Light up your world (Lydia Calder)

 

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am                  November 14, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Worship led by Lydia Calder
Elder: Samuel Malayang
Music director: Binu Kapadia   vocalist: Lynn Vaughan
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:The darkness in this world can make us confused and fearful.
P: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
L: God calls us from the darkness into the light.
P: Here we seek the light God offers us.

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 are my only prayer.

So, I will wait for You to come and rescue me,
to 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: Christ is the light of the world.
P: He lights the pathways on which we travel.
L: Let all people and all nations turn to the source of their salvation.
P: Let us lift our voices together in praise and seek the blessing of our God.

Prayers of approach and confession

How wonderful are the lights that you created, O Lord, the moon stars of the night and the sun that shines by day! You formed them with strength and power to shine on this world, magnificent in their splendour. They arise in radiance and go down in joy. They are tributes to your name.

We too should be tributes to your name. We are called to represent you in this world, to reflect your glory, to be lights in the darkness. But instead we are prone to slipping into darkness ourselves. We judge others and excuse ourselves. We waste time and energy with irrelevant activities while important work is left undone. We value things instead of relationships, technology ahead of communication, and religion at the expense of spirituality. Forgive us, O Lord, for stumbling around in the darkness when we could be walking in the light.  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

Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. Through him we have received assurance of forgiveness and the promise of eternal life. Let us walk as children of the light.

We listen for the voice of God

Gradual: Open our eyes, Lord    445
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

Children’s time: Story, Prayer, and the Lord’s Prayer

Good Morning. How many of you have a flashlight at home? Great. What do people use flashlights for?  (Seeing in the dark; helping to find things; reading under the covers; )

I brought my flashlight with me this morning. Turn it on.  That’s weird. It’s not working.  What do you think might be wrong with it? (Old batteries; burnt out bulb; broken switch)

This flashlight is of no use if it won’t shine. Take a look.  What do you think is wrong with it?

It has a cover on it. What good is a flashlight with a cover on it?

That reminds me about something Jesus said to his disciples. In the gospel of Matthew Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

When we live in the light and love of Jesus our lives are like a light that shines out for all to see.

If we don’t shine the light and love of Jesus to others we are just like a flashlight with a cover on top of it. Kids and grown-ups, too need to be like flashlights in this world helping people see the way to Jesus.  Let’s make sure we don’t cover our light!

Prayer: Help us to be like bright lights shining the love of Jesus for all to see. In  Jesus’ name – Amen

Song: Shine Jesus shine (376)
Lord, the light of your love is shining
in the midst of the darkness, shining;
Jesus, light of the world, shine upon us.
Set us free by the truth you now bring us.
Shine on me, (XX, XX) shine on me (XX, XX)

Refrain: Shine, Jesus, shine
ill this land with the Father’s glory;
blaze, Spirit, blaze set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow
flood the nations with grace and mercy;
send forth your word, Lord, and let there be light!

Lord, I come to your awesome presence,
from the shadows into your radiance;
by your blood I may enter your brightness,
search me, try me, consume all my darkness,
Shine on me, (XX, XX) shine on me (XX, XX). Refrain

As we gaze on your kingly brightness,
so our faces display your likeness,
ever changing from glory to glory;
mirrored here may our lives tell your story.
Shine on me,  (XX, XX) shine on me. (XX, XX) Refrain

Words and Music: Graham Kendrick © 1987 Make Way Music. 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 89:8-18                       OT (NRSV)
Matthew 5:13-16                   NT (NRSV)

Response: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
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

Message: “Light up your world”

Each evening I play outside with our Golden Retriever, Sierra. She has a lot of energy and needs her playtime in order to properly settle down for the evening, even in the dark, even in the middle of winter.  We have a porch light and also a tall standing lamp on our deck.  Both of those help me see in these darker days.  About 4 years ago, one of the three bulbs in the lamp burned out, but we didn’t replace it because it was hard to get inside the fixture to do it. Anyway, I could still see okay.  About 2 years ago a second bulb burned out.  Again we chose to leave because it because I could still see some things. Well, maybe my eyes have changed. Or maybe I got fed up with tripping in the semi-darkness because this year I begged Bob to replace the bulbs. So he did. What a difference light makes!

At this time of year as we head toward the winter solstice, we start to yearn for light. It will soon be dark when we get up in the morning, and dark by supper time. Each day has more darkness in it than the last.

Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider wrote, “It is our unifying cry, “More light.”  Sunlight.  Torchlight.  Candlelight.  Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators.  Big floods for the night games at Soldier’s Field.  Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep.  Light is more than watts and foot candles.  Light is metaphor.  Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light.”

Many of our common expression refer to light. We say things such as,

“I saw the light.”

“The light’s on but nobody’s home.”

“The light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Her smile can light up the room.”

Through the Scriptures we also come to sense the importance of light.  From the first chapter of Genesis where we hear the Lord say, “Let there be light”, through to the last chapter of the book of the Revelation where the angel says to the Apostle John , “The Lord will give them light”, we see God’s goal to illumine his people.

