Stewards of Mysteries (Roland De Vries)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Students and Colleges Sunday
10:00 am October 17, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Message: The Rev. Dr. Roland De Vries
Music Director: Binu Kapadia          Vocalist: Vivian Houg
Elder: Jane de Caen
Children’s time: Lynn Vaughan

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

L: The Lord is might light and salvation

P: whom shall I fear?

L: The Lord is the stronghold of my life

P: of whom shall I be afraid?

Opening praise: Here I am to worship

Light of the world,

You step down into darkness.

Opened my eyes let me see.

Beauty that made this heart adore you

Hope of a life spent with you.

 

Here I am to worship,

here I am to bow down,

 Here I am to say that you’re my God,

You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

 

King of all days, oh so highly exalted

Glorious in heaven above.

Humbly you came to the earth you created.

All for love’s sake became poor.

 

Here I am to worship,

here I am to bow down,

Here I am to say that you’re my God,

You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy,

Altogether wonderful to me.

Songwriter: Tim Hughes © 2000 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) 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: Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?

P: O Lord Almighty, who is like you?

L: Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.

P: Love and faithfulness go before you.

Prayers of Approach and Confession

Our God,  creator of everything good and true and beautiful. We come together this morning in your presence. We gather before you because you have drawn us to yourself in love. Help us, O God, to be a people of faithful worship, today and in each day.

Receive our worship in the songs of joy we sing.

Receive our worship in our moments of silent awe before you.

Receive our worship in work done well in the world you have created.

Receive our worship in our active bodies walking, sitting, running, standing.

Receive our worship in compassion offered to friend and stranger.

Receive our worship in our laughter at the beautiful ironies or life.

O great and glorious God – Father, Son and Spirit dwelling together in love, in light, in beauty – receive the worship of our lives, in each and every day.

Oh living God, hear us also as we offer our prayer of confession. We confess that we often walk through life as if you are far away—as if you haven’t drawn near to embrace us in Jesus Christ. We prefer to live as if you weren’t the Lord of life. We trust ourselves more than we trust your grace. We think the future is ours to define and control. Forgive us our sin, we pray, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And give the grace to walk in his way. Amen.

Response: Lord Jesus Christ, son of God (traditional prayer-song)

Assurance of God’s Pardon

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning. Great is God’s faithfulness. Thanks be to God, in Christ we are forgiven

Response: Be still and know (Words and music: anonymous and public domain)

Prayers for God’s help and guidance

God who accompanies us day by day; God who in Jesus Christ has drawn near to us; God who by the Spirit is as close to us as our own breath. In this day and every day, we ask that you would speak to us, teach us, comfort us, and lead us. So that in all things we would be faithful to the kingdom of Jesus, and would live for your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Prayers for Ourselves/Others

With the words of the Psalm-writer we turn to you again this day, O God. it is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the melody of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

We declare your love in the morning, O God, for it is carried us through the night, to this new day. For some of us this night was a difficult and restless and sleepless night. For others of us, O God, you know that we slept soundly and peacefully. In either case, it is by your Spirit you have sustained us through the night and brought us to the gift of this new day. The day of our Lord’s resurrection, a day to celebrate the triumph of life and love, of peace and justice, through Christ alone.

Today, O living God, we continue to celebrate the gifts of this Thanksgiving season. It has perhaps been an unusual Thanksgiving season, and perhaps a difficult one. Yet in this moment we praise you again for the gifts of creation. For the wind on our faces, reminding we are alive by your grace. For gardens still alive with flowers and vegetables. For sunshine, clouds, and cool days this past week. We praise you for all good gifts, that come from your hand.

Gracious God, we are reminded that you set us in communities, and thank you for the democratic process that allows us to participate in determining those who lead us. We pray for the municipal elections in Edmonton, that those who are elected on Monday will serve with diligence and wisdom, and for the wellbeing of all. We pray that the new mayor, especially, will pursue a path and policies that embody the goodness and righteousness and compassion of Christ.

We pray finally, O God, for a world that is full of pain and suffering. We think particularly of those countries that do not have access to Covid treatments or vaccinations that we have come to take for granted. We pray for Lebanon and for peace and stability in the face of increasing violence and the breakdown of civic life. We pray for Afghanistan as the Taliban consolidates is power in that country, praying for protection for those who are vulnerable, for equal treatment of women and girls, for freedom from oppression. Gracious God, may your kingdom come in the length and breadth of the earth.

We are grateful that you hear all of these prayers, as well as the prayers that we offer wordlessly, or with groans, by your Spirit. Hear and answer, we pray, in the name of your beloved Son Jesus, our Lord, Amen.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Gradual: Open our eyes, Lord (Words and music: Bob Cull; © Maranatha! Music 1976; The Copyright Company. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Story: The Rainbow Fish

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Song: Teach me God

Teach me, God, to wonder; teach me, God, to see; let your world of beauty capture me.

Refrain: Praise to you be given;

love for you be lived, life be celebrated; joy you give.

Let me God, be ready; let me be awake,

in your world of loving, my place take. Refrain.

 Teach me God, to know you, hear you when you speak,

see you in my neighbour when we meet.. Refrain

Words: Walter Farquharson © Worship Arts, 1973. Music: Ron Klusmeier © Worship Arts, 1973. ) Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Scripture readings

Psalm 89:1-15

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Response: Behold the lamb of God (Words: public domain. Music: Iona Community (Scotland) © WGRG the Iona Community, 1988. G I A Publications. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE)

Message: “Stewards of Mysteries”

This has not been designated as Stewardship Sunday for you at Dayspring, but this morning we are actually going to explore the theme of stewardship—doing so, I trust, from quite a unique point of view.

Most of us Presbyterians have been well trained in the notion of stewardship—we’ve experienced more than a few Stewardship Sundays. So we know what that word means. To be a steward of something means taking responsibility for some gift God has given. Stewardship means taking care of some gift that has been placed in your hands. And we know that the God of creation and covenant has placed so many gifts in our hands to steward and care for:

The gift of creation – of water, air, land, soil – living creatures of every kind.

The gift of family – parents, siblings, great aunts, great uncles, children, grandchildren.

The gift of body – hands to offer care; feet to carry us into lives of goodness and beauty; minds to work intelligently and imaginatively and faithfully.

So many gifts that have been placed into our hands – so many treasures handed to us for safekeeping.

We know that stewardship caring for the gifts of God. Receiving them with gratitude. Treasuring them as the remarkable expression of generosity they are.

Now this morning we want to explore a particular expression of stewardship we find in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. But in order to get there we have to back up a bit to provide some context. And the context we have to provide isn’t very encouraging context.

As you may know, in his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul responds to the fact that these Christians have been setting Paul and other Christian leaders against each other. The Christians of that church are divided into at least three camps, and they are claiming Paul and Apollos and Cephas as their figureheads. We follow Paul, says one group. We follow Apollos, says another group. We follow Cephas, says a third group.

And in response to these divisions in the church, Paul writes to the Corinthians, and he says:

You have your petty squabbles with one another.

You are divided from one another on theological grounds.

You are divided from one another on cultural grounds.

You are divided from one another on ethical grounds.

And here you are trying to conscript Apollos and Cephas and me into your squabbles, as if we are simply pawns on your chessboard.

But, Paul continues, if you think we are just figureheads to be conscripted into your battles – if you think we can just be used by you – then I think I need to tell you who we really are.

Let me put it this way. If you wanted to describe who we really are, you could call us servants of Christ.

Or you could call us co-workers with God.

Or you could say that we are those called to build up the church.

Already with this you should realize we aren’t here simply to serve your squabbles.

Even so, let me give you another way to describe us, says Paul.

We are stewards of mysteries. If you really want to know who we are – if you really want to know what defines the life of Apollos and Cephas and myself – if you really want to know what excites us and animates us – then you should get your heads around this possibility – that we are stewards of mysteries.

At the outset this morning we already noted what it is to be a steward – it is to receive and care for and treasure and share with others some gift of God.

And Paul is saying: If you want to really know what it means that I am an apostle, or want to know who I am, this is it: I am a steward of mysteries.

What I hold in my hands is a mystery. An apostle just is someone who holds mysteries in her hands – who treasures those mysteries – who celebrates those mysteries – who shares those mysteries with others.

What are the mysteries I hold?

What are the mysteries I treasure?

What are the mysteries that I am compelled to share with others?

In the first place we might say that it is the great mystery of God’s own life and being. This mystery: that in some profound sense God is beyond our grasp and our intelligence and our rationality and our feelings and our reflection.

The poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke, in one of his prayers written as a young man, speaks of  the mystery of God in this way:

You’re so vast that nothing’s left of me

when I stand anywhere near You.

You’re so dark that my little brightness

makes no sense along your seam.

Your will flows like a wave

and every day drowns within it.

Rilke speaks of the deep darkness of God, beside which our little brightness is as nothing – the greatness of God beside which our capacity for making sense is dwarfed and over-shadowed. The poet speaks of the unknowable God who is vast and powerful and glorious and beyond reach.

But we may speak of the mystery of God, not only in terms of darkness, but also in terms of light. We are in midst of gorgeous Autumn days here in Quebec. Last weekend my wife and I, with our kids, did the drive from Montreal to Toronto and back. They were glorious sunny days, with the sun illuminating the trees in red and yellow and orange. The sun, in a very real sense, was giving us the gift of those colours as we looked at the trees.

But if we had turned to look at the sun illuminating those trees, well, it would have blinded us.

Human eyes are not formed to look at the sun – human eyes will be damaged looking directly at the sun. The capacity to look directly at the sun is not part of our physiological makeup.

So it is with God – either God is a great darkness beside which our little spark is as nothing. Or better perhaps, God is the greatest light – and we simply do not have the capacity to look directly  at God. We are not constituted in such a way that we are capable of looking directly at God. Our calculations; our observations; our judgments; our evaluations; our thoughts…cannot find God – cannot reach God. It is too much.

Paul says: I am a steward of mysteries – I carry as a treasure in my hands the knowledge that God is great and glorious and beyond our comprehension. It’s for this very reason that Paul could write to the Christians of Rome:

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.

The mystery of God’s being and God’s glory. The mystery of God.

But there is another mystery of which Paul must speak. Yes, he is is a steward of the deep mystery of God’s being as dark and light. But he is also a steward of the mystery of the cross.

Paul has already written about this mystery to the Corinthians, with these words:

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jew and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is  wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Paul declares: This message is a mystery. This message is a treasure to be handled with care. And this message is one that I am compelled to share. How can I not share it – this mysterious and beautiful message that the God of deep darkness and bright light has embraced the foolishness of the cross – this God has become human among us in Jesus.

The message I must share is the impossible message of the cross – that in the birth and life and service of Jesus; that in the suffering of Jesus; that in the crucifixion of Jesus; that in the life and death and service of this man is the goodness of God most fully on display:

This dead man on a cross means life.

This dead man on a cross means forgiveness.

This dead man being taken down from the cross for burial mean’s hope.

This is a mystery. It’s impossible.

But this is the message I’ve been given to preach.

This is the message that declares the truth about God and God’s love.

This is the message of which I am a steward.

This is the mystery that has been placed as a gift in my hands.

Paul might say that it would be much easier to be a steward of some other message. It would be much easier to be steward of a generic message that God is out there and loves everyone. or some vague message that God will make everything better one day. or a simple message that we should be nice people. or a hard message that God will condemn us if we don’t measure up.

All of those messages would be so much easier to share. But that is not the message that has been placed in our hands – that is not the treasure we are to treasure and share – that is not the message of which we have become a steward. The message we preach is the message of the cross:

That the answer to our brokenness is the brokenness of God.

That the answer to our ugly words is in the ugliness of Christ crucified.

That the answer to our fears is his journey through the valley of the shadow of death.

That the answer to our loneliness is life together with the crucified one.

Paul says to the Corinthian Christians: You want to conscript me into your squabbles with each other. You demand that I stand on one side or another in your divisions. That is not who I am.

With Apollos I am a servant of Christ.

With Cephas I am a co-worker with God.

With Apollos and Cephas I am called to build the church.

And with my fellow-apostles, I am a steward of mysteries. This treasure has been placed into our hands – the mystery of God, the mystery of the cross – and we share this treasure with you. May it be power and wisdom for you – new life to share.

I know that for all of you at Dayspring there are so many good things that fill your lives. In these  days there are also very real struggles that fill you lives.

You are raising children, with all the joy and challenge that represents.

You may be working in challenging circumstances, perhaps from home.

You may be looking for work or other opportunities.

You may be a student, bringing your best energy and time to studies.

You may give time as a volunteer to community organizations.

Today my simple suggestion is: That in all of the good and important and challenging things in your life—before all of them, and in the middle of all of them, and after all of them—that you remember that you are stewards of mysteries. Before everything, and in everything, and after everything, you have mystery your carry and treasure and may share.

The deep mystery of God, who is more than we can grasp or understand.

The mystery that the crucified Jesus means life and forgiveness.

The mystery that this crucified one is risen and vindicated.

The mystery that this Jesus, crucified and risen, is hope for the world.

How might it change our lives, if in the midst of it all, we understood ourselves to be carrying this treasure with us—holding this mystery, sharing this mystery, living in this mystery. Indeed, it would make all the difference. Stewards of a mystery, that’s who we are. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Song: Take up your cross

Take up your cross, the Saviour said,

if my disciple you would be; deny yourself,

the world forsake, and humbly follow after me.

Take up your cross, nor heed the shame,

nor let your foolish pride rebel: f

or you the Saviour bore the cross,

to save your soul from death and hell.

Take up your cross, then, in Christ’s strength,

and every danger calmly brave;

’twill guide you to a heavenly home,

and lead to victory o’er the grave

Words: C.W. Everest: public domain Music: H. Baker; public domain

 We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Our God, you are the giver of good gifts. Your love and generosity toward us are beyond measure. As we experience your generosity, may we live in that generosity toward others. As we experience your grace, may we extend grace to others. As we experience your forgiveness, may we seek reconciliation with others. As we experience your love, may we live in love toward all in our lives. We pray in the name of the one in whom your love is perfectly embodied, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Response: Now thank we all our God (words: Catherine Winkworth; music: J. Cruger) public domain for both

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.

For those in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelopes with you, simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service today.

Song: To God be the glory

To God be the glory,

who great things he has done!

God so loved the world freely

sending the Son,

who yielded his life

an atonement for sin,

and opened the life-gate

that all may go in.

 Refrain: Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

let the earth hear God’s voice!

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

 let the people rejoice!

Oh come to the Father

through Jesus the Son,

and give God the glory,

who great things has done!

Oh perfect redemption,

the purchase of blood!

To every believer

the promise of God;

that when the offender,

repenting believes,

through Jesus’ atonement

full pardon receives.               Refrain

Great things God has taught us,

great things God has done,

and great our rejoicing

through Jesus the Son;

but purer and higher

 and greater will be

our wonder, our gladness,

when Jesus we see.                Refrain

Words: Fanny Crosby © The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1995; Music: William Doane, public domain. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: God to enfold you (Words: J. Bell, G. Maule; © WGRG Iona Community, GIA Publications Inc.Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved.  Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE)

Music postlude

Jesus: “I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the Sheep.”


Roland De Vries retains the copyright on the prayers and message presented in this service except as noted in the text. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

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.

 

Commune-ity–The Things We Share (The Rev. Bob Calder)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
World Communion Sunday
10:00 am October 03, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Message, Prayers, and Children’s Time: The Rev. Bob Calder
Music director: Binu Kapadia                                          Vocalist: Kara Little
Elder: Iris Routledge

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
L: The banqueting table is prepared: God calls us to His feast .
P: We have come from east and west, from north and south, to the Lord’s table.
L: Compassion, love and grace pour out like fine wine.
P: God’s Word is bread for our journey.
L: Let us join Christians around the world to share in God’s gifts.
P: Let us taste and see that the Lord is good!

Opening praise: Love the Lord your God

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind
with all your strength.

