DEVOTIONAL SACRED SEASON
DAY 9 and 29 - 13th June, 3rd July
PRAYER TIME FOR DAY 9 and 29 - JUNE 13th and July 3rd
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.
THE JOY OF KNOWING WHOSE YOU ARE
REV WALTER ABETZ
Rev Walter Abetz retired from full time parish ministry in 2013. He is a foundation member of the ACC, and
Secretary of the Resources and Development Committee of the Presbytery of Tasmania. He is a Teacher of the ACC School of Faith.
BIBLE READINGS: Romans 6:3-4
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND ADORATION
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Reader 1: 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 (NIV)
For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV)
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV)
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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV)
PARAGRAPH 7: BASIS OF UNION
(Bible verses in brackets added by Rev Walter Abetz)
The Uniting Church acknowledges that Christ incorporates people
into his body by Baptism. [Rom 6:4]
In this way he enables them to participate in his own baptism, which was accomplished once on behalf of all in his death and burial, and which was made available to all when, risen and ascended, he poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. [Acts 2:38]
Baptism into Christ’s body initiates people into Christ’s life and mission in the world, so that they are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy, in one family of the Father of all in heaven and earth, and in the power of the one Spirit. [1 Cor 12:13, 1 Pet 4:13]
The Uniting Church will baptize those who confess the Christian faith, and children who are presented for baptism and for whose instruction and nourishment in the faith the Church takes responsibility. [Mt 28:19-20, 1 Cor 7:14]
Baptism is a sacrament – a making holy, a setting apart which was ordained by Christ. It is not the invention of unredeemed human beings. In fact,
unredeemed humans find baptism offensive or foolish.
In the ancient world Christian Baptism signified a transfer of allegiance from one authority to another. When Christians at their baptism proclaimed that Jesus was Lord (and not Caesar), it was a dangerous counter-cultural political act, as well as a matter of religious commitment to follow Jesus, to take on his identity, and being prepared to suffer the consequences.
In today’s world of individualistic aggressive self-definition, baptism is a
grotesque ritual. It is intensely counter-cultural. People presenting for
baptism renounce self-definition, and begin to find their identity in Christ, the Son of God, the pioneer and perfector of our faith (note the plural, “our faith” – the faith once for all delivered to the saints), not an individualised spirituality that caters to my personal needs and my self-indulgence. There is no room for that. God’s grace is sufficient for us.
In a world groaning for the day of redemption, a world torn by evil and strife, if we are to have a redemptive influence through being the Body of Christ, then we have to be prepared for suffering. Rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
Humans are created in God’s image, but many refuse to live as image bearers. Through baptism we are adopted into God’s family, to learn God’s ways. Our identity is tied to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We are God’s creatures and there is joy in accepting our identity that we have from God. Baptism is the formal beginning of that journey into becoming who we are, just as a wedding is the formal beginning of a life-long relationship. It is the formal change of status before God.
Lord God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Father Son and Holy Spirit, increase in us the joy of belonging to you, the joy of being shaped by you. Father, it is our desire to be conformed to the image of your Son, through your Spirit at work in us. May we encourage one another through our steadfastness in trials and our delight in good works done in your name, that the world may know and worship you. In the name of Christ, our Redeemer, we ask this. Amen
Our Father, we pray that Assembly will be bold in helping the Uniting
Church to move forward together with the whole Church Catholic in sole loyalty to your Son, our Lord, Jesus the Christ, the living head of your Church. 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 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.’
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.