Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost. 31 July 2016

Page |1 Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 31 July 2016 The Mission and Discipleship Council would like to thank Rev Roddy Hamilton, Minister of Bearsde...
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Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 31 July 2016 The Mission and Discipleship Council would like to thank Rev Roddy Hamilton, Minister of Bearsden: New Kilpatrick, for his thoughts on the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost. Contents Hosea 11: 1-11 ........................................................................................................................................... 2 Psalm 107: 1-9, 43 ................................................................................................................................... 2 Colossians 3: 1-11 .....................................................................................................................................3 Luke 12: 13-21...........................................................................................................................................3 Sermon Ideas .........................................................................................................................................3 Time with Children ................................................................................................................................ 4 Prayers ................................................................................................................................................... 4 Musical Suggestions ............................................................................................................................. 9 Additional Resources ........................................................................................................................... 10

Page |2 Helping people prepare for reading the Bible in worship can make a real difference. Overcoming nerves, reading in ways suitable to the text, speaking clearly etc. You may wish to email these three links to the people reading Scripture on Sunday to support them in their involvement in worship: Managing your nerves; Creative readings; Worship at the Lectern

Hosea 11: 1-11 Here is a passage that offers insight into a God whose mood swings from one extreme to the other, from destruction to compassion. It is a great litany of God’s love, of God hurt by what Israel has done and God arguing with Godself as a variety of emotions towards the People of Israel run hot through the divine veins. We are entering as deep as we ever will in scripture into God’s mind and emotions towards Israel. This is God in the raw: God’s inner voice of conflict about what ought to happen and what the divine response should be. Certainly it would be perfectly right for God to destroy as was done to Admah and Zeboiim (Sodom and Gomorrah) but God is God and not mortal. The response does not need to be limited to a particular logical outcome: ‘I must do this because they deserve it’. A different future can be and is created by God from this point. There are always alternative options, that is what grace sets free in us.

Psalm 107: 1-9, 43 Here is a psalm of thanksgiving offering a litany of communities who have been redeemed by God having faced struggle and suffering. The verses selected for today do not recite the stories of all these groups but the introduction of the psalm tells us they are from the four corners of the world perhaps reflecting the return of the exiles from Babylon. This psalm was perhaps written in that period and sees the return as God gathering and renewing Israel. Verse 7 also reflects this return as it speaks of the people lost in the desert seeking a way on the brink of exhaustion, but that it is God who saves them in the brink of time and leads them to a place of safety. Of course this could also be a reflection of the Exodus. Both offer reason for thanksgiving and faithful response to a God who journeys with the people and guides them through. It is the last verse of the psalm that sums it up: if you are wise then take heed and trust God: this is God’s nature.

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Colossians 3: 1-11 There are ways to God and ways that hinder our relationship with God. For a healthy relationship it is necessary to put a halt to those things that hurt relationships such as malice, fear and selfish living. Living in these negative ways, do as they suggest: isolate us from what is good together. So perhaps there are two ways of living: being isolated, content only (or perhaps not) with yourself, or in community with others where the richness of life is found in what we are open to share with others. In this latter way of living our relationships are not defined by status, power or authority. When these things do define us, then we end up moving in different directions from each other, each to our own living only to our own horizons.

Luke 12: 13-21 Here Jesus is asked to act as an arbitrator which is not part of his mission. The situation Jesus is given to arbitrate on is a brother who is asking for the inheritance to be divided. In the context of the culture this would be seen as stealing as he is trying to acquire something from the family and thus reducing the worth of the family for his own personal gain. Malina and Rohrbaugh (Page 278, Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels) suggest that someone who was honourable would be interested in only that which he already had. If anyone had surplus he would be expected to be generous with it towards others. By keeping things for self the person is recognised as a fool. It repeats a theme often cited by Jesus that what we own begins to own us.

Sermon Ideas Life lived generously is life lived freely is a theme that comes from all the texts today. In being generous with possessions, love, freedom, thanksgiving, then we life more freely, less tied to the earth and less bound up by things. God in Hosea chooses to live more generously, Paul in his letter to the Colossians offers the same theme: live generously towards others and less selfishly for self, and Jesus in the gospel reading repeats that theme. A similar question to explore is asking what it is that we are possessed by. Is it physical possession or the possession of status, or anger, or power or selfishness? It is probably a shifting scale but depending on how far along that scale we find ourselves, the more or less open we are

Page |4 to each other. The Parable in Luke and the debate God has over how to respond to Israel offer insights into the struggle it is to come out of it more generously and open to others.