Love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind
with all your strength
With all your heart,
with all your soul,
With all your mind,
with all your strength

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind 
with all your strength

I will serve the Lord with all my heart
With all my soul,
with all my mind
And with all my strength

I will serve the Lord with all my heart
With all my soul,
with all my mind
And with all my strength

With all my heart,
with all my soul,
With all my mind,
with all my strength
I will serve the Lord with all my heart
With all my soul,
with all my mind
And with all my strength

I will serve the Lord with all my heart
With all my soul,
with all my mind
And with all my strength

I will serve the Lord with all my heart
With all my soul,
with all my mind
And with all my strength

Songwriter: Lincoln Brewster © 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

Call to worship
L: Open our ears
P: to hear your word.
L: Open our eyes
P: to see your presence.
L:
Open our arms
P: to the embrace of community.
L:
Open our minds
P: to the beauty of truth.
L:
Open our hearts
P: to the joy of new life.
L: Let us join Christians around the world as we worship together.

Prayers of approach and confession

Response: I waited, I waited on you Lord

Assurance of God’s forgivenessWe listen for a Word from God

Gradual: Open our eyes, Lord                 445

Children’s Time

Story Outline: Use of a magic bag, in which the flags of four countries get stuck to a magic string representing the Lord’s Supper symbolizing that Communion ties the countries together on World Communion Sunday.

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer     535

Song: I am the church             vss 1,2,4           475
Refrain: I am the church!
You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we’re the church together!

The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.             Refrain

We’re many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colours and all ages,
too from all times and places.  Refrain

And when the people gather,
there’s singing and there’s praying;
there’s laughing and there’s crying
sometimes, all of it saying:       Refrain

Words and music: Richard Avery and Donald Marsh © 1972 by Hope Publishing Co. Reprinted with permission under One License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Scripture reading: Romans 14:1-9                    NT(NRSV)

Response: Glory to the Father         

Message: “Commune-ity–The Things We Share”

Today, on World Communion Sunday, we celebrate, with our brothers and sisters around the world the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. In some places it will be called “The Eucharist” –  in others it will be called “Communion” – others will call it “The Love Feast”, still others will call it “The Table of the Lord” or “The Lord’s Supper” – and as varied as the titles are for what we do today – so will be the means by which our brothers and sisters come to the table – and the kinds of bread and wine offered – and the understanding that people and their pastors, priests, ministers, will have of what they are doing.

Some will come forward to receive unleavened bread in the form of a wafer into the palms of their hands.  They may or may not then sip from the cup – which may be wine – or unfermented grape juice – or even some other beverage in those places in the world where grapes are unknown.

Others will tear a piece of bread from a broken loaf – and then dip it into the common cup. Still others, like we do when we are worshipping together, will be seated in their pews and will have individual cups and pre-sliced bread shared from person to person. Today there are some here in the church and others of you who are at home. But no matter where we are, we will eat and drink together. Others may do these things as a part of a full meal – seated at a table in a sanctuary of God’s presence – or in a church hall – a home – a school building – or simply sitting in a circle in a hut or in a clearing in the midst of a jungle or forest or in the middle of a place of sand and rock.

Some today will regard the bread and the wine – after the words of consecration are prayed – as being fully and actually the body and blood of our Lord and Saviour.  Others will regard the entire sacrament as an important “memorial” as we do, – and see Jesus as being spiritually present in special manner – but deny his physical presence in the elements.

There will be differences, some of them quite profound, in how our brothers and sisters around the world view the sacrament.  Some will think that their way of doing what they are doing is the only proper way to do it.  Some traditions will welcome to the table only those persons who have made a public profession of their faith, while others will welcome very young children, even babies to the table. Some will insist that each person must belong to the denomination and the community where the sacrament is being observed – others will have an table open to “all those who love the Lord and desire to walk in his path”.

There will be a tremendous variety of practices and understandings on this World Communion Sunday, as the Lord’s Supper is celebrated – but one thing will stand out above all the differences of opinion and practice, and that is that all of us will consider what we are doing as being very important. So what do we make of that?

Where is our communion with one another when we have such a wide variety of practices and understandings?   Where is our communion with one another -and with God? Another way of putting this is to ask – Where, given our differences, is our “Commune-ity.”

What helps to define you as a community – both the community that you have here at Dayspring, and the community that you share with your fellow believers around the world is that we all view ourselves as followers of the Christ and engaged in working out the best way to order our lives as his people in response to his calling. Part of what makes us a World Wide Commune-ity – is not that we agree with one another in everything – but that we believe that the discussion we have – even that the arguments that we have – are of importance.

In discussing the differences of opinion in the Church in Rome over the Holy Days, the Apostle Paul, writes in Romans 14:5-7: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.”

The important thing that Paul is telling us in this passage, is that – “each of us should be fully convinced  in our own minds” as to what is important – and do all that we do – or don’t do – with thanks to God and in the realization that Christ is Lord of all who serve him.

When it comes to fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, there is no room for individual opinions.

But in areas where things are neither right nor wrong in themselves, there is room for differing views.

Think of your own families for a minute – families of flesh and blood and how they function.

Is there perfect agreement among you? Are there not members who believe, sometimes quite passionately, that the family should do this or that thing while others in the family hold forth for something else – something entirely different? I won’t even mention voting!

And yet – while there are these kinds of disputes – we are still a family-  we sit down together at meal times – and eat, as one, the food which has been prepared for us – some taking more from a particular dish as their tastes and their inclinations lead them and others more from another.

If we have any sense at all of being a family, we gather, as the COVID-19 regulations allow us, on special occasions and join together at the table that has been set and give thanks to God for providing us the opportunity to be together and providing the food that we eat – even if our diets are different.   We seek to bless one another and pray that they may live long and prosper – that they may do God’s will and know God’s mercy and help each day – without demanding that they do exactly what we do or think exactly the way we think. The church around the world particulary today on World Communion Sunday, is a family.

We are the family of God – a family formed by our common desire to follow Jesus Christ, who is both our brother and our Lord.We are the people of God, called together and given spiritual life, through faith Jesus Christ.

We are ones who trust in Jesus – and, with Paul and all the apostles and the saints strive to follow him faithfully and to keep the special law he gave us – the commandment that we love one another as he has loved us.

Today where is our “commune-ity” with God and one another, in the middle of a pandemic?

It is in all the things we share that are of God and are fully agreed about — and in those things that we share that are of God that we differ about.It is though faith in Jesus Christ – whom we seek to follow in various schemes and practices – and in God our Father – who sent Jesus to open the way to life for all people, that we are made into one family.

Our communion is a mystic communion – one not limited by time or space – but rather realized where-ever men and women and children have sought, and are seeking, and will yet seek to do God’s will. It is a mystic communion that comes to us as a gift from God, the God who wants us to love him with our whole heart, mind, strength and soul, and that we love one another as we love ourselves and who enables us to do that when we turn to him and trust in him and strive to do what he asks.

It is a “commune-ity” that is known deep inside us -when in humility and with gentleness and patience, we bear with one another in love and accept God’s gifts with grateful and humble prayer.

God the Father is with us, Jesus Christ is with us, the Holy Spirit is with us – and with all our brothers and sisters who call on his name today. I can see them now – all around the world – eating and drinking what God has provided and each praying, as we have prayed, that God’s will be done here on earth as it is in heaven; – that it be done here in our midst as his people- and here within our individual lives as his unique and loved children. Let us all praise our God, and Jesus Christ his Son, who has called us together today and invites us to eat and drink with him and with one another in love and commune-ity.”

Song: Put peace into each other’s hands               vss 1,3,4,5          560

Put peace into each other’s hands
and like a treasure hold it,
Protect it like a candle flame,
with tenderness enfold it.

Put peace into each other’s hands,
like bread we break for sharing;
look people warmly in the eye:
our life is meant for caring.

As at communion,
shape your hands into a waiting cradle;
the gift of Christ receive, revere,
united round the table.

Put Christ into each other’s hands,
he is love’s deepest measure;
in love make peace, give peace a chance
and share it like a treasure

Words: by Fred Kaan © Oxford University Press from Planting Trees and Sowing Seeds. Music: Ancient Irish Hymn © United Reformed Church in the UK/ Oxford University Press

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Response: In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

Reflection on giving: We have been giving faithfully even though there is no offering plate has been passed in the sanctuary since March 15, 2020. It may be a while before some of us return to the sanctuary, but we are all committed 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. For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Response: Be still and know

Prayers for others and ourselves

It is right for us to give thanks and praise, to you O Lord, our God, sustainer of the universe. At your command all things came into being.

By your will, the vast expanse of space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our home, were all created and have their being.

You brought forth the human race and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill.

You made us the stewards of creation, but we turned against you and betrayed your trust.

Yet your mercy is like a spring that never fails.

You yourself, in Christ your Son, came to deliver us: you redeem us in your love and pity; you create new heavens and a new earth where the cry of distress is heard no more.

Therefore we praise you, joining with the heavenly chorus and with those in every generation who have looked to you in hope, to proclaim with them your glory.

As we recall the death of your Son, Jesus Christ, we proclaim his resurrection and ascension, and we look with expectation for his coming as Lord of all the nations.

Be with all of those who have special needs at this time, those who are sick, those who are felling lonely or depressed, those who have recently lost loved ones. May your hand of comfort rest upon each one of them.

Especially be with those who are suffering from COVID. Give them strength, courage and healing. Motivate those who are not vavcinated to do so!

We thank you for the many years of ministry of Lloydminster Presbyterian Church. Be with the members as they close the church this afternoonm. Help the members to find a church they will be comfortable attending.

Hear us now as we come to you in a moment of silent prayer.

May the Holy Spirit make his presence felt here this morning. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, Master and Lord.

Communion

Invitation

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I invite to this Table all who are members of Christ’s body.

This is the Lord’s Table and belongs by right to all his people.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they will be filled.Matt.5:6.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.” Matt. 11:28, 29.

Song: One bread, one body vs 3,4 540

Refrain: One bread, one body, one Lord of all
One cup of blessing which we bless
And we, though many, throughout the earth
We are one body  in this one Lord

Grain for the fields, scattered and grown,
gathered to one for all.                 Refrain

Fruit of the vine, gathered and crushed,
poured out and blest for all.         Refrain

Words and music: John B. Foley, V. 4 © Judee Archer Green © John B. Foley, SJ and New Dawn Music, 1978; V. 4 © Judee Archer Green, 1997. Reprinted with permission under One License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE 

Invitation

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I invite to this Table all who are members of Christ’s body.

This is the Lord’s Table and belongs by right to all his people.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they will be filled.Matt.5:6.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.” Matt. 11:28, 29.

 Affirmation of our faith: The Apostles’ Creed

Declaration
We come to the Lord’s supper together. We are gathered here in the Sanctuary and via zoom from west and east, north and south. The resurrected Jesus revealed himself to his disciples in the breaking of bread around a table. May we see His face today as we come to the Lord’s Supper.

Prayer

O God, you are before all things; You are beyond all things; in the midst of all things and all peoples you have made yourself known.

In Jesus of Nazareth, is compassion for the outcast, forgiveness for the fallen, hope for the poor and hungry; in his life poured out for others and broken in rejection and disdain you have made yourself known.

Therefore, we join our praises with countless men and women before us, disciples and apostles, saints and martyrs, acclaiming your power in goodness and your might in compassion.

We greet the one who comes in your name, your true light, your true love, the bread of compassion, the wine of renewal.

As he broke bread before the brokenness of his death, as he poured out wine before his blood was poured out on the cross, as he gave his life in acts of goodness, as he invited all to the feast of new hope, so come to us, Jesus, in your love.

Come to us, Holy Spirit, and let the bread and wine before us be your life in our life, nourish us with his vision of hope, and unite us in one body.

Nourish us with your brokenness, Renew us with your poured out life,

Empower us with your strength, that we may take root in your risen life and bear fruit in your world.

You are our life;
You are our hope;
You are our peace;
And we praise you.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

Sharing of the Elements

On the night he was handed over, the night before he was crucified, Jesus gathered with his friends for a meal.
He took the bread, and after blessing it, he broke it, saying,
“This is my body, which is broken for you. As often as you eat it, remember me.”

Let’s pray. Jesus, as we take this bread, let it be a sign of all you did for us, and who you are for us. Thank you for this bread of life.In your name we pray. Amen

The body of Christ given for you. The bread of heaven ..

After sharing the bread, Jesus took a cup of wine, and gave it to them to drink, saying, “This is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for many.”

Let’s pray. Jesus, as we drink this cup, let it be a sign for us of all you did for us, and who you are for us. Thank you that you bring us peace that passes understanding. In Jesus’ Holy name we pray. Amen

The blood of Christ, the cup of the new covenant. The cup of salvation …

The prayer after communion

Jesus, through your death and resurrection you reconciled the world to God, and through your example you have shown us a way to peace.

Give us strength  to be channels of peace in the world, speaking your peace, living your peace, and always longing for that moment of eternal peace when we shall see you again.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Song: Amigos de Cristo                    476

Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord;
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.
For we’ve been forgiven, and we’ve been restored,
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.

Friends of the covenant renewed each morn;
baptized and loving it, we’ve been reborn.
Gift of the dove is ours for evermore.
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.

Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord;
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.
For we’ve been forgiven, and we’ve been restored,
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.

Born of a family, the young and old,
we’ll be on hand to see new life unfold.
We understand the need to be made whole.
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.

Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord;
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.
For we’ve been forgiven, and we’ve been restored,
Amigos de Cristo; we’re friends of the Lord.

Words and music: Public domain

Sending out with God’s blessing

Benediction: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, both now and forever more. Amen.

Response: God to enfold you

Music postlude

“Communion is strength; solitude is weakness. Alone, the fine old beech yields to the blast and lies prone on the meadow. In the forest, supporting each other, the trees laugh at the hurricane. The sheep of Jesus flock together. The social element is the genius of Christianity.”
Charles Spurgeon


The Rev. Bob Calder retains the copyright on all original material presented by him. The language of the Communion liturgy is based on the Book of Common Worship of the PCC (1991) with modifications based on various sources. Otherwise, as far as the author is aware, the material presented without attribution 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.

Rahab (Joshua 2:1-21; 6:22-25) (The Rev Annabelle Wallace)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Presbyterian Sharing Sunday
10:00 am September 26, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Message, Prayers , and Children’s Time: The Rev. Annabelle Wallace
Music director: Binu Kapadia              Vocalist: Linda Farrah-Basford
Elder: Gina Kottke

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
L: From you, Lord, and through You, and to You, are all things
P: To Christ be the glory forever
L: Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: I lift my eyes up
I lift my eyes up to the mountains.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from You, Maker of heaven
Creator of the earth.

Oh, how I need You, Lord You are my only hope.
You’re my only prayer.

So I will wait for You
to come and rescue me.

Come and give me life.

Written and performed by Brian Doerksen ©1990 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook) License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Call to worship
L: Come people of God. Let us gather with hearts overflowing with delight and thankfulness.
P: We are a company of faith blessed by God.
L: God’s name is to be celebrated in all generations.
P: With joy and gladness we praise God forever and ever.

Prayers of approach and confession

God of grace and glory, make your presence known to us as we worship this morning. Jesus our Christ, may your name be praised from the rising of the sun to the midnight hour. Spirit of holiness, breath on us all and bind us in Christian love and servanthood.  O God, Creator; Christ and Holy Spirit, be known to us today. Gracious God, in acknowledging your great love for us we realize our failure to live in your image.

We acknowledge a desire to be faithful as well as a reluctance to follow faith’s course and calling. We yearn for a strong faith and strive to be instruments of your spirit, yet we often believe sparingly and burden ourselves with inflexible notions. Challenge us to stretch ourselves to grow in new directions. Forgive us for times when we have rejected our neighbour, times when we have taken upon ourselves the role of judge. Lord in your mercy forgive us and instill in us an ever growing devotion to you, grant us the courage to follow wherever that devotion leads us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Response: I waited, I waited on you Lord

Assurance of God’s Grace

The Good News for all who walk the earth is that God wills our lives to be liberated from sin and aimlessness. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. As people forgiven and called, let us journey in the joy and love we receive as disciples of Jesus Christ.

 We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Gradual: Jesus loves me                           373

Sometimes people are disliked because they are different.

Have you heard people say, and maybe even you have said “that person is a nerd or a goof or whatever”  There are kids that are picked on because of the way they look, or the clothes they wear, or their manners, habits or other behaviour.

Often these people are treated cruelly and mean things are said to them – they become victims.

If we find ourselves caught up in this kind of attitude I have three questions we could ask ourselves.

Is it right.  No! Just because a person might seem odd to us this does not give us the right to be mean or cruel. Jesus met all kinds of people – he was a friend to all, many people who he helped were disliked by others. He was even criticised for his behaviour. We need to follow his example.  Every person is a child of God.

