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  • Liturgical resources for Pentecost Day Year B
    Testament scriptures became important At the same time there were leaders who were accepted as standing in the tradition of the apostles and that tradition was important to the life of the church e g 1 Corinthians 11 23 24 It was used together with writings and the personal witness of pastoral leaders to make up the continuing witness of the apostles a witness which should be confirmed by the witness of the Spirit with each one But divisions are to be expected 1 Corinthians 11 18 19 while claims to truth are tested Both the witness of the apostles and witness of the Spirit should lead us in the same direction that is to the reality of Christ DB Home RCL Resources Index Questions and Comments Order of Service for Day of Pentecost Whitsunday Year B and Congregational Re affirmation of Baptism The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your people And kindle in us the fire of your love HYMN 377 Spirit divine attend our prayers ADORATION Loving and eternal God we come to worship you in wonder and in gladness You have blessed us and made yourself known to us in countless loving ways in your creation of a world that is full of your glory in your coming to us in Jesus Christ to bring us back to yourself and through your presence in the power of the Holy Spirit whose presence inspires our worship Today we recall with special thanksgiving and adoration your coming in the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost Let us all be blessed now with that great gift that we may faithfully worship and serve you Lord God in the power of the Spirit for years to come in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord Amen CONFESSION In seeking such a blessing Lord we confess that we are unworthy of even the least of your gifts Forgive us for the many occasions when we have enjoyed the riches of your creation without offering a word of thanks Lord have mercy Lord have mercy We seek reconciliation in the name of Christ yet we have been slow to witness to his love and serve to him in the world Christ have mercy Christ have mercy We have grieved the Holy Spirit in our reluctance to be led into new ways and in our unfaithfulness to the witness of the apostles to the word of truth conveyed to us in the church Lord have mercy Lord have mercy FORGIVENESS Hear the assurance of the apostle that no matter what you have done you are not bound by the past If anyone is in Christ there is a new creation everything old has passed away see everything has become new All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation 2 Corinthians 5 17 18 And so I declare to you Christ s

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  • Spirit and apostle: two witnesses?
    the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good All members have gifts of the Spirit But of course it is not for their own benefit individually but each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good You will see that we have already two limitations or modifications of the false generality that the gift of the Spirit to each one makes every member an authority on everything 1 different members have different gifts and 2 the gifts are given for the common good So the Spirit witnesses to Christ with every individual member it is a witness that is received within the bonds of fellowship within which it is shared with what others receive That sharing and moderation of the witness of the Spirit within the fellowship for the common good does not detract from the direct personal nature of the witness of the Spirit to each one Paul to the Romans wrote of this direct personal witness Romans 8 14 16 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear but you have received a spirit of adoption When we cry Abba Father 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God You will see that the direct witness of the Spirit with us personally is understood here to be one of assurance that is assurance of the love of God of our acceptance as the children of God It is not an individual revelation of what others or the group should do or of God s will and purpose for the whole world For those more general purposes there is some structure given to the fellowship within which the common good that is the purpose of the diverse gifts is worked out Ephesians 4 11 12 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles some prophets some evangelists some pastors and teachers 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ And see 1 Corinthians 12 28 So what threatens to become disruptive individualism in the witness of the Spirit to each one individually is modified by the very diversity of gifts given within the fellowship for the common good and that among those diverse gifts are some gifts for leadership and teaching through the work of apostles prophets pastors and teachers Leadership is not to be forgotten in the diversity of gifts Indeed to go back to what followed the speech of Peter on the Day of Pentecost we find in the fellowship which was established by the gift of the Spirit to them all they immediately entered into a life together in which the apostles had a leadership and teaching role Acts 2 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers These are essential marks of the catholic church the one holy catholic and apostolic church that is the universal fellowship of all who belong to Christ if only it could be realised We have in that simple picture of the beginning of the church what must be present wherever true believers come together the apostles teaching