2 Samuel 11:1-15

After David sees Bathsheba bathing, he sleeps with her and she becomes pregnant. Then, he summons her husband, Uriah, who is away at war, and attempts to get him to sleep with his wife to cover David’s adultery, but when Uriah refuses, out of loyalty to his fellow soldiers, David commands that he be left stranded on the battlefield so that he will be killed.
Psalm 14 
Those who are foolish and wicked say that there is no God, and God sees how society has become corrupt. But, God is with the righteous who are “eaten up” by the wicked, and will save Israel, leading the people to rejoice.
Ephesians 3:14-21
Paul prays for the Ephesian Christians, asking God, who knows all people, to strengthen them, live in them and enable them to grasp the height, depth and breadth of God’s love. Then Paul, celebrates God who can do far more than we can think or imagine.
John 6:1-21
Jesus is followed by a large crowd and he asks Philip where they will find food to feed them, but Philip expresses that it would be far too costly to try and feed them all. Then Andrew points out one youth’s five loaves and two fish. Jesus blesses the food and has it distributed to the crowd, and everyone is fed. Then, because he knows they want to force him to be king, Jesus withdraws. But, later, as the disciples sail across the lake, a storm comes up. But, Jesus goes to the disciples on the water and they reach their destination safely.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Bible readings handout (landscape, folded A4 format) COCU49B.Readings

Starters for Sunday (Church of Scotland)

Components of worship

Words of Welcome and Gathering

Call to worship (based on Psalm 14)
The foolish say, “There is no God!
We are alone, on our own.”
We gather to declare
the glory of God in our lives.
The foolish say, “It is your life;
you are accountable to no one.”
We gather, strengthened by the Spirit,
trusting that Christ dwells in our hearts.
The foolish say, “Everything I have is mine;
I owe nothing to any one.”
We gather to praise the One
who calls us to serve others in love.
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies)

Call to worship (inspired by Psalm 14)
The foolish say, ‘there is no God.’
We come, trusting in Jesus,
the face, the voice, the presence of the God who loves us.
The scoffers of our age ask, ‘why do you seek after God?’
We come, in this time,
because God’s grace has spilled over in our lives.
The hopeless around us think, ‘no one cares about me.’
We come, in this time, to this place,
because Jesus has found us and brought us home.
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies)

You relate to us as person to person,
God who is our Parent, Protector and Friend.
In our world of passwords and multiple identities,
You come to us and you call us by our name.
But there again, you are the God to whom names have always mattered:
You invited our forebear Adam to name the creatures of the earth.
And today you call us to recognise that those whom we meet are each named.
You encourage us to establish genuine relationships,
to discover individual richness beneath too-quickly clutched stereotypes,
and unearth something of the spiritual depths
of those with whom we share homes and cafeterias and classrooms.
Let us open our hearts to one another,
even as we open them to you,
God our Companion;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Source: Rev Grant Barclay, Starters for Sunday)

Prayer of thanksgiving

Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are

This could be used as the prayers of who we are and words of assurance:
A Prayer for Grace
God of rain and warming sun, God who encourages growth;
we are creatures who sometimes grow quickly,
and sometimes get stuck.
God of freedom, of liberation, of binding ropes being cut;
we are bound in ways we don’t always understand or recognize.
God of exodus and exile and homecoming,
God who calls us to leave where we are and come home;
help us to have the courage to make the journey
and to trust in the path.
God of health and healing,
God who wants us to be made whole;
we come as people who are wounded in body and in spirit,
people who seek healing.
God who has laid out a way for us to live,
who has given us rules for living in community;
we come as people who sometimes go astray,
people who stretch the rules.
(a time of silence)
God of Grace,
we come as people who live through that Grace.
And so we praise you for the growth,
we rejoice in being set free,
we dance along the path that leads us home,
we give thanks for the healing we have received,
we relax in the knowledge that we are forgiven
and we live as people of Grace. Amen.
(Source: Rev Gord,Worship Offerings)

Prayer: The Life of David
(could be used as words of assurance)
O God,
sustain us in the complexity of our humanity
as you sustained David –
playing the harp of youth,
throwing stones at giant problems,
loving our friends beyond wisdom,
dancing worship,
mourning children,
breaking our hearts in psalms, and
longing for warmth in our old bones. Amen.
(Source: RCL Prayers, posted on re-worship)

