Online worship resources for Sunday 1 November

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 1st November 2020. 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’, or a theology group discussion please email richmond.uniting@bigpond.com

Death, the Afterlife and Judgement

On this All Saints Day Rev Dr Sally Douglas invites us to explore the tricky topics of death, the afterlife and judgement. Reflecting on Matthew 5.1-12, Revelation 7.9-17 and Colossians 1.15-20 Sally invites us to engage with the claim that the heart of the universe is kind and that God longs for all things to be reconciled in this life and the life to come.

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:

At the dawning of salvation written by Jock Curle (Together in Song 392)
An instrumental version of the hymn played here by Taryn Harbridge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lfHzMJ6auo

The hymn words are below so you can sing at home:

At the dawning of salvation;
In the morning of the world,
Christ is raised a living banner
by the love of God unfurled.
Through the daylight, through the darkness
Christ leads on his great array:
All the saints and all the sinners
He has gathered on his way.

He is risen in the morning
he is risen from the dead;
he is laughter after sadness,
he is light when night has fled.
He has suffered, he has triumphed,
life is his alone to give:
as he gave it once he gives it
evermore, that we my live.

For the glory of salvation
In the dawn of Easter day
We will praise you, loving father;
We rejoice to sing and pray
With the Son and with the Spirit.
Lead us on, your great array,
Saints and sinners celebrating
Your triumphant love today.

Here is Sufjan Stevens’ version of the hymn Come Thou Fount of the same tune:
Come thou Fount of Every Blessing

Walk in Jerusalem by The Blind Boys of Alabama with Mark Cohn
This song includes the memorable line ‘when I get to heaven I’ll sing and shout and be’ll nobody to turn me out’

Wondering Questions

  • What questions and thoughts emerge for you, as you think about dying and the Christian conviction that death is not the final word, but marks a new beginning in our relationship with God?
  • How do you react to the idea that all things in heaven and earth are reconciled by God (e.g. as proclaimed in the Colossians hymn 1.15-20) and that we are called to live into this divine reality right now: living – as Jesus calls us to – in God’s mercy and humility, justice and peacemaking (Matthew 5.1-12)?

Ben Myers speaks about Jesus’ final judgment like this:

Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead. That will be the best thing that ever happens to us. On that day the weeds in each of us will be separated from the wheat. It will hurt – no doubt it will hurt  – when our self-deceptions are burned away. But the pain of truth heals; it does not destroy. On our judgement day we will be able for the first time to see the truth of our lives, when we see ourselves as loved.’  From  The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism, p. 93-4.

  • How do you react to this idea of ultimate divine judgement?
  • Which saints (people you know who have died, or people from along ago) would you like to remember and give thanks to God for on this All Saints Day?

Additional Resources

Book: The Apostles’ Creed by Ben Myers
Ben Myers The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism. Bellingham: Lexham Press, 2018.

Podcast: Everything Happens with Kate Bowler: https://katebowler.com/podcasts/bishop-michael-curry-the-power-of-ordinary-love/