By the Way; In the Way; On the Way (Annabelle Wallace)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am October 24, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
led by the Rev. Annabelle Wallace
Music director: Binu Kapadia
Elder: Darlene Eerkes
children’s time: the Rev. Annabelle Wallace

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

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: Come, now is the time
Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart,
Come, just as you are to worship
Come, just as you are before your God, come

One day every tongue will confess You are God,
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those,
Who gladly choose you now

Words and music Brian Doerkson ©
1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing (Integrity Music, David C Cook) 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: Praise the Lord in every time and place.
P: We will speak God’s praises constantly.
L: Boast only in the Lord.
P: We will praise God’s wonderful deeds.
L: Spread the news of God’s greatness.
P: We will give God glory always.
L: So let us worship God together this day!

Prayer of Approach and Adoration

Ever-faithful God, whose goodness extends to all the corners of the planet, we give you praise.  You seek the lame, that they may walk in your glory. You call the blind to behold your grandeur. You fill the hungry with good things and offer release to those imprisoned. Your kindness follows us wherever we go. Gracious God, you have transformed our lives to be more than we could have ever asked or imagined. Your presence among us brings us peace and makes us whole so, we praise you and lift up your mighty name.

Prayer of Confession

God of mystery and blessing, we speak without thinking, we judge without knowing, we boast without cause, we speak comfort without true compassion, we grasp without looking at the consequences. Forgive our self-absorption, we focus on our desires and ignore the needs of others.  Forgive our ignorance, we look down at what others without seeing what they have lost. May we follow the example of Baritmaeus and learn to cry out our need when we draw near to you.

Response: Glory, glory hallelujah\ (African American spiritual, public domain)

Assurance of God’s love

Unlike us, God does not keep score, or count the cost. Accept this free gift of forgiveness, but do not hold onto it. Pass it on to another. In so doing, God will be honoured.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s Time

Gradual: Jesus Loves me (Anna Bartlett; William Bradbury; public domain)
Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to him belong; they are weak, but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me x3
The Bible tells me so.

Story: YOJ (Yourself/Others/Jesus) or JOY (Jesus/Others/Yourself)

Lord’s Prayer

Song: When Jesus the healer vs 1,4,6

When Jesus the healer passed through Galilee,
Heal us, heal us today! the deaf came to hear

and the blind came to see.
Heal us, Lord Jesus.

When blind Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord,
Heal us, heal us today! his faith made him whole

and his sight was restored.
Heal us, Lord Jesus.

The twelve were commissioned and sent out in twos,
Heal us, heal us today! to make the sick whole
and to spread the good news.
Heal us, Lord Jesus.

Words and music: Peter Smith © words 1978 by Stainer & Bell Ltd; music © 1979 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. Permission from 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 reading:   Mark 10: 46 – 52                  NT(NRSV)

Response: Glory to the Father (Words: trad.; music: J. Weaver 1978 Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555
​.All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE)

Message: “By the Way; In the Way; On the Way”

Our reading from the Gospel of Mark begs us to look at three ways of being.
It asks us are we “by the way”; “in the way”; or “on the way”?

BY THE WAY or on the fringe.

Blind Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside, he was BY THE WAY.  Where else would beggars be.  Blind beggars were not exactly at the top of the social ladder.  Bartimaeus was not on the “must invite” list of the social climbers.  He was one of the people who by circumstances or by custom was BY THE WAY not involved in the mainstream of things. He was the street person of our day.

But this day as Jesus passes by, Bartimaeus is determined to move from his position of being on the fringe.  He finds out that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by and he creates a scene.  He shouts – he names Jesus and declares who Jesus is – Bartimaeus creates quite a disturbance with his ranting.  He is quickly reminded by those who are in the parade, those who are moving with Jesus, to shut up – to stop interfering in the important things going on – to remember his place as an outsider – a person of little significance and importance.  But Bartimaeus is persistent.  He yells and screams until he is noticed.  Jesus stood still – Jesus hears him and calls him forth.

