Sunday, 22 August 2021

 

 Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

 Kia ora tātou!

I guess we could say that we knew this day might come! But, it is still a surprise to find ourselves in a lockdown situation. After such a long time it is a little strange.

However, there is much to be grateful for. The fact that it has been so long, that we have held Covid off at our borders for such a long time. The fact we have competent leaders and health professionals to guide us. The fact that we can still connect in a variety of ways.

What follows are some prompts to help you enter a space of worship and reflection today.

Take your time.

Take all the time you need.

Normally we’d stick around after the service, have a cuppa and a yarn. Why don’t you make yourself a cuppa, pick up the phone and have a chat with someone who comes to mind instead today?

We are pausing to acknowledge and grow in the presence of God in our lives.

We are meeting as part of a church community, albeit a scattered one.

We are stilling ourselves, our fears, our anxieties, and all the distracting things around us,

to seek and delight in God’s life with us.

Let us worship God!

Words to focus our worship

Praise the Lord.

Give thanks for God’s goodness.

God’s rock solid love endures forever.

Happy are those who observe justice,

who do righteousness at all times.

Lead us, Lord,

and call us out from amongst our busy lives,

that we may give thanks to you,

and be refreshed by your grace.

Inspired by Psalm 106

Listening

 

A prayer on our way

Almighty God, bless your people.

Give us your peace, your help, and your love, for we are the sheep of your pasture.

Let us be united in your peace— one in the Body, one in the Spirit, and one in the hope of our calling,

all through the gift of your endless grace. Amen.

Based on the Liturgy of St. Mark (2nd century)

A Reflection from Dan

Exodus 32:1-14

John 10:10

If you would like to read this instead, you can find it here: Reflection – 22 August 2021

Questions for contemplation

  • Was there a word, sentence, phrase or idea that stood out to you in the readings or the reflection today?
  • What is the intersection of what you noticed with your own circumstances at the moment?
  • How does it make you feel that God delights in us when we take notice of injustice?
  • Chew over this for a time: Aspects of the nature of God is to be found planted in us. Apart from ‘justice’ what other aspects of God’s nature would you like to be noticed in you?

Our Prayer for the Road

from Liam Boardman

Loving God
It pains us to see injustice and suffering in your world. It can be so easy for us to turn a blind eye and carry on with our comfortable lives. But you call us to overturn the tables in the temple, love our neighbours, feed the hungry and walk the road with the stranger.
Lord, let your justice begin with each of us.

We think of the people in our local community who on a daily basis struggle to put food on the table, have their homes comfortable for winter and have hope for a better future. And now they face these challenges compounded by lockdown.
We ask for your blessing on the relationship we have developed with Burnside Primary.
Lord, let your justice begin with each of us.

We think of the challenges facing New Zealand. Unaffordable housing, inequitable health care, systemic racism, unsustainable agriculture, polluted waterways and rigid immigration policies. Please give us the courage to work towards righting these wrongs so that we can ensure a kind and compassionate society.
Lord, let your justice begin with each of us.

Lord, there are so many issues facing the world. Some days they seem insurmountable, but we know the only way they can be solved is if we work together. We think of the unequal availability of COVID vaccines, and the unequal burden of climate change whereby those who have done the least to cause it, will suffer the most. We think of the distressing ignorance of prejudice around issues of gender, race and sexual orientation. Empower us to use our collective voice to advocate against these injustices.
Lord, let your justice begin with each of us.

Even as we work towards a better collective future, we see others suffering today.
We pray for the people of Afghanistan. We pray for the people displaced and harmed by the wild fires in the Mediterranean and North America, for the people of Haiti, and for the people of Fiji and New South Wales as they struggle with their Covid-19 outbreaks.
Lord, may your justice and mercy be with us all.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Blessing

Glory to God, Source of all being,

Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and shall be forever.

World without end, Amen.

Feel welcome to send this on to anyone you think might be interested. If you know of someone who might like to subscribe to these e-Services from The Village they can email Tracey: tracey@villagechurch.nz