A Curious Covenant

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Introduction

We have come together to meet with God, to express our fellowship in the Lord Jesus, and to take our part in the building of his church. We will praise and thank him for his goodness towards us, hear from his holy word, and pray for the world, and for ourselves. Especially today, Good Friday, we thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Let’s pray this Good Friday prayer together:

Almighty God, look with mercy on this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, to be given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
Amen.


Praise

Hebrews 13:15 encourages us with these words:

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

We will now be led in praise of Jesus our Saviour by our musicians!


Bible reading

Let us pray as we prepare to hear from the Bible.

Almighty God, we thank you for the gift of your holy word. May it be a lantern to our feet, a light to our paths, and strength to our lives. Take us and use us to love and serve all people in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.

Genesis 15 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord’s Covenant With Abram

15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,[a]
your very great reward.[b]

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.”

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?” So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”


Sermon

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, will now deliver the sermon


Prayers

In 1 Peter 2:24 we learn how

Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds we have been healed.

So let us acknowledge our failure and disobedience, and return to the Lord with repentance and faith.

Most merciful God, we humbly admit that we need your help. We confess that we have wandered from your way: we have done wrong, and we have failed to do what is right. You alone can save us. Have mercy on us: wipe out our sins and teach us to forgive others. Bring forth in us the fruit of the Spirit that we may live as disciples of Christ. This we ask in the name of Jesus our Saviour.
Amen. 

The Bible teaches us that God is slow to anger and full of compassion. He forgives all who humbly repent and trust in his Son as Saviour and Lord. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 
Amen.

You now have an option. Either allow Tim Young to lead you in prayer, or pray through our weekly prayer points below. Finish with the Lord’s Prayer.

Our weekly prayer points:

  • Pray for those researchers who are working on a vaccine for COVID-19. Pray for significant breakthroughs and for a safe and effective product.
  • Give thanks for the dropping number of new infections here in Australia and in other countries too. Pray the decline will continue.
  • Pray for countries where social distancing is a luxury (especially in Africa), many of which are only now seeing the first infections. Pray they will be spared large outbreaks.
  • Pray for those in our community who are starting to feel the pinch of the economic downturn. Pray this period will be short lived.
  • Pray for students (from those in Kindergarten to post-graduates) who are adapting to learning online. Pray for the teachers too!
  • Pray for the Ongs as they continue to raise funds for their return to Malawi; a difficult period to be doing so!
  • Continue to pray for those working in health: David Loke, Tamara Lam, Mina Nelson, Errol Edge, Emily Carpenter, Sandra Barrett, Maxine Andersson, Alicia Sloman, Kai Zhu, Akane Hansen. Aged care workers are listed below.
  • Please continue in regular prayer for our dear friends who are now in permanent aged-care facilities, particularly at this time of vulnerability because of the Coronavirus: Eion Miller (Regis Hornsby); Eric Lee (Bowden Brae); Marie Neal, Colleen Jeffries, Jane Putt, (Masonic Towers). Also for Veronica Chao, Katherina Bilko and Robin Edmundson who work in this sector. 

Let’s conclude our time of prayer with the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.

Amen.


Announcements


Closing Song

Our musicians will lead us in song as we once more reflect on Christ and his cross


Closing Prayer and Grace

Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to your service, and live this day in love to one another and to you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. 
Amen.

Let’s say the words of the grace together:

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Thanks for sharing with us! See you on Sunday for our Easter Day service!

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