‘This promise’, courtesy of Emu Music. You can also find this video directly at YouTube:
Let us pray.
Gracious eternal Creator, we touch on your immensity as we gaze upon the night sky. We are grounded in your embrace when we love and are shown love. We are humbled by the work of your hands when we encounter in our lives the risen Christ, our bread of life. May we know your work in our lives, the work of your peace, the work of your grace and mercy, the work of your love, found in Jesus Christ and in the outpouring of your Spirit. Amen
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from Matthew 14:13-21. The words are followed by a dramatic reading from Lumo, which also includes the story of Jesus walking on water.
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.”
And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
The message is brought to you by Rev. Karyn Burchell-Thomas on behalf of Project Reconnect who speaks to us about the feeding of the five thousand. The crowd learnt they could do more ‘together’ than ‘apart’! The promise is, not to just survive but to thrive!
What stood out and was significant for you in this message? Recall a time when you have been encouraged and given hope in a low time of your life. Where does this story of loss, change, challenge and need, resonate with situations in the world today?
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
‘Jacob’s Song’, sung by Gabrielle Ariana. This a musical reflection that tells the story of Jacob wrestling with a stranger, from the Old Testament book of Genesis. If you can also see it directly at YouTube:
Prayers for others
Merciful Creator, as you nurture our lives and grow us in your ways of wisdom and understanding through your Spirit and in the person of Jesus Christ, may we be always open to your leading and receptive of your grace. May we know your works in our life, through Christ. (pause)
For those who are powerless and weighed down by the injustices they experience each day as they are judged by race, class and religion. May we work alongside you for the sake of justice and reconciliation. (pause)
For the planet and all living things that fight for survival against the insatiable plunder of human excess. May we honour the work of your hands and work with you for the renewal of all creation. (pause)
We know you are with those who are experiencing difficult days in our communities, may we be free to share our lives with them also. May we all know your healing actions through the power of your Spirit. (pause)
In this time of silence we bring you our prayers. (pause)
In Christ, the bread of life. Amen.
Go in peace, and until we worship God together again, may the love of the Father enfold you, the wisdom of the Son enlighten you, and the fire of the Holy Spirit kindle you. Amen.
‘The Irish blessing’, over 300 churches from Ireland sing a blessing. It can also be found via a direct link at YouTube:
The prayers are based on content in the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at: