February 17, 2019




We have wondered about love, reflected on faith
and now we think about hope.
Is hope wishful thinking, or determined and active?
Does hope spring from within us or come to us from without?
Is hope only about the good and the beautiful?
Or can it carry us through dark days and dull moments?
May hope be our song on the journey of life.

PROCESSIONAL HYMN ‘Celebrate the Life we’re given’
Music: WOV 577 Austria Words: © 2015 Susan Jones

Celebrate the Life we’re given,
grace on grace, where love abounds;
Celebrate the world around us,
blue and green, where birdsong sounds.
Celebrate sun’s rise and setting
‘cross the harbour, over hills.
Everything reflects its making
beauty, love, joy; each heart fills.

We choose to live lives of meaning
even when the sky turns grey.
We choose to continue journeying
cis and trans, bi, straight and gay.
We choose wrestling doubt or danger,
trials may shadow, haunt our way.
But we know that we’re companioned,
Love walks with us, every day.

Kia ora tatou.
Kia ora.

PRAYER AND LORD’S PRAYER Jim Cotter paraphrase on card


We send you to the Rainbow Room programme to hear stories, ask questions and have fun together.
We bless you. Amen.

Feel free to pass the peace with those nearby or move to greet others further away. Passing the peace consists of shaking hands and saying “Peace be with you.” The response is “Peace be with you” or just “And with you.” Or, simply saying ‘Hello” is a good idea. Also feel free to simply observe if you wish!

THE WORD IN TEXTS Lois Robertson

Hebrew Bible Jeremiah 17: 7-8

Gospel Luke 6: 17-23

Contemporary reading from “Christian Hope”
https://www.taize.fr/en_article343.html Letter from Taizé: 2003/3
Last updated: 27 July 2004
Another text of Saint Paul’s is even clearer. "Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). Far from being a simple wish for the future with no guarantee that it will come about, Christian hope is the presence of divine love in person, the Holy Spirit, a current of life that carries us to the ocean of the fullness of communion.
How can we root our lives in Christian hope?
Biblical and Christian hope does not mean living in the clouds, dreaming of a better life. It is not merely a projection of what we would like to be or do. It leads us to discover seeds of a new world already present today, because of the identity of our God, because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This hope is, in addition, a source of energy to live differently, not according to the values of a society based on the thirst for possession and competition.
In the Bible, the divine promise does not ask us to sit down and wait passively for it to come about, as if by magic. Before speaking to Abraham about the fullness of life offered to him, God says, "Leave your country and your home for the land I will show you" (Genesis 12:1). To enter into God’s promise, Abraham is called to make of his life a pilgrimage, to undergo a new beginning.

For the Word in scripture,
for the Word among us,
for the Word within us,
we give thanks

REFLECTION ‘Hope – assurance everything will be alright?’ Susan Jones

HYMN FFS 41 ‘Let my spirit always sing’
Words: © 1996 Shirley Murray
Music by Rusty Edwards © 1996 Hope Publishing Company

Let my spirit always sing,
though my heart be wintering,
though the season of despair
gave no sign that you are there,
God to whom my days belong,
let there always be a song.

Though my body be confined,
let your word engage my mind,
let the inner eye discern
how much more there is to learn,
see a world becoming whole
through the window of the soul.

Let your wisdom grace my years,
choose my words and chase my fears,
give me wit to welcome change,
to accept, and not estrange,
let my joy be full and deep
in the knowledge that I keep.

Let my spirit always sing,
to your Spirit answering,
through the silence, through the pain
know my hope is not in vain,
like a feather on your breath
trust your love, through life and death.

OFFERING PRAYER ( Affirmation said together) from Liturgies for the Journey of Life
by Dorothy McRae McMahon, SPCK, London, 2000
The people of God have a human face
we laugh, we weep, we wait in hope.
We lift our eyes
and stub our toes,
we love,
and struggle,
we fail,
we stand
and always we stand
on trembling ground.

But God is God
and Jesus is the Christ
and the Spirit
will lift up our feet.
God is in the centre.
God is at our endings.
Nothing lies beyond
the love of God in Christ
We recognise and bless the gifts brought to the table, and those which wing
their way electronically from our banks to the church’s account.

People share notices and visitors are welcomed. If you have a notice not already in the order of service, please move to the front row, ready to speak briefly from the lectern.
For the benefit of newcomers, please introduce yourself before you begin.

HYMN FFS 50 ‘Nothing is lost on the breath of God’
Words & Music by Colin Gibson
Words & Music © 1996 Hope Publishing Co.

Nothing is lost on the breath of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's breath is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No feather too light, no hair too fine,
no flower too brief in its glory;
no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air,
but is counted and told in God's story.

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God sees with love and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No journey too far, no distance too great,
no valley of darkness too blinding;
no creature too humble, no child too small
for God to be seeking, and finding.

Nothing is lost to the heart of God,
nothing is lost for ever;
God's heart is love, and that love will remain,
holding the world for ever.
No impulse of love, no office of care,
no moment of life in its fulness;
no beginning too late, no ending too soon,
but is gathered and known in God's goodness.


We think today of the people of Malaysia and Brunei and we pray for understanding between people of different faiths and religions. In New Zealand, we remember those in Parliament, and today we name Denise Lee, (Maungakiekie electorate) and Iain Lees-Galloway (Palmerston North electorate). Here in the Central Presbytery, we pray for the leaders and people of Inglewood United Church.


HYMN ‘We shall go out with hope of resurrection’
Words by June Boyce-Tillman © 1993 Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Music: CH4 729 Londonderry Air
We shall go out with hope of resurrection;
we shall go out, from strength to strength go on;
we shall go out and tell our stories boldly;
tales of a love that will not let us go.
We'll sing our songs of wrongs that can be righted;
we'll dream our dream of hurts that can be healed;
we'll weave a cloth of all the world united
within the vision of new life who sets us free.
We'll give a voice to those who have not spoken;
we'll find the words for those whose lips are sealed;
we'll make the tunes for those who sing no longer,
expressive love alive in every heart.
We'll share our joy with those who are still weeping,
raise hymns of strength for hearts that break in grief,
we'll leap and dance the resurrection story
including all within the circles of our love.



THANK YOU David Dobson
our musician today

Unless otherwise specified all our music is used by permission CCLI Licence 341550
Words/music to new hymns and gathering statement, prayers and affirmation are original unless acknowledged. If Susan Jones is the worship leader any such liturgy will have been written by her. These words can be used in other worship and small group situations without seeking permission. Please acknowledge the source.

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