2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19:
David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem in two attempts, the second after hearing how Obed-Edom, in whose house the Ark had been left, was being blessed. Then, as the Ark enters Jerusalem, David dances with all his might, but his wife, Michal sees him and despises him for it.
Psalm 24
A song affirming that the earth is the Lord’s, along with all its inhabitants, because God is the one who created it, but only people of purity and integrity are able to enter into God’s sanctuary. Then, God is welcomed with open gates.
Ephesians 1:3-14 
God has blessed God’s people in Christ, choosing us to be holy and to be adopted as God’s children, and bringing us forgiveness through Christ, in whom we have also received an inheritance. God has given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment on this inheritance.
Mark 6:14-29 
When Herod hears about Jesus, he thinks John the Baptist, whom he had beheaded at the request of his daughter (under influence of her mother), has come back to life. After John’s disciples hear of John’s death, they take his body and lay it in a tomb.
(Summaries of readings by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

COCU47B.Readings printed handout, landscape folded format

Resources – a starting point
Church of Scotland Weekly Worship resources
Singing from the Lectionary website
Re-Worship website
A sermon for every Sunday website
Sacredise website

Components of worship
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
(Communion Hymns)

Prayer of Approach
God, our God
This morning we gather to worship You.
We come together, each of us from our own lives,
with our own thoughts, and hopes, and worries.
Let us bring our hearts, with all that weighs on them, before You this morning in worship. And unburden us, do not let us be weighed down,
but instead send Your Spirit anew among us, and clear in our hearts and minds a space to focus on You and our relationship with You.
For we come, thirsty – longing for refreshment.
For we come hungry – longing for sustenance.
We come as Your children: and long to know Your love.
And here in this place of prayer;
in this quiet and unlaboured time –
we can trace the steps of the paths that brought us here.
Our Sunday morning waking and journey here;
our Saturday and the week that has been.
As Your people, we’ve known joy, comfort, fatigue, and pain;
love and hope, loneliness and strain.
But as we cast our thoughts back, Lord,
give us eyes to see that You have been with us all along.
Gives us hearts to know of Your presence,
not just today,
but every day in our walk with You,
and that in our worship we will remember Your constancy in every moment of our lives.
You are the God who freely loves.
You have no needs or requirements; the whole universe belongs to You:
yet as infinite, majestic and glorious God:
You concern Yourself with us.
You care for us.
You know us.
In Jesus Christ You walked among us and demonstrated a love so perfect,
that all human history will unravel before we will comprehend its depth, width, and height.
(Source: Rev Andrew Kimmitt, Church of Scotland)

It is, then, all too tragic how poorly we reflect Your love.
How often we shrink from the inheritance of being Your children;
and how readily we shirk the responsibility to love as we have been loved.
There can be no excuse for our faults;
there can be no justification for the ways we inhibit the fruitful living of others;
or for the damage we do to this world and to ourselves.
We confess that we have sinned.
We have no hope but Your forgiveness;
And so we ask it: in hope and in trust that Your love,
Your perfect love – made human in Jesus Christ
who walked among us and knows every hair on our heads and every movement of our lives,
speaks quietly to our troubled souls:
I do not condemn you:
go, and sin no more.
And so, rejoicing in the life of Christ, and in the joy of the Holy Spirit,
we ask You restore us anew, and shape us in Your ways.Amen.
(Source: Rev Andrew Kimmitt, Church of Scotland)

Prayer of Confession
Gentle Spirit,
Sit with me now, as I yearn to hear to your wisdom.
A silence is kept
I have often not followed the Way of Jesus…
I do not always welcome or care for others with the breadth of your love…
I often bring prejudice and judgments into my thoughts and actions…
I sometimes hold on to hurt and self-doubt and let it fester…
In anger, I lash out instead of working towards peace…
In shame, I do not apologize for hurt I have brought to another or in creation…
Gentle Spirit,
Sit with me now, as I yearn to hear to your wisdom.
A silence is kept
Words of Assurance
Children of God, we are all welcomed to God’s family.
It is one of justice, kindness, love and humble journeying together.
God opens all God’s realm to us.
Jesus shows us new Ways of being.
Holy Spirit flows through God’s realm in Kairos (God’s) time.
From the beginning to evermore,
God’s gracious love is with us. 
(Source: Rev Anne Hewitt, Churches Together SA)

God of justice,
We thank you for your truth and justice.
For prophetic words of hope spoken at the right time.
We thank ou for those who speak in our name.
Those who tell truth to power, no matter the likely consequence.
Those who seek peace.
Those who press for justice.
Those who will not be swayed from the truth.
Throughout the history of your people, you have given your Spirit to prophets.
Those who bear witness to your love,
and the transformation possible by your power.
(Source: Rev Andrew Kimmitt, Church of Scotland)

Reflection on Ephesians 1:3-14
Paul must have lifted the spirits of the Church of Ephesus with this letter! His words were rich in meaning. All are included as God’s children in God’s realm – a space of belonging for all men, women and children of all cultures and ages. This was in stark contrast to the layered society with strict rules in which the ancient church lived. Jesus’ life, death and life again, brought a connection across everything in heaven and on earth, an equity that was previously unknown. Belonging to God’s loving ‘family’ emphasizes a radical difference in engaging as believers. There is always a home to belong to, a table where you will be fed, a welcoming space for one more, and always people who will care for you, no matter what your age or health status. God’s family, following Jesus’ teachings, brings a radical way of belonging, and a fundamentally different way of living. Everything in heaven and earth also expresses respect for all the gifts of God’s creation –humanity, animals, sky, earth and waters. What reads as a song of praise and positivity also teaches us about a whole new realm that sits outside our human time, thinking, ordering and prejudices, where open hearts, souls, minds and ways of living, flourish. So many reasons for celebration, hope, inclusion and respect – a gracious space indeed!
(Rev Anne Hewitt, Churches Together SA)

God of love and freedom, of hope and joy,
we pray for those who long to be free,
For those wrongly imprisoned.
For those imprisoned because of a fight for justice,
because they spoke out against the tyranny of their government,
because they protest the actions for their state,
because they have a faith that is censored.
We pray for those who seek asylum and refuge from their past;
and who now live in detention centres.
We pray for those who are detained for their own safety and wellbeing, but long to be free.
We pray for all those whose freedom falls victim to the greater power of an unjust majority.
We pray for those whose helplessness condemns them to a form of slave labour.
For those working unbearably long hours with little or not pay.
For those increasing number of people trafficked – human lives bought and sold.
We pray for those who long to be free.
For those who know daily pain, and who are overwhelmed with the struggle of coping.
For those who have a diagnosis that feels like an incarcerating sentence.
For those whose health curtails a freedom they used to know.
We pray for those who are trapped by the snares self-contempt.
For those who disregard their own inherent worth and loveliness,
and long to be free for love.
For those who are not free to love who, or how, or where their heart leads them.
We pray for those who long to be free,
for those who are condemned by poverty.
For those whose hunger becomes like shackles.
For those who feel unemployment to be liberty-deprived.
We pray for those who long to be free,
for those who wish to be free of the pain of this life.
And for those who mourn the passing of one dear to them.
For all those who have loved freely and long to again.
God: Father, Son and Spirit,
You are the God who loves freely:
the God whose love is unconditional and infinite.
You love each of us eternally: enfold us into Your embrace;
grant the freedom of Your people and the fulfilment of our prayers.
All this we pray, for the sake and in the name of Your son Jesus Christ, Amen.
(Source: Rev Andrew Kimmitt, Church of Scotland)


About admin

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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