Genesis 45:3-11,15
The dreamer Joseph, who has been toying with his brothers, now reveals himself to them, asks about his father, and assures them that what they intended for evil God has used for good. Their family would be saved from the famine, because of what has happened to Joseph. He sends them back with a message inviting his father to come to Egypt. And then he kisses and weeps over his brothers.
Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40
Do not worry about the wicked or envy them for they will fade away. But God gives to those who trust God the desires of their hearts. Commit to the Lord and trust him, wait patiently for God to act, and don’t be angry. The wicked will disappear but the lowly will posses the land. God rescues the godly and saves them.
1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50

People ask what kind of bodies people will have when they are raised. Like a seed planted into the ground, resurrected bodies are something totally different, heavenly bodies, not earthly. Earthly bodies are planted in the ground, but they are raised as heavenly, eternal bodies. Now we are like the earthly Adam, then we will be like the heavenly Christ.
Luke 6:27-38
Jesus teaches that his followers must love their enemies, for it does no good to only love those who love back – even sinners do that. But, loving enemies and treating them well is acting like children of God, and is compassionate as God is compassionate. This also means we must not judge others, but must forgive, and give generously, for then we will be forgiven and will receive abundance back.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

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)

Music: Singing from the Lectionary
Facebook: Prayers that Unite

Centering Prayer: Take from me...
“Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.” Psalm 37: 7
Lord, help me to relax.
Take from me the tension
that makes peace impossible.
Take from me the fears
that do not allow me to venture.
Take from me the worries
that blind my sight.
Take from me the distress
that hides your joy.
Help me to know
that I am with you,
that I am in your care,
that I am in your love,
that you and I are one.
(Source: David Adam in “The Open Gate” SPCK 1994, posted on the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website). 

Call to worship: Revolution (Luke 6:27-38)
The enemy:
love them
The oppressor:
walk the mile with them
The Master:
turn the other cheek to them
This doormat faith
seems too much to bear
in a world where those who bully
always seem to win
The enemy:
imbalance them with love
The oppressor:
shame the law that oppresses
The Master:
turn the cheek as an equal
This rebellious faith
seems too much to bear
in a world where those who bully
are loved back to justice by the bullied
But this is heaven’s revolution
and we are called into it
come let us worship
love’s rebel, Jesus
(Source: Roddy Hamilton, Mucky Paws)

Prayer of approach and confession
Living God,
come to us this day
as we wait upon you.
Prepare our hearts and minds
to meet with you.
You have made yourself known to us
through prophets and apostles
and above all through Jesus Christ.
Make yourself known to us afresh today through your Word and Spirit.
We gather here, in the company of your people
that we may know you better
love you with a fresh love
and delight to know and do your will.
Out of our darkness we come to you for light;
out of our sorrows we come to you for joy;
out of our doubts we come to you for assurance;
out of our worries we come to you for peace;
out of our failures we come to you for forgiveness
draw near to us and meet our every need
We come, conscious of our need for forgiveness
for words spoken which we cannot take back
for opportunities missed that we now regret
and foolish and wilful decisions that have affected others.
Forgive us for attitudes that have puffed us up and put others down
for actions that have hurt others and harmed ourselves
Lord, have mercy on us
Take our lives, cleanse, heal and renew
that we may worship and serve you with grateful hearts for Jesus’ sake.
(Source: Colin Sinclair, Church of Scotland)

Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40 (paraphrase)
Don’t get worked up about evil people:
don’t envy those who do wrong:
like the grass they’ll wither quickly,
as young pasture is burnt by the sun.

Trust in the LORD and do good:
live in the land and feed on its riches,
delight in the LORD
who will satisfy your heart’s deepest desires.
Commit your way to the LORD:
trust in God and God will act,
making your integrity shine like the dawn
and your justice like the midday sun.
Be still for the LORD:
wait in hope for the LORD;
don’t get worked up about these folk who get their way,
or those who succeed in their scheming.
Give up anger and rage:
don’t get worked up; it only brings grief.
These schemers will be cut down to size,
while those who hope in the LORD shall inherit the land.
Soon the wicked shall be no more;
if you go to their home they will not be there.
Indeed the meek shall inherit the land,
and delight in untold peace.
The victory of the just comes from the LORD,
their stronghold in difficult times
The LORD will save them and rescue them;
rescue them from the wicked and deliver them,
because they sought refuge in the LORD
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, The Billabong)

