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3rd Sunday after Pentecost

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):

There is none like the God of the upright, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

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

Almighty God, by your grace alone we are accepted and called to your service; strengthen us by your Holy Spirit and empower our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our first reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Gen 18:1-15
00:00 / 03:46

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Rom 5:1-8
00:00 / 01:45

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 Matthew
(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Matthew 9:35-10:8
00:00 / 02:17

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Help Wanted !
00:00 / 07:42

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

Sermon Ordinary 11, 18th June 2023

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 our gospel today we hear  how Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in synagogues, proclaiming the good news of The Kingdom, curing disease and sickness and reminding US that “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

This is what Jesus says to his disciples and if we count ourselves among them then this is what he says to us. Jesus calls us to be “evangelists” in our own ways, using the gifts God has given us to live out the life of The Risen Christ, show The Risen Christ to others in what we say and do.

The harvest is plentiful … as I write this is 2023, there are almost 8 billion people planet Earth and we have to ask ourselves, “How many of them don't know Christ?” <PAUSE>

Yes, the harvest is therefore huge and a huge harvest requires workers and these, as Jesus says, are few! To the best of my humble ability I have been trying to be a worker in the harvest field and I can attest to the truth of this.

There ARE too few of us. We DO need more workers. How do we help to recruit them? <PAUSE>

It can be all too easy to beat ourselves up when faced with the question. Am I doing enough? Shouldn’t I be doing more? <PAUSE> Well, we can stop that. We can take that personal pronoun away and stop focussing on ourselves because … this is the work of the Lord of the harvest and that is God.

Since God IS The Lord of the harvest, the harvest itself is dependent upon Him but so also are the workers in the harvest.

We are NOT called to bring about the harvest, we are not responsible for the growth of ‘the body of Christ’, we are not in charge of sending out workers … GOD IS !!

What we are told to do is to ask Him, “ask The Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest”. This means that at the very heart of our own evangelising is to pray to Him to make all this happen!

I put to you that the major reason that ANY Christian ministry grows is because people\disciples continuously and earnestly pray to God to send out labourers into His harvest. <PAUSE> Know that as part of this very ministry there are teams of intercessors, in several countries, praying for this very intention and consequently God IS sending labourers into the harvest.

Be you as far apart as New Zealand, Argentina, China, Scotland etc etc. you are praying and labouring TOGETHER and you, and the people, you come together to worship with, meet in your daily lives WILL see the face of The Risen Christ and WILL go out into the world.

Through the missionaries of old walking and working in the harvest, the seed has been sown for years. it is being increasingly sown in recent times through social and other media.

The harvest IS plentiful and The Lord will bring it “into the barn”.

If YOU want to help The Lord do this then … well … ask!

If YOU want to help … join our global network of “prayer workers” and whenever you pray, wherever you pray, know that you pray with us - - - praying to The Lord of the Harvest.

In return we promise we will pray for you, always.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu. <AMINE>

In the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit <AMEN>

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:

Holy God, St. Matthew reminds us of the privilege of working for Christ. We know that to share the work of Christ, we have to share the sacrifice of Christ. Help us when Christianity is hard, and teach us to say to ourselves that when we suffer, we are following in the footsteps of Jesus. <AMEN>

(LONGER pause for silent, personal reflection)

In response to the call today “Lord, in Your Mercy” Our plea is, “Hear our prayer”

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

Everlasting God, look down with love upon our faithful people as, day by day, we struggle to be a body worthy of Jesus’ name. We pray especially for the Christian churches who face daily persecution.  Strengthen, comfort and encourage all those who suffer harassment, violence, imprisonment and even death for being followers of Jesus

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

Creator God,  we live in a world becoming more secular and less religious every day, help us as Christians to stand up for Jesus against world opinion in the sure knowledge that He stands up for us before you, our Father in heaven..

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

Father God, at times Your Son offers us hard choices; to choose sometimes between the closest ties of earth and loyalty to him. Free us from making decisions that are for our comfort or for the approval of others. Help us to understand that good choices don’t always lead to the easiest outcomes.

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

Gracious God, we pray for the sick and the suffering. For those undergoing treatments and surgery, for those convalescing and those who are recovered, that through our intercessions they may all experience a full recovery.  As we also pray for those who will not recover, we remember the words of Jesus that “Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” <PAUSE>

We now raise before you those who have asked for our prayers … Rose, Mark, Fiona (here in the Wakatipu), Alison, Deb, David, Barbara and Lynley (in Christchurch), Andrew, Fiona, Glenys in Dunedin, Sam (in Singapore) and 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. Merciful God, through the death of your son Jesus Christ you have freed us from the grip of the tomb. We pray for those who have departed this life and ask you, through your loving kindness, to have mercy on their souls and uphold and sustain those bereaved by their passing.

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

Heavenly father, in a moment of silence we place before you our personal prayers for ourselves, our families, our friends, for all of those whom we love and, for our personal ministries.

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

Faithful God in the week that lies before us may we reflect Your love in our families, our church and our community and in doing so, show everyone we meet that we are followers of Christ with a true desire to draw them into our Christian faith.

(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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