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READINGS
1 Kings 21:1-10, (11-14)15-21a   Naboth and his vineyard
Psalm 32      The joy of forgiveness
Galatians 2:15-21     Dead to the Law and alive in Christ!
Luke 7:36-8:3    Jesus has his feet kissed

HYMNS    RS = Rejoice and Sing SF = Songs of Fellowship   MP = Mission Praise combined

95 God is love, let heaven adore him   187
96 Great is thy faithfulness   147   200
99
Morning glory, starlit sky
103
Praise to the holiest in the height  469   563
107
The love of God comes close
234
Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord   6  30
265
I cannot tell why he, who angels worship   205   266
543
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us   321   400
129
God forgave my sin   181
224
I lift my voice  
254
It is no longer I that liveth   350
625
You are my hiding place   793

CALL TO WORSHIP

It is no longer I that lives
IT IS CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME
The life that I live now
I LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS
Jesus loves me, he gave his life for me
I COME TO WORSHIP AND ADORE MY GOD

PRAYER OF PRAISE
Lord God, we come before you, our hearts full to overflowing with love for you.
With  fear we approach you,
With love we approach you
With  joy we approach you.

For you have done so much for us.
When we were lost, you found us.
When we needed help you came to our rescue.
When we needed your healing touch, you embraced us.
When we were burdened with wrong doing, you forgave us.

And now we come to you, offering our praise, our worship,
may it be as pleasing to you as sweet perfume.
Tears of grateful thanks are in our eyes.
We are lost for words....
We are filled with hope, filled with wonder, filled with praise.
You have saved us. We are filled with peace. Amen

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

O God we are burdened with the things that we have done wrong.
Sometimes we want to keep them to ourselves,
we don't want to admit that we have done things we should not,
we are ashamed that we have said things we should not,
we want to hide that we have thought things we should not,
we are embarrassed that we have failed to do good.
And so our burden gets heavier and heavier as we turn away from you.

So here Lord, we unburden ourselves.
In a moment of quiet we pour out all our wrong doings to you
silence
Lord God, teach us the way that we should go, forgive us and help us.

WORDS OF ABSOLUTION
You that are righteous, be glad and rejoice because of what the Lord has done!
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
He takes up our burdens, we are forgiven.
Let us shout for joy! THANKS BE TO GOD! AMEN

PRAYER OF INTERCESSION

You are our Lord, you are our King,
WE OFFER YOU OUR PRAYERS

We pray for those whose land has been taken away from them.
For those forced out due to war,
For those forced out by industry and the lure of money
For those forced out due to the hatred of others,
because of the colour of their skin, their religion, their political beliefs.
For those brushed aside in the colonials lust for land, particularly in Australia, New Zealand and North America, who are now seeking redress.

You are our Lord, you are our King,
WE OFFER YOU OUR PRAYERS

We pray for those who are oppressed.
For those whose rulers put their own wealth acquisition before the needs of the people.
For those who know they will never get a fair hearing in an unjust society.
For those who are discriminated against unfairly.
For those whose lives are affected by the interest on loans their nations have to pay back.
For those who shout for attention but are never heard, as we pay more attention to footballers and popstars than life and death situations.

You are our Lord, you are our King,
WE OFFER YOU OUR PRAYERS

We pray for those who are in positions of power over others.
For all heads of state who try to do what is right and good for their country.
For Kofi Annan and all who advise the United nations.
For President Clinton who has such power and influence.
We pray for Tony Blair and his government, that they may implement good policies and put the people who have little before the people who have much.
We pray for our Queen as she strives to be a good figure head for this country.
For David Jenkins, our Moderator and Tony Burnham the General Secretary of the URC

You are our Lord, you are our King,
WE OFFER YOU OUR PRAYERS

We know Lord that even the most unimportant seeming person is special and loved to you.
So we pray for the people who are important to us, knowing that they are dear to you to.
We pray for those we know who are tired, depressed, for those who are feeling the burden of life, for those who mourn.
We pray for those who are sick in body of sick at heart.
Bless our families Lord, our blood relatives and our heart relatives, and we lift up those in need to you in a moment of silence....

