Remembrance & Communion Sunday: What shall we do? (Bob Calder)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Remembrance and Communion Sunday
10:00 am November 07, 2021
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Message and Children’s Time: The Rev. Bob Calder
Music director: Binu Kapadia    Vocalist: Kara Little
Elder: Ransford Kusi-Menkah

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 in unison:
In this time of story, song, and prayer,
may we be re-committed to being people of Peace, true peace.
May we catch a vision of how the world could live together.
Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with us!

Opening praise: Forever God is faithful
Give thanks to the Lord our God and King
His love endures forever,
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm

His love endures forever
For the life that’s been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise;
sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful,
forever God is strong
Forever God is with us,
forever and ever; forever

From the rising to the setting sun
his love endures forever,
by the grace of God we will carry on,
his love endures forever.
Sing praise, sing praise;
sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful,
forever God is strong
Forever God is with us,
forever and ever; 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

Call to worship
L: In times of trouble and war we called to the Lord
P: and the Lord rescued us and  gave us peace.
L: We will proclaim God’s faithfulness now and to all generations.
P: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
L: Let us worship the risen Lord

Prayers of approach and confession

O God of peace, we praise you for your gift of peace.

When we get worried and stressed, you calm us with the peace of your presence.

When we say and do things we know are wrong, you give us the peace of your forgiveness.

When relationships with family or friends break down, You show us the way of love and reconciliation and you help us to make peace.

May we feel the Holy Spirit in our midst this morning.

We confess, O God, that we do not always follow the way of peace.  We seek revenge when someone hurts us.

We get angry when someone criticizes us.

We put down the people who don’t live up to our expectations.

We are quick to try to solve our problems with violence.

O God, forgive us and show us the way of love, forgiveness and peace.

In the name of the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Response: I waited, I waited on you, Lord
I waited, I waited on you, Lord
I waited, I waited on you, Lord
You bent down low and remembered me
When you heard my prayer

Words: Psalm 40; Music: J. Bell; © WGRG 1987 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

Assurance of God’s forgiveness
O God, forgive us and show us the way of love, forgiveness and peace.
In the name of the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Words for remembrance- The Rev. Bob Calder

The following lines were discovered on the dead body of an American soldier killed in action in North Africa, in 1944. They were found by a corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps and were printed in a Tunis newspaper.

A friend of the writer of these lines, who was with him when they were written (and who survived the battle in which the writer was killed) said the soldier was a thoroughly wild character, but there were tears running down his face as he wrote these lines.

“Look, God, I have never spoken to you,
And now I want to say: “ How do you do?”.

You see, God, they told me you didn’t exist,
And I, like a fool, believed all this.

Last night, from a shell hole, I saw your sky,
And I figured then they had told me a lie.

I wonder, God, if you’d take my poor hand?
Somehow I feel you would understand.

Strange I had to come to this hellish place
Before I had time to see your face.

Well, I guess there isn’t much more to say:
But I’m glad, God, that I met you today
The zero hour will soon be here
But I’m not afraid; because you are near.

The signal has come, I shall soon have to go
I like you lots – this I want you to know.

I am sure this’ll be a horrible fight:
Who knows? I may come to your House tonight.

Though I wasn’t friendly to you before,
I wonder, God, if You’d wait at Your door?

Look, I’m shedding tears, me shedding tears!
Oh! How I wish I’d known you those long, long years

Well, I have to go now, dear God. Goodbye
But now that I’ve met you, I’m not scared to die.”

The spirit that underlies Remembrance Day is probably best found in the poem that is most associated with John McCrae’s poem:  “In Flanders Fields”

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up Our Quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields ….

Laying of the wreaths … Last Post … Silence … Reveille

We listen for the voice of God

Gradual: Jesus loves me                                   373
Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong;
they are weak, but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me…
The Bible tells me so …

Words: Anna Bartlett © Mrs. Cherie MGuire; Music: William Bradbury 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

Children’s Time
Story: The green circle of the Remembrance Wreath: No beginning and no end.
Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer

Song: We are marching       639
We are marching in the light of God;
we are marching in the light of God.
We are marching in the light of God;
we are marching in the light of God.
We are marching, oooo,
we are marching in the light of God.
We are marching, oooo,
we are marching in the light of God.

We are praying in the light of God;
we are praying in the light of God.
We are praying in the light of God;
we are praying in the light of God..
We are praying, oooo,
we are praying in the light of God.
We are praying, oooo,
we are praying in the light of God.

We are sharing in the light of God;
we are sharing in the light of God.
We are sharing in the light of God;
we are sharing in the light of God..
We are sharing, oooo,
we are sharing in the light of God.
We are sharing, oooo,
we are sharing in the light of God.

