Beware (Annabelle Wallace)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
1st Sunday in Lent     Sacrament of Holy Communion
10:00 am 06 March 2022
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering  as a Worshipping Community
Message and Children’s time: The Rev. Annabelle Wallace
Music director: Binu Kapadia     Vocalist: Fionna McCrostie
Elder: Sam Malayang

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: Everlasting God

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord X2

Our God, You reign forever, our hope, our strong deliverer. You are the everlasting God, the everlasting God. You do not faint; You won’t grow weary.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord X2

Our God, You reign forever, our hope, our strong deliverer.

 You are the everlasting God, the everlasting God. You do not faint, You won’t grow weary. You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need, You lift us up on wings like eagles.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord X2

Songwriters: Brenton Brown/ Ken Riley ©2005 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: During Lent, we remember that God’s plans for all creation are unfolding.
All: God is with us; we need not fear.
L: God has good plans for us; plans to bring us greater wholeness and peace.
All: God is with us in our journey of becoming.
L: Let us pray.

Prayers of approach and lament

God of our living and our loving, we rejoice in you grace and mercy which has called creation into being, and makes all life complete. As we begin our Lenten journey may we trust that you are intimately involved in our lives. Whatever we face, we can rest in your steadfast love, and have the courage to follow you into whatever lies ahead. Help us to navigate each day by the power of your Spirit and in all that we do, let us honour You.

Compassionate God, we come to you aware that we do not always live your ways, and love your people. Hear us as we unburden ourselves so that we can live as free people. Too often life’s allurements tempt us: to let material resources become our masters, to abuse power, to make relationships into idols. Sometimes our selfish side wins out in our day to day living. Forgive us. Help us Lord to recognize the difference between good and evil, help us to choose that which is pleasing to you. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Response: I will trust in the Lord
I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord, I will trust in the Lord, ‘til I die
African American spiritual public domain

Assurance of God’s forgiveness
Accept your forgiveness and be at peace. Live with great joy the abundant grace that is for all God’s children.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Gradual: Open our eyes, Lord

Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus, to reach out and touch him and say that we love him, open our ears, Lord, and help us to listen. Open our eyes, Lord We want to see Jesus

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 temptation to indulge with too much chocolate

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (535)

Transition music

Song: We come to ask your forgiveness

Refrain: We come to ask your forgiveness, O Lord, and we seek forgiveness from each other. Sometimes we build up walls instead of bridges to peace, and we ask your forgiveness, O Lord.

Sometimes we hurt by what we do to others. Sometimes we hurt with words that are untrue.
Sometimes we cause others pain by what we fail to do, and we ask your forgiveness, O Lord.
  Refrain

For the times when we’ve been rude and selfish, for the times when we have been unkind, and for the times we refused to help our friends in need, we ask your forgiveness, O Lord.  Refrain

Words and music: Carey Landry © Carey Landry and North American Liturgy Resources, 1986. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Today’s Message

Scripture readings: Psalm 91:1-2;4-16 and Luke 4:1-13

Response: Glory to the Father

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit As it was in the beginning is now, and will be forever Amen, amen, amen

Words: traditional, public domain music: J. Weaver © J. Weaver 1978  CCLI

Homily: “Beware”

In today’s story from Luke we are transported into the wilderness and we are given the privilege listening in on Jesus wilderness experience.  That wilderness that comes upon us following a major decision.  At baptism Jesus has the shattering experience of the presence of God in which he is deeply affirmed by God.  He now must take the next step.

It is one thing to know that the hand of God is upon us.  It is often quite another to put the call into action.  That is what Jesus has to do.  He is “filled with the power of the Spirit,” but what does that Spirit want him to do?  He goes into the desert to work that out.  There he faces the demons that face us all when we wrestle with the leading of the Spirit.

From the beginning of time people have been aware of the power of evil in the world and it’s tempting power.  The scriptures give us several images of evil.  From the beginning of time people have known that there is a strong opposition to love, health, wholeness and peace in the world in which we live.