How does my action make the other person feel? Terrible! How do we know? We know how we feel when someone treats us badly. Jesus said treat others as you would have others treat you.Is there any good in this Person? YES.

A slang phrase that has been around is “God doesn’t make no junk” Jesus helped disliked rejected people to find new life by being the person God wants them to be.  We must do the same for everyone we meet.

Love, encourage, help.

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer 535

Song: Jesu, Jesu                             229

Refrain: Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve
the neighbors we have from you.

Kneels at the feet of his friends,
silently washes their feet,
Master who acts as a slave to them..    Refrain

Neighbors are rich and poor,
varied in colour and race,
neighbors are nearby and far away.      Refrain

These are the ones we should serve,
these are the ones we should love;
all are neighbors to us and you.            Refrain

Kneel at the feet of our friends,
silently washing their feet;
this is the way we should live with you.  Refrain

 Words and music: Tom Colvin © 1969 by Hope Publishing Co. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Scripture readings: Acts 8: 9 – 13            NT(NRSV)
John 4:24 – 26          NT(NRSV)

Response: Jesus, remember me                         

Message: “Rahab” (Joshua 2:1-21; 6:22-25)

Our story this morning comes from the book of Joshua.  Historically it tells of the return of the Israelites from Egypt.  Joshua is now the leader and the people are about to enter the land – they have come to Jericho – and they are about to meet a woman named Rahab.

Rahab was a prostitute who lived and worked in Jericho.  Her house, in fact, was built into the thick city wall.  She was located in a place and in a profession that enabled her to hear gossip and to assess the thinking of the people.  Over the past several months, she had learned enough to know that the people of Jericho, even of the entire land of Canaan, were terrified of a man named Joshua and his army of followers.  They had heard about Joshua’s God and how he had dried up the Red Sea so that the Israelites could leave Egypt.  This God was a mighty God, and Joshua’s men were God’s men.  What would these men do to Jericho?

One night two spies from Joshua’s camp arrived in Jericho.  To avoid suspicion, they took lodging in Rahab’s place of business.  But Rahab knew immediately who they were and what they were about.  In her mind she weighed the evidence – reports of Joshua’s strength and of the power of his God, against the limited preparations of the people of Jericho, plus her love and concern for her own family – and she made a decision.  Rahab would protect Joshua’s spies and become a spy herself.

During the night, the king of Jericho got word that there were spies in his city and that they were likely the two strangers lodging at Rahab’s house.  He sent word to Rahab:  “The men in your house have come to spy out the whole country!  Bring them out”

“Some men did come to my house”, she answered, “but I don’t know where they were from.  They left at sundown before the city gate was closed.  I didn’t find out where they were going, but if you start after them quickly, you can catch them.”

The truth was, Rahab had already hidden the spies.  They were under some stalks of flax on her roof!

So the King’s men, following Rahab’s false lead, left the city in search of the spies, and Rahab went up to the roof to get a few things straight.  She wanted protection, as she had given protection, not only for herself but for her entire family – a very large family.  She told the spies how much the people were frightened because of all the mighty deeds that their God had done.  She said to them:  “I know that the Lord your God is indeed God in heaven above and on earth below.”

One of the spies said, “If you do not tell anyone what we have been doing, we promise you that when the Lord gives us this land, we will treat you well.”

They told her that when the invasion came, she should gather all of her family into her house, that they would not be responsible for anyone left outside.  And, she was to tie a red cord to her window, which would be a signal to the invaders.  No one in that house would be harmed.

Then Rahab let them down by a crimson rope through the window in the wall.  She instructed them to go to the hill country, so that the pursuers would not find them.  “Hide yourselves there for three days, until the pursuers have returned; then after that you may go your way”.

When Joshua’s army finally arrived, Rahab did exactly as she had been instructed.  Quickly, she rounded up her family – mother, father, brothers, sisters, and all their families.  Then she tied a red cord to her window, making sure it was in plain sight.

Joshua sent the two spies to go and bring Rahab and all her family to the edge of the camp.  It was a good thing they did this, for the walls of Jericho collapsed and the city was burned to the ground!  Rahab and her family, however, were in the safety of the Israelite camp.  In this way she was rewarded for her service to God.  Rahab, God’s spy, and her descendants continued to live in the Israel community from that day forward.

We do not hear anything more about Rahab until the Gospel of Matthew is written.  The first chapter of Matthew contains a genealogy of Jesus.  A searching of the family tree for roots.  This genealogy follows the usual practice of the day and lists the fathers of the families.  But four times the norm is interrupted with the names of mothers.

The second interruption is the woman Rahab – the prostitute from Jericho – she is the mother of Boaz, who marries Ruth, who has a child, Obed, who is the father of Jesse, who is the father of King David.  Imagine the prostitute from Jericho – a forbearer of Jesus Christ.  God does work in mysterious ways!

Our story from the New Testament also reminds us that God works in mysterious ways – In acts we learn of Simon the magician – a hero in his own right, he had the people of Samaria in the palm of his hand.  He proclaimed himself as great, and the people claimed “This man is the power of God that is called Great.  After Phillip preaches the Good News of Jesus Christ all these people are converted by the real power of God.  Simon who had it all is also converted – he becomes a new person – dependent on the power of God rather than his own deceiving magic to wow the people.  He stays with Phillip and becomes transformed by the power of God at work in the world.  Who would have believed that he would let go of such a great scam.

Then there is the story from the Gospel of John about the Samaritan woman. It was the common understanding of those who saw themselves as the true believers that the Samaritans were not true believers, everyone knew that their religious observances were inferior – yet Jesus chooses to dialogue with this quick witted woman, with an assumed dark past, she is converted by the power of God and becomes a catalysts for others to come to faith.  She becomes a proclaimer of God’s good news.

A prostitute, a magician and a Samaritan all instruments of God.  Three very unlikely people chosen to fulfill God’s purposes.  Not, likely the people we would choose.  But that is just it – we are reminded by today’s stories not to be too quick in making human judgements.  We the Christian Church of today, have from our experience, developed preconceived ideas of who is a potential hearer of the Word of God.  We approach those who we think are acceptable candidates to join the Kingdom of God here on earth.  Proper people.  People who will enjoy coming and joining us on the comfortable pew and do things our way.  But God works in mysterious ways.  God uses people beyond our expectations and preconceived notions.

Rahab heard of the mighty acts of God and believed.  Having heard, she converted to the God who was Lord of heaven and earth.  Simon, saw the mighty acts of God in action.  Having seen, he converted to the God who worked beyond magic and illusion.  The woman of Samaria, discussed the theologies, philosophies and understandings of the day, then after experiencing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, she is converted into a life of pointing to Jesus Christ as the source of life and hope.

Our task is one of evangelism.  Our task is to proclaim the mighty acts of God in word and deed to all sorts and conditions of people.  Our task is not to judge the receptiveness or worry about the potential outcome of our proclamation or measure the possible growth for our church but simply to proclaim in word and deed the power of God, who is Lord of heaven and earth.  These stories have much to say to us about our behaviour.  It means that we can never write anyone off as unworthy of our care and compassion or as a waste of our time.

I have worked in two downtown churches. People of all sorts and conditions come to the door for help in one form or another.  There is always a wrestling in these encounters.  Weighing the truth, the reality of the need, the genuineness of the request.  It is always a struggle between wisdom and compassion because; as scripture tells us we are to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.   We are called to discern, and not be foolish.  This is one of the cutting edges of ministry.  But in the end – the balance is always swayed by a preference for responsive grace and mercy because God does work in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.

Where are the cutting edges of your ministry in your everyday life?  Where do your presumptions come in conflict to God’s call to live mercy, grace and justice?  Is it with the neighbour who refuses to co-operate, the workmate who is a thorn in the flesh, the relative who has broken down the relationship, the person of colour who does not in fit with our cultural traditions, the person of sexual orientation that differs from us?  Always remember that God can and will work beyond our expectations – these people also are potential instruments of God’s work.

Our acts of mercy and grace can become means of conversion in the hands of our God.  Our task is to proclaim in deed the mighty acts of God – God’s power will convert.

 

Song: We have this ministry              590

We have this ministry
and we are not discouraged;
it is by God’s own power
that we may live and serve.
Openly we share God’s word,
speaking truth as we believe,
praying that the shadowed world
may healing light receive.
We have this ministry; O God, receive our living.

O Christ, the tree of life,
our end and our beginning,
we grow to fullest flower
when rooted in your love.
Brothers, sisters, clergy, lay,
called to service by your grace,
different cultures, different gifts,
the young and old a place.
We have this ministry, O God, receive our giving.

The yoke of Christ is ours:
the whole world is our parish;
we daily take the cross,
the burden and the joy.
Bearing hurts of those we serve,
wounded, bruised and bowed with pain,
Holy Spirit, bread and wine,
we die and raise again.
We have this ministry; O God, receive our loving.

Words and music: Jim Strathdee © Deseet flower Music, 1979. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

 We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Gracious, everlasting, ever-loving God you have bestowed gifts upon your creation that ae beyond our every expectation. So we pause now to set before you are thanks – symbolized by our offerings. We have opened our hands to release the gifts that now come before you as a way of bringing glory to your name through service Throughout you world. God of glory we offer this money to further the work of your church. We offer ourselves too, as we strive to be your people on earth. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Response: Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Reflection on giving

We have been giving faithfully throughout the pandemic. This reflects our commitment to continue 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 contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude. For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Response: Be still and know

Prayer for Others and Ourselves

God of the entire universe, we give you thanks for this day. You have filled it with the sounds and feel and smell of autumn for our enjoyment and pleasure.God of every time and place, you have chosen people throughout the ages to be bearers of your love, definers of your justice, witnesses of your mercy, builders of your peace.

We pray this morning that you sharpen our awareness of what it means to be chosen – chosen not by merit or for privilege but because you have drawn us near by grace. Fill us with that same sense of passion for living your grace, justice and mercy.

We come to pray for your world.

We pray for those who have experienced personal tragedies – send your comfort and peace upon them.

We pray for those whose safety and support systems have failed – those who are living in isolation – those who have no home or food – those who feel no sense of purpose and direction – those filled with useless anger. Lord use us to bring about wholeness and justice to these your people.

We remember the victims of wars – we pray for refugees. We pray for those who cannot find their loved ones, for those who grief for those who are still tortured and oppressed. Open leaders and people alike to the call of your ways of forgiveness and peace.

God of compassion and mercy we pray for those who are ill – may they know your healing presence.  And we pray for those who are suffering from this pandemic, especially we pray for all those who are serving so diligently to heal and save and comfort – despite exhaustion and feelings of despair and anger. We pray for those who are living in care homes – grant them the peace of your presence.

Lord there is so much need – it is overwhelming – we place our trust in you to help us find ways to bring about answers to these prayers in our small corner of the world.

Lord hear our prayers and use us to answer. Amen

Song: Give me oil in my lamp         655

Give me oil in my lamp; keep me burning;
give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp; keep me burning;
keep me burning till the break of day.

Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
sing hosanna to the Servant King;
sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
sing hosanna, let us sing!

Give me joy in my heart; keep me praising;
give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart; keep me praising;
keep me praising till the break of day.  Refrain

Give me peace in my heart; keep me loving;
give me peace in my heart, I pray.
Give me peace in my heart; keep me loving;
keep me loving till the break of day.     Refrain

Give me love in my heart; keep me serving;
give me love in my heart, I pray.
Give me love in my heart; keep me serving;
keep me serving till the break of day.    Refrain

Words: Anonymous © public domain; Music: Christian Strover © 1988 by Hope Publishing Co.

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: Amen, we praise your name, O God

 “The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought children; but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Jesus


Annabelle Wallace retains the copyright (©2021) on all original material presented by her. As far as we are aware, all of the unattributed material presented herewith is Annabelle Wallace’s own creation or is in the public domain. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Disciples on a Journey (Lydia Calder)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am September 19, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Message by Lydia Calder
Music director: Binu Kapadia        Vocalist: Lynn Vaughan
Elder: Darlene Eerkes           Children’s Time: Lydia Calder

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
L: Our world offers wide streets and paved sidewalks to walk on;
P: Our God invites us to walk the road of service and sacrifice.
L: Our culture promotes achievement, success, climbing to the top, ringing the bell.
P: Our God tells us if we want to be first we need to go to the end of the line.

Opening praise: Holy 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 thank you for what is good.
P: We come to you, O God, to cry out for what is wrong.
L: We come to you, O God, to ask for help and restoration.
P: We come to you, O God, with aching hearts and glad souls.
L: Let us worship God.

Prayers of approach and confession

Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things – meet us here, amid our concerns and our questions, our joys and our hopes.  Lead us as we call upon you, that we may know your gracious will, and with our brothers and sisters around the world lift up your holy name in the unity of Christ’s love – that love shown to us in his life, his death, and his resurrection.

Sometimes, O God, we forget people, or we toss them aside – the difficult ones, the needy ones, the ones who confront us. And most often it’s not so much about them as it’s about us. We are uncomfortable, or we feel guilty, or we follow brighter, shinier people, or we worry about what will make us look good.

Forgive us for mistaking what the world values with what you value. Help us to be better, and to see more clearly, and to care more thoroughly. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Response: I will trust in the Lord

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

The prophet Micah reminds us that God requires three things: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. We can be assured that God offers forgiveness and peace to those who humbly  seek reconciliation with him and with humanity.  Amen.

We listen for the voice of God

Gradual: Open our eyes, Lord

Children’s time                  

Story

These are my keys. They come in all different shapes and sizes. This one is for… Which of these keys do you think is the most important?

That’s a trick question because there is no most important key. Every key is important. If I need to drive my car then my car, only my car key will.  But if I want to get to the Sunday School supplies at the church my car key is useless for that job.

It would be pretty silly to argue about which of these keys is the most important, wouldn’t it? How about people? Have you ever heard people arguing among themselves about which of them is the greatest? I have!

Even Jesus disciples – his best friends – had an argument like that. One day the disciples were walking along the road with Jesus and they began arguing among themselves. When they got to the place where they were going, Jesus  asked, “so what were you guys arguing?” The disciples got very quiet. They were embarrassed because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.

Jesus sat down with them and said, “If anyone wants to be first,” he said, “he must be the very last, and be the servant of everyone else.”

Whoa! I bet this disciples weren’t to happy when they that! Each of them was Probably hoping to hear Jesus say that they were going to have a position of great importance in his kingdom.

When Jesus says “if anyone wants to be first he must be last,” do you think that means that he doesn’t want us to do our best?   No. God wants us to do our best in whatever we do at home or school or in sports or in music. What it means is that we’re not to act like big shots and we’re not to treat those who do better than us or those who do worse than us any differently. Every person is important. Every person is great.

If I were to ask you, “Who is the greatest person who ever lived?” What would your answer be? Would you name a famous athlete? A movie star? A world leader? I think Jesus was the greatest person who ever lived. Why? Because, although he was God, he gave up all of his special privileges and to become a human being, and to save us and to serve us.

There are a lot of keys on my key ring. One key you won’t find on this key ring is the key to greatness. The key to greatness is to have a servant’s heart. A heart like Jesus.

Prayer

Dear God, we pray that you’d give us a servant’s heart. A heart like Jesus’. Amen

Lord’s Prayer

Song: Brother sister vrs 1,2,4

Brother, sister, let me serve you; let me be as Christ to you; pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey, and companions on the road; we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.

I will weep when you are weeping; when you laugh I’ll laugh with you; I will share your joy and sorrow, till we’ve seen this journey through.

Words and Music: Richard Gillard © scripture in song, 1977 administered in North, South and Central America by Integrity Music. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Scripture readings                       
Psalm 1
Mark 9:30-37                   NT(NRSV)
James 3:13-18                 NT(NRSV)

Response: Behold the lamb of God            

Message: “Disciples on a Journey”

One of the more interesting stories to come out of the Tokyo Olympics was about Dayna Pidhoresky, who competed in the women’s marathon. She grew up in Tecumseh, Ontario and attended a small private Christian school in Windsor.  She started running and competing in cross-country while in Grade 4 and stuck with it in the early days because she could beat the boys…

A graduate of the University of Windsor, Dayna earned her spot on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team with a breakthrough performance at the 2019 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. She was the top Canadian woman in the race which also doubled as the national marathon trials and she ran her personal best time -2:29.03

Unfortunately, on her flight to the Tokyo Olympics, Pidhoresky ended sitting near someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.  She was required to quarantine for 14 days ahead of her run and forgo training during that time. The only exercise she got was a stationary bike in her hotel room.

