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Sermon (2) and Liturgy for Trinity Sunday - Year A
Genesis 1:1 - 2:4; Romans 1:16-23; Matthew 28:16-20
"In The Name Of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit"


READING:  Genesis 1:1 - 2:4; Romans 1:16-23; Matthew 28:16-20
SERMON :  "In The Name Of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit"

Rev. Richard J. Fairchild
a-trinsu 983000
                  
   The following is a more or less complete liturgy and sermon
   for the upcoming Sunday.  Hymn numbers, designated as VU are
   found in the United Church of Canada Hymnal "Voices United".
   SFPG is "Songs For A Gospel People", also available from the UCC.

   Sources:  The children's Story is based on materials from Bass
   Mitchell (homiliesbyemail@homiliesbyemail.com) "Homilies by Email
   for Trinity Sunday, May 26, 2002."  So also elements of the Prayer
   of Approach and the Prayer of Dedication and information in the
   Sermon about Psalm 8 being read on the moon.  The sermon is also
   indebted to the parallel thinking of Mike Johnson
   (johnmike@juno.com) in his note "Trinity & Dogma and Doxology" as
   sent to midrash@joinhands.com, on May 21 2002.  We quote his final
   lines of praise in the concluding four lines of the sermon. 
   Finally, the first intercession of the Prayers of the People is from
   Peter J. Scagnelli, "Prayers For Sundays and Seasons, Year A"
   Liturgy Training Publications, 1998, page 140.


GATHERING AND MUSICAL PRELUDE                            (* = please stand)


* WELCOME AND CALL TO WORSHIP 
L  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, 
   and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
P  And also with you.
L  Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
P  Glory be to the Father who created the world and all that it is in it.
L  Hear O People of God, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
P  Glory be to the Son, who was with God and was God 
   and who took too on flesh and dwelt among us
   full of grace and truth.
L  Hear O Servants of God, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
P  Glory be to the Spirit, the living water, 
   which comes from the Father and the Son,
   and dwells within us and all who call on God's name.
   and who helps us and guides us day by day
L  Come - drink from the well that springs up to eternal life
   and give praise and thanks to our God who is One.


* INTROIT: "Spirit of The Living God" (verse 1)                    - VU 376


* PRAYER OF APPROACH
Lord God, you who create us - and redeem us - and sustain us - we rejoice
that you have chosen us to be your own and that you visit us and dwell with
us and open to us the way to abundant life.  We are full of awe and wonder
at what you have done and what you continue to do.  By your Word the
heavens and the earth were made.   By the bounty of your mercy in Christ
Jesus we have been born to new life.   Your Spirit fills the whole world
with your loving kindness and gives us the power we need to be your
witnesses and to lift up your Holy Name.  Blessed are you, O God, and
blessed are all who live in you.   Help us today to joyfully proclaim our
faith and to worship you as you deserve.   Bring us closer to you and to
one another and in our prayer and our thanksgiving, our hearing and our
speaking, and our giving and receiving make us more completely thine.   We
ask it in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and forevermore.  Amen
 

* HYMN:   "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty"                    - VU 315


CHILDREN'S TIME:  "Three Persons, One God"
Object:   Ice, Water, Vapour or Steam
Theme:    God in Three Persons 
Source:   Traditional - using materials from Bass Mitchell
          (homiliesbyemail@homiliesbyemail.com) "Homilies by Email for
          Trinity Sunday, May 26, 2002."

Good morning, everyone...   Today is a special day called Trinity Sunday.  
It is a day to remind us that God comes to be with us in many ways - like a
loving parent, like a real human being, and through the Holy Spirit to live
within us.   When you were baptised - and whenever we baptise anyone - we
baptise them in the name of "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" -
And there are lots of other times we talk about God in three ways - as
three separate persons - who are One.  This idea of God being Three - But
One - is called the Trinity - which is a Latin word that means Three.  So
God is One - but God is also three.   

Does that make any sense to you???  This is not easy to understand!  In
fact no one can say they understand it all.   It's a mystery.  But the
Trinity is our way of trying to put into words how we have experienced God.

I find it helpful to understand the Trinity using water.  Water is a great
symbol for God the Creator because water is the source of all life (show a
glass of water).  Without water, we could not live, could we?  God is the
one who gives us water. God gives us life.
 
But this is not the only way we can see water, is it?  Water comes in other
forms.   

(Hold out an ice cube). Is this water? (let them answer)  Sure it is, just
water that's frozen. If you melt it, you see that it is water.
 
Ice is the symbol for Jesus Christ because ice is a solid form of water and
Jesus is the solid form of God.  In Jesus we see what God is really like -
a God who loves us and forgives us.
 
Now look at this (show a kettle or steaming cup of water).  This mist or
vapour coming from the cup, it's water too - just in a different form. I
can hold my hand above it (safe distance) and you see the water forming
there.  Vapour is the symbol for the Holy Spirit because we cannot always
see the Spirit but we know the Spirit is there.
 
I want you to remember every time you see water - in whatever form - that
God loves you and created you; that God sent Jesus to show you this love;
and that God lives inside of you through God's Holy Spirit.  We may not be
able to explain all of this, but we can feel and know God's love in our
hearts.


PRAYER AND THE LORD'S PRAYER
   Wonderful and creating God, there are lots of things we know about
   you.  - and there are lots of things we do not know.    We know you
   made us - we know you came to us in Jesus - we know your Spirit
   lives in us.   We know you love us.   And we know you want us to
   love you - and to love one another. - Dear Lord, help us each day -
   to grow in your love - and to know you even better.   Amen

And in the word's Jesus taught us, let us pray:

   Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom
   come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this
   day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive
   those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but
   deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power and the
   glory, for ever and ever.  Amen


* HYMN:  "Praise Our Maker"                                        - VU 316


SHARING JOYS AND CONCERNS: ANNOUNCEMENTS AND SPECIAL MATTERS
- Welcome and Announcements    
- Birthdays and Anniversaries     
- Special Matters      
- Sharing Joys and Concerns


TIME OF SILENCE & AN INTROIT FOR THE WORD    (verse 2 - VU 371)
  Open my ears that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear
  and while the wave notes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear.
  Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God they will to see.
  Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!
              

A READING FROM GENESIS 1:1 - 2:4a
   (NIV)  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now
   the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of
   the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  And
   God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.   God saw that
   the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 
   God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And
   there was evening, and there was morning - the first day. 

   And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to
   separate water from water."  So God made the expanse and separated
   the water under the expanse from the water above it.  And it was so. 
   God called the expanse "sky."  And there was evening, and there was
   morning - the second day.  

   And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,
   and let dry ground appear."  And it was so.  God called the dry
   ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas."  And God
   saw that it was good.  Then God said, "Let the land produce
   vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear
   fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds."  And it
   was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according
   to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to
   their kinds.  And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening,
   and there was morning - the third day. 

   And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to
   separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark
   seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of
   the sky to give light on the earth."  And it was so.  God made two
   great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser
   light to govern the night.  He also made the stars.  God set them in
   the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day
   and the night, and to separate light from darkness.  And God saw
   that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning -
   the fourth day. 

   And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let
   birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."  So God
   created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving
   thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and
   every winged bird according to its kind.  And God saw that it was
   good.  God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in
   number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on
   the earth."  And there was evening, and there was morning - the
   fifth day. 

   And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to
   their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and
   wild animals, each according to its kind."  And it was so.  God made
   the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according
   to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground
   according to their kinds.  And God saw that it was good.  Then God
   said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them
   rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the
   livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move
   along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image
   of God he created him; male and female he created them.  God blessed
   them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the
   earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of
   the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." 
   Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of
   the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They
   will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all
   the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground -
   everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green
   plant for food."  And it was so.  God saw all that he had made, and
   it was very good.  And there was evening, and there was morning -
   the sixth day.

   Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast
   array.  By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been
   doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  And God
   blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested
   from all the work of creating that he had done. 

   This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were
   created. 

L  This is the Word of the Lord
P  Thanks be to God.


HYMN:  "All Things Bright and Beautiful"                           - VU 291


RESPONSIVE READING:   Psalm 8 (VU 732) & Gloria Patri Sung
                      
   Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
   As it was in the beginning, is now, and evermore shall be.  
   World without end.  Amen


A READING FROM ROMANS 1:16-23
   (NIV)  I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of
   God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew,
   then for the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is
   revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just
   as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." 

   The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the
   godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their
   wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them,
   because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the
   world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine
   nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been
   made, so that men are without excuse.  For although they knew God,
   they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their
   thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 
   Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged
   the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal
   man and birds and animals and reptiles.

L  This is the Word of the Lord
P  Thanks be to God.


* HYMN:  "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise"                      - VU 264


A READING FROM MATTHEW 28:16-20
   (NIV)  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain
   where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshipped
   him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, "All
   authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go
   and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
   Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to
   obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you
   always, to the very end of the age."

L  This is the Gospel of our Risen Lord
P  Praise be to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


SERMON:   "In The Name Of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit" 

   O Lord, we pray, speak in this place, in the calming of our minds
   and in the longing of our hearts, by the words of my lips and in 
   the thoughts that we form.  Speak, O Lord, for your servants listen. 
   Amen.

Remember to say Amen today whenever you hear the doxological phrase 
- Blessed be God.

That will help move us along - and keep your blood flowing this wonderful
spring morning.

There is an old story about God that goes like this:

   God had worked for some time at a fiddly job but finally  succeeded
   - and separated light from dark. One of the heavenly host saw all
   this and commented, "Say, God, that is really neat.  What are you
   going to do now?"

   God answered: "Oh, I think I'll call it a day."

To dissect something is to kill it.
We know that is true about jokes
and it is true about many other things as well.

Some things you just have to understand where you live - in your heart and
in your guts - rather than in your head and on the cold hard table of
philosophical analysis.

And this is probably no more true than when it is applied to the doctrine
of the Trinity; that doctrine which tells us: "Hear O Israel, the Lord Thy
God, the Lord is One" and which also tell us "Blessed be God, Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit - One God, forever and ever."

Blessed be the Father who made it all!   Amen
Blessed be the Son who saved it all!   Amen
And Blessed be The Spirit which gives life to it all.!   Amen

The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most important of all the
teachings of the church;
   so important that each year the Sunday after Pentecost is set aside to
   teach about,
       so important in fact, that at one time the whole season that
       stretches from now till Advent was called Trinity.

And so I want to talk to you about it today.  

It is an important reminder to those who have heard it all before - much as
the words "I love you", even when said for the hundredth time, is important
to the beloved,

And for those who haven't heard it all before - it may bring new
understanding and appreciation for what the church has proclaimed since the
day Jesus told us to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

The doctrine of the Trinity asserts that we know God - and God reveals
himself - in three persons.  Three persons - one God.

As I have already said, how that works is one of those things, one of those
mysteries, that defies dissection.  But it is a functional mystery and a
glorious mystery, one that describes the nature of God and which describes 
the nature of the wonderful relationship God has with us and with all
creation.

The mystery begins, of course, before creation itself begins.  
   
It begins with God living in community with himself before time - before
matter - before energy itself
   
It begins before every marvel that we see about us came to exist,
and before every wonder that our science has discovered and is yet to
discover came into being.
   
And the mystery continued when God decided to take nothing and make
something of it!

And so the story of creation unfolds as Pamela read it to us this morning.
   
The first day when light was created - and then the second - the third -
and the fourth days, those days the scriptures tell us can be as a thousand
years (even as a thousand years can be as one day) and then there was a
fifth day and after it, the sixth.

