Lectionary -- Ordinary 32 Year A

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Joshua 24:1-3a,14-25 Choose this day whom you will serve.
Psalm 78:1-7 Telling the glorious deeds of the Lord
or Psalm 96 Sing to the Lord and new song/ let us make a joyful noise
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 About those who have died.
Matthew 25:1-13 The parable of the foolish bridesmaids.

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
A Hymns for Sunday 32, Yr.A
lesson Hymn TiS AHB SA
G All my hope on God is founded 560 465
E/G At the first coming of the Lord 10
E At the name of Jesus 231 170
E Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side 123 48
Be thou my vision 547 455
Ps Bring many names, beautiful and good 182
E Christ is the world's light, he and none other 246 191
Christ our King before creation 190
G Christ's is the world in which we move 677
Come dearest Lord, descend and dwell 443 357
G Comfort, comfort all my people 647 25
E Etaernal light, shine in my heart 548
Father all-loving and ruling in majesty 160 104
Father we adore you 716 35
G For all the saints 455 384
O For the might of your arm, we bless you 535
Ps Give ear, O people, to my teaching 41
O God gives us a future 687
G Hark a herald voice is calling 264 192
E Have faith in God, my heart 619 552
E He is risen! He is risen! 379
G Here, gracious Lord, we see you face to face 516 [438]
G How brightly beams the Morning Star [199] 220
G I know that my Redeemer lives 376 299
Ps I will sing the wondrous story 233 173
O I'm not ashamed to own my Lord 562 470
E Jesus lives! your terrors now 372 294
hc Jesus the Lord said, "I am the bread" 239 185
Just as I am thine own to be 527
E Let saints on earth in concert sing 370
E Lo! he comes with clouds descending 273 201
E Lord it belongs not to my care 466
G Lord Jesus, our bright Morning Star 199 [220]
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy 613 546
Lord of creation, to you be all praise 626 557
G Lord of light, whose name shines brighter 392
Ps Lord, you have been our dwelling place 144 76
E Love divine all loves excelling 217 148
E May flights of angels lead you on your way 639 C619
O Mine eyes have seen the glory 315 205
E Now is eternal life 385 305
O O happy day that fixed my choice 406
O Jesus I have promised 595 514
E O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder 155
G O Master, let me walk with thee 601 522
O Once to every man and nation 499
G Our Father, by whose name 71
G Our God our help in ages past 47 46
Pour out your Spirit from on high 451 378
G Praise to the Lord the Almighty 111 28
Rejoice in God's saints 470 73
E Rejoice, the Lord is King 216 147
G Robe yourself, my soul, with gladness 503 [424]
G Seek ye first the kingdom of God 745 75
Sent forth by God's blessing 531 76
O Stand up and bless the Lord 449 383
Take my life, and let it be 599 520
Ps Tell me the stories of Jesus
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord 161 109
The church's one foundation 457 385
E The Lord will come and not be slow 194
The Son of God proclaim 528 84
G The strife is past, the battle done 367 287
Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown 206
G Wake, awake, for night is flying 266 195
G What does the Lord require 751 568
G When he comes back, when he comes back 280 92
When I survey the wondrous cross 342 258
G Ye servants of the Lord 474
E Your coming Lord, to earth at Bethlehem 285 98
O/Ps Your hand, O God, has guided 456 389

Sermon summary (Click here for complete sermon)

A jealous God

After enjoying the fruits of the promised land [Joshua 24:13] Joshua feared that the people of Israel might have forgotten the Lord who gave it to them and they would turn to other gods. The alternatives offered by the agricultural societies around them were symbolised by the idol of the golden calf [Exodus 32:1-8]. So Joshau challenged them: choose this day whom you will serve. [Joshua 24:15].

