Lost and Found (Daniel Surya)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
First Sunday of Christmas
10:00 am December 26, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Led by Daniel Surya
Music director: Binu Kapadia   Vocalist: Lynn Vaughan
Children’s Time: Courtney Vaughan
Elder: Jane de Caen

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: Great are you Lord

You give life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness, You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken, great are You, Lord.

It’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, we pour out our praise, it’s Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to You only. great are You, Lord

Songwriters: Jason David Ingram, David Leonard, Leslie Jordan. Great Are You Lord lyrics © Integrity’s Praise Music, Integrity S Alleluia Music. Reprinted with permission and permission to stream under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved

Call to worship
L: Praise the LORD from the heavens and in the heights!
P: Praise God, sun and moon!

L: God’s name alone is exalted!
P: God is above the earth and the heaven.
L: Young and old together, all creatures great and small;
P: Let us praise God’s holy name now and forever more!

Prayer of Adoration and Confession

God of our lives and the times in which we live, we come before you on this last Sunday of the year, marveling that another year has passed.

For some of us, time has slipped by and we wonder where another year went.

For others, the pressures of the pandemic have been intense; the sorrows, heavy; the conflicts, challenging.

O God, you have seen us through this peculiar year and we are grateful. We praise you for your love, for your comfort and joy which are there whenever we need them.

In this time of worship, receive our prayers and our praises as we honour your gifts of Light and Love which shine upon us through Jesus Christ this day and every day by your grace.

God of our lives and the time in which we live, we know you are with us through thick and thin, in times of great joy and at moments of disappointment.

We confess we sometimes feel let down when the joy of Christmas day has passed.

Our hope seems to get folded away with the gift wrap, our energy for the future feels a bit tattered.

Forgive us when our faithfulness flickers like a Christmas candle burning down.

Renew our hope and energy for the year ahead through the steadfast grace of Christ our Lord.

Response: His truth is marching on

Glory, glory hallelujah Glory, glory hallelujah! Glory, glory hallelujahI His truth is marching on

Words: Public Domain; Music: 1986 Curb Word Music (Admin. by WC Music Corp.) Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Assurance of God’s pardon

The mercy of our God is from everlasting to everlasting. Hear and believe the good news of the Gospel. In Jesus Christ, God’s generous love reaches out to embrace us. We are forgiven and set free to begin again. Let us forgive one another just as God has forgiven us. May the peace of Christ be with us all.

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

Hello, children of God!

I have something I’d like to give you today. Would you like that? So here it is: I’m giving you each a special heart! Here you go… (Bring out crumpled up paper hearts and pass them around.)  What beautiful hearts! Do you like them? (Allow for disappointment or responses)

I guess those hearts aren’t really spectacular, are they? Hmm…well, how about if I give you a new heart? I will trade you in that old crumpled heart for a nice clean brand new one! Would that be better? All you have to do is give me your heart, and I’ll swap it for a better one…. (Allow students to change out their hearts) Great!

So, that might have seemed a bit strange, but did you know that’s what God does for our lives? He is in the heart changing business. This is not about a greeting card, and it’s not about your physical heart, like a transplant where you need to have your body cut open. A changed heart is about your attitude and motivation on the inside. It’s about how you think and feel. When you know Jesus and what He’s done for you, it really changes things for the better!

So in today’s scriptures, we talk about a man named Zacchaeus. Do you know anything about him? Well, we might remember him as being that really short guy who had to climb a tree just to spot Jesus in a crowd, but that’s not really the most important part of the story. See, people knew him not only because he was short, but also because he was sort of a bad guy. He was called a tax collector, which basically meant he would steal from people and they couldn’t even do anything about it.

When people get their money taken away, it usually doesn’t make them too happy! So Zacchaeus didn’t really have many friends, but he heard about Jesus and wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. Jesus saw him up in that tree, and he called out to Zacchaeus by name, and invited himself over for dinner!

Some of the Jewish people thought Jesus should not be hanging out with someone like Zacchaeus, and criticized Him for it. But Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was just a bit lost in his life and could change. And in fact, he did.

After meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus’ life couldn’t go back to the way it was because, just like we did here, he was given a new heart. He promised to pay back any money he shouldn’t have taken.  He turned his act around, and I’ll bet he had more friends as a result, including his new friend: Jesus. And when we invite Jesus into our lives, we can know His love, change our hearts, and tell others about Him.

And that’s the good news for today.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for making us special and for loving each and every one of us
Help us to share that love with one another and to let you make our hearts new
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!

The Lord’s Prayer

Song: Hark the herald angels sing

Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn King, peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. Joyful, all ye nations, rise; join the triumph of the skies; with the angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem.’

Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, off-spring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the God head see! Hail the incarnate deity! Pleased on earth with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn King.

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the sun of righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild, he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,born to raise the lost of earth, born to give us second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing glory to the newborn King,

Words: Charles Wesley, alt; French, Edmond Budry © World Student Christian Federation from Cantate Domino  Music: Felix Mendelssohn; arrangement, William Cummings public domain

Scripture readings                     
Psalm 119:176                OT(NRSV)
Luke 19:1-10                   NT(NRSV)

Response: O come, let us adore Him

Oh Come let us adore him; Oh Come let us adore him; Oh Come let us adore him, Christ the Lord

Words: Latin, John Wade, translation, F Oakeley, alt; French, Claude Rozier © public domain. Music: anonymous; arrangement and descant, Hymns Ancient and Modern Let. 1947 © 1983 Hope Publishing Co.

Message: Lost and Found

Have you ever lost something priceless? Like watches, earrings, or your favorite glasses perhaps? Or something not materialistic in nature; something like losing your pets for example? You wake up one day and you realize that your pet is gone! I remember the day when I lost Blontang, my dog. I called him, “Blontang! Blontang!” But he didn’t answer me. That was unusual. I looked for him around the house and he wasn’t anywhere in the house. Then in the afternoon, when my dad came home from work, he told me that Blontang was dead! What? What happened! He was hit by a car when my dad took him on a morning walk. I was literally crying for his death and it broke my heart.

But losing material stuff like watches, earrings, or glasses, or even living beings like dogs are nothing compared to losing a person that is dear to you. In the “News of the Year 2021,” I found this story about China’s “Operation Reunion.” Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVGxtlDZAfg

You see that? 26 consecutive years of searching — the Mom simply didn’t give up. How much more God would do to search for His “missing” children out there!

The Bible, especially the gospel of Luke, speaks many times about God’s version of “Operation Reunion.” For example in Luke 15; there we see the trilogy story of “The Parable of the Lost” — “The Parable of the Lost Sheep (verses 1-7),” “The Parable of the Lost Coin  (verses 8-10),” and lastly “The Parable of the Lost Son (verses 11-32).” This heavenly “Operation Reunion” has always been the mission of Jesus Christ and it should be the mission of us, too, as Christians. In Luke 19:10 Jesus clearly states that “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” In another statement with the same sentiment of message, Jesus says “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Luke 5:31).

So, now under the theme “Lost and Found” and following the spirit of Christmas; where we celebrate the coming of Jesus to earth to seek and to save those who are lost and sick, let us together read and ponder Luke 19:1-10.

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

This story is divided in three parts: First, and the most interesting part, is “Zacchaeus seeks Jesus” (1-3). Second, “Jesus seeks Zacchaeus” (vv.5-7). Third, “Jesus changes Zacchaeus” (8-10).

“Zacchaeus seeks Jesus” (1-4) — Luke finds another blind man to introduce us to his name is Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus could see but he just couldn’t see Jesus.

We don’t know much about Zacchaeus. Luke tells us that he was a chief tax collector. He was sort of like the foreman or overseer of a group of tax collectors in the city of Jericho. With this city being a hub city with many travelers and business people going through it everyday, he would have had the opportunity to grow very rich. The Chief Tax Collectors got a percentage of all the taxes coming into their area.

