Lectionary - Ordinary Sunday 31 Year B

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All Saints Day
Isaiah 25:6-9 He will swallow up death for ever
Psalm 24 Who shall stand in his holy place
Revelation 21:1-6a I saw a new heaven a nd a new earth
John 11:32-44 The raising of Lazarus

Sunday 31 B
Ruth 1:1-18 Where you go I will go
Psalm 146 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord O my soul!
Hebrews 9:11-14 Christ offered himself without blemish to God
Mark 12:28-34 Which is the greatest commandment?

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
Hymns for Sunday 31, Yr.B
lesson hymn TIS AHB SA
E All praise to thee for thou, O king divine 180
O Brother sister, let me serve you 650 14
O By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered 617 15
E Come now everlasting Spirit 509 439
E Entered the holy place above 374 296
G Fill my whole life, O Lord my God 596 515
E Glory be to Jesus 344 263
O Great is your faithfulness 154
E Hallelujah, sing to Jesus 517 439
O How shall I sing to God? 667
G How sweet the name of Jesus sounds 223
G If we will trust in God to guide us 554
Ps I'll praise my Maker while I've breath 70 44
G King of glory, king of peace 201 129
G Kneels at the feet of his friends 640
Ps Lift up your heads, you mighty gates 267
E Lord Christ we praise your sacrifice 251 60
E Lord enthroned in heavenly splendour 520 441
O/G Love divine all loves excelling 217 148
G Love is his word, love is his way 534 C601
G My God I love thee; not because 130
Ps O for a thousand tongues to sing 210 141
G O love how deep, how broad, how high 194
O O love that wilt not let me go 602 525
G Put all your trust in God 555
G Sing praise to the Lord! Praise him in the height 96
The God of Abraham praise 125 53
G The law of Christ alone can set us free 630 554
E There's a wideness in God's mercy 136 72
E When I survey the wondrous cross 342 258
G Where love and loving-kindness dwell 95
E Where there is charity and love 434 C591
E With joy we meditate the grace 206 134

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
1 (TIS 98) We praise, we worship thee, O God
27 (TIS 110) Sing praise to God who reigns above
38 (TIS 118) We give immortal praise
76 (TIS 144) Lord, you have been our dwelling place
144 (TIS 215) Ye servants of God
384 (TIS 455) For all the saints
387 We come unto our fathers' God
407 (TIS 482) Father of peace and God of love
408 (TIS 483) Lord, in the strength of grace
416 (TIS 495) Father, we give you thanks
426 (TIS 505) Jesus invites his saints to meet around his board
460 My Saviour! how shall I proclaim

Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon)

Love God.... Is that all?

Love God and do as you will! Is that right? Is it enough to say that if you aim to love God in all you do, then you will need no other rules to follow? Is there one way of summing up the whole of the law of God. If there is such a general law of God you might expect, as many of them did, that it would be something like the answer that Jesus gave to the scribe who was a teacher of the law. (Mark 12:30)

Jesus answered with the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, the "Shema". It was widely acknowledged as the key to understanding what God required.(Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Jesus did not stop at that point, but went on to add to the general law about loving God another about loving your neighbour (Mark 12:31). People who really loved God would know that loving God implies that you should love your neighbour also (1 John 4:20-21). If you love the parent you should love the child also. It was in the law of the covenant with God to which they belonged (Leviticus 19:18).

In its original Old Testament form the command to love your neighbour has an element of love being the fulfilment of the law, but it was necessary for Jesus to extend the teaching from one's own family and community to others: so the Good Samaritan is neighbour to the one on whom he showed mercy [Luke 10:29-37] It might still be true that if you really love your neighbour and understand that to include all sorts of people, then the general rule might be enough guidance.Paul certainly thought it was possible (Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14), and James (James 2:8)

Although it was not as clear in terms of love of neighbour fulfilling laws like not killing and stealing, there had been in the Old Testament plenty of examples of a related idea, that love of God summed up the other commandments (Hosea 6:6; Psalms 51:16-17) A sacrifice of the heart implies love of God.

Yet, there are still some problems for modern people in grasping what this. The first difficulty arises from the reason for loving God and loving your neighbour in these discussions. When people say "love God and love your neighbour" is all that is required, do they have in mind thereby doing all that God commands. Or, do they seek to avoid the burden of keeping many commands by following one very general rule? The aim of a pious Jewish teacher like the one who discussed this with Jesus was to satisfy the law and achieve its purpose, not to avoid it. That is why Jesus spoke well of him (Mark 12:34) The people of Israel sought to keep the law of the God because it was their side of a covenant relationship like a marriage. (Exodus 6:7-8; Exodus 20:2-4). The prophets often reminded them of this. (Jeremiah 7:22-23; Jeremiah 30:22) The point of keeping the law was to keep faith with God.

There is another problem that is not obvious until you think about it. When anyone says, "Love God ... is that enough?", it matters a great deal what they mean by "God". What are they loving when they love "God". Are they loving the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? It was not any old god, the love of which could fulfil the law.(Romans 15:5-6). It matters what you believe about who God is if you are going to live by the first and greatest commandment to love God with your whole being, just as it matters what you believe about who your neighbour is if you are to follow the second great commandment to love your neighbour as yourself.

Finally, no rule or commandment can be followed completely by sinful humanity. It is by grace that we are saved through faith. So what do we say, "Love God ..." is that all? We look to Jesus for the answer, just like the Jewish teacher looked to him - but when we look we might well find him on the cross!

Order of service - Ordinary 31 Year B - | DB Home | RCL Resources Index | Questions and Comments |

The Gathering of the People of God

Let us worship God in the name of Jesus Christ who said,
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
-- Matthew 5:3

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

HYMN We praise, we worship thee, O God TIS 98 AHB 1


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 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: Hymn 576 [TIS 771]

Service of the Word


OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 25:6-9 He will swallow up death for ever [or Deuteronomy 6:1-9]
PSALM 24 Who shall stand in his holy place
EPISTLE Hebrews 9:11-14 Christ offered himself without blemish to God
Choir: Christ whose glory fills the skies
GOSPEL Mark 12:28-34 Love God and love your neighbour

HYMN 384 For all the saints [TIS 455]

SHARING TIME [Notices, Celebrations and requests for intercessions]

The Lord's Supper
HYMN 426 Jesus invites his saints to meet around his board [TIS 505]
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 When I survey the wondrous cross TIS 342 AHB 258
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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