The next Online Worship from Weoley Hill URC

WEOLEY HILL
UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
Order of Worship for   Sunday
1st August  2021
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(Sorry, there is no video for 1st August)


Cadbury Pastorate

Aug 1st 2021

In word and world we hear you cry, Lord: ARISE!

The light of the world has come: SO LET US SHINE

We lift up our eyes: TO SEE YOUR NEW WORLD COMING

And in doing justice: PROCLAIM THE PRAISE OF THE LORD

And so, we pray,

counter in and through us

systems and pandemics of despair and dread

WITH SIGNS OF LOVE AND PEACE

And so, we pray,

counter in and through us

systems and pandemics of hatred and death

WITH LIVES FILLED WITH LOVE AND DEFIANCE

And so, we pray,

counter in and through us

systems and pandemics of division and oblivion

WITH MOVEMENTS OF JOY AND TRANSFORMATION

We offer our bodies, communities and possibilities

THAT YOUR LIFE MAY RISE UP AND RENEW US ALL.

HYMN:  He is Lord 264R&S

Reading:   Isaiah 21: 6 - 9

 

Comment

Rising as a political and prophetic act: speaking out to power

Isaiah

Babylon names Empire then and now in terms of system’s of violence: which are dividing people and despoiling the earth

Alaa Sala Sudan Khartoum uprisings against Bashir.  She read and sang revolutionary poems.  Within 30 days Bashir fell from power.  Salah has founded with other women a movement calling for gender justice and equal representation of women and men in the new government been to the UN to address gender justice and political development of Sudan

The transitional govt has ignored these calls

Was it pointless?

Now they know that the people, women especially can topple the mighty from their thrones

Who can believe that Babylon is fallen?

And yet the testimony of women like Ala Salah constantly bring us the news that the tomb is empty

That despite Roman power, Jesus is risen.

So where should our following her and him lead us?

 

HYMN: 401R&S: Through our lives and by our prayers

Litany

Creation is hurting

PEOPLE ARE DYING

THE POWERFUL ARE PROFITING

GOD IS CRYING, GOD IS CALLING!

 

Our divisions are power constructs for the benefit of the powerful

Christ’s coming was to transgress the boundaries and borders of human life

so that the New Heaven and Earth might come to subvert

all our maps and means and methods of living.

LET US RISE UP AND PROCLAIM IN THE FACE OF BABYLON THAT HUMANITY IS ONE

The earth is being despoiled for the profit of the few

Christ’s coming to raise up the lowly and bring down the wealthy

was to proclaim and honour the common wealth of the New Heaven and Earth.

LET US RISE UP AND PROCLAIM IN THE FACE OF BABYLON

THAT OUR ECONOMIES MUST DELIVER LIFE FOR ALL THE COMMUNITY.

Comment 2

Reading:  Romans 8: 19 – 23

Paul as a citizen of Rome

Used the categories of empire against it

Citizens of a new kingdom

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Most of our identifiers are shaped by empire

Race, Gender, Sexuality

And the norms associated with them, whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality, cisgender

Humanity outside nature

 

Image

‘Resurrection’

Nathan Simpson 1999

 

Aboriginal artist

Nulles terra

Empty land, empty people

Stealing children killing children: Canada and Australia

Thus, to live out the new creation now is to pull down the hierarchies Babylon has built.  Rising to life means Christian communities become spaces, which counter the culture wars and power dynamics of the world around us.  This makes us to be different and not just diverse

Urgently need to follow the way of those who embody the difference to empire’s identity and norms Like Jesus did.  Pilate Ecce Homo …?

HYMN: 401R&S: Through our lives and by our prayers

Creation is hurting

PEOPLE ARE DYING

THE POWERFUL ARE PROFITING

GOD IS CRYING, GOD IS CALLING!

Our systems are filled with hungers which harm and destroy

Christ’s coming to challenge Empire’s hierarchy of life

was to reveal that all created life is

dignified, affirmed, included and blessed

by God in the new Heaven and Earth she brings

LET US RISE UP AND PROCLAIM IN THE FACE OF BABYLON

THAT THE LAST MUST BE FIRST,

THOSE WHO WANT TO BE GREAT MUST BE THE SERVANTS OF ALL,

GOD WILLS NEWNESS OF LIFE FOR ALL OF LIFE.

Comment 3

Reading: Isaiah 41: 17 – 20

Isaiah Babylonian exiles

Retold the creation story against empire’s, which is why we have of Genesis

Because of these words of hope in creation not violence.

We cannot underestimate the struggle before us in announcing that Babylon is as fallen as the tomb is empty.  This image like the text reminds us not to despair, that in the concrete of Babylon, the new creation breaks forth.

It breaks out from below of course so we need to consider where we should look for signs of God’s counter creation.  And because it is a creation counter to ours, we are also in danger of tearing up God’s new creation because we want to preserve the order of the old.  Our work then is as gardeners tending the new world God has sown amongst us.

HYMN:   401R&S: Through our lives and by our prayers

Creation is hurting

PEOPLE ARE DYING

THE POWERFUL ARE PROFITING

GOD IS CRYING, GOD IS CALLING!

Let us rise up and proclaim in the face of Covid

and all that makes us sick from Babylon

that we can no longer live in ways

which destroy the earth,

THAT CHRIST’S COMING WAS TO SHOW GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD

THAT ALL THE WORLD’S LIVES WOULD BE GATHERED UP

IN THE PROMISE OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH.

God amongst the vulnerable, and the exploited,

God with the uprising movements,

God within the aching polluted earth,

God beyond the confines of Babylon,

YOU CALL US TO REPENT AND CHANGE

AND SEEK WAYS OF LIVING IN WHICH

LIFE FLOURISHES, JUSTICE GROWS AND PEACE TAKES HOLD.

 

HYMN:  Lord Christ, when first you came to earth 270R&S

Communion words:

Lord God,

Here is bread and wine.

Ready to be broken and shared.

Ready to remind us of

Christ’s dying and rising.

Ready to reveal to us

Christ’s presence with us.

Ready to refresh

Christ’s way of life in us.

 

Lord God,

Here are people.

Gathered to share

in this bread and wine.

Gathered to show their love for you.

Gathered to celebrate your love for us.

Join us at this table with all the saints

With all who have served you here

and are joined with you through death.

As we remember Christ’s life, death and resurrection

Fill us with hope.

 

Lord God,

We come as those

who know brokenness,

In our own lives,

In the lives of our family and friends,

In the lives of people here.

We come seeking wholeness,

We come seeking hopefulness,

We come seeking togetherness.

Hear our prayers

As our speaking up for those

For whom we worry

Quiet.

Hear our prayers

As our speaking out

against those who

bring death and destruction

to our community and world.

Quiet.

Hear our prayers

As the shushing of our self importance

And our self-criticism

A quietening in which we can offer ourselves to you

As we are and be known

And changed

Quiet

In all things we seek God’s kingdom.

Let us pray for its coming as we say

together the Lord’s Prayer.

 

We share in bread and wine.

As the story is retold

Prayer after communion.

Lord,

may what we have shared here

make us more generous.

Lord,

may what we have broken here

make us more gentle.

Lord,

may what we have

remembered here

make us more hopeful.

Amen.

HYMN:  463R&S Now let us from this table rise


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