Call to Worship
The prophet asks: Can our soul-weary bones live again?
O God, you know!
We ask: Can we dance again after mourning, loss and grief?
O God, you know!
The gift is sure and unmistakable:
God’s breath poured out as new life for weary souls!
Let us celebrate the gift of God’s new life,
And come to worship God in laughter and dancing!
Compassionate God, the wind of your Spirit is the very sign of life for all who long for you.
One breath from you and we are rescued from the arid valley of dry bones, given muscles and sinews and joy with which to praise you, and filled with the holy hope you grant to all your faithful children.
Let our whole lives be filled with the life-breath of the Spirit, that what has lain dormant may burst into bloom, and what looks to us to be death may be revealed as but sleep before the emergence of new life.
Song – All Who are Thirsty
Prayer of Confession
When I have done what is wrong and displeasing in your sight,
(all) O Lord, extend your love to correct me.
When I ignore those in need and pretend that all is right with the world,
(all) O Lord, help me to face the truth.
When I turn a blind eye to those who have been stricken with poverty
and are facing the injustices that come along with it, O Lord, teach me your way.
Enable me to extend your love; and give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
(all) I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify your name forever.
Hebrew Scripture – Isaiah 55:1-9
‘Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendour.’
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.
‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Responsive Psalme 63:1-8
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
(all) Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
(all) Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
New Testament: 1Corinthians 13:1-13
I don’t want you to be ignorant, my brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all went through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink. They drank, you see, from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Messiah. But God wasn’t pleased with most of them, as you can tell by the fact that he laid them low in the desert.
Now these things were patterns for us, so that we should not start to crave for wicked things as they did. Nor should we commit idolatry,
as some of them did as the Bible says, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play.’ Nor should we become immoral, like some of them became immoral, and twenty-three thousand fell on a single day. Nor should we put the Messiah to the test, as some of them put him to the test, and were destroyed by serpents. Nor should we grumble, as some of them grumbled and were by the destroyer.
Now these things happened to them as a pattern, and they were written for our instruction, since it’s upon us that the ends of the ages have now come. As a result, anyone who reckons they are standing upright should watch out in case they fall over. Every test that comes upon you is normal for human beings. But God is faithful: he won’t let you be tested beyond your ability. Along with the testing, he will provide the way of escape, so that you can bear it.
Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9
At that moment some people came up and told them the news. Some Galileans had been in the Temple, and Pilate had mixed their blood with that of the sacrifices.
‘Do you suppose’, said Jesus, ‘that those Galileans suffered such things because they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? No, let me tell you! Unless you repent, you will all be destroyed in the same way.
‘And what about those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam collapsed on top of them? Do you imagine they were more blameworthy than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? No, let me tell you! Unless you repent, you will all be destroyed in the same way.’
He told them this parable. ‘Once upon a time there was a man who had a fig tree in his vineyard. He came to it looking for fruit, and didn’t find any. So he said to the gardener, “Look here! I’ve been coming to this fig tree for three years hoping to find some fruit, and I haven’t found any! Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?”
‘ “I tell you what, Master,” replied the gardener; “let it alone for just this one year more. I’ll dig all round it and put on some manure. Then, if it fruits next year, well and good; and if not, you can cut it down.” ’
Prayers of the People
The Lord’s Prayer
‘“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
Celebrate joyfully in the Lord, all the time. I’ll say it again: celebrate! Let everybody know how gentle and gracious you are.
The Lord is near.
Don’t worry about anything. Rather, in every area of life let God know what you want, as you pray and make requests, and give thanks as well. And God’s peace, which is greater than we can ever understand, will keep guard over your hearts and minds in King Jesus.
– from Philippians
Go forth with a steady step
As you face the days ahead.
Live, certain that in many ways,
God provides faith for darkened hours,
Courage in despairing nights,
And calm in depressing circumstances.
Revel in your joys.
Recall your blessings, and Walk in the Light.
Love your neighbours and put others before yourself.
So that you may also love your Savior,
and participate in the communal work of renewal
For in our communal work,
our brokenness, pain and humanity is brought into healing
Because in the suffering of our darkness
we find our Savior, who hung on a cross.
We pray these things by: the humble power of God,
the quiet strength of Christ, and the pervasive light of the Spirit, Amen.
Go in Peace.