Johnsonville Uniting Church

Sunday 29 August 2021 

Karen Parminter’s Sunday message "I see you"

I am going to share some familiar stories with the hope of looking at them with fresh eyes.

I see you John 1 43-51 Luke 19: 1-10
Nathanael is waiting under the shade of a fig tree for his friend Philip. Philip comes rushing toward him, shouting out, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph”.  So Nathanael followed him back to where Jesus was standing. On seeing them returning Jesus called out “behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile”, Nathaneal said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were sitting under the fig tree, I saw you”
And of course, we have the story of Zacchaeus. Jesus had arrived in Jericho and a crowd began to gather around him., Zacchaeus being short, made his way ahead of the crowds and seeing a sycamore tree,  he climbed into it’s branches so he could see what was going on. When Jesus got to the tree he stopped beneath it and called up to Zacchaeus ”Zacchaeus make haste and come down, for I must stay at your house today”.  

I hear you Luke 18: 11-19 Mark 10: 46-52
Jesus was travelling along the border between Galilee and Samaria on his way to Jerusalem. He was just outside a village when a  group of 10 men called out to him from the leper camp. “Master, take pity on us.” Jesus responded by telling them to go to the priests to be declared clean.
As Jesus is approaching Jericho there is a blind beggar sitting on the side of the road. When the beggar hears the sound of the crowd he asks what is going on they tell him Jesus is coming, so he calls out “Jesus Son of David take pity on me”.  . So, when Jesus hears Bartimaeus, calling out from the side of the road, He stops, and asks that Bartimaeus be lead forward.

I touch you Matt 9: 20-22
Jesus had been asked to heal a ruler's daughter. He was making is way there, when a  woman who had been suffering from a haemorrhaging disease saw Him, so she quickly followed him. Worming her way through the crowd,  she reached out and caught the edge of his cloak she was immediately healed. Jesus turned around to the crowd and asked, who touched me.
Jesus continues on his way and heals the ruler's daughter, then after leaving her alive and well he meets two blind men who call out to him. “Have mercy on us Son of David”. So Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can heal you?”. They both answered, YES. Then Jesus touched their eyes and said “ Then let it be so, just as you believe”.

I  know you John 4: 7-42
There was a Samaritan woman drawing water from a well. Jesus approached her and asks her for a drink or water.  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.” 
She wanted to know more, so Jesus told her to call  her husband and come back.  The woman is upset that people have been gossiping about her but is fascinated by what Jesus is telling her. So she answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.
The woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” When they were told about the events at the well the people invited Jesus to stay with them. Many Samaritans became believers.

I see you, I hear you, I touch you, I know you.
Jesus never stops working. We can see by these stories that Jesus reaches out to us and can be known to us in different ways. Seeing, hearing, touching us, and just simply knowing us amongst a crowd of billions. We are all known by him what fantastic news. The question then becomes do we want to know him?.  Go share the Good news.

Sunday 22 August 2021 - Back to Level 4

In the absence of a service in person this Sunday, please find attached some Sunday Service thoughts from Graham Millar, who was to be taking our service.
Please also find a list of the actual Lectionary readings:
Ps 84
1 Kings 8: 22-30,41-43
Ephesians 6: 10-20
John 6: 56-69
For a cuppa together via zoom please find a zoom meeting invite from Heather Lange.
Topic: JUC Cuppa
Time: Aug 22, 2021 10:30 AM Auckland, Wellington
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 786 4318 2620
Passcode: 92F1rM


Dear Friends,
I am sorry I cannot be with you all at JUC today.  However, we can still unite in our Sunday worship in spirit.   Here are some thoughts and helps which we would have shared in person.

A beautiful opening prayer by Shirley Murray which won a US and Canada Hymn Society award in 2006.

Simply to be, to be in stillness,  simply to trust that God is here,  simply to know the Holy Presence, is to be blessed, so am I blessed.
Simply to hold the given moment, simply to lay concern aside,  simply to let the heart be speaking,  is to be blessed,  so am I blessed.
So am I blessed within God’s keeping, so am I freed from pointless stress, steadied to feel the soul replenished, given this grace, folded in peace.

This Sunday we are living out the Christian values of care, freedom, responsibility and unity.   Being free – of guilt, anxiety, fear and hatred – enables us to live responsibly. Most churches follow a lectionary of Bible passages chosen for each Sunday.  August 22nd has the final reading of a series on the first 3 kings of Israel; Saul, David and Solomon.  Today it is the dedication of Solomon’s temple.  Each king was seen as chosen by God and also corrupted by their power.

It is also the end of a series on chapter 6 of John’s Gospel. The Bread of Life is given by Jesus to the hungry, IS Jesus, and becomes the sacramental meal.

The letter to the Ephesian Christians has also been used for 7 weeks.  Written in the name of Paul, but later, it tells us a lot about the “issues” of that church, and finishes today with “the armour of God”.  It affirms our need to be champions for peace and unity.

War, starvation, and plagues were the great enemies of biblical times.  What about today?
Today our hearts go out to the Afghan people.  Will the Taliban keep their word and rule with grace?  The people of Tigray are starving.   The Pandemic is changing the world.

As individuals and nations we are called to make peace, share bread, and bring wholeness.  This is our lockdown prayer.    Our final hymn is Bill Bennett’s “Blow through the valleys.”verses 2 and 3.

Let mercy enfold us and justice be real, our races in partnership live in this land. The God of the whenua binds us together, by leading us on to hold each other’s hand.
O Spirit of God take our love, take our aroha, stir us to faith and to courage for you;  that Jesus the prophet will guide us in leadership, bringing the Spirit of hope to renew.

Blow through out the valleys and sing in the rimu: O Spirit of God fill the earth: Guide us to truth that you give in your power, O Spirit of God our new birth.
                           Kia kaha.  Have a good week.   Graham Millar

Lifting children up, Kabul Airport, 19 August 2021

Sunday 20 June 2021 The Lord is my shepherd

Click below for audio of the reflection.

Sunday 13 June 2021 Parables

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Sunday 6 June 2021 Careful what you ask for

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Sunday 30 May 2021 Beginning again

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Sunday 23 May 2021 The Spirit Of Truth

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Sunday 16 May 2021 And the lot fell to Mathias

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Sunday 9 May 2021 All aboard the microbus!

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Sunday 2 May 2021 In the beginning, God

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Sunday 25 April 2021 Abundant life

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Sunday 18 April 2021 An Easter People

No recording available this week - please come back next week.

Easter Sunday 4 April 2021 A New Start

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Good Friday 2 April 2021 Why did it need to happen?

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