Thursday, 23 April 2020

Marsden Road Worship for Easter 3 26 April 2020

Sunday 26th April 2020
Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

Corrected Vision
Sunday 26th April 20207
Easter 3 Sunday - year of Matthew 9.30am

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 2017)
Walking down the road of life, how often do we meet Christ in a stranger? Chances are good we won’t recognize him, even though our hearts may burn within us. Chances are even better he will move on to bless another unless we offer hospitality to our fellow travellers. Walking down the road of life, look for Christ . . . and be prepared to find him in a stranger.

When you feel alone, don’t despair . . .
Christ is here.
When your hope falters, open your ears . . .
God is still speaking words of comfort and love.
When your spirit flags, open your hearts . . .
The Spirit is here to guide you home.
Here in this house of worship . . . enter, rejoice, and come home.

Hymn 137: For the beauty of the earth
                  (Tune - Lucerna Laudoniae)

1 For the beauty of the earth,
   for the beauty of the skies,
   for the love which from our birth
   over and around us lies,

2 For the beauty of each hour
   of the day and of the night,
   hill and vale, and tree and flower,
   sun and moon and stars of light,

Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

3 For the joy of ear and eye,
   for the heart and mind's delight,
   for the mystic harmony
   linking sense to sound and sight,

Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

4 For the joy of human love,
   brother, sister, parent, child,
   friends on earth and friends above,
   for all gentle thoughts and mild,

Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

5 For each perfect gift divine
   to our race so freely given,
   graces all of your design,
   flowers of earth and buds of heaven,

Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise.
6 For the church that evermore,
   lifting holy hands above,
   offers up on every shore
   the pure sacrifice of love,

Christ, our God, to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise. 

                     Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1835-1917
                             David Evans ('E Arthur'), 1874-1948

Opening prayer

God of mutual love, plant an imperishable seed of faith
within us this day. Nurture the roots of life and hope within
our souls, that our hearts might burn within us when we
hear your voice. During times of suffering and doubt, help
us grow strong and true, through your enduring word. Stay
with us now and reveal your presence to us, as we show
hospitality to strangers and break bread in your name.

A Prayer of Confession

God of Easter hope, it is easy to dismiss your resurrection miracles in the world we live in.
When we fail to recognize you on the road, speak your enduring word to us, that our hearts may yearn to know you better.
Help us follow our hearts when we meet you on the road and invite you to stay with us, that our eyes may be opened your life-giving presence.
During times of confusion and doubt, open our eyes to the many ways you reveal yourself to us, that we may have the confidence to proclaim the miracle of Easter.

Declaration of Forgiveness
In Christ Jesus, we find mutual love and an imperishable seed of faith and joy. Risen with Christ, we are born anew.
Thanks, be to God!

The Peace

There is a peace that comes only from welcoming Christ in a fellow traveller on the journey of life. Turn to those around you and offer these words of welcome and peace.
Peace be with you!
And also, with you!

A Word with The Young People –

A young man was making his final preparations to leave for college. The only thing left to be done was receiving that final piece of advice from his dad. He expected a list of do’s and don’ts, but instead his dad gave him just one piece of advice: “Son, I have only one thing to give you. It's my name. Don't take it anywhere I wouldn't take it. Don't associate it with anything I wouldn't.” With this counsel, the dad sent his son into the world.

We ought to take this story to heart as followers of Jesus Christ. What a powerful word it would be indeed if Jesus looked to those of us who call ourselves Christians—children of God—and reminded us that we carry His name. Carrying His name includes living a life of holiness, reflecting His standards and character.

Peter beautifully conveyed the idea that our beliefs really do affect our behaviour. Since God is holy, we are called to live holy lives. Since God is Judge, we are called to live with fear and reverence. Since God’s Word has transformed us according to the gospel, we are called to live with love toward other believers.