The sixth day was a really busy day - so busy one can hardly blame God for
taking a rest after it was done.  The sixth day was the day in which God
made all the living creatures that live on the earth (he had done the
creatures of the sea and of the air the day before)_    and having done them
and seeing that they were good - God made us.

   Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and
   let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air,
   over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures
   that move along the ground.  So God created man in his own image, in
   the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  
   God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in
   number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea
   and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves
   on the ground."  

   Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of
   the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They
   will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all
   the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground -
   everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green
   plant for food."  And it was so.  God saw all that he had made, and
   it was very good.  And there was evening, and there was morning -
   the sixth day.

You know - it's not like something Science would say.  

Words like "good"  and "very good" are not used in the hallowed halls of
academia.  But they resonate with all who have eyes to see the wonders of
the universe and ears to hear the song of the cosmos - and to know that it
is all a marvel and a mystery - the marvel and mystery of a love that is
wildly free and abundantly creative and generous beyond measure!

Thanks be to God - our Father - our Maker for that love.   Amen.

The creation is good.   And our God is good.   
So good, in fact,  that God gives goodness it's name.

   O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You
   have set your glory above the heavens.  From the lips of children
   and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to
   silence the foe and the avenger.  When I consider your heavens, the
   work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in
   place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that
   you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly
   beings and crowned him with glory and honour.  You made him ruler
   over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all
   flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air,
   and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.   O
   LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

That Psalm, Psalm Eight, is a song of praise that grows out of the
awareness of God's greatness in creation and of our strange and awesome
place in that creation, our strange and awesome place as co-creators with
God and as trustees of what God has made on this marvellous sphere.

It was the first biblical text to reach the Moon.  It was read on the 
Apollo 11 Mission  and then left on the Moon on a disc along with 73
messages from various nations on the face of the earth.
   
It was a good choice, for it speaks so well of the cosmic sovereignty of
God and of the exalted status of human beings; of we who have used our God-
given abilities to explore and reach up even to the moon. 

It is all so marvellous!

Yet despite the marvel, despite the awesome nature of what God has done and
whom God has made us to be, we forget God the Creator - we forget God the
Father.

We have been forgetting since we were first made:
   since Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
       since they first decided it might be better to be like God without
       God being involved,
          since they first decided to do things their way rather than
          taking the high way, the way God had set before them.

That is what Paul's message in today's reading from the Letter to the
Romans is referring to when he writes about how "since the creation of the
world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature -
have been clearly seen - being understood from what has been made" yet
humanity, although we knew God, "neither glorified him as God nor gave
thanks to him" but rather exchanged the glory of the immortal God for
images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Idolatry is nothing more - nor less - than forgetting God - and turning
from him to the creation and seeking goodness from the creation - and
within ourselves - rather from where it first comes.

We all fall away and worship the gods of success and of wealth and of power
   and we do seek divine protection and divine comfort from things that
   are mortal and perishable rather than seeking them from the one who
   makes all things.

And that cuts us off from the community of God and from the communion we
are each meant to have with God and with one another.

It is kind of hard, after all, to embrace someone you are angry at
It is kind of hard to bless someone that doesn't want your blessing
It is hind of hard to love someone that blames you for the problems they
are having or to love the one that has caused you harm.

But while God, like a loving parent, is angry and disappointed about what
we have done, about the choices we have made that have caused sin and death
to rule in our world, has chosen not to be angry forever.

Rather God has chosen to bless us even though we have not sought his
blessing;
   - he has chosen to forgive us even though we have blamed him for all
   our faults
       - he has chosen to love us with a love that will change us - and
save us from ourselves even though we have not loved him and even though we
need a lot of saving.

God decided he would rescue us from ourselves by becoming one of us,  and
by revealing the fullness of himself in Christ Jesus and - being in human
form - by taking upon himself the burdens we lay upon ourselves and our
world by our forgetting.

