Service for Sunday 17th July 2022, which was conducted by Mr Ian Kerr.

Servicing the Bald Hills and nearby Communities

Service for Sunday 17th July 2022, which was conducted by Mr Ian Kerr.


INTRODUCTION – Worship and work must be one.

Our Gospel reading from the lectionary is the amazingly everyday household snippet of a conversation between Martha and Jesus concerning her sister Mary’s lack of concern for her household responsibilities.

It speaks to the authentic nature of the Biblical account of God’s story.  Fancy including this little cameo.  Should we explore it a little more deeply?  Perhaps we are drawn to Martha.  We might support her and feel her frustration.  Perhaps you think that Jesus was a little harsh.  Or perhaps you are on Mary’s side.  Mary, soaking in Jesus’ company and conversation.  Household responsibilities can wait.  Martha should put her pots and pans down and join in.  But maybe the main point is that Martha is too anxious in the need to fulfil her responsibilities.  Martha needs to relax a little and take things in her stride.

There appears to be a tension between the worship: faithfully being in the moment, and the doing: the appropriate activity that faith requires

We hear the adages that “actions speak louder than words” and “Some people are so Heavenly minded that they are of no Earthly good.    

Is there a simple way to meld the ideas of faith and works that we often place as competing with each other.  Is it one or the other?  Or one at a time?  Or can the answer be that “Worship and Work Must be One”, which is the title of a song we will learn today.


We greet each other as Jesus would greet us with love and enthusiasm and say:

Peace be with you

And reply with rejoicing:

And also with you


Lord Jesus Christ, we come to you,
burdened by our insecurities and responsibilities.
Sometimes we are not valued for what we are,
but for what other people want to make us.
But we know you love us for what and who we are,
and this sets us free to be our fullest selves,
disciples, following your way, and learning from you.
May we listen and learn together today.

From PSALM 92/100

How good it is to give thanks to you, O Lord,
To sing together in your honour, O Most High God,

With the music of guitar

And accompanied by orchestras and choirs far away

In our homes we proclaim your constant love every morning
And your faithfulness every night,
Your mighty deeds, O
Lord, make me glad;
Because of what you have done, I sing for joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we belong to him;
We are his people, we are his flock.

The Lord is good;
his love is eternal
and his faithfulness lasts forever.




Blessed, Holy God, your Word has been spoken,
your voice heard, your desire known.
You speak to our every moment,
our every breath, our every deed, and yet
so often even if we hear, we do not listen,
and, even when we do listen, we do not always follow.
Blessed, Holy God, forgive us for being inattentive,
deaf to your word and your ways.
Forgive us, Holy God.


The God of creation,
the God of Word and deed,
the God of all that has been and all that will be,
calls us to confess and assure us that our sins,
our failings, our falterings, our stammerings are forgiven.
If we listen, we will hear God’s promise:
‘My child, your sins are forgiven, go in peace, go in love.’

And now Lord, as we prepare to hear your Word, we pray together.

Almighty God, in you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Open our eyes that we may see the wonders of your Word;

and give us grace that we may hear with joy what you say to us today.

May we clearly understand and freely choose the way of your wisdom;

through Christ our Lord.



Luke 10:38 – 42

As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him in her home.  She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching.  Martha was upset over all the work she had to do, so she came and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her to come and help me!”

The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha!  You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed.  Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 12:22-31

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “And so I tell you not to worry about the food you need to stay alive or about the clothes you need for your body.  Life is much more important than food, and the body much more important than clothes.  Look at the crows: they don’t plant seeds or gather a harvest; they don’t have storage rooms or barns; God feeds them!  You are worth so much more than birds!  Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?  If you can’t manage even such a small thing, why worry about the other things?  Look how the wild flowers grow: they don’t work or make clothes for themselves.  But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.  It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven.  Won’t he be all the more sure to clothe you?  What little faith you have!

“So don’t be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink.  (For the pagans of this world are always concerned about all these things.)  Your Father knows that you need these things.  Instead, be concerned with his Kingdom, and he will provide you with these things.

James 2:14-26

My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it?  Can that faith save you?  Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat.  What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don’t give them the necessities of life?  So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead.

But someone will say, “One person has faith, another has actions.”  My answer is, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions.  I will show you my faith by my actions.”  Do you believe that there is only one God?  Good!  The demons also believe—and tremble with fear.  You fool!  Do you want to be shown that faith without actions is useless?  How was our ancestor Abraham put right with God? It was through his actions, when he offered his son Isaac on the altar.  Can’t you see?  His faith and his actions worked together; his faith was made perfect through his actions.  And the Scripture came true that said, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.”  And so, Abraham was called God’s friend.  You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God, and not by our faith alone.

