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READINGS:

Joshua 5:9-12               The first home-cooked meal
Psalm 32                       The joy of forgiveness
2 Corinthians 5:16-21   In Christ is all made new
Luke 15:1-3, 16-32       Two brothers, a goat and a fatted calf

HYMNS:       (Rejoice and Sing RS; Songs of Fellowship SF; Mission Praise (Complete) MP)

RS 366   And can it be?  SF21, MP33
RS 468   Surprised by joy no song can tell
RS 543   Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us   SF321, MP400
RS 552   The King of love my shepherd is    SF533, MP649
RS 663   Love divine, all love's excelling       SF377, MP203
SF   67   Come and see, come and see     MP85
SF 149   Hail, thou once despised Jesus    MP203
SF 197   I am a new creation   MP254
SF 477   Reconciled, I'm reconciled   MP568
SF 631   You did not wait for me

Click here for a dramatic reading based on Luke 15:1-3, 16-32

Click here for  monologue based on Luke 15:13; 16-32


Opening Sentences: (2 Cor. 5:17-18)

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person.
THE PAST IS FORGOTTEN, AND EVERYTHING IS NEW.
God has done it all. He sent Christ to make peace
between himself and us,
AND HE HAS GIVEN US THE WORK OF MAKING PEACE
BETWEEN HIMSELF AND OTHERS.

Prayer of Approach:

Loving God, as we come together to worship you,
rekindle the flame of your gospel in our hearts.

As we come together to hear your word,
fill us to bursting with your wisdom and truth.

As we come together to sing your praises,
ignite our lives with the liveliness of your Spirit.

As we come together, part of the body of Christ,
direct our footsteps to walk more closely in his way.

As we come together, part of the family of humankind,
inspire us to to service in a world full of need.

Loving God, as we come together to worship you,
rekindle the flame of your gospel in our hearts.

Prayer of Confession (based on Psalm 32)

Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp,
and I groaned all day long.
Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me,
and my strength was gone as in the summer heat.

Loving God, we know that the weight of sin in our lives drags us down.
Without the new start that your forgiveness brings:
                          our witness is weak;
                          our discipleship is faltering;
                          our joy is diminished;
                          our hope quickly fades.

Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp,
and I groaned all day long.
Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me,
and my strength was gone as in the summer heat.

Loving God, our confession is overdue, we need your forgiveness as
our thirst needs to be quenched in the summer heat.

So I confessed my sins and told them all to you.
I said, "I'll tell the Lord each one of my sins."
Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.

So, in the quiet, we confess our sins...

Our God, you bless everyone
whose sins you forgive and wipe away.
You bless them by saying,
"You told me your sins, without trying to hide them,
and now I forgive you."

Prayers of Intercession: (based on 2 Cor 5:16)

Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

"We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be,
though we once judged Christ in that way."

We pray for nations that are unfairly judged:
              labelled as backward, so that their people may be dismissed;
              labelled as evil, so that their people may be vilified;
              labelled as unspoilt, so that their people may be exploited.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

"We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be,
though we once judged Christ in that way."

We pray for communities that are unfairly judged:
              condemned for the colour of their skin;
              condemned for their unconventional lifestyle;
              condemned for their creed or culture.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

"We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be,
though we once judged Christ in that way."

We pray for people we know who are unfairly judged...
We pray for people whom we judge unfairly...

Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

"God sent Christ to make peace between himself and us,
and he has given us the work of making peace between
himself and others."

May God send each one of us out to play our part in sharing
His peace - among the nations, in our local communities, and
with people we meet in our daily lives. Amen.