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Acts 9:1-6(7-20) Saul [Paul] on the road to Damascus
Psalm 30 You have turned my mourning into dancing
Revelation 5:11-14 ... to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might
John 21:1-19 The risen Lord meets his disciples at the lake shore in Galilee
(Numbers refer to the Australian Hymn Book and its supplement Sing Alleluia)
67 O worship the king
90 Lord, you have searched me, and you know
102 Sing a new song
138 And can it be that I should gain
163 Crown him with many crowns
170 At the name of Jesus
375 Lo, round the throne, a glorious band
470 I'm not ashamed to own my Lord
488 O for a closer walk with God
505 Jesus calls us o'or the tumult
514 O Jesus, I have promised
516 Master, speak, thy servant heareth
522 O Master let me walk with thee
SA 2 Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord
SA 18 Christ is alive! Let Christians sing
[Note this sermon was prepared for an occasion when two members
of the congregation were being commissioned to the local pastoral ministry of
elder. Although it has that application, it is based on the lectionary for this
When we commission members as elders, we pray that they may have the gifts of the Spirit for their ministries. They will share with the minister and other elders in the pastoral care and oversight of the congregation, sharing in worship, the administration of the sacraments, Christian education and evangelical outreach, so fulfilling Christ's commission to the apostles. The pastoral ministry was given to the apostles by Jesus when he met with them after his resurrection, as for example we read today in his words to Peter. It is related to the ministry of the Word which we see in the call to Paul in the epistle for today. Both are continuing gifts and responsibilities for the whole universal church.
Gifts from the risen Lord
The bountiful gifts which enable his people to serve him are poured out from
his heavenly treasure by the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians
12:28; Ephesians 4:7-12]. Paul changed because the risen Lord
met him and called him into his service. [Acts 9:3-6,15,17-20; 22:14-15;
1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Galatians 1:15-17]. Peter had the privilege
of seeing Jesus on several occasions soon after he had risen from the dead.
[Luke 24:12,34,36-49; John 20:3-8,19-29]; but most significantly
John 21:15-19]. Jesus still meets with his followers.
Paul and Peter: different models of ministry
We see two aspects of the commission in two of the readings today: Paul on
the road to Damascus when he was called by the Lord Jesus to proclaim his message
to the gentiles [Acts 9:1-20]; and experience of Peter on the lake shore when
the risen Lord charged him with pastoral responsibility saying 'feed my sheep'
[John 21:1-19]. These different emphases on outreach and pastoral care are both
needed today, for which we have strength in our evangelical and catholic traditions.
[RCL Resources Index]
[Including Commissioning of Elders]
The Gathering of the People of God
CALL TO WORSHIP
In this Easter season we share with John the Divine the revelation of Jesus as our risen and exalted Lord, when he heard thousands upon thousands singing with full voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!"
"To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!" -- Revelation 5:12-13
HYMN 102 Sing a new song
PRAYER OF ADORATION
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,
Lord, have mercy.
DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -- 1 John 1:9
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us: 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.
WELCOME AND GREETING EACH OTHER
Service of the Word
INTRODUCTION OF THEME: Outreach and Pastoral Ministries
A word to the children
FIRST READING Acts 9:1-6(7-20) Saul [Paul] on the road to Damascus
PSALM 30 You have turned my mourning into dancing
EPISTLE Revelation 5:11-14 To the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might
GOSPEL John 21:1-19 The risen Lord meets his disciples at the lake shore in Galilee
HYMN 516 Master, speak, thy servant heareth
HYMN 522 O Master let me walk with thee
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 N and N 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
May God give you 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.
OFFERING AND DEDICATION
SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations, requests for intercessions]
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
COLLECT FOR THE DAY
THE LORD'S PRAYER
The Sending Forth of the People of God
HYMN 514 O Jesus, I have promised
WORD OF MISSION
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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