Online Service – 01/05/2020

Sunday, 3rd of May, 2020

Rev. Dr. Les Hewitt

My name is Les Hewitt.
 I am a retired Minister and
  a Member of the Keiraview Uniting Church.

It is my privilege to present this service of worship today
 for Sunday, 3rd May, 2020

This is the First Sunday of the Month
 and would normally include The Sacrament of Communion.

However, as people are watching this service at different times,
 and in different circumstances,
I thought that it would be better that we wait until we are all
 gathered together again as a Congregation
  and can share the Sacrament together.

I wish to thank Khairul Hamdan and Danny Ivanovski for
 making this broadcast possible.

Christ Candle

Our Christ Candle has been lit to remind us
 that Jesus is the “Light of the World”…
  and we Celebrate that His Risen presence is with us.

Call to Worship

 “Jesus is the Good Shepherd;
  the sheep hear his voice
   and He calls His flock by name.”
       – John 10:3

Opening Prayer

Most loving God,
 in Jesus, who gave His life for the sheep,
 You have opened to us
 the way towards eternal life.

Help us to know Jesus the Good Shepherd,
 that we may be able to recognise His voice
 among the babble of voices that we hear;
 and, the knowing His voice,
 may we have the courage
  to follow wherever He leads us,
 that our lives may be open
 to the limitless life
  which You offer to Your children.

This we pray,
 in the Name of our Good Shepherd,
 Jesus, our brother, and our Lord. Amen

Hymn: Glory be to God the Father

  1. Glory be to God the Father,
    glory be to God the Son,
    glory be to God the Spirit,
        God almighty, Three in One!
        Glory, glory, glory, glory,
        while eternal ages run.

  2. Glory be to him who loved us,
    washed us from each spot and stain;
    glory be to him who bought us,
        made us kings with him to reign;
        glory, glory, glory, glory
        to the Lamb that once was slain.
  1. Glory to the king of angels,
    glory to the church’s king,
    glory to the king of nations,
        heaven and earth, your praises bring;
        glory, glory, glory, glory
        to the King of Glory bring.

  2. ‘Glory, blessing, praise eternal!’
    thus the choir of angels sings;
    ‘Honour, riches, power, dominion!’
        thus its praise creation brings;
        glory, glory, glory, glory
        glory to the King of kings!

Psalm 23 - Good News Bible

1 The LORD is my shepherd;
  I have everything I need.

2  He lets me rest in fields of green grass
       and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.

3 He gives me new strength.
  He guides me in the right paths,
        as he has promised.

4 Even if I go through the deepest darkness,
       I will not be afraid, LORD,
        for you are with me.
  Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.

5 You prepare a banquet for me,
       where all my enemies can see me;
 you welcome me as an honoured guest
       and fill my cup to the brim.

6 I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;
       and your house will be my home as long as I live.

                This is the Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God

A Word for the Young People… and the "Young at Heart"

Two Sheep Dogs

A farmer owned two sheep dogs…
 One was a Border Collie named “Cobber”.

Cobber was a nice Dog…
 He was not much more than a PUP.
  And he was not all that useful as a sheep dog.

Cobber the Collie would rush off to work with the sheep
 – but once he got among the sheep…
  Cobber would round them up into
    the corner of a paddock…
     and just run around them.

Then no matter how much the farmer whistled and called…
    Cobber never looked back to his master for further instruction…

      He just ran around annoying he sheep… and barking at them.

But the other dog was a Kelpie named “Blue”.

The farmer would send Blue… off to work with the sheep…
 – but once he got among the sheep …
  Blue would look back towards his master
         for on-going instructions.

 He could draft… or muster the sheep…
  and he was always listening for further instructions.

He could take the sheep through a gate…
 put them through a race… that’s two fences close to each other…
  and bring them up to the shearing shed.

Blue was a great helper…
 because he always listened for the directions of his master.

Jesus called… Simon Peter… Andrew… James… and John…
  and others… to be His Disciples.