Prayer of Confession: The Tyranny of Vengeance
(Luke 6:27-38)
Here we are again, God
With all that makes us who we are,
all that fills our lives;
Carrying into this place of joy and freedom
the burdens we just can’t seem to lay down,
The weight of all the scores we long to have settled,
the justice we want to demand
for the wrongs we have suffered
Yet we also know what would happen if you were to deal with us justly;
with our greeds and violences, our betrayals and lusts.
If justice was served in our lives we could not stand.
So forgive us our wrongs, God,
forgive us as we do not deserve;
forgive us against the demands of justice;
And forgive our obsession that justice be done
to those who have wronged us.
May our worship lead us to the place
where our hunger for grace and mercy may be filled,
And where we may be freed from the tyranny of vengeance. Amen.
(Source: John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Prayer of confession (Luke 6:27-38)
We come with empty hands.
We have not been able to love our enemies.
As a rule we have never even seen them.
We have avoided them.
When we saw them, we felt only fear and anger, not love.
So we come to you, not as the children of your love,
but as the enemy of our enemies,
beseeching you for ourselves and all the others;
Bless those who curse you,
do good to those who hate you.
Forgive us for what we have failed to do for our enemies.
You lead us out of the constriction of fear
and out of the prison of hate,
into the wide space of freedom.
Let us see your sun,
which rises upon the evil and the good,
and rejoice in its warmth, together with our enemies. Amen.
(Source: Jurgen Moltmann, from a sermon entitled “Revolutionary Love of our Enemies” in The Power of the Powerless)

Dear God, Make us in your likeness:
that we might disrupt what is taken for granted,
and be challengers of the status quo
that privileges the normative
white, straight, able-bodied.
Nourish us with the stories of our forebears:
that their actions might fuel prophetic imaginations
in our own time.
Equip and empower us
to work for a common good
that is expansive and diverse.
Make us your people, O God:
people of imagination,
people of justice,
people of vision,
people of action.
In your holy, disruptive name we pray. Amen.
(Source: Jemma Allen, Revgalblogpals)

Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not be envious of wrongdoers.
Commit your way to the Holy One;
trust in God, and God will act. (Psalm 37.1, 5)

Beware the temptation to outdo an evil one,
to beat the wicked at their own game.
The saint does not resist the devil
by becoming a more devout devil.
(You only think you envy the wrongdoer;
like them you think they’re getting away with it.
You can’t see the frightful abyss within,
the hell they are fighting to escape.)
Your compass is set to a different star.
Don’t let them turn you.
Set your heart on compassion,
even facing a wrongdoer:
it will make whatever game they are playing
a different game.
Let the Crucified one play your character;
it will change the meaning of the play.
You needn’t pimp up the power of God.
Trust love to do what you cannot.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

What is sown is perishable,
what is raised is imperishable.
It is sown in dishonor,
it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness,
it is raised in power. 1 Corinthians 15.42-43

Sow, me, Holy One,
your seed in this fertile world.
I will be sown perishable,
weak among mortals.
My words will be hollow,
empty graves,
from which you rise
in glory.
I will be sown broken,
seed cracked open,
and a form not strictly myself
with power not mine will rise.
My witness will be without force,
laughable to all but the saints
who will laugh with joy,
who will come out
singing and bewildered
in their grave wrappings.
I will be sown surrendered,
and the earth receiving me
will blossom forth,
my body become immense,
my song uncontained,
strength ungrasped.
Sow me, Holy One,
a seed of you,
and in my falling into the ground,
sinking into the ground,
mercy breaks all known
and unknown bounds.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.
Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High;
for God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as God is merciful. Luke 6.35-36

God is pure kindness.
No anger, no hate,
no retribution.
No petulant need
to be proven right.
No need to be mean
to those who are mean.
God is no mere guy
who knows how to be nice
and how to be cruel—
no, God is the power of love itself,
the life-giving force
of pure kindness and mercy.
Be grateful that God is so kind to us,
who are ungrateful.
How strong our urge to dilute love
with something else.
What an affront to our judgment,
this infinite, unalloyed mercy!
The immensity of God’s kindness
destroys our tiny ideas
of right and wrong (mostly wrong),
this love so generous to the ungrateful.
Repeat this daily,
breathe continually this mystery:
God is kind to the wicked,
kind to the wicked,
kind to the wicked.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Prayer of Confession
God, we are so conditioned to respond in kind.
We are so worried that when the reckoning comes,
we will find ourselves left with the short end of the stick.
And not without reason.
The powerful take and take and lie and lie
and oppress and oppress
seemingly without consequence.
Teach us to love with skill.
Teach us to love with precision.
Teach us to love with abandon,
trusting that when we step into
the ocean of your abundant love
we will receive the blessings of your abundant life. Amen.
(Source: Todd Yonkman, Todd Grant Yonkman)

