Thursday, 15 April 2021

MRUC Worship for Easter 3 - 18 April 2021

 


Marsden Road Uniting Church Carlingford

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What Is There to Eat…,

Easter 3 Sunday year of Mark 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 2021)       

For all who lose sight of hope, adjust our perspective, catch our eye, and touch us, Risen Saviour, with your surprising presence.

Answer us when we call, O God. Be gracious to us and hear our prayer.

When we are in distress, you make space for us. You put gladness in our hearts, as with a fine feast.

When we are disturbed, may we not sin, but ponder things on our beds, and be silent.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace. For you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. 

Hymn TIS 261: Lord, you are the light of life to me.

                       (tune – Fairmead) 

     Opening Prayer

     Holy God, we give thanks that you often reveal yourself to be different from our expectations. When we long for the love we have known in the past, our eyes are dimmed to the beauty you reveal to us now. As your first followers struggled to see how a suffering saviour could be the messiah, we strain to recognize you still today. Come, Spirit, make yourself known in the study of scripture, in our songs of praise, and especially in the grace and love we offer one another, Make yourself known in every friend we have yet to meet in your good and blessed name. Amen. 

Prayer of Confession

Spirit of the Risen Saviour, when we fail to recognize you, we become reluctant to follow in your way.

Just as the disciples struggled to comprehend how the Christ could have been a suffering servant, we find it difficult to see you in those who suffer today.

We resist starting down the path you have shown us until we know exactly where it will lead.

Free us from cynicism and fear. Liberate your world from suspicion and prejudice. 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Christ lived, died, and rose again for us, even while we were sinners. This is proof of God’s love for us. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven!

Thanks, be to God! 

The Peace

Welcome each other. Welcome the stranger. Welcome all who come. As Christ welcomed everyone, no matter what their background, no matter what their social status; as Christ welcomed enemies and friends, outcasts and leaders, foreigners and neighbours, let us open our hearts and homes and lives. Let us be Christ to everyone we meet.

Peace 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: Jesus appears to the Disciples.

Object: None is needed.

I remember times when I was a youngster when I went on camping trips. One of the favourite activities on those trips was sitting around a campfire at night and telling ghost stories. Even though I kept telling myself, "There is no such thing as a ghost," that didn't keep some of those stories from scaring the daylights out of me, and they often made it difficult for me to go to sleep that night.

Now, that might seem like a strange way to begin a Bible lesson, but even in Bible times, some people believed in ghosts and were afraid of them. Today's Bible lesson is one example of that.

The story begins after two men had walked along a road to a place called Emmaus. They were discussing the crucifixion of Jesus and all of the events that had taken place in the past few days. They wondered what it all meant. As they walked, they were joined by a man on their walk. They did not recognize that the man was Jesus. There is much more to that part of the story, but it is enough for now that we know that Jesus revealed himself to them. Finally, they recognized that the man was Jesus. They were so excited to see that Jesus was alive that they jumped up and walked all the way back to Jerusalem.

The two men found Jesus' disciples and began telling them what they had seen. The Bible tells us that as they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be to you." Do you think the disciples felt peace? No! The Bible says that they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they had seen a ghost!

Once again Jesus spoke to his disciples. "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do."

Still the disciples stood in disbelief, so Jesus asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of fish, and he ate it as they watched. That was even further proof that they were not seeing a ghost. A ghost doesn't need food.

The disciples had seen Jesus die. They had seen him placed in a tomb. But now they saw Jesus alive. Not just this day, but for more than 40 days, they saw him and talked with him. They even watched him eat food. They were not seeing a ghost! Those same disciples went all over the world, telling the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection. They never stopped telling the story during their whole lives.

You and I have been called to tell the story just like those disciples. We must be a witness for Jesus, too. We must tell the world that Jesus is alive. 

Offering

God of love help us remember that Christ has no body now on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours. Ours are the eyes to see the needs of the world. Ours are the hands to bless the people we meet. Ours are the feet to do good in Christ’s name. Bless, O God, the work of our hands and these offerings, that they may be Christ’s work in the world. Amen. 

Hymn TIS 686: Lord Jesus, we belong to you.

                       (tune – Cooke Plains) 

The Service of the Word 

The First Reading:                                            Acts 3.12-20

The Gospel Reading:                                        Luke 24:36b-48

After the final reading the reader will say            For the Word of the Lord

Please respond by saying                                    Thanks be to God. 

Readings: NRSV Translation 

Acts 3.12-20

12 When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. 17 ‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, 

Luke 24:36b-48

36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 37 They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 

Preaching of the Word - What Is There to Eat…,

“What is there to eat?”

