Lectionary - Ordinary 13  Year A

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Genesis 22:1-14 Abraham saved from sacrificing his son
Psalm 13 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
Romans 6:12-23 Two kinds of slavery: to sin or righteousness
Matthew 10:40-42 Whoever welcomes you welcomes me

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
A Yr. A: Hymns for Sunday 13, Yr.A TIS  AHB SA
A lamp for our feet has been given 341
G All go to God when they are sorely placed 340 [182]
O All my hope on God is founded 560 465
G All praise to thee for thou, O King divine 180
All the earth proclaim the Lord 60 100
E Amazing grace, how sweet the sound 129 56
E And now, O Father, mindful of the love 519 440
G At the name of Jesus  231 170
Ps Be still my soul, the Lord is on your side 123 48
G Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart 547 455
O Beyond the mist and doubt 13
O Bread of the world in mercy broken 512 437
E Breathe on me, breath of God 407 320
G Brother sister, let me serve you 650 14
G Brother you on your heart did bear 538
O/Ps By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered 617 15
Christ is made the sure foundation 432 343
Come Spirit blest, our hearts inspire 425 [331]
Comfort, comfort all my people 647 25
From thee all skill and science flow 518
O/G Give me the faith which can remove 479
God be in my head 549 456
God has spoken by his prophets 158 92
God has spoken to his people, hallelujah 636 39
O God moves in a mysterious way 126 54
E Hail our once despised Jesus 373 [295]
Help us O Lord, to learn 428 340
I heard the voice of Jesus say 585 500
Ps If we will trust in God to guide us 554 [459]
E In the cross of Christ I glory 349 265
O It is a thing most wonderful 171
E/G Jesu Jesu, fill us with your love 640 561
Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult 589 505
G Jesus my Lord, how rich thy grace 475
Jesus your boundless love to me 462
Joyful joyful, we adore you 152
E/G Kneels at the feet of his friends 640 561
E Let him to whom we now belong 563 146
Lift high the cross 351 271
E Make me a captive, Lord 604 528
My Saviour! How shall I proclaim 460
E O for a heart to praise my God 568 476
O God of truth whose living word 507
E O Jesus I have promised 595 514
O Lord and Master of us all 517
O Master let me walk thee 601 522
O thou who camest from above 572 486
Sing praise and thanksgiving 107 25
Ps Sing praise to God who reigns above 110 27
Son of God eternal Saviour 606 529
O Surely the presence of the Lord
E Take my life and let it be 599 520
Ps The church's one foundation 457 385
G The day of resurrection 361 277
O The God of Abraham praise 125 53
E The great love of God is revealed in the Son 164 105
The kingdom is upon you 81
G There's a spirit in the air 414
They that believe and are baptized 479 [405]
Ps We are marching in the light of God 666
We know that Christ is raised 489
We limit not the truth of God 453 335
O What God ordains is always good 109
G When I needed a neighbour were you there 629 558
Ps When we walk with the Lord 531
G Where cross the crowded ways of life 608 532
G Where there is charity and love 434 591
You holy angels bright 108 [26]
E/G You servants of God, your Master proclaim 215 [144]

Sermon summary (click here for complete sermon)

Faithfulness to the Word of God

The story of Abraham making ready to sacrifice his son Isaac [Genesis 22:1-14] must be one of the strangest and most difficult things for us to understand. The whole idea of sacrificing living things to God is abhorrent to modern ways of thinking, let alone human sacrifice; and the sacrifice of one's own children must be the most abhorrent of all. Is that really what God asked of him? It does appear to have been a real test of his faith [Hebrews 11:17-19; Genesis 22:17].

Biblical authority
It raises important questions about how we should interpret the Bible. First, we do accept the Bible as a real authority. The Bible cannot be the criterion of truth about God if we will only accept from it what passes some other test, such as current opinion. The second principle is very important; indeed it supersedes the first: Christ himself is the Word of God -- the Word that became flesh [John 1:1-14]. There is another principle of importance: the truth does not come to us out of the blue, as it were, as individuals, even when we read the Bible carefully and in faith. We grow in understanding by studying the scriptures within the fellowship of believers. We should be prepared to learn from the best available teachers, taking account of the best biblical scholarship.

How did people learn not to make human sacrifices?
We know that the people amongst whom Abraham and his descendants settled practised a religion in which there was human sacrifice, and that it included especially the sacrifice of their own children. The prophets spoke against it [Micah 6:7-8; Jeremiah 32:35] and reforming kings tried to suppress it [2 Kings 23:10]. It was present in the area around Jerusalem because of earlier unfaithfulness [1 Kings 11:1-2,7]. According to tradition that is Abraham's place [see Genesis 22:2 and 2 Chronicles 3:1]. Had Abraham been any more influenced by the people around him, he would have sacrificed his son, but he was willing to trust God [Genesis 22:8 cf Hebrews 11:17-19]. We are not called to take Abraham as an example in what he was prepared to do, but as one who was prepared to trust God. By reference to Christ (who was obedient to the point of sacrifice) we appreciate his radical faithfulness.

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Order of Service - Ordinary 13 (Pentecost 5) Year A

The Gathering of the People of God

O LORD my God! Give light to my eyes,
I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
-- Psalms 13:3a,5-6

HYMN 26 Ye holy angels bright

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.

For our slowness to recognize your gifts in other people and their calling to be children of God: Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
For our reluctance to accept your free gifts and your gracious call to play our part in your ministry: Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
For any cause of division in your body for which we are responsible: Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
The good news is that all who trust in Christ will have their sins forgiven and receive eternal life. As you hold this faith, I declare that you are set free from all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY: 25 Sing praise and thanksgiving, let all creatures living [verse 1]


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Faithfulness to the Word of God
OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 22:1-14 Abraham saved from sacrificing his son

Choir: God be in my head [Hymn 456]

PSALM 13 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me for ever?
EPISTLE Romans 6:12-23 Two kinds of slavery: to sin or righteousness
GOSPEL Matthew 10:40-42 Whoever welcomes you welcomes me

HYMN 340 Help us, O Lord, to learn
HYMN SA 39 God has spoken to his people
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up you hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Almighty God,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts
we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be honour and glory throughout all ages.

Choir: Tell my people I love them

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 517 O Lord and Master of us all
God has told you what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? -- Micah 6:8
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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