He was the least likely man to be saved that day. He was a well-known sinner. Not only did he have the reputation of a sinner because of his trade, he was the leader of the Tax Collectors…leader of the sinners. For some reason, which is beyond human understanding, he wanted to see Jesus! Perhaps he lay awake all night thinking about his life and wondering if this is all there is. Perhaps he thought, I’m very successful and very wealthy but I still have this empty feeling inside and I know there must be more. Perhaps he’d heard something about Jesus. Perhaps Zachaeus had heard about Jesus from one of his fellow Tax Collectors… Luke 5:30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

As He traveled, Jesus spent a fair amount of time with these folks. Maybe Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus through one of his friends. But whatever the reason, whether mere curiosity or a great need he sensed in his own heart, he had to see Jesus for himself. What were some hindrances he had in seeing Jesus? He was small and the crowd large. He was short and could not see over the people. However, being determined to see Jesus he runs up ahead where the crowd had not yet formed and climbed up into a sycamore tree.

There were other things working against this man as well. He was rich. Jesus had already stated the impossibility of a rich man entering the Kingdom of God. He was a sinner. Both these characteristics worked against him as far as seeing Jesus. God had been working in this man’s heart because sinners do not on their own accord seek Christ. Romans 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.

We’ll see very quickly that he wasn’t actually seeking Jesus, Jesus was seeking him.

“Jesus seeks Zacchaeus” (vv.5-7) — Zacchaeus was on a quest to find Jesus. Jesus was on a quest to find Zacchaeus.

Can a person like Zacchaeus be saved? He’s a ruler, like the rich young ruler…He’s a Tax Collector, the very picture of sin…He’s rich and Jesus already has shown the impossibility of the rich entering the Kingdom of God…He is a sinner. So, what are we to make of this situation and a man who has so much against him?

First, it was Jesus not Zacchaeus who took the initiative to engage in a personal encounter.  Zacchaeus was only hoping to get a glance at Jesus and remain nameless.  However, Jesus looks up and calls him by name.  He didn’t say, Hey you in the tree…   

Instead, our Lord called him by name.  How did Jesus know his name? Do you know that Jesus knew you and searched for you?

I Sought the Lord…
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
No, I was found of Thee.
Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm vexed sea.
’Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
As Thou, dear Lord, on me.
I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
Of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee!
For Thou were long beforehand with my soul,
Always Thou lovest me.

Jesus found Zacchaeus. What to the world seemed like hindrances were not things that God saw as roadblocks. Our little Tax Collector was a sinner, like everyone here today.

Matthew 9:13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Luke 15:4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The purpose for which the Son of God took on flesh and came to earth and lived was to find and save those just like Zacchaeus.

Who, then, can be saved? With man it is impossible but with God all things are possible.

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”

Jesus says, I must stay at your house today…The reason He had to stay at his house was because He came to save this little man. Jesus had to stay at his house that day because it was a divine appointment from the beginning of the world that on that exact day Zacchaeus would meet his Savior. He hurries down the tree and receives Him into his house with joy.

Do you see the opening of Zacchaeus’ heart to believe? He is being saved. He receives Jesus with joy. This is the beginning of the Fruit of the Spirit in Zachaeus’ life. While salvation was bringing joy to Zacchaeus, the people continued their grumbling…

Luke 19:7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”

“Jesus changes Zacchaeus” (8-10) — Remember the response of the Ruler? He left sad because he was very rich. Here, we see the response of a man whose idols are gone and who has met his Savior. Notice how what Jesus asked the Rich Young Ruler to do came natural to Zacchaeus.

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”

Our new convert wasn’t happy anymore with his wealth. All his money now meant very little to him. Jesus had his devotion and worship. He was following God’s purpose of restitution from the OT. The issue wasn’t if he had defrauded anyone because he had. He was a cheat and a thief and an extortioner. He sinned in order to get wealth and now he’s going to give it away. Do you see how Jesus has changed him? What once gripped his affections is now a burden. Now after He’s come into his home, Jesus declares three amazing things.

He first declares that salvation has entered into this home. That’s why Jesus had to go there. It was in this place Zacchaeus would be saved.

Second, He declares that now after Zacchaeus has been saved by grace through faith that he is a son of Abraham. He had always been a descendant of Abraham but now he is a true son. Zacchaeus has become a true Israelite a true son of Abraham because now he is in Christ. He believes like Abraham and is not a son.

Third, Jesus declares that it was, in fact, Him who came looking for Zacchaeus.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Zacchaeus was one of the lost sheep of Israel who Jesus came to rescue.