Temptation is so deceptively attractive.  Jesus is tempted by very human desires.  The desire to get on with the job, to get ahead, to use the power bestowed on him by the Spirit of God, to show the people who is in charge. He is not tempted by evil things but useful things.

“Turn this stone into a loaf of bread”, says the tempter.  Look Jesus, use the opportunity to help yourself.  Use your powers for your own benefit.  Feed yourself – feel better.  Look you have the power why don’t you use it to advance things for your own benefit.  That’s the way to do this mission business.

Jesus responds with a quote from scripture from Deut. 8:3 “One does not live by bread alone”.  There is more to life, says scripture, than personal satisfaction – more to life than personal gain – more to life than mere survival, more to life than a satisfied hunger.

In the last several years we have had examples of people who faced this first temptation – the temptation to seek personal benefits from the gifts and the power given by God.  Some TV evangelists gave in to the tempter and said: “Yes I will turn that stone into bread.”  “Yes, I will use my gifts and power to gain material wealth, to gain prestige, to break the rules for my benefit.  After all my work is for good.”  Their motivation got skewed and God’s mission got clouded by personal gain.  I am sure in the beginning that they were sincere and motivated by the call to preach the Gospel but somehow that motive got changed.  The ego took over.

It is so easy to switch motives.  Most of us have probably experienced this switch in motives.  Times when we have complained or been miffed because we have not been recognized or thanked for doing what is our God given duty. Times when we have been hurt or upset because we were not called upon or honoured in some small way as a disciple.  Is discipleship about receiving recognition?  It seems to me that at times like this we want the stone turned into bread.  We want to be fed and satisfied more than we want to be disciples.

One does not live by bread alone.  There is more to life than personal gain, than personal satisfaction.

Next the tempter in an instant shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says, “Look this can all be yours – I have the authority to give it to you. Just worship me and it is yours.”

The tempter is right many have been able to achieve great power and influence by worshipping the forces of evil.  It works.  We have seen it in history – in men like Hitler, in groups like the Crusaders – in groups like the mafia.  It is possible to achieve power through worshipping evil.  It is possible to achieve power through selfishness, greed, prestige, exclusiveness, hate, conflict – we are still living in it in these days.

Jesus rejects this alternative by once again quoting scripture Deut. 6: 13 “Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”  Scripture reminds us that whatever we do in this God business it must be for the glory of God.   There is only one God over us.  To be for God is to reject all other gods.  Gods like prestige, power, authority, glory – gods that point to us and to our position.  To be for God is to work for the glory of God and to say no to any force that does not point to God and glorify God.

The tempter stands before us in many forms and says look this can be yours if only you fall down and worship me.  Sometimes we do.  Sometimes we give in – and try to gain power and prestige over others or over groups so that the focus will be on our own rightness or importance.  We do it through acts of malice like spreading lies and gossiping, or harboring resentment, or refusing to listen to another’s point of view, or by judging and condemning others, or by withholding pertinent information that could help a group or a person find their way to a solution.  Sometimes we try to gain power by creating divisions in community – divide and conquer.  Sometimes we try to gain power in a relationship through silence and passive resistance or sometimes by outright aggression.

At times it seems to us that the way to go is to worship the ways of evil – the other gods.  It seems that worshipping evil gets us what we want.  But in the long run it doesn’t.  There is only one God and we worship that God alone.

It is written:  “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him”

The tempter then whisks Jesus off to the pinnacle of the temple, saying “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written “He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,” and “on their hands they will bear you up so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”

Perform the miraculous, make a big splash.  Catch everyone’s attention. Says the tempter.  Your God will protect you!  Go ahead, that’s the way to do God’s mission.  Be spectacular!

