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About Rev Dr Moira Laidlaw and Liturgies Online

Coming Home

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.

 

Liturgies Online Now Available As Digital Download - YEAR A Liturgies, YEAR B Liturgies, YEAR C Liturgies, or all 3 Years in one complete digital download. These all include complete Orders of Service based on the Common Lectionary for The Liturgical Years in one download.

 

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

 
 

LENT - YEAR B

Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21.

Additional resources for Lent 4B: SCRIPTURE IN SONG, CMC Australasia, Grovedale, Victoria 3216; NEW JOURNEYS SONGBOOK. JBCE, Melbourne, 1991; MORE AUSTRALIAN PSALMS. Bruce Prewer, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, 1996 ; BE OUR FREEDOM, LORD. Ed.Terry.C.Falla, Openbook Publish­ers, Adelaide, 1994

CALL TO WORSHIP: based on Psalm 107 verses 1-3,17-22; John 3:16

We have gathered here today to praise God with thanksgiving,
           for God is good:


SUNG RESPONSE: Scripture in Song 414 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases...”


Those who live in this land of Australia - original inhabitants, old and new settlers, refugees, displaced people - let all praise God with thanksgiving,
          for God is good:


SUNG RESPONSE: Scripture in Song 414 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases...”

We praise God with thanksgiving for the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ - the eternal evidence of God’s goodness and steadfast love.
          God is good. God’s steadfast love endures forever.

 

TIS 154: “Great is your faithfulness”

TIS 102/ AHB 7: “Praise to the living God”
TIS 147/ AHB 85: “To God be the glory”
TIS 118: “We give immortal praise”

PRAYER OF APPROACH
Living God, as we continue our journey through this season of Lent we are reminded of the steadfast love that the psalmist wrote about. A love which would endure forever, through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  A love given not to judge, but to save, causing human sinfulness to be encountered by divine compassion. No wonder we sometimes see the placard thrust in front of television cameras with the words written large - “John 3:16”.

TIS 602/AHB 525 (sung while seated as a continuation of the prayer) “ O Love that wilt not let me go”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
As we sing of the “ Love that wilt not let us go” we remember with shame the times when we have not reflected that depth of love in and through our lives. God of steadfast love, forgive us any unloving and un­lovely actions and words.

God of unchanging love, as this community of faith, we confess the times when our love for the world falls short of your love for us….

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
God, who is rich in mercy, out of great love for us - even when we were dead through our sins - made us alive together with Christ....for by grace we have been saved through faith, and this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God. (Based on Ephesians 2:4,5,8) And so I declare to you, in Jesus Christ we are loved and we are forgiven.    
           Thanks be to God.

A WORD WITH CHILDREN/YOUNG PEOPLE 
Verse 10 of the Ephesians reading says that “we are what God has made us, created in Jesus for good works” (The Jerusalem Bible translation - “we are God’s work of art). The children/young people (you could also include adults) could be asked if they have ever created anything of which they have been particularly proud…

The words from Ephesians could then be picked up and related to the plea­sure which God must have as our lives are shaped by the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ design for our lives….

TIS 164/ AHB 105: “The great love of God is revealed in the Son”

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON: Numbers 21: 4 -9
EPISTLE: Ephesians 2: 1-10
GOSPEL: John 3: 14-21

SERMON

In the midst of all the changes of life – is the one unchanging truth -that we are loved by God!

The lectionary - the series of set Scripture readings that churches throughout Australia and the world also follow has certainly produced a great set of readings for us today.

The Old Testament lesson tells of God's promise to enliven our hearts - to give us a new heart, and a new spirit.  The Gospel says why and how this will happen, and the Epistle affirms that it did in fact all come to pass.  As Paul says - "Because of his great love for us, God made us alive with Christ "

 

But the familiar words of John chapter 3, verse 16, are I believe, the controlling words for today.  In this verse we have the affirmation that God loves the world even if it so often appears that no one else does.  John uses his whole gospel to clarify that point, but especially so in the verses that surround verse 16….

 At the extreme other end of the Jewish social scale we find the person to whom Jesus spoke in Chapter 4 of John's gospel,  the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well when she came to draw water there.  Jews hated Samaritans - a Jew simply would not have spoken to her, yet here we have Jesus offering her some living water.  "a spring of water", said Jesus," welling up to eternal life." Again, the offer of the indwelling power of the Spirit.  John is giving us an illustration from his culture of the extent, the breadth, the depth of God's love.

 

It is difficult for us to imagine two people with a greater gulf between them than Nicodemus the Scribe and the Samaritan woman - yet Jesus made himself present to them both, and offered to each of them new life…. 

Saying and hearing that God loves the world can remain rather abstract if we don't identify actual people such as these two, and start off from that point.  We are real, we're not abstract.  Our identity as real persons is confirmed by God's love for us.  God so loved the world...

And, if we think about it, only love makes Jesus Christ, makes God believable.  We are in the season of Lent - when we recall the events that led up to Good Friday and Easter.

 “Something happened to Jesus in that time, he suffered. The priests plotted against him; Judas kissed him; Herod laughed at him; Pilate delivered him to be crucified; the guards whipped him; the soldiers nailed him to a cross; the passers by jeered at him; a thief cursed him.  And Jesus?  Why, he died.  But what happened to him only makes sense in the context of what he did.  What he did supremely, more than anyone else, better than anyone else - he loved. He loved to the uttermost limit of love.  And it is that love that makes Christ believable.”….

“The Church has been most attractive when love has been most evident, when the church presents itself to the world, like Jesus, as a suffering servant.  The Church is believable when love is visible, when it agonises over hands without work, stomachs without food, human beings without human rights.”….

An American minister, John Fry,  once said that the most dangerous thing one can do is to love.  The world is not ready for it.  Greed it can manage, lust it can understand, hate it thrives on, meanness makes it goes round, but the world is enraged by love.  Jesus was crucified because he dared to love in a radical sense. (I’ve lost the source of these words)…

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him."….

 

TIS 155:  “How great thou art”
TIS 341 / AHB 257 “My song is love unknown” Verses 1, 2, 4, 6, 7

BENEDICTION:
Go into this week eager to share God’s love with the world

filled with the assurance that God loves you,

overflowing with the indestructible life of Jesus Christ,
replenished with the creative power of the Holy Spirit.

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