Fourth Sunday of Lent
Many thanks to Werner Weigl for leading our worship service this morning.
30 March 2014
¯ THIS MORNING'S HYMN'S OF PRAISE:
887, 442, 387, 263 (V 1), 335, 127, 851.
FIRST BIBLE READING:
1 Samuel 16: 1-13
'Samuel anoints David as king of Israel'
The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you go on grieving over Saul? I have rejected him as king of Israel. But now get some olive oil and go to Bethlehem, to a man named Jesse, because I have chosen one of his sons to be king."
"How can I do that?" Samuel asked. "If Saul hears about it, he will kill me!" The LORD answered, "Take a calf with you and say that you are there to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.
Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will tell you what to do. You will anoint as king the man I tell you to."
Samuel did what the LORD told him to do and went to Bethlehem, where the city leaders came trembling to meet him and asked, "Is this a peaceful visit, seer?"
"Yes," he answered. "I have come to offer a sacrifice to the LORD. Purify yourselves and come with me." He also told Jesse and his sons to purify themselves, and he invited them to the sacrifice.
When they arrived, Samuel saw Jesse's son Eliab and said to himself, "This man standing here in the LORD's presence is surely the one he has chosen."
But the LORD said to him, "Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart."
Then Jesse called his son Abinadab and brought him to Samuel. But Samuel said, "No, the LORD hasn't chosen him either."
Jesse then brought Shammah. "No, the LORD hasn't chosen him either," Samuel said.
In this way Jesse brought seven of his sons to Samuel. And Samuel said to him, "No, the LORD hasn't chosen any of these." Then he asked him, "Do you have any more sons?" Jesse answered,
"There is still the youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep." "Tell him to come here," Samuel said. "We won't offer the sacrifice until he comes."
So Jesse sent for him. He was a handsome, healthy young man, and his eyes sparkled. The LORD said to Samuel, "This is the one---anoint him!"
Samuel took the olive oil and anointed David in front of his brothers.
Immediately the spirit of the LORD took control of David and was with him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.
SECOND BIBLE READING:
Ephesians 5: 8-14
'Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world'.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'
You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord's people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light, for it is the light that brings a rich harvest of every kind of goodness, righteousness, and truth.
Try to learn what pleases the Lord.
Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light.
(It is really too shameful even to talk about the things they do in secret.) And when all things are brought out to the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed; for anything that is clearly revealed becomes light.
That is why it is said, "Wake up, sleeper, and rise from death, and Christ will shine on you."
John 9: 1-41
'Jesus opens the eyes of a man born blind'
As Jesus went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means "Sent").
So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?" Some claimed that he was.
Others said, "No, he only looks like him."
But he himself insisted, "I am the man."
"How then were your eyes opened?" they asked.
He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see."
"Where is this man?" they asked him.
"I don't know," he said.
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. "He put mud on my eyes," the man replied, "and I washed, and now I see."Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath."
But others asked, "How can a sinner perform such signs?" So they were divided.
Then they turned again to the blind man, "What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened."
The man replied, "He is a prophet."
They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents. "Is this your son?" they asked. "Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?"
"We know he is our son," the parents answered, "and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself."
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. "Give glory to God by telling the truth," they said. "We know this man is a sinner."
He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"
Bible readings for Sunday 6th April 2014:
Ezekiel 37: 1-14, Romans 8: 6 -11, John 11: 1- 45
NOTES ON THE READINGS:
1 SAMUEL 16: 1-13:
King Saul, the first king of Israel anointed by the prophet Samuel, had rejected God's will for his administration and was thus rejected by God as king. God had rested his spirit on Saul at his anointing but was now sending Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a new future king. Samuel's preferred choice among the sons of Jesse was declined by the Lord. God's choice rested on the inmost heart rather than the outward appearance. The boy David was not even old enough to have been invited to the occasion. Brought in from the field, this shepherd boy was anointed by Samuel to be God's future ruler over Israel.
EPHESIANS 5: 8-14:
The Ephesian Christians were converts who had previously lived in paganism. Paul reminds them that because Christ is the light of the world, those who live in Christ also live in his light. The darkness of paganism has its own deeds and lifestyle. Christ' s light has its fruits in those who live in it. Not only are Christians to live in the light, but they are also to use it to expose darkness and bring it into the light.
JOHN 9: 1-41:
Jesus' miracle of giving sight to the man born blind symbolically demonstrated the truth of his light. This was met with anger by the religious leaders of the Jews.
They were blinded by obsession with a humanised and legalised style of God's law. They thus closed their eyes to Jesus' messiahship and the truth of his teaching. The man's parents and neighbours didn't want to know anything in the face of the Pharisees' aggressive witch-hunting tactics.
Left on his own, the man persistently answered the plain simple truth but was eventually cast out of the synagogue (excommunicated) for his honesty and testimony concerning Jesus. Hearing of this, Jesus sought him out, affirmed the man in his action, and then confirmed his messiahship to him. Those who are determined to remain in their rejection harden themselves in their blindness and thereby remain in their sin.
1. This week in the Lord's Service- 30th - 6th April:
Tuesday - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Wednesday - 11.00 am - Lenten worship service at 'Our Redeemer' - 7.30 pm at St John's Yarra St.
Wednesday - 4.30 pm - Confirmation class.
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time to learn songs for the Sunday.
Saturday - 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service - (with Holy Communion).
2. Easter Worship Services:
Maundy Thursday 17th April - 2.30 pm with Holy Communion, followed by fellowship afternoon tea and 7.30 pm with Holy Communion.
Good Friday 18th April - 9.30 am with H.C.
Easter Sunday 20th April - 7.00 am and 9.30 am with Holy Communion. Easter egg hunt to follow.
3. 'Operation Christmas Child ':
As announced last Sunday, when shopping at Woolworth's, if anyone is not collecting the 'DreamWorks Hero' cards for family, Peggy Werner
would love them to be passed onto her for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.
Any enquiries, please see Peggy.
4. Asylum Seeker Support Coordinator:
St.Paul's Lutheran Church Grovedale is seeking to appoint an Asylum Seeker Support Coordinator.
This is a part time (10 hours/week) position for a fixed term of 12 months. The position will facilitate spiritual and material assistance to asylum seekers in the
immediate community by: being a primary contact for asylum seekers moving into our immediate area, assessing the needs of asylum seekers, facilitating
the practical support and friendships needed by the asylum seekers and guiding them to an understanding of the Christian faith and encouraging them to Christian worship. The position reports directly to the Pastor of the parish. Applicants must be members of the LCA. The position will be remunerated as a LCA level 2 lay worker.
Applications close 14 April 2014.
Coming up for your diary:
Thursday 10th April - 10.30 am - Ladies Fellowship Group.
Tuesday 29th April - 7.00 pm - Combined meeting of Church Council, Deacons. Worship Team and other interested members, (including those persons involved/ interested in our Youth Ministry) re vision for future spiritual direction of 'Our Redeemer'.
Friday 30th May - 9.30 am - Worship Team.