Jesus Sends the Twelve

Jun 13, 2020 by



Welcome to MacNeill’s virtual worship for June 14th, 2020.  Even though we worship from our individual homes, we are gathered together in the spirit of community. As shared earlier in the week by email, we’ll continue with virtual worship throughout June and the summer months. May grace and peace be with each of you, as we quiet our hearts to worship God.  


Prelude        Simple Gifts                       



Lighting of the Christ Candle

(you may wish to light one in your home)



Together, We Come to God



Call to Worship

From north and south,

From east and west,

We are called to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ!
Guide and help us to be faithful in bringing Your message to others.
We stand in a long legacy of those who are called.

We come with open hearts to receive God’s word for us.
God calls us together to worship and serve.

We are ready.

May healing and justice transform our broken world.



Hymn # 287   O God, whose fire lit the stars  

tune:  KINGSFOLD (I heard the voice of Jesus say)


    1. O God, whose fire lit the stars,

and set them in their course,

you are life’s origin and end,

the vast creation’s source.

Come, touch us, who were formed from dust

and set our hearts ablaze

that life and breath may rise to you,

a sacrifice of praise.


    1. O Christ, in whom God’s holy fire

blazed forth in human form,

in you God’s truth has touched the earth

in love made cruciform.

May we, your living Body now,

enkindled by that flame,

by glowing word and loving deed

make known your glorious name.


    1. O Spirit, as at Pentecost

you fell, a living flame,

and sent the chosen twelve

abroad the Gospel to proclaim.

Descend on all you call today

to serve a servant Lord.

Ignite our praying hearts till they

are burning with your Word.


    1. Praise God who makes all stars to shine!

Praise Christ who conquered night!

And praise the Spirit by whose gifts

our faith will end in sight!

Sing praises to the Trinity,

creation’s life and light,

one holy fire, a three-fold flame,

forever burning bright!

Text: Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr., 1994, 1995; © 2013, GIA Publications, Inc. Reprinted with One License A-722822



Prayer of Approach

God of compassion,

We gather today in the midst of a pandemic,
Scattered like sheep without a shepherd.

But Your love holds us together,

And Your grace tends to our community.

We are your sheep.

And you call us to love as we have been loved.

You send us out, O God,

To persons and communities in need;

For you call us to see and respond with compassion and justice.

As we follow your call,

Strengthen us to follow your example in Christ Jesus.


                ~adapted from Prayers for All Seasons


Sung response


Text and music: © 2006, Barbara Bridge. Published by OCP. Reprinted with One License A-722822


God Speaks to Us



A Comment …

For today’s first two readings, we put the Common Lectionary aside.  Instead of hearing about the hospitality of old-and-childless Sarah and Abraham when three strangers come visiting … messengers who declare God’s promise of a child, and then Sarah laughs! … we are going to hear from the prophet Ezekiel, whose words establish a platform upon which today’s Gospel reading stands. 

Jesus, we shall hear, considers the throngs as he travels across Galilee’s cities and villages, teaching and healing:  “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt 9:36).


Old Testament Reading:  Ezekiel 34:1-24,30-31

The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord God: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them.

Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, says the Lord God, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild animals, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, I am against the shepherds; and I will demand my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they may not be food for them.

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet?

Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken. …

They shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord God.  You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord God.


Responsive Psalm:  Psalm 80:1-7, 14ab, 17-19

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,

   you who lead Joseph like a flock!

You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

   before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.

Stir up your might,

   and come to save us!


Restore us, O God;

   let your face shine, that we may be saved.


O Lord God of hosts,

   how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

You have fed them with the bread of tears,

   and given them tears to drink in full measure.

You make us the scorn of our neighbours;

   our enemies laugh among themselves.


Restore us, O God of hosts;

   let your face shine, that we may be saved.


Turn again, O God of hosts;

   look down from heaven, and see. …

Let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,

   the one whom you made strong for yourself.

Then we will never turn back from you;

   give us life, and we will call on your name.


Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

   let your face shine, that we may be saved.



Musical Reflection  The Lord is my Shepherd    

John Rutter



A Second Comment …

Next we hear this day’s Epistle and Gospel readings, but in reverse order, so that Paul’s words might speak our first reflection upon Jesus’ design for and use of his followers.


