PRAYER TIME 18th JULY 2018
WELCOME AND PRAYER
I have found David my servant;
with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
21 My hand will sustain him;
surely my arm will strengthen him.
22 The enemy will not get the better of him;
the wicked will not oppress him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
and strike down his adversaries.
24 My faithful love will be with him,
and through my name his horn will be exalted.
25 I will set his hand over the sea,
his right hand over the rivers.
26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, the Rock my Savior.’
27 And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,
the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
28 I will maintain my love to him forever,
and my covenant with him will never fail.
29 I will establish his line forever,
his throne as long as the heavens endure.
PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND ADORATION
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
LISTENING TO THE WORD
Ephesians 2:11-22 (NIV)
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) — 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Basis of Union Paragraph 3
“In Jesus Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19 RSV). In love for the world, Gove gave the Son to take away the world’s sin
In raising him to live and reign, God confirmed and completed the witness, which Jesus bore to God on earth, reasserted claim over the whole of creation, pardoned sinners, and made in Jesus a representative beginning of a new order of righteousness and love
The church as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit confesses Jesus as Lord over its own life; it also confesses that Jesus is Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity.
Some time ago, we bought some furniture, which arrived in many boxes. Over a couple of days we had to do a great jigsaw puzzle and try to fit the pieces together. At one stage I was stuck and couldn’t work out how to build the frame for the bedside tables. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find any hole in the cross pieces to put the screws. I rang up the store and found that I’d been looking in the wrong place. It was hidden right at the very end in the metal. Thankfully, once I had found where these holes were, I could connect the pieces tightly with screws.
To join anything in carpentry you need to make a hold in both parts that are going to be put together. If there isn’t a hole in one part there will be no long lasting joining. Jesus, who was a carpenter by trade, would have known this, and would have been an expert in bringing pieces of wood together (mark 6:3). In todays passage we hear that it is in Christ that those who are saved by grace through faith (v 8-9) are joined together with God’s People (Israel). This building has a foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (v 20). It is Christ’s excellent spiritual carpentry skills that creates this amazing organic building that rises to become a holy temple in the Lord (See also 1 Peter 2:5) . It is Christ Jesus that builds us together into a dwelling where God can live by his Spirit.
So what are the holes that enable the joining to take effect in this living building? My mentor John Mallison, who passed away a few years ago, once gave me a book by Andrew Murray called “Abiding in Christ”. To be honest I didn’t start reading this book until when I began to prepare for this prayer book a few months ago. I had found a quote mentioned on the internet by Andrew Murray that tied well into the book. To my amazement I found that it was the very book John had give me. Andrew Murray says: “In the death on the Cross, Christ was wounded, and in His opened wounds a place prepared where we might be grafted in (Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray, Kindle Edition, Wilder Publications © 2010, p 44).
Christ’s very wounds upon the cross, become the place where we can be joined with him. For He is the cornerstone to which each plank in this living temple must be nailed. If we want to become part of this dwelling where God lives, there is not other way than to join in Christ at the cross. We must allow the holes in our life, our very sinful nature, meet the holes in his hands and feet. If we would allow Christ to unite us into this wondrous building with God and God’s people we cannot avoid the cross. The great Carpenter became the living wood that sin and death was nailed to (Col 2:15). If we would receive the abundant life of Christ, we must unite with him and abide with him in his death (Romans 6:5).
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the gift of your Son, the great Carpenter, the one who joins us to you and to your people through the precious gift of his wounds upon the cross. Help each of us as living planks, to come humbly and be joined with you and your people in the death of your Son. May we rise in Christ, so that together we would become a holy temple and a dwelling where you can live by the Spirit. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSSION
CONFESSING CHRIST FROM THE BASIS OF UNION
Within this fellowship of the Uniting Church in Australia, and as part of the Christian church around the world, let us confess Christ in the following words from the Basis of Union.
Today we ‘confess Jesus as Lord over (our) own life’ and ‘Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity’.
We rejoice that the Uniting Church ‘preaches Christ the risen crucified One
and confesses him as Lord to the glory of God the Father’.
Let us proclaim ‘the grace which justifies through faith,’
and uphold ‘the centrality of the person and work of Christ the justifier’.
We joyously proclaim that ‘in Jesus Christ "God was reconciling the world to himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19 RSV)’,
and that ‘in love for the world, God gave the Son to take away the world's sin.’
We confess that ‘Christ…is the Word of the God who acquits the guilty,
who gives life to the dead and who brings into being what otherwise could not exist.’
Let us reaffirm our desire ‘to live and work within the faith and unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’.
We joyously ‘acknowledge that Christ alone is supreme in his Church’ and declare our ‘readiness to go forward together in sole loyalty to Christ the living Head of the Church’.
We acknowledge ‘the need for a constant appeal to Holy Scripture’,
and declare ourselves ready to ‘hear anew the commission of the Risen Lord to make disciples of all nations’.
With the gracious help of God our congregations are committed to serve the world for which Christ died, and…await with hope the day of the Lord Jesus Christ
on which it will be clear that the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of the Christ, who shall reign for ever and ever.’ Amen.
Nb. The words in quotation marks are direct quotes from the Basis of Union
Prepared by Rev Rod James.