Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20: God speaks God’s commandments to the people of Israel who are terrified by the thunder, lightning, smoke and trumpet sounds. They ask Moses to speak to God on their behalf, because of their fear, but Moses reassures them that God is simply keeping the people in awe so they don’t sin.
Psalm 19: A psalm celebrating creation which proclaims God’s glory, and God’s law which enlightens brings reward to those who keep it.
Philippians 3:4b-14: Paul, who has good reason for confidence under the law because of his upbringing and observance, values only the righteousness which he has received through Christ, and through which he knows the power of Christ’s resurrection and participates in Christ’s sufferings.
Matthew 21:33-46: Jesus tells a story about a farmer who cultivates a vineyard and then rents it to tenant farmers, who, instead of giving the farmer his share of the fruit when it’s due, kills his servants and then the farmer’s son. In this way, he explains, God’s reign is being given to those who will produce fruit.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Opening Prayer (inspired by Psalm 19)
Eternal God,
whose signature we see, if we dare to look,
in the creation of the universe,
help us this hour to look and to listen
for Your handwriting and Your voice in this place,
among these people.
Connect our temporary praise to Your timeless rhythms,
Your ageless melodies,
Your everlasting joyful noise.
Guide us now to focus upon You,
knowing that in You,
our distractions become new possibilities for action.
Breathe life into our singing, our praying,
our speaking, our listening, our touching,
that all these activities might become more than they are.
In our worship we reach out to You, O God,
knowing that You have already enfolded us in Your arms.
In Jesus, we pray. Amen.
(Source, My Redeemer Lives website)

Prayer of Approach and Confession
Loving God, present and near.
You are beyond our words and our understanding.
Help us to remember that You are at once
infinite, boundless, timeless and eternal
but, at the same time intimately entwined with our lives.
You are with us no matter where we find ourselves.
When we have forgotten You
Lord, have mercy.
When we have failed to speak words of love
Lord, have mercy.
When we have neglected the need of another
Lord, have mercy.
Loving God, present and near
help us to recognise Your presence and nearness with us
as we worship together.
Through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
(Source: Thomas Sutcliffe, Church of Scotland’s Weekly Worship website)

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is God’s doing—marvelous in our eyes!
—Matthew 21.42 (Ps. 118)
What the world in its materialism overlooks,
and in its violence rejects,
what the world accounts as nothing –
yet what God’s heart is set on:
the spirit in you the world can’t see,
the beautiful endurance the world can’t mar;
the divine presence it can’t accept
though it is not the world’s to judge;
the heart your suffering has tried to break,
the tenderness your struggles have tried to ruin,
the nobility your torments have tried to destroy:
they prevail, with God’s delight and confidence.
The Crucified One lives in you
and all the world’s mocking and its cruel graves
can’t keep the Risen One in you
from living, living on, in love, in hope, in glory.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

“Sabbath, in the first instance, is not about worship. It is about work stoppage. It is about withdrawal from the anxiety system of Pharaoh, the refusal to let one’s life be defined by production and consumption and the endless pursuit of private well-being.”
(Source: Walter Brueggemann)

“Zion is in ruins, Jerusalem lies in the dust. All week there is only hope of redemption. But when the Sabbath is entering the world, man is touched by a moment of actual redemption; as if for a moment the spirit of the Messiah moved over the face of the earth.”
(Source: Abraham Heschel, The Sabbath)

An order of service for Tuesday morning. Proper 22A Ordinary 27A 8am Tuesday

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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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