Call to worship
We are the children of God,
Not by birth, but by adoption,
We gather here in our family home,
To celebrate the love our father has for us
Let us worship God.
Hymn Together in Song 219 Jesus comes with all his grace
Prayer of Adoration and Confession
We thank you for the wonder that you call us,
Not to be merely servants,
Nor simply worshippers
But to be your own children.
You not only created us,
But you also bought us with Jesus
Invited us into your home
And made us your family.
Sometimes, we’re not the part of the family tree you’d boast about.
Sometimes, through our lack of care, our lack of love,
We do embarrass the family name – your name.
Teach us to be children you could be proud of,
Help us to learn from our mistakes,
To grow to be more like you,
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Declaration of Forgiveness
Hymn Together in Song 650 Brother, sister, let me serve you
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
It’s only a brief reflection today – I wanted to leave the most possible time to enjoy our guests’ singing.
So there’s two things I want us to notice in this passage.
The first is that human families aren’t perfect.
We’ve just read about Jesus human family turning up, while he’s in the midst of his ministry work, thinking he’s gone crazy and wanting to take him home by force. And Jesus’ response is to disown them – “if you’re going to carry on like that, you’re not my family.” It’s not that he doesn’t love them. On the cross, he asks one of his disciples to take the responsibility of a son and help care for his mother.
It’s not that he doesn’t love them. But he is very upfront about telling them they’ve got it all wrong. They may have had his best interests at heart, wanting to take him safely home to Nazareth, not really understanding what he was doing.
Human families are like that. Sometimes we do some really hurtful things, while trying to be caring. Sometimes we just don’t understand each other. Sometimes we argue. And in some families the hurt is so bad that the breach can never be mended. It’s sad, but sometimes that’s just how it is.
We’re not personally failures if our families aren’t perfect. Jesus’ human family wasn’t perfect.
The other thing we note in this passage is that we are not only part of our human family.
Jesus claims us for his brothers and sisters if we live according to God’s will. OK we’re human, we don’t do that perfectly. But the interesting thing about this family, is that a part of it is perfect.
When we use the image of “father” for God, or “mother” for the Holy Spirit (as in being born of the spirit), of Jesus as our brother (because he claims us as his brothers and sisters) some people have a problem with that. Their experience of human parents, of human family is one that just isn’t good.
But this is the difference. Even Jesus’ human family messed up. God doesn’t mess up. When we’re part of God’s family, we’re always loved, always welcome, always forgiven, always allowed to have another try at getting things right.
We can’t judge our place in God’s family in accordance with the human family we are part of. Instead, God’s family gives us a model for our human families to aspire to.
Prayers of the People
In a time of silence we, your adopted children, pray for our family and our world.
You know our thoughts, and wants, our hopes and desires. You know our greatest needs, and the needs of all your children.
Be with this world of yours, and all your children we pray, In the name of Jesus who makes ups part of your family, Amen.
Passing the Peace
Hymn Together in Song 514 Be known to us in breaking bread
Service of Holy Communion
Hymn Together in Song 531 Sent forth by God’s blessing