Nonetheless, Dayna was at the start line on Saturday Aug 6, excited to compete.

88 women started the 42 kilometre  race. With high humidity and a temperature of 27c fifteen women had to drop out.  But Dayna persisted and finished the race in 3 hours and 3 minutes a full 30 minutes longer than her best time.

She came in last.

Nobody dreams of finishing in last place.

In today’s gospel lesson we heard that while Jesus and his disciples were traveling to Capernaum the disciples got into an argument about who was the greatest among them.

It was a silly argument then, as it would be a silly argument today.

Let’s consider the billionaire disciples of space travel for a minute. Who is the greatest?  Richard Branson who did it first; or Jeff Bezos who hit the higher altitude; or Jared Issacman who commanded the first all civilian mission? They’re all just arrogant big shots with too much money.

Arguments about greatness are futile.

Yet from an early age, most of us have been taught that greatness is important. Who’s the King of the Castle and who’s the dirty rascal?

We talk about the Great Lakes, the Great Wall of China; and the Great White Shark swimming in the Great Barrier Reef.  History has dubbed certain leaders with the title “great” – Alexander the Great, Herod the Great, and Catherine the Great. Wikipedia reports there have been at least 114 world leaders who had the word “great” used with their names, all the way from Albert the Great to Xerxes the Great.

Greatness means bigger, better, more amazing.  Greatness implies power, strength, fame and wealth.

But the core of that kind of greatness is egocentric – individuals at the  center of their own personal universe with everything and everyone revolving around them.   Google reports that its Android devices take 93 million selfies per day. Just imagine the kind of arguments the disciples could have had if they’d had access to Facebook or TikTok?  “Well, I have 8000 more Facebook followers than you do, so that proves I’m the greatest.”

Inward Journey

Back to Capernaum… Once they were settled in at their destination Jesus asked the disciples what they had been arguing about. All of a sudden they were very quiet, embarrassed really,  as well they should have been.

Of course, Jesus knew full well what they had been arguing about.  He could have stopped on the road and challenged them then and there, out in the open. But he waited and saved his question until they were in the privacy of a house.

This is about more than a change in physical location. Jesus is moving the conversation inward. He’s not gathering information for himself but inviting the disciples to a time of introspection, to meet God in the internal spaces of their lives.  He asks them to examine themselves, their motives and attitudes from a different perspective.

Coming to church, whether onsite or online, is a great opportunity for worship and fellowship and truthfully we can connect with God in all the highways and byways of life.  But self-refection is usually better done in private.

As Jesus called the twelve to a more private place he also calls us on an inward journey- away from the busyness of the world.  This inward journey takes us on an expedition within our minds and souls… where we move into a deep conversation within our souls about who we really are, about our failings, our hopes, our fears.

Jesus is also there, on our inward journeys, there to forgive us for our failures… to be voice of peace and love drowning out the voices of criticism and complaints. He speaks to us in the quiet and in the calm and shows us an image of who we might be. Going inward awakens us because true change starts from within. And, as Elizabeth O’Connor wrote, “If you do not attend to the journey inward, you will burn out on the journey outward.” (Journey Inward, Journey Outward. Elizabeth O’Connor. San Francisco; Harper Collins, 1968, p. 9).

Recall the words of our Psalm reading today: Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or  take the path that sinners tread, but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night.  They are like trees planted by streams of water….”

Happy are those who are committed to the inward journey.

Outward Journey

Having said that, the Christian way is to balance the inward journey of reflection and meditation with the outward journey of justice and mercy.

And that brings us to the next teachings of this passage. The issue is about who is greatest, and who deserves more and who should call the shots. Jesus wants them to see a different view of greatness, a different way of living, one that involves service to others.

Jesus suggests that they humble themselves, saying “If anyone  wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

In other words, life in the Kingdom of God is not about being the first or the greatest, but rather about seeing other people as important, in a way that removes all distinctions.

Then taking a child in his arms he says to them: “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me.”

Why a child?  In Jesus day, men held the highest honor in society. The pecking order normally went like this:
+The highest position of society was a married man
+Next would come a man in his senior years
+Then would come a man who was young and single.
Women would take the next honored positions:
+Married women with children would come first and foremost
+Then widows
+And single women after that.
And in the lowest possible position, were children

In Jesus’ day children were not the most important persons in their families, they were the least. They  had no rights, no status, no economic value. There were no United Nations declarations about how they should be treated, and what it is that they deserve out of life. To most of ancient society children were viewed no higher than a slave or piece of property.  The father had sole authority over them. If he was not happy with a child he could sell that child into slavery or leave them in the streets to fend for themselves or even abandon them in the wilderness.

The child in this context, is not a symbol of innocence or potential, but rather a symbol of vulnerability, powerlessness, and dependency. Jesus is speaking to the issue of status. Greatness, he says, is in welcoming and receiving people with no status.

Translating that into the 21st century world, who are the vulnerable, the powerless, the dependent?  Who are the second class citizens? Who can be easily cast aside when we don’t want to see them? Whose voices are not heard not unless the more powerful indulge them from time to time? Who are those who make us uncomfortable because they are different?

Whoever welcomes one of those in Jesus name, welcomes Jesus himself.

Life lived according to the way of Christ is a life of opening one’s arms and welcoming people into our embrace, showing them that we care.

True greatness never puts itself in a position of superiority over another person. It is not about me: my nation, my tribe, my people, my religion, my politics. It’s not about my bank account, my house, my job, my accomplishments or reputation. Our greatness is revealed in our service and care of others regardless of her or his ability or willingness to pay, repay, or return the favor.

To foster an attitude of humility means recognizing that it is really only God who is great, who important. And to accept that our all-powerful God is also found in the simple, the ordinary, the lowly.

We are all on a journey in this life. I think that most of us are  looking for a better life for ourselves and our families and our world.

We would like to experience more joy, more peace, more contentment.

We would like to see an end to the world’s problems.

We would like our children, and our children’s children grow up in a world where everyone is valued.

This can only come when we give up the world’s standards of success as measured by power, status, and money. As long as we discriminate between people, as long as we judge some to be  more important than others, as long as we desire to be more important ourselves, we block what God has in store for us, and for our world.

Conclusion

Jesus’ disciples were on a journey – an inward journey where they would meet their darker selves, then let the light in.  That inward journey took them to outward places where they became light for others.

Our journey inward is shaped by our knowledge of God’s mercy and our need. Our journey outward is shaped the world’s needs and God’s desire that all people be treated with respect and justice.

If we are trying to do the outward acts of mercy and working to set the world right as Jesus wants us to, but we are not engaged in the inward journey of finding God in quietness and prayer and love, we miss out on God’s strength and resources. On the other hand, if we are doing the inward acts of believing and praying and growing spiritually, but we are not engaged in serving God in the world and working for the justice that reflects his kingdom’s values, then we’ve missed the point.

If we are not concerned for the world, and for the least of those amongst us, we will not find God, because God is all about the world. God is all about justice and mercy and how they get lived out in individuals and in communities and nations.

Friends, we are Christians, Christ followers, Jesus People. Let us ever remember that Jesus came among us not as an Emperor, a  Chief Executive Officer, or a President, but as a servant. He came to help, to touch, to heal, to forgive, to love.

Amen.

Song: Make me a channel of your peace

Make me a channel of your peace where there is hatred let me bring your love; where there is injury, your healing power; and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace; where there’s despair in life let me bring hope; where there is darkness, only light; .and where there’s sadness ever joy

O Spirit grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of your peace; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; in giving to all let we receive; and in dying that we’re born to eternal life

Words: St Patrick of Ireland © public domain; Music: Sebastian Temple © Franciscan Communications Centre, 1968. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Lord, we thank you for the morning: for the sun that comes up without fail; for the fresh start of each new day; for the hot shower and the first cup of coffee or tea; for the opportunities that lie before us.

Lord, we thank you for the noon time: for the work that you call us to and the energy and resources to do it; for the companions we meet along the way; for the encouragement we receive and the help we can give to others; for the things that make us laugh and the things that make us pray.

Lord, we thank you for the evening: for the dinner on the table; for the warmth of home and the lights shining in the darkness; for the time to sit back and relax; for a comfortable bed in which to rest; for the knowledge that you have been with us each moment of the day and the confidence that you will bring us safely through the night.

Lord, we thank you.  Amen

Response: In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

Reflection on giving: We have been giving faithfully throughout the pandemic. This reflects our commitment to continue 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 contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Response: Be still and know

Prayer for Others and Ourselves

Let us come before God with our prayers of intercession. Let us pray…

God of heaven and earth, through Jesus Christ You promise to hear us when we pray to You in His name.  Confident in Your love and mercy we bring our prayers before you.

We ask that you would guide the rulers of the nations. Move them to set aside their fear, greed, and ambition,  and bow to Your sovereign rule. Inspire them to strive for peace and justice, that all people may dwell secure,  free of war and injustice.

We especially pray for Canada’s federal election tomorrow.  We thank you for each person who has had the conviction to run for public office. May each citizen realize that casting a vote is both a privilege and a responsibility and make the time to do so. Please give the successful candidates the wisdom they need to help build a society based on trust and respect. Renew our nation in the ways of justice and peace.

Restore among us a love of the earth You created for our home.  Help us put an end the abuse of land, air, and waters, and give us respect for all Your creatures. May your whole creation resound in an anthem of praise to You.

God of compassion hear the cries of the world ’s hungry and suffering.  Give us, who consume most of the earth ’s resources, the will to reorder our lives, that all may have their rightful share of the food, medical care, and shelter.

Look with compassion on all who suffer.  Support with Your love those with incurable and stigmatized diseases,  those unjustly imprisoned,  those denied dignity, those who live without hope,  those who are homeless or abandoned.  As You have moved toward us in love,  so lead us to be present with them in their suffering in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sustain those among us who need your healing touch.  Make the sick whole,  Give hope to the dying, Comfort those who mourn.   Uphold all who suffer in body or mind,  that they may know your peace and sense your presence.

Strengthen this congregation in its work and worship.  Help them as they move into the future preparing for a new minister with whom to serve you. Fill each heart with Your self-giving love and each voice with your praise.

Lord, We are so much like those first disciples. Our cravings for more and more toss us about like leaves in the autumn winds. Help us to understand your ways of peace and gentleness and to love those whom we consider to be difficult. We acknowledge that we tend to spread our love thinly among those we can relate to, those who share our values, and those who do not threaten our comfortable lifestyle. Give us hearts that reach out to those we would otherwise ignore.

Jesus, You led the way, and it is your example that we look to. You turned the values of this world upside down. Do the same with us, Lord.  Help us live the reality of your Love.

O God,  In all things for which we pray,  give us the will to seek to bring them about,  for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Song: From heaven you came

From heaven you came, helpless babe, entered our world, your glory veiled, not to be served but to serve, and give your life that we might live.    Refrain

This is our God, the Servant King, he calls us now to follow him, to bring our lives as a daily offering of worship to the Servant King

There in the garden of tears, my heavy load he chose to bear; his heart with sorrow was torn:“Yet not my will but yours,” he said.          Refrain

Come see his hands and his feet, the scars that speak of sacrifice, hands that flung stars into space to cruel nails surrendered.                     Refrain

So let us learn how to serve, and in our lives enthrone him, each other’s needs to prefer, for it is Christ we’re serving.                                    Refrain

Words and Music: Graham Kendrick © Kingsway’s Thankyou Music 1983 administered in North, South and Central America by Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/ASCAP. 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

Go now, as God’s beloved children, confident that our God is with us every step of our journey, knowing that the Father gives us protection, the Saviour gives us hope and the Spirit gives us compassion.  Amen

Response: Go forth into the world

Music Postlude

(Zoom breakout rooms)

“Instead of putting others in their place put yourself in their place”   Amish Proverb


Some of this material may have been previously published by Lydia Calder. Lydia Calder retains the copyright on all original material. As far as the writer is aware, the illustrations used are public domain.  Reference sources available on request.

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The Restless Sower and the Perfect Seed (Samuel Andri)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am September 12, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Message by Samuel Andri
Music director: Binu Kapadia
Worship leader: Nick Nation     Elder: Heather Tansem
Children’s Time: Fionna McCrostie

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
L: From you, Lord, and through You, and to You, are all things
P: To Christ be the glory forever
L: Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

*Opening praise: 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

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

Call to worship
L: God has abundantly cast God’s seeds of love and hope upon us.
P: May we be fruitful soil for the planting and growing of hope and peace.
L: Come, let us praise God who is so generous with us.
P: Let us sing songs of joy to God.
L: Hallelujah!
P: Hallelujah!

Prayers of Approach and Confession

Living God, artist of the changing skies, builder of the steadfast earth,

Lively Christ, born to walk life’s journey with us,

Spirit of life, always moving in us and among us,

Your presence surrounds us here and everywhere we go.

Your purpose holds the world in its place;

Your imagination engages us each step of the way.

In our time of worship, show us how we can serve you,

and open our imaginations to the future you create,

for we seek your guidance and your grace now and always. Amen.

God of time and eternity,

we confess that we have long memories, especially for things that hurt us,

for moments we resent or regret.

Week by week we seek your forgiveness for our mistakes,

but we confess we do not forgive others so faithfully.

Sometimes we seek opportunity to even the score.

Confront us with your mercy, O God,

and open our hearts to its cleansing power.

Response: Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

God hears your cries and heals your wounded hearts. God is preparing you for good things to come. Place your trust in God who has always loved you and will always love you. Amen.

Response: Be still and know

Prayers for God’s help and guidance

God of Wisdom, send your Holy Spirit to quiet any distractions of life within us, so we may hear your voice and grow wiser as we learn to follow you. Help us to be the hearers and doers of Your Word.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s Time                     

Gradual: Jesus, we are gathered

Story

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (NRSV)

Song: Great is Thy faithfulness

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with thee;
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
As thou hast been thou forever wilt be.

Refrain: Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in eloquent witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.
Refrain                  

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Refrain

Words: Thomas Chisholm; music: William Runyan 1923/1951 © Hope Publishing Co. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Scripture readings                      
Psalm 65                              OT(NRSV)
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23          NT(NRSV)

Response: Glory to the Father            

Message: “The Relentless Sower and the Perfect Seed”

Friends, most of us might have heard this ‘parable of the Sower’ so many times before.  I myself have heard this story numerous times in my Sunday school; I’ve also heard this parable preached by many preachers. Indeed, this might be one of the most well-known parables of the Bible. But here’s the problem of having heard the same story so many times: it often can become so familiar to us to the point that we no longer expect to be surprised by the story anymore.

The stories in the Bible—including this parable—are not just like any other familiar stories. Christians believe that the Bible is the written Word of God that still speaks to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, these stories are unlike any other stories. If we believe that God still speaks to us today, then we also need to believe that the Scripture will still be full of surprises. I like what St. Augustine says, “The Scripture is a book, which was composed in such a way that as the readers mature, its meaning also grows with them.” So, today, as we listen again to this familiar story, let us open our hearts and minds to be surprised by God.

As I reflected on this parable of the Sower, I began to realize that there are two common tendencies when we read it. The first tendency is to think of this parable as speaking about four different types of “people” in hearing the Word of God. We often think, “Well, there are people who hear the word of God and don’t understand: this is like the seed that fell on the path and was eaten by the birds. There are those people who hear it, understand it, but eventually, fail to live it because they are too preoccupied with personal problems: this is like the seed that fell on the rocky ground. Then some hear it, understand it, but also fail to live it because they get too carried away by the lures of wealth and goodness that the world offers: this is like the seed that was sown among the thorns. Finally, there are those who hear it, understand it, and then live it: this is like the one sown on the good soil.” The reason for this first tendency is clearly because Matthew seems to explain it that way.

So, the first tendency is to read this parable and think of it as an explanation about four different types of people. This is not wrong since the parable clearly talks about that.

But now, there is this second tendency in reading this parable (and it is related to the first) is that because we read it as four different types of people, then almost always naturally we read this parable and see ourselves as “the good soil” type of people. And we assume the non-Christians are like the seed that fell on the path; uncle Bob like the seed on the rocky ground, and so on! But Us? We are like the seeds that fell on the good soil!

