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5th 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):

I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly; I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.

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

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; 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)

Gen 22:1-14
00:00 / 03:46

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Rom 6:12-23
00:00 / 02:58

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

Matthew 10:40-42
00:00 / 00:50

Listen to David speak to this gospel

Welcome !
00:00 / 07:47

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

Sermon Ordinary 13, 2nd July 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>

You may have noticed that I always open my messages with the same word, “Welcome”.

Welcome is such an under-used word. Welcome is such a powerful word. Last Monday, Kim and I visited Stavanger Cathedral. Sitting outside that oldest cathedral in Norway was a man and his bulldog, the dog sporting a dashing trilby hat and sunglasses. As we approached the far too cute dog, it’s beaming owner said, “Welcome to Norway”. What a joy and what a blessing were those three words.

Today our gospel brings us to the final few verses of the tenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel and, to set the broader context, way back in Matthew 5, 6, and 7, Jesus was preaching “The Sermon on the Mount”, establishing the promises and
teaching the expectations of what it means to follow Him. In chapters 8 and 9, Jesus is ministering in and around Capernaum - healing people, driving out demons, preaching The Kingdom. Now we come to chapter 10 where Jesus calls and then commissions the twelve apostles to embark on the missionary work that he's just been doing.

So, in chapter 10 Jesus has been ‘getting disciples ready’ for what they're supposed to do next and doing that even in the face of severe, even life-threatening opposition.

In the midst of this Jesus is all too aware that the ministry of disciples will not be entirely - just as Jesus’ own ministry was not accepted by everyone - and that brings us to the final verses of chapter 10 and it’s a very short text all about this powerful word “Welcome”.

Jesus says whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me, whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward … whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of the disciple truly I tell you none of these will lose their reward.

As Christians, we can hear Jesus encouraging us, telling us that those who receive us, those who extend hospitality to us … well, it's as if they are extending hospitality to Jesus himself - and you don’t need to be wearing a cross on your chest and walking around Stavanger - this welcome happens to YOU, yes, to each and every one of you when you go forth with Christ in your heart and in your face.

Let us also never forget that we too welcome others - ALL others, and in doing so we welcome Christ. We never know when we welcome an angel, a Messenger of God, and so we welcome God himself!

I think this “Welcome” is a truly wonderful message for discipleship, for stewardship, for evangelising because it is something each and every one of us can do. Not all the people of God can do the specific ministry of teaching, of preaching, of being missionaries, of playing\singing sacred music, etc etc. BUT this message today gets to a specific call of supporting God’s Kingdom via something EVERYONE can do … whether at home, at work, on the street, on the bus … say, “Welcome” … greet people, smile at people, show the face and grace of Christ to others.

Yes, an apostolic ministry that WE can continue each and every day with a smile, with a word, with a cup of cold water, with a cup of coffee!

How blessed were Kim and I when we received those three simple words, “Welcome to Norway”.

So I close as I opened … Welcome friends, peace be with you and to God will be the glory.

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":

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, we raise our prayers to You in the power of the Spirit which unites us with Christ Jesus trusting that You will hear our prayers and use them to accomplish Your will for the world and for Your people. <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.

Faithful God, we welcome and pray for all people who seek to follow Your way in their lives. Let Your people welcome all whom they meet, and speak Your word of truth with confidence and in unity so that those who are searching and listening will be able to see and hear clearly Your message of love and peace.

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

Creator God, we welcome and pray for people and nations who struggle to find a welcome.

We pray for those whose troubles drown out Your music of harmony and where the violent heat of anger seeks to destroy Your word of peace.

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

Father God, we welcome and pray for the people around us in our neighbourhoods and our places of work. Give us sensitivity and insight into their needs and vulnerabilities so that we may learn truly love our neighbours as ourselves.

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

Gracious God, we welcome and pray for people we know who are ill, anxious or bereaved, and for those that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens. We pray that you will lead them, and us, in peace towards healing and wholeness of mind and spirit. <PAUSE>

We now raise before you those who have asked for our prayers … Rose, Mark, Fiona , Alison, Deb, David, Barbara, Lynley, Andrew, Fiona, Glenys (in New Zealand), Sam (in Singapore), Santiago (in Argentina), Dominque, Xavier (in France), John, Geoff, Liz (in Australia) 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, many people die by violence, war, and famine each day. Show your mercy to those who suffer so unjustly, gather and welcome them into Your eternal kingdom of peace.

We pray for all the faithful departed, they now rest in peace having risen in glory.

(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.

Loving God, we offer ourselves to You in faith and confidence. Show us as we go out into the world how we can best prepare ourselves to be a welcoming part of Your response to our prayers. Fill us with the Spirit of life which was in Christ Jesus, Your Son and our Saviour.

(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.


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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