And they heard the Master’s call…
 and listened for His voice…
  and they became faithful Disciples

Now Jesus, our master, calls us to be his Disciples.

Not just to rush about doing what we think is best…
 but to always be listening for His gentle voice
  to guide us into what we should be doing with our life.

Click here for the link to the children’s activity sheet.

The Lord is My Shepherd

Father Paul Gurr

The Lord is my Shepherd, and I want to follow,
wherever he leads me, wherever he goes.
Over the mountains, the waters and by-ways,
valleys and highways he’s waiting for me.

Refrain:  I want to go to meet him there, to lay myself down in his love.
    The Lord is my shepherd, and I want to follow,
    wherever he leads me, wherever he goes.

And while on the journey to where we are going,
he promised to be there to help us along.
And over the mountains we’ll walk on together,
to know all the wonders he’s given to me

Refrain:  I want to go to meet him there, to lay myself down in his love.
    The Lord is my shepherd, and I want to follow,
    wherever he leads me, wherever he goes.

Prayer of Confession

Merciful God,
 we have sinned in what we have thought and said,
  in the wrong we have done,
   and in the good we have not done.

We have sinned in ignorance;
 we have sinned in weakness;
  we have sinned through our own deliberate fault.

We repent and turn to you.
 Forgive us, for our Saviour Christ’s sake,
  and renew our lives to the glory of your name.

Declaration of Forgiveness

Minister: Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
 Hear then the word of grace
  and the assurance of pardon:

Your sins are forgiven.
 Response: Thanks be to God 

John 10:1-16 Good News Bible

The Parable of the Shepherd

1 Jesus said, “I am telling you the truth: the man who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who goes in through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him; the sheep hear his voice as he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out.
4 When he has brought them out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow someone else; instead, they will run away from such a person, because they do not know his voice.”
6 Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what he meant.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

7 So Jesus said again, “I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the gate. Whoever comes in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness.
11 “I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. 12 When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep. 14-15 I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. 16 There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Hymn: In Christ Alone

Virtual Choir # 3 A Cappella

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

Sermon: The Good Shepherd of the Sheep

I Guess I don’t know a lot about sheep.
I see them in the paddocks as I go along the road ;

And I have seen farmers hand feed their sheep
in drought conditions.

Over the years, I’ve paid the odd visit
to a woolshed… and seen the shearing.

I’ve watched my wife Lynette comb the burs from strands of wool…
and then spin the fleece for a jumper.

And of course I’ve seen Lynette knitting jumpers for me…
our 5 sons… and 3 daughters-in-law…
for our 9 grandchildren… and 5 great-grandchildren…
Also for other people… including our neighbour’s baby son (Leo)
and even occasionally… for herself.

I’ve eaten my share of roast lamb… and the odd chop or two…
and I’m rather partial to crumbed cutlets…..

And once… I even played the part…
of dressing-up as a sheep in a Church concert….
while the men of the Parish threatened me with clippers…
as they sang “Click go the shears”!

But, I make no claim to know all that much about sheep.

However, I do know they were very important
to the people of Biblical times.

The picture of the Good Shepherd
with the lamb in his arms…
often in a stained glass window…
is from a culture other than our own.

Certainly the Australian farmer cares about his sheep…
and there are always a few bottle-fed lambs
around the farm house.

However we take the wool from the sheep…
and then most of them finish up on our dinner tables…

Except, of course, for those especially bred
for wool production;
for them, that remains their primary purpose.

In Biblical times, however, sheep were kept mainly for their milk
and their wool… so their lives were longer.

The shepherd and the sheep were together
for something like 8 to 10 years.

An Eastern Shepherd called his sheep by name.
In order to do that, the shepherd must be able to distinguish
one sheep from another.

Those sheep were all individuals in the eyes of the shepherd…
they were not merely seen as “part” of the flock.

Due to the small size of the average flock,
each sheep was known by name.

The names given to the sheep
were more descriptive than anything else.
Names like “Brown Leg”… “Black Ears”…
and I guess “Patch”.

