(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.
 ChristmasCALL TO WORSHIPWe have come to worship Jesus in our own Australian wayfor the migrant God is with usthough no longer wrapped in hay.He now finds his incarnationon the station or the beach,where responding faith is speakingin the strine we call our speech.Faithful people from Down Underworship him who’s right on top,then come live the life he calls forwith a love that does not stop. A CHRISTMAS DISMISSALMay the God who ran the riskof taking human formenable you to run the risk of becoming yet more truly humanday by day.   Transfiguration

At first I 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 –
his code unlocked before my eyes.
I saw pure Love in human guise.
  Lent   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 HOSANNA, SING HOSANNAA 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 donkey 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 rides 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 quiver 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 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 CrucifixionA MEDITATION ON THE CROSSOlivewood or coconut,  ebony or fir, crosses spring up everywhere:wildflowers after rain  carrying on the strainhybridised at Calvaryby nailing handsand 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 soakedin other times in God’s great healing flow. But there’s another crossof a different kind of wood. It’s growing on the hillside of my inner, own terrain.Though it’s almost chokedby spreading weeds I know that it’s still therefor sometimes  after rain,I feel its gentle stirringdeep within.  Suffering of ChristForgive 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 FridayLife is filled with colour:dark brown smudges, yellow patches,                                                          garden green and sunny blue.But we’re intrigued about the redthat trickles down the canvasfrom the Artist’s nail-pierced hand.We worship you.  At first it looked like moreof that terrible carnagethat we see upon the screen,but now we see it glowingwith the warmest touch of love and we are stirred to praise youfor the lengths that you’re prepared to go.We worship you.  Easter DayA Prayer for Beginning WorshipBursting 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 ConfessionForgive 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 intoour ritual and our tradition,our rules, our hearts, our lives.Amen. Pentecost A Prayer for the Beginning of WorshipGod, our Creator,who is bringing to completion all that you have made,   hear our prayer.As the Apostles went back to Jerusalem from the experience of the Ascensionand 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’ssisters and brothers in faith.Accept us in him and lead us in our worship.Amen.DismissalMay 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.