Lectionary -- Ordinary 23 (Pentecost 16) Year A

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Exodus 12:1-14 The beginning of the festival of the Passover
Psalm 149 Sing to the Lord a new song
Romans 13:8-14 Now is the moment for you to wake from sleep
Matthew 18:15-20 Where two or three are gathered in my name

Suggested Hymns (TIS = Together in Song, AHB = Australian Hymn Book, SA = Sing Alleluia)
 
lesson
Hymns for Sunday 23, Yr.A
TIS
AHB
SA
Ps
All creatures of our God and King
100
3
 
G
All praise to our redeeming Lord
442
367
 
E
Awake, awake, fling off the night
 
412
 
O
Behold the Lamb of God
705
   
O
Bread of the world in mercy broken
512
437
 
E/G
Brother, sister, let me serve you
650
 
14
Ps
Captains of the saintly band
 
354
 
G
Christ is made the sure foundation
432
343
 
G
Fight the good fight with all thy might
594
511
 
G
Fold to your heart your sister and your brother
587
[503]
 
G
Forgive our sins, as we forgive
635
564
 
O
Glory to our boundless God
189
   
O
God's Pachal Lamb is sacrificed for us
543
   
O
He walked on earth showing glimpses of heaven
260
   
E/G
I come with joy to meet my Lord
533
452
 
E
I want to walk as a child of the llight
643
   
G
Jesus calls us here to meet him
477
   
 
Jesus thy boundless love to me
 
462
 
 
Jesus, united by thy grace
 
365
 
G
Joyful, joyful, we adore you
152
   
G
Let there be peace on earth
     
Ps
Let us with a gladsome mind
83
11
 
O
Lord enthroned in heavenly splendour
520
441
 
O
Lord of the living in your name assembled
637
 
64
G
Love divine all loves excelling
217
148
 
E
O day of God, draw near
616
547
 
E
O Jesus Christ, may grateful hymns be rising
620
553
 
Ps
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
155
   
 
O worship the King
133
67
 
G
Peace with the Father. Peace with Christ the Son
466
402
 
G
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
134
68
 
O
Shout for joy! the Lord has let us feast
545
   
Ps
Sing a new song to the Lord
95
   
Ps
Sing praise to the Lord!
96
[83]
 
E
Soldiers of Christ, arise
570
481
 
O
The day of resurrection!
361
277
 
E
The law of Christ alone can make us free
630
554
 
G
This is my will, my one command
641
401
 
E
To show by touch and word
     
E
Wake awake! for night is flying
266
195
 
 
We are one in the Spirit
     
E/G
When love is found and hope comes home
654
   
E/G
Where charity and love prevail
     
E
Where love and lovingkindness dwell
   
95
E/G
Where there is charity and love
434
C591
 
E
Ye servants of the Lord
 
474
 
Ps
You servants of God, your Master proclaim 
215
144q
 
         
         

Other possible hymns (Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia)
SA The voice of God goes out to all the world
44 I'll praise my maker while I've breath
104 Father all loving, thou rulest in majesty
109 Tell out my soul
179 Christ is the world's true light
258 When I survey the wondrous cross
349 O come, let us sing to the Lord
369 Jesus, we look to thee / thy promised presence claim
467 Who would true valour see
503 O brother man fold to thy heart thy brother

Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon)

Owe no one anything?

Paul advised the Christians at Rome to owe no one anything [Romans 13:8]: he was telling them to be good citizens. It was about meeting our social and public obligations [Romans 13:6-7]. We should respect authority as good order is important for human well being. Owe no one anything, except to love one another, is about our duty to others, fulfilling the law through love [John 13:34; 15:17ff; Romans 13:9].

Who is my neighbour?
The saying "Love your neighbour as yourself" used by Jesus comes from the old Jewish law [Leviticus 19:18]. The difference was that Jesus taught people to regard even foreigners as their neighbours [eg. parable of the good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37] Belonging to a different society with different rules does not excuse humanity from this general obligation.

The historical prohibition of usury
For many centuries the church forbad the collection of interest, sometimes absolutely. In recent times the great moral dilemma seems to have been forgotten very largely in the West. We should acknowledge that it has not only been a Christian concern. The Moslems still today prohibit lending money on interest. There does seem to be an element of fairness in sharing the risk. Take the example of a farmer who borrows money to put in a crop.

The Biblical basis for lending
There is a general foundation in the principle of "owing no one anything except love". Jesus himself did not regard the making a profit as morally reprehensible [Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:23]. Lending was also directly encouraged by Jesus: [Matthew 5:42]. Jewish law required loans to be made without interest to family members in need, but allowed interest on loans to foreigners [Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-36; Deuteronomy 23:19-20]; however the question "Who is my neighbour?" does not allow that distinction. I am not suggesting that we should give up investing in interest bearing deposits, but we need to think about it.

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Order of Service - Ordinary 23 (Pentecost 16) Year A

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP
Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful. -- Psalm 149:1

HYMN I'll praise my maker while I've breath AHB 44

PRAYER OF ADORATION
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.

PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS
Almighty God have mercy on you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

DOXOLOGY: 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.

WELCOME AND GREETING EACH OTHER

Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Christian liviing: fellowship, finance and faith

OLD TESTAMENT Exodus 12:1-14 The beginning of the festival of the Passover
PSALM 149 Sing to the Lord a new song
EPISTLE Romans 13:8-14 Now is the moment for you to wake from sleep
GOSPEL Matthew 18:15-20 Where two or three are gathered in my name

HYMN  Who would true valour see AHB 467

SERMON

HYMN  Father all loving, thou rulest in majesty AHB 104

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 James, president of the Assembly,
for our moderator and our chairperson of presbytery and 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.
[Silence]

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
Let us pray (that we may realise the freedom God has given us in making us sons and daughters):
God our Father, you redeem us and make us your children in Christ. Look on us, give us true freedom, and bring us to the inheritance you promised. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN O brother man fold to thy heart thy brother AHB 503
WORD OF MISSION
BLESSING
DISMISSAL
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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