Siyahamb’e kukha nyen’ kwen-khos’,
Siyahamb’e kukha nyen’ kwen-khos’.
Siyahamb’e kukha nyen’ kwen-khos’,
Siyahamb’e kukha nyen’ kwen-khos’.
Siya kha-nyen’ kwen khos’. Siyahamba, hamba,
Siyahamba, hamba, siyahamb’e kukha nyen’ kwen-khos’.
Siyahamba, hamba, Siyahamba, hamba,
Siyahamb’e kukha nyen’ kwen-khos’

Words, South African traditional; English translation, Anders Nyberg © Walton Music Corporation, 1984. Music © Walton Music Corporation, 1984. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Scripture reading: Zechariah 7:1-10     OT(NRSV)

Response: His truth is marching on
Glory, glory hallelujah Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah 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                                      

Message: “What shall we do?”

Many years ago the editorial staff of a Sunday Magazine  created a “Faith in Life” award as a way of increasing its readership and at the same time recognizing those who best demonstrated their faith in daily living.The readers were encouraged to submit letters of nomination to the paper telling stories of those people who best lived their faith each day. A large number of the nominating letters that came in mentioned people who either (1) had attended church regularly for years; or (2) had given a sizable amount of money to their church or favourite charity;  or (3) had done both.  Many of the letters included newspaper clippings that showed the dedication of the person who was being nominated for the award.

Some readers were surprised when the winner was announced. His letter of nomination had arrived written in crayon – with no newspaper clippings enclosed.  It read: “Anthony is a plumber. He helped some people fix up a house for my friend’s family because their first house burned down. He also visits my grandmother in the  nursing home and makes her happy with his stories and his harmonica playing. He is a lot like Jesus.  I hope he wins. But if he doesn’t it won’t matter.  He will still be the same good old Anthony.”  And it was signed “love, Anne.”How does God want us to show faith in daily living?

How do we best demonstrate our dedication and devotion to God?Some five hundred years before Christ was born there was a war between the great city state of Babylon and the new empire of Persia. As a result of that war, which was won by the Persians, the people of Israel, who had been slaves in Babylon for seventy years, were set free and allowed to return to their country and start life all over again.

As is the case after all periods of war and suffering, it took a while for things to get back to normal. The city of Jerusalem was still pretty much a wreck. The temple, which had been destroyed 70 years earlier, was only half rebuilt, and times were tough.  People didn’t really know what to do -especially when it came to their religion.Today’s reading from the prophet Zechariah is set in that time of uncertainty. In that reading we heard how the people approached Zechariah and the priests and asked them a question: “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?” [vs.3]

The question is asked in the first person, showing the unity with which all the citizens of Bethel were asking the question.

Though Bethel raised the question, the answer is applicable to all the land; and God uses Bethel as the occasion to address the entire land (cf. vs. 5).

Through all the years of Babylonian exile, the people fasted on the 10th day of the Fifth month to commemorate the burning of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

They observed this day of mourning even though God never commanded them to do so. So now what?

The Babylonian captivity is over.

The nation is on the way to recovery.

The observance of the fast seems pointless. Its observance is becoming a chore.

Although the Lord had never commanded the fast, the people now wished to learn from the Lord whether or not they should continue to do it.

This question may not make a lot of sense to us some 2500 years later, but basically what the people were asking was this:
– Should we continue on with the religious practice of our ancestors?
· Should we still mourn about the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple?
· Or should we do something else now that the city and temple are being rebuilt?

To us, looking back over the years, the answer may seem obvious -the fasting and mourning that the people had done was for a city and a temple that was destroyed.Since they were being rebuilt, the people should stop mourning and fasting – and instead they should celebrate and thank God that things were getting back to normal. But Zechariah does not give this particular answer — at least, not right away.

The answer to the delegation came directly from the Lord through His prophet, Zechariah and dealt with internal realities, rather than external conformities.

The message is addressed to all the people of the land; for all are concerned, not just the people of Bethel.

God’s answer begins with a piercing question.

Through Zechariah, God asks them: “When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past 70 years, was it really for me that you fasted?  And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?”

Zechariah pointed out that they were not fasting out of genuine sorrow and repentance, but out of self-pity.

The Lord revealed that in neither their fasts nor their feasts has He been pleased, for their motives were wrong.

God is never pleased with mere external formalities and traditions.

God is a God of realism; and He demands inward reality!

They would never have had an occasion to have the fasts they were now finding burdensome if they had obeyed “…the words the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous…?”[vs. 7].

Had they paid attention to the words of the Lord, the calamities that their fasts commemorated would never have taken place.

The point is: Obedience is better than fasting.

God is pleased by obedience, not by self-imposed fasts!

What we need to remember is: “when the heart is right, the ritual is right.”

