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10th 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 listen to what the Lord God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.

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

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; 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)

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
00:00 / 03:56

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Romans 10:5-15
00:00 / 02:00

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 14:22-33
00:00 / 02:25

Listen to David speak to this gospel

The title comes at the end !
00:00 / 09:18

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

Sermon Ordinary 19, 13th August 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>

It’s going to be a bit of an odd sermon this week (“No Surprises There!” I hear some of you saying) because the title is actually going to come right at the very end.

In the Bible, repeatedly, ordinary people experience an encounter with God that leads them into a different way of life. This occurs over and over again - God appears and makes the call. He calls Abraham or he calls Moses or he calls David. Almost always, the person is quite afraid of what God is asking. So God issues a promise. God says, “I’ll do it if you won’t be afraid”. And then the person must make a decision. Sometimes people say “yes”, sometimes they say “no”.

My favourite example is the story about Peter and his friends in the boat one night. It’s a very dark and stormy night, and Jesus walks towards them on the water.

Seeing what is happening, Peter shouts, “If it’s you, Lord, bid me to come.”

And Jesus says, “All right Peter, come.”

The rest of the disciples watch carefully because they know that Peter can shoot his mouth off, and they want to know if he’s going to follow through on this deal. He puts one foot over the side of the boat and then the other. Then he lets go. And for the first time in human history, ordinary man is borne up on the water. It’s a remarkable story.

Peter experiences God enabling him to do something that he could never do on his own.

HOWEVER, Peter’s faith gives out. He doesn’t keep his eye on Jesus and he starts to sink ….. did Peter fail? Okay, let’s be brutal … I think he did - at least in one significant way. He took his eyes off Jesus. His faith wavered and he sank.

BUT - He wasn't the only failure that night….

I think there were eleven bigger failures and they were the ones sitting back in the boat. They failed quietly. Their failure went unobserved and uncriticised.

Remember, only Peter knew the glory of walking on the water.

When people walk on the water, when people trust God and experience God’s power enabling them to do what they couldn’t do otherwise, I think it marks them. I think Peter carried that memory of water walking to his grave.

And another thing - only Peter knew that when he sank, Jesus would be there, and Jesus was wholly adequate to save him.

The other disciples could not know that because they never got out of the boat. Peter could not have walked on the water, if he had stayed in the boat.

Peter could not have experienced the power of God in his life, if he hadn’t taken that step of faith to get out of that boat. <PAUSE>

This involves what I like to call “RISKY OBEDIENCE”.

When we learn to discern the calling of God in our lives and respond\obey with a “YES” it is a big risk, it frightens us, it challenges us but it allows us to experience God’s power in our lives. <PAUSE>

What keeps people from getting out of the boat?

FEAR !!! Plain and simple … it’s FEAR. Fear keeps us from fully trusting God and experiencing what God wants us to do.

Another thing that keeps us from getting out of the boat is COMFORT !!! The familiar that surrounds us. The familiar that we know. The familiar that we trust. The “Comfort Zone” … how difficult it is to step outside those boundaries. <PAUSE>

Well, the eleven other disciples were kind of ‘boat (not couch’) potatoes’. They were willing to follow Jesus, but they wanted him to comfort them in the midst of the storm. And the storm will strike everybody. But the disciples didn’t want to risk getting out of the boat. Peter got out of the boat. And he didn’t do it just because it would be exciting. His primary reason was because that’s were Jesus was. Jesus was out of the boat and on the water.

Jesus is still looking for people who will get out of the boat, put their faith in God and experience all God has to offer.

So … here it is … the end of the message for today …. the title ….

If you want to Walk on the Water,
You've Got to Get Out of the Boat!

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:

Sisters and brothers in Christ, God invites us to step out of our ‘boats of comfort’ and experience the fullness of what He has to offer. Knowing that God is all we need to save us from the storms of life let us offer our thanksgivings and our petitions on behalf of God’s people and the world.

(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 pray today O Lord for your blessing to be upon all who gather here, upon all Your people, and for Your presence to be seen vividly in what we do and say each day. We pray that Your joy and Your love will flow freely in and through us.

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

Creator God, we pray for all in authority that they may never be tempted to abuse or misuse their power. We continue to pray for persecuted Christian believers and for minority Christian communities where they are under pressure and for all who suffer for their faith.

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

Father God, we pray for the times when our hindered vision prevents us from taking care of our immediate family and household or when through our busy-ness, we take no part in the life of our neighbourhood or wider community.

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

Loving God, friend of those in need, Your Son Jesus can free us from our burdens and heal our bodies and spirits. We pray for those still burdened, those seeking healing, those in need around the world. We pray too for those suffering from addiction of any kind and ask that you help them to put the temptation aside and the storms world behind them.

We now raise before you those who have asked for our prayers … Rose, Mark, Fiona , Alison, David, Barbara, Lynley, Andrew, Glenys, Paul, Sally (in New Zealand), Sam (in Singapore), Santiago, Alexandro, Marya (in Argentina), Dominque, Xavier, Melanie (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. <PAUSE>

(Short Silence) Lord, in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Merciful God, we commend into Your hands those who have departed this life. You gave them breath and loved them through their journey of life.  Receive them now at the end of that journey into Your eternal presence and may their souls rest in everlasting peace.

(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.

Gracious God, as we go out into the world we pray that we may reflect Your love in our families, our church and our community; so that the world can witness that we are followers of Christ and draw others into his loving care.

(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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