Lectionary - Ordinary 27 Year C

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Lamentations 1:1-6 Lament for Zion: How lonely sits the city
Lamentations 3:19-26 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
or Psalm 137 By the rivers of Babylon .... we wept
2 Tim 1:1-14 Guard the good treasure entrusted to you
Luke 17:5-10 'We are worthless slaves'

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
lesson Hymns for Sunday 27, Yr.C TIS AHB SA
G Almighty Father who for us thy Son didst give 548
Ps Be thou my vision 547 455
E Breathe on me, breath of God 407 320
E/G By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered 617 15
Ps By the Babylonian rivers 16
Ps By the Babylonian waters 85
Ps By the waters, the waters of Babylon 708
G Dear Father Lord of humankind 598 519
O Dear Lord, for all in pain 612
G Father hear the prayer we offer 510
G Fight the good fight with all thy might 594 511
G Fill my whole life O Lord my God 596 515
G Firmly I believe and truly 140 78
G Forth in your name, O Lord, I go 571 480
G Give me the faith which can remove 479
G Give me the wings of faith to rise 438 360
God is working his purpose out
God moves in a mysterious way 126 54
G God of grace and God of glory 611 543
Ca Great is your faithfulness 154
G Have faith in God, my heart 619 552
How firm a foundation, you people of God 578 491
O How shall I sing to God 667
G I sing the almighty power of God 119 40
E I'm not ashamed to own my Lord 562 470
Immortal invisible, God only wise 143 80
O In suffering love, the thread of life 177
G Jesus united by thy grace 365
O/Ca Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom 582 494
G Let him to whom we now belong 563 146
E Lord keep us steadfast in your word 436
E March on, my soul, with strength 533
G Morning has broken 156 91
O O come O come, Emmanuel 265 193
E O for a heart to praise my God 568 476
G O Jesus, I have promised 595 514
G O Master, let me walk with thee 601 522
O Spirit of the living God 405 318
E/G O thou who camest from above 572 486
O/G Put all your trust in God 555 464
G Safe in the shadow of the Lord 644 74
G Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands 496 417
G Teach me, my God and King 458
O/E The church of Christ, in every age
G This day God gives me 642 570
O/G Through all the changing scenes of life 112 30
E To God be the glory, great things he has done 147 85
E We have a gospel to proclaim 245 189
O When trouble strikes and fear takes root 184
G You servants of God, your Master proclaim 215 144

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia. TIS = Together in Song)
22 Lord, from the depths I cry to you
75 (TIS 137) O love of God, how strong and true
150 (TIS 218) Jesus the name high over all
168 Immortal love for ever full
452 (TIS 533) I come with joy to meet my Lord
453 (TIS 536) An upper room did our Lord prepare
514 (TIS 595) O Jesus I have promised
545 God my Father, loving me

Sermon summary - Pentecost 18 (Ordinary 27) Year C (Click here for complete sermon)

Are we really worthless?

Jesus suggested to his disciples that they might say, 'We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!' -- Luke 17:9-10. That was after they had asked him to increase their faith. Do you think it would?

Are we really worthless? Should we say we are worthless slaves or children of God? St Paul wrote to the Romans about the Spirit of God leading the faithful to know that we are children of God. (Romans 8:14-17). Do we not belong in the Kingdom of God?

The disciples often thought they had made it. They looked forward to a special place in the Kingdom. They did not understand as much as they thought, as he often had to tell them (eg Mark 8:33). It was still true that through their relationship with Jesus they could enter into a new and powerful relationship with God, even as his children. The key point is that it did not follow naturally from being human. (John 1:11-12). When Jesus came he was an unwelcome stranger, the one who came as the Word of God in the flesh was not recognized as sharing their nature or the nature of God.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name he gave power to become children of God.

