New Year, New Priorities (Bob Calder)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Second Sunday of Christmas
10:00 am January 02, 2022
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence)
Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Worship led by the Rev. Bob Calder
Music director: Binu Kapadia     Vocalist: Loretta Lee
Elder: Gina Kottke
Children’s time: the Rev. Bob 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: A new year has begun
P: O Lord, call us so we may hear Your voice.
L: The world turns to hopes and dreams of the future
P: O Lord, keep us in Your ways and on Your path
L: We enter this new year with hope and excitement
P: O Lord, remind us that You lead us
ALL: O Lord, guide us as we look to You, and worship You in this new year.

Opening praise: Lord, I need you

Lord, I come, I confess Bowing here I find my rest Without You I fall apart You’re the One that guides my heart

Refrain: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You // My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more Where grace is found is where You are Where You are, Lord, I am free Holiness is Christ in me        Refrain

Songwriters: Christy Nockels / Daniel Carson / Jesse Reeves / Kristian Stanfill / Matt Maher © 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: We gather to worship.
P: Whether in the sanctuary, or through the gift of technology, we are a community.
L: Here, we seek connection to the Divine.
P: Come, let us worship God, shown to us through the risen Christ

Prayers of approach and confession

Lord of yesterday, today and tomorrow, we gather here on this first Sunday of the New Year, in a mixture of hope, anticipation, fear, excitement, and expectation. We do not know what the year holds for us. There are things we are afraid of: worries about health and family, job security and finances.

Lord God, whatever the year holds for us, though, we trust You, and we place every day of this year in your care – knowing that, as in the past, You are with us, caring for us with constant love.  And so Lord, we place ourselves into your keeping and dedicate our lives to your service through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Saviour.  Amen!

Response: Glory, glory hallelujah

Glory, glory hallelujah, …  Since I laid my burden down (x2)

I feel better, so much better, …  since I laid my burden down (x2).

Thank you, Jesus, thank you Jesus, …  help me lay my burden down (x2)

African American spiritual, public domain

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Transition Music: Jesus, we are gathered

Jesus, we are gathered (x3) we are gathered together with you.

Words and music: Patrick Matsikenyiri © Patrick Matsikenyiri, 1990. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Story

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Transition music            

The Message

Song: This is the day (year)  vs. 1,3

This is the ‘year’, this is the ‘year’ that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it. This is the ‘year’ that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. This is the ‘year’, this is the ‘year’ that the Lord has made.

You are our God, you are our God; we will praise your name, we will praise your name; we will give thanks, we will give thanks for your faithfulness, for your faithfulness. You are our God; we will praise your name; we will give thanks for your faithfulness. You are our God, you are our God; we will praise your name.

                                                    Words: Psalm 118:19,24,28 Music: Fijian folk melody. Both public domain

Scripture reading: Matthew 28:16-20               NT(NRSV)

Response: O come let us adore him

Oh Come let us adore him (x3); 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: “New year, New Priorities”

He played the French Horn at age 12.

By the time he was 15 he was playing professionally with some of the top jazz musicians of the day.

He became the first black musician to break the Hollywood colour barrier as a composer. He’s best known as the composer of the score for The Colour Purple.
But it hasn’t come easy.

Quincy Jones has been married three times, survived two brain surgeries, and endured a complete emotional breakdown.

Many years ago he faced surgery for an aneurysm that threatened to kill him.

The doctors told him that his chances of recovery were 100 to 1.

Miraculously, he survived.
Jones was asked, “What did you start doing differently after your operation?”

He said, “The first thing I started doing was hugging a lot. When you get to be 50, you start dealing with the countdown, and you can deal with it in a positive or a negative way. I [see] this little life to be this great gift. You know that old cliché about your life passing in front of you? Well, it really does.”
What are your priorities in life?

What are your priorities for any given day? What’s your first order of business besides getting out of bed? -Coffee? -Breakfast? -TV news?

Or praying and reading scripture or a devotional book?
Here was the priority of Jesus for morning time.
Mark 1:35 says “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

If Jesus needed to pray the first thing in the morning, what about us?
Whatever you do in life, remember

I Cor. 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Matt. 6:33 says “Seek first the kingdom of God…”

If you always seek first to glorify and honour God you won’t go very wrong in life.
There are three basic priorities that I believe every Christian should have in life. Let’s make them our priorities for 2022.

