The words God speaks are the life and sustenance of all that exists.
The life Jesus gives is the re-creation and renewed birth of all that is broken and worn.
The Spirit’s stirring in our souls is the inspiration for creativity, compassion, joy, and community.
Life-giving, life-restoring, life-fulfilling God. May our whole lives be worship. In all things, may we seek to connect with and reflect God’s love.
Confession & Words of Assurance
Eternal God, Creator, Redeemer and Comforter, hear us as we confess our wrongdoings. Often we wear ourselves down with a pretence of righteousness. Today, we throw off this attempt, simply admitting our failure to live in the way of Christ. Amen
Friends, hear this great news: God continually shows us another way. God’s mercy is as wide as the ocean. God’s desire to forgive is as strong as the mighty wind. So let your hearts receive the outpouring of God’s love through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus and Nicodemus
John 3 There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”
4 Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”
5 Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ 8 God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said, “How are these things possible?”
10 “Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? 11 I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Human One. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One be lifted up 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. 17 God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
We are a world that is desperate for You, God.
When powers struggle for dominance,
and war, oppression and abuse result; when groups of people oppose one another because of ideology, religion or culture. We need a God who is bigger than ourselves, and our personal interests.
When people are disregarded and devalued because of poverty, geography or disease; when compassion and justice is withheld to some because of sexuality, race or gender. We need a Saviour who is more compassionate than we are who includes even those we would exclude.
When resources are mismanaged and abused, and the world and its creatures are destroyed; when motivation is scarce and creativity is in short supply to address the challenges that we face. We need a Spirit who is more powerful and more creative than we could ever be.
Lord God, Loving Saviour, Empowering Spirit, we offer You these prayers because we need You so desperately.
Captivate us, call us and fill us, that we may be carriers of Your eternal life to this world that You love so dearly.
All of these prayers and so may more we pull together and pray the prayer tradition has taught us…
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
May blessings of the dynamically unchanging Trinity be ours! May God the Parent’s enduring love accompany us in our lives; may Jesus himself strengthen us to be co-builders of his kingdom; and may the Spirit indwell and inspire us on our journey.
Thanks be to God.