In the past, it was obedience to God’s Word that brought great joy, peace, and prosperity to Israel, and that covered the Land during the time of David and Solomon. If the generation in Zechariah’s time fall back on substituting ritual for obedience, they would lose the joy, peace, and prosperity they were enjoying.

Then Zechariah tells the people what they should do.

He said “‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’.” [vs.9-10]

Think about that! God’s standards of righteousness and justice have not changed. We can’t be right with God and have wrong relationships with the people in our lives. As we observe Remembrance Day on Thursday that question is particularly appropriate – as is the answer.There are people who would suggest to us that Remembrance Day is outmoded; that it is a religious observation that should no longer be practiced; that the time for remembering the sacrifices made in wars long since past, is not needed. Instead, we should get on with other things. Some even suggest that Remembrance Day glorifies war and encourages people to think that it is acceptable. They want us to believe that to die fighting for one’s country is not a good thing. So they say: don’t remember – instead – do something else, speak about the horror of war, and proclaim that God is against all violence, against all forms of man’s inhumanity against man.This, my friends, misses the point of Remembrance Day – it is misguided thinking. Misguided because it equates the act of remembering the sacrifices made in the past by soldiers of our country with a glorification of war and suffering.

Misguided because they equate honouring the memory of those who have died, with honouring the kind of mundane, daily actions they are involved in. But, the people we think about on Remembrance Day were involved a struggle that none of them would really want to be part of. They believed that they were obligated to be part of it, so that others could dwell in the freedom and in the peace that God wants us all to have.

Remembrance Day is not just a time to fast and mourn. It is not just a time to remember those who died.

Still less is it a time to say that war is good or honourable.

Rather it is a time when we remember just why it is they did what they did,- a time to, in fact, remember the horror of war and vow to ourselves – never again. It is a time to take up the torch once more and to dedicate ourselves anew to living in such a way that we do not break faith with those who died to bring peace to the world. It is a time to commit ourselves once again to the struggle against evil – the struggle against the very things that lead to war in the first place.

As Zechariah responded to the peoples’ question – How should we respond today?  What religious practice should we perform at this time and in this place?  He did not encourage them to mourn for Jerusalem as they had mourned before – the days of mourning were in fact over. Instead he told them to love truth and peace; and he reminded them of what all the prophets had said so long before, of what God had said long before – in the day when the land was still prosperous, and war and slavery far from the people. He reminded them of the promises made by God in the days of Moses and all the other prophets – the promises that said:
·        If you forget your God,
·        If you fail to keep the commandments to love God and to love your neighbour, whoever that neighbour may be,
·        If you do evil rather than good and act unkindly towards foreigners and refugees,
·        If you steal, lie or cheat
·        If you take bribes and pervert justice and slander your neighbours
Then your land will be destroyed, your men killed, and your women and your children enslaved.

But if you do good,
·        if you care for the widows and the orphans,
·        if you give justice in the courts,
·        if you seek to follow God rather than to grow wealthy,
·        if you obey God’s laws rather than worship success and seek popularity
·        if you are kind and merciful to each other

Then your land will prosper and you will live long and be happy.

These are the things that Remembrance Day asks us to call to mind each year as we recall those who died that we may be free.

What shall we do?As we read in  Flanders’ Fields we are to: Take the torch – hold it high, not break faith with those who have died.

Live in the way that God meant us to live – in freedom and with the intention of preserving that freedom, by doing all that makes for perpetual freedom – and for perpetual peace; by doing justice, and loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.Then those who died in Flanders Fields will sleep as the poppies grow, between the crosses row on row.

Song: Oh for a world    vs 1,2,5              730
O for a world where everyone
respects each other’s ways,
where love is lived and all is done
with justice and with praise.

O for a world where goods are shared
and misery relieved,
where truth is spoken, children spared,
equality achieved.

O for a world preparing for

God’s glorious reign of peace,
where time and tears will be no more,
and all but love will cease.

Words: Miriam Therese Winter © Medical Mission Sisters, 1990. Music: Carl G. Glaser ; adapt. Lowell Mason © public domain

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude
We thank you, Lord,
For those who have watched over us,
for those that have protected us.

We thank you, Lord
For the roof that shades us from the sun,
for the walls that shield us from the storm,
for the bed that warms us at night.

We thank you, Lord
For Jesus who keeps us from evil,
who preserves our lives,
who watches over our coming and going.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Response: Now thank we all our God
Words: Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924 (alt); Music: Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900. Words & Music: Public Domain

Reflection on giving
We have been giving faithfully even though we have not been passing the Offering Plate sin 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.

Prayers for others and ourselves

Loving God, we remember today that you are the giver of every good gift, and one of your gifts is peace.

You have blessed us with freedom.

O God, help us never to forget your gifts.

We remember those who gave their lives in two world wars, and other conflicts. We know that their sacrifice is part of your gift of peace and freedom.

O God, help us never to forget the price they paid.

Lord Jesus Christ, you said that people have no greater love than to lay down their life for their friends.

You laid down your life for us, and you call us your friends. Those who were killed or maimed or scarred in wars laid down a piece of their lives for us.

O God, help us to live lives worthy of your sacrifice and theirs.

We remember that you alone are the source of peace and justice. We pray with all our hearts for peace. Bring true peace to those places where conflicts continue to smolder.

O God, bring an end to hatred and senseless violence, and give peace.

We remember, O God, that homes and workplaces, schools and streets are not always places of peace.

Yet you have offered us the way of peace through the love of Jesus Christ.

O God, help us to accept your offer and to find another way, the way of Love, the way of Jesus, to heal our differences.

We pray, O God, for all those who work for peace: Canadian peacekeepers; family members and friends who try to bring peace between quarreling loves ones; for communities who teach and try to live the way of peace. O God, help us to be peacemakers in our homes, our communities and our world.

We pray for those who are sick, whether at home or in the hospital. Help them to know that your hand is resting upon them.

Hear us now as we bring to you our personal thots and prayers in a moment of silent prayer.

May the Holy Spirit touch all of us this morning. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, Master and Lord. Amen.

 Communion

Invitation
Friends, this is not a Dayspring Table. Neither is it a Presbyterian Table. It is a Table for all humankind – for men and women, girls and boys, who are seeking, or have found, a relationship with Jesus Christ, whose Table this is.
Jesus is in charge of this Table and Jesus says that all are welcome.

Song: All who hunger vs 1,3                   534
All who hunger, gather gladly;
holy manna is our bread.
Come from wilderness and wandering.
Here, in truth, we will be fed.
You that yearn for days of fullness,
all around us is our food.
Taste and see the grace eternal.

Taste and see that God is good.
All who hunger, sing together;
Jesus Christ is living bread.
Come from loneliness and longing.
Here, in peace, we have been led.
Blest are those who from this table
live their days in gratitude.
Taste and see the grace eternal.
Taste and see that God is good.

Words Sylvia Dunstan © G.I.A. Publications Inc, 1991. Music: William Moore; harmony, Charles Anders © Contemporary Worship 1: Hymns reprinted by permission Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under One License, License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Affirmation of our faith: The Apostles’ Creed

Prayer

In Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life and the True Vine, You feed us with the Word. And You nourish us with Your Love poured out in abundance upon us.

O present Spirit, help us recognize the risen Christ in the breaking of the bread.

Feed the world and us with this bread.

Bring joy with this wine.

May Bread and Wine be leaven, salt, and life in us – a community of faith strengthened by this symbolic meal. We pray in the name of Jesus who came among us – a deep mystery of faith. Amen.

Sharing of the Bread and Wine

The Bread: Because there is one bread,          we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (I Cor. 10:17) When we break the bread, it is a sharing in the body of Christ. (I Cor. 10:16.)

The Wine: When we bless the cup, it is a sharing in the blood of Christ. (I Cor. 10:16) The wine, like Christ’s blood, is poured out as a declaration that we can have life and have life more abundantly.

Because of the Pandemic, each of us will have provided our own bread and wine or rice cracker and juice – but we can still share together in this act of Communion. Take. Eat. And drink – a sharing in God’s gift of life.

Prayer after communion

Eternal God, we give you thanks for this holy mystery in which You have given yourself to us symbolically and we have experienced your Real Presence.

We thank You for all those who have shared in this mystery, and thus in You – here and in many places through two millennia.

Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your Spirit, to give ourselves for others in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Song: May the God of hope                726
May the God of hope go with us every day,
filling all our lives with love and joy and peace.
May the God of justice speed us on our way,
bringing light and hope to every land and race

Praying, let us work for peace,
singing, share our joy with all.
working for a world that’s new,
faithful when we hear Christ’s call.

Words: Alvin Schutmaat. Music: Hispanic folk song. Both Public domain

Sending out with God’s blessing
We have come together in the sanctuary and on Zoom seeking community.
We have come seeking God.
We go from this community of faith and care mission and in service.
Friends – know that God, Creator, Son and Holy Spirit, goes with you.

Response: Amen, we praise your name, O God
South African Traditional

Music postlude

(Zoom breakout rooms)

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” (José Narosky)


Bob Calder retains the copyright on all original material presented by him.

The language of the Communion liturgy, with the consent of Bob Calder, was provided by John C. Carr and is based on the Book of Common Worship of the PCC (1991) with modifications by John Carr based on various sources.

As far as the authors are aware, all of the other material presented 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.

 

 

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