Gospel Reading:  Matthew 9:35-10:15

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’

Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.


Epistle Reading:  Romans 5:6-11

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


Hymn # 486   The church of Christ, in every age

Tune: WINCHESTER NEW (On Jordan’s bank)



    1. The Church of Christ in every age, beset by change but spirit led,

Must claim and test its heritage and keep on rising from the dead.


    1. Across the world, across the street, the victims of injustice cry

For shelter and for bread to eat, and never live until they die.


    1. Then let the servant church arise, a caring church that longs to be

A partner in Christ’s sacrifice, and clothed in Christ’s humanity.


    1. For he alone, whose blood was shed, can cure the fever in our blood,

And teach us how to share our bread and feed the starving multitude.


    1. We have no mission but to serve in full obedience to our Lord,

To care for all, without reserve, and spread his liberating Word.

Text: © 1971 Hope Publishing Company Reprinted with One License A-722822




Our Gospel reading opens by setting the scene for ‘what is about to come next’.  Jesus is feverishly ‘doing his business’, travelling across the villages and cities of Galilee, “teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” 

To inform your mind’s eye’s view of this scene, a corrective to ‘general biblical impressions’ is in order. The New Testament provides a Jerusalem-centric perspective of Galilee far removed from Temple, priesthood, Sadducees and Sanhedrin:  Religiously speaking, “Galilee is hillbilly country” and “nothing good can come from there!”.  John Domenic Crossan (one of my “theologian heroes”!) helps us see things better. In The Historical Jesus (1992), he cites Eric Meyers, “it is intriguing to ask whether the negative reflections of … some of the clichés in the New Testament are due more to the degree of accommodation to Hellenism,” which is to say ‘adaptation to Greek culture and influence’, “in [lower Galilee] than to a presumed rural agricultural Judaism.” Turning to Political Geography for insight, Crossan observes that Nazareth – where Jesus grew up – was one of a large number of agriculture-and-artisan villages spread across the four ranges of lower Galilee’s east-to-west hills. Magdala and Capernaum (so familiar to us as the launching point for Jesus’ ministry, according to Mark) were the region’s towns; Sepphoris and (later on) Tiberias its small cities; and Bethshan lower Galilee’s major city.  (Crossan quotes Ian Hopkins, “The key factors which determine this pattern of settlement location are commerce, especially local marketing function, and administrative functions, through which the cities serve the town and the towns the villages.”)   Nazareth happens to be but five kilometers from Sepphoris, which Herod Antipas (as Tetrarch starting in 3 B.C.E.) fortified and glorified to become “the ornament of all Galilee”; that is, until he outdid this first effort by building Tiberias on the west shore of the Sea of Galilee while Jesus was in his early 20’s. One cannot but wonder how many of Joseph’s and Jesus’ working days were spent on these builds!  Andrew Overman relays how Sepphoris contained “courts, a fortress, a theater seating three to four thousand, a palace, a colonnaded street on top of the acropolis, two city walls, two markets (upper and lower), archives, the royal bank, and the arsenal … [and a] population … around 30,000.”  (Remember, all of this was just five kilometers from Jesus’ home!)

Looking at the archaeological and historical evidence, Crossan supports Overman’s conclusions: There was “an unusually large number of urban and larger village centers in lower Galilee, an area roughly 15 miles by 25 miles … this makes lower Galilee one of the most densely populated regions of the entire Roman Empire.”  “One is never more than a day’s walk from anywhere in lower Galilee, if that. … One could not live in any village in lower Galilee and escape the effects and ramifications of urbanisation. … Life in lower Galilee in the first century was as urbanized and urbane as anywhere else in the empire.”  Hillbillies indeed!

Yet, indeed, mostly impoverished … just like everywhere else in the Roman Empire.  As in all agrarian societies, there were nine classes. The Ruler (the Emperor) stood alone at the top. Around him was gathered ‘the one percent’ who were the Governing Class. Together these two layers received, by taxation, half the Empire’s income, dividing it 50/50 (so the Ruler alone ‘earned’ a quarter of everything). Soldiers, scribes, tax collectors and other bureaucrats populated the Retainer Class, serving the elite and numbering 5 percent. The Merchant Class rose up from the lower strata by amassing wealth of their own. Last inside the upper echelon was the Priestly class. 

