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)

Singing from the Lectionary
Rex AE Hunt
John Squires, On a level place (sermon reflections)

Components of worship 
(Scroll down for resources for this particular Sunday)
Acknowledgement of Land
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)

Approach and confession
God of the Universe,
God of our lives,
You know us better than we know ourselves.
You see beyond the façade we present to the world
– and you love us to the core.
Today, as we gather in Your marvellous presence
may we know that we are welcomed with the open arms of love. May that knowledge inspire us to live more fully for You.
Forgive us when we fail to live into the wonderful potential that You lay before us, for the times when we begrudge others their joy and blessing,
for the times we fail to notice – or ignore –
those who suffer and whose suffering we might begin to address.
Forgive us when our vision is narrow and our hope is restricted
Especially when your imagination knows no bounds
and your capacity to love is beyond measure.
Lord, forgive us
and, as your beloved, renew us to live into the freedom and the bounty
You set before us, enable us to make a difference
by sharing your love and blessing in all that we do.
God, present here,
transform the worship that we bring until it reflects your glory and majesty, transforming our everyday lives to reflect our Creator in all that we do, here in this place and in the places you lead us for your glory. Amen
(Source: Rev Liz Crumlish, Church of Scotland)

Call to Worship
Blessed are those who trust – in God!
We come in trust, to be grounded in God’s love.
Blessed are those who hope – in God!
We come in hope, trusting in the One who gives us life.
Blessed are those who delight – in God’s Word!
We come to hear God speak, hoping for healing and joy.
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies)

Prayer of the Day
God of our wonder
Heart of creation:
we are blessed when
we feast on your Word:
     that Word which embraces us;
     that Word which teaches us;
     that Word which transfigures us;
     that Word which grounds us.
Give us your Word this, and every, day.
Jesus Christ,
Heart of God’s children:
we are blessed when
we have your compassion:
     that heart for the poor;
         for the hungry;
         for those who weep;
         for those left out.
Give us your heart this, and every, day.
Holy Delight,
Grace’s Heartbeat:
we bear fruit when
we overflow with your spirit:
     that spirit of generosity;
     that spirit of pouring ourselves out in service;
     that spirit of bearing another’s burden.
Give us your spirit this, and every, day. Amen.
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies)

Prayer of confession and commitment (inspired by Psalm 1)
Holy God,
we come before you and admit
that most of the time we are too busy singing and praying
and feeling good and feeling bad and feeling so-so
to stop and listen for your tiny, little whispers.
In your word you paint for us a picture of full and abundant life,
life that can only be had by drinking your living water,
knowing you not as a title, but intimately, a mystery….
We pray that our lives would be planted near you –
that we would send our roots deep into your word and your life,
that we would draw nourishment from you,
and that with the life you give we would in turn
provide shelter and comfort and blessing
to whoever comes under our branches.
We pray that we would not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stand in the way of sinners,
nor abide in the house of the scornful,
but that our delight would be in you,
in your truth, in your grace, now and forevermore.
(Source: Jeff’s blog)

God of light and truth,
as Your blessing rests upon us
may our eyes be open to Your word that lives in us, written on our hearts,
may our eyes be open to Your light and truth
that guides us in every part of our daily walk with you,
may our eyes be open to Your Light and truth
that lead us to walk in ways we do not yet know with companions we may not choose.
May Your light and truth enable us to see Your unpredictable Spirit walking alongside us every step of the way, giving us courage to venture into unknown territory with You.
Spirit of God, we pray for peace.
Not only the cessation of war, but that peace that is beyond our understanding. Peace that is forged when closed fists are opened in sharing,
when closed hearts are opened in caring
and when closed minds are opened to possibility for all to share
in the rich resources of the earth and of all creation.
God You have equipped Your church with all the gifts that are needed
to build Your kingdom.
May we be willing to change the narrative from one of scarcity to one of abundance. May each of us seek to discern Your purpose for our lives
and offer ourselves willingly in service.
May we harness the gifts and know the power of Your Spirit
as she weaves her way in and around us,
changing us and enabling us together to bring good news for every generation.
May we nurture one another in faith,
learn from one another and work together with You,
Creator, Redeemer, Spirit.
God You have blessed us with every good thing,
may we be a blessing to others, here and everywhere, now and forever.
(Source: Rev Liz Crumlish, Church of Scotland)

Blessed are you who are poor, 
for yours is the kingdom of God.

                  —Luke 6.21
It’s not that it’s great to be poor.
Or hungry or mourning.
But that blessing comes from God,
not from wealth or satisfaction or happiness.
Not that those who are at ease now
will be punished later,
but that ease is not life, 
and if that’s what you seek,
sooner or later you will mourn what you missed.
So don’t miss it.
God, turn my heart like a magnet
toward the love that enduresall poverty, grief and powerlessness,
the life that is pure gift. Pure gift. 
(Source, Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

There is a symmetry in the gospel
not all good news, despite the name
But blessings offset with woes
For blessings bring responsibility –
they demand that we share our undeserved abundance
And woes serve to remind us of that which is beyond.
It’s not all about today, nor all about us
It’s about taking all that God gives to build God’s kingdom where wealth is shared and not hoarded
where down trodden spirits are nurtured in love
and creation itself is cherished
and the Creator of the Universe is worshipped and honoured
as the giver of all good things
who looks on the heart
and blesses those in whose hearts is found love.
(Source: Rev Liz Crumlish, Church of Scotland)

Grounded in God’s love, we are sent out
to share abundance with those who have so little.
Blessed with Jesus’ hope, we go forth
to fill the emptiness of those longing for justice.
Blessed with the Spirit’s delight, we dance into the world
to join hands with our sisters and brothers. 
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies)

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
(Tune: NETTLETON, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
Blessed are the poor in spirit; all God’s realm is surely theirs.
Those in mourning will find comfort as an answer to their prayers.
Meek ones whom this world despises will inherit everything.
God, your kingdom still surprises; may we seek the reign you bring.

