Welcome to the Church
Welcome to worship this morning. So much has happened in our community in recent days and we find ourselves again with tight Covid restrictions.
It is my hope our time of worship this morning will be a blessing to us all.
Call to worship:
Come, come in faith:
For our God is faithful.
Come, come, with hands stretched out:
For there are no barriers between us and Christ.
Come, come, in love:
For this is the God who moves before us,
Each of us, all of us.
Let us worship God!
Acknowledgement of Country
For 60,000 years, the ancient of days has breathed life into this land.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we gather.
We pay our respects to their elders past present and all their descendants.
Hymn: Here in this place
Prayer of invocation
Be found here with us, Spirit God, discovered in our midst again, for we are your disciples of today, and we invite your knowing of our hopes and fears, your entering of our longing hearts.
Break down the barriers which we place between us and your presence, for we long to be with you and experience your grace.
Prayer of confession
Healing, God, sometimes we place a veil of separation between you and ourselves. There are many reasons for this, O God.
It is sometimes hard for us to understand the pattern of your healing when you respond to our prayers. Sometimes it feels as though you don’t respond at all and we worry about our lack of faith and our worthiness.
If we no longer dare to ask things of you:
Forgive us, O God.
If we fear to be disappointed:
Forgive us O God.
If we would rather keep you distant so that you cannot call us away from our illness or our guilt, because it is easier to be cared for than to take up our beds and walk:
Forgive us, O God.
If we are choosing to be victims forever as a way of life, giving power to those who have wounded us, rather than to you:
Forgive us, O God.
When we turn our faces away from the possibilities of gifts, or assume that they are ours alone:
Forgive us and open our lives to your renewal and healing O God.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
Assurance of forgiveness
Come to God in faith,
In Jesus Christ, the veil is stripped away from the love of God!
We will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, the comforter.
This is the promise in Jesus Christ.
On this day, it is yours, it is ours!
Thanks be to God!
Hymn: Beauty for brokenness
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (Which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
We have just heard read to us by James, three stories of despair. Cries of anguish, cries of suffering, and cries of pain.
What these readings have in common is, each person reached out to God in their own way with the hope of healing and restoration.
We are not clear whether the psalmist is crying out from a place of his own personal pain and anguish or for the community but God was the only one able to hear his cries from the dark depths that he was experiencing and bring healing and hope to himself or the community.
Jairus, a leader of the synagogue and a man of great importance and authority, made himself quite vulnerable when he reached out to Jesus with the hope that healing would take place for his daughter. He went and found Jesus.
The unnamed women’s approach was so not so direct. She reached out from the crowd and touched Jesus with the hope of a cure.
We all have our own way of reaching out to Jesus.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the service so much has happened in our community in recent days and it feels as though we are back at the beginning of 2020 again. Covid has raised its ugly head in a new and scarier way. It is hard to keep up with all the restrictions and rules that seem to be rapidly changing and I don’t know about you but I find it hard to hear God when my world is busy around me. I wonder if that is true for you as well.
Today instead of me sharing a sermon with you with lots of words, I would like to share just a few and invite you into a place of reflection, a place to be still, a place to listen for the word of God. I am going to ask you four things; they will also be on the screen and we will have a time of silence to sit with our thoughts before I move onto the next. After we will then listen to some music.
"What is God saying to you today?”
Listen to God speaking to you through these readings.
Through the woman’s story, is God saying to you:
“Reach out and touch me.
I want to love you so much.
I do love you far more than you will ever imagine.”
Or through the words in the psalm, is God saying to you
All is forgiven.
I love you still.
You are my beloved child”
Or is God saying to you:
“I see your faith in me, but now I want others to see it too.
Share your story.
Listen to their stories.
Tell others what I have done for you”
Hymn: Be still and know that I am God
Prayers of intercession
Let’s take a moment to quieten our hearts, as we come to God in prayer.
We are on a small planet in a solar system, on the edge of a galaxy. A piece of dust in a constellation, we are afloat in a cosmic sea.
This is Earth, it's God's Island, blue, green, red and grey, we gather together here, and we pray.
We thank you for the opportunity to gather without fear, to worship you.
Lord, we met when I was young.
you kept me company when I was, metaphorically, cold and tired.
I stepped inside to escape the rain
and found a big comfy winter coat hanging on a rack.
