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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

 
 

PENTECOST / YEAR A

Genesis 28: 10-19a ; Psalm 139: 1-12, 23-24; Romans 8:12-25; Matthew13: 24-30, 36-43

CALL TO WORSHIP:  

O God, you know us inside and out, through and through.
           You search us out and lay your hand upon us.
You know what we are going to say even before we speak.
          We praise you, O God, for the wonderful knowledge
that whoever we are and wherever we go, you are with us.


PRAYER OF ADORATION AND PRAISE

God of all generations, as the author of the psalm acknowledged your creative presence in such an intimate and personal way, so we affirm your presence with us in an even more wonderful and personal way - in the relationship established through Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. We praise and thank you, O God, for reaching out to us and touching our lives in this way... Amen

A WORD WITH THE YOUNG: 

Rose was 9 years old and she was well-behaved - except when she had to tidy her bedroom!  Annabel was also 9 and her behaviour could only be classed as bad - so bad that no one wanted to be her friend.  Annabel didn’t go to the same school as Rose but she lived only four houses away, and the girls’ mothers often chatted if they saw one another in their gardens or when shopping.  Annabel’ s mother had an idea - she asked Rose’s mother if Rose could come and play with Annabel in the hope that Rose’s good behaviour would rub off on Annabel.  Guess what happened.  When Rose came home after playing with Annabel - she was just plain naughty.  She kicked the dog, pinched her little brother, pressed her face against the fish tank and made horrible faces at her beloved fish.  She even let the chooks (hens) out, who made a bee-line for her mother’s herb garden!   Not like Rose at all….

 

And Rose went on to say “That’s what I’m  going to do the next time I see Annabel and if we end up playing nicely that would be just like pulling the weedy parts out of her wouldn’t it.” 

 

You may want to speak about the imagery of the roots of the weeds and the wheat becoming intertwined as they grow together, it is almost as though they are embracing one another.  The more we learn about Jesus, the more we understand how he wants to embrace us with his love and that can happen any time - maybe even here and now through the embrace…

The love and peace of Jesus be with you. 

       And also with you.

TIS 236: “Jesus’ hands were kind hands”
TIS 670: “Jesus put this song into our hearts”
ALL TOGETHER OK 341: “ If you’re black or if you’re white”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Merciful God,  you  plant each of us like seeds in the same field and together we are nourished and nurtured by the sun.  We sway in the wind  and are refreshed by the rain.  We are blessed by the knowledge that you want us to grow towards whatever you call us to be.… 

O God, you know us inside and out, through and through.
       You search us out and lay your hand upon us.
You know what we are going to say even before we speak.
       So we pray that you will help us to reach out to the uprooted and rejected,
the lonely and the outcast,
        and to develop and grow the good in ourselves, in others and in the world. 

This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen


ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis 28: 10-19a
GOSPEL:  Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43

SERMON

I have to admit that I do not like the set gospel reading for this week.  I suppose that is the discipline of using the Lectionary - we can't just pick and choose the readings we like and feel comfortable with.  This reading about the wheat and the weeds appears to be neither comfortable or comforting - in fact the concluding verses are positively frightful.   So - what is its point? Probably the correct questions to ask would be …

Most commentators believe that the intention of Jesus in telling the parable was to warn his hearers against exclusiveness.   There were groups around at that time and in different forms ever since who believed that true righteousness could only be attained by adhering to stringent practices and keeping innumerable rules and in separating themselves off from all those they considered to be less righteous than themselves.  In Jesus' time, the best known of these groups were the Pharisees, the Qmran community, and the Zealots. Jesus rejected this practice and kept his circle open…

Matthew directs all his attention towards the last judgment which primarily spells condemnation.  He is interpreting Jesus' parable as saying that the righteous will be separated off from the sinners at the end of the age...and the sinners will be dramatically thrown into the fire and burned.  We have to remember, however, that when Mathew was writing his gospel, the infant church was set in the midst of a very hostile community…. 

Jonathan Edwards obviously believed, as so many well-meaning Christians have, before and since, that he had exclusive knowledge about who were the weed-like sinners and what their punishment would be.  An old article in one of our leading newspapers clearly suggests to me how people can so easily get the message wrong about what is a weed and what is not!

 

The article informed the reader  that `Weed Awareness Week' was coming up within three months and that there was a new Noxious Weeds Act in its final draft stage.  There's nothing wrong with that, we have to be aware of what are poisonous weeds and what are not.  The final paragraph, however points out how difficult it is to distinguish between what is a weed and what is not as they had the hide to include in the list of additions to the noxious weeds - scotch thistle - the national flower of Scotland!  Maybe that's why I (of Scottish birth) have a problem with the parable!

 

The question is, of course, who judges what is weed and what is not - who is sinner and who is not!  Back in Chapter 8 of Matthew's gospel we find Jesus saying "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Compassion and judgment must go hand in hand….

So, rather than a parable about exclusiveness and judgment, this is a parable about inclusiveness and growing together in love…. 

THE LORD'S PRAYER

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, you have grown your life in us through the gift of your Spirit.  Accept these gifts and the service of our lives as we dedicate ourselves to spread the seeds of your life wherever we go, and through whatever we do.  In your name we pray.  Amen

TIS 416: “Great God, your Spirit, like the wind”
TIS 130: “We plough the fields, and scatter the good seeds on the land”
TIS 626: “ Lord of creation, to you be all praise”
ALL TOGETHER WHATEVER 508: “ Wherever I go, whatever I do”

BENEDICTION

Go into this week knowing God’s hand is upon you,
blessing you and nurturing the life of Jesus within you
through the energy and power of the Holy Spirit.

TIS 755: “You shall go out with joy”

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