Home Service for 4th September 2022

Call to worship

There is a place for all of us in God’s family.
No one is excluded, left behind or barred from entry.
Everyone is welcome in God’s family.
No one will be shunned, given the cold shoulder or snubbed.
We and many others are all part of God’s family.


Welcoming God, thank you that we all have a place at your table; thank you that we sit alongside the lowly, the disadvantaged members of our society who are disregarded; thank you that you turn everything upside down and give priority to the poor not the powerful. May we learn more about genuine humility and how to make a place for everyone. Amen.

Please read Luke 14.1,7-14

Jesus is invited to dinner on the sabbath where he is closely watched. He challenges the behaviour of his host and other guests by telling two parables: one reminds people to be humble, and the other to give without necessarily expecting anything in return.

The words exclusion and inclusion are very familiar to us, but these are not modern terms or ideas. In the ancient world, issues of inclusion were also very important. Just as today, being included by the right people allowed someone to move ‘on and up’ in society. But Jesus has a very different message. He challenges the practice of making sure you are in the right place at the right time, and tells those around him to seek instead a life of humility. Not only that, he says they should actively seek to include and give priority to those who were excluded by society. For Jesus that meant the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Who does it mean for us?

A prayer of confession

Forgive us, O God, for those times, too often, when we have felt
ourselves to be more important than others.
Forgive us, O God, for those times when we have excluded people from a welcome.
Forgive us, O God, when we have seen others as of less worthy than us.
Forgive us, O God, when we have failed to be hospitable.
Forgive us, O God, when we have ignored need on our doorsteps.
Forgive us, O God, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of forgiveness

O God, why you forgive us when we treat others badly, we do not know, but you do. Why you offer us such forgiveness amazes us day by day. We are not worthy of your love, time and attention and yet we hear echoes of your words: ‘You are forgiven, go and be my people’. Amen.


A prayer of praise and thanksgiving

To you, O God, be all praise and glory, this day and forever more.
From the moulding of creation, to the breathing of new life,
you have been worthy of praise.
For the giving of your Word and the blessing of the prophets,
you have been worthy of praise.
For the gift of Jesus and the blessing of the Holy Spirit,
you have been worthy of praise.
For the Scriptures, written and explained, you are worthy of praise.
For your abiding love, peace and presence, you are worthy of praise.
For your open arms to each and everyone, you are worthy of praise.
For your generosity that abounds, you are worthy of praise.
For all of this and so much more, beyond our imagining and comprehension,
we give you thanks and praise.


A sending out prayer

Lord, go with us today as we think about including all people.
Inspire us to pray for those in our own neighbourhood who are
often excluded.
Inspire us to be active in seeking to include others and find a
place for everyone in our community.
Thank you that no one is beyond your love and care.
Help us to be people who live and spread that message.



Suggested listening

Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest – www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5wEHeom0SE

At the name of Jesus – www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7w-tDjlpgk

Meekness and majesty – www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXggFYQQTJ0

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