Like I said temptation is so deceptively attractive.  In this case the temptation comes through scripture no less.  The tempter quotes from Psalm 91: 11, 12.  Psalms give us direction and instruction for living.  But Psalms are poetry not factual teachings.  Psalms are full of images metaphors, and symbolism they are not literal teachings.  The tempter misrepresents scripture by making the poetic into fact and by lifting a text out of its context.

This same tempter is still with us in our society today – There are still those who quote scripture out of context to affirm their own point of view.  There are cults who still misrepresent this Psalm today – they dance with poisonous snakes to prove that they are a true believer because God will protect them if they are a true believer.  If they die that was a sign that they were not a true believer.

Temptation is deceptively attractive hidden even in the quoting of scripture.

Once again Jesus responds to this alternative to his true mission with a scripture quote – but in this case it is in context – it is in harmony with the whole of God’s word and it is an instruction not poetry.  He chooses Deut 6:16 “It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test”

God has chosen to be known through the un-dramatic.  God has chosen to be known through the building of a community of faithful people who strive to live the ways of righteousness.  We too might desire the miraculous but we are called to a life of loving service.

Jesus, as he fulfills God’s mission, is not going to be seduced into using his power or authority as Son for any reason other than that which he has been sent to do: to proclaim the Kingdom of God.  He is not going to be seduced into the ways of personal satisfaction (turn these stones into bread), selfish power (worship me says Satan) and glitzy showman ship. (Jump God will save you)  Even though this refusal to be seduced by the ways of the world will mean hostility, opposition and rejection.

What does it mean to be about God’s business?  From this story of Jesus’ temptation, we know that being about God’s business means examining our motives, struggling with our egos, and knowing that the end never justifies the means.  It means being acutely aware that there are forces out there who oppose God’s purpose of love, health, wholeness and peace and they are couched in deceptively attractive forms.

Beware! Is that the good news this day?  Or is the good news
– that we have been shown the way
– follow – find joy- find purpose find peace

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

God of hope and love, we thank you that you are with us in these days of turmoil and unrest. To know you is to know life. To follow you is to find peace. To serve you is to work for a better way. God of grace, You are our judge and our hope. Transform us with your love and harness our energy for you purposes in the world.

Generous God, we thank you for all the goodness we receive in Christ and in creation. And bless the gifts we offer to share in the work of the kingdom Jesus declared, and bless our lives so that we may be witnesses to his love and mercy. Amen

Response: Now thank we all our God

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices Who wondrous things has done in whom God’s world rejoices

Words: Catherine Winkworth; music: J. Cruger public domain for both

Reflection on giving: We have been giving faithfully since the beginning of the pandemic and we are 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 support of our shared vision and mission. 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.

Transition Music: Be still and know that I am God

Prayer for others and ourselves

God of Justice, and lover of peace, we are distressed by the violence and threats of violence and destruction in the world and especially by acts of war and brutality that people experience in Ukraine.

In solidarity with them, we pray for those who are suffering and in danger, who live in fear and anxiety, who fear what tomorrow will bring, who are anxious for their lives and the lives of those they love and care for, and who mourn the dead.

We pray that those with power over war will lay down weapons, and that those who have power to accomplish peace will have wisdom and compassion.

God of Grace, the Giver of Life, send your Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, to sustain the hope of all those who seek justice and peace and to inspire the leaders of all nations to do what is right at this time and at all times.

We give thanks for those who are willing to give to help others.  We give thanks for the responses of people to care and serve.

We continue to pray for all people, people who suffer, people who are lonely, who are ill, who are trying to cope with difficult circumstances. Help us to respond with kindness, care and love wherever we meet you children. All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Invitation
This is the Lord’s table.
Our Saviour invites all those who trust him
to share the feast which he has prepared.
O taste and see that the Lord is good.                Ps. 34:8a.

Song  All who hunger, gather gladly (534)

All who hunger, gather gladly; holy manna is our bread. Come from wilderness and wandering. Here, in truth, we will be fed. You that yearn for days of fullness, all around us is our food. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.

