DEVOTIONAL SACRED SEASON
DAY 3 and 23 - 7th and 27th June
PRAYER TIME FOR DAY 1 and 21 - JUNE 5th and 25th
Especially designed for zoom prayer times during the Sacred Season of Prayer and Fasting but can be used in face to face prayer times as well. Spontaneous prayer is offered in times of prayers of praise and confession from group members using if possible some of themes in the psalm or scripture reading. The prayers for others can also be prayed spontaneously and can weave in thoughts from scripture reading, passage from Basis of Union and devotional reading.
BUILT UPON THE ONE LORD JESUS CHRIST
REV. EA (TED) CURNOW
As a retired minister Ted has served in the South Australian and Victorian Synods. He worked with the Methodist Church in the UK for two years and has written about early Methodism in South Australia. He also contributes to a devotional page on the ACC web site.
BIBLE READINGS: Colossians 3:15-20
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND ADORATION
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
BIBLE READINGS: Colossians 1:21-23
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation — 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
PARAGRAPH 3a: BASIS OF UNION
The Uniting Church acknowledges that the faith and unity of the Holy
Catholic and Apostolic Church are built upon the one Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church preaches Christ the risen crucified One and confesses him
as Lord to the glory of God the Father. In Jesus Christ God was
reconciling the world to himself. In love for the world, God gave his Son
to take away the world’s sin.
Looking at the Uniting Church logo, Jesus Christ stands central in the symbol of the cross as its vertical and horizontal arms span the circle of the world. Amid our sensitivities of the 21st century the cross represents a primitive, barbaric tool of execution, indeed a devastating, negative defeat, while in contrast the resurrection holds out an unreal hope, a demonstration of a glorious victory.
The power of the cross is found in who was executed; in the deity of Christ, as spelt out and embedded in the Nicene Creed. Often people have said that because Jesus rose again he must have been God. Peter turned this around and affirmed the New Testament faith when in Acts Chapter 2 he declared God raised him (Jesus) up because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. (Acts 2:24) Later Paul wrote, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” (Col 2:9,15).
Jesus’s decisive death and resurrection involves each of us and is central to Christian belief and to the Uniting Church. This is why Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15 of Jesus as the foundation and of people building on that foundation as a labour that is not in vain. Today as never before we need to know we are not constructing the kingdom of God by our own efforts or oiling the wheels of a machine that is soon going over a cliff.
The early Christians were joyful because they knew themselves to be living in the first, opening days of God’s new creation. Selwyn Hughes puts it well. “Because of what Christ did -- no Christian need ever be intimidated by death. It is death that has failed not he.” Some suggest Christ’s resurrection is a spiritual truth that calls us to discover God in our own spirituality, but if it was only ‘spiritual’ then the material world is left without redemption.
Jesus death and resurrection was not a mere ideal or example to follow, it was nothing less than the climatic event of cosmic history that will result in the creation itself being set free from its slavery to corruption, fear and death. N.T. Wright has said some of the most moving
words he ever sings are those in the old Christmas carol, “Once in Royal David’s city -- And our eyes at last shall see him, Through his own redeeming love.” In a hope-less world we have a real reason to worship with hope and to celebrate Jesus.
Risen Lord, stand in the midst of your church and when we are distracted or
overwhelmed by the complexity of the issues of the day help us to catch a glimpse of the significance of your victory so that we live in it and in the holy optimism of the gospel. Amen
PRAYERS FOR OTHERS
CONFESSION FROM 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’.
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.’
Nb. The words in quotation marks are direct quotes from the Basis of Union
Prepared by Rev Rod James.