Sunday 4 September, 2016

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 18: 1-11

* Behold the servant of the Lord! (StF 546)
Jesus, lover of my soul (StF 355)

Spirit of the living God (StF 395)

Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

Hymns reflecting the psalmist’s theme

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart (StF 545)
Forth in thy name, O Lord I go (StF 550)
I was on your mind long before you formed the earth (StF 468)
O God, you search me and you know me (StF 728)
There is no moment of my life (StF 482)

Philemon vv 1-21

Amazing grace – how sweet the sound (StF 440)
As we gather. Father, seal us (StF 570)
Before I take the body of my Lord (StF 575) (a hymn of confession for use during a Communion service)
Brother, sister, let me serve you (StF 611)
Christ from whom all blessings flow (StF 676)
I come with joy, a child of God (StF 588)
God is Love, let heaven adore him (StF 103)
Jesus stand among us  (StF 30)
Make me a channel of your peace (StF 707)
O thou who camest from above (StF 564)
Out of the depths I cry to thee, Lord God! O hear my prayer! (StF 433)
The peace of the Lord be always with you (StF 768)

Luke 14: 25-33

Lord, we have come at your own invitation (StF 595)
Lord, you have come to the seashore (StF 558)
O Jesus, I have promised to serve you to the end (StF  563)
One human family God has made (StF 687)
Speak, O Lord, as we come to you (StF 161)
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee (StF  566)
Would I have answered when you called..?  (StF  674)

Alternative related readings

Deuteronomy 30: 15-20

Fight the good fight with all your might (StF 634)
Not far beyond the sea nor high (StF 159)

Psalm 1

Hymns reflecting the psalmist’s theme

* Behold the servant of the Lord! (StF 546)
Happy are they who find the grace (StF 500)
Lord of creation, to you be all praise! (StF 449)
What shall we offer our good Lord? (StF 671)

Phillip Poyner writes:

Within the continuous readings is a theme of God who is caring of us and desires the best for us to make us good. Verse 4 of the psalm (“you press upon me… lay your hand”) repeats the imagery of the potter at work.  The Philemon passage (suitable for All-age worship) reveals Paul’s concern for the continuing nurture and shaping of both Philemon and Onesimus.  Yet when this passage is coupled with the related readings then perhaps it becomes an illustration of how faith changes the way we live our lives and relationships. Sometimes faith requires us to leave family or home to engage in Christian service, or puts us at odds with those with a different outlook on life. But, ultimately, commitment to faith brings happiness, fruitfulness and a new depth of love to relationships. The related readings may be more about growing and fulfilment in faith rather than making an initial commitment to faith.
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