(A Call to Worship)

Come to worship God
who has come through events
interpreted by faith.

Come to worship God
who comes in love
to serve you now.

Come to worship God
who will come to complete
what already has begun.

By the Spirit of God
we come
* * *

He’s full of surprises is our God.
Turns up in the most unexpected places
and times.  Even when you know
he’s coming, he takes you by surprise.

Jesus told his disciples to be like sentries
on duty in hostile territory or motorist
on a long and lonely road driving
the family through the night.  You
never know when a `roo will bound out
into the headlights or the soft darkness
of the open road will give way to solid braman,
horse or irremovable ghost-gum tree.

Alert, careful, responsible, he calls us,
although we do not know when it will happen,
to live in daily expectation of Christ’s
completing hour, the conclusion of our day.

* * *

The blind see,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead live,
and the poor are evangelised
Go back and tell what
you have seen and heard.
That is enough.
The poor evangelised,
the broken-hearted consoled,
captives released,
prisoners freed –
the day of the Lord is here.
Right here. 

We have come to worship Jesus in our own Australian way
for the migrant God is with us
though no longer wrapped in hay.
He now finds his incarnation
on the station or the beach,
where responding faith is speaking
in the strine we call our speech.
Faithful people from Down Under
worship him who’s right on top,
then come live the life he calls for
with a love that does not stop.
May the God who ran the risk
of taking human form
enable you to run the risk
of becoming yet more truly human
day by day.
At first a thought I saw a man
but as I looked my eyes began
to see the glow of light divine,
and then I knew it for a sign –
this code unlocked before my eyes,
I saw pure Love in human guise.

A Prayer


Lord Jesus Christ,

you did not avoid the wilderness,

the loneliness of the inner struggle,

the risk of being misunderstood.

You knew what it was to be hungry.

You heard the world cry out in pain.

You knew the human fascination

with strange and marvellous events

You knew both tempting lust for power

and the giddy heights of fame.

So we see you as a brother

who knows our inner turmoil,

who knows our need and name.

Palm Sunday


a hymn for Palm Sunday. Suggested tune, Ellacombe)


‘Hosanna!’ Sing ‘Hosanna’.  Let all the people sing

for Jesus Christ our Saviour is come a servant king.

His riding on a donket declared this royal state.

With power of love he rules us. For this the people wait.

So tell the message loudly to all who will now hear

that God is not a tyrant invoking pain and fear.


God rises upon a donkey into our lives today

in an extended action of what he did that day.

Come, ride your beast of burden into my heart, I pray.

Come, Jesus, humble ruler and change my selfish way,

so I’ll be more like you, Lord, in my humility.

My strength I’ll use in service for all humanity.

An Uneasy Ride

(A Meditation on the Palm Sunday Story)

If you’re looking for a comfortable seat

don’t sit on the back of a nervous,

untried donkey treading its way

downhill, over rutted, pebble-strewn pathway,

surrounded by excited, shouting crowds,

aware that the commotion might bring down

the wrath of the occupation forces,

and under the faces of frowning fanatics

whose fear and abhorrence will soon turn to murder.

Not on the towering majesty of a prancing charger,

nor with the armed security of a war general’s chariot

but on the back of a bone-jarring  ass

he rides into town in display of his power.

By washing of water and the touch of his hand,

by my feeble faith which responds to his call

I’m identified closely with the one on the colt,

I ride all exposed to the danger of falling,

the sniper’s dread missile, the threat of harsh vengeance.

The lurching, the swaying, the stalling and quivver

of flanks wet with fear – I feel them all strongly

as I ride on with him in strange, silent procession

through the wild adulation of those who want God

to work for their causes, the glowering glances

of powerful tradition, the towering heights

of political fear. I’d rather sit in a comfortable chair

with cushions and armrests and footstool as well,

but here I am riding precariously

on the back of a donkey that’s trudging its way

into the city of pride and of fear.

Maundy Thursday

Will you come with me?

(A hymn for use on the evening before Good Friday when we remember Jesus meeting with his disciples for the Last Supper.Has been sung to the old tune by Thomas Dennis,  167 in Alexander’s Hymns No.3.)

Will you come with me to the crowded room
where Jesus broke the bread,
where he gave to you and he gave to me
the signs of his wounds that bled ?

He stands as the gentle leader of all,
the Saviour whom God kindly sent,
and signals us with the bread and the wine
to follow the way he went.



Will you share with me in the bread he gives

and love that knows no end?

We are one in him as we eat and drink

along with our faithful Friend.



Will you hold me firm when I start to fall

and show me Christ instead?

For the way of Christ is before us set

en-signed by this wine and bread.



Will you go with me as we leave this room,

divergent though our ways?

With my feet washed clean by his humble hands

I’ll serve you throughout my days.

Cross and Crucifixion

A Meditation on the Cross

Olivewood or coconut,

ebony or fir,

crosses spring up everywhere:

wildflowers after rain

carrying on the strain

hybridized at Calvary

by nailing hands

and scoffing tongues,

God’s greatest pain.

Beneath a eucalyptus cross

I stand and feel

fresh tear drops –

or is it blood? –

love-sap flowing still,

soaking me,

as others have been soaked

in other times

in God’s great healing flow.

But there’s another cross

of a different kind of wood.

It’s growing on the hillside

of my inner, own terrain.

Thought it’s almost choked

by spreading weeds

I know that its’ s till there

for sometimes

after rian,

I feel its gentle stirring

deep within.

The Suffering of Christ

Forgive us, Lord, for taking cheaply what you obtained for us at such great cost.

Forgive us, Lord, for causing you continued pain as we depart from your clear way.

Forgive us, Lord, for trying to avoid the challenge of your love.

Good Friday

Life is filled with colour:

dark brown smudges, yellow patches,

garden green and sunny blue.

But we’re intrigued about the red

that trickles down the canvas

from the Artist’s nail-pierced hand.

We worship you.

At first it looked like more

of that terrible carnage

that we see upon the screen,

but now we see it glowing

with the warmest touch of love

and we are stirred to praise you

for the lengths that you’e prepared to go.

We worship you.

Easter Day

A Prayer for Beginning Worship

Bursting every confining band

Jesus comes in risen power

to lead us in a celebration

of life and liberty.

No death could silence you,

no rock could hold you,

no lie deny you.

We worship you, Christ our Lord.

A Prayer of Confession

Forgive us, Lord,

that we so often have sought you,

the living God,

among the dead –

dead rituals, dead traditions,

dead rules, dead hearts, dead lives.

Come now,

as you came to our brothers and sisters

on that first Easter Day,

risen and victorious,

and breathe life into

our ritual and our tradition,

our rules, our hearts, our lives.



A Prayer for Beginning Worship

God, our Creator, who is bringing to completion all that you have made,

hear our prayer.

As the Apostles went back to Jerusalem from the experiences of the Ascension and gave themselves to prayer, we too await the baptism of your Spirit.

Accept us and our worship, not because of any right we have, but as those who would be Christ’s sisters and brothers in faith.

Accept us in him and lead us in our worship. Amen.


May the Spirit of God uphold you, keep you.

May the Spirit of Christ be in you, guide you.

May God the Holy Spirit use you in his service

as he has equipped you, blessed you.

Go in peace, and go in God.