fellowship the breaking of bread and prayers Prior to this Peter after proclaiming the message that Jesus was the Messiah had spoken of another necessity Acts 2 38 Peter said to them Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit So you have the witness of the apostles to Christ guiding the fellowship or communion of the saints whose sins are forgiven and who share the gift of the Spirit and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord s supper as they pray together It is the perfect picture in scripture of what it means to belong to a Christian fellowship or church Within it there are the two witnesses the apostles and the Spirit The teaching of the apostles is not sufficient without the Spirit of God dwelling with each member and the gift of the Spirit to each one still requires the members to learn from the teaching of the apostles who of course also have the gift of the Spirit for their task just as the members are variously equipped for their different roles So what s the problem If that is the way that Jesus intended it to be why do we have tension and division Basically it is because of human failings our pride and weakness That was obvious even at the beginning when the beautiful example of the early church was established at Pentecost It was not long before the apostles were calling on church members to preserve their unity to master their human frailties and depend their life in Christ And not only that the apostles even disagreed among themselves as Paul made clear about his relationship to Peter Galatians 2 11 But when Cephas that is Peter came to Antioch I opposed him to his face because he stood self condemned While they did on occasion disagree they all seemed to believe that the gift of the Spirit was necessary for one to belong to Christ and that they all had that gift Romans 8 9 But you are not in the flesh you are in the Spirit since the Spirit of God dwells in you Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him But having the Spirit did not guarantee agreement as for example when Paul was giving advice about a number of questions which the Corinthians were trying to resolve 1 Corinthians 7 40 But in my judgment she is more blessed if she remains as she is And I think that I too have the Spirit of

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  • Liturgical Resources for Trinity Sunday Year B
    believe in God as an elemental spirit or you believe in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ What we believe about God makes a difference to the way we live If God is far away you may think that nothing you could do would make any difference for such a god would be immovable and unchangeable and sharing your concerns in prayer would not make a lot a sense The idea that people with their machines and their organising ability can stand in the place of God or at least that they need not feel in any way accountable to a higher power has the most profound implications for example in the way we are governed in our attitude to the environment and in the way we treat each other in families and personal relationships These are consequences of belief in a remote and uncaring God if indeed any belief in God remains at all It does matter for the way we live what you believe about God that is whether he is remote or whether he cares or whether he acts in our world does make a difference We believe that God cares about the world and we believe God did something very special because he cared he sent his Son to us to form a new and everlasting relationship with us John 3 16 and he comes to us personally in the Holy Spirit John 3 7 8 John 1 33 34 Mark 1 8 John 15 26 Romans 8 14 17 If we believe this about God then God is certainly not remote and uncaring It makes a difference to believe in God Father Son and Holy Spirit Order of Service for Trinity Sunday Year B The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP Let us worship God Holy holy holy is the LORD of hosts the whole earth is full of his glory Isaiah 6 3 HYMN 65 Holy holy holy Lord God almighty PRAYER OF ADORATION Te Deum Part 1 front of Hymn Book CONFESSION Isaiah the prophet confronted by a vision of God said Woe is me I am lost for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips yet my eyes have seen the King the LORD of hosts Isaiah 6 5 We confess to you Lord God our Creator our failure to serve you as Lord of all we have to use and to care for in this earth you have made Lord have mercy We confess to you Jesus Christ eternal Word of God our Saviour and Lord our lack of love for you and our fellow human beings Christ have mercy We confess to you Holy Spirit God with us Counsellor and teacher of all truth we have been deaf to your call and inspiration Lord have mercy DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS The good news is that all who trust in Christ will have their sins forgiven and

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  • A practical understanding of the Trinity
