Lectionary - Ordinary 29 Year C

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Jeremiah 31:27-34 The promise of the new covenant - written in their hearts
Psalm 119:97-104 Oh, how I love your law!
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 The sacred writings able to instruct you for salvation
Luke 18:1-8 The parable of the unjust judge

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
lesson Hymns for Sunday 29, Yr.C TIS AHB SA
E A charge to keep I have 573 487
G A mighty fortress is our God 103 [8]
E A new commandment I give unto you 699 571
O All my hope on God is founded 560 465
G Approach, my soul, the mercy seat 156
Ps As the deer pants for the water 703
G Be still, my soul 123 48
G Be thou my guardian and my guide 498
G Be thou my vision 547 455
G Behold the mountain of the Lord 441 366
E Break now the bread of life 429 334
G By gacious powers so wonderfully sheltered 617 15
G Dear Shepherd of your people, hear 444 371
G Father all-loving and ruling in majesty 160 104
G Father hear the prayer we offer 510
G Father of heaven, whose love profound 131 60
E For your holy Book we thank you 338
G Give to our God immortal praise 84 43
E God has spoken by his prophets 158 92
O Hail to the Lord's anointed 275 203
O Help us, O Lord, to learn 428 340
hc Here gracious Lord, we see you face to face 516 438
O How deep the riches of our God 167 116
O I the Lord of sea and sky 658
O I to the hills will lift my eyes 76 21
O/G Immortal invisible, God only wise 143 80
E Lord your almighty word 447 61
E Lord your word abiding 427 333
G Make me a channel of your peace 607 66
G Now thank we all our God 106 14
G O Day of God, draw near 616 547
O O for a heart to praise my God 568 476
O love that wilt not let me go 602 525
E O Master, let me walk with thee 601 522
G Our God our help in ages past 47 46
G Seek ye first the kingdom of God 745 75
G Seek, O seek the Lord 464 397
G Sometimes a light surprises 128 55
G Take my life and let it be 599 520
E Thanks to God whose word was spoken 431 339
There's a wideness in God's mercy 136 [72]
O This is a day of new beginnings 653
G What a friend we have in Jesus 590 165

 Other Possible Hymns

(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia. TIS = Together in Song)
27 Sing praise to God , who reigns above
156 Approach, my soul, the mercy seat
166 Jesus loves me, this I know
191 Christ is the world's light, he and no other
331 Come Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire
335 We limit not the truth of God
341 A lamp for our feet has been given
364 Christ, from whom all blessing flow
377 Spirit divine attend our prayers
380 Head of the church, our risen Lord
480 Forth in thy name O Lord I go

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Sermon summary (click here for complete sermon)

Scripture: Christ the key to interpretation

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,... (2 Timothy 3:16) Here we have a view of scripture that was current in the early church: Scripture was inspired by God and useful.

It was those Old Testament writings which Timothy was said to be familiar with from childhood (2 Timothy 3:14-15) . There was a family tradition (from childhood you have known the sacred writings) among Christians to learn and teach from the Jewish scriptures, and we are told early in this letter of the faith of Timothy's mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). (See also Acts 16:3 re Gentile background.)

There was trouble in the churches to which the letter was addressed, (2 Timothy 3:13 and 4:2-4). How well it fits so much of what we see today; but that will raise the whole question of the authority of scripture and how we interpret scripture.

The authority of the Bible
The authority off the Bible is one of the most interesting, challenging and troublesome questions facing Christians today. questions facing Christians today. The scriptures are a gift that all Christian people hold in common. It ought to be a point of unity rather than division. But it is obvious that people come to the sacred writings from different starting points.

Christ the key
What is the basic principle that should guide Christians in their interpretation of scripture? Is there a key to understanding? The key is Christ. It is a key given in scripture itself (John 5:39; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-45; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 20:31). It is not, however, a circular argument about scripture claiming its own authority, though it does affirm its authority. The books we recognize as scripture in addition to the Hebrew scriptures are those in which Christians have recognized a true witness to Christ.

The faith that we hold, if it real, must relate us personally to Christ. It is Christ himself who is the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1,14).When God took the risk of putting his Word into human from he was reaching out to us as he had in the law of Moses and the witness of the prophets (Hebrews 1:1-3).

A few basic things can be seen already. If Christ is the key, then we do not subject our interpretation of scripture to some external criterion apart from Christ. We are not free to believe whatever we like about Jesus Christ. We test what we believe and teach about Jesus Christ by reference to the scriptures. When we see how the scriptures point to Christ we see several key points: Firstly, "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself." Secondly, Jesus Christ is the key to the response of mankind (Phil 2:8;Rom 5:19; ). Thirdly, Christ the key in scripture takes his central place in history (Gal 4:4).

The key we have then is complex. It is not simple. The meaning of any passage and its application to our situation today must be set within our understanding of what God was doing in Christ.

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Order of Service - Pentecost 22 (Ordinary 29) Year C

The Gathering of the People of God

Let us approach the throne of grace and receive the offering God's word to us:
Enrich us as we receive your gift to bear much fruit in your service.

HYMN 156 Approach, my soul, the mercy seat

O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!
Lord Jesus, preaching good tidings to the people, proclaiming release to captives, setting at liberty those who are bound:
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, friend of the outcast and the poor, feeder of the hungry, healer of the sick:
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, denouncing the oppressor, exposing the hypocrite, overcoming evil with good:
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, pattern of gentleness, teacher of holiness, prophet of the kingdom:
We adore you.
Lord Jesus, dying to save us from our sin, rising to give us eternal life, ascending to prepare our heavenly home:
We adore you.
Most merciful God we confess that we have sinned against you and our neighbour. We have taken great benefits with little thanks and we have been more ready to insist upon our rights than to see the needs of others. Have mercy and forgive us, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Hear then Christ's word of grace, 'Your sins are forgiven'
Thank you God


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Christ the Word himself is the key to understanding scripture.
Let us hear the word of God in Old and New Testament:
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps 119:103,105)

OLD TESTAMENT Jeremiah 31:27-34 The promise of the new covenant - written in their hearts
PSALM 119:97-104 Oh, how I love your law!
Choir Anthem
EPISTLE 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 The sacred writings able to instruct you for salvation
GOSPEL Luke 18:1-8 The parable of the unjust judge
HYMN 331 Come Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire
HYMN 339 Thanks to God whose Word was spoken

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
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 ... , Moderator of the Synod,
and for.... Chairperson of Presbytery, and ...., Presbytery Minister,
for elders and members of the church 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.
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.
In Christ you have called us to eternal glory;
to you be praise for ever and ever. Amen.
God our Father, you have revealed your love for us in the cross of Christ. Grant us grace to take up our cross each day, that, in the company of our Saviour, we may gladly do your will and attain to life in all its fullness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 364 Christ, from whom all blessing flow
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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