Perfect Love (Sarah Ball)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am        18 September 2022
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering  as a Worshipping Community
Led by the Rev Brad Childs
Message: Sarah E. Ball
Music director: Binu Kapadia     Vocalist: Vivian Houg
Elder: Heather Tansem

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

Call to Worship
L: We are called to be God’s children.
P: God’s love has been poured on us through Jesus Christ!
L: Fear and doubt are gone!
P: Joy and Celebration ring in our hearts!
L: Come, let us raise our voices in song!
P: Let us offer our hearts and souls to  God in prayer and praise. AMEN

Opening praise: Reckless love

Prayers of lament and thanksgiving

Lamentation: For the pain and suffering caused by Covid-19…(pause for reflection and beg you to move in people’s lives)

For systemic racism and injustice woven into our culture and institutions which people often do not intend or even notice…(we pause for reflection and ask that if and when we see these things we will confront them. Lord give us eyes.)

For climate change – fires, floods drought and more, (we pause for a moment and ask you to speak to us and provide us with direction so that we might truly “care for” the earth as we were intended to.)

For upended norms of our daily lives, things “back to normal” but “not quite”…(we pause for reflection and we ask you to make us brave, wise, cautious and prepared and make a a community however you can.)

For transitions and relationship changes, including friends and colleagues, schools, cities and more. We pause and reflect on changes, which we may not like, do not want, or are unsure about. We pause for reflection and ask for guidance, peace and nerves of steel who have left our Dayspring community over the spring and summer months… (pause for reflection. Lord prepare us with your love that we might know, not that we are worthy, but that we are loved – and that, that is more than enough.)

Lord we lament a world not quite right. And we ask for intervention.

Thanksgiving: Yet Lord, at times the world is exactly right, or feels that way to us. Moments of joy are perfection and foretastes of what is to come.

For all essential workers – health care providers, teachers, first responders, farmers and grocers, students, and student aids – working for our wellbeing and the betterment of the nations around us…(we pause and say thank you)

For the rallying cry and invitation to seek racial justice for others and for our leaning about each other and love for each other. …(we pause and say thank you that even when we push apart, you bind together all)

For firefighters, disaster relief workers, social service agencies, mental health workers, non-profits, and scientists working to address the effects and causes of climate change…(we pause and say thank you for a world where people devote themselves to the wellbeing of others) And LORD we also pray that you would remind us that the caregivers also sometimes need caregivers!

Lord, For new patterns and rhythms found, technologies that connect us, for children, friends, families, water and food we say thank you. Just as we thank you for the neighbours we find ourselves sitting with today.

Bless us, Lord, as you always have for you are the same yesterday today and tomorrow and what you have done, is what you will do. Amen.

Response: I waited, I waited on you, Lord

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Gradual: Jesus loves me (373)

Story: Once upon a time a farmer’s mule fell in an old dry well. When the farmer heard the mule’s braying she realize what had likely happened. She went out to see and sadly she discovered exactly what she thought she might. The mule had fallen in the well.

The old farmer didn’t really know what to do. So she called her neighbours together. When they arrived they all had the same idea. The poor mule could not be rescued and it would have to stay in the well.

They could not dig it out.

So, they decided that they would put the animal down and burry it as they filled in the old dry well.

The neighbours went home and all got shovels and then they came back and started throwing dirt into the old well.

The Mule however did not find this to be a satisfactory idea.

But shovels of dirt started dropping on him none the less. We cannot always help what happens to us, he thought.

But then the mule started to think. And he decided that every time a shovel of dirt landed on his back, he would just “Taylor Swift” that thing and “Shake it off”.

And that’s what he did. With every shovel full that dropped, he shook it off and stood up nice and tall. And with each shovel full the ground got higher and the sun got closer.

In fact, just a couple hours later and the mule stepped over the wall of the well, shook that dirt off and gave the old farmer a good talking to.

What was meant to bury him, actually helped him. In James 1 in The Message Bible it says, “know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors”.

The next time you find yourself trapped in a seemingly awful situation, not this,

Maybe you just gotta “shake it off”.

Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (535 or 469)

Transition music

Song: A new commandment (225)

Today’s Message

Scripture readings:     Ephesians 3:4; 2 Corinthians 2:5; 1 John 4:7-11, 18     NT(NRSV)

Response: Glory to the Father

Message: Perfect Love (Sarah Ball)

Two Scriptures that led me to freedom

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

2 Corinthians 10:5  – Taking thoughts captive: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 

  • Argument definition: a reason or set of reasons given to persuade others that an action or idea is right or wrong.
  • Pretension definition: a claim or assertion of a claim to something.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  

1 John 4: 7-21 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows GodAnyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Every thought coming into my head that caused anxiety and depression was an argument and pretension, trying to convince me that God didn’t love me enough.

How many times do we fear failure, sickness (COVID), fear for our children, our finances, our businesses, and our lives as a whole? How often do we feel this hopelessness that nothing will get better, that our circumstances will remain the same, that we’re never good enough, that we are unworthy, that there is tragedy around every corner?

These fears and anxieties are symptoms of not being made perfect in His Love.

Perfect Love

It’s His Perfect Love that makes us perfect. Not the perfection that makes Him Love Us.

1 Corinthians 13: Love is Patient – God is not in a rush for us to “fix” our lives. He has the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Love is Kind – God is friendly, generous, and considerate.

Love is Not Easily Angered – God is calm amidst our chaos and storms.

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs – He is not keeping the same list you have. The list of failures, sins, mistakes and offences. Every morning he sees you as a clean slate!

Love does not delight in evil – He does not sit back and enjoy seeing your life fall apart.

Love always protects – God is on your side and wants to keep you safe.

Love Perseveres –  God’s love doesn’t have an expiry date.

Love Never Fails –  God will never fail you, ever.

Life will have troubles; we will suffer loss, conflict, trials and, unfortunately, even traumas.  Jesus said, in this world, we will have troubles…

However, when we fully “grasp how deep, how high and how long” God’s love for us is, there is a peace that overtakes us.

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

For every ‘what if’ thought I battled, I learnt to say out loud, “No, but God loves me” Every negative thought I had about myself, I could minister to myself and declare, “That’s not true; God loves me.”

There is a shame that keeps us hidden from receiving the fullness of God’s love. A shame that we are not perfect; we are to the core flawed, to the core sinful, to the core unworthy. We all battle with this to some degree.

But God says: Be made perfect IN my love. Let MY love heal your mind. No perfection is required.

Next time we battle with an intrusive thought that triggers fear, depression, insecurity, or self-doubt. Just say out loud, “Nope, not true… ‘Cause God loves me.”

Song: There is a balm in Gilead (747)

We respond to serve God

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.

Prayer of gratitude

Prayer for others and ourselves

Ever seeking God, we come before you in prayer, for you have sought us out and claimed us as your own.

Thank you showing us how we are precious to you through the life and love of Jesus Christ.

In our prayers we name before you other precious souls and situations.

With your Spirit, seek them out.

God of mercy, Draw near to all who need you.

We pray for those who feel lost in life: those who are frightened or anxious, those who are struggling with addiction or mental illness, and those who are lonely or despairing.

(Silent pause for 10 seconds)

May your reassurance and comfort find them.

God of mercy, Draw near to all who need you.

We pray for those who have wandered away: for those separated from their families by conflict or distance; for those whose relationship with the church is broken or forgotten; and for those who have given up on the future in despair.

(Silent pause for 10 seconds)

May your healing and mercy find them.

God of mercy, Draw near to all who need you.

We pray for those who feel forgotten: for those who think that they are worthless or unloved; for those who believe that their sins are too great to forgive; and for those who are convinced that not even God can love them.

(Silent pause for 10 seconds)

May your love and grace find them.

God of mercy, Draw near to all who need you.

Ever watchful God, you keep seeking out wandering sheep and lost coins, lives of all who are precious to you.

Thank you for your attentive love and your patient compassion for us all.

May we rejoice with you when any lost soul is embraced, and never substitute our judgment of them for yours.

Make us servants of your mercy. Amen.

Song: Song: Lord of all hopefulness (748)

Sending out with God’s blessing
Go in joy, knowing God rejoices over you. And care for others, knowing God rejoices over them, too!

May the blessing of the God who made us, the Christ who mends us, and the Spirit who gives us life be with you now and always. Amen.

Response: God to enfold you.

Music postlude

————————————————————————-

Numbers in brackets after a song/hymn indicate that it is from the 1997 Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Those and other songs are being used in accordance with the specifications of Dayspring licensing with One Licence (3095377 and CLC (A735555).

The Rev. Brad Childs retains the copyright (© 2022) on all original material presented by him. As far as Brad Childs is aware, all of the material presented that has not been attributed to others 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.