The priorities are: worship; work; and witness.

First of all: WORSHIP
In Heb. 10:25 we read: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.”

It should be obvious from scripture and common sense that we need to worship the Lord.

A church suddenly stopped buying pencils from a certain office supply company. The manager called the minister to ask what the problem was.

The minister said, “We ordered some pencils from you to be used in the pews for visitors to sign their visitors’ card.”

“Well,” the manager said, “Didn’t you receive them?”

The minister replied, “Oh, yes, we received them all right, but you sent us some pencils stamped with the words, ‘PLAY GOLF NEXT SUNDAY’!”
The world calls to us all the time.

We certainly don’t need to help it by advertising what it has to offer.
Worship of the living God must be a priority in our lives.

God is our creator, sustainer and saviour. He deserves our attendance and attention. He deserves our best worship whether in church or on Zoom or wherever.

Many years ago, when Billy Sunday (former baseball player) was converted to Christ, a Christian man put his arm around his shoulder and said, “Billy, there are three simple rules I can give you, and if you hold to them, no one will ever write BACKSLIDER after your name.

Take 15 minutes a day to listen to God talking to you.

Take 15 minutes each day to talk to God. And take 15 minutes each day to talk to others about God.”

I think this is good advice for all of us as we enter 2022.

Talking to God and letting Him talk to you is a matter of worship, and needs to happen at home as well as at church.

If daily worship is a part of our lives then Sunday worship will be a priority.

We read in Heb. 12:28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

Our second priority should be: WORK
The boss said to Jones, “How long have you been working here?”

Jones replied, “Ever since I heard you coming down the hall.”

Some people need motivation in order to work.

It may be the boss keeping his eye on them, it may be money, it may be shelter, it may be children, etc.

It’s a shame, however, that it takes a lot to get some people moving in that direction.

I think God’s people should work hard.

Many of us today were raised by parents who knew about hard work.

Some people work hard at their jobs but when it came to the church it was a different matter.

Someone said it this way: “The world is full of wiling people: some willing to work and the rest, willing to let them.”

In Rom. 16:12 Paul writes: “Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord.

Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.”

What kind of work can you do for the Lord in 2022?

No matter how old or young you are, whether you are retired or in school, there are things that can be done for Christ in the church and outside the church,

perhaps, you could: help clean the building during the work parties, teach Sunday School.

You might provide special music in the worship service; put up and take down Seasonal decorations, shovel sidewalks.

We don’t do these things to serve the Lord because we want to be saved, but because we are saved!

Good service is evidence that something good has happened in our hearts and lives!

We all need to think about what we can do to serve the Lord in 2022.

The third priority in our lives for 2022 should be WITNESSING
In the great Commission in Matt. 28:19-20, Jesus says: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In Fairfax, Va. the cell phone company Verizon flooded mailboxes, went door to door and even handed out free ice cream as it sought to sell its new television, telephone and high-speed Internet service.

They gave out free ice cream just to sell their product!

More than ever before we need to witness for Christ.

We need to give away our faith to others.

We need to talk, invite, encourage, etc. in order to allow the Holy Spirit to lead people to Christ and the church.

James L. Kraft, was a deacon at North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago.

He was superintendent of the Sunday school and founder of Kraft Foods.

Kraft said that as a young man he had a desire to be the most famous manufacturer and salesman of cheese in the world.

He planned on becoming rich and famous by making and selling cheese, and began as a young fellow with a little buggy pulled by a pony named Paddy.

After making his cheese, he would load his wagon, and he and Paddy would drive down the streets of Chicago to sell the cheese.

As the months passed, young Kraft began to despair because he was not making any money, in spite of his long hours and hard work.
One day he pulled his pony to a stop and began to talk to him.

He said, “Paddy, there is something wrong.

We are not doing it right.

I am afraid we have things turned around.

Our priorities are not where they ought to be.

Maybe we ought to serve God and place him first in our lives.”
Kraft then drove home and made a covenant that for the rest of his life he would first serve God and then would work as God directed.
Many years later,  he said, “I would rather be a layman in the North Shore Baptist Church than to head the greatest corporation in America.

