The opening song is, “Won my heart:, courtesy of Emu Music. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Call to worship
Let us worship the eternal God, who is ever-faithful, in whom we can trust.
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. Therefore, let us also acknowledge those Aboriginal peoples who are the first habitants of the regions in which we dwell and honour them for their care of the land.
Let us pray.
Help us to let go,
help us to change,
and help us plant.
Help us to learn what makes for life,
both for ourselves and the people around us.
Let us draw ourselves into silent prayer and confession. silence
Let us hear that we are forgiven in Christ. Lord, touch us once more with your peace and presence we pray. Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible readings for today are from Psalm 27 and Luke 4:31-35, and the words are included below. There is also an optional video of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group underneath the words.
Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh– my adversaries and foes– they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
Psalm 27 – Do not forsake me
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, LORD, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! If my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me up.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence.
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'”
Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the reading by the Lumo group. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
The message today is brought to us by Keith Robinson, from the HomeFaith Community, who is speaking on Luke 13:31-35. He asks the question, ‘Are we prepared to follow Jesus into unfamiliar territory?’ and uses the life of George Whitfield as an illustration.
Where is Jesus leading you this day? Where is Jesus leading the church today?
Are we prepared to follow Jesus into unfamiliar territory?
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. You may prefer to do this while listening to the following below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation’, by Francesca LaRosa (note: it is very reflective but you may prefer to turn the volume down a bit). If you have problems connecting, also try this link at YouTube:
Prayers for Others
Drawn by God’s love and abundant faithfulness to us, let us pray.
Visit us now in those areas of our lives where we need your light, O Christ. Hold us firm and teach us your way. Help us to stand tall when we start to lose hope, and correct us when we walk astray.
Hide us in your shelter in our day of trouble. Help us to resist those who try to deceive us with false voices of sweetness and reason while attempting to capture our very souls. May we wait for you and see your goodness in the land of the living.
Be with all those today who need your company in the dark moments of their lives. We pray for:
our country and the places in which we live ……
for all people of faith …..
those people we know …..
and lastly, we pray for ourselves …..
Remind us, O Christ, of your true way. May we tread the path of humility, justice and compassion in this world, and offer love which is not founded on our own gain. May we find the peace which is beyond all understanding. We pray this in faith. Amen.
Go now, trusting in God’s promises. Seek the presence of the Lord and stand firm against evil and seek healing for all.
And may God be your saving light and fortress, may Christ Jesus gather you into the safe wings of mercy; and may the Holy Spirit make you citizens of heaven.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
The closing song is “Be thou my vision”, If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
This Lenten Candles Family Activity is a simple, yet profound way to walk through Lent as a family and prepare your hearts for the hope of Easter. For details go to the following web site:
Make a labyrinth
The labyrinth is an ancient way of prayer. Walking a labyrinth is like taking a tiny Pilgrimage that we walk alone with God. It can be an intensely relaxing and releasing experience. It can also be challenging. If you have a small space, such as a patio, the following video shows you how to make a labyrinth. It is surprisingly simple, all you need is some chalk! If you have trouble connecting, the video can also be found at YouTube:
See below for how to make a finger labyrinth! Walk the labyrinth with a finger. If you want you can download and print the file.
Take time to rest and refresh
Follow the sun (Xavier Rudd) on YouTube:
The opening prayer and closing blessing were taken from the Saltbush service for this week, which was adapted from: Dorothy McRae-McMahon: 2006. Liturgies for High Days: Page 52 Lent 1.