top of page

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 make your name to be remembered from one generation to another; therefore nations will praise you for ever and ever."

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

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbour: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; 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 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
00:00 / 04:13

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Romans 7:15-25a
00:00 / 01:31

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 11:16-19, 25-30
00:00 / 01:54

Listen to David speak to this gospel

Christ is ALWAYS enough!
00:00 / 13:46

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

Sermon Ordinary 14, 9th 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>

“Nothing I do is ever enough!!!”

Have you ever heard someone say that? Sometimes no matter how much we do, how much we say, how hard we try, etc., it just never seems to be enough for some others.

Jesus knows EXACTLY how we feel, because He went through the same thing here on earth. Jesus wasn’t the first person that the Pharisees didn’t accept. Like Jesus, John the Baptist was seen as someone other than who he really was. The Baptiser was seen as a demon-possessed lunatic, and Jesus was seen as a glutton.

John’s austerity in dress and food underlined the severity of his message. Jesus, on the other hand, went to where the people were, a participant in their condition, where the joys and sorrows played out in families, towns and cities. 

The people of John’s and Jesus’ time rejected God by rejecting his messengers; neither approach pleased them, because neither man fit into their mould, so they grew angry and never ceased to complain.

In both cases, the wisdom of John and Jesus was proved by the results.

Human beings often want the Jesus they want, when they want him. At other times He is pushed to the sidelines or forgotten altogether! The people in Jesus’ time were the same. The heart of the matter lies in the fact that taking John the Baptist and Jesus seriously requires people to change their lives … and some people just will not change!

The elite did not accept John the Baptist or Jesus BUT the poor, the sick, the outcast … THEY DID.

I put to you that the same situation exists today. There are those who think that they are so high and privileged in society think that they don’t need God. Then there, so often, those who are so downtrodden and suppressed by the world that they eagerly accept Jesus’ teachings.

There is an interesting contrast in our gospel today Jesus is contrasting “Human Law” with “God’s Law”. “Human Law” was formed as the result of the Ten Commandments. God gave the Ten Commandments to the Jewish people to guide them through the moral traps of life, but well-intentioned people added on to the law until it became its own trap. Religious professionals prided themselves on their observance of the law, but even they couldn’t avoid break the laws they made. The common person did not stand a chance of perfectly observing the law. All of these rules and regulations were a HUGE burden on the people; a burden that was impossible to carry.

The Son of God comes and says, “Look, folks, you don’t need all of these man-made rules and regulations. You don’t need rules stating how far a person can walk on the Sabbath, or how clean they have to be in order to be part of society, or what type of work people can do on the Sabbath. That is not the intention of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are rules for how people are to live their lives and treat their fellows. They are not meant to be a spiritual strait-jacket, but you, with your rules and regulations and determination to obey the “letter” of the Ten Commandments, have forgotten about the “spirit” of the Ten Commandments.” <PAUSE>

People might be learned in religious rules, customs and teachings, but our main source for understanding God’s ways DOES NOT come from that knowledge. It comes from RECEIVING JESUS AND HIS MESSAGE.

In fact, strict observance of the law can make us blind to the freedom Jesus is offering us.

Jesus went a step further and replaced all of these laws with the two Great Commandments … love God and love people. Jesus says, “Look at how much easier, less demanding, less burdensome the Great Commandments are. They are a common-sense approach to living the life God wants us to lead. If people obey these two commandments, they will form the basis for how they live their lives.“

When Jesus tells us to “take his yoke”, He is inviting us to accept His authority and He WILL give us rest by sharing our burdens. We all need rest. It helps us restore our strength and helps us be still in the presence of The Lord. It helps us to let go of OUR grip on our lives. Jesus is asking us to let Him be in control of our lives. He wants to guide and direct our lives. As my lovely wife continues to remind me, He wants us to “let go and let God”.

Jesus promises to give us rest when we find our rest in Him. He is our burden-bearer. When we turn the circumstances of our lives over to Him, he lifts us up and infuses our hearts with fresh hope and wisdom. Some situations are just too difficult for us to handle, but nothing is too great for God!

The essence is simple … Jesus promises REST FOR THE WEARY <LONG PAUSE>

In order to accept God, we have to get rid of our rules, intellect and common sense. We have to become spiritually helpless like children and come to Jesus with curiosity, naïveté and trust. We have to come to Him in simple, child-like faith. This isn’t easy to do, especially because  as we move from childhood into adulthood, we are often jaded or shaped by our experiences. We have to accept that what Jesus does for us IS ALWAYS ENOUGH - and exactly what we need at that point in time. God will bring strength out of our weariness because God gave us The Son who calls us to Him and gives us rest, love, hope, and peace for our souls.

Jesus’ light yoke is not an invitation to an easy, carefree life, but it is deliverance from the man-made burdens of life and religion. These burdens are the guilt of sin (and its side effects such as depression, anxiety, fear and doubt) and the pressure of “the urgent”. If we accept the rest Jesus offers, all we have to do is accept His teachings and the obligations He will lay upon us.

As we come to communal worship every week, as we pray every day - we admit our hunger for God. God sees our emptiness and feeds us the choicest food, the flesh and blood of the one who invites us today to take His yoke upon us and learn from Him for He is meek and humble of heart.

We can let go of the heavy yokes of this world and take up the blessed yoke that is no burden, the yoke of acceptance of our own much-loved self in Jesus Christ

and THAT

IS ALWAYS ENOUGH !!

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 <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:

Everlasting God, we bring our prayers to you, Lord of all nations, asking that your blessing of love and peace may be known to all people everywhere.  Help us to bear abundant fruit from the seeds of potential that you have planted within us taking the message that Your Son is always enough for us. <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.

Holy God, we pray for your church - for ourselves as The Body of Christ, especially for the people you have called to be prophets and teachers in our generation. We pray that they will be strengthened and protected by the Holy Spirit and that through them your Church will reveal the good news of salvation and sufficiency and so draw all people together under Your rule of justice and mercy.

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

Creator God, we are Your chosen stewards of this beautiful world; You provide us with seed and soil to sow them in but sometimes we abuse this privilege and so we look to you for forgiveness for the damage we have done to this earth and pray that you would show us ways of healing the wounds that we have inflicted on the land, ourselves and on each other.

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

Father God, we pray that in our communities all will be welcome and accepted regardless of nationality, colour, gender or status and that we will seek always to serve you and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in one another.

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

Gracious God, we raise before you all those who seek healing of body, mind or spirit asking that they will sense the touch of your loving hands and feel your peace and presence alongside them, each and every step of their journey towards healing and wholeness. <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.

Loving God, we remember before You all those who have died.  May they see Your salvation and find their peace and final rest in You and we especially pray for those who were a formative part of our lives, who made us who we are and who we still miss.

(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, we offer You these prayers for ourselves and for others. We ask You to accept them and to use them, and us so that your will may be done on earth and more of your kingdom revealed to those who seek you.

(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.

bottom of page