My priority is serving Jesus.” In 2022 our priority should be serving Jesus, as we worship, work and witness for Him.

Song: Standing at the portal    vs. 1,3

Standing at the portal of the opening year, words of comfort meet us, hushing every fear; spoken thru the silence by God’s loving voice, tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.

Refrain:

Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day; for God’s word shall never, never pass away.

God will not forsake us, and will never fail; God’s eternal covenant ever will prevail. Resting on this promise, what have we to fear? God is all sufficient for the coming year.                 Refrain

Words: Frances Havergal. Music: Franz Haydn. Both public domain

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

We thank you, Generous God, for the abundance of your blessings to us
day by day and year by year.

We give you thanks for the simple pleasures of life: for garden harvests,
coffee conversation, and familiar surroundings,
For health and strength to appreciate the wonder of life,
For needs met and desires fulfilled,

We worship you, God, with grateful hearts and joyful spirit. In Jesus’ name  Amen.

Response: In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

In the Lord, I’ll be ever thankful. In the Lord, I will rejoice. Look to God, do not be afraid. // Lift up your voices, the Lord is near. (repeat)

Words: Jacques Berthier; 1991 © Taize 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

Reflection on giving

Transition: Be still and know (instrumental)

Prayers for others and ourselves

Come, Holy Spirit,
Spirit of the Risen Christ, be with us as we begin 2022 and be with us always.
Be our Light, our Guide, and our Comforter.
Be our Strength, our Courage, and our Sanctifier.
May this year be a time of deep spiritual growth for us,
A time of welcoming your graces and gifts,
A time for forgiving freely and unconditionally,
A time for growing in virtue and goodness.

Dear Lord, please give us:…
A few friends who understand us;
An understanding heart;
A sense of humor;
Time for quiet, silent meditation;
A feeling of the presence of God;
The patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to recognize them when they come.

May God make your year a happy one!

  • Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain, But by strengthening you to bear them, as they come;
  • Not by making your path easy, But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
  • Not by taking hardships from you, But by taking fear from your heart;
  • Not by granting you unbroken sunshine, But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
  • Not by making your life always pleasant, But by showing you when people and their causes need you most, and by making you anxious to be there to help.

We pray that you will be with all of those who are sick whether they are at home or in the hospital. May your healing hand rest upon them, especially those with Covid.

Be with those who have lost loved ones. Be with them as they begin this new year without that special person.

Hear us now as come to your throne of grace and mercy in a moment of silent prayer.

May God’s love, peace, hope and joy be with us in the year ahead. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, Master and Lord. Amen.

Communion

Invitation

Song: There is a redeemer  vs. 1,2

There is a redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son,

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One

Refrain: Thank you oh my father, for giving us Your Son, And leaving Your Spirit till the work on Earth is done.

Jesus my redeemer, Name above all names,

Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Oh, for sinners slain.                                                  Refrain

Words: Melody Green © BMG Music Publishing Co 1982. Music: Melody Green © BMG Music Publishing Co 1982.License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Affirmation of our faith: The Apostles’ Creed

Prayer

Sharing of the Bread and Wine

Prayer

Song: Sent forth by your blessing

Sent forth by your blessing, our true faith confessing, Your people, O God, from Your table take leave. The Supper is ended; oh now be extended the fruits of your service in all who believe. The seed of Your teaching, our hungry souls reaching, shall blossom in action for all humankind. Your grace shall incite us, Your love shall unite us to work for Your kingdom, Your purpose to find.

With praise and thanksgiving to God ever-living,  the task of our everyday life we will face. Our faith ever sharing, in love ever caring, embracing as neighbours all those of each race. One feast that has fed us, one light that has led us; unite us as one in Your life that we share. Then may all the living, with praise and thanksgiving, give honour to Christ and His name that we bear.

Words: Omer Westendorf ©1964 World Library Publications Music: Welsh traditional; public domain. 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: 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

“To reach up for the new, you must
let go of the old”  Joel Esteen

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Bob Calder retains the copyright (© 2022) on all original material presented by him. As far as the author is aware, all the material presented (except for material for which other authorship is assigned) is his 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.