    too distant to have an interest in his own creation has occurred in what is commonly called attitudes to the environment I would prefer to say attitudes to creation but that implies belief in a Creator so it is not commonly spoken of in popular discussion even when the majority believe in some sort of God Again it matters what kind of God you believe in or to put it in a better way it matters to the environment or creation what you believe about God If God is far away and does not care if the world around is just an impersonal piece of clockwork and we are not accountable to its Creator who cares for it and maintains a continuing interest in it then we might think we can do with it as we please It is surprising to me as a believer in God as one who cares and who still rules the world he has made to hear Christian belief so often misrepresented by environmentalists who say that the Biblical view of humankind is of man as the exploiter of the environment as if God had told him he could rule over it in the place of God himself and do as he wished with it So man is imagined to be sovereign they say and man over nature is seen as the great destroyer who should rather be in co operation with nature But that is a great lie In the Biblical understanding God never gave man any such authority rather man and woman were made responsible as stewards of what God had given them They remained accountable to God for how they used what he gave them and it was not all for their benefit Though humanity is represented in the Bible as having dominion over the earth and as crowned with glory and honour that does not mean we can act irresponsibly rather the Bible constantly reports on people being called to account for how they use whatever power they have As for dominion it is simply a fact humankind does have power over the earth and all things in it to the point of having the power to destroy it but that does not mean that it is right to use the power in that way If on the other hand you believe that you are a steward acting on God s behalf and that you will have to answer to God what you do with all that you have power to influence your attitude to creation will be different and very different from what it will be if you think God is not interested or he is so removed that you can do as you please So again what you believe about God makes a difference to how you behave It is the same with human relationships If you regard others as objects mere instruments of your will you will treat people differently from what you should if you recognize them

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  • Ordinary 10 Year B
    sermon notes Order of Service Pentecost 2 Ordinary 10 Year B The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP Let us worship God who calls us all into his community All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD and all the families of the nations shall worship before him Psalm 22 27 HYMN 139 O love of God how strong and true PRAYER OF ADORATION Eternal God Lord of heaven and earth we praise you for your greatness Your wisdom is seen in all your works Your grace and truth are revealed in Jesus Christ your Son Your presence and power are given to us through the Holy Spirit Therefore O blessed Trinity we worship and adore you for ever and ever Amen CONFESSION Loving God Lord of the Church we confess that we have sinned against you in thought word and deed we have not loved you with all our heart or served you with all our strength we have been blind to the vision of a renewed world and deaf to your call to costly discipleship we have been indifferent to the suffering of others and unwilling to forgive one another In your mercy Lord pardon and restore us that together in the ministry of Christ we may serve you with joy all the days of our life Amen DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us 2 Corinthians 5 19 Hear then Christ s word of grace Your sins are forgiven Thanks be to God DOXOLOGY Hymn 771 Now to him who is able Service of the Word INTRODUCTION OF THEME Our eternal home Psalm 138 I give thanks O Lord with

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  • Our eternal home
    myself so that where I am there you may be also John 14 2 3 Christ the way to our true home So if live in the temporary homes of our earthly tents for a time in this life it is that we may prepare for our true homes in heaven which we may enter by the way that Christ has prepared for us We recognize that he is himself the way He said to them And you know the way to the place where I am going John 14 4 But it was all too much Typically it was Thomas in his somewhat resigned enthusiasm mixed with exasperated scepticism who said Lord we do not know where you are going How can we know the way John 14 5 Then we have those immortal words about his being the way the truth and the life calling for faith through personal knowledge of Jesus It is an expansion of what he said at the beginning about there being plenty of room when he had said Believe in God believe also in me To believe in him was to know him as the way to the place where he was going Jesus said to him I am the way and the truth and the life No one comes to the Father except through me 7 If you know me you will know my Father also From now on you do know him and have seen him John 14 6 7 When we follow him we will be with him in our eternal homes Jesus encouraged people to prepare in their earthly lives for life in their eternal homes Luke 16 9 and to believe that by faith they could follow him and be with him for ever The body of our resurrection What do you think when you say the Apostles Creed where it refers to the resurrection of the body I believe in the Holy Spirit the holy catholic Church the communion of saints the forgiveness of sins the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting Amen The Nicene Creed has resurrection of the dead and so does not raise quite the same question as resurrection of the body People in certain ages have thought that resurrection of body meant literally that our physical bodies would be brought back to life Early Christian graves in Europe are distinguished from pagan graves by being arranged on East West lines so that when the graves were opened at the resurrection the people would face East towards