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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
26th June 2022

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in reguar typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

 

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we remember what we should be looking for above all else.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

Use your mouse to scroll through the contents of each window.

Clicking on the buttons across the tops of the windows below will allow you to zoom in\out,

search, switch to full screen, print, and download the contents to your computer.


The Pewsheet:

Call to Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

 

We meet in the name of Jesus,

Word made flesh,
saviour of fallen humanity, lover of all. Amen.

 

We meet in the name of the Holy Spirit,

Lord and giver of life,
midwife of new humanity,
inspirer of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness

(click the "play" button, below:)

00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence for the Day

 

There is none like the God of the upright, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in majesty.  The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

The Prayer for the Day (Collect)

 

Let us pray together.

Sovereign God, we have no good apart from you;  gladden our hearts in following your radical call so that in your presence we may find the fullness of joy;  through Jesus Christ our Liberator, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Sprit, one God, now and forever. Amen

A reading from The Old Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

2 Kings 2:1-2,6-14
00:00 / 03:54

A reading from The New Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

Gal 5:1,13-25
00:00 / 03:01

Pause for a moment of silent reflection.

The Gradual Hymn

 

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing along with this beautiful hymn.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Gospel Reading, Luke 9:51-62

(click the "play" button, below:)

Luke 9:51-62
00:00 / 01:51

Listen to the sermon:
(click the "play" button below when you are ready to begin)

sermon_220626_ORDINARY 13_Hang on a moment !
00:00 / 10:33

or, if you prefer, you can read to the sermon, below:

SERMON : ORDINARY 13 (LUKE 9:51-62) 26TH JUNE 2022

 

MAY the words of my mouth and the meditations in our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. <Amen>

 

James and John thought they would please Jesus by calling down fire on the Samaritans who refused to offer Him hospitality. No doubt the disciples had in mind the story of the prophet Elijah calling down fire on the emissaries of the king of Samaria. They still had not learned that Jesus came to rescue people, not annihilate them … aah … human misunderstanding. <PAUSE>

 

Today’s gospel is a difficult one. It’s confrontational and it doesn’t leave much, if any, room for compromise. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” We’re either looking toward the kingdom or we are not. We’re either responding to Jesus’ call to life or we’re not. We’re either open to the coming future or we’re not. 

 

Jesus is calling US into question and that’s never easy, fun, or comfortable. He is calling into question the direction of our lives, the values we claim to hold, and how we are living and embodying those values. He is asking us to look at ourselves rather than “the Samaritan” on whom we’d like to call down fire from heaven.

 

By “Samaritan” I mean those who look, act, and believe differently from us; those who do not hold our particular religious, political, environmental, or social beliefs; those who are not from these parts; those to whom we are opposed and in conflict with, for whatever reasons. Those who write and post articles and comments that really upset us; those who make our blood run hot when we turn on the news; the people around us who simply don’t seem to want to change - the list goes on.

 

Today’s gospel won’t let us turn away from the people and situations that surround us. Jesus recognises and holds before us the tensions in which we live. On the one hand we say to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” On the other hand we say to him, “But hang on a moment … first …hmmm”. You probably know what that’s like. I know I do.

 

It’s easy and simple to follow Jesus, in principle. Love your neighbour as yourself, love your enemy, welcome the stranger, visit the sick and imprisoned, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give the thirsty something to drink, turn the other cheek, forgive not just seven times but seventy times seven.

 

These are values Jesus holds. That’s where Jesus is going. That’s the direction in which he has set his face and asks us to follow. That’s the road … and it sounds wonderful. I believe that, for most of us, it’s the road we too have chosen to travel …. in principle.

 

But it’s so much harder to follow Jesus “in life” than “in principle”. I suspect we are all in favour of love, hospitality, forgiveness, and nonviolence until we meet the unloveable, the stranger who scares us, the unforgivable act, the one who throws the first punch … the “Samaritans” in our lives. Then it’s a different story and that story usually begins with, “But hang on a moment … first….”Jesus, however, puts no qualifications, limitations, exceptions or excuses on where He is going, who is included, or what He is offering. He doesn’t seem to care who we are, where we are from, or what we have done or left undone. National or Labor, citizen or foreigner, Christian or Muslim, gay or straight, black or white, good or bad, believer or non-believer … all that just don’t seem to matter to Jesus.

 

For Jesus there is no why, there are no conditions attached to His love, hospitality, forgiveness, or giving.

 

Jesus does not allow for a “but hang on a moment” in His life or in the lives of his followers. 

 

That “hang on a moment …” is the way WE try and put conditions on the unconditional.

 

  • Yes, I will love the other but hang on a moment … let me go and see who the other is, whether she or he is deserving of love, whether I like him or her, whether he or she agrees with, and is agreeable to, me.
     

  • Yes, I will open my door to and welcome the stranger but but hang on a moment … let me go and see who’s knocking, how different he or she is from me, what she or he wants, what I am risking. 

  • Yes, I will forgive another but but hang on a moment … let me go and see if she or he has acknowledged her or his wrongdoing, is sorry for what they did, and has promised to change. 

  • Yes, I will give to and care for another but but hang on a moment … let me go and see why I should, what it will cost me, and what’s in it for me.

 

Yeah … hang on a moment … <PAUSE>

 

I wasn’t kidding when I said that this is a difficult gospel. I wish I could resolve this in some neat and simple way, as much for myself as for you, but I can’t. It’s not about resolving the gospel. It’s about resolving ourselves, resolving our hearts … and that is not simple. It’s a different way of “being” in this world, a way of relating to others, a direction for our lives. It’s choices we make every day. <PAUSE> It’s the road that follows Jesus. 

 

I wonder what our lives and world would be like if we were to love, give, welcome, and forgive without that “hang on a moment …” 

 

What if we were to lead with Christ-filled hearts and not “hang on a moment …”<AMEN>

 

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.
In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

Pause and Reflect

 

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith
 

Let us affirm our faith by listening as "The Apostles Creed" is read to us.
(click the "play" button below when you are ready to listen) 

apostles creed AD
00:00 / 01:03

 ... and now ... let us pray for the Church and for the World, giving thanks for God's goodness.

(click the "play" button below when you are ready to begin) 

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The Lord's Prayer

 

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ has taught us:
 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

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Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn

 

In closing our service let us raise our voices in praise and celebration by singing along with our final hymn.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

Dismissal

 

Go now to love and serve The Lord,

Go in peace.

 

Amen, we go in the name of Christ.

Are you missing Holy Communion? Click here.

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