COCU51A.9thAugust2020

Readings
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28: Jacob loves his son Joseph more than his other sons, and gives a Joseph a beautiful robe. But, his brothers become jealous and sell him into slavery.
Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b: A psalm of thanksgiving and celebration of what God has done as the psalmist remembers Joseph.
Romans 10:5-15: Becoming right with God is not about the law’s requirements, but about recognising the nearness of God’s word and responding to it in faith – which is why it is so important that there are those who will take the message to the world.
Matthew 14:22-33: Jesus walks on water to join the disciples in the boat as they struggle with the storm. Peter asks Jesus to call him to join him, but as he walks toward Jesus he fears and begins to sink. Jesus rescues him, and when they climb back into the boat, the storm dies down.
(Short summaries of Bible readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise. Also, reflections on the readings and local/global applications at the same link)

Today is also International Day of the World’s Indigenous People recognition (August 9)

Opening sentences
Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NRSV)
We need this kind of hope.
Come, worship the Holy One who meets you where you are.
Come, open yourselves to the God who lifts us up.
We are here to worship God. 
(Source: Rev. Dr. Bob Gross, adapted)

Opening prayer
God of Presence,
as you walked upon the water to meet the disciples,
meet us in the midst of the storms in our lives.
God of Renewal,
as you lifted Peter from the water,
lift us from despair to hope,
from distraction to focus,
from death to life.
God of the Journey,
direct us in your way,
work out your purpose in and through our lives.
We pray in the name of Christ who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.
(Source: Rev. Dr. Bob Gross, adapted)

Prayer of confession
God is with you, Christ is present,
the Holy Spirit surrounds you and unites us all.
But we have turned our eyes to the challenges of this life,
lost our focus on God and are sinking in sin.
You can begin again.
Imagine a new way of being.
We have cast aside our dreams to maintain the familiar.
We have cast aside the dreams of others,
fearful of what they might mean
.
God loves you,
Christ will lift you from the waves of doubt
and the Holy Spirit will rescue you from currents of insecurity and alienation.
A quiet time for reflection
Assurance of Pardon
Take heart, do not be afraid.
Every one who calls upon God’s name will be saved.
We are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!
(Source: Rev. Dr. Bob Gross, adapted)

Water Walker
As the setting sun fell away
and the wind took the space of light
the waves
like a claw
shaped the tension
between stability and capsize
and the ghost called
from among the swell
‘step out! step out!’
and as Peter’s foot
sank into the waves
with the first steps
of an impossible journey
the miracle was born:
not that Jesus was a water-walker
but that Peter
with a surge of belief
that tore through doubt
loosened himself
from that which he was familiar
but the devil of deception
robbed him
with a last pull
and faith fell away
and in that single moment
the Saviour caught him
‘o ye of yet little faith’
which hid a promise
that realises
from little seeds
kingdom’s grow
and this was only the start
for a disciple who always willing
to get his feet wet
(Source: Roddy Hamilton, 2011)

Stilling the Storm
Jesus, you took time to be alone.
You went to the top of the mountain.
You sought space for reflection and renewal.
May we take similar time.
Gather us in prayer.
Collect your people in quiet.
Teach us to breathe deeply.
Centre us.
Like the disciples on a choppy, troubled sea, far from land,
we are far from over.
We are battered by waves of pandemic.
Like the disciples battling strong winds,
we are struggling with the gale of racism and inequality.
We are trying to survive the presence of brutality and
violence.
Like the disciples in the midst of a raging creation,
we are in the midst of a changing climate crisis.
We are weathering the environmental storm.
Christ, you say to the disciples,
“Take heart.”
“Be not afraid.”
“It is I.”
Instill in us your steadfast courage and steady peace.
We fear so much and so easily:
admitting errors of our past,
encountering challenges in our present,
facing the unknowns of our future.
When we falter like Peter:
are distracted by any number of things and lose focus,
are sinking in our messes and lose faith,
are crying out for help and lose vision,
please reach out your gracious hand,
catch us before we abandon appropriate precaution,
calm the waters of hatred,
conquer the storm.
You said to Peter, “Come.”
Remind us that we too need to step outside the boat into unchartered waters, beyond safety and security, comfort and contentment.
Let us hear your radical summons to lives of justice-
making.
Let us respond to your risky and exciting challenge to
lives of compassion-sharing.
Let us take up your loving call to costly discipleship.
(Source: Diaconal Minister Ted Dodd, August 2020)

Trepidation or Hope? (Matthew 14:22-33)
Why did Jesus send
the disciples away first
and the crowds later?
Against a strong wind
the disciples worked in vain,
with trepidation.
When Jesus turned up
on that dark and stormy night
they were terrified.
Do we work today
with trepidation or hope
that Jesus turns up?
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, 2017, the billabong)