The Father made us - the Son saves us - and so Paul declares:

   I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for
   the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for
   the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is
   revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last..."

Jesus, the second person of the Trinity reveals God to us
- the God who creates and who is the Father of all living things
- the God who watches over his people and calls them to a closer walk with
him,
- the God who is just and loving - and forgiving and tender - 
- the God who can calm any storm and feed any crowd and heal any who are
sick
- the God who seeks out the lost and who desires that all living things
might live closer to him.
Jesus reveals God to us because he and the Father are one, because he is
the eternal Son of God - the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us .

Praise be to God - to the Father and to the Son!  Amen.

       (And at this point someone asked "what about the Spirit...."
       so...)

And Praise be to the Spirit too!  Amen!

Praise be to the Spirit who hovered over creation and who gives breath to
all that lives,
   - the Spirit who is poured out on all who choose the second life by
   making the Son their Lord and believing in all that he said and what he
   did.

Praise be to the Spirit who is given so that we might proclaim to the ends
of the earth what God has done and what God is doing and will God will yet
do.

Praise be to the Spirit 
   - the Spirit who speaks in our hearts and who reveals to us the power
   of God and the word of God and the love of God.

Praise be to the Spirit 
   - because it is the Spirit of God - the Spirit of Christ 
   that moves us and touches us and speaks to us and the creation round
about us.

Praise be to God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!   Amen!

Which leads us to Gospel for the day - and to some final words about the
Trinity and how important it is to us and to our understanding of what our
faith is..

The passage that you heard read from the Gospel According To Matthew has a
special name.

It is called the Great Commissioning.  It is called that because it speaks
of the great job we have been given to do and if the warrant or commission
- or authority that we have been given to do it.

The commissioning that God gives to us through Christ is a simple one. 

Jesus tells his disciples after his resurrection - and before his ascension
to be at the right hand of the Father:

   All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 
   Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
   the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
   teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  

Make disciples,
   - there is a deep and abiding need for that in every generation;

Teach them to obey what I have commanded you,
   - most surely that is needed if we are not to end up going off on our
   own again and, by worshipping the creation instead of the creator, find
   ourselves without life or hope.

Make disciples of all people, teaching them to obey all Christ has
commanded us, and immerse them in the fullness of God, Jesus tell us:
   - immerse them in the waters of creation and pray down the Holy Spirit
   upon them in the name of the one - the only one who has created and is
   creating,
          - the one, the only one, who has come in Jesus to reconcile and
          make new
          - the one, the only one, who works in us and other by the
          Spirit.

That is the commission that God gives to us - that Christ gives to us -
that the Spirit gives to us.

In Christ, with Christ, and through Christ
by the power of the Holy Spirit
we are made one with God the Father.

This insight - this truth - this revelation - is a great mystery - one that
makes us different from all other people - all other religions - all other
ways.  

We proclaim the God who made all things has reached out to those he made
through a Son - his Son - the Word of God - the Power of God - made flesh -
and that all who turn to him and who obey him are filled with his Power -
his Spirit - and made new both in this life - and in the next!

The Trinity is a doctrine - and a mystery -
   but it is a doctrine that points to a living reality that is full of
   truth: to a truth - and a power - and a way - like no other truth or
   power or way.

And Christ calls us - the Spirit calls us - the Father calls us - to share
it!  To share it by speaking of it.  And to share it by living it.

What a universe this is!    What a wonder life is!   
How awesome that all this - and all of you - should be!  
Spread the word about our Glorious God.
Let his light shine in the darkness and his song of love be heard
throughout the whole world.

Blessed be God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, One.   Amen!
Blessed be God The One - the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sustainer. Amen!


* HYMN:  "God, Whose Almighty Word"                                - VU 313


PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast
love and faithfulness, by sending your only begotten Son into the world and
pouring forth upon us the Spirit of Love you have revealed to us the
mystery of your own life and established it as the living pattern for our
own.  Sustain our faith and fill us with your love and peace, that joined
together in the communion of your church we may bless your holy and
glorious name and with your light shine upon the world....  Lord, hear our
prayer...

