Sunday (Zoom from the sanctuary) message: When peace came in a new and surprising way

Worship on the Lord’s Day

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

Opening words:

L: Our help is in the name of the Lord
who made heaven and earth
P: God’s steadfast love endures forever
L:  Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: Open the eyes of my heart

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You, I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love

As we sing holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to see you

Songwriter: Paul Baloche © 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 long for a Saviour
who is our Prince of Peace
P: who blesses our warring world,
    meeting our brokenness
L: with a peace that passes understanding.
P: In darkness that deepens
L: We wait for the coming
of the light of the world.
P: We wait in peace
    as we light this candle of peace.

Lighting of the Advent candle of Peace

Prayers of approach and confession

God of all times and places, You are holy and loving. You create pathways where there is no path. You prepare us to receive wonders beyond imagining. In every time and every place, You have raised up leaders who point to your glory and honour your greatness. You have called us by name, baptized us with water and with the Holy Spirit. You bless us for abundant living, and set us in the world to serve You. We are your people, and so we worship you as our Creator, our Redeemer, and the Breath of our lives, one God, now and always.

John the Baptizer called people to repent and so we join together in confession, seeking God’s grace.

God of mercy, we confess that we resist changing our hearts and minds, even when your Word compels us to reconsider cherished opinions. We are more comfortable remaining as we are than taking up your challenge. Forgive us for being set in our ways and seeing others only in light of inherited ideas and past experience. Forgive us our reluctance to forgive each other as we have been forgiven.

By the power of your Holy Spirit, transform us by your great love and mercy. Give us new eyes for seeing, new ears for hearing. Now, in these moments we direct our personal confessions to You, and turn to You for your mercy…

Response: I waited on you, Lord

Assurance of God’s pardon

Jesus said, come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Friends, trust that peace and forgiveness are God’s gift to us this day. Be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit that moves with us into each new day. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

Response: Be still and know

Prayers for God’s help and guidance

Dear Lord, we now turn to You for so much help. It is in times like these that we learn how much we need You to sustain us, to guide us through these wilderness days. We admit that we have come to the end of our rope. These are times when we seek peace, and these are times when we discover that the peace You give might well be right in front of us, by being held away from social gatherings during this Christ-child season. We plead for your care and protection over those who are on the front lines, fighting this terrible disease that has gotten way too much control over our daily lives. We bring our physicians who fight for people’s lives before You. You alone are in those Intensive Care Units by your Spirit. Would You in your mercy give patience, perseverance when it really seems impossible to still stay sane. Would You hold the nurses, the intake workers who increasingly feel they are on the edge of collapse… We pray the same for our educators, especially teachers in our school systems that are right in the midst of so much turmoil, wondering when they too will be infected, and taking home that which they have been fighting against for months on end. Our prayers go out to the most vulnerable of vulnerables, those who are most likely to expose themselves. Lord, have mercy on your people. Would You bring comfort to Aubrey Burrowes who finally could say goodbye to his beloved wife, Evelyn, this week. Would You also wipe the tears on the cheeks and bring comfort to the Rev Connie Lee’s next of kin and friends as she passed away

Now we pray to You for wisdom as we hear your word spoken in a multitude of ways…

God of grace, still our busy minds so that we will hear your Word speaking through the scripture. By your Spirit, create a space within us to receive your wisdom your mercy, and your invitation to live for you. Amen.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time                    

Song: To a maid whose name was Mary   

To a maid whose name was Mary,
the angel Gabriel came.
“Fear not” the angel told her,
“I come to bring good news;
good news I come to tell you,
good news, I say, good news.”

“For you are highly favored
by the God the Lord of all,
who even now is with you.
You are on earth most blest;
you are most blest, most blessed;
God chose you, you are blest!”

But Mary was most troubled
to hear the angel’s word.
What was the angel saying?
It troubled her to hear,
to hear the angel’s message,
it troubled her to hear.

“Fear not, for God is with you,
and you shall bear a child.
His name shall be called Jesus,
God’s offspring from on high.
And he shall reign forever,
forever reign on high.”

“How shall this be?” said Mary,
“I am not yet a wife.”
The angel answered quickly,
“The power of the Most High
will come upon you shortly,
your child shall be God’s child.”

As Mary heard the angel,
she wondered at his words.
“Behold, I am your handmaid,”
she said unto her God.

“So be it; I am ready
according to your word.”

Words: Gracia Grindal; Music: Rusty Edwards
© 1984, Hope Publishing Company
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:         

Luke 1:26-56 New Testament (New Revised Standard Version)

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise

46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Response: My Lord, he is a comin’ soon


“When peace came in a new and surprising way”

The light shone dimly in the damp, cold and small apartment in which Deb and Stan’s newborn baby boy Rick would settle. This apartment was all they could afford. It was a cold, damp, drizzly, west-coast November afternoon. Their car had just pulled up as they arrived from the hospital. Sarah stood in the driveway with her six-year-old cousin, Martin, and her mother, as Uncle Stan and Aunt Deb got out of the car and you could hear there had been quite an argument as they were getting out of the car. Sarah’s mother had mumbled something about putting the battle on hold for a later stage.