That son who received the simple advice from his father apparently went on to be a Minister, head of a theological college, and author. That man explains that just as he was called upon to carry his family name, he is also called upon to carry our heavenly Parent’s name as well. How well are you carrying the name Christian?

How are you conducting your life as a follower of Jesus Christ? Is it with holiness, fear, and love? Do you want to see Jesus? ( which you will hear about in Sunday Kids as you look at the Road to Emmaus story)  The Bible says, "You will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Oh, he may not appear to you in the same way he did to the disciples in your story, but If you study the Scriptures and seek him with all your heart, he will reveal himself to you.

Dear Lord, open our eyes, we want to see Jesus! In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Offering Prayer

Loving God receive our thanks and praise. For your presence on the road, we thank you. For opening your word to us, we praise you. For revealing yourself to us in the face of a stranger, we offer you our deepest gratitude. May the gifts of our hands reveal the love in our hearts. Amen.

Hymn 601: O Master, let me walk with Thee                     
                  (Tune – Maryton)

1 O Master let me walk with Thee
   in lowly paths of service free;
   tell me Thy secret; help me bear
   the strain of toil, the fret of care.

2 Help me the slow of heart to move
   by some clear, winning word of love;
   teach me the wayward feet to stay,
   and guide them in the homeward way.

3 Teach me Thy patience, still with Thee
   in closer, dearer company,
   in work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
   in trust that triumphs over wrong.

4 In hope that sends a shining ray
   far down the future's broadening way;
   in peace that only Thou canst give,
   with Thee, O Master, let me live.

                    H. Percy Smith (1825 - 1898)

The Service of the Word

The First Reading:                                            1 Peter 1.13-25
The Gospel Reading:                                        Luke 24.13-35

Readings from NRSV Version of Scripture

13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ 17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.
18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.
20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.
21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. 22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For ‘All flesh is like grass all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord endures for ever.’  That word is the good news that was announced to you.

Luke 24.13-35

13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ 19 He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ 25 Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Preaching of the Word - Corrected Vision. – 1 Peter 1.13-25

One of the blessings of medicine is good eye care. When our vision becomes compromised by age or disease, we are fortunate to be able to go to the ophthalmologist or optometrist and take care of the problem. Often the doctor prescribes eyeglasses or contact lenses, which correct our vision so we can see clearly. Good vision gives us the right perspective and enables us to function well.

However, when we first try out a new prescription, we may find that it takes a while to get used to the corrected vision. At first things can seem a little strange, as though we are not seeing clearly. Gradually, our eyes adjust to the correction of the new lenses and we are able to see well. The Easter season is a time of adjusting to a new vision. God has done an incredible work. The tomb has been emptied. Death has been defeated. On the Sunday of the resurrection, our hearts fill with joy and our voices soar with the hymns of new life. A new world has been born, a new vision has been given, and a new way of living has been prescribed. The church is invited to wear its Easter lenses as it looks out upon the world and responds to the challenge of living in light of the resurrection.

We live from the perspective of Easter. Perspective is important. The right perspective can bring joy and happiness; the wrong perspective can lead to disaster. A little boy and a little girl, brother and sister, were shopping with their mother in a large department store. The mother needed to have some time for her shopping, so she took the children to the soda fountain, bought them ice-cream cones, and told them to stay there till she came back. Well, the children were fascinated by the elevator and could not resist the temptation to ride it one more time. So, with ice-cream cones in hand, they jumped off their stools and went to ride the elevator.

They were enjoying their up-and-down ride, but the little boy’s ice cream was melting faster than he could eat it. Finally, it was dripping down the cone and onto his hand despite his best attempts to eat the delicious treat before it melted. At one floor the elevator stopped and an elegantly dressed woman in a full-length fur coat got on. She stood in front of the children waiting to be taken to her floor. The little boy was desperately trying to deal with his melting ice cream. Seeing the back of the lady’s fur coat, he gently began to wipe the sticky, melting ice cream on her coat. His sister said, “Be careful, Billy, or you will get fur in your ice cream.” Now that illustrates perspective. That which seems is a solution to one could be seen in another way as the damage an expensive garment. It’s all in the perspective.

