PREPARING FOR SERVICES OF WORSHIP EACH SUNDAY

Now Available Digital Download - YEAR A Liturgies, YEAR B Liturgies, YEAR C Liturgies, or all 3 Years in one complete digital download. These all include complete Orders of Service based on the Common Lectionary for The Liturgical Years in one download.



CALL TO WORSHIP

Prayer of Approach - Hymns - Prayer of Adoration and Praise - Readings from Old Testament - Epistle - Gospel - A Word with the Young - Prayer of Confession - Sermon - Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession - Offertory Prayer - Benediction


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PENTECOST B


CALL TO WORSHIP: Based on Psalm 14:v.1,2 and Ephesians 3:v.14,19,21

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God”. But we bow our knees before God, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name . God looks to see if there are any who are wise, who seek after God. We rejoice in the love of Christ which dwells in our hearts through faith, and which surpasses all knowledge. We worship God who has graciously gifted us with that love. To God be glory in the church and in Jesus Christ to all generations.



PRAYER PRAISE AND ADORATION

Living God, we give thanks for the many blessings you bestow on our lives. The greatest of these is that the risen Christ dwells in our hearts - in the innermost recesses of our lives through the power of your Spirit. His love binds us to you and names us as members of your family. His love enriches and enhances our lives in ways that knowledge never could, and enables us to accomplish far more than we could ever dream or imagine. . We worship and praise you, O God, for so blessing our lives and we pray that all we do and say will bring glory to you and Christ whom we serve and in whose name we pray. Amen



SERMON

Such a familiar story – the feeding of the 5000 – and it is so familiar that unless we look carefully at how John the gospel writer has organised his material – we might just miss some significant points. Chief among those points is “seeing”. On two occasions, what the crowd sees is described by John in verses 2 and 14 – and on two occasions, what Jesus sees is described in verses 5 and 15. What the crowd sees provides the frame for the whole scene because the crowd sees signs. The large crowd had followed Jesus because they saw the amazing signs of healing taking place wherever he was. The people then saw in their unexpected – and apparently – abundant meal the sign that Jesus “was the prophet who is to come into the world.” What Jesus sees provides the frame for the action which takes place. Jesus sees the crowd coming towards him.
The crowd is hungry.
Jesus feeds the crowd.
Following this, the crowd want to make Jesus king
so he withdraws from the whole scene.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could see a video of the whole event framed by our television screen. Well, we can’t, and we weren’t there so what is John really wanting us to see from his telling of the story?...

Eduard Schweizer in his book Jesus, writes that we cannot understand Jesus on the basis of “acts of divine authority” - miracles. “They are ‘signs’, that is - acts that point away from themselves to something else that they signify.” 1. No doubt the feeding of the 5000 has signified different things to different people throughout the ages – but the question has to be – what does it signify to us?

At the beginning of the story,
the disciples looked at the crowd and saw a problem.
Jesus looked at the throng and saw a need.

Philip looked at the crowd and saw an impossible problem. He said “Six months wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” Such an answer has been called Philipism. 2. Philipism is always poised ready to give good answers as to why a fresh Spirit-given vision for the church is impossible to accomplish. Either we cannot afford it – “six month’s wages”...or who could we find to lead it. The list goes on. Sadly, Philipism can crush a new vision of an adventurous faith journey. I think we could quite possibly have looked at the crowd through the disciple’s or Philip’s eyes.

Here’s the part of the story that I think we all love. Standing in the centre of the story is a small boy with two barley loaves and five little fish. These barley loaves were the food of the poor, so they are a clear sign that his family are among the poor of Israel. Yet the boy offers them to Jesus to be used on behalf of the need of the crowd. And his offering is magnified in Jesus’ hands.…

Do we have enough faith but also enough mercy to bring about a miracle?

A woman, Kristen Johnson Ingram, thinking about these fragments, these crumbs, wrote that her first thought was “maybe they (the hungry and poor of the world) can have the fragments” and then she blushed with shame. 3 She thought further, charity doesn’t mean leftovers - that is not the sacrificial love Jesus meant when he spoke about feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. Even the boy, by handing the loaves and fishes over, offered all that he had, rather than mere leftovers. And Jesus didn’t question people’s worthiness to be fed. His only requirement was that they sit on the grass and wait for food.

We can conclude that the disciples operated out of the assumption that there was a scarcity of resources to meet the needs of the crowds. By contrast, Jesus operates out of the assumption that there is an abundance…

I believe that they point to the fact that miracles are not confined to New Testament times – they happen whenever people exercise what I believe is the God-given gift of compassion. When that gift is truly put into practice, people are miraculously fed and built up – in countless and even unknown ways. We might never know the results, we only have to believe that our connection with God through Jesus Christ, enables its happening.



BENEDICTION:

Go from this place,
enriched by the abundant love of God,
nourished by the selfless care of Jesus Christ
strengthened by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.





Click here to play COMING HOME - A short video recorded of Moira telling her story of faith and her journey through a divine encounter into full time ministry.



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