You are our Lord, you are our King,
WE OFFER YOU OUR PRAYERS. Amen

OFFERTORY PRAYER

O God, you have given us so much, forgiven us so much, loved us so much.
May our offerings show our heartfelt thanks.
We pour out to you our gifts of money, of service, our very lives
Use them, we pray, to spread the news of your great love for the world.

BLESSING

It is no longer I that lives
IT IS CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME
The life that I live now
I LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS
Jesus loves me, he gave his life for me
WE GO TO SERVE AND LOVE OUR GOD

THEME INTRODUCTION - Nathan's cart

Everyone admired Nathan's cart. It had been made by his grandad when he was a lad, his father had played with it as a boy and now it had been passed on to Nathan. He loved his cart, the shiny wheels that he oiled every week, the feel of the old polished wood under his fingers, the way the wheel turned smoothly in his hands. It reminded him of his grandad who had died a few years before. It moved smoothly. It wasn't beautiful, it wasn't the fastest on the block, but it was reliable and good to ride in.

There were quite a few kids with carts around where nathan lived. No-one had a cart as old or as well made as nathan's though. But they loved to get together and race their carts around the bank behind the houses. They met up most nights in the summer to hang out, have races, mend and improve things and generally talk carts. The oldest of the carters, who was seen as the leader, was a boy called Aidan. He was good with carts. He could make them go fast. He was good at designing them. He knew his carts all right.

But he had just crashed his. Wasn't looking where he was going and whump! straight into a lamppost. He was all right but the cart was toast. So now he had to stand around and watch the others with their carts. And he spent most of his time looking at Nathan's. What a cart. A good cart, a reliable cart. A bit boring maybe but with great potential. If he could get his hands on it, with a few tweaks and changes it could really be something!

'How much for the cart' he asked Nathan. 'Eh?' replied the boy. 'How much for the cart?' Aidan said again, in a tone of voice that usually got him his way.
'Its not for sale' said Nathan stubbornly. 'It's my cart. It was my grandad's, then my dad's and now its mine'
Every day Aidan watched the cart. Every day he tried a way to get Nathan to let him have it. Nothing worked. And every day he wanted the cart more and more and more. He could hardly think of anything else but having that cart and improving it so it would be the BEST CART IN THE WORLD.

'It ought to be yours, you know'. A voice broke into his thoughts. It was Jessica, she had a cart as well. She was a bit of a stirrer, a trouble maker. She was making trouble now. 'You are the oldest. You are the leader. You ought to have the best cart. Stands to reason.' 'I know,' muttered Aidan.'But how?' 'I've got an idea' said Jessica, 'leave it to me'. Aidan knew that she was trouble. He knew that she might do something bad. But all he could think about was that cart and how much he wanted it. 'Go on then' he said.

It was horrible. Jessica arranged a race with five carts. She made sure that two of the carts were run off the road. Then the drivers claimed that Nathan had pushed them off. 'He cheated!' one of them said. 'He did' agreed the other.  'and  I got badly hurt'. And everyone turned against Nathan. 'We don't like cheats round here' they cried. 'You don't deserve to have a cart'. And they took Nathan's cart off him. 'I know' said jessica, as if an idea had just struck her - 'lets give the cart to Aidan'. And with a roar the kids all carried the cart to Aidan. Nathan crept back home in tears. It was the worst day of his life.

Nathan's cart doesn't look the same any more. For a start it now has 'Aidan' written on the side in big blue letters. It has a roof. It has amazing new wheels and proper gears. No-one can beat Aidan at cart racing any more. Nathan watches quietly out of his bedroom window as the cart flies down the bank. But Aidan doesn't really feel happy. He has won the cart, he can win all the races. But he doesn't really feel that he has won at all...

Its not fair! Its not a story with a happy ending. How would you like to see it end?
Aidan had a choice. He could have said 'no' to jessica's schemes but he went along with it.
We have a choice through life, to put ourselves first, or others first. To do what is good, or to do what is wrong.
Jesus came to show us the right way to live. He put us before himself every step of the way. He took the side of those who have been treated unfairly and spoke out against wrong. Jesus forgives us all we have done wrong, he sets us free to try and do good in the future.
And he gave us a present - what?
the Holy Spirit - to help us do what is right
- to help us see situations that are wrong and help to make a change (playground, homeless, Jubilee 2000)