44A – Sunday 12A

43A - Sunday 11A45A - Sunday 13A
See also my posts from 2014, 2017, 2020, 2023

PSALM 86 (Jeff’s Version for today – tomorrow’s may be different)
Listen a while, LORD,
things are less than ordinary right now.
Keep me afloat so that I can continue to worship you;
save me so that I can serve you and trust in you.
Care for me with the care and generosity
that only you can give,
even though I cry out all day long.
Cheer up the very core of my being,
because that’s where my worship first stirs.
I ask, not just because all of the above apply,
but because you love like no other, 
faithfully and inexhaustibly.
Just listen a while, O LORD.
When I’m in it up to my neck I call out,
because I know you will answer me.
Lord God, you are a “one off” –
and your works and wonders are extreme.
Eventually, everyone will come to that conclusion,
and they will praise you,
for you alone are God.
Teach me how it is with you, LORD,
so that I can live that way,
faithfully, and in awe of your name.
Thank you, Lord God,
from the bottom of my heart;
in your faithful and inexhaustible love you have saved me,
and given me life in my darkest moment:
I will praise you for ever.
Right now, O God,
there are ruthless forces wanting me out of the way.
But you, Lord, have been caring and compassionate
from very the beginning you’ve had a slow fuse,
and been faithful, with an inexhaustible love.
Turn and pour out your tenderness on me,
give me your strength to serve you,
as you did my mother.
Let me see something of your love right now,
something to dismay those who would do me in,
that you, O LORD, would help and comfort even me.

God of transforming grace and love,
we bring our diverse gifts.
By your Holy Spirit enable us
to live as responsible stewards and witnesses
in living the way of Jesus. Amen

For use in worship, with acknowledgement. © Jeff Shrowder 2000, 2014.

A CREATIVE MOMENT – Genesis 21:8-21, Matthew 10:24-39 
Use the draped blue and brown cloths from recent weeks, symbolising the the wilderness, and the water with which Hagar sustained Ishmael. A lighted candle would also be appropriate.
In the Gospel, as in the Genesis reading, there are images of family conflict even disfuction. But there is also a curious parallel between Hagar losing her life within the household of Abraham and finding it in the watchfulness and lovingkindness of God, on the one hand, and those, Jesus says, “who lose their life for my sake will find it”, on the other.
There are broader issues here of human rights: refugees, assylum seekers, oppressed minorities within your society. Maybe one or more members of your congregation is a member of Amnesty International and is prepared to share some stories of the people for whom that organisation advocates. Maybe your congregation has a relationship with some refugees or assylum seekers who might be willing to share some of their story. Other activities could flow from this.

(A prayer, usually with connection to one or more of the lections for the day, to gather the spoken and silent concerns/joys/thanks expressed by the congregation and lead into a more structured Intercession. Sometimes this prayer also borrows lightly from other sources e.g. Uniting in Worship 2 or publications of the Iona Community.)

Compassionate God,
hear our joy and thanks
for the delights we have known
this week.
Hear also our cry
for the dispirited, the displaced, the disowned.
Pour out your Spirit on theses
and on those weighed down with grief or uncertainty,
those whom we name on our lips and in our silence
and those whose troubles are known only to you …

         (The Prayers of the People continue)

Looking for contemporary music and song resources?
Try David MacGregor’s Together to Celebrate
Or metrical psalms? Try Dale A. Schoening’s Sing the Psalms

Genesis 21:8-21
By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered TIS 617
God! When human bonds are broken TIS 683
How shall I sing to God TIS 667
O Master, let me walk with thee TIS 601
You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord TIS 48
Psalm 86:1-10,16,17
Glory be to God the Father TIS 142
King of glory, king of peace TIS 201
O Lord, hear my prayer TIS 741
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy TIS 136
Romans 6:1b-11
Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to …. TIS 390
Baptised into your name most holy TIS 481
Bread of the world in mercy broken TIS 512
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing TIS 387
Christians, lift up your hearts … TIS 424
Come, God’s people, sing for joy TIS 391
Easter glory fills the sky TIS 388
Faith will not grow from words alone TIS 691
Father welcomes all his children TIS 491
Firmly I believe and truly TIS 140
If we have died to ourselves in Jesus TIS 475
In water we grow TIS 494
Joyful the morning when Jesus Christ is TIS 383
Lift up your hearts unto the Lord TIS 732
Now let us from this table rise TIS 530
O for a heart to praise my God TIS 568
Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands TIS 496
They that believe and are baptized TIS 479
Through the Red Sea brought at last TIS 384
Wash, O God, our sons and daughters TIS 493
We know that Christ is raised TIS 489
When we to cleansing waters came TIS 484
Matthew 10: 24-39
I’m not ashamed to own my Lord TIS 562
Jesus my Lord, let me be near you TIS 656
Take up your cross, the Saviour said TIS 583
Where cross the crowded ways of life TIS 608

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