Thereafter came “an abysmal gulf”, and then ‘the poor’. Their ranks, in descending order, were made up of the Peasant Class (the vast majority of the population, most of them farmers), the Artisan Class (think of Jesus’ father; this work force requiring some 5%), the Degraded (whose work made them characteristically unclean), and the Expendable (beggars and criminals). To understand the biblical world, we must never lose sight of the fact that, in order to provide the privileges of the few, two-thirds of the working poor’s earnings were taxed away; their ‘lot in life’ was meager.

So, yes, as Jesus travelled across Galilee’s cities, towns and villages, what he encountered broke his heart. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

But, wait just a moment(!): In seeing, here, that Jesus-the-healer was also Jesus-the-itinerant, the situation is so uncommon as to be “mind blowing!” MacNeill’s regular attenders already know quite a bit about the honour/shame basis of Mediterranean societies. Perhaps less familiar is the way anything gets done, no matter who you are, inside that world.  All advancement is “brokered”.  Which is to say, there are people who have ‘the means’ to whatever ‘end’ is being sought; getting what you want requires gaining the right person-of-means as a patron. But that person’s honour is usually on a different plain than yours, so approaching them and ‘arranging from them’ cannot be done directly.  It requires a broker. The New Testament shows us this system in action all the time.  For instance, reading between the lines, what Peter puts forward after Jesus’ first-ever day of healing, in Mark’s account, is that surely Jesus will want to ‘get on with the patronage program’ and set up shop, right?  So Peter puts himself forward as broker.  It seemed as natural as it was obvious, Jesus having – in that one day – focussed everybody for miles around on Peter’s home, where it all had taken place.  It simply does not compute when Jesus gets up early the next day, leaves town to pray, and then states, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may declare the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”  You cannot broker such an arrangement; it is a nonsense business plan! 

We next read, from Mark’s account, words that echo across to today’s Gospel reading:  “And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.”

Jesus, by intention and design, confronts and confounds patronage and ‘brokerage’.  Instead of having to

  • pinpoint him,
  • get to him, and
  • arrange some sort of exchange, so as to be healed,

Jesus comes to town, he summons the sick, and he freely heals … all across Galilee, with his disciples / learners in tow.

When his disciples have lived it enough to have ‘gotten it’, Jesus says to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’  Next, just like prayer usually works, the disciples find themselves becoming the labourers they have prayed for.

I want to focus you on the directions they were given:

[G]o … to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food

Earlier-achieved clarity, that “Life in lower Galilee in the first century was as urbanized and urbane as anywhere else in the [Roman] empire,” becomes extremely important at this juncture. People across the Roman world, which therefore means people in lower Galilee too, who saw a stranger coming into town with only the clothes on their back and no sandals, would at first glance think they had the situation pegged:  “Oh, we have here a Cynic!” 

Cynicism was a form of philosophy and life

  • founded by Diogenes of Sinope during the third century B.C.E.,
  • very-much-alive at the time of Jesus, and
  • continuing on into the first centuries of the Common Era. 

Its thrust was abandonment of the world, withdrawal from civilization, instead seeking fulfillment in self-sufficiency.  Writes the scholar Farrand Sayne (and quoted by Crossan),

The Cynic conception of freedom included freedom from desires, from fear, anger, grief and other emotions, from religious or moral control, from the authority of the city or state or public officials, from regard for public opinion and freedom also from the care of property, from confinement to any locality and from the care and support of wives and children.

What the Cynic did have, however, like a placard announcing his arrival, was a tattered piece of clothing worn with the right shoulder bare, no shoes, a wallet, and a staff (carried as a ‘sceptre’ by “one who shares in the government of Zeus”).

So now, back to our Gospel reading:  Into Galilean villages, towns and cities came Jesus’ twelve, two by two.  At first glance, in parallel with cynicism, their appearance suggested something anti-establishment and pro-freedom in-the-works. On second glance, though, these were not Cynics: they carried no staffs (they weren’t here to make personal claims); they had no wallets (they weren’t here to beg); and there were two of them (so, whatever this was, it was based in relationship).  If interest and curiosity led on to conversation, these two were found to be bringing something that Peasants and Artisans could seldom achieve from the terms they’d face with the Pharisees, or afford by the rules of the Sadducees; something the Degraded and Expendables could only ever dream of:  Healing of their sicknesses; a freedom far outstripping that of the Cynics; communion with an entire community of God’s people; salvation!

