Lectionary and prayer resources and special days/weeks – Dec 2021/Jan 2022 Year C – January/February 2022 Beloved Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, on 22nd January, 2022, at the age of 95. His community wrote: “We invite our global spiritual family to take a few moments to be still, to come back to our mindful breathing, as we together hold Thay in our hearts in peace and loving gratitude for all he has offered the world”. Gratitude for his peaceful wise presence. His wisdom will live on. Day of Mourning (Uniting Church, Australia), 23rd January (2022 resources here) The Day of Mourning invites all Uniting Church in Australia congregations to hold worship services that reflect on the effect of invasion and colonisation on Australia’s First Peoples and our identity as a nation. It is recommended for the Sunday before Australia Day (this will be 23rd January 2022).Also check out #changetheheart COCU11C, Epiphany 3, 23rd January 2022 Sermon Share sermon for 23rd January (with Rev Sandy Boyce) Australia Day, 26th January 2022 COCU12C, Epiphany 4, 30th January 2022 COCU13C, 6th February 2022 COCU14C, 13th February 2022 (13th Feb Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations 2008 – resources on Australia Day, Day of Mourning, & Reconciliation Sunday may be helpful) Valentine’s Day, 14th Feb World Social Justice Day, 20th February COCU15C, 20th February 2022 (COCU16C not used in 2022) COCU17C.Transfiguration, 27th Feb 2022 Autumn (1 March – 31 May in Australia) World Day of Prayer, 4 March (first Friday in March annually)
Online sermons Sermon Share is an initiative of Uniting Church Minister Rev Chris Goringe, where ministers and others responsible for public worship to share pre-recorded sermons based on the weekly lectionary readings. Project Reconnect has sermons for every week – check them out here. Worship Well have sermons and other elements of worship available each week in plenty of time to use – they’re here. Saltbush provide liturgy and video sermon “uniting the scattered community” here.
(under construction) A compilation of special days/months, and events which may be a focus to include in worship. Integrating community foci and community concerns is one way of engaging the biblical narrative and worship with what is happening in the world, and the community conversation.
(Father Chris is a priest of the Anglican Church of Australia, serving as Rector of Darling January 2022)
The story of the Wedding at Cana is a fun, funny story. There’s a Monty Python sketch in the aftermath. ‘We ran out of booze so that Jesus bloke zapped us some more. So we’re left with 472 litres of red wine in the containers that are supposed to hold water for ritual washing before meals. Now the containers are ruined, and soon the wine will be ruined because they containers aren’t airtight. Could we bottle the wine? No we can’t, because glass bottles haven’t been invented yet! What about goon bags? Likewise – not invented yet.’
Year C readings Exodus 34:29-35: After bringing the tablets of the law down the mountain, Moses’ face shines. And every time after speaking with God in the Tent of Meeting, he addresses the people with a shining face, after which he covers his face with a veil. Psalm 99: A psalm of praise for God’s holiness and glory, for God’s love of justice, and for God’s guidance and discipline of God’s people. 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2: In Christ, believer’s hearts are unveiled to receive the truth, and we are able to reflect God’s glory, being changed to be more and more like Christ. Luke 9:28-36 (37-43): Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a mountain where his face is transfigured, his clothes shine white, and the disciples, who had fallen asleep, wake up to find Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah. (Bible reading summary by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
Genesis 45:3-11,15 The dreamer Joseph, who has been toying with his brothers, now reveals himself to them, asks about his father, and assures them that what they intended for evil God has used for good. Their family would be saved from the famine, because of what has happened to Joseph. He sends them back with a message inviting his father to come to Egypt. And then he kisses and weeps over his brothers. Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40 Do not worry about the wicked or envy them for they will fade away. But God gives to those who trust God the desires of their hearts. Commit to the Lord and trust him, wait patiently for God to act, and don’t be angry. The wicked will disappear but the lowly will posses the land. God rescues the godly and saves them. 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50 People ask what kind of bodies people will have when they are raised. Like a seed planted into the ground, resurrected bodies are something totally different, heavenly bodies, not earthly. Earthly bodies are planted in the ground, but they are raised as heavenly, eternal bodies. Now we are like the earthly Adam, then we will be like the heavenly Christ. Luke 6:27-38 Jesus teaches that his followers must love their enemies, for it does no good to only love those who love back – even sinners do that. But, loving enemies and treating them well is acting like children of God, and is compassionate as God is compassionate. This also means we must not judge others, but must forgive, and give generously, for then we will be forgiven and will receive abundance back. (Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