So a good shepherd… called his sheep by name
and every sheep knew that they were under the protection
of the shepherd.

The sheep… says Jesus…
hear… and recognise… and know…
the voice of their shepherd.

And each shepherd would have a particular call or cry.

And I have heard the call of a shepherd…
it could be described as 1/2 call… and 1/2 yodel.

The sheep know the call of their shepherd…
and they will answer to none other.

H. V. Morton, who wrote the famous book,
a generation or two ago… entitled “In the Steps of the Master”
tells of how near Bethlehem
he saw two flocks of sheep
put into a cave for the night.

He wondered ‘how on earth’
the shepherds would sort them out
in the morning.

But it was quite simple!
In the morning one of the shepherds
stood a distance away
and gave his own special call.

The sheep knew his voice…
and immediately… his own flock ran to him…
while the others… remained in the cave.

In Palestine… in Biblical times…
the sheep knew the voice of their shepherd
and they responded to it…
and would answer to no others.

As the shepherd… calls his sheep to follow…
so Jesus calls us… to follow in his way.

If we will but follow Him…
He will lead us… to the fullness of life He promised.
He will protect us from Spiritual danger.

So trouble comes when we do not listen to His voice.

Those who allow their ears…
to become dull and inattentive…
wander off in wrong directions…
and please only themselves… to their Spiritual peril..

As such… they can lose their sense of peace and security…
which we can only enjoy when we are in the presence
of the Good Shepherd.

By ourselves… we are helpless…
but… if we listen to His voice… He will gently call us to follow.

The sheep fold mentioned in this passage
was simply a holding pen…
Usually a stone fenced area…
where the sheep could huddle together for protection.

The shepherd himself spends the night where the sheep
are safely gathered…

The shepherd settles down to sleep in the gap…
at the entrance to the fold,
so he literally becomes… the door to the sheep.

Anyone passing by… could not steal the sheep…
and wild animals would balk…
at having to try and sneak past the shepherd.

So the shepherd himself… was actually the gate…
the door to guard against thieves…
robbers… and other dangers.

Jesus said…
“I am come that you might have life in all it’s fullness”

The shepherd himself… leads his flock out of the fold.
For their life is not spent entirely within the sheltered…
and safe confines of the fold.

The fullness of life… is often experienced in the midst of life…
Life… lived amidst the risks of the world.

The Psalmist reminds us…
that the Shepherd… does not leave his flock alone.

He leads them in green pastures…
beside refreshing waters.

And the Gospel also implies… that He leads them…
so as to attract any stray…
or abandoned sheep… into the fold.
so that they too might come to know…
the security of being… one of the flock.

But always…. the Good Shepherd goes before them…
putting Himself at risk… facing up to the dangers.
Only then is He able to lead and direct the sheep
in the pathways that are best.

The image of Jesus… as the Good Shepherd
reminds us of the on-going experiences of life.

The eastern shepherd… led his sheep
from one sheep fold to another…
often over difficult and dangerous terrain

In a similar manner… Jesus Lord and saviour
leads us from security…
into difficult and dangerous territory…

But… as we follow the Good Shepherd… He will lead us…
with love and tenderness towards life in all its fullness.

No matter how difficult life’s journey is for us
if we follow the voice of the Good Shepherd…
and press onward in faith…
He will lead us to a place of security once more.

Following Jesus… the Good Shepherd…
we may also say with confidence…
at the end of life’s journey

“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord… forever.”

I Hear Thy Welcome Voice

Gwahoddiad (Click: Watch this video on YouTube if unavailable)

  1. I hear Thy welcome voice
    That calls me, Lord, to Thee
    For cleansing in Thy precious blood
        That flowed on Calvary
      I am coming Lord!
     Coming now to Thee!
     Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
     That flowed on Calvary!

