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Worship Sheet for Sunday 27 September – Truth and hypocrisy

In Matt 21 Jesus is asked by what authority he acts. Sensing a trap he asks the religious leaders whether John’ authority came from God or from man. They ducked it. But the implication was clear – Jesus’ authority was from God. He went on to stress the need to act consistently.
Call: Lord, we like to be right, often we pride ourselves on proving others wrong. You ARE right but you seek to accept and forgive; We use words to bring others down, you offer words of comfort and forgiveness. We want others to conform to our expectations but are ourselves slow to change. You came to transform US and society into a community that serves with love and grace.

Mini Service https://youtu.be/eVClYxLqGkA
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Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray Lord, we are good at playing the blame game – the fault lies with THEM, but rarely will we admit that it lies with us. Accepting responsibility is for losers or so the thinking goes. Yet, you took a different tack – Even though he was without sin, Jesus took the sin of the world, our sin, upon himself - he died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good. Lord, open our hearts and minds to your grace that we may soak up your ways of thinking, speaking and doing; transform us so that your deep honesty, truth and integrity works the revolution of change necessary that we may act towards others with love and acceptance and work towards a way of life that fully reflects the gospel of love proclaimed and lived out by your dear Son. Forgive us our faults and failings, including when we imagine that we are better than others. Give us an openness to grow in grace and the determination to follow Jesus’ example and pattern and hear us as we pray together saying :Our Father…

Read or print the Passage for the week by clicking this link:
Matthew 21:23-32 Jesus’ authority is question. Two sons – intent and action.
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Sermon                https://youtu.be/Y6iF8uCKo3E 
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Thought You are a hypocrite! An accusation like that isn’t pleasant and it probably isn’t meant to be. It can be legitimate, even necessary to make such a claim but it is more likely a ploy to undermine an opponent or cast their integrity into question. Given that none of us is perfect, we should take a long hard look at ourselves before levelling such a charge against another, lest it come back to bite us. Religious leaders questioned Jesus’ right to teach. Sensing a trap he asked: Where did John’s authority to baptise come – from God or from man? Had they replied “from God” why did they not believe him? If “from man” they would have put themselves against the crowds who saw John as a prophet. They declined to answer. Jesus declined too but the implication was plain – he was from God. The showdown would come later and Jesus would lay down his life for us. He told the parable of the two sons – one said no when his father asked him to work in the vineyard, but who later changed his mind and went to work; the other initially agreed to work in the vineyard but actually did not go. Which, asked Jesus, did as his father wanted? The first. Truth is important but it’s more than empty words. Jesus looks for us to bear out our beliefs in action, in the way that we live our lives – and he gives us the grace of his Spirit to help us accomplish that.

Praise: CH4 536 May the mind of Christ my Saviour v1,2 & 4 Tune St Leonards Mission Praise 463
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray Heavenly Father, we long for a world filled with grace and truth, where integrity is to the fore and results in peace, justice and love. Such a vision differs from what we see on our screens and read in the papers. Yet you call us to work for a day when fighting shall cease and all shall live at peace. Hear our prayers for that shift from selfishness to selflessness, from greed to generosity, from accusation to acceptance. Provide us all, and esp our leaders, with a desire to build relationships rather than score points, to seek inclusion and justice above self interest and to do so humbly and with integrity. Watch over the world and its peoples whom you love as we face pestilence of covid 19 with suffering and fear; strengthen the hands of those seeking a vaccine, those caring or seeking to protect and to make big decisions which impact on us all. Keep us mindful that our actions matter – we are all to some extent our sister and brothers’ keepers. Watch over our local community and especially those who are ill or burdened just now. Help us to be slow to anger, to criticise and more understanding of the pressures we all face. Through it all sustain us with the upholding power of your love in Christ. As we come to the end of another cycle of our prayer walk we pray for our friends and family. SILENCE
Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen Blessing May the Lord bless you. Amen.