The opening song is, “For you deep stillness’, by Robin Mann. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Call to worship
We come to hear the Good News, to embody the love of God in Christ as we share our lives with others. .
You may like to light a candle at this time.
God’s truth is revealed in Jesus Christ the light of the world. May the light shine for the hope of the world.
Acknowledgment of country
As we begin, it is appropriate to recognise that this great land has been home to our first nations peoples for many thousands of years. Let us also acknowledge those Aboriginal peoples who are the first inhabitants of the regions in which we dwell, and honour them for their care of the land.
You have heard it said, that God’s love endures forever.
Come listen to the voice of the one calling us to live into a new commandment.
Where there is hatred, bring love.
Where there is predatory behaviour, bring justice
and where relationships break, bring reconciliation.
Where there is community, bring relationships of integrity and equality
In your indiscriminate love O God, bring us to your life-giving mercy that we might love you, our neighbour and ourselves. Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from Matthew 5:21-37. The words of the reading is below. There is also a video of a dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading underneath.
“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Dramatic readings from Lumo
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message is brought to you by Geoff Wellington from the Saltbush Community. In the reading from Matthew we discover a “how to guide” to discipleship in this new world of God’s purposes being enacted by the coming of Jesus the Christ.
What did you hear in the Word today? How might a “how to” guide to discipleship be helpful in you and your Christian community? How might communities implement what Jesus says?
Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God.
Prayers for Others
Let us pray.
Loving God, we seek to follow your desire and walk in your ways,
to observe your commandment:
Love God, love self, love others
Bless, O God, this land and all the lands of the earth. Fill the minds and hearts of leaders with wisdom.
As your servants may we labour for your purposes, building, gardening, watering, reconciling, growing – peace, love and justice.
May we work together, sister and brother, brother and sister, as God’s field God’s gift to you, to me.
Loving God, we seek to follow your desire and walk in your ways, to observe your commandments: Love God, love self, love others. Amen.
Go out into the world, to love and serve the Lord. Bless us and the people we meet along the way. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The closing song is, “Be thou my vision”. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
The prayers & blessing are based on content in the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at:
Note: A Saltbush Holy Communion video led liturgy is also available at: https://vimeo.com/572335335
(bring your own bread and ‘wine’ and place it after the ‘Prayers for others’)