02 May Online worship resources for Sunday 3 May
Welcome to Richmond Uniting’s Worship resources for Sunday 3 May.
We are currently not worshipping as a gathered community due to the COVID–19 pandemic – but we are still worshipping together in new ways. Below you will find a brief film introduction to the online worship, as well as an audio recording that you can be used for worship at home that includes prayer, the bible readings for 3 May and discussion. You can listen to this with others or on your own.
This week in our audio worship for Easter 4, we wrestle with the metaphor that Jesus shares in John’s Gospel, of the sheepfold, the thugs, the sheep and the gate (John 10.1-10). In particular, we explore the tension of the paradoxical reality of human violence and the Divine’s invitation into abundant life.
Listen to this week’s service using the embedded player below. You can also copy this link into your podcast player of choice if you would like to receive updates as they are released: https://anchor.fm/s/c70d97c/podcast/rss
Suggestions for Music for Worship:
The Lord is my Shepherd from the Scottish Psalter
(Together in Song 10)
Paul Kelly’s version of Psalm 23 ‘Meet me in the middle of the air’
Won’t be afraid by Upside Down Kingdom
Wondering questions for the week
I wonder where you feel most safe – least afraid – most able to be yourself?
What would help you to hold the tension, the paradox, that there are people, systems, and institutions that have violent, selfish intent AND that Source of all, longs to share abundant, homecoming, effervescent life with you?
How might you practice holding the truth of this paradox?
Psalm 23 (NRSV) – an affirmation of faith as we shelter at home
23:1a The LORD is my shepherd,
You are my loving shepherd, and I celebrate my place in your flock,
even while we are sitting apart from each other
you gather us together in love, you know us and call us by name.
23:1b I shall not want.
While around me I see panic about not having enough,
I am reminded that you provide what I need;
through the memory of your goodness,
through the kindness of my neighbours,
through your living word enfolding me.
23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
In this time of sheltering at home,
I can enjoy the blessing of rest and the delight of immersing in stillness
knowing that I am not alone,
your gentle encouragement fills me, I drink deeply, until I sleep.
23:3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
You refresh me with wonder, and I notice small mercies;
soft textures, rich words, melodic laughter, sweet sounds.
You direct my thinking and walking, my working and talking
so that I might bring a blessing in your name.
23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff– they comfort me.
Even when I am afraid and lonely, at the end of my coping, you are with me,
steadying my breathing, bringing me back, reminding me of your strength beside me.
23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
You lay out a feast of goodness when I open my eyes to see it,
dismissing the doubters with your abundance.
You bless me with generous, gurgling grace and I can’t hold it all within me.
It spills out, flowing to others, drenching them in delight.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long
Bless whatever happens in my shadow, each day, while I keep my face to the light.
Living in your household I am recognised, loved, and held, each moment and for ever. Amen
Rev Jennie Gordon, March 2020 – permission granted to use freely.