Blessed, too, are those who hunger and who thirst for what is right.
They will not be prone to wander, for your will is their delight.
Those who show God’s care and mercy will receive that mercy too.
God, in Christ you show us clearly of the joy we have in you.

Those who share the peace God gives them will find blessings as God’s own.
Those oppressed for faithful living will call heaven’s kingdom Home.
When the world’s ways seem distressing and we feel life’s painful sting,
God, remind us of the blessings of the wondrous life you bring.
(Source: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, Email:

The Hidden Stream That Feeds
The Reverend Thomas H. Troeger is a distinguished Connecticut author and poet whose lyrical sacred verses enrich our contemporary hymns and choral repertoire. Canadian composer Eleanor Daly selected several of Dr. Troeger’s poems for her Four Canticles of Praise, of which “The Hidden Stream that Feeds” is the third. An undulating undercurrent of voicesevokes the “hidden stream” with its “ceaseless currents” that “taste of heaven’s skies.”

The hidden stream that feeds our daily acts of care
Springs forth in worship when Christ leads
the church in song and prayer.
Lord, through our lives may others hear
Your living waters drawing near.

The stream runs clear and deep and tastes of heaven’s skies,
And where its ceaseless currents sweep
flows life that never dies.
Lord, through our lives may others hear
Your living waters drawing near.

A heart of stone and dust, of withered hopes and dreams,
Becomes a spring of faith and trust
by drinking from these streams.
Lord, through our lives may others hear
Your living waters drawing near.

We leave this watered place to work on rocky ground,
Yet even there, the streams of grace
sustain our daily round.
Lord, through our lives may others hear
Your living waters drawing near.
(Common Praise 462; Words: Thomas Troeger,
Music by Eleanor Daley, sample music here)

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of blessings be with you!
And with you!
Let us lift our hearts to the One who plants us by living water.
We open our hearts, to be filled with God’s grace.
Let us sing glad songs to God, who takes delight in us.
We will sing of our blessings to the One we trust in all things.
You opened your heart,
God of every wonder,
and creation flowed forth
transforming chaos into a garden of delights:
     trees stretching to touch the sky,
     rivers tickling the floors of valleys,
     stars twinkling your message of joy
           to those staring into space.
Your Spirit of generosity offered
all these gifts to those shaped in your image,
     inviting us to picnic by the waters of life.
But we chose to sink our roots
in the sandy clay of sin and death,
     taking our places at the scoffers’ table.
You blessed the prophets with your words,
sending them to proclaim your healing words
     to all who would come and listen.
But when our hearts refused to budge,
you sent Jesus, your Hope, your Life
to become one of us.
Preparing to come to your Table,
we join our voices with all who delight
in you, in every place and time:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God who blesses.

All creation trusts in your goodness.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who has been raised from the dead.
Hosanna in the highest!
Holy are you, God of living waters,
and you bless us through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Gardener of your grace, he came,
     so we would not be like lonely
     desert shrubs with no relief.
Word of your heart, he spoke,
     blessing us as your beloved children.
Bearer of your life, he went
     into the unpitying arms of death,
     so we would not be imprisoned
     by sin forever.
As we remember the blessings he has brought to us,
as we recall the curses he endured for us,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:
Christ died, trusting himself to your love;
Christ is risen, so we can trust in resurrection faith;
Christ is with us, trusting us to proclaim the good news.
Here at this Table of life,
your spirit flows into the gifts
of the bread and the cup,
your grace, your joy, your peace
seeping and trickling into all gathered,
so we become trees planted by your waters,
     sharing your kingdom with the poor,
     feeding all who hunger,
     wiping away the tears of all who grieve,
     lifting up all despised by the world.
And when our journeys have ended in you,
gathered with our sisters and brothers
around the feast prepared for all time to come,
we will join in singing our praise to you,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.
(Source: Thom Shuman, Lectionary Liturgies)

Music: Blessed Are the Poor Among You
PROMISES with Refrain (“Standing on the Promises”)
Blessed are the poor among you, Jesus said.
Blessed are you hungry ones who long for bread.
Blessed are you mournful when your tears abound.
God is turning everything around.
Hear the good news!
God is giving you the kingdom and the laughter.
God will fill you…
And you will know the joy that overflows.

Blessed are you weary who are long oppressed,
All because you follow God in faithfulness.
Leap for joy, for God will give you life anew.
Long ago, the prophets struggled, too!
Hear the good news!
God is giving you the kingdom and the laughter.
God will fill you…
And you will know the joy that overflows.

Woe to all you rich who live with blinders on,
Feasting at your tables till the food is gone.
Woe to you who laugh and live without a care,
Woe! when people praise you everywhere.
God has spoken:
You have all received your joy and consolation.
I was hungry…But did you share what God had given you?

God, your way of working is a great surprise!
Help us all to see your world through faithful eyes.
Only in your kingdom is our true joy found.
By your Spirit, turn our lives around!
Yours is good news!
You have offered us the kingdom and the laughter.
Please, God, fill us,
And we will know the joy that overflows.

Biblical References: Luke 6:20-26; Matthew 25:31-46
Tune: Russell Kelso Carter, 1886 (“Standing on the Promises”)
Text: Copyright © 1998 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

Pilgrim services COCU14C 2019

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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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