flax_cross.jpg

TE POUHERE SUNDAY
19th June 2022

What follows is a contemporary service for Te Pouhere (Constitution) Sunday which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty (40) minutes.

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

 

The text that is in regular 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 with the lyrics, of our opening hymn.

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

Call to Worship

Kia ora, te whānau, 
welcome to you my sisters and brothers.

Grace and peace to you from God.

God fill you with truth and joy.

Let us pray.

 

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires
known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; cleanse the
thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit
so that we may truly love you and worthily praise your holy
name through our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Happy are those whose sins are forgiven,
whose wrongs are pardoned.
I will confess my sins to the Lord
I will not conceal my wrongdoings.

 

Pause to give yourself a moment for quiet reflection.

In God there is forgiveness

God forgives and heals us
We need your healing merciful God,
give us true repentance.
Some sins are plain to us,
some escape us,
some we cannot face.
Forgive us,
set us free to hear your word to us;
set us free to serve you.

An Assurance of Forgiveness

(click the "play" button, below:)

00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence for the Day

 

You, O Lord, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter;  we are all the work of your hand.

The Prayer for the Day (Collect)

God of liberation, you free us from the chains that bind us;  may you re-clothe us in our rightful mind, and send us to share your love with those around us;  through Jesus Christ our Liberator, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

A reading from The Old testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

Isaiah 42:10-20
00:00 / 02:00

A reading from The New Testament

(click the "play" button, below:)

Acts 10:34-43
00:00 / 02:40

Pause for a moment of silent reflection.

The Gradual Hymn

 

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing along with, "Jesus Is Lord".

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

The Gospel Reading, John 17:6-26 (Jesus prays for us, His disciples))

(click the "play" button, below:)

John 17:6-26
00:00 / 03:24

Pause and give yourself a moment to silently reflect on those words of Holy Scripture.

A Sermon for Te Pouhere Sunday

(click the "play" button, below:)

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

sermon_220619_Te Pouhere Sunday
00:00 / 09:25

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 that 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.
 

Reflect upon how, in our lives, we sometimes struggle to remember that FAR more unites us than can ever divide us.

An Affirmation of Our Faith
 

Let us affirm our faith by listening as a "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

Let us pray for the Church and for the World, giving thanks for God's goodness

(click the "play" button, below:)

prayer group 02.jpg

Let us pray 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 Peace

 

E te whānau, Brothers and sisters, we are the body of Christ.
By one Spirit we were baptised into one body.

 

Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Amen. We are bound by the love of Christ.

 

I say to you all:

The Peace of Christ be always with you.

And also with you.

Are you missing Holy Communion? Click here.

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.

prayer_pic_200403.jpg

The Risen Lord Christ

 

May the Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards you. May the Risen Lord Christ cause His light to shine upon you. May the Risen Lord Christ grant you His peace. Amen

A Closing Hymn

 

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing along with one of the wonderful hymns that reminds us that we are many but we are one! Standing firm on the "Church's One Foundation".

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

A Closing Prayer (please join me in praying aloud ...)

God of the southern sea and of these islands, God of Norfolk Pine and Lofty Totara, God of spindle and sail, You brought us to this land of plenty and bound us here in sacred trust.

Make us worthy of our covenant with You: Create in us a deeper belonging by Your grace, that we may partner Your ways together And serve Your purpose in each other. In the name of Christ our dolphin guide. Amen. 

The Lord's Prayer in Te Reo

When you are ready to continue, click the "play" button in the video window, below: 

Dismissal

 

Go now to love and serve The Lord,                    Haere ki te aroha me te mahi ki te Ariki,

Go in peace.                                                             Haere i runga i te rangimarie.

 

Amen, we go in the name of Christ.               Amene, ka haere tatou i runga i te ingoa o te Karaiti.

te_pouhere_sunday_pic02.jpeg