Lectionary -- Epiphany 3 (Ordinary 3) Year B
Jonah 3:1-5,10 Jonah proclaims God's message to Ninevah
Psalm 62:5-12 For God alone my soul waits in silence
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 The time is growing short
Mark 1:14-20 The call of the fishermen
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Suggested Hymns from Dennis Towner
(TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
Jonah 3: 1-5, 10
All who love and serve your city TIS.634 AHB.562
Amazing grace (how sweet the sound) TIS.129 AHB.56
O bless the God of Israel TIS.284
Once to every man and nation AHB.499
(To us all, to every nation)
Rock of Ages, cleft for me TIS.222 AHB.157
There's a wideness in God's mercy TIS.136 AHB.72
Psalm 62: 5-12
Yet be still, my soul, and wait for God TIS.33
1 Corinthians 7: 29-31
Forth in your name, O Lord, I go TIS.571 AHB.480
God of grace and God of glory TIS.611 AHB.543
In faith and hope and love TIS.628 AHB.555
When he comes back, when he comes back TIS.280 SA.92
Mark 1: 14-20
Dear Father, Lord of humankind TIS.598 AHB.519
I danced in the morning TIS.242 AHB.183
Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult TIS.589 AHB.505
O Jesus, I have promised TIS.595 AHB.514
You servants of God, your Master proclaim TIS.215 AHB.144
Other possible hymns (SA and AHB numbers)
SA 62 Lord of earth and all creation/ let your love possess our land
102 Sing a new song, sing a new song
200 Come, thou long expected Jesus
397 Seek O seek the Lord, while he is near
523 Now let us see thy beauty Lord
542 O God of earth and altar
553 O Jesus Christ, to thee may hymns be rising
554 The law of Christ alone can make us free
Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon)
Does Australia need a Jonah?
[This applies to other nations as well]
This week there is a holiday for Australia Day. There is much for which to give thanks to God in our the free and generally prosperous and peaceful life. At the same time, if we take time to pray for our nation we will need to plead with God to put right many things that are wrong where there is injustice and disobedience to the will of God. The materialism and the self-serving character of much that we see and do is appalling.
In such times in the past, when people have turned away from God, God has raised up prophets to call then to repentance. One such prophet long ago was Jonah, who is usually remembered for a story about what happened to him when he tried to run away from his calling which was to take God's message to the great sinful city of Nineveh.
Our message from the book of Jonah which we read today is relevant in several ways:-
1. Jonah was a reluctant prophet, yet God was able to use to him.
2. Nor did Jonah know God very well, but he proved God was still God wherever you went.
3. Jonah went back to his job as a prophet and learned that when the word of God is spoken, even unlikely people like those in Ninevah can turn to God.
4. Much to Jonah's annoyance, God was not too proud to change his mind and forgive even those he has threatened to destroy.
5. As Jonah was forced to learn, so must we accept the fact that God loves even the worst of sinners and is gracious to them when they repent.
If you think Australia needs a prophet like Jonah to call us to repentance and renewal you may be right; but be careful where you stand when you say it. Where do you think God will be?
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Order of Service - Epiphany 3 (Ordinary 3) Year B
The Gathering of the People of God
CALL TO WORSHIP
Open our lips, O Lord:
And we shall declare your praise.
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, made haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Let us praise the Lord.
The Lord's name be praised.
HYMN Sing a new song, sing a new song TIS 166 AHB 102
PRAYER OF ADORATION
Merciful God, our Maker and our Judge,
We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed:
We have not loved you with our whole heart,
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves;
We repent, and are sorry for all our sins.
Father, forgive us.
Strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [1 John 1:9]
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us: Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.
DOXOLOGY: Ye servants of God (Hymn TIS 215 AHB 144 verses 2 and 4)
WELCOME AND GREETING EACH OTHER
Service of the Word
INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Does Australia need a Jonah?
OLD TESTAMENT Jonah 3:1-5,10 Jonah proclaims God's message to Ninevah
PSALM 62:5-12 For God alone my soul waits in silence
EPISTLE 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 [A reading for Australia Day]
GOSPEL Mark 1:14-20 The call of the fishermen
HYMN Now let us see thy beauty Lord AHB523
HYMN Lord of earth and all creation/ let your love possess our land TIS 572 SA 62
OFFERING AND DEDICATION
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.
For all people in their daily life and work;
for our families, friends and neighbours, and for those who are alone.
For this community, our country, and the world;
for all who work for justice, freedom and peace.
For the just and proper use of your creation;
for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice and oppression.
For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;
for those who minister to the sick, the friendless and the needy.
For the peace and unity of the Church of God;
for all who proclaim the gospel, and for all seek the truth.
For the Uniting Church in Australia,
for John, President of the Assembly,
for ... Moderator of the Synod,
for ... our chairperson of presbytery and ... our presbytery minister,
for elders and members of the parish council,
and for all who hold office in this congregation;
for all who serve God in the church.
For our own needs, and for others for whom you have called us to pray. ....
Hear us, Lord for your mercy is great.
We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of life. [Silence
We exalt you, O God our king; and praise your name for ever and ever.
We give thanks for all those who have died in the peace of Christ, and for the promise of your eternal kingdom. [Silence]
In Christ you have called us to eternal glory;
to you be praise for ever and ever. Amen.
COLLECT FOR THE DAY
THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]
The Sending Forth of the People of God
HYMN Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go TIS 571 AHB 480
WORD OF MISSION
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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