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
Welcome to the HomeFaith service for Epiphany 3. The service today has a particularly Australian flavour to it as Australia Day is coming up this week.
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. God, source and home of all things, in the beginning you sang creation into being and formed this rich red land; you are worthy of all praise.
Lord Jesus, brother and healer, your love for the world took you to the cross; you promise to make us whole.
Spirit of God, within and among us, bringer of new life; you give us hope.
As we come together today, old or young, sure or uncertain, peaceful or troubled, hopeful or doubtful, we give thanks that you welcome us into your-self and into your love.
We also confess that we are far from perfect. Forgive us for when we are less than open with you. Forgive us for the ways where we do not welcome others. Forgive us for when we find it hard to acknowledge that you love us.
[ a short silence ]
Let us hear that we are forgiven. Touch us once more with your peace and presence we pray. Amen.
From the Bible
The Bible readings for today are from 1 Corinthians and the Gospel of Luke. The reading from Corinthians is below and the reading from Luke is in a video from the Lumo group. If you have trouble connecting you can go direct to YouTube at:
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honour, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.
The message today is brought to us by Mark Faulkner from the Saltbush Community. Jesus goes up to the Synagogue on the Sabbath and reads from the scriptures. At first all are amazed, his reputation has gone throughout the countryside and yet the words Jesus chose to read begin to strike at the heart.
Questions for conversation
How do you respond to the passage that Jesus read out from the scriptures?
How does that passage speak to you and to your life?
What one action can you or your church take in response to the Word 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.
Prayers for Others
Drawn by God’s love and abundant faithfulness to us, let us pray.
Eternal God, where there is hope, you are there. Where there is compassion and the desire for wholeness, you are there. Where there is the struggle for peace, you are there. Where the hungry are fed, and the poor empowered, where there is sight for the blind, and the oppressed go free, you are there. Where there is delight in the trees of the land, or the depths of the seas, you are there. Wherever love is announced, you are there.
In you is such longing for your creation, and for humanity, and we thank you for that presence of you, in Spirit, in people, renewing, calling, and saving. In that knowledge, and in our simple faith, we bring our prayers for your creation and for the people of this world.
O Christ we open ourselves in prayer for:
[Silence for personal prayer or invite others to open prayer in between each]
Your creation … Silence
For others we have heard about throughout our world …Silence
For other people we know and are close to … Silence
For our church and our wider community … Silence
For ourselves … Silence
‘I was sent to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
Go in peace – love and care for one another in Christ’s name.
May God’s Spirit dwell richly within you, may God’s Living Word bring you freedom and wholeness, and may God’s love fill your cup to overflowing, both now and forevermore. Amen
The closing song is, “The great south land”, written by Geoff Bullock. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
See below for a fun activity. Make a Christingle! If you don’t know what that is, taken a look below. If you want a fullscreen version, select the download button below.
Sources for HomeFaith worship Epiphany 3
The “message” and the “prayers for others” come from the Saltbush service for the corresponding week and can be found at: