from a sheep is that a goats tail usually sticks up in the air, but a sheep's tail hangs down. If sheep have horns, they are usually curved. A goat's horns are less curved. Sheep usually have fluffy wool that must be sheared, while goats have flatter hair.

Do you think Jesus can tell the sheep from the goats? Well, that's what our Bible lesson is about today. One day Jesus was speaking to a group of followers about the day when the Son of Man would come in all his glory. (Son of Man was a title Jesus used for himself.) He said, "He will sit on his throne and all of the nations would be gathered before him. He will separate the people like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left." How did he know the sheep from the goats?

Jesus went on to explain, "He will say to those on his right, 'I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'

"When did we do that?" the righteous ones will ask.

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

"Then he will turn to those on the left and say, 'I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.'

"Then they will ask, 'When did we refuse to help you?'

"He will answer, 'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'

"And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life." 

Offering Prayer 

Holy One, you have given us all that we have and all that we are. Through these gifts and in our lives, help us be the shepherds and healers and lovers that you are calling us to be. Amen. 

Hymn 675: Lord, the light of your love is shining

                 (tune – Shine Jesus shine)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rce9UHYZwl4

Lord, the light of your love is shining

In the midst of the darkness, shining

Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us

Set us free by the truth you now bring us

Shine on me, shine on me. 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father's glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth your word

Lord, and let there be light.

 

Lord, I come to your awesome presence

From the shadows into your radiance

By the blood I may enter your brightness

Search me, try me, consume all my darkness

Shine on me, shine on me 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father's glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth your word

Lord, and let there be light.

 

As we gaze on your kingly brightness

So our faces display your likeness

Ever changing from glory to glory

Mirrored here may our lives tell your story

Shine on me, shine on me 

Shine, Jesus, shine

Fill this land with the Father's glory

Blaze, Spirit, blaze

Set our hearts on fire

Flow, river, flow

Flood the nations with grace and mercy

Send forth your word

Lord, and let there be light. 

Author: Graham Kendrick  Tune: Shine, Jesus, Shine 

Composer:   Graham Kendrick

The Service of the Word

The First Reading:                                            Ephesians 1:15-23

The Gospel Reading:                                        Matthew 25:31-46.

 Readings: NRSV Translations 

Ephesians 1:15-23 

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 

Matthew 25:31-46. 

31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” 44 Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” 45 Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’ 

Preaching of the Word - The Star Thrower 

Today is the Sunday of the Christian year that is often called the Feast of Christ the King; it is the last Sunday before Advent. Sunday after Sunday, 52 Sundays of the year, we say out loud and together, "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end."

What a funny king!

No purple robes. No crown. No legions of soldiers. No great processions and parades. No castle. No place to live -- period.

Instead he claims to be poor, and hungry, and a stranger, and in prison, and sick, and thirsty. He claims to have nowhere to lay his head. He says to us, his disciples, "See all these sisters and brothers of mine who are homeless like me? They are me. I am them. To serve me you must serve them. When I come back, I will see what you are doing and whom you serve."

Then at the end of the whole Gospel he says, "Lo, I am with you to the end of the age."

You see, the problem is we think he’s not here and he can’t see what we’re doing. But he says he is with us always, to the end of the age. We can’t expect to wait until the last minute before his coming and then scramble to do the work he has sent us out to do. We cannot deceive him into thinking we have been doing it all along.

Because he never left.

We can scramble and rearrange the words any way we wish, but it always comes out the same. It is a description of what life is like in his kingdom. To understand our role in his kingdom more clearly, the are many forms in Prayer Books and Confessions that offer us a job description.

It is in various Catechisms we have information to help us. Here is one as an example. They all have a number of questions and answers:

Q. Through whom does the Church carry out its mission?
A. The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all its members.

Q. Who are the ministers of the Church?
A. The ministers of the Church are lay people, (bishops), priests and deacons.

Notice who comes first -- before priests and deacons: lay people.

Q. What is the ministry of the laity?
A. The ministry of lay people is to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given to them, to carry on Christ's work of reconciliation in the world; and to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church.  ...according to the gifts given them …

God equips us with the gifts and not all of us have the same gifts, but all of us have gifts important to God. The life of faith is about finding and using these gifts to carry on Christ's work in the world.

Yet often it seems to be just too much. There are too many hungry and poor and lonely people for us to make any difference.

There is an interesting story told about the scientist and writer called Eisley was in the south of France, on the coast, attending a scientific symposium. He woke early one morning and went for a walk on the beach before sunrise. As he moved through the misty dawn he focused on a faint, far away figure. It was a youth, bending and reaching and flinging his arms, seemingly dancing on the beach. Eisley thought, "No doubt he is dancing in celebration of the new day about to begin."

As he came nearer, he realized the youth was not dancing at all, but rather was bending to sift through the debris left by the night tide, stopping now and then to pick up a starfish and then, standing, heaving it back into the sea.

He asked the youth the purpose of the effort. "The tide has washed the starfish onto the beach, and they cannot return to the sea by themselves," the youth replied. "When the sun rises, they will die, and the people come from town to pick them and sell them in the marketplace. I throw them back to the sea so they might live another day."

As the youth explained, Eisley surveyed the vast expanse of beach, stretching in both directions beyond his sight. Starfish littered the shore in numbers beyond calculation. The youth's plan seemed hopeless. "But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. Surely you cannot expect to make a difference?"

The youth paused to consider his words, then bent to pick up a starfish, whirled around and threw it as far as possible. Turning to the scientist he said simply, "I made a difference to that one," and kept dancing down the beach.