We confess, Living God,
that we too often live as though you had taken leave of your world and left us in charge. Such belief makes us feel not lonely, but empowered.
We do what we want, constantly push the boundaries towards our self-interest
and don’t think sufficiently about the needs of others.
We discover our planet polluted,
the weak exploited and justice which seeks profit more than truth.
We cannot rescue ourselves, nor our planet,
and our best hopes and plans are frustrated in a heap of good intentions never fulfilled.
Yet you come to us in Christ
not only to assure us of pardon and security,
but to encourage us to live in contentment, simplicity and generosity.
We turn from our grasping to accept what you give to us freely and without cost: forgive us our falling-short.
By your grace, may we turn to one another,
paying particular attention to those from whom we turn away most readily,
and know your presence among us as we strive to live as pleases you;
for the sake of the One who became poor, though rich
that we, though poor, might share his riches – Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Source: Rev Grant Barclay, Starters for Sunday)

Prayer for Illumination

Readings (see above)

They saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going. (
John 6.19-21)
The point is not that Jesus “walks on water”
(whatever that means).
He walks on difficulty. Walks through trouble.
He walks, even, over impossibility.
Where he walks is not a little lake, not a great ocean,
but the world, where the Beloved
will not, even in your direst storms,
be remote, but will be there,
walking over it to you, serene, present,
no matter where you are.
It will never be hard for love to get to you.
The point is not miraculous teleportation.
It is that love will get you where you need to go.
When you awake, even terrified,
to the reality that the Beloved is with you,
you are where you were going.

(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Prayers for others

Prayer of Intercession
I want it.
I can have it.
I will take it.
God whom we see in Jesus the Giver,
Your ways are constantly greater than ours.
The deep-rooted motivations which drive us
too often orbit around gaining, possessing, controlling.
And so we have crafted a world of sale and purchase,
price often detached from value,
ownership without responsibility.
Forgive us that, in this world of stuff,
we have made even human beings into commodities:
traded and trafficked, used and discarded,
fooled into imprisonment, and worse
as they are passed around men willing to pay the price.
Your ways, shown in Christ,
are to desire the good of others,
to develop a discipline of donation
recognising it is more blessed to give than to receive,
and to freely give that which we have freely received.
We pray for people whose names and situations
shall only ever be known to us in general terms:
as stories on the news, people grouped for convenience
but whose individual lives, hopes and needs
are each held in Your everlasting care.
We pray, too, for those groups whom we classify
with the definite article: the lonely, the weary, the sick, the grieving.
We remember that ‘they’ are just like us; and each one is loved by you.
Draw close in loving grace to
those who feel little sense of being loved, supported or accompanied in life;
people today who are at their wits’ end, tired, almost defeated;
individuals who struggle with ill-health of all types
and those who bear the pain of having loved by enduring grief.
Hear our quiet prayers for those whom we know,
and name now in your presence here;
and may your presence with them strengthen and uphold them.
The waves which rock our small boat of self-sufficiency are largely of our own making:
our anxiety, our lack of trust, or unwillingness to give giving a chance.
As you come to us in the midst of our struggle to share,
accept our invitation and come aboard our small, bobbing craft
to lead us closer to your ways, and to your peace.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen
(Source: Rev Grant Barclay, Starters for Sunday)

Lord’s Prayer

Prayer of Dedication

Thanksgiving and Dedication
God of abundant blessing and generosity to match,
your vision is not restricted to the available resources
and your purposes extend far beyond our limited vision.
While we worry about retaining what we have,
those who have very little yield their all –
and thousands are enriched.
Teach us the economics of kingdom living:
a shirt-sharing,
way of life.
For then many shall be the richer. And we shall be among them. Amen.
(Source: Rev Grant Barclay, Starters for Sunday)

Offering Prayer (inspired by Matthew 14:15-21)
On my own
what I have to give
doesn’t amount to much
in the light of all you have given to me
and in the face of so much need.
Put together as a congregation,
what we offer you here in love
becomes more,
not simply added together,
but somehow multiplied in its usefulness.
We ask you to bless our gifts
and with the addition of your blessing,
just as it was with the loaves and fishes,
there is enough for all. Amen
(Source: Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website)

Benediction and sending out


(Communion Hymns)

Pilgrim archives

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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