Lectionary -- Ordinary Sunday 18 Year C

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Hosea 11:1-11 I led them with cords of human kindness
Psalm 107:1-9,43 O give thanks to the Lord for he is good
Colossians 3:1-11 Set you minds on things that are above
Luke 12:13-21 Parable of the rich fool

Special Readings for victims of the nuclear age 6 August
Isaiah 9:1-7 ... a child has been born ... Prince of Peace
Romans 8:18-27 ... the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now

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Possible Hymns (Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and its supplement Sing Alleluia.)
SA 47 How good and pleasant that we live / by power that only God can give
AHB 77 TIS 137 For the beauty of the earth
116 How deep the riches of our God
144 Ye servants of God
AHB159 TIS 224 All hail the power of Jesus name
349 O come let us sing to the Lord [Ps 95]
391 In Christ there is no east or west
408 Lord in the strength of grace
411 We praise you, Lord, for Jesus Christ [Baptism]
AHB 458 Teach me, my God and King/ in all things thee to see
463 Jesu, priceless treasure [Jesu, meine freude]
516 Master, speak, thy servant heareth
AHB 519 [TIS 598 alt.] Dear Lord and Father of mankind
528 Make me a captive, Lord
529 Son of God, eternal Saviour

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Sermon summary - Ordinary 18 Year C (Click here for complete sermon) see also the sermon for the 50th annivaerary of Hiroshima Day

Peace and Prosperity

I will be linking the terrible threat of nuclear war, however remote it might seem, with the selfish and materialistic attitude of the rich fool in the Gospel reading for today, who built bigger barns, and said to himself, "You have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry." There might well be a real threat there: selfishness and materialism could to lead some kind of future destruction of those who now enjoy the wealth of nations, but I don't want to make too much of that.

The point Jesus was making is simpler, and more direct. In the eternal scheme of things, building bigger barns is quite pointless: when your life is required of you, you will not be the one who enjoys your riches. You are a fool to rely upon what you have stored in your barns. That is not so much a moral injunction against greed, materialism and selfishness. It does not even refer to the needs of others. It is a call to consider first where we stand in relation to God. That is main point, but it is by no means all.

Hiroshima
August 6 is the anniversary of the beginning of nuclear terror with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima . It was not long before hydrogen bombs were produced with an explosive power up to a thousand times the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, and the superpowers possessed enough to destroy the whole world many times over. Although cold war tensions have eased and some weapons have been dismantled, people have not forgotten. Fear is aroused when it appears that there are still people in the world who are actually preparing to use nuclear weapons again in the future.

The Prince of Peace
Today, in remembrance of the victims of nuclear holocaust, we are reminded, again, as we commonly are at Christmas, by the reading from Isaiah [9:1-7], of the Prince of Peace. The one whose coming had been promised by ancient prophets, did indeed come when a child was born and the angels sang of peace on earth [Luke 2:8-14]. Jesus taught mainly about the Kingdom of God, and in very personal terms about loving God and loving our neighbour. It was in this way, in helping people to confront reality in their own lives about their relationship with God, that Jesus told the parable of the rich fool. [Luke 12:13-21.]

The Prince of Peace came to put things right between us and God. When that is right, relationships between people will be peaceful. It might means setting aside or sitting loosely on our possessions, for they have the power to claim our warmest devotion that really should be directed towards God. The kind of human pride and greed which separates us from God, also separates us from others, and when that pride is challenged the passion for war rises. Real prosperity, by contrast, comes when we are growing together in our knowledge of God and service of one another. It is quite literally a matter of life and death; and Christ, the Prince of Peace, offers us the way of life. All glory be to him.

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Order of Service - Ordinary Sunday 18 Year C

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let us thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wonderful works to humankind.
-- Psalms 107:1,8

HYMN AHB 77 TIS 137 For the beauty of the earth

PRAYER OF ADORATION
Let us acknowledge the greatness and majesty of God as we offer our humble adoration:
Blessed are you, almighty Father, sovereign ruler of all creation:
we glorify and adore you.
Blessed are you, Lord Jesus Christ, loving Saviour of the world:
we glorify and adore you.
Blessed are you, eternal Spirit, gracious source of light and life:
we glorify and adore you.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Lord of endless power and might,
we praise your name for ever and ever.

CONFESSION
O God,
we confess the blindness that is not even aware of sinning;
the pride that dares not admit that it is wrong;
the selfishness that can see nothing but its own will;
the righteousness that knows no fault;
the callousness that has ceased to care;
the defiance that does not regret its own sins;
the evasion that always tries to make excuses;
the coldness of heart that is too hardened to repent.
God, we are sinners; be merciful to us.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. -- 1 Timothy 1:15
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us: Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY: Gloria in Excelsis [Sing Alleluia 100b]

Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME [with a word to the children]
OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 9:1-7 ... a child has been born ... Prince of Peace
PSALM 107:1-9,43 O give thanks to the Lord for he is good
EPISTLE Romans 8:18-27 ... the whole creation has been in labour pains until now
GOSPEL Luke 12:13-21 Parable of the rich fool
HYMN AHB 458 Teach me, my God and King/ in all things thee to see
or AHB 519 [TIS 598 alt.] Dear Lord and Father of mankind

SERMON
NICINE CREED

OFFERING
SHARING TIME [Notices, Celebrations and requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[.... Concluding with The Salvation of the whole world]
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,
Look favourably on your whole church,
that wonderful and sacred mystery;
and by the peaceful operation of your providence,
carry out the work of our salvation.
And let the whole world feel and see
that things which were cast down are being raised up,
and things which had grown old are being made new,
and all things are returning to perfection
through him from whom they took their origin;
even through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Gelasian Sacramentary, 7th century.

THE COLLECT FOR THE DAY

The Lord's Supper

THE PEACE
HYMN AHB 391 TIS 459 In Christ there is no east or west
GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your 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.
thanks and praise ..... in the eternal hymn: [SA 100c and 100d]
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
We thank you ....

[The great prayer of thanksgiving continues ...]

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of hymn book]
BREAKING THE BREAD
THE LAMB OF GOD
COMMUNION
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN AHB 159 TIS 224 All hail the power of Jesus name
WORD OF MISSION
BLESSING
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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