CALL TO WORSHIP – from the back
Hundreds of millions of Christians all over the world
will come to places of worship today, just like us:
places where children, younger adults, and seasoned seniors
can sit side by side; where heaven and earth come together
in communion, to strengthen us for service in the world:
where God has been, God is, and God will always be.
HYMN: All the Wonder (Tune: All Through the Night)
All the wonder that surrounds us
springs from God’s care:
all that marvels or confounds us,
raw, rich or rare;
touch and texture, sights and voices,
nature’s countless forms and choices:
all for which the heart rejoices
springs from God’s care.
Every creature, every human
lives by God’s grace:
every family, man and woman,
culture and race;
those whom fortune seems to favour,
those exploited for their labour,
those who need to know a neighbour
live by God’s grace.
How can we revere God’s goodness
meant for all time?
How ensure that each uniqueness
keeps in its prime?
How can we revere with pleasure
all God gives for life and leisure,
how reserve each earthly treasure
meant for all time?
God has willed that peace and justice
walk hand in hand.
These, with love, shall build foundations
on which we’ll stand:
love for lover, friend and stranger,
love defying death and danger,
love as first born in a manger –
heaven close at hand. © John L Bell (Iona Community)
OPENING PRAYERS & The Lord’s Prayer
WELCOME AND NOTICES
TIME WITH THE CHILDREN Wayne
CHILDREN’S SONG: Jesus Loves the Little Children X 2
Jesus loves the little children,
all the children of the world.
Red, brown, yellow, black and white
they are precious in his sight –
Jesus loves the little children of the world. © unknown
READINGS: Micah 4: 1-5 Anne
A vision (and hope) of God’s Universal Reign of Peace
Matthew 25: 31-40 Doug
Whenever you did this for one of the least…you did it for me
INTRODUCTION ~ Lyndsey
ADDRESS: Barbara and Rob
MUSIC FOR REFLECTION ~ the bringing forward of gold coins
A CREED: (Terry Wall, adapted))
We believe in the God of love,
who seeks a deep communion with us,
and calls us to love others.
We believe in the God of creation
who invites us into partnership
in shaping the future
in justice, peace and joy.
We believe in the God who is not remote
but who is immersed in the life of this world
sharing its hope and feeling its pain.
We believe in the God who identifies
with the poor and oppressed
and those who long for faith
and calls us to stand with them.
We believe in this God, revealed in Jesus
whose love is vulnerable,
whose heart is aching
and whose covenant with all people and creation is unshakeable.
HYMN: Songbook 10 I, the Lord of Sea and Sky
THE OFFERING and PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – remain seated
INVITATION TO COMMUNION
HYMN: 658 Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ
A GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING:
The response this morning is sung ~ Tune: Belmont WOV 435
May God be with you And also with you
Lift up you hearts We lift them up to God
Let us give thanks to God It is right to give God thanks and praise
We yearn for a new creation, one which reflects the creation God first bestowed upon us, a life of integrity and wholeness.
(Sung response) O for a world where every-one
respects each other’s ways,
where love is lived and all is done
with justice and with praise.
Once we were given the world to steward, God sent us prophets to direct our stewardship of life. Those prophets, women and men, young and old, spoke of self-giving and of hospitality, of welcome and of embrace for the stranger.
(Sung response) O for a world where goods are shared
with misery relieved,
where truth is spoken, children spared,
We didn’t listen. Instead, we chose to ignore their prophetic words, turning away from God towards selfishness and greed. In response, with a love greater than any other known, God sent us Jesus who lived a different life:
(Sung response): The poor are rich, the weak are strong,
the foolish ones are wise.
tell all who mourn: outcasts belong,
who perishes will rise.
Jesus invited us to his table … place of communion for people the world over.
(Sung response) We welcome one world family
and struggle with each choice
that opens us to unity
and gives our vision voice …
PRAYER FOLLOWING COMMUNION
HYMN: As a Fire is meant For Burning
As a fire is meant for burning with a bright and warming flame,
so the church is meant for mission, giving, glory to God’s name.
Not to preach our creeds or customs, but to build a bridge of care,
we join hands across the nations, finding neighbours everywhere.
We are learners, we are teachers, we are pilgrims on the way.
We are seekers, we are givers, we are vessels made of clay.
By our gentle, loving actions, we would show that Christ is light.
In a humble, listening Spirit, we would live to God’s delight.
As a green bud in the springtime is a sign of life renewed,
so may we be signs of oneness mid earth’s peoples, many hued.
As a rainbow lights the heavens when a storm is past and gone,
may our lives reflect the radiance of God’s new and glorious dawn.
© Ruth Duck (VU)