On their part, and in Jesus’ name, the visiting pair honoured the village, town or city by staying put, sharing table, making immediately present the ‘unconditional positive regard’ which they preached.  It was like manna to the starving; it was like rainfall after a drought; it was “life welling up into eternity”!

What I hope for you to see, in all of this, is the sheer brilliance, the genius, the perfection of the one who came to Galilee with divine purpose, experienced the people’s need, thereupon designed and implemented love’s response.  It is recognition of just how right-and-good this was – how right-and-good Jesus was – that continually inspires me to believe in him and want to follow him.

Before COVID-19 ever began, and before the current sustained wave of grass-root anti-racism demonstrations, there was already more than enough reason for any reflective person to look at the world’s people, feel great compassion, and become pretty-much overwhelmed “because they are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”.  The follow-Jesus response is in designing and implementing equivalents (as many as possible!, on every level possible!, wherever and whenever possible!)[equivalents] of Jesus’ cynic-flavoured revolutionary Economy-of-Healing, just as he taught, demonstrated, and his disciples lived-out in their time and place.  Old wine into new wineskins never works.  Brilliant and “saving” love-made-incarnate responses-to-human-need, and to the planet’s needs, are what works. 

What’s more, the auspicious reality is that this moment in history is surely ‘shook up enough’ to find itself

  • remembering “what is of fundamental importance”, and
  • consciously aware that any new norm has to be different from the old.

Good minds, good hearts, good souls from many starting places (Christianity among them) are putting forward cynic-flavoured revolutionary Economy-of-Healing models and plans, on levels from local to national and international.  We know what, among-the-models, characterizes Jesus’ brilliance and compassion:  care for whomever and whatever has been marginalized, healing and wholeness for all.  People, by our prayers, our ‘conversions’, our commitments and actions, let us always join in as agents of healing at every level we can access, both individually and together-in-community. 

Let us forever look carefully to see the man fully-displayed in today’s Gospel story, believe in him, follow him, and – with him, for him, in him – be at work to save God’s world.  Amen.


We Respond to God



Hymn of Response #585    Christ you call us all to service   (tune from the hymnbook)



    1. Christ you call us all to service, call us all who follow you;

Plant in us a deep commitment all your work and will to do.

Fire a passion for your justice: in us kindle love of peace;

Help us heal the broken-hearted, to the captive bring release.


    1. Teach us how to work together, brother, sister, side by side,

Equal partners in the struggle, in the cause of truth allied.

To each one some gift is given – man or woman, young or old;

Help us use each skill and talent, your great purpose to unfold.


    1. Let us be a servant people, reconciling, ending strife,

Seeking ways more just of sharing and of ordering human life.

Fill us with a glowing vision of this world as it should be;

Send us forth to change that vision into blest reality.

Text: © 1994, Hope Publishing Company. Reprinted with One License A-722822



The Offering of Gifts      O the deep, deep love of Jesus 



Sung Response


Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Praise God all creatures here below.

Praise God above ye heavenly hosts.

Creator, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Text: © 1989, Hope Publishing Company. Reprinted with One License A-722822



Prayers of the People

Creator God, Architect from the atomic to the astronomic, Father and Mother of the complex-and-glorious web of life;

Spirit of God by whose brooding and breathing and blowing everything has its energy, its movement, its possibilities;

Word of God, who — by your example and teaching, healing and loving — brought clearly into focus the Way-for-humanity that is meant-by-design,

this day’s Gospel-encounter does not just remind us, it awes us concerning Jesus. 

We get to see Jesus’

      • awareness of the ‘big picture’ of his time;
      • compassion for the multitude of ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’;
      • consummate care in design-and-delivery-of-response, breaking conventions right, left and center;
      • energy and drive to answer need;
      • deep wisdom in having followers learn by the experience of him-working-the-program;
      • great integrity in establishing “the medium as the message” when issuing ‘marching orders’;
      • amazing trust in what his disciples could and would do;
      • profound love, which held all-of-this together.