It’s odd that we almost always have this tendency to think of ourselves as the good guy in the story, isn’t it?

The reason for this second tendency, I think, maybe due to our sinful human nature. You see, the worst effect of our sinful nature is not that we do extremely bad and evil things; the worst effect of our sinful nature is that we can’t—or, perhaps, we don’t want to— recognize our need to be forgiven; the need to be given mercy; the need to be graced by God. That’s why we read this parable and we read it without even seeing ourselves as the needy ones; as the ones that are desperately in need of God’s grace.

We think we are the good guys; the ones that have it all together. Sure, we think that we need a little bit of grace, but not too much; Sure, we think we need a bit of redemption, but not too much. We’re not that bad. Just a touch of make-up here and there would work…. No need for total restoration, please, God!

So those are the two tendencies that I think we often develop when we read this parable.

But this morning, let us try to see this parable from a little different angle. What if we see the four places where the seeds fall not as four different types of people. What if we, instead, recognize that all those four types of soil actually exist in our very own hearts?

But even more than that: What if we change the focus of this parable? What if we focus not on the different types of soil but rather on the One who sows of the seeds? What if we change the focus from ourselves to God? After all, this is “the parable of the Sower” and not “the parable of the Soil!” In v. 18, Jesus clearly says, “Hear then the Parable of the sower!

If we’re looking from that angle, I think this parable can tell us something important about God and our lives. Because in here, the parable talks about our God as the Relentless Sower, who relentlessly, extravagantly, lavishly, or even “recklessly” (we might say) sown the seeds of life; the seeds of love; the seeds of the divine into our hearts, even when our hearts are absolutely unyielding like the concrete path; even when our hearts are full of rocky ground with extreme lack of soil in it; and even when our hearts are utterly thorn-infested.

God is the God who chose to generously scatter the seeds of the “fullness of life” into our hearts, in spite of us!

And God will not stop in extravagantly scattering the divine seeds to allure us back to Him; to persuade us towards the beauty of Her coming Kingdom. Indeed, God cannot force us to love Him, but God can allure us! God can persuade us! God can ‘woo’ us.

In fact, Christians have always believed that the whole creation is God’s wooing of us. The Psalmist understands this.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
Like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Oh, the world is not deprived of God! Nothing is deprived of God! The world is not empty of God! It is full of God!

The presence of God—the Divine seeds—have been scattered so generously, so excessively, so extravagantly by the Good Sower into this world, even into our hearts! If only you and I have the eyes to see; if only our hearts can become like the Good soil…

Yet, it is only because of my foolishness and my sinfulness that I fail to notice and acknowledge the presence of God in God’s own creation.

For when we hear our heartbeat, do we notice God in its every beat?

Do we see the presence of God there?

When we see our children, our loved ones, our family, do we see the fingerprints of God in them?

When we look at our neighbours, do we see God in them?

When we see those who don’t look like us; who don’t think like us; who don’t speak like us; who don’t love like us, do we see God, even in them?

When we see the poor; the needy; the oppressed and marginalized; the victims; the ‘forgottens’, do we see God in them too?

And I know this one is hard: but when we see our enemies; the ones that have terribly hurt us, wronged us, took everything from us, can we still see God’s fingerprints in them as well? Can we—even with that pain that pierces so deep into our hearts— acknowledge that even their hearts beat only because of God’s love for them too?

No, Friends. The fact is we are not the good soil. Indeed, it may very well be impossible to be the good soil.

But here’s the good news: In Jesus Christ, our God is not just the “Relentless Sower,” but God is also the “Perfect Seed”. By becoming human, and showing us God’s face, and loving us so extravagantly and relentlessly that he was even willing to die for us, Christ has become the Perfect Seed  (Gen. 3:15; Gal. 3:16). Jesus Christ is the Perfect Seed that breaks through even the toughest ground of our hearts; even the most thorny and rocky ones!

I love the fact that there is a weird passage in 1 Peter 3:19-20, which says that after the crucifixion, Christ went to hell. For what? Apparently, to preach life! Did you notice that? Jesus is the Perfect Seed that breaks even through hell—the worst soil there is!

No wonder the Psalmist says, “even in the Sheol, You are there!” (Ps. 139).

Indeed, reading the parable of the Sower from this angle makes me hopeful that one day, we will see the world where the lion will lie down peacefully with the lamb; and where the swords will be beaten into ploughshares; and where people shall learn war no more.

For our God is not only the Relentless Sower that will never stop lavishly scattering the seeds of life, but in Christ Jesus, God is also the Perfect Seed that bursts through, even the toughest, the most stubborn, and the dreariest soil of my heart.

May it be so. Amen.

Song: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,
who rules all creation!
My soul, praise God,
who alone is your health and salvation!
Come, all who hear;
sisters and brothers draw near,
joining in glad adoration

Praise to the Lord,
who in all things so wondrously reigning;
hides you with sheltering wings,
ever gently sustaining!
Have you not seen
how your hearts wished have been
granted through God’s kind ordaining?

Praise to the Lord,
who will prosper your work
who defends you;
surely God’s merciful goodness
here daily attends you.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
when in great love God befriends you.

Praise to the Lord!
And with all that is in me adoring!
All who have life and breath,
come with glad praises outpouring.
Let the Amen sound from God’s people again;
now and forever adoring.

Words: this version © The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Music: public domain, descant © Novello & Co. Ltd

 We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever ( Ps 188-29).

We thank you Lord for the many blessing we have received in these troubled times. There is so much that is beautiful and good that we often overlook -thank you for the exquisite beauty of the fall, the sunsets , the stars and all of nature. We thank you for the new ways we stay connected with family and friends while this pandemic continues.

We thank you for the blessings of our church family. We are grateful for each member’s unique gifts to uplift and support one another during times of joy, difficulty and sorrow.

We thank you for providing the guidance we need through our moderator Rev William Ball, Rev Anabelle Wallace and Rev Bob Calder to keep Dayspring Church functioning while we search for the new minister you have chosen for us.

We are grateful for the many different preachers who have filled the pulpit and this week we especially thank you for Sam Adri’s message.

We are grateful for the privilege to continue worship in a mixed presence format. We are grateful for the many volunteers who work behind the scenes and our access to the technology that makes worship possible .

We give you thanks in Jesus’ name                Amen

Response: Now thank we all, our God

Reflection on giving

We have been giving faithfully throughout the pandemic. This reflects our commitment to continue 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 contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Song: I know not why such wondrous grace

I know not why such wondrous grace
to me God has made known;
nor why, unworthy as I am,
Christ claimed me for his own.

Refrain: But I know whom I have believed
and am persuaded that Christ is able
to keep that which I’ve committed
unto him against that day.

I know not why this saving faith
to me God did impart,
nor how believing in the word
brought peace into my heart.
Refrain

I know not how the Spirit moves,
convincing me of sin,
revealing Jesus through the word,
creating faith in him:
Refrain

Words: Daniel Whittle; public domain  Music: James McGranahan; public domain

Sending out with God’s blessing

As you go, may you open the soil of your life and let the seed of God grow and to bear fruit of love, justice, and care. And may the blessing of God the Relentless Sower; The blessing of Christ the Perfect Seed; And the blessing of God’s Spirit, the water, the sunlight that nurture growth, Be with you, now and forever. Amen.

Response: Amen, we praise your name, O God

ZOOM Breakout Rooms

“This much is certain, that we have no theological right to set any sort of limits to the loving-kindness of God which has appeared in Jesus Christ. Our theological duty is to see and understand it as being still greater than we had seen before.” Karl Barth, The Humanity of God.


Samuel Andri retains the copyright on all original material presented by him in the Message and Prayers, as does Jane deCaen for the Prayer of Gratitude, which she wrote.
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.

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Working for Jesus (Bob Calder)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am September 05, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Led by the Rev. Bob Calder
Music director: Binu Kapadia
Elder: Jane de Caen
Children’s Time: The Rev. Bob Calder

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
L: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth
P: God’s steadfast love endures forever
L:  Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: Here I am to worship

Light of the world, You step down into darkness.
Opened my eyes let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore you
Hope of a life spent with you.

Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that you’re my God,
You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy,
altogether wonderful to me.

King of all days, oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above.
Humbly you came to the earth you created.
All for love’s sake became poor.

Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that you’re my God,
You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy,
altogether wonderful to me.

Songwriter: Tim Hughes © 2000 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) 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: Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and heavy laden,
P: And I will give you rest.”
L: We come in the name of the Spirit, resting from our labors,
P: Let us worship God!

Prayers of approach and confession

Holy God of Joy, we rejoice in the reality of who you are. We live within the joy of your love for us.

Our contentment comes and goes.

Our happiness ebbs and flows.

Our feelings depend upon our circumstances, our physical health, our brain chemistry.

But our joy is deeply rooted in our identity as your beloved children.

And for this we give you thanks and praise.

Lord, you know how often we have resented our work;
Forgive our ingratitude for having work.
And you know how often we have neglected using our capabilities;
Forgive our poor stewardship of time.
And you know how often we’ve wasted time on the job;
Forgive our heart’s insincerity.
And you’ve seen how shoddy some of our work has been;
Forgive our carelessness.2

And you’ve heard how often we’ve said we can’t wait to get out;
Forgive us, Lord, for not working with all our heart.
And you know that we’ve often worked only to please others;
Forgive us for failing to remember it is you we are serving.

Hear our prayer, and in the mercy of Jesus Christ,
cleanse us for his name’s sake. Amen.

Response: Lord Jesus Christ, son of God

Assurance of God’s love: God is tender-hearted and gracious to all and has forgiven you through your faith in Jesus Christ. Trust in God’s grace and be kind to one another, forgiving others as God has forgiven  you.

Response: Be still and know

We listen for the voice of God

Song: Can a little child like me  vs 1,4

Can a little child like me thank the Father fittingly?
Yes, O yes! be good and true, patient, kind in all we do;
love the Lord and do our part; learn to say with all your heart, Refrain

Refrain: Saviour, we thank you!
Spirit, we thank you!
Great God our Maker,
we thank you!

For the laughter for the tear,
for the love that meets us here,
for the lessons of our youth, honor, gratitude, and truth,
for the great gift of your Son, for your work in us begun.      Refrain

Words: Mary Dodge © The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1997 Music: W.K. Basswood © Public domain. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI 

Children’s Time                   
Story
Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer

Song: Who made the earth vs 1,3,6

Who made the earth and the heavens? Mighty hands!
Who made the man and the woman? Awesome hands!
Who made the tree and the garden? Loving hands!
Who’s got the world in mighty hands?

Who made the swan and the swallow? Mighty hands!
Who made the wind and the willow? Awesome hands!
Who makes today and tomorrow? Loving hands!
Who’s got the world in mighty hands?

You’ve got the whole world, Mighty God!
You’ve got the whole world, Awesome God!
You’ve got the whole world, Loving God!
You’ve got the whole world in your hands!

Words and music Andrew Donaldson © Andrew Donaldson 1997,1996 License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE.

Scripture: Colossians 3:22-4:1 (NRSV)

Response: Glory to the Father            

Message: “Working for Jesus”

During the middle 1800’s there was a popular set of rules for the office that showed up in one form or another. They all resembled something like these which were posted in Zachary Geiger’s establishment:

  1. Office employees will daily sweep the floors, dust the furniture, and showcases. Each day they must fill lamps, clean chimneys, & turn wicks
  2. Windows must be washed once a week.
  3. Each clerk will bring in a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.
  4. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle your nibs to your individual taste.
  5. This office will open at 7:00 am and close at 9:00 p.m. daily, except on Sunday, on which day it will remain closed. Each employee is expected to spend Sunday by attending church and contributing liberally to the cause of the Lord.
  6. Men employees will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes, or 2 evenings a week if they go regularly to church.
  7. After an employee has spent 13 hours of labor in the office, he should spend the rest of his time reading the Bible, any other good books while contemplating the glories and building up of the kingdom.
  8. Finally, The employee who has performed his labors faithfully and without fault for a period of 5 years in my service, and who had been thrifty and attentive to his religious duties, is looked upon by his fellowmen as a substantial and law-abiding citizen, will be given an increase of 5 cents per day in his pay providing a just return in profits from the business permits it.

How many of you would enjoy having a job like that? How about those on zoom?

Can you imagine working under those conditions?

Can you imagine being happy in that type of atmosphere?

Could you imagine living in a world where you had no choice in the matter?

 

Well, back in the days of the Colossian church, that’s pretty much how the “workforce” lived. The primary workforce was composed of slaves:

  • People who were owned by others,
  • Who had no personal property
  • Who had no control of their destiny
  • Who did pretty much what the slave owners desired.

Today, we don’t have slaves and slave owners, but we have something that many believe is a lot like it.

It’s called labor and management.

You go into some work-places and you might hear people talking about their bosses as being “slave drivers” and you might run across people in management who think of their employees as little more than slave labor.

While there are distinct differences between the life of a slave and that of a laborer in our day, the principles that Paul laid down for the behavior of workers and owners still holds true for bosses and laborers today.

I. First – let’s consider the owner, or the boss, or the person in management.

To those Paul writes: “provide your (employees) with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven” Colossians 4:1

The problem that Paul is addressing in Colossae is that of the slave owner (manager or the boss) who forgets the value of the people for whom he is responsible. Paul is warning the person in authority to be careful how they treat their employees. Even today, there is a tendency (for some in positions of authority) to look down on those they supervise.

They say things like: “I’m the supervisor… I’m the boss…” meaning others are just common laborers.

When the book of Colossians was written, slaves were the work force.

And this work force was scorned by many in their society.
Both Greek and Roman societies treated slaves as personal property, basically nothing more than living tools.
Paul is writing to the Christian employers of his day and warning them: “Don’t you dare behave like that!”… because – as far as God was concerned not only was it not true (these workers were important, especially to God),

BUT it was also a dangerous attitude.

Paul says: Remember, “you (employers) also have a Master in heaven” Colossians 4:1

Paul advises Christian bosses: “provide your (employees) with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.” Colossians 4:1

What about you?

If you are a boss or a manager?

How do you treat other people?

Do you look at them as equals, as people who are important to God?

As we go through life, whether we are “bosses” or not, we need to treat others with dignity, fairness and respect.

II. On the other side of the coin, the working person might say: “if my boss treated me the way that Paul describes, I could respect him a lot more”…

“if my boss treated me with respect, I’d work harder”…

“if my boss was fair to me, then I’d even come in early and work longer hours”

“BUT he’s such a jerk… I hate going in and even being near him.”
Sorry slaves… (I mean) those of you who work in a factory or office or wherever… God holds you accountable too.

To you God says this: “obey your earthly (employers) in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
We are ALWAYS to work as if we were working for Jesus … obeying our employers as if we were doing the job for God Himself.

  • This includes not only the work we do for pay but the volunteer activities we undertake.
  • We should always strive to be the hardest working and volunteering people in our area, to be a vital cog in the wheel of life.
  • Our work should always be the best we can do
  • Someone has said our conduct should always be like that of person entering worship.

 

If we are going to work and volunteer for Jesus, then every day is a day of worship.

  • This can be a time to declare to our God the love we have for Him.
  • And as a result, each day at work or in the community should be filled with anticipation and excitement.

Because this is a time of worship for us we should be finding ways to be worshipful:
We should be building up the people around us.
We dare not be guilty of griping or complaining.

You see, how we conduct ourselves at work or in  the community or at church is a reflection of our faith.

We witness by how we behave.

We show that our faith makes a difference in how we live our lives.

BUT, if we behave like unbelievers… why would anybody want to be like us?

Why would anybody want to follow the Saviour we follow?

III. But, you might be thinking: do you mean that I have to behave this way even when my boss or those I volunteer with are harsh and ungodly?

Yes, those are the people who need your witness the most!

Those harsh ungodly men and women need Jesus.

Your witness on the job or on a community committee, may be the only chance they have to see Christianity in action.

While this applies directly to those who are employed, I see this as applying to people on volunteer committees, in community groups where people volunteer, and even at church!

When you are asked to do something for the church do you grumble and complain?

Do you think you are badly done by?

As the chair of a committee do you expect everyone to always follow your orders or do you cut them some slack and allow them to be creative?
Until your new minister comes you may have an opportunity to serve the Lord in a special way.

Conclusion: The sign in the window read: “Boy Wanted”.