Jerusalem when they rose from their sleep But people of Paul s day knew better although they had puzzled about it The Christians in Corinth also wondered about that the resurrection of the body Paul had been writing about having confidence in their own resurrection because Christ has been raised up from the dead But how They wanted to know Does it make sense 1 Corinthians 15 35 But someone will ask How are the dead raised With what kind of body do they come Paul said it was like a plant coming up from a seed 1 Corinthians 15 42 44 So it is with the resurrection of the dead What is sown is perishable what is raised is imperishable 43 It is sown in dishonour it is raised in glory It is sown in weakness it is raised in power 44 It is sown a physical body it is raised a spiritual body If there is a physical body there is also a spiritual body You might still ask Can we really know anything about it anyway Would anything we say be mere speculation Well people often say we cannot know these things and that we are only guessing or seeking the fulfilment of our wishes but I don t think so We do have direct teaching from Jesus and quite a lot elsewhere in the New Testament and other ancient scripture as well as the witness of the faithful through the ages It makes sense to me to say that when we are raised to a new life after death it is to life in a spiritual body as different from our former physical bodies as the life of a plant is different from the seed from which it grew as Paul said The debate among the Jews about resurrection At the time of Jesus the resurrection of the dead was a topic of great debate Some of the Jews like the Pharisees believed in it and some like the Sadducees did not The teaching of Jesus and later of Paul is similar to that of the Pharisees Prior to the period just before and during the time of Jesus earthly life there is very little evidence of belief in life after death among the Jews or the ancient Israelites Scholars suggest that they had a vague belief in the dead existing in a kind of sleep under the earth in the realm of the dead hades in Greek but no thought of their being raised to a new life A little later there is interesting material in 2 Esdras 7 32 37 4 35 40 43 dating from about the same time as the Gospels were being written of how the caverns under the earth were thought to be like a womb about to give birth to the resurrected beings they held Some change was necessary for the qualities of life to be experienced again by the people who had died and when they came to belief in resurrection they understood it as something brought about by God The main thing was that death is not the last word It is part of the natural order of things and terribly destructive but not the end if Christ has indeed won the victory over evil that we believe he has As all die in Adam so all will be made alive in Christ 1 Corinthians 15 22 It was so close to

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  • Lectionary rescources for Ordinary 12 Year B
    One of the stories of storm and calm in the Old Testament which tells us something of what we need to believe about God in order to enjoy the peace of the presence of Christ is the story of Jonah who was thrown into to sea to calm the storm Jonah 1 1 15 When his time came to sacrifice his life it was as the guiltless one unlike Jonah but Jesus took Jonah as a sign of his dying and rising Matthew 12 39 41 Another story of peace in the midst of a storm is one that used to told to encourage faith among Methodists of how when John Wesley was going to America as a missionary the ship was caught in a great storm in the Atlantic and everyone was terrified everyone that is except one group of passengers who stayed below praying and seemed completely unperturbed Wesley learned a great deal from those Moravians about complete trust in God through faith in Christ Saved from the waves saved from chaos saved from the power of evil saved from death it takes many forms but gift of saving grace is a well known gift of peace that comes from knowing that it is in Jesus Christ that God overcomes our fears Order of Service Ordinary 12 Pentecost 2 Year B DB Home RCL Resources Index Questions and Comments The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP Let us come before God in humility gladness and confidence for now is the acceptable time now is the day of salvation From 2 Corinthians 6 2 Grant us Lord the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to realize this promise of your presence in our lives HYMN God of grace and God of glory TIS 611 AHB PRAYER OF ADORATION Mighty and merciful God we meet to celebrate your greatness We join with the hosts of heaven to sing your praise and to offer you worship For you are worthy of adoration from every mouth and every tongue should praise you You created the earth by your power you save the human race by your mercy and make it new by your grace Father Son and Holy Spirit we offer you our grateful praise CONFESSION For our foolish or careless use of the gifts of your creation Lord have mercy Lord have mercy For our indifference to the needs of others our brothers and sisters for whom you died Christ have mercy Christ have mercy For our neglect of fellowship and the means of grace in worship and private prayer Lord have mercy Lord have mercy DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us 2 Corinthians 5 19 Hear then Christ s word of grace Your sins are forgiven Thanks be to God DOXOLOGY Hymn 576 Now to him who loved us gave us every pledge that love could give freely

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  • Faith or fear: Who then is this?