“Have you anything here to eat?”

Isn’t that just like Jesus? Not only does he insist, during his lifetime, that we need to enter the Kingdom like children, now in the resurrection he models that for us.

How many times a day in how many kitchens across the land do children, young and old, tall and small, just stand there and demand to know, “What is there to eat?” And that is always the primary question with Jesus. As in real life, so it is in the resurrection of the body.

In Emmaus Jesus breaks bread with two of the disciples. On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he instructs the “Peter and John Fishing Company” to throw their nets over on the other side of their boat; they do so and fill the boat to overflowing! There are so many fish, in fact, that Peter has to jump overboard and wade into shore, where he finds Jesus, sitting by a charcoal fire, a few fish already on the grill, saying, “Come and have breakfast!”

Jesus says this to us, too: “Come and have breakfast!” We can relate to a God like this: on the beach, a warm fire, fresh fish, bread, some good friends. And then of course there is the story of the little boy. Jesus is there with five thousand people after a long day of teaching and preaching, and he turns to Philip and says, “What is there to eat? What do we have to feed all these people?”

It’s the same question. These stories can be seen as related.

And it’s a little boy who has five barley loaves and two fishes. And as it was that day, so it must have been on the beach, and so it was in that room with the disciples — same question, same food, same story. Everyone ate and was satisfied. Everyone’s eyes were opened, and they could see it was Jesus with them!

Everyone begins to understand when they eat with Jesus; to really understand for the first time. Everyone is to go and tell others to repent, to accept God’s forgiveness, and to tell the story-beginning right here and now!

And so, it is that we gather at the Lord’s table every week, to eat with him and his friends; to be fed to overflowing; to have our eyes opened and to begin to understand. And so, we, too, can go and tell others to repent, to accept God’s forgiveness, and to tell the story. This is how we know it is Jesus we are with-he is always eating and drinking with people. He always fills people to overflowing!

We know others did it, too. Peter, for instance. When asked for money by the lame man on the way to church, Peter said, “Silver and gold have we none. But such as we have given I thee. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And we know the man was healed and went walking and leaping and praising God. He became a witness of these things. Because he praised God and told the story, we are here today.

We gather and hear the words of scripture. We share the meal. We are with his friends. We recognise Jesus is here. And he sends us out to tell others the news, to tell others the story, to offer the Name of Jesus to everyone we meet.

So, when we are asked, “What is there to eat?” We can say, “Come and have breakfast. Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Rise up and walk! 

Hymn TIS 473: Community of Christ.

                       (tune – Leoni)              

Intercessory Prayers  

      After the words:            In your mercy,

      please respond with      hear our prayer. 

Easter 3 Sunday – Year B

Crucified and living God, we pray for the peace of the world, for harmony and good will between nations, for honesty and compassion in the exercise of government. We pray for all who are locked in lives of poverty, violence or disease. Risen God, send us to be instruments of your peace, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for the preservation of the earth, for a delight in its beauty, a respect for its creatures, for wise and just use of its resources. We pray for creatures who are endangered by our cruelty, indifference or greed. Risen God, send us to be good stewards of your creation, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for our land, for an appreciation of our diverse backgrounds and heritage, for a common sense of unity and purpose. We pray for all who live in fear because of prejudice, intolerance or exclusion. Risen God, send us to be agents of your reconciliation, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for your church, for unity and love between Christians, for power to faithfully proclaim your gospel in the world. We pray for those whose faith is threatened by disobedience, persecution or disbelief. Risen God, send us to be witnesses of your resurrection, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for those with whom we live and work, for our families, our friends and for ourselves, for relationships of mutual trust and love. We pray for those who are shut away behind bitterness, resentment or regret.

Risen God, send us to be bearers of your love, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified and living God, we pray for all in need, for comfort for the sad, peace for the anxious, relief for the suffering, and patience and strength for those who care for them. We pray for those who live with grief, loneliness, despair or pain.

Risen God, send us to bring your healing and your hope, and, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Crucified arid living God, we remember and give thanks for your faithful people of every age who have believed and trusted in you. Help us, like them, to recognise the marks of your wounded love and your risen power, that, with them, we too may know you in our midst. Risen God, in life and in death let us rejoice in your presence, and, 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 210: O for a thousand tongues.

                               (tune – Lyngham)

        Benediction  

        Christ is alive and has met us here. Now let us meet God’s Spirit among friends, strangers, and in all of creation. For God’s love lives today and forevermore. Amen. 

        Hymn TIS 779: May the feet of God walk with you.

                               (tune – Aubrey)




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