Time with Children This is based on the Gospel reading Cover a table with a whole lot of ‘stuff’ from iPads to books to food to clothes. Make sure some of the things have fashionable labels. In amongst the things place bread and wine and a cross. As a conversation with everyone, invite children to come and pick up some of the items and talk with them; about why they like it and if they have one or would like one and why would they like one. Talk about all the things we have and what it would feel like if it was taken from you. Have parents ever threatened to take away something from them? What was it like? As you talk about some of these things, clear the table leaving the symbols of faith. It is good to clear the clutter at times and find there the things that are most important to us.

Prayers Call to Worship The love that birthed you makes your home here The grace that renews you shapes your place here The compassion that welcomes you offers you peace here Come and know the God who loves you more than anything else and know that God has been waiting for this day for you to arrive Let us worship

Page |5 Confession A dialogue on confession between leader reflecting God’s words in Hosea and the congregation. Congregation: Punish us O God for the sins we commit for the pain we give for the hurt we share Punish us that we might learn for it is what we deserve Leader: I will not do it My love for you it too strong Congregation: Punish us O God for the division we make for the slaves and the free for the rich and the poor Punish us that we might change for it is what we deserve Leader: I will not do it My love for you is too strong Congregation: Punish us, O God for the possession we have the selfishness we live by the greed of what we own

Page |6 Punish us that we might let them go for it is what we deserve Leader: I will not do it My love for you is too strong Congregation: Then we will learn from your example trust a love that can change the mind of God a love more powerful that it can calm the anger of God a love more gracious that it can renew the grace of God Do not abandon us to punishment but renew us in love Leader: This I will do for I am God and not a human Thanksgiving We cannot know your mind, O God but know the direction in which it turns always towards us always away from punishment and always towards grace It is a strange thing that loves does convincing us to do the other to take the less travelled choice the illogical the counter-cultural way

Page |7 So Great God made all of love hear our thanks for the love that changes everything and moves you from punishment to compassion and moves us from sinner to saint a love that truly transforms that which nothing else can We cannot know your mind, O God but we live within the wonder of it that changes and takes the road less travelled turning away from punishment and towards compassion and we give thanks Intercession May we live beyond the limits of how we define each other beyond poverty and power and recognise the generous freedom we are called to share in your kingdom May we silence our speech of there being no slave or free but live it instead May we create relationships with each other that recognises this kingdom truth that sets free each to love generously

Page |8 May we find new relationships in which to live that seeks the love that moves us from accepting conflict to loving it back to peace that moves us from accepting climate change to loving it back into balance that moves us from accepting poverty to loving it back to the kingdom May our prayer be one of turning as you turn O God changing minds that once caused pain towards a new kind of relationship of grace We pray that such a change be found in the corridors of power in the world as much as in the neighbourhoods we live a model of your kingdom in this place and every place we find ourselves In addition to the above prayers, prepared by our contributor, other prayers may be found in People of the Way which is the theme for this year’s Pray Now. It was also the theme for Heart and Soul 2016. People of the Way is available from St Andrew Press.

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Musical Suggestions CH4 557

O love that will not let me go

CH4 134

Bring many names

CH4 118

Womb of life and source of being

CH4 152

Praise the Lord his glories show

CH4 77

Praise the Lord all ye nations

CH4 624

In Christ there is no east or west

CH4 355

You, Lord, are both Lamb and Shepherd

CH4 465

Be thou my vision

CH4 263

God of freedom, God of justice

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Additional Resources Resourcing Mission Resourcing Mission is host to Starters for Sunday and other key mission resources for download and purchase. Online booking is available for Mission & Discipleship events. Please check back regularly, as new items are being added all the time. If there is something you’d like to see on this new site, please contact us via the website. Prayer Resources These materials are designed to be a starting point for what you might look for in prayers. People of the Way is available from St Andrew Press. Music Resources The hymns mentioned in this material are ideas of specific hymns you might choose for this week’s themes. However, for some excellent articles on church music and ideas for new music resources, please check out our online music pages Different Voices. Preaching Resources These materials are designed to be a starting point for what you might preach this Sunday. Preachers Perspectives is a resource where we have asked twelve preachers to share the insights they have gathered through their experiences of writing and delivering sermons regularly. Scots Worship Resources The Kirk's Ear - Scots i the Kirk series for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and other times of the year Wurship Ouk bi Ouk - Metrical psalms, hymns, prayers and words for worship Scots Sacraments may give you helpful material if you are celebrating Communion or have a Baptism. The Mission and Discipleship Council would like to express its thanks to the Rev Roddy Hamilton for providing us with this Sunday’s material. Please note that the views expressed in these materials are those of the individual writer and not necessarily the official view of the Church of Scotland, which can be laid down only by the General Assembly.

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