Thursday, 3 September 2020

Marsden Road Uniting Worship Pentecost 14 Sunday 06 September 2020


Marsden Road Uniting Church



No Person is an Island

Sunday 06th September 2020

Pentecost 14 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 - (B. J. Beu, Abingdon Worship Annual 2017)

          Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song.

Let all God's children rejoice!

Clap your hands and praise God with dancing.

Shout for joy and praise God with music.

For God brings justice to the peoples.

God brings judgment upon the powerful.

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song.

Let all God's children rejoice!


Hymn 107: Let all things now living

                  (Tune Ash Grove)

            Let all things now living

a song of thanksgiving

to God the Creator triumphantly raise,

who fashioned and made us,

protected and stayed us,

who guides us and leads to the end of our days.

His banners are o’er us,

his light goes before us,

a pillar of fire shining forth in the night,

till shadows have vanished

and darkness is banished,

as forward we travel from light into light.


His law he enforces;

the stars in their courses

and sun in its orbit obediently shine;

the hills and the mountains,

the rivers and fountains,

the deeps of the ocean proclaim him divine.

We too should be voicing

our love and rejoicing;

with glad adoration a song let us raise,

till all things now living

unite in thanksgiving:

to God in the highest, hosanna and praise! 

Author: Katherine Davis (1939)
Tune: Ash Grove


Opening prayer


God of love and judgment, when the Egyptians enslaved the Hebrew people, your love set them free; when rulers oppress the poor and powerless, your judgment brings peace and justice back to the land. Move us, O God, that we may fulfil the law of love and be a people who radiate your light. Touch our hearts, that we may come to love our neighbour as we come to love ourselves. Amen.


A Prayer of Confession

       Merciful God, it is easier to destroy than it is to build; it is   easier to hurt than it is to heal.

Forgive us, Holy One, when we parade our wounds for all to see, rather than work quietly for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Correct us, Gracious Spirit, when we seek public vindication of our wrongs over the health of your body. Help us love one another with a perfect love, that we may cast aside the works of darkness and fulfil the law of love. Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness  

Hear the words of Jesus: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." As we gather to fulfil the law of love, Christ is here with us and we are made whole.

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace 

Let us loose the bonds on unfamiliarity, anger and sorrow by offering signs of love and peace, and reconciliation to one another.

Peace be with you!

And also, with you!

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

Offering Prayer

In celebration of their deliverance from slavery, and gratitude for their freedom, the ancient Hebrews offered you their worship and their praise. In celebration of our deliverance from the things that enslave us and gratitude for your saving love, we offer you our worship and our praise. Just as the Passover stands as a perpetual observance of our thanksgiving for your love and care, so may our offerings be a perpetual observance of our gratitude for your calling in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymn 477: Jesus calls us here to meet him

(Tune Gaelic Air aka as Lewis Folk Melody extra verse to go with YouTube)

             Jesus calls us here to meet him as,

through word and song and prayer,

We affirm God`s promised presence

where his people live and care.

Praise the God who keeps his promise;

praise the son who calls us friends;

praise the spirit who, among us,

to our hopes and fears attends.


Jesus calls us to confess him

Word of life and Lord of all,

sharer of our flesh and frailness

saving all who fail or fall.

Tell his holy human story;

tell his tales that all may hear;

tell the world that Christ in glory

came to earth to meet us here.


Jesus calls us to each other:

vastly different though we are;

race and colour, class and gender

neither limit nor debar,

Join the hand of friend and stranger;

join the hands of age and youth;

join the faithful and the doubter

in their common search for truth.


Jesus calls us to his table

rooted firm in time and space,

where the church in earth and heaven

finds a common meeting place.

Share the bread and wine, his body;

share the love of which we sing;

share the feast for saints and sinners

hosted by our Lord and King.

John L. Bell and Graham Maule - Lewis folk melody arr. John L. Bell

The Service of the Word

 The First Reading:                                            Romans 13:8-14

The Gospel Reading:                                        Matthew 18:15-20.

Readings: NRSV translation 

Romans 13:8-14

8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time: the hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. 

Matthew 18:15-20. 

15 ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. 18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’

Preaching of the Word - No Person is an Island - 

Matthew 18: 15-20

Long ago the great Anglican priest and poet John Donne reminded us that, “no person is an island, entire unto himself.” For centuries we have considered a person living totally alone to be a hermit. More and more we are discovering that even in densely populated cities loneliness is a chronic, debilitating, and common condition.    
Solitary experience is contrary to human nature because we are social animals. For all human history life has been lived in the context of communities of one sort or another. This, of course, is simply sociology or anthropology. It is a neutral observation, because communities can be good and bad.

The bad is easy to recognise, because the history of humankind is as much as anything a history of war and conflict. We read in the record of the past and see in the news of our day that humans have great difficulty getting along with one another—whether it be in the neighborhood, village, city, state, nation, or world.

As Christians we understand the negative side of community life, and we confess it. Yet we do not give in to the dark side; we make no peace with the powers that divide community and isolate individuals. Further, our faith and commitment press us to develop the best side of our lives as social creatures.

The primary prayer of Christian faith begins—OUR—not “my,” but “our.” It is a shared prayer for a shared faith. We understand ourselves as part of a family in which we all brothers and sisters. We recognize that our lives in the context of community must be mutually supportive.

Today's Gospel reminds us of the good we can do together, and how we can do it. Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” If any group of us will gather, work, act with the Holy Spirit guiding us, with God’s spirit intentionally a part of what we do, we become much more than simply the collective number of people we are. Two becomes more than two, and three becomes more than three. The sum of our individual ideas and resources and abilities becomes much more because of the synergy that God’s presence provides.

