PREPARING FOR SERVICES OF WORSHIP EACH SUNDAY

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CALL TO WORSHIP

Prayer of Approach - Hymns - Prayer of Adoration and Praise - Readings from Old Testament - Epistle - Gospel - A Word with the Young - Prayer of Confession - Sermon - Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession - Offertory Prayer - Benediction


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Pentecost Year C

Amos 8:1-12; Psalm 52; Colossians 1: 15 - 28; Luke 10: 38 - 42

Additional resources for Pentecost 9C: A basket or plate of ripe fruit (see below);
SCRIPTURE IN SONG, CMC Australasia, Unit 9/147 Marshalltown Road, Grovedale, Vic.
3216; ALL TOGETHER OK , Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, 1996; ALL TOGETHER EVERYBODY , Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, South Australia, 1991; BE OUR FREEDOM, LORD, Terry. C. Falla, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, 1994; LOVE FROM BELOW , John Bell and Graham Maule, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow G51 3UT, Scotland, 1989

CALL TO WORSHIP:
Those who put their trust in God
know that the steadfast love of God lasts forever.

TIS 727: “In the presence of your people”
TIS 596/AHB 515: “Fill thou my life”
TIS 619/AHB 552: “Have faith in God, my heart”

PRAYER OF APPROACH
Eternal God, we meet to celebrate your great and steadfast love and to worship you as the source of all life. We praise you for gathering us together to hear and to respond to your word for us both here in worship and in all the hours following. We give thanks for the prophets of old who pointed to the connection between the hearing of your word within worship, and the response to your word among the poor and the needy…

OLD TESTAMENT: Amos 8: 1-12

A WORD WITH THE CHILDREN/YOUNG PEOPLE
The prophet Amos is again taking the people to task for being more concerned for outwardly making a show of worshipping God with great energy, without showing the same energy living as God wants them to live – caring for people as God cares for them. This week Amos tells of another vision which God shows him. It is a basket of ripe fruit. …

ALL TOGETHER OK 348: “Sing hey for the carpenter”
SCRIPTURE IN SONG 84: “The Spirit of the Lord is now upon me”
TIS 607: “Make me a channel of your peace”
TIS 697: “All the sleepy should have a place to sleep"

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that the distractions and busyness of our lives make it difficult to listen deeply to your voice. Transform our priorities so that we make space in our lives to be quiet and listen to you. Jesus, seeker of the lost, we confess to becoming so shaped by the values of this age that your call on our lives is increasingly hard to hear….

TIS 741/ ALL TOGETHER EVERYBODY 282: “O Lord, hear my prayer”(Taize)
- followed by:
Jesus, Saviour and Lord, may the posture of our lives be shaped by listening to you; the goodness of our lives be shaped by love for you; and the service of our lives be shaped by a humility like yours. This we pray in your name. Amen

SERMON
The New testament reading is about hospitality - possibly about the spirit in which we offer hospitality... and as I'm sure there have been countless words written and spoken about the hospitality exercised in the home of Martha and Mary, I therefore want to highlight another aspect of this story. One that focuses our attention on the radical action of Jesus in actually entering a house where two women were living and sitting down to enjoy their hospitality.

In Jesus’ day, the Jewish understanding of the place of women in society was mostly negative . In the Mishnah - a collection of Rabbinic writings much of which pertains to the first century we read that "The man who prolongs a conversation with a woman will occupy a place in hell” - this was because he should be spending his time on the far more important study of the law.

Also - a woman was not permitted to sit at a Rabbi's feet and learn as a man did. In fact,...

Knowing a little of the background helps us to appreciate just how radical these actions of Jesus were in the first century... not only towards women, but towards all people who were being denied the wholeness - the abundant life that Jesus said he had come to bring.

The gospel reading is about freedom and change. Jesus is concerned with the wholeness that results from the realisation that a person is freed from the necessity to justify him or herself in God's eyes by means of tortuous stereotyped roles. He demonstrated that in his visit and subsequent conversation to Martha and Mary.

Amongst other things that the reading about Martha and Mary emphasises, is the fact that they are addressed by name by Jesus. Thinking about the importance of names reminded me of an experience I had when I was at Theological College. We had to do a couple of weeks Industrial Chaplaincy - we visited factories and heard and saw how chaplains operated in those environments. I'll never forget the day that a Catholic priest came to tell us of his experience working as a chaplain on the industrial front. He was working with the employees at one of the big railway yards in Sydney.
Many of these men had left their homes to "make a name" for themselves and their families in this, the lucky country - and one of the first things that happened was that their names - their identities - were taken away…

As one of the following hymns says: "Kneels at the feet of his friends, silently washes their feet: master who acts as a slave to them." And "Loving puts us on our knees, serving as though we are slaves: this is the way we should live with you." Pray that it might be so...

TIS 640/AHB 561: “Kneels at the feet of his friends”
LOVE FROM BELOW: “God the Creator” Page 84f.
TIS 597/AHB 516: “Master, speak, thy servant heareth”
TIS 585/AHB 500: “I heard the voice of Jesus say”
TIS 688: “Come to be our hope, O Jesus”
TIS 693: “Come as you are, that’s how I want you”

OFFERTORY PRAYER
Accept and bless these gifts and our lives, O God, for we offer them in response to your many gifts to us. May this offering - of gifts and lives - be used to make your word more fully known and your love more fully experienced. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

TIS 609/AHB 537: “May the mind of Christ my Saviour”
TIS 691: ‘Faith will not grow from words alone”
TIS 567: “God of all power, and truth, and grace”

BENEDICTION
Go into this week
formed by the word of God,
informed by the compassion of Jesus Christ,
transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

THREEFOLD AMEN



Click here to play COMING HOME - A short video recorded of Moira telling her story of faith and her journey through a divine encounter into full time ministry.



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