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Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

What follows is a worship service which, I pray, you can participate in at a time(s) that are convenient to you. This 'service' will take about forty five (45) minutes.

I pray that you will feel called to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in this service.

The text that is in regular typeface (that is what you are reading at the moment) is to be read quietly, while the text that is in
bold face (like you are reading right now) is meant to be read aloud.

Opening Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we commence our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A Call To Worship:

We meet in the name of God,

Creator of the universe,

source of true humanity,

mother and father of all. Amen.

An Assurance of Forgiveness:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

The Absolution
00:00 / 00:18

The Sentence For Today (let us say aloud):

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing your praise.

The Special Prayer For Today (let us pray aloud):

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

1 Samuel 8:4-11
00:00 / 01:20

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
00:00 / 01:28

Gradual Hymn:

Let us continue by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we raise out voices in praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

A reading from the holy gospel according to Saint Mark.

Mark 3:20-35
00:00 / 01:42

Listen to David speak to this gospel

Completely Lost His Mind?
00:00 / 13:12

or, if you prefer, you can read the sermon, below:

Sermon for Ordinary 10, Sunday, 9th June 2024

MAY the words of my mouth and the meditations in our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. <Amen>

In my message last week I admitted to being a bit of a problem child, always wanting to break the rules. Now, here is something else that has followed me through my life - I’ve often done things (and I am sure you have too) that made other people wonder if I had completely lost my mind!

If you can relate to that, you can probably understand what is going on in reading from Mark’s gospel that we heard today.

This is early in Jesus’ ministry and word of His teachings and miracles is starting to spread. This was a homecoming for Jesus his earthly family and friends didn’t understand His ministry. They didn’t understand that He was the Son of God. To the people of Nazareth, Jesus was just the son of Mary and Joseph.

Jesus faced opposition from so many quarters, people who thought that He had completely lost His mind … and yet, He never wavered in His mission.

Because the Pharisees did not understand what Jesus was doing, they accused him of being possessed by the devil. They wanted to discredit Jesus in the eyes of the people, but their claim had one big flaw … How could the devil defeat the devil?

Jesus challenged the way the religious leaders were calling God’s work the work of the devil. Evil can’t defeat evil. A strong person can only be defeated by someone who is stronger. Since good is always stronger than evil, good will always defeat evil.

Jesus is the champion of everything that is good, so He will always defeat evil. By calling His healings “works of the devil”, Jesus’ opponents tried to portray His miracles as counterfeit wonders designed to lead people away from God. Yet, His miracles always led people to praise God rather than blaspheme Him! <PAUSE>

Jesus is the ultimate “Truth-teller” and truth-tellers make us uncomfortable. They disturb our creeds, canons, customs and stubborn peculiarities. Truth and doing good deeds are not always appreciated. They can be difficult for us to handle them. Those who challenge the status quo with new ways are seen as dangerous; they threaten to upset everything. We ask, “Have they completely lost their minds ?”

Jesus was dangerous in the eyes of both the Pharisees and many of His earthly family and friends. So what’s going on? How has Jesus’ ministry of preaching, teaching and healing created such controversy and accusation? The answer is actually fairly simple: Jesus is so totally what the religious authorities didn’t expect that they have absolutely no idea what to make of Him, “Had he completely lost his mind?”

Jesus doesn’t fit their categories, and what doesn’t fit the categories and ways of doing things, we humans are used to, we typically label as abnormal, or deviant, or crazy, or possessed. We assume that what we know, have experienced, and hold to be true what is normal, natural, and God-ordained, and that becomes the standard by which we measure — and judge — the thoughts and actions of others. If you are not following the norm - you’re dangerous, threatening and you’ve probably lost your mind ! <PAUSE>

Jesus’ whole ministry, thus far, has been about announcing both a new vision of God and a new way of relating to God. At the heart of that vision and way is the conviction that God is love, that God desires the health and healing of all God’s creation, that God stands both with us and for us, that God is determined to love and redeem us no matter what the cost, and that our God chooses to be accessible to us, to ALL of us — to anyone and everyone.

This is why Jesus sets himself against all the powers that would rob humanity and creation of the abundant life God intends — whether those powers be unclean spirits; disease that ravages the mind, body or spirit; illness that isolates and separates those who suffer from community; or whatever. Jesus introduces a new vision of God and a new way to relate to God … and it’s not what any of those religious folk of power and prestige could accept and they reject Him, rejected the Holy Spirit, rejected all the grace, love, forgiveness that Christ so freely offers. <PAUSE>

Jesus’ earthly family was concerned about His physical and mental health, but Jesus was more concerned about the spiritual health of the people He dealt with.

My sisters and brothers, TRUE “family” is not a matter of biological relationship, but of kinship in obedience to God, and that kinship begins when God through his grace adopts us into his family … and God wants us to be part of His family.

Jesus pushed his point forcefully home when He says that anyone and everyone who does the work of God is his true brother and sister and mother. He redefined what constitutes a family at a time when family was everything.

Although Jesus honoured His mother as the law commanded in John 19:26-27, Jesus did not allow even His own flesh and blood to prevent Him from doing the will of God. <PAUSE>

So, last week and now this week I find myself talking about Jesus getting into trouble. Hmmmm … Instead of asking why Jesus got into so much trouble, maybe I should ask myself why I am not getting more trouble.