Out of the Boat (reflecting on Matthew 14:29)
Lord,
Save me.
l hear you calling me to step out of the boat.
l hear you calling me out onto the tumult – out into the sea of humanity.
l hear you calling me away from what l think as safe.
I hear you calling and l want to step out in faith,
but I am afraid
What if I sink?
What if I am swamped?
What if I don’t have enough faith?
But I will trust in your love.
But I will put my faith in you.
Save me, Lord, from myself.
May it always be so
Amen
(Source: Jon Humphries)

Loving through the storms 
(could be used for quiet reflection/Prayers of who we are)
The worst storms, Jesus, are the ones caused by our fear,
when we grow afraid of losing our power,
or we grow suspicious of the power of others,
when we refuse to acknowledge your mysterious authority;
Yet, it’s in the storm that we find our capacity to love.
In releasing our weak claim to power
and opening to your reign,
we discover a new way of seeing ourselves –
as called and useful and beloved –
and the other, whoever they may be –
as dignified and precious and beloved.
Here in the storm, Jesus, we need you, and we need each other,
and the love you give us to share,
leads us through sacrifice and self-giving
to peace and calm,
if only we will loose our hold on fear. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

SENDING
You have been raised with Christ.
Do the work of Christ in the world:
extend a hand to those in need,
speak up for those others would cast aside,
build bridges of reconciliation,
strengthen bonds of community,
and extend the invitation of life,
community and purpose to others knowing that
the God who created you,
the Christ who redeems you
and the Spirit who empowers you
will be with you this day and ever more.
Amen.
(Source: Rev Dr Bob Gross)

COMMUNION
God be with you.
And with your spirit.
Lift up your hearts
We them up to God.
Give thanks to God who lifts us up.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
Since the dawn of creation, you have lifted humanity
from the dust of the earth to life and fullness.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
Through dreams and their interpretation, you lifted Joseph from slavery to leadership. Through Joseph you lifted the children of Israel from famine to a feast of reconciliation.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
Through Jesus you lifted Peter from the waters of Galilee to a ministry of inviting others to leave the comfort of their boats and walk faithfully with you.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
When he had been crucified, dead and buried, you lifted Jesus from the grave to a resurrected life. Through Christ you extend that gift to all.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
With the sound of the rush of a mighty wind you lifted the first apostles from fear and despair to boldly proclaim a message of hope and build a community of purpose.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
You have lifted us through the waters of baptism to new life in Christ and through us you extend the invitation of life, community and purpose to others.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
When we struggle, your handiwork may be eclipsed by the actions of others and yet you are present to lift us to new ways of living.
Sing praise to God; tell of all God’s wonderful works!
And so, with all others you have lifted up, in every time and place, we remember the unending hymn of praise.

Words of Institution/Remembrance
Whether we are gathered at one table or dispersed at many tables,
in the Spirit our tables become one table, where we remember how on the night when Jesus was handed over, he gathered with his disciples in the upper room and together they shared in an ordinary meal that had extraordinary implications.
For at this table, Jesus broke bread and shared wine with the one who betrayed him.
At this table, Jesus broke bread and shared wine with the one who denied him.
At this table, Jesus broke bread and shared wine with those who fled from him in his time of need.
At this table, Jesus broke bread and shared wine with people from all walks of life.
And so, whenever we gather to share the bread and the wine as one
community of faith, we proclaim Jesus’ life, which affirms there is a place at this table for all people.
The love of God transcends every power that tries to contain it.
(Adapted from Toward a Hopeful Future: Why the Emergent Church is Good News for Mainline Congregations by Phil Snider and Emily Bowen, © 2010)

Prayer of Consecration
Holy God, pour out your Spirit upon our gifts of grain and grape
that they might be for us the presence of the living Christ
and upon us so that we might be empowered in our ministry
to lift the lost and lonely,
invite others to walk faithfully with Christ in the resurrected life,
to share in our community of purpose,
and to join in the feast of reconciliation.
Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours Almighty God, now and forever.
Amen.

Distribution

Prayer after communion
Holy God, thank you for your love which lifts us, your presence which fills us and your life which empowers us to be your people. Amen.
(Communion liturgy by Rev. Dr. Bob Gross)

MUSIC
God will see you through © 2020 Bryan Sirchio. Permission given congregations to play recording during worship or education programs, and to stream online.

Pilgrim UC 9.30am service 2011 COCU51A
COCU51A 20110807 Pentecost 8.9.30am
Pilgrim UC 9.30am service 2014 COCU51A
COCU51A 20140810 9.30 Service

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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