Young John Simmons, though he was lazy, saw his opportunity and applied.

He was quickly hired by elderly Mr. Peters. The pace was leisurely so he enjoyed the job.

Toward the middle of the afternoon, he was sent up to the attic — a dingy place full of cobwebs and infested with mice.

“You will find a long, deep box there,” explained Mr. Peters.

“Please sort out the contents and see what should be saved.”

John was disappointed.

It was a large container, and there seemed to be nothing in it but old junk.

After a few minutes he went back to the ground floor.

Asked by the proprietor if he had completed his work, he replied, “No, sir, it was dark and cold up there and I didn’t think it was worth doing.”

At closing time he was paid and told not to return.
The next morning the sign “Boy Wanted” appeared in its usual place.

Crawford Hill was the next to be employed.

When he was asked to tidy up the same box, however, he spent hours separating the usable nails and screws from the things to be discarded.

Suddenly he raced down the stairs all excited.

“At the very bottom I found this!” he exclaimed, holding up a 20-dollar bill.

At last the store owner had discovered a conscientious boy to whom he could entrust his business when he retired.

Years later Mr. Peters said, “This young man, who is now my successor, found his fortune in a junk box!”

Friends, we must never lose sight of the fact that we honour God by what we do, however meager or menial, however great or glorious we may perceive it.

Song: We are God’s people  vs 1,4

We are God’s people, the chosen of the Lord,
born of the Spirit, established by the word;
our cornerstone is Christ alone,
and strong in him we stand:
oh let us live transparently
and walk heart to heart and hand in hand.

We are a temple, the Spirit’s dwelling place,
formed in great weakness, a cup to hold God’s grace;
alone we die, for on its own
each ember loses fire:
yet joined in one the flame burns on
to give warmth and light, and to inspire.

Words: Bryan Leech © 1976 Fred Bock Music Co. Music Johannes Brahms © 1976 Fred Bock Music Co. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

We respond to serve God

Prayer of Gratitude

Great God who calls us to follow Jesus,
You delight in curiosity, invention, ingenuity.
We give you thanks for those minds that are able to bend and flex despite restrictions of Covid-19,as they strive to help us deal with the pandemic.
We thank you for neighbours willing to talk across fences rather than face to face,
those who call from balconies, and wave through windows.
We are thankful that there are strangers who carefully keep their distance on footpaths.
There are those who earn our trust and try to allay our fears of Covid-19 and we give you thanks for them.
We give you praise be for those who signal love and human warmth in a time when we must meet at a distance. We pray these prayers in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Response: Praise God from whom all blessing grow

Reflection on giving: We have been giving faithfully even though there is no offering plate has been passed in the sanctuary since March 15, 2020. It may be a while before some of us return to the sanctuary, but we are all committed 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 contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service today.

Prayers for others and ourselves

O God, we are a restless people. We fret and stew about life’s many tasks. We forget to look to you for our provisions and for direction in our lives.

As we are buffeted by the winds of life that blow from many directions, take us above the battle that we may glide in the steady flow of your grace. We know that if we but ask, you will provide the forgiveness and the joy that comes from living within your will.

As summer comes to a close, we ask a special blessing on those returning to school. Our children need special graces in these troubling times. We trust them to your care, especially as Covid-19 continues to swirl around us.

We also ask that you bless the work of adults who now return from vacations to a more intense period of labor. Even though it is often difficult to walk in another’s shoes, may those who labor and those who manage seek to understand each other and their needs.

Some of us are retired from our jobs and professions. Bless the work that we do as volunteers, grandparents, and participants in the creation of better lives for all. Our work is also important. We are aware of those who cannot participate in many activities because of illness or advanced age. Their lives are also important. Provide them a healing grace and a hope for tomorrow.

We would especially remember those who have serious illness. Hold their hands as they travel the difficult paths of pain, debilitation, and possible death.

We remember their families and the care-givers who need your supporting grace.

We want to thank you for all you have given us. We are a people who have been richly blessed. Teach us to share our Spiritual and physical wealth with a world that is in great need.

I pray for Dayspring as they search for the minister that you have chosen for them. Help them to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Give them a vision for the future as they continue to serve you.

We pray for the people of Afghanistan. Keep them safe during these difficult days.

Most of all we thank you for caring enough to send us your very own Son, who set out on a path that led to his death and resurrection. He encourages us follow him down that same path. We tend to stray from that path, and yet your grace gently pulls us back. Hold our hands as this Fall we boldly take the next step on our journey.

Hear us now as we bring to you our personal prayers in a moment of silent prayer.

May the Holy Spirit touch all of us today. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, Master and Lord. Amen.

Communion

Invitation
Friends, this is not a Dayspring Table.
Neither is it a Presbyterian Table.
It is a Table for all humankind – for men and women, girls and boys, who are seeking, or have found, a relationship with Jesus Christ, whose Table this is.
Jesus is in charge of this Table and Jesus says that all are welcome.

Song: Let us break bread together

Let us break bread together on our knees;
let us break bread together on our knees;
when I fall down on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us drink wine together on our knees;
let us drink wine together on our knees;
when I fall down on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Let us praise God together on our knees;
let us praise God together on our knees;
when I fall down on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
O Lord, have mercy on me.

Words and Music: African-American spiritual; public domain

Affirmation of our faith: The Apostles’ Creed

Communion Prayer

As we partake of this bread and wine, we honor Creator and creation.

As we bless and share these gifts, we celebrate the Table fellowship of Jesus.

All are made worthy by Jesus – adults (old and young and in between), teenagers, children.  All are welcome!

As we receive the fruits of Spirit, we celebrate the communion and community of all humankind.

Creator, Christ, and Spirit dance as one. So may it always be.

And now we pray …

O God, we give you thanks and praise.

You brought the universe into being, instilled all creation with life, and shaped us humans as Your people.

In Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life and the True Vine, You feed us with the Word. And You nourish us with Your Love poured out in abundance upon us.

O present Spirit, help us recognize the risen Christ in the breaking of the bread.

Feed the world and us with this bread.

Bring joy with this wine.

May Bread and Wine be leaven, salt, and life in us – a community of faith strengthened by this symbolic meal.

We pray in the name of Jesus who came among us – a deep mystery of faith.

Come, Holy One, come.

Bless and inspire this community of faith and service.

Bless and inspire our lives, that justice and love may be the measure of our individual and community witness.

Sharing of the Elements

The Bread
Because there is one bread,
we who are many are one body,
for we all partake of the one bread. I Cor. 10:17.
When we break the bread,
it is a sharing in the body of Christ. I Cor. 10:16.
The Wine
When we bless the cup, it is a sharing in the blood Christ.      I The wine, like Christ’s blood, is poured out as a declaration that we can have life and have life more abundantly.

The prayer after communion

Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which You have given yourself to us symbolically and we have experienced your Real Presence.

We thank You for all those who have shared in this mystery, and thus in You – here and in many places through two millennia.

Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Song: I the Lord of sea and sky

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
who will bear my light to them?
whom shall I send? Refrain

Refrain: Here I am Lord, is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them,
they turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them,
whom shall I send? Refrain

I, the Lord of wind and flame
I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them,
my hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide,
till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them, whom shall I send?  Refrain

Words and music: D. Schutte; © D. Schutte and New Dawn Music 1983. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Sending out with God’s blessing
We have come to this place seeking community.
We have come to this place seeking God.
We go from this place in mission and in service.
Friends – as you go, know that God, Creator, Son and Holy Spirit, goes with you.

Response: God to enfold you

““I will give you rest””  Jesus


Bob Calder retains the copyright on all original material presented by him.

The language of the Communion liturgy, with the consent of Bob Calder, was provided by John C. Carr and is based on the Book of Common Worship of the PCC (1991) with modifications by John Carr based on various sources.

Otherwise, as far as the authors are aware, of 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.

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Beyond our Minds (Astrid Melatunan)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am August 29, 2021
Message and Children’s Time: Astrid Melatunan
Worship Leader: Lorraine Wheatley
Piano, Flute & Recorder: Dorothy Beyer     Vocalist: Lynn Vaughan
Elder: Gina Kottke

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
L: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth
P: God’s steadfast love endures forever
L:  Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!
Opening praise: I lift my eyes up

I lift my eyes up
to the mountains.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from You,
Maker of heaven
Creator of the earth.

 Oh, how I need You, Lord
You are my only hope.
You’re my only prayer.
So I will wait for You
to come and rescue me.
come and give me life.

written by Brian Doerksen ©1990 Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook) License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Call to worship
L: We come to worship this morning from different places.
P: O God, do not be far from us.
L: We come to worship this morning for different reasons.
P: O God, do not be far from us.
L: We experience the presence of the Spirit in different ways.
P: O God, do not be far from us.
L: We hear Jesus’ words with different ears.
P: O God, do not be far from us.
L: “Deny yourselves.”
P: O God, do not be far from us.
L: “Take up your cross.”
P: O God, do not be far from us.
L: “Follow me.”
P: O God, we thank you for drawing near to us in this place, in our lives. Amen.

Prayers of approach and Confession                                                  (written by Joanna Harader)

Creator, Christ, and Spirit, when our souls hunger for fulfilment, you give us the Bread of Life.

You touch our deepest hungers and fill us with good things.

Creator, Christ and Spirit, when our souls thirst for communion with you,  you offer us the fullness of life itself.

You refresh us with living water.

Creator, Christ and Spirit, when we long for what is authentic and for what endures, you show us the Way, the Truth and the Life.

And so we come to worship you, Creator, Christ and Spirit.

Receive all our praise and gratitude, Living God,  for you are the Source of all that matters, now and evermore.

God of all that matters,

Forgive our forgetfulness of what matters to you.

Forgive the sins we know and those we have forgotten,

the sins we have tried to hide and those we were once proud to commit.

Forgive the sins we have done to please ourselves

and the sins we have done to please others.

Heal our lives and our relationships with your mercy,

and bless what we can become through your faithfulness to us.

Response: I waited, I waited on you Lord

Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

While it is true that we have all sinned, it is a greater truth that we are forgiven through God’s love in Jesus Christ.

To all who humbly seek the mercy of God, I say,

In Jesus Christ our sin is forgiven.

Be at peace with God, with yourself, and with one another.

Response: Be still and know

Prayers for God’s help and guidance

God of Word and Wisdom, send your Spirit upon us today as we hear the scriptures read and interpreted.

Help us be doers of your Word, not mere listeners, so that our lives reflect the truth we meet in Jesus Christ, your living Word.

 We listen for the voice of God

Transitional music: Open our eyes Lord 445

Children’s story: “Jesus the Suffering Hero” (Mark 8:31-38)

What comes to mind when we hear the word “Hero”? Or What makes someone a hero?

What are they working for? What are they aiming and planning for?

As a hero, Jesus’s purpose to come to the earth is totally different from another heroes. He is coming to be suffer

It’s a powerful reminder that the crucifixion was no surprise or accident.

It was God’s plan to atone for the sin of humankind and make salvation possible for all who put their faith in Jesus Christ.

This message communicates to children the importance of understanding who Jesus was and what His mission was.

He knew that He came to Earth in order to love and care for others, but that ultimately God’s plan was for Him to suffer and die.

His closest followers did not understand how victory could come through death, but Jesus recognized that glory would come through suffering.

We rejoice that because of His death, we have eternal life.

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Song: The church is wherever             484

The church is wherever God’s people are praising, singing God’s goodness for joy on this day.
The church is wherever disciples of Jesus 
remember his story and walk in his way.

The church is wherever God’s people are helping, caring for neighbours in sickness and need.
The church is wherever God’s people are sharing 
the words of the Bible in gift and in deed.

Words: Carol Ikeler © Mr WL Jenkins, 1963. Music: JB Fleming © Robert J Fleming. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Scripture readings                       
Psalm  22:1-12                    OT(NRSV)
Isaiah 55:8-9                      NT(NRSV)
Mark 8:31-38                        NT(NRSV)

Response: Jesus, remember me            

Message: “Beyond Our Minds”

We all know the end of the story of Jesus, He is going to the cross, raised in the third day and so on and so forth. This is the very first time in verse 31 where he lays it plainly out for His disciples that he will put things right, he will make this world the way it should be and he is going to do it in a way far different than anyone ever thought (8:31).

As we read this, we need to try to put ourselves in the shoes of first century Jew. We all knew that the Messiah was suffered and died on the cross, but this was absolutely brand-new for everyone in the first century. We think of like our prime minister, Justin Trudeau that everyone is looking to come up and give a speech say, “my ultimate purpose as your Prime Minister is to go over to the Middle East and be killed”. That is not the point of a King or a Ruler, but this is exacly what Jesus said to them. First he details His purpose and in light of that we see our purpose. There are three different time when Jesus explicitly says, ‘This is why I have come’ and then says ‘and this is what it looks like to be one of my disciple – Jesus Cross and Our Cross.

He does not just say, “I’m the son of man and I will suffer”, but “I must suffer”. He is not simply prophesying or foretelling the future, but he says, “I must …”. Jesus is already starting to outline and to give us the details to show us the necessity of him going to the cross to pay for our sin.

The question that we need to ask ourselves is how on earth are we who have sinned against God, who preferred his creation over him, who have acted ourselves as if weare the king, how can we possibly stand in his courtroom before his throne and he declare us innocent and that is the question that only answered by the cross and Jesus is pointing us right here when he says the Son of Man must suffer. He says, the only way you are going to be righteous and treated as a friend of God as if I declared unrighteous sinful and I’m treated as a sinner. Or the only way we can be declared righteous and forgiven as if Jesus was declared guilty. That is what he is saying when the Son of Man must suffer. The cross is a must.

Possibly this is the most shocking thing Jesus could have said to a first century Jew. Even though Jesus has said many shocking things, but only here when Jesus says the Son on Man must suffer, only that moves Peter to rebuke him of all the insane claims that Jesus said (8:32). The word “rebuke” is the same exact word that Mark has used to talk of Jesus rebuking demons out of people. Peter pull him aside and rebuke him as if he is saying something wicked and evil. He rebukes him like Jesus does demons.

But then the verse 33 says that Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Jesus responded that such an opinion is a “human” way of thinking. It’s what we all would have thought had we been among those first disciples.

Isn’t that normal for Peter to response that way? Refusing something bad that might happen to his Master. What was Jesus expected to his disciples? What did he wants to teach us here? Why was Jesus so angry and rebuking Peter like rebuking Satan?

I think we learn something incredibly important here. Jesus calls Peter Satan. He does not just say, “hey you are having evil thoughts” but he straight-up calls him Satan. That is a pretty serious claim. He is saying that the nature and what you are doing is as demonic as the head demon himself. He is teaching us something profound and true that you and I would do well to pay attention to.

Peter as if puts himself in judgment over Jesus and basically says, “No! That’s not you’re gonna do, that’s not you should do, stop saying that!” So this one moment Peter attempts to take Jesus off the throne and he puts himself on the throne and sits in judgment and says, “I don’t like what you’re saying, Jesus! I don’t like what you’re saying. Change!” And Jesus calls him satan. As one commentator put it, “the fastest way to become like Satan is to try to be like God.”

Let’s think about whether there are things that we often unconciously try to sit in judgment over God and say, “I don’t like what you do, how you’ve done things in my life, you need to change this! I don’t like this plan! This is not what I want!” Now we know why Jesus rebuke Peter as if he is Satan and says, “you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things”, “you are not trusting me, you are only looking at what is in front of you and saying ‘that can’t be the plan, that can’t be what is right, stop saying that!’”. Remember, the quickest way to be like Satan  is to be like God, and the quickest way to be Godly is to refuse to be God in your life. To let him be the King of our life.

Jesus did not stop there, he continued with saying the most shocking He could ever say and He lays claim on your lif, he says, “If you wanna be mine, if you wanna be forgiven if you wanna be made righteous in the sight of God, if you wanna belong to me, this is what I call you to, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” Jesus is laying claim on your life and saying if you want to live how you were created to live, if you want to belong to me, deny yourself, take up the cross and follow me.

As if that’s not enough, Jesus continues with even more unexpected and totally unforeseen news: To save your life you must lose it. You may lose your lives for Jesus sake.