Reader:         We have been drawn to Christ’s light,

And the way of the gospel is open before us.

Lord, may your Word live in our hearts.        

All:                 We journey together and learn to trust Christ.

We grow to believe in Christ and love Him

With all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

And bear a plentiful harvest to your glory


Which side are you on?  Where does your heart reside, not your intellect?

Martha?  Mary?  Jesus?

We really don’t know the back story.

Did Jesus arrive unannounced.  Were cultural expectations that the women would amazingly produce a meal out of thin air the order of the day?

These preparations are done from scratch with no corner store or take away just around the corner.  Martha took her responsibilities seriously.  Maybe she had a few more words to say than what Luke records.  Maybe she heard Jesus remarks about her anxiety and decided “fair enough I’ll sit and learn and the meal can wait.”  Maybe Mary could see Martha was upset and thought “I’ll go and help Martha, I’ll listen while I’m preparing dinner.”  Meanwhile, what were the menfolk doing?  I won’t go there!

From this reading a great drama or comedy skit could be written and shown on prime time tv.  With much eye rolling and many asides, skipping frequently from on point of view to another.

It is really Martha’s anxiety that troubles Jesus.  There are so many references to anxiety found in Scripture that, surely, Martha would find healing and comfort.

The words learnt off by heart, often in song.  For learning was an oral tradition where memory was a very powerful learning tool.

Some of these verses we know well ourselves.  Here are a few.

Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Psalm 46:10  “Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 23:1-6 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”

Martha would have actually heard Jesus say,

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Yet by her very human nature she struggles with being anxious and struggles under pressure. Jesus has repeatedly said “Don’t be anxious.”  And hopefully Martha got the hint and the meal happened anyway in due course.

From our second reading (Luke 12:22—31) we are encouraged strongly not to worry.  Look at the way Nature works and see God’s hand in it and …. you can’t live any longer by worrying – get the message – don’t get upset God knows what you need – relax.  We have these words written for us in our many copies of the Bible.  We surely should learn from all these verses, but do we?

How willingly we enter into the struggle between our faith and our doing.  We easily become anxious and worried over many things.  How do we get out of that tension?

In the middle of all the verses about not worrying come the words. 

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  So, we make God’s righteousness a priority – number one in the middle of the doing, the business side of things.

Worship is being in God’s presence.  God’s righteousness is found simply in the everyday where we are encouraged to pray without ceasing.  Being in God’s presence is actually found in the simplicity of life.  God is at work when we are least aware of it (Oswald Chambers).  It seems part of our human nature to try to and make life complicated, where we end up tying ourselves in knots.

If we recognise that we are always in God’s presence, and that we put our implicit trust in him, then we find that worship and work must be one.

In the letter of James, we find the eternal truth that faith and actions work together; faith is made perfect through actions.  James cites Abraham as an example.

 “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.  And so, Abraham was called God’s friend.  You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God, and not by our faith alone.”

The Practice of the Presence of God is a book of collected teachings of Brother Lawrence (born Nicolas Herman), a 17th-century Carmelite friar, who encourages us to cultivate intimacy with God through life’s everyday tasks.  Brother Lawrence, through the most ordinary of activities, was able to achieve a profound intimacy with God.  At mid-life he entered a newly established monastery in Paris where he became the cook for the community, which grew to over one hundred members.  After fifteen years, his duties were shifted to the sandal repair shop but, even then, he often returned to the busy kitchen to help out.

In times as troubled as today, Brother Lawrence, discovered, then followed, a pure and uncomplicated way to walk continually in God’s presence.  For some forty years, he lived and walked with Our Father at his side.

In his fourth letter he writes, “God does not ask much of us.  But remembering Him, praising Him, asking for His grace, offering Him your troubles, or thanking Him for what He has given you, will console you all the time.  During your meals or during your daily duty, lift your heart to Him, because even the least little remembrance will please Him.  You don’t have to pray out loud; He’s nearer than you can imagine.

It isn’t necessary that we stay in church to remain in God’s presence.  We can make our heart a chapel where we can go anytime to talk to God privately.  These conversations can be so loving and gentle, anyone can have them.”

It is simple to live a life in God’s presence.  It is called living life in the Spirit.

Juan Carlos Ortiz, an Argentinian evangelist, who became known worldwide for his simple approach to spreading the Gospel, writes about living in the Spirit.