Darkness can be very unsettling, partly because it has many connotations.

It is often associated with our deepest fears, playing host to the unknown and unexplained. Removing our ability to identify potential hazards it plays with our minds and imaginations. Going to write a mystery/thriller? Set it at night. Create the mood of tension, unease, suspicion, tragedy.

Darkness can also be deceptive. It has been said that love covers a multitude of sins. So does low-lighting. Without light to shine, we are less likely to notice detail, imperfections, or the true condition of things. We can be deceived into accepting something that we would otherwise reject because in the dark we cannot see and judge clearly.

And of course, there is also darkness in the spiritual realm. In Prov. 4:19 we read, “But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.”  In examining human spiritual condition, Scripture makes the powerful statement that a life lived without a relationship with God is a life spent in darkness.

In our lives we make choices as to how we are going to live, what our priorities are, and what our ultimate purpose in life is going to be.  For many, living a “good life,” while pursuing the “good things” it has to offer is “good enough.”  But the Bible teaches us that “good enough” isn’t good enough. God wants a relationship with us that is ongoing and continually growing.

One of the great dangers of darkness is that we don’t always recognize it. We think we are okay, we think we have life figured out, we think we are on top of our game when suddenly we find ourselves in a position that we weren’t expecting, a situation that we had never anticipated, and we are disoriented and lost.

But listen to the words of Isaiah 9:2

“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.”

And hear the words of Jesus Christ who declared, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

That is the Good News. The Light has come and we don’t have to live in darkness any more.

We rejoice because in Jesus Christ we have a Light that cannot be overcome, a Light that re-connects lost human beings with the love of God,  a Light that heals the disconnect we have with one another and with the rest of creation, a Light that energizes us to keep going—knowing that this work that we do, is God’s own work, and that God will use it for good.

What is it about light that makes it such a powerful force I our lives?

First of all, light gives life. Before moving to Edmonton 16 years ago Bob and I lived in Sooke, BC.  The manse was on a 1/4 acre of land and on that 1/4 acre were 24 large coniferous trees. They were beautiful. But they were death for my houseplants. A number of my plants had traveled cross country in the back of a car. They had survived two little kids, one dog with a big tail, and two cats who loved to chew on them. But they could not survive life in Sooke. Why?  Because those trees blocked the light.

Plants need light to live and grow and be fruitful. People need an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, in order to live and grow and be fruitful.

Light also gives beauty. It is only because of light that we see colour. Think back to the flowers of summer: blues and purples and magentas, and yellows and greens, all visible because of light. I was inspired to consider the topic of light for this sermon because of the sunsets I see from my kitchen window. The pinks and corals and oranges and reds blend into one another, then slowly dim as night approaches. It is amazing. It is light.

I have also stood on my back deck, bundled against the cold,  unable to take my eyes away from the night sky. Before moving to Edmonton these Vancouver eyes had never seen the spectacle of the aurora borealis. It is astonishing. It is light.

With the incarnation of Jesus Christ we have seen the light come into the darkness of human life and within him is boundless beauty. Jesus Christ adds colour to a grey world.

And, of course, light dispels darkness. Imagine driving at night without headlights. Imagine walking where there are no street lamps. Then imagine the same scene in the daylight. How different things look because they have been touched by light. The road from Victoria, BC out to Sooke where I used to live, is 40 minutes of rising and falling, twisting and turning. In the daylight, with towering trees and glimpses of the Pacific ocean, it is beautiful. At night when you’re in the only car on the unlit road it’s scary. The only way to get rid of darkness like that is to flood it with light.

In the same way, the light of Christ exposes the darkness of the human condition.

It reveals our shortcomings and inadequacies. It shows where we fall short of God’s hopes and dreams for us.

So, we see the value physical light for growth and beauty and a sense of safety and security.  And we see the value of Jesus Christ in our world, bringing spiritual light into dark corners. But what does this mean in terms of how we live our lives?

Jesus defined our task when he said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works , and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” If we are to make a difference in the world around us we have to accept this statement as our goal. Jesus has a purpose in the salvation of His people that reaches beyond themselves. No one is saved simply for his or her own benefit. Lights are not turned on to be looked at, but that something else may be seen. The 19th century philosopher and sceptic Frederick Nietzsche (Freedrik Neechuh) said this about the churches of his day:  “They must sing better songs, ere I learn belief in their saviour.  They must act like they are redeemed before I will believe in their redeemer.”

Friends, we have to Shine! And as we shine, we will bring life to the dying. The physical death that comes at the end of our chronological time on earth is not the only way people die. Many people are dying inside, with hurts that only God can see. They are hurt with years of criticism or rejection, with loss and uncertainty, with insecurities and fears.  As we let our lives shine we can break through the darkness of the human condition.