Isn’t it IRONIC that the one who is blind is the one who has sight.  At this point in Mark’s gospel the disciples and followers are not sure who Jesus is – but the blind beggar gives him his title – Jesus, Son of David.  The blind see and the sighted are blind.

Isn’t it GOOD NEWS to know that when we call upon Our Lord that he hears.  The times in our journey when we sit BY THE WAY not really feeling part of the movement of Jesus – uncertain about our faith and calling – we simply need to call out in our lost-ness, and Christ will stop, will hear and call us forth into his mainstream.  Isn’t it GOOD NEWS to know that the times in our journey when we sit BY THE WAY – feeling abandoned and lonely, without hope and comfort – that we can call out and our voice will be heard, Christ will respond to our cry and call us forth.  The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ abounds with inclusion – we do not need to be sitting BY THE WAY – we are invited to join in the journey, the parade, the dance – to be on the way – with our eyes wide open – with new visions dancing before us.  Bartimaeus knew where to look for new life – he called on Jesus of Nazareth, the one from God.

IN THE WAY

The story of Bartimaeus gives us some insights into being IN THE WAY.

The first thing we note is that the disciples and followers were IN THE WAY.  They were following, they were excited about Jesus, happy to be part of the truth, the freedom and the wholeness that Jesus was offering.  But…they got IN THE WAY of that same gift being extended to Bartimaeus.  Bartimaeus’ calling out was an annoyance to their religiosity and agenda so they attempt to silence him – to ignore his very existence.  Does the same apply today?  Does this passage have a warning for us today – do we need to listen to those who are outside the church, those sitting BY THE WAY.  Do we need to be still and listen for insight lest we are blinded by our own religiosity and agendas?  Several issues cause us to ask this question. More people are outside the church than in the church. Are we like the disciples and followers that day on the road to Jericho too caught up in our personal satisfaction that we are hoarding the gift of truth, of freedom and wholeness from others? Do we like what “we are doing” so much that we cannot see where God is calling us today.

Mark has a great gift for contrast.  In today’s text we have Bartimaeus been asked the same question that was asked of James and John in last week reading.  “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU?  This is a deliberate repetition of Jesus’ earlier question to James and John.  But what a contrast in responses.  James and John ask for their personal self-advancement.  Bartimaeus asks for sight.  James and John see discipleship as privilege Bartimaeus sees discipleship as following – being ON THE WAY.   The difference between the two responses is striking, especially the irony of the words.  “Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way”.

Jesus tells James and John that they do not know what they are asking.  For Son of man came to serve and lay down his life for others.  The healing of Bartimaeus gives a concrete example of the life Jesus is calling his disciples to live.  His life is serving others, extending himself, healing the broken, and opening that which is closed.  His life is hearing the cry of the many by the side of the road, Bartimaeus being just one example.  Jesus ministry is our ministry. Are we following or are we in the way?

Bartimaeus is depicted as bold and persistent and clear about how he is going to use his regained sight.  He is going to follow Jesus, The implication in this story is that Bartimaeus, the formerly blind man, was a more faithful follower than Jesus’ own disciples.  His perception as an outsider stands in vivid contrast to the lack of clear understanding and vision of the insiders.  But we know that these same followers at another time had sight – they were persistent and bold followers who went out to proclaim Jesus Christ with commitment and enthusiasm.  Asking are we in the way is not a one-time question but a continuing question we must ask ourselves throughout our life as disciples.  The answer to that question can only be found through a constant reading of Scripture and reflective prayer.

Lastly ON THE WAY

Bartimaeus is the very image of one without anything to offer, anything to claim; he is a blind beggar.  He is a metaphor for all of us.  Before our gracious and loving creator we are all blind beggars.  By calling out to Jesus Christ, Bartimaeus was not only able to get on with his life, but he attached himself to the one who provides a direction for life.  The blind had sight.  Bartimaeus is a metaphor for all of us. PEOPLE ON THE WAY know whom to call upon to move from darkness into light.