He writes in his book, Living with Jesus Today, “Life in the spirit should be the easiest thing you can imagine.  The things of the kingdom of God are easy, simple. … We have to forget how intelligent we are and become like children. Today we are intelligent because we have a great deal of education. There are many things concerning the gospel we do not understand – not because they are difficult, but because they are too easy and don’t appeal to us.

One of the leaders in our church is an economist.  He is a doctor of mathematics at the university.

While I was preaching one morning I asked, “How much is two plus two?

At first, he smiled at me, because the answer was obvious.  I smiled back.  I kept a very serious, puzzled look on my face.  So, he, too, became serious.  He began to do all the equations he could think of with the number two.

I stayed silent, and the whole congregation became intent.  After a little while he said, “I don’t know, Pastor.”

I said, “Thank you.”

There was a little child in the next row.  So, I said to the child, “How much is two plus two?”

“Four!” came the answer right back without delay.

You see, it was too easy for the Doctor of Economic Science.  He could not believe that I could ask him such a simple question as to how much is two plus two.  And, because it was so easy, he began to look for something more complicated in my question.

Jesus said, “Thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them unto babes.”  If we understand what He meant – that life in the kingdom of God is a very simple thing – we have discovered the key to living in continual joy and peace.”

To me, worship is an everyday all-time experience.  We seek the Kingdom of God and all the rest is added, or rather infused into our spirits.  There is no juxtaposition of worship and work.  They become one.

Jesus was not questioning Martha’s motivation, but her anxiety and distress in her attempt to carry out her duties.

Is there something for each of us to learn here?  I hope so.

We will now sing a new song by Fred Kaan called Worship and Work Must be One. I learnt it on a UCA weekend course held at Cunningham’s Gap years ago.  I cannot remember what the course was about, but this song stuck in my mind.  (along with the leeches which stuck to our ankles)

It calls for us to bring our everyday lives as a worship experience.  The main theme of the song is repeated over and over as we sing “Worship and work must be one”


 Fred Kaan (with rewritten chorus)

Chorus          Worship the Lord! (Worship the Lord!)
            Worship Creator, the Spirit, the Son,
            Raising our hands! (Raising our hands!)
                        In devotion to God who is one!

Our freewill offering will now be received.


Let us pray together.

Heavenly Father, thank you that you are God, and there is no other,

You are God, and there is none like you.

You love us with an eternal love,

and we give you our offerings as an expression of our love for you.

May you, the God of all grace,

who has called us into eternal glory by Christ Jesus,

make us holy, strong, and filled with peace.

To you be glory and honour for ever and ever,

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

STATS HAVE FACES A reflection – Jillian



Spend some quiet moments praying for those who are on your hearts.

Lord Jesus, you see all that goes on
within the created world you hold.
Hear our prayers for the needs we see.
We lift up to you:

  the alienated 

the hostile 

   the confused 

those desiring to belong and be accepted 

  the persecuted 

and those we know personally who have yet to accept you as Lord of their lives.

Generous and gracious God, in Jesus Christ you desire to embrace all,

Grant us of your own generous Spirit

That we might speak words of invitation

And practise actions of welcome

In a Spirit of hospitality, to bring all within your embrace.

May they and we enjoy feasting at you table,

Revelling in you gracious gift of abundant life,

To the praise and glory of your name.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the one
who can make whole the broken of this world.
We trust our prayers into your hands.


Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,

your Kingdom come,

your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil,

For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,

now and forever.  Amen.

WE SING TIS 530 Now let us from this table rise.

 (sung to the tune Niagara)

1. Now let us from this table rise

renewed in body, mind and soul;

with Christ we die and rise again,

his selfless love has made us whole.

  • With minds alert, upheld by grace,

to spread the Word in speech and deed,

we follow in the steps of Christ,

at one with all in hope and need.

  • To fill each human house with love,

it is the sacrament of care;

the work that Christ began to do

we humbly pledge ourselves to share.

  • Then grant us grace, Companion-God,

to choose again the pilgrim way,

and help us to accept with joy

the challenge of tomorrow’s day.

 Words Fred Kaan music Robert Jackson


We bless each other as we leave as we say
Lord, send us out into the world,
alert to whatever nudges us to hear you calling,
or whatever points us in your way.
Make us bold to resist those who would keep us
in the comfortable well-trodden paths,
so that – like Mary – we can break free from time to time,
to sit at your feet.

And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with us and remain with us always



TIS 778 Shalom to you now –