Easter people live with the perspective of the resurrection. God has won the victory over death. The worst that can happen to us has been overcome by God taking Jesus from the tomb. That is our perspective. This vision challenges us to live boldly and daringly. “You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). In other words, you have a new perspective. Live from this perspective. Dare to “love one another deeply from the heart” (v. 22).

The early church had to get used to its Easter lenses. It must have seemed strange to live from the perspective of love in a world that was used to living in alienation. It must have been disorienting to include the outcast and the marginalised in the fellowship of the church. But this is what the Easter community did, and its witness was powerful. The world stood in awe as it watched a community of love live its life with redemptive acts of service and inclusion. Such a community was a new reality that embraced a way of living that others had never imagined.

The story continues as Easter people put on their new lenses and dare to live the way of love in a world of alienation and hurt. We are people of new perspective. We have seen what God has done in Jesus Christ. We no longer live in fear; rather, with radical love we go forth to practice the perspective of love as we follow the way and example of our risen Lord.

The church has to put on its Easter glasses and see life from the perspective of the resurrection. We are the people who dare to live the hope that other people believe can never be realized. From the Easter perspective, we live the “as if” principle. That is, we live “as if” the world has more love than it does, “as if” there is more hope than people are willing to embrace, “as if” the kingdom of God can reign on the earth today. Our Easter glasses also give us the holy boldness to ask, “What if?” What if every child had a warm, safe place to sleep? What if there was enough food for every person on this earth? What if we all lived from a sense of abundance rather than scarcity? What if today all the killing of all the wars stopped?

It all starts with vision, with perspective. Have the right perspective and you can live the right life. Our perspective is Easter. “Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God” (1 Peter 1:21). We are the people of Easter whose vision has been forever corrected by what God has done in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hymn 390: Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks
                  (Tune - Alleluia, Alleluia)

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Jesus is Lord of all the earth.
He is the King of creation.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Spread the good news o'er all the earth:
Jesus has died and has risen.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

We have been crucified with Christ.
Now we shall live for ever.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

God has proclaimed his gracious gift:
Life eternal for all who believe.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Come, let us praise the living God,
Joyfully sing to our Saviour.

Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia, give praise to his Name.

Donald Fishel (1950 -)
Betty Pulkingham (1928 – 2019)

Intercessory Prayers

(This week’s Intercessions come from
© 2020 Spill the Beans Resource Team)

Lord God, each of us walks our own Emmaus Road.
Some seem to have an easy route, for others it is a bumpy, twisty, uneven road. And so for them we pray this day.

For those who are ill and see no end in sight for their pain, we pray for healing and for a sense that you are there with them.

For those who face financial difficulties and see no end to their problems we pray for solutions and for a sense that you are there with them

For those who struggle to put food on the table and see no end date to their empty cupboards we pray for fairness and a sense that you are there with them.

For those who are caring for loved ones and see no end to their fatigue we pray for rest and a sense that you are there with them.

For those who struggle with the daily juggle of responsibilities and see no end to their merry-go-round life, we pray for moments of stillness and a sense that you are there with them.

Lord, so many people, so many challenges, it is often difficult for us to know where to begin. Help us to take each situation as it comes, to know what the priorities are, to work out the ways in which we can help.

Help us to stick to your path of righteousness,
justice and peace, in all we say and do. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen.


Hymn 613: Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy
                   (Tune – Slane)

1            Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy:
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

2       Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe:
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.
3            Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace:
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

4      Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm:
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

       As you meet strangers on the road, let mutual love increase. Born of the imperishable seed of God’s love, we will grow in grace and power. As you experience Christ in the smile of another, be purified in the presence of the Holy One. Born to grow into oaks of righteousness, we go forth to reveal the glory of God in our lives. We go with God’s blessings.

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

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
May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give you
May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring you

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

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