An interesting line in our story is this “so throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.”  A little line that caught my attention.  Why did he do that?  We don’t know but it speaks volumes for us as people ON THE WAY.  PEOPLE ON THE WAY – let go of things that impede movement to Jesus Christ.  It is only when we are willing to abandon those weights that we discover that what Christ gives us in exchange is far better.  People ON THE WAY travel light – needing only Jesus Christ to make life whole.  Bartimaeus gave up his livelihood, his way of making a living – begging.  He gave it all up for Jesus Christ.  We to must abandon our cloaks of security and comfort and cloaks that offer us hiding and protection from the truth.

PEOPLE ON THE WAY continually cry out – MASTER LET ME SEE AGAIN – clear my vision.  The Good News is that Jesus Christ will hear our cry and answer – we have nothing to fear – we can throw off our cloaks.

Song: The love of God comes close (Vss.1-3)

The love of God comes close, where stands an open door,
to let the stranger in, to mingle rich and poor.
The love of God is here to stay,
embracing those who walk the Way;
the love of God is here to stay.

The peace of God comes close to those caught in the storm,

forgoing lives of ease to ease the lives forlorn.
The peace of God is here to stay
embracing those who walk the Way;
The peace of God is here to stay.

The joy of God comes close where faith encounters fears,
where heights and depths of life are found through smiles and tears.
The joy of God is here to stay,
embracing those who walk the Way;
the joy of God is here to stay.

Words: J. Bell, G. Maule; © Iona Community, GIA Publications Inc. Music: John Edwards; public domain. Reprinted with permission and permission to stream under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved.

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

We present these gifts Generous Loving God as symbols of our faith and symbols of your healing presence in our lives. Thanks be to God for these inexpressible gifts! Amen

 Response: Praise God from whom all blessings flow

(Words: Thomas Ken; Music Genevan Psalter1551;last line, Ravenscroft’s Psalter 1621; both public domain.)

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.

Response: Be still and know that I am God (Words and music: anonymous and public domain.)

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

God of the church and God of the universe, we thank you for the gift of the church. We thank you for this congregation and for the love and acceptance that we find here in your name.  We pray for this congregation, for our elders, and for all who serve you here. Grant that we might be the kind of faith community that you call us to be. Help us to look out, not in, and to serve others in your name. Aid us in our search for a new minister to walk with us in your mission.

We thank you for those from whom we have learned of your love. We thank you for parents and grandparents, ministers and church school teachers, friends and neighbours, and for all who shared in passing the faith on to us.

We thank you for the congregations and ministries of our Presbytery. We thank you for the reminder that we are not alone but work together with others to fulfil your purpose. Grant that we will not become complacent or stuck in our ways and keep us open to the guidance of your Spirit.

We thank you for the many ways in which you have chosen to reveal yourself. We thank you for your Word, and for the people by whom the scriptures were written, copied, preserved, and translated.

Gracious God we pray for those who are “by the way”.  Open our eyes to their needs.  Open our hearts to their needs. Open our mouths to extend your invitation of love and acceptance.

Lord we pray for those who are “in the Way” gently open their eyes to new ways of doing things and the needs and ideas of those around them.

And we pray for those of us “on the way” continue to inspire us to follow where you lead and to do what you did.

We thank you for Jesus Christ who invited us to follow. Amen

Song: There’s a spirit in the air (vss. 1,4,5,7)

There’s a spirit in the air, telling Christians everywhere: ‘Praise the love that Christ revealed, living, working, in our world!’

Still the Spirit gives us light, seeing wrong and setting right:  God in Christ has come to stay.  Live tomorrow’s life today!

When a stranger’s not alone, where the homeless find a home,  praise the love that Christ revealed, living, working, in our world.

There’s a Spirit in the air, calling people everywhere: praise the love that Christ revealed living, working, in our world.

Words: Brian Wren © 1969, 1975 by Hope Pu blishing Co. Music: John Wilson © 1979 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

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: Go forth into the world (Lyrics traditional. Music: Natalie Sleeth. Arr: Gord McCrostie.)

Music postlude

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


Annabelle Wallace retains the copyright on the prayers and message presented in this service. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Posted in Recent Sermons.