The disciples, had begun to understand this. So they asked him about it. The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5). Jesus in reply speaks directly to them in their situation. He is not giving a general rule or talking in the abstract, but challenging them.[Luke 17:5-6]. Not perhaps the answer you might expect. At other also times Jesus spoke figuratively, in dramatic images. They needed to be shaken up a bit. (Cf Mark 11:23-24.)

What has this sort of challenge to do with how much we are worth? It is about trust -- trust in God rather then in our own power and nature. We cannot presume to bargain with God (Matthew 4:3-4 ). We don't like people manipulating us. Neither does God. Jesus showed the way. [Mark 14:35-36].

The slaves then become children of God - by adoption [Rom. 8:15b-16], not be natural right, but as a free undeserved gift of love - by an act of grace. Another way of saying it is that we cannot earn our place with God by the work we do for him but he gives us freely a place superior to that of any servant.

It is a difficult thing for people to accept today, as, indeed, it was in the time of Jesus. We often hear talk of the value of self esteem. There is even the possible charge that we would be doing great harm to some people by speaking of our being worthless. How about the suicide rate? We are greatly valued by God (Matthew 10:29-31). People need to know that. Did he not sent his Son into the world because of his love for us. It was not because we deserved it, and certainly not because we were godlike (Romans 5:6-8). While we still were sinners Christ died for us. (Cf Romans 8:32)

Are we then worthless slaves?

Yes, we are if we think we can work our own passage and we try to manipulate God into accepting us.

No, we are not if we have faith and can accept his making us his adopted children, set free from bondage to enjoy the freedom of the glory of the children of God [Romans 8:21].

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Order of Service - Pentecost 20 (0rdinary 27) Year C

The Gathering of the People of God

Let us worship God:
God who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. [2 Tim. 1:9]
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,

his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, O Lord. [Lamentations 3:22-23)]

HYMN O love of God, how strong and true AHB 75 TIS 137

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, yet we are far from constant in our devotion. Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ was faithful even unto death, seeking only to do the will of his Father in heaven, emptying himself of the glory he had with the Father to one with us; yet we seek satisfaction of our rights and proof of our own worth from our poor attempts to do no more than our duty. Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, yet we allow our spiritual life to be corrupted by unworthy concerns, losing our sense of the presence of God. Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

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: The faithfulness of God, our faith and the worth of the children of God.
FIRST READING Lamentations 1:1-6 Lament for Zion: How lonely sits the city
PSALM Lamentations 3:19-26 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
CHOIR Anthem
EPISTLE 2 Tim 1:1-14 Guard the good treasure entrusted to you
GOSPEL Luke 17:5-10 'We are worthless slaves'

HYMN Have faith in God my heart AHB 552 TIS 619


SHARING TIME [Notices, Celebrations and requests for intercessions]
Father, we pray for the holy catholic Church;
that we all may be one.
Grant that every member of the church may truly and humbly serve you;
that your name may be glorified by all people.
We pray for all ministers of the gospel;
that they may faithfully proclaim your Word and administer your holy sacraments.
We pray for all who govern and hold authority in the nations of the world;
that there may be justice and peace on the earth.
Give us grace to do your will in all that we undertake;
that our works may find favour in your sight.
Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble;
that they may be delivered from their distress
We praise you for your saints who have entered into joy;
may we also come to share in your heavenly kingdom.
Let us pray for our community for the life and worship of this congregation and for those whose needs are known to us.....
Let us pray for ourselves.....

Father in heaven, the hand of your loving kindness powerfully yet gently guides all the moments of our day. Go before us in the pilgrimage of life, anticipate our needs and prevent our falling. Send your Spirit to unite us in faith, that, sharing in your service, we may rejoice in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord's Supper

The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.

HYMN I come with joy to meet my Lord AHB 452 TIS 533

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, recalling God's goodness in caring for his people, the life and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he commanded his disciples to remember him with the bread and the wine, and we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on us and what we do.]

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of hymn book]
THE LAMB OF GOD [Sing Alleluia 100e]
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace.


The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN Let him to whom we now belong AHB 146 TIS 563
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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