A Service of Lament and Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Sunday

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Thanksgiving Sunday
10:00 am October 10, 2021
led by Session Elders: Darlene, Ransford, Nick, Fionna, Heather
Vocalists: Linda, Lynn, Kara, Vivian, Loretta, Kristen & Nathan
Music Director: Binu Kapadia
Note: For access to the videorecording of this service, contact webkeeper@DayspringChurch.ca

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

Greeting: 
L: The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
P: And also with you.
Lighting of the Christ candle
Welcome and announcements
Silent preparation for worship

Opening Words
Today we come together to recognize the numerous challenges in our world.  We will lament and express our feelings of grief, loss, fear and uncertainty.  We will pray, listen to the Scriptures, sing songs and reflect on God’s faithfulness to us.  We will choose to focus on gratitude and give thanks to God for blessings in our lives.  We will commit ourselves to bless others as we have been blessed.

*Opening praiseHoly Spirit, you are welcome here
There’s nothing worth more
That could ever come close
No thing can compare
You’re our living hope…  Your presence, Lord
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here.
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord Your presence, Lord
I’ve tasted and seen
Of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free

And my shame is undone… Your presence, Lord

Words: Francesca Battistelli  Music: Katie Torwalt / Bryan Torwalt © 2011 Capitol Cmg Genesis, Jesus Culture Music.
Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

*Call to worship:
L: We come to you, O God, to first cry out for what is wrong.
P: We come to you, O God, to ask for help and restoration.
L: We come to you, O God, to thank you for what is good.
P: We come to you, O God, not only with aching hearts but also with glad souls.
L: Let us worship God.

We Lament

Prayer of Approach: 

We come to you, oh heavenly father with our woes and our troubles. We commit ourselves to your care. We have seen pain and sorrow. On our own we are helpless. We pray that you will hear our prayers this morning as we confess our sins and hope for redemption. We pray that you will redeem your people from the agony of injustice, disease and social upheaval, and instead fill us with hope and joy.

Come, Holy spirit, fill this place. Fill our hearts with love for our neighbor, for the stranger within because we are strangers, too. We submit to your power to heal, to give hope and renew our broken souls. You have promised. We wait to see the coming of the glory of the Lord. Amen

Lament Video Introduction – Friends, let’s take time now to reflect & lament. As we look at images from the last year or so, we recognize our grief and our pain and we lay them at the feet of our God.

LAMENT VIDEO AND MUSIC (“Hold on to Me” by Lauren Daigle)
Permission has been given by Lauren Daigle to use her music this one time and for this function.

Prayer of lament

L: Father, this has been a tough year.  The world is ravished by a plague and our attempts to break its hold have only been partially successful.  Millions have died and the deaths of those few that we know by name have caused us deep grief.  How much greater is the total sum of all human grief.

P: Father, hear our lament.   

L: Father, injustice appears everywhere.  Racial tensions have risen, we struggle with recognition of wrongs and reconciliation of aboriginal and non aboriginal peoples, there is disparity in the relationships between men and women, our politicians divide us and we allow them to do so, and many of our leaders and institutions are corrupted.

P:  Father, hear our lament.

L:  Father, there is widespread economic loss, unemployment, income disparity, and hardship.

P: Father, hear our lament.

L:  Father, there is persecution on the basis of race, gender, religion and almost anything else that we can find to separate one from another.  In particular followers of the Jewish and Muslim faiths have been attacked.  Your church and her people are persecuted in many parts of the world, and even in Canada churches have been burned and vandalized and our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters vilified.

P: Father, hear our lament.

L:  Father, we ourselves may have played a role in some of this.  If so, forgive us, enlighten our minds and hearts that we might do so no longer, but turn and remain steady in your way.

P: Father, hear our lament and forgive us.

L: Father, we are without answers and we seek your guidance to give us clear direction to do your will.  Guide us by your Spirit and the example of your Son that we may trust you entirely as we take steps one by one through the darkness towards your light, the light that cannot be overcome.

P: Father, hear our lament and guide us.

L:  Father, now hear our private lament in the next minute of personal time that follows

*Response – Song – Lord, I Need You
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
Where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Songwriters: Christy Nockels/Daniel Carson/Jesse Reeves/Kristian Stanfill/Matt Maher © Universal Music Publishing Group Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved.  Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

We Listen for the voice of God

Scripture readings:   Now that we have laid down our deep lament and put words to our personal thoughts and feelings—let us turn to the scriptures to offer us some comfort and guidance.