(Source: Colin Sinclair, Church of Scotland)Prayer of intercession
Gracious God,
draw near we pray to those who are hurting
and bind up the broken-hearted.
We pray for those who have been wounded by their friends;
who have trusted someone only to have their trust betrayed;
who confided in someone only to have their secret repeated;
who helped someone in their hour of need
but were forgotten when their time came;
who were made use of and never even thanked
May they find in you someone whom they can trust
and find their security in your faithful and transforming love
We pray for those who have been hurt by their loved ones;
who have seen them led astray by their choices
or the influence of others;
who have seen them turn from the way of holiness
and lose their innocence
and have been helpless to do anything about it
except keep on loving and praying and hoping;
who feel more bitter for the wrongs inflicted on their loved ones
than for any inflicted on themselves
and who turn to you for grace and mercy
and the ability to forgive.
May they find in your family, the family of faith,
acceptance, support and courage to face another day.
We pray for those who have lost their peace,
who cannot relax or sit still
but must always be feverishly doing something;
for those who cannot sleep without medication
for those who are sorely tempted
and for whom defeat is a daily experience;
for those whose desires and passions are too strong
who find self-control too hard
and are overwhelmed at their own weakness
May they find a peace that passes understanding,
a strength to choose right which only you can give,
and a love that brings healing and hope.
Bless those who are imprisoned in poverty.
Bless those for whom violence or the threat of it is never far away.
Bless those who are ill or in pain.
Bless those where relationships are not right.
Bless those who have lost their faith.
Bless those who are sad and sorrowing.
You are our refuge and strength from all the storms of life
Grant peace to our souls,
joy in our hearts
light in our darkness
and in all things we pray, be with us each stop of the way for Jesus’ sake.
(Source: Colin Sinclair, Church of Scotland)

Prayers for others (Psalm 37:1–11, 39–40)
We pray for all who fret
because of wickedness, for
greed that seems rewarded;
may we trust and stay true,
may we delight in you.
We pray for all who wait,
suffering oppression, while
dishonesty seems to prevail;
may we refrain from anger,
work diligently for justice.
We pray for all in trouble,
persecuted, victims of others’ raging;
may we find refuge in you,
our helper, rescuer,
source of peace and hope. Amen.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

Offering prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
You were rich yet for our sake yet became poor
help us to remember that what we keep we lose
and what we give away we gain.
Take then these brought offerings
given in this and other ways
and use them to fulfil your purposes on earth for your name’s sake.
(Source: Colin Sinclair, Church of Scotland)

Benediction (Luke 6:27-38)
Go now, turning grudges into grace.
Turn fractures into forgiveness.
Turn hardness into hearts broken open by love.
(Community of Christ website)

Music: Christ, Your Words of Love Confound Us
BEACH SPRING D (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
Christ, your words of love confound us, even as we give you praise,
for the lessons that you teach us seem so far from this world’s ways.
How can we love those who hate us? How can we love enemies?
What of people who abuse us? How can we love even these?

Make us mindful: love is action, not a feeling that uplifts.
In each daily situation, love’s the greatest of all gifts.
It’s the wiser, stronger person who will break the chain of hate.
Love can usher in redemption; love can make a people great.

Faced with those who seek to hurt us, make us confident and free:
you don’t call us to be helpless but to stand with dignity.
Lord, when others are demanding, may we know they matter more
than our money or possessions. May we share, not keeping score.

If we love just those who love us, where’s the giving? Where’s the grace?
Even sinners try to do this; they have friends that they embrace.
May we do, Lord, unto others as we’d have them also do.
You have shown us: Love is action. May we love, and make things new.

Biblical References: Luke 6:27-38; Matthew 6:38-48; 1 Corinthians 13
Tune: The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
Text: Copyright © 2019 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:
This hymn includes insights from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Loving Your Enemies” sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, November 17, 1957.

Pilgrim services 2019

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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