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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 5 C

1 Kings 19: 1-4 (5-7) 8-15a; Psalm 42 and 43; Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39.

Additional resources for Pentecost 5C: A tee shirt with the word ‘Jesus’ printed on it; SCRIPTURE IN SONG, CMC Australasia, Unit 9/147 Marshalltown Road, Grovedale, Victoria , 3216; ALL TOGETHER EVERYBODY, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, S.A. 5000, 1991; ALLELUIA AOTEAROA: HYMNS AND SONGS FOR ALL CHURCHES, New Zealand Hymnbook Trust Inc., Wellington, New Zealand, 1995; UNITING IN WORSHIP, PEOPLE’S BOOK. The Joint Board of Christian Education, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, 1988; ALL TOGETHER WHATEVER, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, S.A. 5000, 2001.

CALL TO WORSHIP: based on Psalm 42
As surely as the deer pants for flowing water, so our souls long for you, O God. We thirst for you, O living God, we long to see your face. People mock us because of our belief in you. “Where is your God”, they cry. But we know that our praise and thanksgiving has throbbed with the reality of your presence…..


We long for you, O God We thirst for you. We praise you. Our help Our rock Our God.

TIS 703/ ALL TOGETHER EVERYBODY 206 : “As the deer pants ...”
TIS 25/AHB 29: “As pants the hart for cooling streams”
TIS 26: “Just as a lost and hungry deer longs for a cool and running stream”
TIS 111/AHB 28: “Praise to the Lord, the almighty”

Living God, like the author of the psalm, there are times when we feel besieged by unbelief . Times when we are mocked for our faithfulness and people still cry “where is your God?” So, on this day of celebration, we praise and thank you for giving meaning and shape to our faith in the person of Jesus Christ….

EPISTLE: Galatians 3:23-29

Paint the word ‘Jesus’ on a tee shirt or print the word out in large type and pin to a tee shirt and wear this under article of top clothing (alb, preaching gown, blouse or shirt if alb not worn) . Ask the children/young people if they have any favourite clothes - why are they favourites? Then ask how they feel when they are going to a party or special function and are wearing really swish new clothes. Probably feels pretty special, but do the clothes change one’s personality? In the reading from scripture which we just heard, the apostle Paul says that in and through our baptism we are clothed with Christ. (Open clothing to show tee-shirt)….

TIS 650: “Brother, sister, let me serve you”
AHB 527: “Just as I am, thine own to be”
TIS 468: “We are your people”

Merciful God, we rejoice that our relationship with you is not dependent upon our race, status or gender. We celebrate today our unity in Christ. Yet the church is all too often torn apart by disunity and so loses its effectiveness as a sign of your reconciling love. Forgive us every hurtful word or action which has caused pain and anger….

(silent confession)

Loving God, help us to be a church in which our unity in Jesus is visible in the way we joyfully welcome and unconditionally accept strangers; in the compassionate way we bind up the brokenhearted; selflessly reaching out to those struggling with poverty and poor health; and passionately helping free those who are oppressed in any way…..

“...There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus..”…

In Christ, we are reconciled with God and our trespasses are not counted against us. (2 Corinthians 5:1,19a) Thanks be to God!

OLD TESTAMENT : 1 Kings 19:1-15a .
GOSPEL: Luke 8:26-39

There was a marvellous little story in the READER'S DIGEST some time ago about a little boy who was staying with his grandparents one weekend. A violent electrical storm suddenly broke while the boy was in the garden. His grandmother thought that he would be terrified as he ran into the house following a great flash of lightning... instead, he was tremendously excited, "Nan," he shouted, "God just took my photograph!"

Elijah also expected to experience God in the storm but not quite in the same way as that. Elijah had experienced God's power in what to him must have seemed mighty and supernatural ways...

I remember reading a book on 'spiritual burnout' and it would seem that Elijah had a classic dose of such a condition. It is something which is not confined to his time...spiritual burnout can and does occur when one is in a state of despair and it's all too easy to slip into such a state when one is confronted with the news each night on TV or when one is faced with some kind of crisis situation in life - perhaps to do with health, or the death of someone close - or perhaps arising out of feelings of guilt over something which happened in the past. The author of the book wrote that "People on the way to burnout find the past piling up on them. They have come to the point of believing that it is too late to change - believing that too much has gone wrong for anything to go right."…

We were fortunate in being able to contribute in a small way to providing such care for a family who possibly had reached a similar level of burnout as Elijah. A social worker/ counsellor came to our town once a week, and also went to surrounding towns, and found in one some distance away the most appalling case of poverty she had ever seen. It appeared that the family had been exploited financially and were in a really desperate situation health-wise - the children did not attend school and were exceedingly listless and malnourished - she knew we kept a stock of food at the church for emergencies such as this, so the upshot was that a couple of large boxes of groceries and toiletries went with her when she returned to further help the family….

I wonder if Elijah believed that he could decide how and in what way God's power could be put to use...perhaps these verses contain God's answer to that question. God had told Elijah to go and stand before him on top of the mountain and Elijah no doubt expectantly watched and waited to see how God would speak to him through the shattering roar of the hurricane -force winds. And heard - nothing…..

Walter Brueggeman's writes in his commentary on this passage (1) "This is not the voice of Elijah's conscience, but one of awe, not romantic whisperings, but overriding majesty. For all his graciousness, God stays free of any grasping Elijah may want to do of him. In this dramatic moment Elijah becomes freshly aware that it is Yaweh and none other, and certainly not himself - Elijah - who is God." (2) ….

Go into the world blessed with the holiness of God, clothed with the humility of Jesus Christ, united in the power of the Holy Spirit


1. Walter Brueggemann. 1 KINGS , Knox Preaching Guides, Ed. John H Hayes, John Knox press, Atlanta 1982.

2. Ibid, page 89.

3. Malcolm Smith. SPIRITUAL BURNOUT 1988 (think I borrowed this book from someone so have no more details!)

4. The painting based on Elijah’s mountaintop experience is one I started years ago and which is yet unfinished – I wonder why!

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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