Our "promised land" and false gods

You can see some parallel with our situation of relative ease compared with the struggles of our ancestors in settling this land. Naturally, in a consumer society there is plenty of choice in religion as in everything, without much regard for the truth. Many seek ancient pagan sources of spiritual life and superstition increases. One way or another symbols of power, sex and money are raised up as idols. What kind of gods are people worshipping in Melbourne's brothels, gambling houses, theatres, stadiums, parliament, press and living rooms?

The call to commitment

The contrast becomes sharper and the choice more urgent as the Kingdom of God is revealed: as in the parable of the foolish bridesmaids [Matthew 25:1-13]. You cannot drift into the Kingdom of God. One way or another you must be prepared and make a deliberate commitment, whether it develops gradually or instantaneously; and it needs to be renewed from time to time. Today, as part of our commissioning of elders, we renew our own commitment. Nothing is more important to the future of this congregation than a deepening of commitment to God, and that means not allowing other things to take his place.

Avoid the too easy commitment

Joshua was reluctant to allow the people to make a new commitment because he feared they would break it [Joshua 24:19-20] and God is a jealous God [Exodus 20:2-5] who would not tolerate any service of other gods. It is important to see that we make our commitment as Christians who are in receipt of the grace of God that came to us in Jesus Christ. So we turn to him in a spirit of thanksgiving.

Order of service - Ordinary 32 (Pentecost 24) Year A - | DB Home | RCL Resources Index |

Commissioning of Elders and Congregational Covenant

The Gathering of the People of God


To all God's beloved, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
-- Romans 1:7
Let us invoke the Spirit of God that we may worship God in Spirit and in truth.
In the name of Christ. Amen.

HYMN 357 Come dearest Lord, descend and dwell

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS ... 'Your sins are forgiven'
Thanks be to God
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.


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Commitment for discipleship
OLD TESTAMENT Joshua 24:1-3a,14-25 Choose this day whom you will serve.
PSALM 78:1-7 Telling the glorious deeds of the Lord

Choir One God

EPISTLE 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 About those who have died.
GOSPEL Matthew 25:1-13 The beginning of the birth pangs of the Kingdom

HYMN 499 Once to every man and nation



Commissioning of Elders

There are diverse gifts
but it is the same Spirit who gives them
There are different ways of serving God:
but it is the same Lord who is served.
God works through people in different ways:
but it is the same God
whose purpose is achieved through them all.
Each one of us is given a gift by the Spirit:
and there is no gift without its corresponding service.
There is one ministry of Christ:
and in this ministry we all share.
Together we are the body of Christ:
and individually members of it.

Do you confess anew Jesus Christ as Lord? I do
Do you believe that you are called by God through the church to this ministry I do
Will you seek to live and work within the faith and unity of the one holy catholic and apostolic church? I will
Do you adhere to the Basis of union of the Uniting Church in Australia? I do
Relying on God's grace, do you promise to carry out the duties of your office? I do

[To the people]
Will you, the members of this congregation, accept Gloria and Noelene as elders? We will
Will you encourage them in love and support them in their ministry, serving with them the one Lord Jesus Christ? We will


All together:
Our mission is to be the people of God at .... in fellowship with other Christians. To fulfil our mission, as we seek to be led by the Spirit of God, we will prayerfully commit ourselves to:

worship God,
grow together in faith and love,
learn the way of Christ,
serve Christ and make him known in the community.

As a congregation within which each member will have their own calling, we will:-

Worship God in Spirit and in truth, in a variety of forms which allow full participation by people of all ages and different interests by offering both traditional and contemporary forms of worship; Grow together in faith and love; Learn the way of Christ, growing in understanding and commitment to the Christian faith, by establishing a strategy which emphasises continuing growth and renewal; Serve Christ and make him known in the community through service and evangelism.

May God give us all strength to fulfil these vows; and to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus from generation to generation for ever. Amen

ACT OF COMMISSIONING .... for the ministry of elder. Amen

[Hymn 572]
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.


HYMN 520 Take my life and let it be/ consecrated Lord to thee

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of the Hymn Book]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 206 Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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