    to the LORD in their trouble and he brought them out from their distress he made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were hushed That is how the psalmist described the saving acts of God That Jesus exercised the same authority of God is seen in Mark s account of their adventure with the sudden storm His authority to act as only God can act was quite explicitly in another healing miracle early in Mark soon after the one in which the evil power he commanded had called him the Holy One of God Remember the occasion in Capernaum when they let down the paralysed man on a bed through a hole in the roof and Jesus said to him Your sins are forgiven and the scribes who were quite correct in the their knowledge of the scriptures said Mark 2 7 Why does this fellow speak in this way It is blasphemy Who can forgive sins but God alone Who indeed but God That is the whole point in his stilling the storm as in forgiving sins Who was he Who had the right to do that Who but God That is what Mark is asking us to answer for ourselves This Jesus who commands the sea is none other than God the Lord of Creation He is God in the flesh You don t have to believe it You can have your doubts God has given you that freedom But whatever you think of it there is no doubt about the belief and the intention of the evangelist Mark he believes and he wants us to be challenged just as the disciples were when they were confronted by the question Who then is this His hope is that we too will have faith in the way we answer that question But what kind of faith is it The faith Jesus encouraged was faith in God who could be trusted so that they need not be afraid The contrast in the midst of the storm is between Jesus who remains calm and the fear of the disciples that they would be swamped by the waves The disciple had two kinds of fear They had a natural fear of the waves and they also experiences a stranger fear a sense of awe at his command of the situation When he said to them however Why are you afraid Have you still no faith it was in regard to the first fear their natural fear of death He would encourage them to have faith in God to believe that they were in his care and had no need to fear even death His calmness in the face of danger soon spread to the waves and to them The faith to which he called them then was not so much to believe that Jesus could do such a thing as calm the storm though he could as it was faith in God whose Lordship he represented and which they could trust It was God who calmed the storm as Psalmist said Psalm 107 28 29 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble and he brought them out from their distress 29 he made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were hushed It was God who calmed the storm but is this case of the disciples on the sea of Galilee it was God in Christ who desired them to have peace and live in faith You might even say with William Barclay In the presence of Jesus we can have peace in even the wildest storms of life I could go on now to speak of how we can have peace in times of sorry or tension and uncertainty or of how in times of anxiety we can find that fear passes away when we become aware that Jesus shares our troubles and walks with us through the danger People who have learned to live close to God can have such peace through faith day by day And it is a great blessing You can spell out what that might mean in our own life and that is good trusting in the presence of Jesus day by day But just one thing You first have to believe that he is God otherwise your trust has no foundation Whatever you do with the story do not forget the main point of Mark s storytelling Who then is this Who but God Then you can trust him Then you can have peace in the storms of life It is said by some and you might feel the same way that perhaps there was a vague memory of the disciples being out on the lake when a sudden storm struck and that they knew peace within themselves when he reassured them of God s care and demonstrated his own sense of peace when danger threatened It is true that the lake was subject to sudden squalls due to wind rushing down narrow ravines from the high country to the North East and East especially in that part of the lake that they appear to have been approaching when Jesus asked them to cross over They landed on the East side where Jesus had the encounter Mark tell of next with the madman of the Gerasenes Such storms might disappear as quickly as they came you might say quite naturally You might perhaps think that if there was such an event they forgot the actual details and remembered it later as a demonstration of what they now believed about him that he was God incarnate who was indeed Lord of all creation and so could command the elements If he was who they believed him to be then of course you might reason that he could have done such a thing whether he did or not and you might imagine them thinking the same That begs the question of how they came to believe that about

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