‘O worship the King’, courtesy of Emu Music. You can also find this video directly at YouTube:
Let us pray.
Holy God, we thank you for the simple, humble things that are part of our lives, bringing flashes of light and joy. We thank you for the laughter of children and for small acts of kindness in a shop or on the road. We thank you for a verse from the Bible that comforts us in distress, and everyday blessings that bring forth feelings of love and awe.
Loving God, best of all we thank you for Jesus, who though he was rich, for our sakes became poor. He took human form and humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, so that we might live. You raised him to the highest place and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.
And so, may we do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in all things strive to be like Christ. Forgive us, guide us, and help us to be open to your Spirit, to take your hand and be lifted up and healed. Knowing that you have forgiven us, may we be of one mind: encouraging one another with compassion. Thanks and praise be to you for ever and ever! Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from Matthew 21:23-32 and the words are below. A dramatic reading from Lumo is also included underneath these words.
When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?”
And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.
The message is brought to you by Ros Robinson from Cootamundra Uniting Church. Ros speaks to us about saying ‘yes’ to God by seeking to make our actions follow our words in what we say and do.
When have you said Yes to God but didn’t follow through? And when have you said No but did what God asked of you? In what ways can you and your church say Yes to God and be active in working in the vineyard, in living out the reign of God?
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, ‘May the mind of Christ my Saviour’, performed by The Scottish Festival Singers. If you have problems connecting, you can also try this link at YouTube:
Prayers for others and blessing
Ros Robinson leads us in the ‘Prayers for others’ and Keith Robinson leads us in the blessing.
‘I have decided to follow Jesus’, sung by Lydia Walker. It can also be found via a direct link at YouTube: