Sunday (mixed presence) message: Light to be found in the spirit of the cross

Worship on the Lord’s Day

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

Greeting

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: Bless the Lord, O my soul

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes

You’re rich in love
And You’re slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find

Songwriter: Matt Redman © 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: Eternal God, your people
praise your name:
P: We tell of your glorious deeds.
L: Infinite God, your people
marvel at your majesty:
P: We tell of your grace and power.
L: Everlasting God, your people
give thanks for your saving love:
P: We tell of the wonders
    You have done.
L: So let us worship our God
of justice and peace
and pray for God’s reign among us.

Prayers of approach and for God’s help

God of yesterday, today and forever, You are the God of every generation, and your love endures forever. You have protected us during difficult times, for your compassion is everlasting. You have shown us the path to truth and life in Jesus Christ our Lord. We give You thanks, dear Lord, that You are always near. In this time of worship, we declare our love and loyalty to you, and offer You our service in prayer, in praise, and in practice, this day and every day, our one true God, whom we know and love as Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit. Sheltering God, we need your protection and redemption in these complex days. Yet, so often we fail to serve You in sincerity and faithfulness. Today, we come before You to confess our shortcomings, confident in your mercy. Lord, our eyes are set upon You, as we continue to be aware of our need for your presence in the faith journey we are on.

Now, dear Lord, we turn to You with our needs… Lead us as our dear loving Parent. You know what is best for us. As we come before You, we ask for your loving hands to touch the ones who are in need of healing. You know each of them, even while we aren’t always aware of the finer details in the lives of every individual person. God of wisdom, we seek insight and understanding from your Word read and proclaimed this day. Move in us by your Spirit to open our hearts and minds to receive your message in the scriptures and respond in faithfulness. Amen.

Response: I will trust in the Lord

Words of remembrance

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

Children’s time

(Jesus loves me; Lord’s Prayer)

Song: For the healing of the nations

For the healing of the nations,
Lord, we pray with one accord,
for a just and equal sharing
of the things that earth affords.
To a life of love in action
help us rise and pledge our word.

Lead us forward into freedom,
from despair your world release,
that, redeemed from war and hatred,
all may come and go in peace.
Show us how through care and goodness
fear will die and hope increase.

All that kills abundant living,
let it from the earth be banned:
pride of status, race or schooling,
dogmas that obscure your plan.
In our common quest for justice
may we hallow brief life’s span.

You, Creator God, have written
your great name on humankind;
for our growing in your likeness
bring the life of Christ to mind;
that by our response and service
earth its destiny may find.

Songwriter: Fred Khan © 1968 by Hope Publishing Co
Music: Public Domain
Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​.
All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

Scripture reading: Matthew 25:1-13 (New Revised Standard Version)

The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Response:  Glory to the Father

Message: “Light to be found in the spirit of the cross”

When we have to wait it can either be exciting or dreadful. Waiting at the airport to meet your best friend can be wonderful. Waiting for a root canal can be dreadful. It really depends on that which we are waiting for. Waiting for Jesus to come back has something extremely special to it.

Then, when we listen to the parable that we read this morning, there is another form of waiting. This process of waiting appears to be either fruitful or disappointing. The last thing we would want it to be, is disappointing.

What would I want, if I am looking for a positive outcome when Jesus comes back to meet up with us at the end of times? Or don’t I believe in such a thing like the end of times?

The parable describes how ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five of them were wise.

What causes five of them to be foolish as opposed to wise? We don’t even know which were foolish and which were wise. It is only the bridegroom that has that knowledge. Only God knows. There is therefore not the slightest human judgment. Nor is there a value judgment of good or bad, just foolish or wise.

What is it that makes the difference between the two? We read that the foolish bridesmaids were lacking oil for their lamps. Or, in modern terms, they were lacking batteries for their flashlights. Something was lacking in their ability to let their light shine.

Dirk Lange [i] has a great way of describing how the spirit of the cross is what is lacking. See, when the bridesmaids finally met the bridegroom, their lamps didn’t have enough fuel or energy to continue shining.

How would that be? According to Matthew 5 we hear how Jesus was saying “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” This is found, says Lange, in a definite spirit, which is a spirit described in the beatitudes as well. The life into which the beatitudes invite us is a life that is not centred on what we do, not even on our faith, but it is centred on the cross and how God is glorified through our lives.

When there is the spirit of the cross in us, it is not all about me anymore. God reorients our thinking to be servants, to be shaped into people who are blessed by being the poor in spirit. Being the poor in spirit means knowing how much they need God, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God. Often when peacemakers have a longsuffering, patient attitude, life becomes liveable in the long haul. Waiting for the bridegroom is prepared by the spirit of the cross. It’s hard to even determine who has this spirit of the cross, as Jesus described it in the beatitudes. In the believers who are promised that they are blessed. Imagine meekness and a love for peace increasing among humankind. Imagine more love showing up among the inhabitants of this planet. On Remembrance Day we are remembering the fallen soldiers, not only in World War One and Two, but also in our Canadian Forces’ efforts to be peacekeepers. Those are the meek, the blessed ones.

Little wonder that we hear that God’s kingdom is a new reality where a person who denies them self and takes up their cross and follows Jesus. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for Jesus’ sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? (Mark 8:34-36).

This seems to be the type life that bears the spirit of the cross, and this also seems to be the fuel and the energy that keeps the lamps of the wise bridesmaids shining light till the end of times.

It may be found in us being made vulnerable as God has been vulnerable in becoming human in Jesus.

God’s Son Jesus Christ was the ultimate way of showing how much God loves the world with all its problems.

Coming to think of it, the question arises as to how much of these times of wearing masks, distancing ourselves physically, not mingling, might be shaping us to have less of ourselves and more of God in us. Or am I stretching it?

We don’t know how long it will be lasting. But then how long will this time on earth that we have, last? How long were the bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom to arrive? Do we have any notion of how long?

This brings us to the unexpected nature of the bridegroom’s arrival. It could be this morning, it could be in 80 years, or eight. Nobody knows.

The young women were all waiting for the bridegroom. They all belonged to the same community, the same group of friends. They all fall asleep waiting for the bridegroom to come. In the faith community, it is impossible to tell who has enough oil in their lamps, who has been more faithful. This is not for us to see or to judge. The church always remains a mixed community. Making the centre of interpretation the issue of foolish or wise would miss the point of the parable. The so-called foolish young women also knew the bridegroom, calling out to him “Lord, Lord, open to us!”

The only thing God is doing in us, is to equip us with a lively expectation that Jesus Christ will be coming. It is worth the wait! There will be a wonderful wedding banquet awaiting us. Is it really all that strange to be calling out, “come Lord, Jesus, come! Maranatha!”? Amen

Song: Lord make us servants                       

Lord, make us servants of your peace:
where there is hate, may we sow love;
where there is hurt, may we forgive;
where there is strife, may we make one.

Where all is doubt, may we sow faith;
where all is gloom, may we sow hope;
where all is night, may we sow light;
where all is tears, may we sow joy.

Jesus, our Lord, may we not seek
to be consoled, but to console,
nor look to understanding hearts,
but look for hearts to understand.

May we not look for love’s return,
but seek to love unselfishly,
for in our giving we receive,
and in forgiving are forgiven.

Dying, we live, and are reborn
through death’s dark night to endless day:
Lord, make us servants of your peace,
to wake at last in heaven’s light.

Words and Music; First Line: Lord, make us servants of your peace Text: LM; “The Prayer of St. Francis”; para. by James Quinn, SJ, 1919-2010, © 1980, James Quinn, SJ. Published by OCP. All rights reserved. Music: Trad. Scottish folksong.
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

 We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Loving God, in and out of season, in times of poverty and prosperity, in times of sorrow and joy, in times of war and in times of peace you have been present with your people. We bring You thanks! As we gather again in this place at this time of remembrance, we recall those who gave their lives in war so that others might live in freedom and peace. We bring You thanks! May they dwell in peace in your eternal presence. We remember those whose bodies, minds, and souls are scarred by war and whose lives will forever bear the wounds of trauma, violence and loss. Would You bring peace, if that is in your plan for us. Give You thanks dear Lord, for You are good, your love endures forever. We thank You for every single bit of peace that we may experience in this beautiful land of Canada. Amen

Response: Give thanks to the Lord

Reflection on giving 

Song: Give me oil in my lamp  

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Keep me burning till the break of day

Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna to the Servant King
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna, let us sing

Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
Give me joy in my heart, I pray         
(cont)
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
Keep me praising till the break of day

Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna to the Servant King
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna, let us sing

Give me peace in my heart, keep me loving
Give me peace in my heart, I pray
Give me peace in my heart, keep me loving
Keep me loving till the break of day

(Refrain)

Give me love in my heart; keep me serving;
give me love in my heart, I pray.
Give me love in my heart; keep me serving;
keep me serving till the break of day.

(Refrain)

Words: Public Domain © 1988 by Hope Publishing Co
Music: Christian Strover

Sending out with God’s blessing

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen” (2 Cor 13:13)

Response: God to enfold you


[i] Lange, Dirk G. (2020, November 7). The fairy tale ending we all hope for does not happen in this parable – Commentary on Matthew 25:1-13. Working Preacher. http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4620


Remembrance Sunday

10:00 am November 08, 2020

led by Rev. Heinrich Grosskopf

Elder: Darlene Eerkes

children’s time: Theresia Ndofor

vocalist: Glynnis McCrostie


Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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Posted in Recent Sermons.