Eisley went back to his room and thought much as it had never occurred to him how important it is for one creature to help another, and how the seemingly natural order of things might be dramatically altered by the simple actions of one person.

The next morning, Eisley awoke, and again went down to the sea before dawn. There he joined the youth in the dance of life, one starfish at a time! Never before had he felt so alive and connected to our Creator God.

Whatever talents or gifts we have each been given, they are more than enough for us to do our part in the dance of life. Each simple action of our lives can make a difference in carrying on Jesus' work of reconciliation in the world.

We are the people who carry out the mission of the church, which is the mission of Jesus, our odd, our unique king. This is called life in his kingdom.

Bending, reaching, flinging our arms, one starfish at a time, we bring ourselves closer to others, closer to God and closer to ourselves. 

Hymn TIS 674: Inspired by love and anger

                  (tune – Salley Gardens)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtYFaFRckKs 

Inspired by love and anger, disturbed by need and pain,

Informed of God’s own bias we ask him once again:

How long must some folk suffer? How long can few folk mind?

How long dare vain self-interest turn prayer and pity blind?”

 

From those forever victims of heartless human greed,

Their cruel plight composes a litany of need:

“Where are the fruits of justice? Where are the signs of peace?

When is the day when prisoners and dreams find their release?”

 

From those forever shackled to what their wealth can buy,

The fear of lost advantage provokes the bitter cry,

“Don’t query our position! Don’t criticise our wealth!

Don’t mention those exploited by politics and stealth!”

 

To God, who through the prophets proclaimed a different age,

We offer earth’s indifference, its agony and rage:

“When will the wronged be righted? When will the kingdom come?

When will the world be generous to all instead of some?”

 

God asks, “Who will go for me? Who will extend my reach?

And who, when few will listen, will prophesy and preach?

And who, when few bid welcome, will offer all they know?

And who, when few dare follow, will walk the road I show?”

 

Amused in someone’s kitchen, asleep in someone’s boat,

Attuned to what the ancients exposed, proclaimed and wrote,

A Saviour without safety, a tradesman without tools

Has come to tip the balance with fishermen and fools. 

Author: John L. BellAuthor: Graham Maule
Tune: Salley Gardens

Intercessory Prayers       

Jesus Christ, true ruler of the created world, we pray for the peoples of the world: for victims of war, brutality and oppression; for victims of unjust economic and political systems; for the hungry, the homeless and the refugee.

We give thanks for leaders who serve the common good, and for all who work for an increase of justice and peace.

Make us a people whose hearts are ruled by your mercy and compassion, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, true shepherd to all your sheep, we pray for your church: for courage in places of persecution; for renewed zeal in places of apathy; for unity in places of discord and division. We give you thanks and pray for all who are shepherds to your people, for priests and pastors and all who minister in your name. Make us a people whose hearts are ruled by your forgiveness and grace, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, true companion to all who seek you, we pray for those to whom our lives are bound: for our families, our friends and all whom we love; for this parish community; for those with whom we work and play. We give you thanks for all whose love or care or daily work enriches our lives. Make us a people whose hearts are ruled by your reconciliation and love, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, true comforter to all who suffer, we pray for all in special need: those lost in grief or loneliness or hopelessness; those imprisoned by pain or guilt or despair; those sick in heart or mind or spirit; We give you thanks for all who bring healing and hope to those in need. Make us a people whose hearts are ruled by your compassion and hope, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ, true ruler of earth and heaven, we give you thanks and praise for your faithful servants of every age.

Help us follow in the footsteps of your saints that we, like them, may be gathered into your eternal presence, a people after your own heart, the sheep of your own fold. Jesus Christ, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

THE LORD'S PRAYER 

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom 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 trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 256: From heav’n you came, helpless babe

                 (tune -The Servant King)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHmxNBHcUbQ              

From heaven you came helpless babe

Entered our world, your glory veiled

Not to be served but to serve

And give Your life that we might live

This is our God, The Servant King

He calls us now to follow Him

To bring our lives as a daily offering

Of worship to The Servant King

 

There in the garden of tears

My heavy load he chose to bear

His heart with sorrow was torn

'Yet not My will but Yours,' He said 

This is our God, The Servant King

He calls us now to follow Him

To bring our lives as a daily offering

Of worship to The Servant King

 

Come see His hands and His feet

The scars that speak of sacrifice

Hands that flung stars into space

To cruel nails surrendered 

This is our God, The Servant King

He calls us now to follow Him

To bring our lives as a daily offering

Of worship to The Servant King

 

So let us learn how to serve

And in our lives enthrone Him

Each other's needs to prefer

For it is Christ we're serving 

This is our God, The Servant King

He calls us now to follow Him

To bring our lives as a daily offering

Of worship to The Servant King 

Author: Graham Kendrick
Tune: The Servant King 

Benediction 

         Come, you who are blessed! Inherit all that is prepared

        for you!

        We leave this sacred space to claim the riches and

        glorious inheritance that are ours through Christ.

        Go out into the world to share your blessings with all in

        need. Go forth in the name of the living Word, the One whose

        words bring forth the fruit of the kingdom in your own lives! Amen.        

        Hymn TIS 779: May the feet of God walk with you.
         (Tune – Aubrey)

                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X5FHNGM2HA 

May the feet of God walk with you, and his hand hold you tight.

May the eye of God rest on you, and his ear hear your cry.

May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give you

life.

May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring you

Home.

        Robyn Mann (1949 -)          Aubrey Podlick (1946 -)






 


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