Jesus is saying, “I am the King that is going to the cross, I am going to triumph, I am going to accomplish my purpose by going to the cross and dying and he looks at you (all of us) and says if you are going to accomplish your purpose, if you are going to be who I have made you to be, you are going to deny your selfishness, you are going to take up the cross, you are going to have to do things that are difficult, do things your flesh want to do, you are going to put your sin to death. Your self-righteousness has to die, your sin has to die, and you need to follow me.” “Follow Jesus” means imitate him, look at him and do what he do. We do not do what I want to do because our heart is deceitful. We do not follow our heart, but Jesus’ heart.

Jesus is not simply a savior to be admired (“yeay he died for us” and that is it). He did not die so we could go on living our sin and say “yeay there’s grace”. However, Jesus died so that we could be forgiven, it is finished but also so that we could put our sin to death and follow the King. He is not just a savior to be admired, but he is a master to be bowed down to and say, “command me, tell me what to do.”

It is not fair to say we are trusting Jesus with our eternal destiny, trust him to forgive our sin, trust him to take us all the wayto glory, but not trust him with our everyday life. To not take up the cross and follow him is like we trust you with the big stuff but I do not trust you with the small stuff. Trusting Jesus with your eternal destiny yet rejecting him in you everyday life, not taking up your cross and following him is essentially like trusting an investor with all of you investments and retirement yet not trusting in with your debit card to go to McDonald’s, “I trust you do all these but I don’t know if you’re gonna get my order right.” Like we say, “we trust you with my soul, but not with how I live my life everyday. If we do not submit to Jesus as King, He is not our Savior. We are lying to ourselves. Also, if we are not looking to him, there is no way he will ever be our King.

It was Jesus’ way of helping his disciples and us begin to understand that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8-9). It was a bitter pill for the disciples and us to swallow! But it was necessary that we understand, otherwise we would miss the whole point of Jesus’ ministry and our purpose of life, that he came to give his life for the salvation of us and that our purpose is to deny ourself, take up our cross, and follow him.

By our human nature we want to be prosperous, strong, successful and influential. Jesus has other priorities. He, on the other hand, came to serve, not to be served. His ways are not our ways, yet he invites us to follow him and his ways.

The Christian church at the time of the Renaissance was riding high. It dominated the personal, social and political lives of Europeans. The landscape was dotted with its magnificent cathedrals. The church could command armies to do its will. Its leaders lived like princes, surrounded by wealth and pomp.

In its return to the Bible, the Reformation rejected this “theology of glory” in favor of a “theology of the cross.” To follow Jesus is to live lives of service to others, to serve rather than to control and dominate. It means the opposite of being proud of station and status for ourselves at the expense of others.

The “theology of the cross” or “to deny oneself” does not mean a contrived kind of humility. We do not follow Jesus by demeaning ourselves. We are called upon to do the very best we can with the talents and abilities God has given us. To “deny oneself” means to keep one’s priorities in harmony with what Jesus told us in the two “great commandments” — love God and love your neighbor (Mark 12:28-31).

There was, to be sure, a ray of hope in what Jesus said that day, although the disciples may not have heard it. Jesus will be killed, but he will also rise again (Mark 8:31). Furthermore, those who lose their lives for Jesus’ sake and the sake of the gospel will save it (Mark 8:35). But at this time the disciples would not have known how those promises would come true.

Jesus gives us this hope for the future, but in this text we are called upon to follow him not just for this future, but in this life. Furthermore, to follow him now means a life “more abundant,” as he said (John 10:10). As one pastor said, “we follow Jesus not just to be saved or to go to heaven; we follow Jesus because it’s worth it.”

The psalm for today, Psalm 22 reflects the message of this gospel text. The first verse is quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Verse 24 speaks of suffering, but in the end, as in today’s gospel, there is restoration and deliverance (Verses 29-31).

Song: Take time to be holy                 638

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, 
and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, 
help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing 
His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, 
with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, 
like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct 
His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, 
whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, 
still follow thy Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, 
still trust in His Word.

 Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive 
beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit 
to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted 
for service above.

Words: public domain  Music: public domain

 We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Gracious God, we are grateful for your presence with us in all things, especially in times of challenge and change.

We thank you for times of rest and reunion this summer, for opportunities to see those we have been missing during times of lockdown.

Yet we know this summer still holds deep challenges for many, and so we bring before you those people and places on our minds and hearts.

We pray for the families and communities facing fire and flood, watching and worrying about what will remain of their homes and hometowns.

Protect those who fight fires and conduct rescues, and open our hearts in generosity to do what we can to assist recovery.

We pray for the earth, for the land and the seas suffering in the heat, and for the creatures being displaced by disaster and disruption.

Protect all that is precious to you in creation, and open our hearts to live more responsibly within the balance of life you created.

We pray for people facing hatred and discrimination,  and those coming to terms with historic injustice and injury.

Guide the relations between Indigenous people and other Canadians  to correct misunderstanding and create justice for all communities.

Open our hearts to discover what we share as your children  and appreciate the different gifts we have to offer to each other.

We pray for all those who are suffering this summer: those who face pain or illness, those who are dying or who know bereavement, all who are anxious about what lies ahead, and any who do not have enough to make ends meet.

Bring courage and comfort to those who are struggling, and open our hearts to offer the friendship and companionship which can ease their journey.

God, in your mercy, Hear our prayers.  Amen.

In silence we hold before you those near and dear to us. Speak to us the truth we need to hear and guide us in our relationships. (Keep silence for 30 second

Response: In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

Reflection on giving

We have been giving faithfully throughout the pandemic. This reflects our commitment to continue 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 contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Song: Follow me the Master said         645    

‘Follow me,’ the Master said: we will follow Jesus.
By his word and Spirit led, we will follow Jesus.
Still for us he lives to plead, at the throne will intercede,
offers help in time of need; we will follow Jesus.

Should the world and sin oppose, we will follow Jesus.
He is greater than our foes; we will follow Jesus.
On his promise we depend; he will hear us and defend,
help and keep us to the end; we will follow Jesus.

Though the way may dark appear, we will follow Jesus.
He will make our pathway clear; we will follow Jesus.
In our daily round of care, as we plead with God in prayer,
with the cross which we must bear, we will follow Jesus.

Ever keep that end in view; we will follow Jesus.
All his promises are true; we will follow Jesus.
When this earthly course is run, and the Master says, ‘Well done!’
life eternal we have won; we will follow Jesus.

Words and music: anonymous and public domain

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: God to enfold you
Postlude

(Zoom breakout rooms)

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord”   Jesus


Lorraine Wheatley and Astrid Melatunan retain the copyright (©2021) on all original material presented by them.

As far as we are aware, all of the unattributed 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.

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Wait and See – Acts 5: 27 – 42 (Annabelle Wallace)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am August 22, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Led by The Rev. Annabelle Wallace
Piano, Flute & Recorder: Dorothy Beyer
Song Leader: Lynn Vaughan
Children’s Time: The Rev. Annabelle Wallace
Elder: Iris Routledge

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

L: From you, Lord, and through You, and to You, are all things
P: To Christ be the glory forever

L: Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: Forever God is Faithful

Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King
His love endures forever,
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever

Sing praise, sing praise

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that’s been reborn
His love endures forever

Sing praise, sing praise; sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong
Forever God is with us, forever and ever; forever

From the rising to the setting sun
His love endures forever,
By the grace of God, we will carry on,
His love endures forever

Sing praise, sing praise; sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong
Forever God is with us, forever and ever; forever

Songwriter: Chris Tomlin © 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

Call to worship

L: We come with confidence into God’s presence.
P: God’s Word is here to equip us.
L: We come with confidence into God’s presence.
P: God’s forgiveness is here to set us free.
L: We come with confidence into God’s presence.
P: God’s Spirit is here to lead us.
L: We come with confidence into God’s presence.

Prayers of approach and confession

Creator God, creating still, you have made us your people. You call us to be together and to live in a covenant relationship with you. You say to us, “I love you” We are precious and chosen to be a light to the nations. You lift us when we have fallen. You set us right where we have gone astray. You give us exciting news to tell. Your gifts are beyond our expectations. Bless us with your presence as we open ourselves to your direction for our life and our world

God, we confess that we have not always loved others as you have loved us. We confess that we have not always been generous with others as you have been generous with us. We confess that we have not always forgiven others as you have forgiven us. We confess that we are not always willing to listen for the leading of our spirit as we do your work. By the power of your love, transform us. Give us compassionate hearts, faithful minds and joyful spirits. In Christ’s name. Amen

Response: I will trust in the Lord

Assurance of God’s Love

The power of God’s love to change us and our church goes far beyond all we could ask or imagine. Trust the transforming power of God, know that you are forgiven  and be at peace. In Christ’s name, we are a forgiven people.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Transitional Music: Open our eyes, Lord

Story (Ephesians 6: 10 – 20)

Paul says that for Christians, there is only one really important battle and that is not a battle between people. It is a battle against powers we cannot see, but which mess up everything and do serious damage to individuals, families, and communities.

He used the armor of a Roman Soldier to tell us how to dress. But you know what I learned those Roman soldiers could not dress themselves – they needed help to put on all that stuff.

And I thought – Whoo! That is good for us to know.  Many of you are going to be going back to school and need help to dress in order to fight the evil powers you might meet like selfishness, meanness, jealousy, bullying, greed.

So your parents, and the church are teaching you how to dress and are helping you to dress to make your world safe for everyone.  Maybe today we would say

– put on the hoodie of love

– put on the belt kindness

– put on the jeans of honesty

– put on the shoes of caring – being a good friend

The Lord’s Prayer

Song: I’m gonna live so God can use me

I’m gonna live so God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna live so God can use me

Anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna work so God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna work so God can use me
Anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna pray so God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna pray so God can use me
Anywhere, Lord, anytime! 

I’m gonna sing so God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna sing so God can use me
anywhere, Lord, anytime!

Words: African-American spiritual © public domain
Music: African-American spiritual Wendell Whalum © the estate of Wendell Whalum

Scripture readings                      
Psalm  15                             OT(NRSV)
Acts 5:27-42                         NT(NRSV)

Response: His truth is marching on            

Message: “Wait and See” (Acts 5: 27 – 42)

Despite being told by the religious authorities not to preach, Peter and John continued to preach in the temple at Jerusalem. They were arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by this council of the Jews. Most of the council members were Sadducees, members of the priestly party, but among them was the Pharisee Gamaliel, a man known for his wisdom and tolerance. Some think that Gamaliel might have been a grandson of the great rabbi Hillel; a figure still revered by Jews today.

The council meeting was called to deal with the problem of Peter and John and others who persisted in declaring that Jesus who was crucified was alive.  They persisted in teaching the same things that the rabble-rouser Jesus taught. As we read, Gamaliel advised the council not to prosecute the disciples. He pointed out that other recent prophetic movements among the Jews had just faded away. So this new movement might very well disappear too, he said and its followers also might be scattered. Leave it alone and wait and see.

“If it is of God,” he added, “you will not be able to overthrow them.” Since Gamaliel was widely respected, his colleagues took his advice and released the apostles, but only after they had beaten them.

Gamaliel’s statement comes from the teachings of the Pharisees.  They taught that when there are divergent versions of the truth, both sides should be heard and recorded; neither side should be suppressed.

We do not learn anything about Gamaliel in the Bible but book I was researching said that “Some of Gamaliel’s legal opinions survive in the compendium of debates that make up the Jewish Talmud, like Hillel and like his own grandson, also named Gamaliel, he was a leader of the liberal wing of the Pharisees, Rabbis who distanced themselves from the strictest interpretations of the Law.

A number of Gamaliel’s legal decisions are prefixed by the words “for the benefit of humanity”. Several of these were designed to better the situation of women, among them one permitting a widow to remarry, even if only one witness appeared to testify that her husband was deceased, and another preventing husbands from divorce proceedings without their wives’ knowledge.

The only other mention of Gamaliel in the Bible is in Paul’s testimony that he had been a student of his. “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated according to the strict manner of the ancestral law.” (Acts 22: 3)

So Gamaliel is just a bit player in the big drama of the spread of the Gospel.  We hardly notice him.  After all he is just mentioned in two little verses.  But we can learn a lot from him.

“Wait and see.”  Wait and see if it is of God.  What good advice.  If we follow this advice we release ourselves of the self-imposed job of making sure everything is right with the world.

“Wait and see means that we take the responsibility for the saving of the world out of our hands and but it back in God’s hands where it belongs.  It is God that directs our world not we humans with our limited vision and incomplete understanding.  We may have various scientific theories and scientific discoveries but we still do not know the whole picture.  God is the one who will bring creation to its completion. We try things but it is God who will let us know if we are on the right track.  If it is of God there is no holding back.  It will flourish and bring life.  “Wait and see.”  If however our plans and projects bring death, disunity, inequality, injustice – these are big clues that it is not of God. “Wait and see if it is of God” it will bring life and flourish.

“Wait and see” means that the self-imposed responsibility that we place on our self, for the success of the church is off of our shoulders. The flourishing, the success of the church is God’s responsibility.  We are the ones called to serve.  We try, we do, we talk, we restructure, we organize and then we watch to see if we are going in the same direction as God. If it is of God there is no way to stop it.  People might hinder, it might be slow, it might be an uphill battle but they cannot overcome God. Westmount example.

“Wait and see” means that our job is to listen and ask is this action bringing life? Is it of God? It removes the self-imposed responsibility that we sometimes take on – thinking that we must protect the church from the world and from change. The world is our mission, change is our life. God is always on the move. Watch for signs! Is it moving forward?  Is it bringing unity?

“Wait and see” means that there are more opinions in the world than our own. When we have a plan or an idea we sometimes get carried away with imposing it on others.  We try so hard to persuade people that `this’ is the only way; `this’ is what we all need.  We get so wrapped up in our own opinions and getting everybody on board with us that it becomes our full time job – to bend everyone to our way.  Listen to Gamaliel. “If it is of God you will not be able to overthrow them.” We just need to share the idea, the vision, and the hope and then sit back and wait and see if it is of God. Wait and see means that we do not force a truth we seek the truth.

“Wait and see” – does not mean a passive life. We are still called to plan and to vision and to organize and have a willingness to try different things and wait and see where it goes.  When we wait and see we will discover when to let go of the plan because it is going nowhere or it has reached the end of its usefulness. To wait and see is to put things back in God’s hands and ourselves back in God’s service.

To wait and see means that we will develop patience with God.  It will remind us that we are a very small spec on the time line of God’s unfolding drama. In fact we may never see the results of our decisions, or plans, or visions – God’s plan is much longer than our life span.

To wait and see is to become a person of patience with others, with God, with God’s unfolding drama.  It is to believe that God is active and leading us in the present and into the future.

Gamaliel was a bit player in the action of the early church.  But his faithful statement tells us so much. As you seek a new call to ministry remember Gamaliel “Wait and see” is God acting yet?

Let’s make Gamaliel our patron saint, look for God’s action in life – and take your cue from God – not yourselves.

Song: In the bulb there is a flower       

In the bulb there is a flower,
In the seed, an apple tree,
In cocoons, a hidden promise:
Butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter
There’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

 There’s a song in every silence,
Seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness,
Bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future;
What it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

 In our end is our beginning,
In our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing;
In our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection;
At the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

Words and music: Natalie Sleeth; © 1986, Hope Publishing Co. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Your gifts O God, take our breath away! You have given us food and drink and shelter. You have given us the warmth of family and joy within the family of faith. You have given us life itself, and the freedom to make life good. You have given us purpose and your presence to carry out our calling. We cannot thank you enough but we bring these gifts as a sign of our thankfulness, and we know you will bless them and us. Amen

Response: Now thank we all our God

Reflection on giving

We have been giving faithfully throughout the pandemic. This reflects our commitment to continue 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 contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Response: Be still and know

Prayer for Others and Ourselves

Merciful God, we come before you in prayer with many concerns on our minds. WE bring them before you Lord, because you are gracious and loving, and we trust in the answers you give.

We pray for all the people – so many – who are living with horrific conditions due to war and natural disasters. Help us to remain strong in our resolve to help all those in need.  Help us not to give up in the face of so much.

God of healing, we offer our prayers for those who are in hospital at this time, for those who are awaiting or are in the midst of treatment, for those in the midst of recovering from illness, those struggling with mental anguish and depression. Those limited in movement and function and unable to live as they once did. And we pray for all those who selflessly offering healing and comfort to these your people.

God of new life and wholeness we pray for those who act out in violence and cruelity – may they experience forgiveness and love and new life. May our structures and institutions find ways to bring about healing and wholeness to those who are broken and lost.

