COCU22A.Lent 4A.22March2020

Readings:
1 Samuel 16:1-13: God instructs Samuel to stop mourning for Saul and to anoint a new king for Israel in Bethlehem. After examining seven of Jesse’s sons and rejecting them, Samuel finally anoints the youngest boy, David, and God’s Spirit comes upon him.
Psalm 23: David’s Psalm of praise for the God who cares for him like a shepherd, providing nurture, peace, care, protection and an eternal place of belonging.
Ephesians 5:8-14: Paul encourages the believers to live as people of the light, doing what pleases God.
John 9:1-41: Jesus heals a man who was born blind, and, because his was done on the Sabbath, the religious leaders start an investigation, calling in the man’s parents and ultimately throwing the man out of the synagogue. Then, Jesus teaches that he came to bring sight to the blind and to reveal the blindness of those who think they see.
(Summary of readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Resources: Rex AE Hunt, Textweek, Church of Scotland Starters for Sunday, Singing from the Lectionary,

NONE SO BLIND (John 9:1-41)
The man was born blind
yet through spit, mud and washing
he saw: a new life.
The authorities
would not, could not, dared not see
and rejected him.
Jesus brings light, sight
to lives that are limited
by our not seeing.
He calls us to see
more clearly, love more dearly,
follow more nearly.
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, 2017, The Billabong)
Call to Worship
When God appeared on earth in the person of Jesus,
most of the world did not recognize him
and therefore did not worship him.
Today we ask for faith that will open our eyes
to see Jesus for who he is,
that we might worship him in truth.
People of God, behold your God!
We open our eyes to see his glory.
We open our ears to hear his wisdom.
We open our hands to offer him gifts.
We open our mouths to sing his praise.
We open our hearts to offer him our love.
He is Lord!
(Source: Reformed Worship)

Words of Assurance
In God, Source of Life:
our deaths are not the final word,
our moments of crisis are part of eternal possibility,
and our weakness is taken up into the courage of God.
As followers of Jesus of the Way:
our humanness is touched with divine life,
our tears are mingled with longing love,
and our solidarity with those who suffer
is joined by divine presence.
In the Spirit of Creativity:

there are no boundaries on the dream,
there is no end to hope,
and we will never live beyond the cherishing of God.
(Source: DMcRae-McMahon, adapted)

Prayers of Intercession (based on Man Born Blind)
We have learned today of the healing of blindness and the intransigent blindness of the Pharisees.
We may feel superior that we are not like them yet there are times when we close our eyes rather than see clearly what is around us.
When self-centredness blinds us to the wreckage of human problems
and stubbornness blinds us to the troubles of our brothers and sisters;
Jesus, Light of the world, lighten our darkness.
When we turn away so we cannot see the inequalities where we have so much while others live I poverty, Lord Jesus Light of the world, lighten our darkness.
There are many diseases around the world that it is a disgrace that with funds available could be healed, blindness caused by drinking dirty water in Africa and cataract removal operations which quickly and easily restore sight.
Areas where the light of Christ is being extinguished by persecution and violence.
Help those who live in the darkness of unbelief, disillusionment and hopelessness to come to the light of Christ.
We see the generosity of your grace and mercy and we bring to you something a small part of all you have given us, give to us a generous heart and spirit as we dedicate both our offerings and our hearts that we may serve you and your church
As you touched the eyes of the man born blind touch us with you love that we may touch others. Bless our families and our homes and any we name before you in the silence of our hearts… Gracious and loving God, we believe, help our unbelief, Amen.
(Source: Church of Scotland Starters for Sunday)

MUSIC

He healed the darkness of my mind by David Haas.
Youtube link here. Link on Hymnary here including preview of the music. Can also be sung to O Waly Waly and Dunedin tunes.

He healed the darkness of my mind
The day he gave my sight to me
It was not sin that made me blind
It was no sinner made me see.

Let others call my faith a lie
Or try to stir up doubt in me
Look at me now! None can deny
I once was blind and now I see.

Ask me not how! But I know who
has opened up new worlds to me
This Jesus does what none can do
I once was blind and now I see

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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