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.

Posted in Recent Sermons.