We do gather in Jesus’ name. We re-call him to presence with us. And that makes him a part of us and of what we do. That is what we experience at each Eucharist—we in him and he in us. But we don’t celebrate Eucharist alone. If only the priest shows up for a mid-week service, for instance, there will be no celebration of the Eucharist. There is no community for whom to break bread.
Ours is a faith of community—of twos and threes and fours—but never of individuals. We act together so we can help one another and so we can work in God’s name, thereby multiplying our resources and ability to do what God calls us to do. Our community is the lifeline to the experience of God and to the power of God moving among God’s people.

While a private spiritual and prayer life is essential for each of us, it is likely to become dry and turn inward if it is not infused with regular doses of shared worship and connection with others, gathered in Christ’s name, and for his sake. "Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” The gathering—the connectedness—magnifies the Spirit for us and in us and with us.

Today Jesus makes it clear how important we are one to another. Through our link to one another through Christ, there is a power in our community, uniting the values of God to our values on earth. This is how Jesus enables us to use God’s power for making healing and life-giving love more effective among God’s people. We come together, we stay together, we work together—in our Lord's name, bringing to focus the presence of God and unleashing the power of the Spirit to transform our lives and the lives of all God’s children.

“Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

 Hymn 629: When I needed a neighbour, were you there,

                  (Tune – Neighbour)  

When I needed a neighbour
Were you there, were you there?
When I needed a neighbour, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

I was hungry and thirsty
Were you there, were you there?
I was hungry and thirsty, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

I was cold, I was naked
Were you there, were you there?
I was cold, I was naked, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

When I needed a shelter
Were you there, were you there?
When I needed a shelter were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

When I needed a healer
Were you there, were you there?
When I needed a healer, were you there?
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
Were you there?

Wherever you travel
I'll be there, I'll be there
Wherever you travel, I'll be there
And the creed and the colour
And the name won't matter
I'll be there

                           Author: Sydney Carter (1965)

Tune: Neighbour

Intercessory Prayers  

Lord God, you are the loving parent of all people and we bring our prayers knowing that you will hear us and help us.

Hear our prayer Lord for the whole family of your church.  Grant that we, and all your people, may be built up in our faith, and always show in our lives the love we see in Jesus.  Give courage to those who find it hard to follow you; to those who are finding it difficult to have faith because of a personal hardship or tragedy; to those who are made to suffer for their faith.  Let your Holy Spirit support them, and may all Christians stand firm in the hope that your kingdom of love will come.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

We pray for our country and the many freedoms which we enjoy. We pray for those who govern in us.  Give them health and strength, wisdom and courage, so that they may carry out their many duties in the best interests of all our people.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer


We pray for one another.  Help us to grow together in faith and love, rejoicing in your parental care, as we bring our prayers to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Hear our prayer Lord for children and young people

We pray for children and young people as they go about their learning. We pray for those who are eager and active as they explore and welcome new experiences and relationships and those more shyly weighing up their first steps. We think of young people for the first time finding their values tested and their horizons widened, those who are linking industry or commerce with education as they take up apprenticeships, those for whom education seems and end in itself yielding no clear direction for the future. We think of all children and young people, praying that they may be worthy of the best in our society, and society worthy of their potential.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Hear our prayer Lord, as we thank you for giving us so much to enjoy in the world.  Open our eyes to see all the beauty around us as we thank you for the touch of warmth in the air that gives us a new burst of energy, for the greening of trees that shows the creativity of the Divine Artist, for the growing buds and leaves that reveal the strength of the branches, for the harvest to come that will bring us gratitude for the bounty of our land, for this change of seasons that reveals the circle of life. God of all seasons, as you transform the earth, transform us by your Spirit. 

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer

Hear our prayer Lord for those whose lives have been shattered by natural disaster.  We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss.  We ask for your blessing on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope and we pray for the work of the relief agencies and those providing emergency assistance.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Hear our prayer Lord, for people who are ill, in hospitals, at home, or wherever they may be.  Give them courage, hope and peace, and the knowledge that you are present in their weakness, pain and suffering.  May the skills and knowledge of those who care for the sick be fully used to help and to heal. We pray especially for those who have no one to help them, that in their loneliness they may know that you are with them.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer

Ever caring God of all, we pray for those we love but no longer see.  Grant them your peace and let light perpetual shine upon them. Jesus Christ is the light of the World, a light which no darkness can quench.  We remember before God those who have died and light a candle to symbolise the light of Christ which eternally shines and brings hope. You turn our darkness into light in your light shall we see light
Lord in your mercy, hear our 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 468: We are your people, Lord, by your grace

                  (Tune Whitfield)

We are Your people Spirit of grace

You dare to make us To all our neighbors

Christ's living voice hands and face

Christ's living voice hands and face


Joined in community Treasured and fed

May we discover Gifts in each other

Willing to lead and be led

Willing to lead and be led


Rich in diversity Help us to live

Closer than neighbors Open to strangers

Able to clash and forgive

Able to clash and forgive


Glad of tradition Help us to see

In all life's changing Where You are leading

Where our best efforts should be

Where our best efforts should be


Give as we venture Justice and care

(Peaceful resisting Waiting or risking)

Wisdom to know when and where

Wisdom to know when and where

             Author: Brian A. Wren (1973)

Tune: Whitfield (Wilson)


        God has put a new song in our hearts.

        Sing a new song to the Lord.

        The judgment of God brings victory to the righteous. Sing a new song to the Lord.

        The love of God has set us free.

        Sing a new song to the Lord.

        And the blessing of God almighty, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life be with you always Amen


Hymn 778: Shalom to you now

                 (Tune – Somos Del Señor)

Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends.

May God’s full mercies bless you, my friends.

In all your living and through your loving,

Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom

                             Author: Elise S. Eslinger (1980)

Tune: Somos Del Señor

No comments:

Post a Comment