Psalm 100 (NRSV)

It is right to give God praise. In this Old Testament reading the people are summoned to Praise God in this song of thanksgiving.   Hear the words of the Psalmist and lift your hearts to God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations

Response  “Give Thanks to the Lord”
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.
And now, let the weak say, “I am strong!”
Let the poor say, “I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us!”

2 Cor. 1:3 – 7    

Paul writes this passage from his own experiences about the comfort of God and suffering with Christ. The “troubles” that he speaks of were difficulties so severe that, while in Asia, he was not even sure he would survive.  Paul maintains that suffering is the occasion for experiencing the compassion of God.

Intro Source: The Women of Faith Study Bible (NIV) © 2001 by Zondervan, p.1900. 

Praise to the God of All Comfort – (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Romans 12:9-21  (NRSV)

In our previous passage we talked about God being our Comfort.  In this New Testament passage we are challenged to comfort others. We are encouraged to be Love in Action… even in difficult circumstances. Even in our own struggles, how can we ACT towards others, in a faithful response to our God who comforts us? 

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;  love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

*Song: Bless the Lord oh my soul

Refrain: Bless the Lord, oh my soul, Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before
Oh my soul, I’ll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass And whatever lies before me. Let me be singing When the evening comes

You’re rich in love And You’re slow to anger
Your name is great And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons For my heart to find. Refrain

Songwriters: Matthew James Redman, Jonas Carl Gustaf Myrin;10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) lyrics © Worshiptogether.com Songs, Sixsteps Music, Thank You Music Ltd., Atlas Mountain Songs Reprinted with permission and permission to stream under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved.

We give thanks to God
(images displayed throughout)

Today we have recognized the numerous challenges in our world around us.  We’ve taken time to lament.  Then, we listened to the scriptures for guidance and comfort.

We will delight in this life even as it is lived in the brokenness of our world.

Now let’s take time for reflection on this Thanksgiving Sunday 2021.  We’ve recognized what we lack but now lets take time to focus on all the goodness in our lives and our relationships and our world. We go forward and we choose to focus on gratitude as we name the blessings in our lives. Today we give thanks to God in all circumstances.

We have learned much about our interdependence during this time of the pandemic.

We are learning in a whole new way that we are not solitary individuals making our own way through this life. Rather, we see how interconnected we are.

We learn how we can care for each other as we live together. We see, in new ways what a profound effect we have on one another, and we can be grateful for the ways in which we are able to reach out to help each other.

Reflection 1 Giving thanks for people in our communities

Friends, our first main reflection today – let us give thanks to God for the people in our lives that are in our communities.

Thank you to these community builders!!!!

  • to those who continue to labour to keep us safe – the medical workers who risk their lives, work long hours and endure the stress of these challenging times,
  • the emergency workers
  • to teachers and school staff who create intentional spaces where students feel safe and welcomed in to learning places—whether online or in-person
  • to those who keep the places we visit clean – constantly sanitizing equipment, encouraging safe distances and adjusting schedules to accommodate our needs.
  • to those who wear masks and keep their distance to keep other people safe, exercising great patience with extra long line-ups and disruptions to their normal ways of doing things.
  • To those who work hard to develop policies to help our whole society, keeping us informed and protected.

Thank you to these servant workers – 

  • To those who work to make our lives as full as they are—grocery workers, shelf stockers; truckers – bringing food and essentials to us every day.
  • To those infrastructure workers who make sure that the power stays on so that we can be warm and safe in our homes and technologically connected to our families and communities
  • To the multitudes who work behind the scenes, farmers and processors and builders and thinkers and planners.
  • And thank you to our grandparents, our parents, our children, youth and seniors as they reached out, connected with neighbours across fences, in back yards, via zoom and from a distance.

And speaking of community – Thank you to our Dayspring Faith Community. We are thankful to God for the people in the Dayspring Congregation who faithfully gather together and serve with their time, talents and treasures  – THANK YOU!