As we shine, we bring beauty to the world around us. Even something as simple as a smile can brighten someone’s day. So can a friendly email, a dozen fresh-baked cookies, or an offer to drive someone to an appointment. Reach out to the person who sits alone in a group. Help the person with special needs. Be kind to the old grump. Praise someone for a job well-done. Sincerely thank people for their service to you.

We can be the light that connects lost human beings with the love of God.

George Fox, the great Quaker leader, said, “The world should be full of little bright spots where Christians are. One individual Christian should light up the surrounding countryside for ten miles around.”

Think of the Christians who first inspired you to believe in the God of Love – parents or grandparents, Sunday School teachers or youth leaders, elders or ministers. Then think of those who have touched your heart in some way, showing you the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. Each one, in their own way, shone light into your darkness. They penetrated your life with their care and concern and honesty, and so influenced you that you too can become a light for others. The divine light of Jesus Christ is a light within us, and faith is the match that sets it glowing.

Peter Milne, who was born in 1835, was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland and served as a missionary for the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand.  For 55 years he lived on the island of Nguna in the New Hebrides Islands, which are now part of Republic of Vanuatu. When he and his wife arrived there in 1870 the native peoples were highly superstitious and worshipped their ancestors and assorted spirits. Tribal warfare and cannibalism meant they lived in a constant state of fear.

The women were usually treated in subservient manner by their husbands. Infanticide was not uncommon.

Initially Rev Milne achieved very little, but by 1880 he was instrumental in the conversion of some of the island’s Chiefs to Christianity and the Ngunese then joined the Church in large numbers. By 1890 the island membership stood at 800, with the majority of the people attending school and church.

There is a tombstone that marks the grave of  Peter Milne. Beneath the engraving of his picture, is an inscription that really makes me think about how I live my life. And what I need to aim for. The inscription, which was written by a native of the islands, reads: “When he came, there was no light; when he died, there was no darkness”                                               Amen

Music Offering: Go light your world (Lynn and Binu)

Words and music: Chris Rice © 1995 BMG Songs, Inc (Gospel Division)

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Great Creator, who first uttered the words, “Let there be light,” we come before you with hearts of thanksgiving. We praise you for your reign, just and merciful, righteous and loving, holy and compassionate. You gave us life through Jesus Christ, and gave us the light of your  Scriptures that we might learn to live faithfully.

We praise you for the wonders of this world and thank you for the seasons that unfold before us: spring with its promise of new life, summer with its promise of warmth, autumn with it promise of plenty and winter with its promise of rest. We thank you for family and friends, those closet to us and the impetus they provide for growth and change. We thank you for our brothers and sister in Christ, especially those who offer us encouragement and companionship.

Response: Give thanks to the Lord
Give thanks to the Lord
our God and King
His love endures 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

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

Words and music: anonymous and public domain

Prayer for others and ourselves

Holy God, you welcome us into your joy and entrust us to be your light in this world. In hope for the world to come and with love for the world you made, we offer our prayers for your church, your earth, and your people.

We thank you, Lord, for this church and all those you have led to worship and serve you here. May there be both diversity and unity within these walls. May the young be nurtured in love and the old be secure in your care.

We pray for all missionaries, relief workers, local pastors and religious leaders serving in areas where conditions are very harsh. We so easily forget how blessed we are, Lord. Help us to do our part to relieve the suffering. Grant us hearts and hands of mercy.

Lord, we think of poverty and famine around the world.  We remember those places where peace is scarce and violence threatens. Please protect the innocent and change the hearts of those who promote evil. Free the suffering from pain and fear.

Great Creator, after nearly two weeks of negotiation the COP26 summit in Glasgow has come a to close. While there was certain success, compromises had to be made and our earth is still in a precarious position. Lord, You gave us a dwelling place that You saw to be good and delighted in it. Your creation is made to be enjoyed and appreciated, not dominated and changed beyond recognition. We pray for the healing of the earth, that present and future generations may enjoy the fruits of creation, and continue to glorify and praise you.

We pray to you, Lord for the cares of our community; for those who have lost jobs, homes, or hope; for those who are hungry today and will be again tomorrow; for those troubled in mind, body or spirit.  In this silence, we bring before you all of those about whom we worry and those situations that trouble us.

Enlarge our hearts, O Lord,  to receive the greatness of your love. Stretch our hearts that we might love our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Open our hearts that we might receive those who do not know Christ. Humble our hearts to embrace those who are not lovely in our eyes.

May each one of us here today, and your whole church around the world, walk in the light you provide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Song: I, the Lord of sea and sky (592)
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: 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

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. And now, may the grace of God, the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit be with us all, today and forever.

Response: God to enfold you
God to enfold you, Christ to uphold you
Spirit to keep you in heaven’s sight
So may God grace you, heal and embrace you
Lead you through darkness into the light

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

“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.”  Desiderius Erasmus


The quotes, and illustrations are from assorted internet sites. Children’s Story Acknowledgment: Andrew Hewlett and Sundaychildrensfocus.com. Lydia Calder retains the copyright ©2021 on the prayers and message as  presented in this service. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Posted in Recent Sermons.