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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TRINITY SUNDAY YEAR B

Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17.

Additional resources for Trinity B: Love from Below, John L Bell, Graham Maule, Wild Goose Worship Group, 1989 The Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland; Australian Psalms, Bruce Prewer, Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide, South Australia, 1991; BE OUR FREEDOM, LORD, ed Terry C Falla, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, 1994.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Let us praise God the Creator, who is filled with glory and power, with holiness and splendour;
Let us worship God the Saviour, who is filled with love and compassion, with justice and peace;
Let us experience God the Spirit, who fills us with faith and joy, with love and eternal life

TIS100: “All creatures of our God and King” select suitable verses
TIS 101/AHB 5: “Come, you people, come adore him”
LOVE FROM BELOW 84: “God the Creator” Tune TIS 156/AHB 91 Bunessan.
TIS 454/AHB 382 “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”


PRAYER OF APPROACH

Awesome God, your creative power, your glory and holiness are beyond our imagining, yet, you chose to reveal yourself in the person of Jesus Christ, who graciously showed us the human face of your love. He stretched our imaginations once more over the lengths he was prepared go to demonstrate the depth of your love for us. . And, as if that was not enough, you breathe new and everlasting life into our very beings, through the power of your Spirit. Triune God, Source of our lives, we worship and adore you . Amen

TIS 716: “Father we adore you” Sing as a round


A WORD WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE

f the image of God that we heard about in that reading was our only image of God, we might believe God to be too far removed from us to really care about us. But God’s love for the world - for you and me - was so great that God decided that that love would be recognisable in a way we could all understand - and so God’s love was born just as we are born - as a baby who grew up to adulthood. God’s love took on human form in Jesus. And God’s love did not die with Jesus, but was born in a new way - as Jesus’ life and love within us is power we know as the Holy Spirit. So, while there is still one God, we experience God’s love in many different ways - but perhaps in three very special ways: as awesome love; as tender love, and as personal love.. So, today, known as Trinity Sunday, emphasises again just how much we are loved by God.

TIS 106/AHB 14: “Now thank we all our God”
TIS 146/AHB 82: “ God, who made the earth...cares about me”
AHB 119: “Like a father watching over me”


PRAYER OF CONFESSION:

God, creator of all the wonders which make up this world... Forgive our failure to care for and protect this lovely land, its oceans, rivers and lakes, and the air that we breathe each day.

God, bearer of our humanity in Jesus Christ... forgive us when we fail to live out Jesus’ commandment to love one another as he loves us.

God, giver of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth... forgive us when we betray the truth of the gospel through our lack of integrity and our abuse of ethical and moral principles .

God, Creator, Redeemer, Life-giving Spirit, fill us anew with your creative power that we may be reborn in your image, glorifying you in and through who we are and what we do and say in Jesus’ name. As Jesus’ disciples and in his name we pray. Amen


SERMON

Some of the boldest scenes of worship in scripture have to do with people who happen upon the glory of God and can make no reasonable response other than to participate in it. People like Isaiah in the temple, when the overwhelming presence of God enveloped him, and those who unexpectedly spoke in the wake of the flaming tongues of Pentecost.

We are reminded of this participation in the praise of God every time we gather round the table and speak/sing the words of great thanksgiving....
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join in their unending hymn, singing, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord....”

Today – Trinity Sunday – is the day when the church celebrates not an event, but a doctrine – the product of many theological debates in the early centuries of the Christian church. One God – three persons. It was crucial that the relationship between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit could be described in an understandable way. That’s what the first half of the Christian year has been about - God’s intervention in our human history in the person of Jesus Christ, whose life continues on and energises us with the power of the Holy Spirit. Today is an opportunity to pause, and to reflect on how these events give meaning to the present and the future – how they give us the guidance we need through the ordinary as well as the extraordinary experiences of our lives. Of how we too are enabled to join in that unending hymn, “Holy, holy, holy Lord”……
It was certainly a vision of the holiness of God that Isaiah experienced in the Temple:…

. Surrounded by such holiness, his unworthiness surfaces ..."I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people with unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."…

he is purified - touched with a divine, transforming fire - when one of the seraphim touches his lips with a live coal. Finally God speaks "Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger? and Isaiah answered I'm sure, tremblingly - "Send me!" …

The mystery of God is preserved, if we take Isaiah's vision as an example, because for the people of the Old Testament, God was indescribable. …

When we turn to the Gospel, there are no temple or strange creatures, no flames or smoke here, no, just the opposite – a quiet, dark evening chosen by Nicodemus as the time to visit Jesus….

Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish court, comes to Jesus by night…

It is a miracle of grace that Nicodemus overcame his prejudices and his upbringing and his whole view of life to come to Jesus at all.

It is as though John, gospel writer, allows us to eavesdrop on the conversation that took place between Jesus and Nicodemus. About being reborn through the gift of the Spirit, blowing into our lives like the wind….

Two very different pictures of God in action...

Jesus revealed the God who wants to make humanity more human...not the God of Isaiah's vision who seems so distanced from our human experience. Jesus revealed a God who wants to enter people's hearts so that they can reflect and reveal the gift of love and compassion that Jesus unwrapped with his life...

Trinity Sunday is about lives turned around, re-created, re-born by the power and the effect and the work of the Spirit. God’s own Spirit bringing new life into the world. The same Spirit that was in Jesus Christ, now comes as God’s gift to us – and with the gift, the call to be Christ to others.

That’s the challenge – are we ready?

TIS 474: “Here in this place new light is streaming” Gather us in
TIS 160/AHB 104: “Father all-loving and ruling in majesty”
TIS 168: “For the fruits of all creation”
TIS 478/AHB 454: “I bind unto myself today” select suitable verses


SUGGESTIONS FOR PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION

Prayers from Be our Freedom, Lord - “The wind of the Spirit” on page 353 begins with a reference to Nicodemus and could be used as prayer of thanksgiving perhaps leaving out the final two lines and using the prayer “Come, Holy Spirit, renew the whole creation” on page 346 as prayer of intercession adding local concerns where appropriate.


BENEDICTION:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. …





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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