Thank you –

  • To the many people in our community who pivoted and provided online worship as soon as we had to close our church. Those who planned technology support for online church services and gatherings so we might continue to worship together and support each other.
  • To the media team who stepped up once we started back worshipping in the sanctuary.
  • And now we’re mixed presence – online and onsite
  • To our pianist and our singers – masked or behind their shields, daring to sing on zoom when their talent is often distorted
  • To those who provided other online connections and for those who participated Bible studies online, Children Bedtime Bible Storiesladies night conversations and activities – here’s a little Zen tangle
  • Our ministry teams that continued to connect and support the work of the congregation in online meetings, mission and outreach … including the food bank depot that Dayspring provides for the City of Edmonton was open during some months that others were closed.
  • The fellowship ministry provided unique events to keep us connected.
  • To those who joined our Church membership in these unique Covid times
  • To those who baptized their children into the family of God
  • To all those others who stepped forward in faith and service to volunteer time and talents and treasures and to provide resources to support our neighbours

When we express gratitude for all these people, we acknowledge that we live in a world in which we are connected to one another. There is so much to be grateful for in all our lives. Thanks be to God!

Solo: Look up Child (L Daigle)
Where are You now
When darkness seems to win?
Where are You now
When the world is crumbling?
Oh I, I hear You say
I hear You say
Look up child, hey
Look up child, hey
Where are You now

When all I feel is doubt?
Oh, where are You now
When I can’t figure it out?

Oh I, I hear You say
I hear You say

Look up child, hey
Look up child, hey
Look up child, hey
Look up child, hey
Look up…

You’re not threatened by the war
You’re not shaken by the storm
I know You’re in control
Even in our suffering
Even when it can’t be seen
I know You’re in control

Oh I, I hear You say
I hear You say

Look up child, hey
Look up child, hey
Look up child, oh-oh-oooh
I hear You say, You say, You say

Jason Ingram, Lauren Daigle, Paul Mabury©CentricSongs / Fellow Ships Music / ICM Crescendo Royalty Publishing / See You At The Pub / So Essential Tunes. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Our Second Reflection focuses on Giving Thanks for God’s faithfulness

We are thankful to God that even in this pandemic that spun around us, we could recognize and focus on some amazing and beautiful moments. This time of forced separation and change to our daily schedules, forced us to slow down.  It was a time to see that even though the world was ugly, it was still beautiful!  Paying attention to the ordinary moments of our lives, we could see beautiful gifts from God.  God showing us we are loved and that all God’s creation is also loved.

  • .. resting… looking… We took time to discover the order in our world around us –reordering our priorities, refocusing our hearts on the values we hold most dearly reconnecting with our passions and renewing our focus on our God as the source of our life and the Giver of Time.
  • Our Earth began to heal with less pollution, waterways became cleaner, Creation enjoyed a time of renewal
  • Our eyes were opened to see God’s beauty around us – in the different kinds of birds, flowers the plants and the vegetables that we took time to grow and appreciate.
  • More outdoor spaces were enjoyed with walks in nature, cycling, people enjoyed more water sports and there was more time for camping – we enjoyed our own province and our own country.
  • We took more time for our pets, many acquired new pets….rejoicing in their company in our places of isolation, our pets became our companions.
  • We took time to create beauty – quilting and building things with our hands, attempting new recipes, puzzles, or learning to play an instrument
  • Family time took on a whole new meaning – enjoying more deep conversation, games and movies together
  • With more time to reflect on our lives we have heard the voices of visionaries and dreamers calling us to open our hearts and embrace our humanity as people of the Earth, to imagine beyond our pain, beyond limited circumstances.
  • Our imaginations have found space to create new possibilities for new ways of doing things and for new opportunities to act as the light and salt of the Earth.

God has given us so much; in these challenging times how can we be the light and the hope for others?

  • Take some baking to a neighbour, offer to help with fall clean-up offer to pick up some groceries
  • Make that phone call to someone you’ve been meaning to connect with
  • Take someone to an appointment
  • Write an encouraging note or email
  • Be the positive voice in a sea of negativity and uncertainty.
  • Put on your hoodie of love, your belt of kindness, your shoes for caring and your jeans for honesty

Gratitude is a choice we make, today.  We rejoice in God’s gifts of hope. And we go forward today and try to be the light for others.

*Song:   This is Amazing Grace
Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings
Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
Who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings
This is amazing grace This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross You lay down Your life
That I would be set free Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me
Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory
Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings
This is amazing grace This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross You lay down Your life
That I would be set free Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me

 Music: Josh Farror, Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle Words © WB Music Corp, FBR Music, Josh’s Music. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Heavenly father, we came to you today unsure of ourselves. We worshiped with pain and grief in our hearts. But we trusted in you, the God of our salvation, to take the pain from us. You have indeed replaced it with relief and renewed hope. While we came here with tears in our eyes, we leave with joy in our heart.