Appolos —  is the word translated lost. It carries the idea that like the lost lamb in Luke 15, unless it is found it will be destroyed. Prefix app- from Appolyon, “The Destroyer” in Revelation 9:11. Unless Zacchaeus is apprehended by Jesus and brought back into the fold he will be destroyed. Appolyon is the name given to a high ranking demon who has charge to destroy and kill.

So, the picture is of a lamb who has gotten loose and wanders off into the night. While the lamb doesn’t even know he’s lost there is one looking for it to destroy it and there is another looking for it, the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Appolyon was unsuccessful that day because Jesus found Zacchaeus sitting up safely in a sycamore tree waiting for Jesus to pass by. Our Lord, who was searching for lost sheep, spotted one from His fold and that day Jesus restored Zacchaeus into the fold of God.

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
No, I was found of Thee.

Jeremiah 29:13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (Best resolution!)

Song: In the bleak mid-winter

In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan;
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak mid-winter, long ago.

Angels and arch angels may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
but his mother only, in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb;
if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him give him my heart.

Words: Christina G. Rossetti, © public domain; Music: Gustav T. Holst  © Oxford University Press.

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude
Lord God, creator of heaven and earth,
We bring you our prayers with glad and grateful hearts
in this season of hope and joy.
For your image set within us all, calling us to love one another and to care for your creation,
we give you thanks.
For the gift of your Son who redeems us and guides us to serve you in the world,
we give you thanks.
For the energy and inspiration of your Holy Spirit, who equips us to meet the challenges we face,
we give you thanks.
By your Holy Spirit, empower us to show your love to those for whom we pray this day:
For the Church and those who lead in it, as they seek to refresh ministries after months of pandemic restrictions . . .
Silence
For the world that you have asked us to care for amid the challenges the climate crisis creates…
Silence
For those who rule in the nations of the world, that they will attend to the needs of the most vulnerable and cries for justice in their lands . . .
Silence
For those who serve as teachers, instructors, and mentors, and for students who face a world of constant change and challenge . . .
Silence
For those who serve others as healers and caregivers, especially those feeling exhausted by the demands the pandemic has created on them and their workplaces .
Silence
For those struggling with poverty, homelessness, and hunger, and the challenges to recover amid steep economic pressures  . . .
Silence
For those who mourn the loss of someone dear and those who feel alone or neglected…
Silence
For those imprisoned for defending truth and justice, and all who experience exclusion, powerlessness and oppression . . .
Silence
As this year of ongoing and unexpected challenges draws to a close, give us grateful hearts for what has been loving and life-giving; give us peace about things that have been painful;
and focus our attention on emerging opportunities to grow closer to you and to each other.
Keep us faithful in all we do in the name of Jesus Christ, our friend and saviour, who taught us to pray together:

Response: Come, they told me (instrumental)

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.

Response: Be still and know

Prayer for others and ourselves                                     

Song: Good Christians all rejoice

Refrain: Good Christians, all rejoice with heart and soul and voice;

Now give heed to what we say: Jesus Christ is born today, ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now. Christ is born today; Christ is born today.                                       Refrain

Now you hear of endless bliss: Jesus Christ was born for this. He has opened heaven’s door, and we are blest forevermore. Christ was born for this; Christ was born for this.                   Refrain

Now you need not fear the grave: Jesus Christ was born to save, calls you one and calls you all

to gain the everlasting hall. Christ was born to save; Christ was born to save.      Refrain

Words: Latin, anonymous; translation, John Neals. Alt music: German carol melody, 14th century; arrangement, anonymous. Both public domain

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: Gloria in excelsis Deo

Excerpt from Angels we have heard on high. Words: Luke 2:6-20; traditional French carol © public domain. Music: traditional; arrangement; Martin Shaw from Oxford Book of Carols © Oxford University Press, 1928

Music postlude

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. Jesus


Daniel Surya and Courtney Vaughan retain the copyright (©2021) on all original material presented by them. As far as we are aware, all of the unattributed material presented herewith is Courtney Vaughan’s or Daniel Surya’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.

Posted in Recent Sermons.