Be with those who are victims of crime and violence – comfort, strengthen and heal them with your grace.

God of continuing faithful ness we pray for the work of your church throughout the world. Open us to your leading. Guide us in your directions. Empower us with the strength to follow where you lead.

We pray for teachers and students as they return to learning for a new year. May minds continue to be challenged and communities continue to grow in unity.

God of past, present and future we put our trust in you and await your answers and directions. We pray in the words of Jesus Christ.

Song: Arise, your light is come        

Arise, your light is come!
The Spirit’s call obey;
show forth the glory of your God
which shines on you today.

Arise, your light is come!
Fling wide the prison door;
proclaim the captive’s liberty,
good tidings to the poor.

Arise, your light is come!
All you in sorrow born,
bind up the brokenhearted ones
and comfort those who mourn.

Arise, your light is come!
The mountains burst in song!
Rise up like eagles on the wing;
God’s power will make us strong.

Words © Ruth Duck, 1974 Music: William Walter: descant © Diana McLeod, 1995. Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: Amen, we praise your name

Postlude

(Zoom breakout rooms)

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?”   Jesus


Annabelle Wallace retains the copyright on all original material presented by her. As far as we are aware, all of the material presented is Annabelle Wallace’s own creation or is in the public domain. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

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The Wise and the Otherwise (Lydia Calder)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am August 15, 2021
Led by Lydia Calder
Music director: Binu Kapadia
Elder: Nick Nation
Children’s Time: Lydia Calder
Vocalist: Vivian Houg

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:

L: God’s word is a lamp to guide us.
P: God’s word is a light for our path.

L: God’s teachings are our heritage, an eternal possession by which the wise are guided.

P: When we are filled by God’s Spirit, his teachings become the joy of our hearts.
L: God calls us to hear and to follow. Blessed be the name of our God.

Opening praise: Love the Lord your God

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your mind

with all your strength (repeat)

 With all your heart, with all your soul,

With all your mind, with all your strength

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your mind

with all your strength

I will serve the Lord with all my heart

With all my soul, with all my mind

With all my strength (repeat)

 With all my heart, with all my soul,

With all my mind, with all my strength

I will serve the Lord with all my heart

With all my soul, with all my mind

With all my strength

Songwriter: Lincoln Brewster © 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

Call to worship

L: Come, people of God. Come to hear the teaching of the Lord.

P: Happy are those who delight in the law of the Lord.

L: God’s teachings are perfect and sure and right and true.

P: Let us worship God who gives us wisdom, guidance and truth.

Prayers of approach and confession

God of grace and God of glory, we gather today as your people to worship you and to be strengthened by your wisdom and your power. We thank you that your ways are greater than our ways and that your purpose for creation is loving and life-giving. May we hear and receive your message this day. Speak to us clearly that we might be healed and empowered; that we might live in your wisdom and walk in your truth. We call on your name, O Lord. Raise us up in the light and peace of your presence.

Almighty God, your wisdom includes an understanding of what is fair, what is logical, what is true, what is right and what is lasting. Made in your image, we too desire a world of truth and justice. Yet, we squander our lives on objects and activities that contradict the very things we say we believe in. We are sure that we are clever, and yet instead we can be so foolish.  We imagine that we are humble before you, yet we are puffed up with our own importance. Father, take us to the place where we are saved from our own pride and arrogance.  Take us to the place where we’re no longer looking up at the mountains we face, but looking down upon them, where we can see clearly and our decisions are flooded with Your light, truth and justice.  We pray in the name of the Saviour. Amen.

Response: I will trust in the Lord

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

Our wise God knows that human beings need forgiveness and restoration. Jesus Christ sacrificed his life that we might have salvation and be reconciled to God through him. Rejoice, we are forgiven.

Response: Be still and know

Prayers for God’s help and guidance

We give you all thanks and praise, O God, for your wisdom and humility are the source of true greatness and you draw near to all who draw near to you. You nourish us with the fruits of the earth and the wise teachings of your Word.

Yet, even in the midst of our praise we are burdened for the pain we see around us. The sick, the dying, the bereaved, the lonely. Those without food, shelter, employment. Those without love, faith, hope.

God of Compassion, help us shape this troubled world into a better place. May we never become so accustomed to the images  of suffering that we fail to respond in ways that bring tangible help to those in need.  This week we especially remember the people of Afghanistan as their country falls inexorably into the hands of the Taliban.  And also the victims of yesterday’s earthquake in Haiti where the people seem to go from one disaster to another in the midst of great poverty.

God of transformation: help us shape a society where all are free of the burdens of racism, violence, greed, abuse and exploitation; where all people are able to work with dignity, are rewarded fairly, and respected fully;

God of dignity, help us shape a community where violence is not tolerated, where the weak are protected, where the elderly are honored for their experience and children are cherished for their gifts.

God of unity, help shape churches that are united in worship and devotion and bound together in a search for justice for all people.  We pray for the congregations in this city and neighborhood; let our common calling as faithful people not be hampered by the differences of our traditions.

God of all times and places, we pray for our families and our friends, for those we see each day and those we have not seen for a long time. Bless them and keep each of them in your care.

We especially remember Jack and Joyce Brown in the death of their granddaughter, Erin. Lord, please bring comfort to this entire family as they grieve the loss of a beautiful young woman who had so much life ahead of her. May they be able to give thanks for the time they had with her and be free of any regrets.     God who hears the still small voice, listen now as we offer you our prayers in silence:

Your Word, O Lord,  declares that we can come to You for wisdom. And so, we come. Instruct us, O Lord and teach us in the way we should go. Direct our footsteps and correct us when we have gone astray. Grant us calm spirits and clear thinking, the commitment to study your word and the conviction to live by it.

Grant that we might live humbly before you, relying on you for direction and discernment. And that we might live graciously before others, that our lives might declare the good news of Jesus, in whose name we pray, Amen.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time                  

Gradual: Jesus loves me

Story

Oh, Hi.  Sorry for ignoring you. I was just looking at something interesting on my phone.

Original cell phones were just telephones you could carry with you. But over time they became more and more fancy. Back when these fancy models were introduced people called them smartphones because they can give information right away.

We can do all sorts of amazing things with a smart phone.  We read books, play games, get the news and the traffic reports and the weather. We can take photos and videos with a phone. That’s because it really isn’t a telephone as much as it is a computer we can use for talking to each other.

What’s silly is that a lot of people use their smart phones for stupid things.  For instance, while they’re driving a car or walking across the street.

n an October day in 2019 a 47 year old man named Tedzu  set out to make a live-stream video of a climb up Mt Fuji. Mount Fuji is a very famous, tall mountain in Japan that is open for climbing mainly in the summer months.  Tedzu called his live stream  “Let’s Go to Snowy Mt. Fuji.”

If you were going on a hike in the mountains how would you dress?  What would you take with you? Now a person can find that kind of information on a cell phone but Teju didn’t check.  He wore regular street clothes and regular shoes. The only special things he took were gloves and a pair of ski poles.

At a certain point he wondered if he was on the right path – and he wasn’t.  He was going up the path that was meant for coming down. Then he got to the snow, then deeper snow.  He complained that his hands were cold and numb and he wished he’d brought hot packs with him.  He started slipping and sliding because he was wearing shoes instead of hiking boots.

So here’s a question for you?  Was Tedzu being smart? Was he making good decisions?

Even though he had a smart phone with him he still made dumb choices.

Sometimes very smart people make very stupid choices.  They are smart – but they are not wise.  That means they don’t know how to best use the information they have.

The Bible tells us that recognizing God’s power is the beginning of all wisdom.  Reading the Bible, going to church and Sunday School, talking with wise people who love Jesus are all good ways to learn about God and the things we need to know in order to live good and happy lives.

Smart phones are great.  The Bible is great too.  We need to use both of them well.

And we need to remember that being smart isn’t nearly as important as being wise.

Prayer: Thank you God for the Bible … and for the lessons we can learn from it… Help us to follow Jesus… Help us to become wise people…  Amen

The Lord’s Prayer (535)

Song: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet  496  

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path (repeat)

When I feel afraid, think I’ve lost my way,
Still you’re there right beside me
And nothing will I fear as long as you are near
Please be near me to the end

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (repeat)

I will not forget your love for me and yet
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus be my guide and hold me to your side,
And I will love you to the end.

 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (repeat)

Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Michael Whitaker Smith. Thy Word lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, DistroKid  Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Scripture readings:                       
Old Testament: 1 Kings 3:3-14
Psalm 111
New Testament: Ephesians 5:15-20

Response: Glory to the Father            

Message: “The wise and the otherwise”

Starting in 1985, or thereabouts, smart-aleck citizens of what would one day be called the internet began sharing of stories of bizarre, tragic or just plain silly deaths. Eventually Wendy Northcott a scientist with a degree in nuclear biology started to compile them for publication. Since these victims were said to have contributed to human evolution by ‘self-selecting’ themselves for extinction she named them The Darwin Awards.

During the children’s time I told the story Tedzu, the guy who climbed Mt Fuji using his phone to live stream to an audience. He chose the wrong time of year, the wrong path and the wrong equipment. When he should have stopped and turned back, he didn’t.

The last words he ever spoke were, “Wait, I’m slipping.”

His viewers alerted authorities and his body was recovered the next day. Tedzu won the 2020 Darwin Award.

One of the elders in Knox Church New Westminster who had a degree in psychology and ran a private practice once said to me, “Lydia, there are a lot of stupid people in the world.”

Our Old Testament lesson this morning from 1 Kings tells us of Solomon asking God for wisdom.  He said “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”

Never has the world needed wisdom as much as we do today.  This generation is probably the most knowledgeable the world has ever seen.  We have the answer to so many questions right at our fingertips.   But wisdom is in short supply.

What is wisdom? Dictionary definitions for the word wisdom include:

  1. Common sense
  2. Good judgement
  3. Accumulated learning

Charles Spurgeon was a famous preacher of the late 19th century. He define wisdom as “the right use of knowledge.” He wrote, “ To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. To know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”

Those of us who are blessed to live in developed countries, are well-educated and well-informed. We like to think we know a lot, that we have our lives pretty much under control, we’re doing just fine, thank you very much.

Then we are faced with a pandemic that turns our world upside down and we realize how little we know, how very vulnerable we are. There have been benefits to Covid 19 – one of them is the realization that we do not know it all and we cannot solve it all.  We have been crippled by something we can’t even see.

The truth is we know practically nothing about virtually everything. In order to become wise, we must first acknowledge that we are ignorant.

Albert Einstein said that wisdom is the product of a lifetime attempt to acquire it.

Yes. But even then, what we will have attained is minuscule. God is the only omniscient being.  God is the source of all knowledge and understanding.  True wisdom begins with God.

Proverbs 1:7 tells us that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  The word fear in this context does not mean fright, but rather reverence. If a person does not know God who created all things, revealed truth, and established values, he or she cannot be truly wise.

This is an important detail. If we do not face up to our lack of wisdom, we are lost before we begin. It is the arrogant person who thinks he never needs counsel. It is the foolish person who refuses to admit her need for wisdom.

And of course, a person whose heart is divided between allegiance to God and the allurements of the world isn’t fully committed to the attainment of wisdom. He’s just shopping for answers that fit what he wants to do. “Yeah, I’d like to know what God wants just so I can compare it to other opinions. If God’s wisdom sounds good, I’ll follow it. But if Oprah’s wisdom sounds better, I’ll follow that.”

“The Chinese have a saying, “Doubt is standing in two boats, with one foot in each.” You can easily see the problem there.

There are vacillating Christians who cannot decide from one trial to the next whether they will really trust the Lord and follow the path of wisdom. The on again-off again Christian should not expect to receive anything from the Lord because they don’t really want it.

Ask God. After we acknowledge our need for wisdom then we must ask for it.

Hear the words of  James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Wisdom is a divine gift. You don’t get it just by living a long life or experiencing lots of  different things. We all know people who are just as ignorant now as they were 20 years ago.

You get wisdom from God. And God will give generously. God is not stingy with this gift because he knows how badly we need it. The word James uses here means “without reserve.”

God delights to give us wisdom. God wants us to come and ask for it. To ask as many times as we need it (which for me is often).

Is there a magic formula or incantation?  No.  Do we need to sprinkle holy water on a consecrated altar.  No.  Do we have to work for it or earn it or buy it?  No.

Instead we go to the Bible with an open and inquiring mind.  Don’t just get information, but meditate on what you read, think about it and how you can apply it to your life.

Learn what God is saying in the Scriptures. Follow the teachings. Observe the consequences. Evaluate. Ask questions in the light of what you have learned in the Scriptures. What made this work right? Could I have done better? Why didn’t that turn out the way I wanted it to?  Why did they respond that way? What could I have done differently?

Also, connect with wise people. Talk to them about the way they live, how they work, how they apply God’s teachings in their lives. Talk to them about how they are obedient to God and how God blesses them.

Pastor Warren Wiersbe (Be Mature [Victor Books], p. 29) tells of a woman who was going through difficult trials. She’d had a stroke, her husband had gone blind, and then he had to be taken to the hospital where, as far as they knew, he would die. Wiersbe saw this woman in church one Sunday and assured her that he was praying for her.

She startled him by saying, “What are you asking God to do?” He replied, “I’m asking God to help you and strengthen you.”

“I appreciate that,” she said, “but pray about one more thing. Pray that I’ll have the wisdom not to waste all of this!”

CONCLUSION

Earlier we read about Solomon.  He could have had any earthly thing he desired. But Solomon’s request was that God grant him a discerning heart – wisdom. At the height of his spiritual power wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7).

Sadly, in later life he ceased to fear God and began to depend on human wisdom.  King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. His downfall was that he had many foreign wives of royal birth who led him astray. In 1 Kings11 we read, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods…He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.  The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away…”

Solomon was no longer the world’s wisest man. He was the world’s most knowledgeable fool.

Do you need wisdom today?  Do you face a problem which has exhausted your best efforts to solve? Are you looking for answers which seem to evade you?

There is hope. The One who is All-wise delights to give wisdom to those who ask with a trusting heart.

Daniel 12:3 says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens.”  WoW! I want to be one of those people. I hope you do too.

Let’s acknowledge our need for wisdom. Then go to God and Ask. Ask. Ask. Amen

Song: O Christ, the Word, incarnate    505                v1,2

O Christ, the Word incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O Light of our dark sky:
we praise you for the radiance
that from the hallowed page,
a lantern for our footsteps,
shines on from age to age.

Your people hold this treasure
from you, its source divine,
a light that to all ages
throughout the earth will shine;
it is the chart and compass
that all life’s voyage through,
‘mid mists and rocks and tempest,
still guides, O Christ, to you.

Words: public domain Music: public domain

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

We give thanks, Lord God Almighty, that in wisdom and power, you created all things. May everything that has breath acknowledge your lordship.

We give thanks that you are reflected in human skill and creativity and for all the work that is done in your name and for your glory.

We give thanks for human love and friendship and for all that enriches our daily lives.

We give thanks for the church, the body of Christ and especially those who are part of Dayspring.

We are grateful for those of your disciples who seek wisdom, who daily keep laying aside their immaturity and ignorance, who want to grow up, who want to pray and ponder, who think clearly and are not afraid of hard thoughts.

We give thanks, O Lord, for the salvation that we have through Jesus Christ, and for the hope he gives us for today, tomorrow and eternity.  Amen

Response: Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Reflection on giving

We have been giving faithfully throughout the pandemic. This reflects our commitment to continue 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 contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

For those of you in the sanctuary, if you have offering envelops with you— simply put them in the offering plate at the back of the sanctuary as you leave the service  today.

Song: God of Grace and God of Glory  490                v1,4,5  

God of grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power;
crown thine ancient church’s story;
bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.

Set our feet on lofty places;
gird our lives that they may be
armoured with all Christ-like graces,
pledged to set all captives free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
that we fail not them nor thee,
that we fail not them nor thee!

Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the search for thy salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore,
serving thee whom we adore.

Words: public domain Music: descant © Kevin Mayhew Ltd, 1990.  Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: God to enfold you

Postlude

(Zoom breakout rooms)

“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.” – Abraham Lincoln


Some of this material may have been previously published by Lydia Calder. Lydia Calder retains the copyright on all original material. As far as the writer is aware, the illustrations used are public domain.  Reference sources available on request.

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