God, it is inspiring! … Jesus is inspiring!  Whenever this truth first ‘hit’ us in our lives, drawing heart-and-mind-and-soul to believe in him, today this truth is clear again … we know it from the depths of our beings … God, we want to follow Jesus, we know we need to follow Jesus!

Today’s Gospel surely emphasizes the ‘need’, O God, because – just as it was for Jesus in his time – when we look around, we see so many who are hurting (“harassed and helpless”), so many who are lost (“like sheep without a shepherd”).  Brokenness of body, mind, or spirit presents one-sufferer-at-a-time but we know only too well that it generally represents things-gone-wrong historically and/or environmentally and/or economically and/or societally and/or familial-ly and/or politically and/or religiously.  Creator, Word and Spirit, we surely need the intelligence and engaged-ness of Jesus in our place-and-time and in all our relationships.  He declared, about those who would come after him, that “the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these”.  Facing the world’s crises of environment, race relations, health pandemic, political divisions, poverty, and greed, this expectation to “do greater” asks for the best of us in more ways than we’ve exercised or maybe even imagined.  God, let us see our ‘everyday’ world more fully as the arena in which we act “in Christ, with Christ, for Christ”.  Indeed, everything from attitude with family, to words with a neighbour, to ‘consumer behaviour’, recreation and career is either aligned with love’s constructive energy or else diminishes it.  God, inspire and motivate us, as well, to take hold-in-life in ways that stretch us, for Jesus’ sake:  We know the truth of ‘church body life’: that no part can or should do more than it is meant to do, but – Holy Spirit – help us not stop short of individual full potentials.  Politically, environmentally, educationally and socially, let us find and ‘play out’ our capacity.

We pray, in this pandemic-mode means of gathering, for people we continually hold in our minds and hearts, also for their families:  We think of those whose lives are particularly isolated due to COVID-19.  We remember those who grieve.  We think of Jim, Carol, Nancy, Charles and Cheryl … God, help them be aware of your work within and all-around them:  providing life in every breath; continuously bringing resources for healing into play; holding and attending in love.

Our prayers we sum using words Jesus taught us to pray together:

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 

Thy kingdom come. 

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.”



Hymn  # 778  Lord you give the great commission

Tune: ABBOTT’S LEIGH (God is love, come heaven adoring)

intro and 4 verses on organ


    1. Lord, you give the great commission:

‘Heal the sick and preach the word.’

Lest the Church neglect its mission,

And the Gospel go unheard,

Help us witness to your purpose

With renewed integrity;

With the Spirit’s gifts empower us

For the work of ministry.


    1. Lord, you call us to your service:

‘In my name baptize and teach.’

That the world may trust your promise,

Life abundant meant for each,

Give us all new fervor, draw us

Closer in community;

With the Spirit’s gifts empower us

For the work of ministry.


    1. Lord, you show us love’s true measure:

 ‘Father, what they do, forgive.’

Yet we hoard as private treasure

All that you so freely give. 

May your care and mercy lead us

To a just society;

With the Spirit’s gifts empower us

For the work of ministry.


organ interlude

    1. Lord, you bless with words assuring:

‘I am with you to the end.’

Faith and hope and love restoring, 

May we serve as you intend,

And, amid the cares that claim us,

Hold in mind eternity;

With the Spirit’s gifts empower us 

For the work of ministry. 

Words © 1978 Hope Publishing Company.Reprinted with One License A-722822




Friends, we are called by Christ to go forth; to help others; to seek justice; to be a people who truly care about others. The fields of peace and justice and love have been plowed and planted, they need tending with care and diligence. Go forth, ready to proclaim the good news and serve our Lord by caring for others. Go with confidence in God’s gracious love and mercy. And may the blessing of the Creator, the compassionate care of the Good Shepherd, and the presence of the Holy Spirit be with you, now and always. AMEN


Sung Dismissal


Tune and Text © 1995, Desert Flower Music/Jim and Jean Strathdee. Reprinted with One License A-722822



Postlude          Be thou my vision



Please join us for a Zoom Coffee Hour at noon today.  The meeting link is in your email.


2020 06 13 MacNeill News and Notes


With appreciation to Bob Bond for our reflection and pastoral prayer, Leanne Tees for her musical selections, and to Bev Leslie who works behind the scenes to make this service available on our website.

~Jennifer Nettleton, Coordinator of Worship

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