Online worship resources for Sunday 6 September

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 for worship at home that includes prayer, the bible readings and discussion for September 6th. You can listen to this with others or on your own. You may like to light a candle as you begin, and have paper and pen nearby to make your own notes or art responses during this worship service.

If you would like to connect with the Richmond Uniting Church community in other ways as well as in audio worship, for example for Midday Prayers or Zoom ‘morning teas’ please email: richmond.uniting@bigpond.com to register your interest. 

When Christians confuse loving enemies with being nice or tolerating abuse

This week we explore the epic story of Israel being liberated from Egypt in Exodus 12.1-14 and we explore Matthew 18.15-20. Rev Dr Sally Douglas invites us to think about evil, liberation and what Jesus’ call to love enemies really means. Challenging any notion that loving enemy is about being nice or tolerating abusive behaviour, in sacred text we discover Jesus’ call into fierce, liberating love that exposes evil and calls violence and abuse to account.

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:

Let my people go (African American traditional)
This version sung by Louis Armstrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf6jBP4YXwo

and/or

Hold on (African American traditional) 
This version by The Kuumba Singers and Bobby McFerrin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWEB64ewzzc

God of Freedom God of Justice by Shirley Murray
Together in Song 657
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-skai2A_Zok

and/or

Oh Freedom (African American traditional)
This version sung by the Golden Gospel Singers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veiJLhXdwn8

Wondering Questions

  • How much have you been taught (in words or actions) that loving neighbour or enemy is about being ‘nice’ or ‘keeping the peace’? Does your understanding of loving enemy need to change in light of Jesus’ words in Matthew 18.15-20?
  • Can you think of an example of a person who has demonstrated fierce love like Jesus – calling inappropriate behaviour to account – but refusing to go the way of violence, gossip or retaliation? What can you learn from this person?
  • What might sustain you, as you practice letting go of the idol of being nice, and learn to speak disruptive, loving truth?