Online worship resources for Sunday 5 July

Welcome to Richmond Uniting’s Worship resources for Sunday 5 July.

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 an audio recording that you can be used for worship at home that includes prayer, the bible readings for 5 July and discussion. You can listen to this with others or on your own.

This week, our fifth Sunday after Pentecost, we are invited to explore Matthew 11 and dive deeply into John the Baptist’s crisis of faith and how Jesus responds. In this text we discover that here Jesus images himself as Woman Wisdom, the Female Divine figure from Jewish traditions, as he defends his actions of feasting with, and befriending, sinners.

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

Music Suggestions for Worship:

God God’s Self is Present by Gerhard Tersteegen, translated by Honor Mary Thwaites 
(121 Together in Song)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5b5YqFQzlw 

I heard the voice of Jesus Say by Horatius Bonar
(585 Together in Song)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV17Ak6w_WA

Wondering questions

  • I wonder how you react to the New Testament evidence that Jesus is celebrated in the language and imagery of the Female Divine, Woman Wisdom?
  • I wonder how your prayer life might be changed, if you imagine Jesus as the embodied presence of this female divine figure Woman Wisdom? (see also Matthew 23.37-39).
  • Is your image of God closer to the John the Baptist’s image of slashing and burning or is it shaped by Jesus’ embodiment of Divine reality as the healer, forgiver and feast maker? What might need to change for you – if you are a follower of Jesus (not John)?
  • Jesus, the Coming One, focuses on healing, liberating, nourishing  and befriending – as the Divine vindicated deeds. What does this mean for our priorities as a church and as followers of Jesus?

Resources for Exploring Jesus and the Female Divine

Sally Douglas Early Church Understandings of Jesus as the Female Divine: The Scandal of the Scandal of Particularity: https://www.amazon.com.au/Early-Church-Understandings-Female-Divine/dp/0567667146

2016 Synod Bible Study Lectures Video Series: (these include suggested bible readings that can be printed out): https://ctm.uca.edu.au/lay-ministries/woman-wisdom-bible-studies/

Denis Edwards Jesus The Wisdom of God: An Ecological Theology
https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Wisdom-God-Ecological-Theology/dp/1597520500

Beyondering Podcast: https://beyondering.com.au/episode-2-6-sally-douglas/