We are grateful that when all we see is darkness you send us a rainbow. You are with us always.  Thank you, God.   For the countless blessings we have received, we thank you, God. Your heart is kind, you are slow to anger. Thank you, God

Thank you – for our Saviour Jesus Christ. Thank you – Holy Spirit.  Thank you – Father God.

And now our comforting God – in the next few moments of silence, we’ll each take time to express our own personal gratitude to You.  Amen

Musical Offering: In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

I will stand, I will stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground, all other ground
Is sinking sand, is sinking sand
So I’ll stand

Songwriters: Keith Getty / Stuart Townend In Christ Alone lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Reflection on giving

We have been giving faithfully even though we have not been passing the Offering Plate since the beginning of the pandemic. It may be a while before most of us return to the sanctuary, but we are all committed to continuing the ministry and mission that define Dayspring – using the various ways described on the screen and in Dayspring Weekly News. Thank you all for your contributions, which come freely from hearts full of gratitude.

And now, it is our time for giving.  We have two chosen local projects this Thanksgiving – products or financial contributions to our Food Bank Depot and the Richard Secord Breakfast Program. As well, financial gifts can be donated for the continued operation of the church.

For those of you here in the sanctuary we will be forming a line, and will come forward during the next song.  We will bring our own Food Bank donations as well as those that were delivered to the church this past week.  Those who have offering envelopes, can place them in the offering plated at the front.

Those of you online, you may contribute to our various mission projects by the different ways that are listed on the screen right now.

As we come forward to offer our gifts, we in the sanctuary symbolically represent all of you who have joined us online.  We are together in spirit.

And together let’s sing,

* Song “Give Thanks”
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
give thanks to the Holy One;
give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his Son.
And now let the weak say, I am strong!
Let the poor say, I am rich
because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
give thanks to the Holy One;
give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ, his Son.
And now let the weak say, I am strong!
Let the poor say, I am rich
because of what the Lord has done for us.

Words and music: Henry Smith ©1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Sending out with God’s blessing

Thank you for joining us today in-person and on-line.

For you joining us online, you will have the opportunity, immediately following the music postlude at the end of the service – to join a Break out room and meet with a few other folks. This is a good time to greet each other and have some small group conversation.  Our media hosts will put you into random BORs and all you need to do is accept the request to join the small group.  But, We are ending our service differently than usual… so please stick around until the very end. After I close with the blessing… We will sing together our response like normal: Amen we praise your name O God. And then the music postlude will be another offering of praise by our musicians and singers.  Please stay and enjoy that!

Friends – we have come today to lament our difficult circumstances in our world, in our communities and in our families.  We have remembered our blessings and reflected on God’s faithfulness.  God is our Comforter in time of trouble.  God is our hope!  We are challenged in the scriptures from Romans to now be a comfort to others, to be God’s love in action.  How will you be God’s hands to those around you?

Receive God’s blessing: Go out in thanksgiving and hope.  Be God’s light and the hope to others. Walk with others as God walks with you. AMEN.

Response:   Amen, we praise your name 

Music Postlude: Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord when it comes out easy
Praise the Lord on top of the world
Praise the Lord ‘cause in every moment Jesus Christ is Lord

Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Won’t you praise the Lord?

Praise the Lord with the world on your shoulders
Praise the Lord when it seems too hard
Praise the Lord ‘cause in every moment Jesus Christ is Lord
Even in the middle of the long, dark night
There is always grace enough today to
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Won’t you praise the Lord

Source: Musixmatch, Songwriters: Dummer Elias Elton / Fusilier Eric Morgan / Powell Aaron Christian / Vanderlaan Joshua Alexander. Praise the Lord lyrics © Thank You Music Ltd.


Darlene Eerkes, Ransford Kuci-Menkah, Nick Nation, and Heather Tansem retain the copyright on all original material presented in this service except as noted in the text.

Darlene Eerkes acknowledges the influence of a private communication from Melanie Humphreys in a memo to the King’s University Faculty and Staff (September 2021) that was based on “A Liturgy of Thanksgiving at the Return of Joy” (Every Moment Holy, Vol. II) – also of a video by Ann VosKamp – a woman who has suffered loss and learned to find joy and give praise to God in the little things.

Otherwise, as far as the authors are aware, the material presented is their own creation or is in the public domain. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

 

Posted in Recent Sermons.