The opening song is, “Praise to the Lord Almighty”. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
Call to worship
Let us come with ears to listen. Let us hear ancient words speak of life. Let us be a people at the feet of Christ. Let us be a people of faith.
You may like to light a candle at this time.
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.
“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” Psalm 37: 7
Let us pray.
Lord, help me to relax. Take from me the tension that makes peace impossible. Take from me the fears that do not allow me to venture. Take from me the worries that blind my sight. Take from me the distress that hides your joy. Help me to know that I am with you, that I am in your care, that I am in your love, that you and I are one. Amen.
Story: “Forgive my enemies”
From the Bible
The Bible reading for today is from Luke 6:27-38 and the words are included below. There is also an optional video by the Lumo group underneath the words. It includes the reading from last week as well.
“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
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 Mark Faulkner, from the Saltbush Community, who is speaking to us about the life-giving statements of Jesus in Luke 6. Reading this passage – sayings of Jesus – is hard! What do they mean for us?
Why would Jesus have said such impossible things? What do you think these sayings mean for us 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, 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
O God, in your presence, these are our prayers. Amen.
Go now, turning grudges into grace.Turn fractures into forgiveness.Turn hardness into hearts broken open by love.
May God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless us and the people we meet along the way. Amen
The closing song is, “Let us build a house”, by Marty Haugen. If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
See below for a fun activity.
Make a mini garden pond
Make a pond in your back yard using a small container and some rocks or sticks. Put some plants around your pond and enjoy!
Dawn and Archie build a pond
DIY quick and easy pond
Take time to rest and refresh
Spend some time sitting by your pond. Talk with God about anything
that’s on your mind. Be still and listen… what can you hear?
Follow the sun (Xavier Rudd)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E1bNmyPWww
- The prayers and message were largely based on the Saltbush service for the same week in 2022 (Epiphany 7):
- Opening prayer written by David Adam in “The Open Gate” SPCK 1994. Posted on the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website. http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/