Jeremiah 17:5-10 Cursed are those who trust in human strength and turn away from God. They live in barrenness with no hope. But those who trust in God are like trees planted near a river. They have green leaves and bear lots of fruit. The human heart is deceitful and wicked and God searches all hearts and motives, rewarding people according to their actions. Psalm 1 Those who do not follow the ways of the wicked are blessed. They delight in God’s law and they are like trees along a riverbank bearing fruit and prospering in all they do. The wicked are worthless and will be judged. God watches over the righteous but the wicked will be destroyed. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 Some Corinthians say there is no resurrection. Paul points out that this means that then not even Christ has been resurrected, which means their faith is useless and believers are most to be pitied. But Christ has been raised and is the first of a great harvest. Luke 6:17-26 Jesus preaches to the crowds, in Luke’s version of the Beatitudes. Those who are poor, hungry, and who weep, and are persecuted are blessed, while those who are rich, prosperous, laughing, and praised by the crowds are facing great sorrow. (Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
Isaiah 6:1-8, (9-13) In the year King Uzziah Dies, Isaiah has a vision of God’s glory in the temple, where he is cleansed and he responds to God’s call. Then God tells him to say to the people that they won’t learn or understand. When he asks how long this will be for, God answers that it will continue until the country is a wasteland, but that Israel’s stump will be a holy seed. Psalm 138 The Psalmist praises God for God’s love and faithfulness, and God’s promises, declaring that all the kings of the earth will praise God, for God is great. In the Psalmist’s troubles God protects from enemies and will work out God’s plans for the Psalmist’s life. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Paul reminds the believers of the Good News that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead on the third day. He was seen by Peter, and the twelve, and by over 500 followers. He was also seen by Paul, who considers himself the least of the apostles. He declares that he is what he is by the grace of God. Luke 5:1-11 Jesus preaches on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and when the crowds press in on him, he steps into a boat and asks Peter to put out from the shore a little. Then he tells Peter to go out and drop his nets to catch fish. Peter complains that the disciples have worked all night and caught nothing, but he agrees to go anyway. When they catch a great catch, Peter responds in repentance, and Jesus calls him to follow. So Peter, James and John leave their nets and follow Jesus. (Summaries of Bible readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
A real sense of loss, and gratitude, for the life of Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s 1984 Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist for racial justice and LGBT rights. He was a tireless champion in the fight for equality and justice, an inspiration, a hero, a peacemaker has walked among us. He always led with hope, truth and courage. A man whose great wisdom and moral compass was matched only by his love devotion to helping others. He was loved, admired and thanked for his selfless servant leadership to his country and to the world. What a life of service he lived, for the dignity and equality of all people. What a legacy he’s left behind. Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord. And may light perpetual shine upon him.
Archbishop Tutu was a person of tremendous faith in God and devotion to God. He was committed to prayer and the study of the scriptures and from this came his commitment to justice for all people. A Canadian journalist who travelled with him on a difficult mission to Liberia wrote: “Inside this man whom much of the world knows as an ebullient, laughter-filled extrovert, a Nobel peace laureate who holds audiences and congregations spellbound, lives a meditative, contemplative person…”. Thank you Desmond Tutu for a life given to pointing us towards the true way. You have inspired many to follow that way. May your work continue to be a beacon of love, compassion, goodness and freedom for us all to follow.
Perhaps to begin a new year in 2022 on Sunday 2nd January, it could be good to frame a service around some of what we learnt from him (ie not just token ‘new year resolutions’ but growing as disciples of Christ as exemplified by Desmond Tutu in his life). May we continue Tutu’s quest by doing our bit of good wherever we are today and in the days to come.
COCU is a coding index so the lectionary weeks remain consistent for each year.
Readings Jeremiah 1:4-10: Jeremiah is called to be a prophet, and God explains God’s knowledge of Jeremiah from his conception, and God’s message for Jeremiah to preach. Note both the “yes” and the “no” in the message Jeremiah is given.
Psalm 71:1-6: A prayer for God to protect and be a refuge from one who has trusted and praised God since the womb.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13: A celebration of the noble and godly characteristics of love, which lasts forever and is the greatest of all things. Again note the “yes” (love is…) and the “no” (love is not…).
Luke 4:21-30: After reading the “yes” in Isaiah’s scroll (last week) and claiming the prophecy for himself, Jesus confronts the people of Nazareth with a “no” because, like their ancestors, they are offended by the idea that God can work in and through “outsiders” and Gentiles, and they refuse to accept the teachings of the prophets. This offends the people, and so they attempt to kill Jesus.
(Bible readings summary by John van de Laar, Sacredise) Continue reading →
A very special performance of ‘I Am Australian’ by the students of Broome Primary School. A production of the ABC in collaboration with the Mabu Yawuru ngan-ga language team and Yawuru Traditional Owners of Broome.
This short film features the iconic Aussie anthem ‘I Am Australian’ which was written Bruce Woodley and Dobe Newton and has been beautifully reinterpreted by triple j Unearthed artist Emily Wurramara. A range of community groups and schools were filmed singing for the video. Among them you’ll see and hear renditions by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, the Sydney Street Choir and a very special recording by the Broome Primary School students, who sang the song in Yawuru language.
Listen to the Whisper: Music written by Geoff Boyce, sung by Tim and Alison Solly, with images from Colebrook memorial (Adelaide, SA) – can be used for Acknowledgement of Land.