I needed something like that coat.
I thought about that coat, I thought about it hanging on my back,
wrapped tight around me,
You helped me try it on, it was just my size, and colour.
I don't know how exactly, but you gave that coat to me.
I wore it. I loved it. It was you.
We pray for Gail and for Trish, and we pray for their families. We ask that You support them as they lead us in worship and introduce us to new ways to worship. Keep their creativity flowing and their reserves of health and energy full to the brim.
We pray for the leaders of the church at all levels. Remind them of the reasons that church exists at all, and help them make choices that effectively promote the church’s core messages of love and forgiveness, tolerance and compassion.
We pray for each of those who have taken up roles in our church here at Carlingford. Give them clear guidance and insight, creativity, energy and confidence.
We pray for a peaceful world. In our own families, across towns and cities, across business and political interests and across borders small and large. We pray for a world where our children can grow up without fighting, where the resources spent on those efforts are directed in a more positive way.
When the fighting is done, resolution usually comes with talking and negotiation, and it is probably better for everyone if people did that talking and negotiation first.
Lord today we pray for refugees. For those who are taking the biggest risks imaginable, leaving their homes, leaving a familiar cultural environment and leaving their extended families, moving to what they hope will be a better world. Making a planned move to another country that welcomes you is a huge step to take. But to be pushed to this point against your will, where this is your only chance of a future life, would be unimaginable for most of us here.
Give Your love to all who struggle through the difficulties and grief of life as a refugee.
For the people who are busy shooing the refugees away – help them see the situation from the point of view of the refugees, to find the space in their heart to help these people find a new home.
Loving Lord, we pray that you will support those who give their strength, their skill and their stamina in a ministry of providing relief and support to refugees.
Loving and gentle Lord, help us to be gracious and generous when we meet people whose lives have different dimensions to our own; people who have been shaped by living in circumstances we don’t know, don’t understand or cannot imagine. Help us to reflect your values as we struggle to understand how it is that they seem so different to us. We pray that you will remind us that our reflection is quite possibly as strange to them as theirs is to us.
We ask that you give us a prod now and then, to really practice the things that are at the core of our faith, to be doing more than just superficially carrying out the rituals and reciting the prayers.
We pray for those who don’t have the resources to make a decent life, those who need education, those without shelter, without defences of any kind, except their own will power and the generosity of others to keep alive. Keep us alive to their needs and the ways that we might be able to help them
Comfort and heal, merciful Father, all who grieve and are in sorrow, those with illness and those whose lives are troubled in other ways.
We pray for the members of our congregation, our family and our friends who are ill, facing surgery or recovering from it, and for those whose health and social needs are being cared for in other ways
Give them a firm trust in your goodness; help those who minister to them. Remind them they can put on that big warm coat hanging near the front door, and hold your hand in the pocket.
He walks with us so gracefully; he will take your crown of thorns.
"Come in," he says, “I will give you, shelter, from the storm."
We thank you loving God, that your mercies are never confined to the range of our prayers, nor your servants limited to the ranks of the churches. Please bless the mighty host of those who are endeavouring to serve others without thought for their own comfort, profit or safety.
Lord make us useful in our community. Make us gracious, make us generous, and make us aware of where we can help. We thank you for the gift of laughter with friends, and we thank you too for the moments when we see the seriousness and the deeper meaning of life. We thank you for the richness of our lives, for those we love, and those who love us.
We bring our prayers to a close with the prayer that you taught us, the Lord’s Prayer...
Receive and bless these gifts and our lives, O God, which we offer in response to your steadfast love revealed so clearly in Jesus. As he transformed people’s lives with the healing power of his love, so many lives continue to be transformed through these gifts, our love and our witness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Hymn: The Blessings Australia
Words of mission and blessing
We are the body of Christ.
It is towards us that the people will come for hope and healing,
Believing that the healing Christ is to be found here.
Go and take up this sacred task for today.
Go in peace and walk together in Christ.
and may our lives be filled with faith,
brave in the hope of the Spirit
and close to the healing hand of God.
Next Sunday: 4 July 2021
Theme: Rejection! Ignored!
Reading: Mark 6:1-13
2 Sm 1:1,17-27, Ps 130, 2 Cor 8: 7-15, Mk 5:21-43