Why aren’t I pushing the boundaries of what is socially and religiously acceptable in order to reach more souls with the always surprising, unimaginably gracious and unfathomable love of Jesus?

If that’s the kind of love I, and you, want to offer, we must ask ourselves if we are communicating that message in our words and our deeds loudly and clearly, in our families, our communities, our countries, around the world.

Let us always remember that those who accept the Holy Spirit will do the will of God, spreading the great Good News far and wide, and thereby become part of the new concept of family that Jesus creates. That is, they will allow the Holy Spirit into their lives and so become part of the family of God, and when we unite with our sisters and brothers around the world, the power is even greater and to God will be the glory.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.
In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMINE>

Pause and Reflect

Just take a moment now to pause. Bow your head, close your eyes.
 

Allow these words of Holy Scripture and this interpretation of them today to speak to you.

An Affirmation of Our Faith

Let us affirm our faith by saying aloud, and together, "The Apostles Creed":

apostles_creed_pic02.jpg
Image by Allef Vinicius

... and now let us pray for the Church, the World, and Ourselves, giving thanks for God's goodness.

​Let us pray aloud, and together:

Father God, we approach Your throne of grace with our concerns, our burdens and our thanksgiving for all Your people throughout the world.  Help us to put our trust in You and in our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us that you love us as a parent and want only what is right for us.

May the seeds that are being planted by our ministries grow into branches that reach out into every part of the world and bring more people into the family of Christ.

(LONGER pause for silent, personal reflection)

In response to the call today “Lord, in Your mercy” Our response is, “hear our prayer!”

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your mercy: hear our prayer

We pray for our Christian family throughout the world and especially in places where religious faith is suppressed or where Christianity is an unwelcome minority.

We pray for our all who seek to live out the life of The Risen Christ by their service to others and we pray for Your guidance and wisdom in all the work that they do.

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your mercy: hear our prayer

Creator God we pray for our world which seems to be forever caught up in violence and conflict. Through the media we are witnesses to terrorist violence in so many parts the world. As we continue to pray for peace and goodwill towards all people we also pray for the innocent victims and their families caught up in conflicts which are not of their making.

We pray for our world leaders. We also pray for our community leaders and those in public office dealing with difficult situations.

In our turn, help us to always be aware of the part that we can play by using scarce resources carefully and unselfishly.

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your mercy: hear our prayer

Father God in today’s Gospel Your Son Jesus gives us a teaching regarding families and so we ask you to help us to be gentle, with our families and friends who are not also part of our Christian family. Give us, we pray, the calm that makes for consideration and the respect for others that makes us courteous. Take from us hard words and the cynical look. Let us be to others as we would wish them to be to us.

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your mercy: hear our prayer

Loving God we think now of those in need in our own communities and further afield; the elderly, the housebound and those in care homes, hospital and hospice. We also remember the victims of violence, abuse or cruelty.  We give thanks for all those who care for the sick within the family, and for all our medical and voluntary services.

We especially raise before You now all those who have asked for our prayers from around the world … those we know in New Zealand, in Singapore, in Argentina, in France, in Australia, in the US, in Canada, in Austria, in Ukraine, in China and any others we now name aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, and those who are known only by You.

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your mercy: hear our prayer

We pray for those who face the pain of grief at the loss of a loved one. Help us to support all those who mourn, both with our prayers and with practical help both this day and in the days and weeks to come. We remember before God those who have died and ask that those bereaved by their passing are aware of the light of Christ which eternally shines and brings so much hope.

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your Mercy: Hear our prayer

In a moment of silence we pray for ourselves, our families, friends, for all whom we love and for our personal ministries. Make the things that we choose to do be worthy of the sacrifice of Your Son.

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your mercy: hear our prayer

Lord we ask you to lead us into the coming week, Help us to believe that You are close by us, keep us from making mistakes and help us never to disappoint you. When we face hard decisions or difficult work, when we enjoy ourselves and have fun with others may we know that you share these times with us.

(Short Silence) Lord, in Your mercy: hear our prayer

Forth in the peace of Christ we go; Christ to the world with joy we bring; Christ in our minds, Christ on our lips, Christ in our hearts, the world’s true King.

Merciful father: accept these prayers for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  AMEN.

lord's_prayer_pic01_edited.jpg

Remembering that we are confident to pray this day, and every day, because Jesus Christ continues to teach us:
 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,

your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.   Amen.

Let us conclude our prayers by praying together and aloud:

 

God of mercy,
you have given us grace to pray with one heart and one voice,
and have promised to hear the prayers
of two or three who agree in your name,
fulfil now, we pray,
the prayers and longings of your people
as may be best for us and for your kingdom.
Grant us in this world to know your truth,
and in the world to come to see your glory. Amen.

The Blessing

May The Risen Lord Christ turn His face towards each and every one of you.

May He cause His light to shine upon you, and

may He grant you His peace, and

 

The blessing of Almighty God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

be with you and all of those whom you love,

on this day and forever more.

A Closing Hymn:

Let us conclude our worship today by watching, and please do feel free to sing or read aloud the lyrics, as we unite in another hymn our praise and thanksgiving.

When you are ready - click the "play" button on the video window, below:

The Dismissal

Go now, go out into the world

to love and serve The Lord.

 

Go in peace.

AMEN, we go in the name of Christ.

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