All who hunger, never strangers, seeker, be a welcome guest. Come from restlessness and roaming. Here, in joy, we keep the feast. We that once were lost and scattered in communion’s love have stood. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.

All who hunger, sing together; Jesus Christ is living bread. Come from loneliness and longing. Here, in peace, we have been led. Blest are those who from this table live their days in gratitude. Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good..

Words Sylvia Dunstan © G.I.A. Publications Inc, 1991. Music: William Moore; harmony, Charles Anders © Contemporary Worship 1: Hymns reprinted by permission Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Affirmation of our faith: The Apostles’ Creed

The Great Thanksgiving

L: Lift up your hearts.
P: We lift them up to the Lord
L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
P: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Holy God, Creator of heaven and earth,
with joy we give you thanks and praise.
You commanded light to shine out of darkness,
divided the sea and dry land,
created the vast universe and called it good.
You made us in your image
to live with one another in love.
You gave us the breath of life
and freedom to choose your way.
You set forth your purpose
in commandments through Moses,
and called for justice in the cry of prophets.
Through long generations
you have been patient and kind to all your children.

How wonderful are your ways, almighty God.
How marvellous is your name, O Holy One.
You alone are God.
Therefore with apostles and prophets,
and that great cloud of witnesses
who live for you beyond all time and space,
we lift our hearts in joyful praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

All: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

We praise you, most holy God,
for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us,
full of grace and truth.
Sharing our joy and sorrow,
he healed the sick and was a friend of sinners.
Obeying you,
he took up his cross and died that we might live.
We praise you that he overcame death
and is risen to rule the world.
He is still the friend of sinners.
We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us,
and believe that when he comes in glory
we will celebrate victory with him.
We thank you that on the night before he died,

Jesus took bread, gave thanks to you,
broke the bread and said
“Take, eat.
This is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.”

In the same way he took the cup, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood.
Do this for the remembrance of me.”]

Therefore, in remembrance of your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we take this bread and this cup
and give you praise and thanksgiving
as we proclaim the mystery of faith:

All: Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

Gracious God,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us,
and upon this bread and wine,
that we, and all who share this feast,
may be one with Christ and he with us.
Here we offer ourselves to be a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to you.
In your mercy,
accept our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
Fill us with the joy of eternal life,
that we may be your faithful people
until we feast with you in glory.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour are yours, almighty God,
for ever and ever.     Amen

Sharing of the bread and cup

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 of Christ.   I Cor. 10:16.
The gifts of God
for the people of God

The prayer after communion
Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery
in which you have given yourself to us.
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: For the bread which you have broken

For the bread which you have broken, for the wine which you have poured, for the words which you have spoken, now we give you thanks, O Lord.

By this promise that you love us, by your gift of peace restored, by the call to heaven above us,
hallow all our lives, O Lord.

With the holy ones before you, feasting on your grace outpoured, may the church now waiting for you keep love’s tie unbroken, Lord.

In your service, Lord, defend us; in our hearts keep watch and ward; in the world where now you send us, may your kingdom come, O Lord.

Words Louis Benson, music: Corner’s Gesangbuch, arrg. W.S. Rockstro, Both public domain

Sending out with God’s blessing
Go out into the world in peace.
Whatever you do, in word or deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God through him.     Col. 3:17.

Go forth into the world (x2)
Go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit,
thanks be to God, thanks be to God, thanks be God, Amen.
Words: traditional. Music: Natalie Sleeth. Arr: Gord McCrostie.

Music postlude

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Numbers in brackets after a song/hymn indicate that it is from the 1997 Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Those and other songs are being used in accordance with the specified licenses with One Licence and CLC. The Communion Liturgy is from the PCC’s Book of Common Worship (1991). Annabelle Wallace retains the copyright (© 2022) on all original material presented by her.

As far as Annabelle Wallace is aware, all of the material presented that has not been attributed to others is her own creation or is in the public domain. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Posted in Recent Sermons.