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16th 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):

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; make known his deeds among the peoples.

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

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; 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)

Exodus 16:2-15
00:00 / 02:56

Our second reading for today:

(click the 'play' button below to listen)

Philippians 1:21-30
00:00 / 01:53

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.

Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
00:00 / 03:04

Listen to David speak to this gospel

Grateful NOT Grumbling
00:00 / 07:31

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

Sermon Ordinary 25, 24th September 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>

Our Lord is just and fair! Beyond that, He is gracious! In today’s parable of The Kingdom, the landowner is representative of God, and the labourers are those who are called into the service of the Lord.

It is unfortunate that negativity arose among workers who really should have been grateful, but instead were resentful. They had agreed upon a day's wages for a day's work. No problem there. But when others, who were hired late in the day, received a day's wages for a mere hour's work, they immediately went to their “union steward” and began to complain. The “union steward” called a meeting, all the negativity was aired and a complaint was made to the boss.

"You can't pay these new workers the same as you pay us experienced workers, it just isn't right.” <PAUSE>

The boss went into the office, pulled all the files, and showed the union leaders and the workers the signed contracts which agreed to a day's pay for a day's work. They didn't have a leg to stand on as they had indeed been treated both fairly and legally.

Now, here is the perspective that, perhaps, workers for The Kingdom of God should have looked from:


Let’s ALL be grateful we have an important, meaningful job to do.

Let’s ALL be grateful that we have a Lord with a generous heart. That is rare.


Let’s ALL rejoice that we receive enough help to get the job of proclaiming The Kingdom done.


Let’s ALL be grateful that we have a Lord who keeps his word.


… and yes … let’s ALL be grateful that tomorrow is another day and we get the privilege of working again!

Now, the spiritual application, just so we don't miss the point :)

Some people are saved early on in life and serve the Lord throughout all of their days.

Some become believers in mid-life or later life.

Some come to faith in Christ on their death beds.

These last brothers and sisters barely had a chance to lift a finger for Christ.

Some work in one way, others in different, newer ways.

But, the undeniable fact is this, The Lord sought them out and enlisted their services - in The Lord’s way and in The Lord’s Time … let me say that again … IN OUR LORD’S WAY AND TIME <Pause>

The “pay day” for each and every believer …. IRRESPECTIVE OF THE ACTUAL MANNER OF THEIR WORK AND THE TIMING OF THEIR CALLING AND ANSWER …. is this ….

Sins completely forgiven and eternal life with God in heaven.

What a gracious God we have.

A God who is not willing that any should perish, but receives sons and daughters AT ANY time; even in the very last hour. A God who then makes them every bit as precious and every bit as welcome as the children who served through the heat of the day!

ALLELUIA AND THANKS BE TO OUR GENEROUS GOD !

Okay, sermon is over, get back out into the world to do The Lord’s work, to praise and uplift all those other workers out there as they proclaim God’s Kingdom … and may God bless you all as he reminds us to:

“BE GRATEFUL, NOT GRUMBLING”.

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:

Everlasting God, you do everything possible for our spiritual growth and well-being, but yet we so often find ourselves on the path of negativity and grumbling. Let us pray earnestly to the God who has loved us into being and cherishes us, and cares for us, all the days of our lives.

(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.

Almighty God, we pray for your people around the world; for all who seek - in whatever way they feel called, to proclaim The Kingdom of God. We pray that You will give them courage when they need to resist being down-trodden by others, and will teach them to move forward in their ministries with understanding, and always reflecting the love of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

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

Creator God, refugees continue to flee from both natural and human-made crises throughout the world. Lord God we pray for all those who have willingly invested their time and energy in serving the most vulnerable in the world, that they will find opportunities to rest, and will be strengthened for their work.  We also remember aid workers throughout the world working in places and situations that are no longer newsworthy; give them the encouragement to continue their invaluable contribution of love and care for those people rebuilding their lives.

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

Father God, we pray for all those working on the land: in vineyards and olive groves, those producing fruits, nuts and grain.  Help them in their labours especially in these times of climate change and enable them all to get a fair price for the tremendously hard work they undertake.  We pray also for the world’s supermarket chains asking that they put the welfare of the farming community before massive profits achieved through exploitation.

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

Loving God, we pray for abundant life for anyone we know who has recently been given bad news about their health or the health of a loved-one. Lord, help us know what to say and when to speak. May we always be ready to give practical help whenever we can and to ensure that those on their own are able to manage and cope with the day to day life.

We now raise before you 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 and any 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, when death separates from us those we love and we find it hard to live without them, take from us all bitterness and resentment and help us to remember that death has no power at all over the peace You give and the love we shared with the departed goes beyond the grave.

May all the faithful departed now rest in peace as they most surely have 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.

Holy God, as we prepare for the week to come, help us to know Christ and the power of His resurrection day by day and in the sharing of his sufferings to become more like Him.

(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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