  2. ‘Tis Jesus calls me on
    To perfect faith and love,
    To perfect hope and peace and trust,
        For earth and heaven above.
     I am coming Lord!
     Coming now to Thee!
     Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
     That flowed on Calvary!
  1. All hail, atoning  blood
    All hail, redeeming grace!
    All hail, the gift of Christ our Lord,
        Our strength and righteousness.
     I am coming Lord!
     Coming now to Thee!
     Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
     That flowed on Calvary!

Prayer for the Dedication of the Offering

Lord Jesus, through our offerings we again affirm our love for You,
 and our commitment to You
  as Lord and Saviour in our lives. 

Use the gifts we present, and the lives we offer,
  that others will come to recognise You
   as the one who gives eternal life.  Amen.

Prayers of Intercession and The Lord's Prayer

Loving heavenly Father we come with grateful hearts
into your presence in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We can say with assurance that The Lord is my shepherd because of
the promise Jesus fulfilled on Calvary.. He said “I am the good
Shepherd and I know my sheep and am known by my own”

Lord today we give you thanks for being able to share in worship
Together by means of modern technology.
We give thanks to you for those whose skills have prepared this time today.
We thank you for Les leading us today and we pray for
Les, Lynette and their family.

We remember Annette Hawken as she undergoes her treatment.
Give her your Peace and comfort. We pray for Nigel, Nathaniel, Sam, Andrew,
Tim and Annette’s mother may they know your Hand
of love, peace and comfort upon them

Lord we are mindful of those of our people from these two congregations who are sick. Carolyn Gold, Kevin McGregor Ronin Whitten
Others only known to you. Our frail aged people and their carers
For Pat and Keith Waller in their bereavement.

Lord we bring to you the Corona virus Pandemic,
all the people who have been effected,
families who have lost loved ones, lost jobs, finances.
We pray for all those giving medical care doctors, nurses, and allied professions.
We ask that those involved in medical research
Will be given the wisdom and perseverance to discover a vaccine

Today we give thanks for the government and opposition members
who are working well together for our benefit and the future of Australia.
Continue to give them wisdom, courage and compassion
as they serve our people and the Nation.
May we do our part in following the guidelines
to be part of the answer in this difficult time in our history

Lord for leaders world wide, we pray that they may look to you for wisdom,
guidance and compassion for all the people they lead and serve.
We remember the World Health Organisation as an important
part to help and guide in this Pandemic.

We pray for all who are suffering persecution in its many forms,
for refugees, those in prison and their families,
the forgotten and marginalised people, Lord have mercy upon them.

Today we remember Robyn Johnson and Owen Hodgson as they serve
at Agape children’s home in Thailand, bless them and keep them well.

Lord as we go into this week may we remember these words from the Psalmist:
“Trust in Him at all times you people, for God is our refuge”

Let us share together in the Lords Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it us in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us in the time of trial, deliver us from evil,
for yours is the Kingdom the power and the glory
For ever and ever. Amen

Hymn: To God be the Glory

Stuart Townend

  1. To God be the glory,
    great things he has done!
    So loved he the world
      that he gave us his Son,
        who yielded his life in atonement for sin,
        and opened the life-gate that all may go in.
            
      Praise the Lord! praise the Lord!
      Let the earth hear His voice!
      Praise the Lord! praise the Lord!
      Let the people rejoice!
      O come to the Father,
       through Jesus the Son;
      and give him the glory!
       great things he has done!

  2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
    to every believer the promise of God!
    And every offender who truly believes,
        that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
      Praise the Lord!
  1. Great things he has taught us,
    great things he has done,
    and great our rejoicing
      through Jesus the Son;
        but purer, and higher, and greater will be
        our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.
            
      Praise the Lord! praise the Lord!
      Let the earth hear His voice!
      Praise the Lord! praise the Lord!
      Let the people rejoice!
      O come to the Father,
       through Jesus the Son;
      and give him the glory!
       great things he has done!

The Benediction

The peace of God, which passes all understanding,
    keep your hearts and minds
  in the knowledge and love of God;
      and of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

And the blessing of God Almighty,
 the Father, the Son,
  and the Holy Spirit, be amongst you,
          and remain with you always. AMEN.