The opening song is, “The Church’s one foundation”, sung by a choir of 250 in India. 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. 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. Merciful God, may we celebrate and rejoice, for what was lost is found and what was dead is now alive! In the extravagance of your love you restore us and bid us welcome. Even in our doubt, our anger and our fear of missing out, you come to us so that we might be renewed. Because of your love, that which was lost is found. Amen.
Message for the young at heart
This is a LEGO brick film based and animated on the parable Jesus told of ‘The Prodigal Son.’ If you have trouble connecting you can go to YouTube directly at:
From the Bible
Today we will be looking at the three ‘parables of the lost’ in Luke 15. The words of the first two parables are below and there is a video of the third parable underneath these words.
The parable of the lost sheep
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable. So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? — Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The parable of the lost coin
“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The message today is brought to us by Geoff Wellington of the Saltbush Community, who is speaking on ‘lost things’ (Luke 15). Perhaps we might find welcome and restoration ourselves if we respond with joy and celebration to Jesus’ invitation.
I wonder who and why you identify with in these parables? What things and people do we as Christian community need to recognize are lost and in need of restoration?
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 ‘Optional reflective music’ below.
Optional reflective music
The reflective music is, “I will arise”, by John Bell. 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.
God, seeker of lost things, restore us and celebrate with us the joy of wholeness and, in your mercy, hear our prayers for the peoples of the world, the church and ourselves.
Like a shepherd rushing off to find a lost sheep, you have come searching for all peoples of this world. When we take more than our share of the earth’s resources, when we squander our inheritance, when we wander far from you, draw us back to your welcoming arms.
Like a woman searching for a lost coin and finding it, you call us to celebrate with our friends and neighbours. When together as your church we fail to proclaim the gospel, when we are judgemental and self-righteous, when we wander far from you, draw us back to your welcoming arms.
Like an indulgent father who welcomes back a prodigal son and recognises he has lost another. You reconciling God come pleading with us to be restored to life. Forgive us Lord when we fail to recognise what is lost to us in broken relationships.
And when we cannot say “I am sorry”
When we cannot say “I forgive”
When we wander far from you,
draw us back to your welcoming arms.
Extravagant and generous God welcome and restore us to the world, to community and to each other. That we might celebrate in joy that which was once dead has come to life and what was lost has been found. Amen.
Wellspring of all grace, give us strength to grow together onto the fullness of Jesus and to be signs and carriers of grace to each other.
Bless us and the people we meet along the way Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
The closing song is, “All of this is us”, presented by Uniting Creative. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to Vimeo:
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 call to worship, opening prayer and blessing for today were based on the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at: