Signs from God (Jennifer de Combe)

Worship on the Lord’s Day
14 January 2024     10:00 am
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Minister: The Rev Brad Childs
Today’s Worship Leader: Lynn Vaughan     Message by: Jennifer deCombe
Music director: Binu Kapadia     Vocalist: Rom Rhoad
Elder: Heather Tansem

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

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: God of all times and places, we gather to worship you.
P: We turn our eyes to you and rejoice in your presence.
L: God of all life and love, we gather to sing your praise.
P: We turn our eyes to you and marvel at your power and your promise.
L: God of all wisdom and wonder, we gather to learn from your Son.
P: We turn our eyes toward Christ and wait for your Word to lead us.

Opening praise: I lift my eyes up

Prayers of Adoration and Confession
God ever creating, ever loving, ever leading,
You are stillness when we are frantic.
You are truth when we are perplexed,
You are warmth when we are cold!
You give us freedom when fear takes hold.
You send light when we have lost our way.
You are love when we feel lonely and empty.
You give us energy when we are ready to reach out.

We praise you, Creator, Christ, Spirit, for all that you are, all that you have been, and all that you will be for us. In our worship, we offer you our love and loyalty, here and now, now and always. Amen.

Assurance of God’s Grace
Believe the good news! In Christ, God has offered us forgiveness for all our sins and shortcomings. Trust that this forgiveness is for you and know that God’s steadfast love and grace endure forever.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time

Response: Jesus loves me (737)

Story: I need help from the congregation today. I would like everyone here, including the kids, to holler or shout about something. I want you to keep going until I wave at you. If you don’t know what to shout, then read the bible or a hymn and shout it real loud. If there is someone on the sidewalk outside, I want them to hear your noise. That’s how loud I’d like you to be.

When the people start shouting, start talking with the kids and tell them a story. Use the story of God calling Samuel; maybe 10 seconds long.  Wave at the people to quiet down.

To the kids; what was my story about? Kids respond, hopefully indicating they didn’t hear it. But I was saying it loud. Why couldn’t you hear me? Kids respond. (Everyone was making so much noise.)

It was kind of noisy in here, wasn’t it? It was hard to hear anything. Sometimes, listening to God can be the same way. Are you wondering what I mean by noise making it hard to hear God? Well, let me explain.

There are a lot of things that make it hard to listen to God.

There are people who tell us that God isn’t real. There are people that tell us we don’t ever need to go to church. There are people that tell us we are wrong in the way we worship God. There are TV shows that show kids who believe in God being pushed around. There are TV shows that show us being tough and strong is better than living like God wants us to.

Sometimes, we can’t hear when God is trying to tell us something.
Sometimes, we hear things and don’t quite understand them. Then, we ignore them and go and play.

The story I told you this morning was hard to hear because of all the noise. Let me tell you the story again now that everyone is quiet.

In Sunday School today, you’ll be learning about a young boy named Samuel who was personally called by God. Luckily, he was listening and not distracted by other things. He was able to hear the messages and, eventually, grew up to become a great and respected prophet.

In our sermon today, we will hear about a group of people who heard what God was telling them to do, but they didn’t quite understand the instructions. They took some convincing to believe that it would work. They had to listen to God and trust that He knew what was best for them.

Basically, we need to listen to God. We know that God does exist. We know we are going to a good church and are worshiping God in a way that pleases Him. We know that living like God instructs us to is the best way to live. So, we need to ensure that we are ready to hear from God and put all our faith and our trust in Him to follow the best path for our lives.

Dear God – We live in a noisy world. Help us to always listen for you. Help us to trust in you.

The Lord’s Prayer (535)

Transition music

Song: Guide me. O thou great Redeemer (651)

Today’s Message

Scripture reading: Psalm 78:1-7 & Joshua 3:1-17

Response: Glory to the Father

Message: Signs from God (Jennifer de Combe on video: Click here.)

Video Sermon Preamble: For this morning’s worship we have a special guest: Jen de Combe, who was the Associate Secretary for Canadian Ministries with the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Jen led a workshop for the Presbytery last fall right here at Dayspring. For today’s sermon, Jen will preach for us about the moment the Israelites cross the Jordan River in Joshua, chapter 3.

Some question for reflection as you watch this video: what are some moments in your life where the way ahead looked terrifying and you didn’t know what you would do, but somehow, by the grace of God, you got through it to the other side? How did that moment shape you? How do you tell that story and share it with others? As you’ll hear from Jen in today’s sermon, the Israelites were facing that sort of moment. How they remember it and how they retell it was an essential part in their formation as the people of God.

Song: Will you come and follow me (634:1,2,4,5)

We respond to serve God: Our time of giving

Reflection on giving: Dayspring is empowered to carry out our mission of worship, service, and care by generously given volunteer time, talents, and treasures. We ask God to use us and the gifts we offer to create new possibilities for those who are uncertain about what the future holds, just as He holds the future for us all. Many thanks to all who give so generously!

Prayer of gratitude and for others and ourselves

God of all life and each life, each week our prayers combine with those of others in many different places.

We face different challenges and yet we long for many of the same things, things you offer in your grace and mercy. Thank you for honouring all our prayers with the gift of your Spirit, so that we can find both strength and wisdom to serve you.

Today we remember before you people living face to face with war and violence,  in places where hatred has been stirred up and fear stalks people on their own streets.

We pray for all those displaced by conflict, seeking refuge among us or in camps and communities around the world.
God, speak to us a word of peace.
Embrace us with your love.

We remember before you people struggling in these uncertain economic times, those who have lost their jobs or worry about making ends meet.

God, speak to us a word of reassurance.
Embrace us with your love.

We remember before you people facing discrimination and social prejudice every day, those who are bullied at school, at work or at home, and those who are made ashamed of who they are.

God, speak to us a word of dignity.
Embrace us with your love.

We remember before you people facing illness and suffering in their lives or in the lives of those they love: those struggling with disability and lack of access or needed resources, and those who know grief or anxiety.

God, speak to us a word of healing.
Embrace us with your love.

We remember before you your whole creation and its many vulnerable facets and faces.
Teach us how to care for the world you love, so we may live together wisely.

God, speak to us a word of wisdom:
Embrace us with your love. Amen

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

Sending out with God’s blessing

Thank you for joining us in worship today. I hope the Holy Spirit spoke to you in some way.

And as you go forward this week, keep your eyes open. Stay alert for signs of God’s Spirit at work and invitations to share in the work of the Spirit wherever you find yourself. And may the God who made us, the Christ who mends us, and the Spirit who brings us life bless you and sustain you in every challenge and commitment.

Response: Go forth into the world

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’s licensing with One Licence (3095377) and CLC (A735555).

Jennifer deCombe and Lynn Vaughan retain the copyright (© 2024) on all original material in this service. As far as they are aware, all of the material that has not been attributed to others 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.

Posted in Recent Sermons.