Father and Mother of us all - Loving Creator - the Stars and the Sun and
the Moon and all that are below them reveal the wonder and the greatness of
your power and your majesty.  We pray O God that we might always have a
Spirit of thankfulness and give to you the honour and the glory that are
yours.  May we never loss the sense of awe your work inspires within us,
and may we, as your servants, as one's made in your image, joyfully point
to you as the source of all that is good....  Lord, hear our prayer.

Lord Jesus, you who are the only begotten Son of God - you who took on
flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth and set us free from the
power of sin and death - Wonderful Lord - we thank you.   We thank you for
coming among us and revealing to us the fulness of God's love for us.  May 
we open ourselves to accept your love and follow you in the path you set
before us.   May we never forget the cost of that love nor how freely it
was poured out upon us - and may we, as your brothers and sisters, as your
chosen family, live and teach all that you have commanded us to live and
teach... Lord, hear our prayer..

Holy Spirit, you who are the breath of God within us  and the wind of God
that blows among us - you who are our daily strength and the source of
wisdom for the living of our days - we thank you.  We thank you for the
life you give - for the message that you speak - for the comfort you bestow
- and the fruit that you grow in our lives as we hear and accept your
testimony to the Father and to the Son.  May we never forget why you have
been poured out upon us.  Bless us and your whole church with the gifts you
give us for our life together and for the mission you call us to complete
in Christ's name....  ord hear our prayer... 

Oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit One - hear all our prayers this day - the
prayers we have made for ourselves and for the work of your church, your
people - and the prayers that we now make for those who  are part of your
family - and for those who are not. 

   - We pray, O God, for those who have not heard the word of your love
   through Christ, nor seen it displayed by your people.  Bring them a
   messenger of your grace.... and help them to surrender their lives  to
   your transforming love....  Lord, hear our prayer...

   - We pray, O God, for those who hunger in the midst of your plenty and
   who thirst despite the abundance of drink you have made available.  
   May there be a just sharing of all that your creation affords us.  Move
   our governments and our corporations that they may act with wisdom and
   compassion in the world.   Lord, hear our prayer...

   - We pray O God, for each one today who is homeless - and each one who
   is alone - that they may be part of the family you have given us - and
   have a place to call to call their own here on this earth as well as in
   heaven above.  Lord, hear our prayer...

   - And we pray O God for those individuals and those situations you have
   placed especially upon our heart today - we pray with thanksgiving and
   with hope - BIDDING PRAYER... Lord, hear our prayer...

Amen.


MINUTE FOR MISSION


* SHARING GOD'S BLESSINGS:  As the Offering is presented all stand for the
Doxology (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow - VU 541) and Prayer of
Dedication

   Creator God, all we have and all we are comes from you.  Each breath
   we take, the strength to take each step, everything is a gift from
   you.  So, we offer back to you these tithes and offerings as a way
   of thanking you for your countless gifts; and we offer our lives to
   you as disciples of Christ so that you may use us to accomplish you
   good and perfect will in our world.   May we indeed teach all
   nations about you and baptize all who come to faith in you in your
   Triune Name - that name which is above all names - now and
   forevermore.  Amen
       

* DEPARTING HYMN:    "O Master, Let Me Walk You"                   - VU 560


* COMMISSIONING (Unison):  In the power of the Holy Spirit we now go forth
   into the world, to fulfil our calling as the people of God, the body of
   Christ.

                      
* BENEDICTION AND THREEFOLD AMEN
Go in peace and love and care for another in the name of Christ Jesus
- and may indeed the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
- the love of God,
- and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with you all, both now and forevermore.  Amen


* CHORAL BLESSING:  "Go Now In Peace"                              - VU 964


copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2005
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.


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