In those days, thirteen was the ideal age to become a babysitter, so when her cousin Rick made his appearance into the world, Sarah was just the right age. This became the exact job for Sarah. Every day after school Sarah went to Aunt Deb and Uncle Stan’s home to help out. She would put Rick into the stroller and head off to the park, come sunshine or rain. This way Aunt Deb could get supper ready. Martin would also come along.

As the weeks went by, Martin became increasingly whiney. It appeared as if he wasn’t enjoying life anymore. The whining happened on the way to the park, when he was asked to help with something, and on the way back from the park. He whined when his he was told to keep quiet when baby brother Rick was sleeping. Sarah’s Mom said that this was normal and that children don’t like it much when a new sibling gets all the attention. Sarah thought differently. Her sense was that Martin was hearing a lot of whining from his parents. Since they brought Rick home, Deb and Stan were whining a lot themselves. They whined about dirty diapers, a lack of sleep, a messy basement apartment, a crying baby, there was so much they whined about. When the whining stopped, it had gone into fighting. They fought about so many things, whether the baby should sleep with them or not. Their arguments were affecting Martin and he became more and more whiney.

One day Martin had been playing with the talcum powder in the diaper bag and had spread it all over the bedroom. This was when Deb sent Sarah to take Martin and Rick to the park and stay there till until she’d got some peace.

Sarah thought it would be better just to go home with her two cousins and spend the afternoon there. Sarah’s Mom agreed that Deb and Stan were having difficulty coping and that they just needed some peace. The kids spent that weekend with Sarah’s parents.

So the next morning Deb came by and explained to Martin that he was going to be with his Aunt and Uncle so that his Mom and Dad could get some peace. She also brought him the full amount of eight dollars so that he could do some Christmas shopping with his cousin Sarah. She wasn’t all too happy about this as she also had a limited budget of about twenty dollars.

As Martin and Sarah went to town, Sarah thought the drug store would be the best place to buy gifts. Martin kept whining that he’d rather go to Brown’s Furniture Store. However, Sarah convinced Martin to buy his Dad some Old Spice soap on a rope and some cheap Yardley’s perfume for his Mom. Martin really didn’t like this choice and whined all the way home.

Sarah’s parents also had some shopping to do and left Sarah to look after Rick and Martin. It must’ve been while she was changing a diaper that six-year-old Martin escaped and disappeared.

Two search parties went out. Sarah’s Dad thought the damp, shabby basement apartment was Martin’s destination, while Sarah went looking for Martin at Brown’s furniture store.

When she walked into Brown’s, Mr. Brown asked her whether she was looking for anything. She said yes, a boy this tall, wearing a blue sweater. Mr. Brown smiled and led Sarah to the back of the store and while walking there, said this young man had been standing there for about an hour watching the snow-globes. Sure enough, Martin was staring at one particular snow-globe with a nativity scene. There was Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and tiny baby Jesus. Martin explained to his cousin Sarah that Mr. Brown had told him that the Angel in there was a special messenger from God, called Gabriel and he brought Good News to the whole world. These words say “peace” he said to Sarah, pointing at the base of the snow-globe.

Sarah corrected him, “they say ‘Peace on Earth’”, she said. Martin just smiled and looked up at Sarah. He insisted that this is the perfect present for his Mom and Dad. Sarah said the price tag said nine dollars and he only had received eight. Besides there were different gifts that they had already bought with that money.

Martin’s reaction was quite different than Sarah expected. She thought he’d whine, but no, instead he looked up at her with sad eyes and insisted that peace was just exactly what his Mom and Dad really wanted for Christmas. She brushed the tears away from his face and said they better go home. Martin once again turned the world upside-down and put it down on its base showing how the snowflakes all float down again. Sarah took him tightly by the hand and all Martin could talk about was the snow globe.

Funnily enough, on Christmas Day, the gifts that Sarah’s Mom and Dad received, where Old Spice soap on a rope, and Yardley’s perfume. Sarah had made a miraculous exchange!

Martin and Rick’s parents, Aunt Deb and Uncle Stan were overjoyed with the snow-globe which Martin was giving them. He too was taken aback by his cousin Sarah’s last-minute exchange and very carefully told his Mom Deb and Dad Stan that the inscription on that base said “Peace on Earth” and that it wasn’t only for his Mom and Dad, but for all the people everywhere.

That little snow-globe sits on Deb and Stan’s mantlepiece every year at Christmas as they await their grown sons to arrive to celebrate Christmas. This year, they can’t be there, it’s the year of the pandemic, but the snow-globe still proclaims Peace on Earth, and somehow, Deb and Stan are content. The message remains the same, Peace on Earth, and the truth is that Peace on Earth still begins with peace at home. That home might be the lowly stable in Bethlehem, or it could be the shabby little damp basement apartment, or indeed your own home. Peace on Earth begins when we are made aware of the love that is Divine, born for us over and over, and over again.

May the Spirit of God fill you with peace which surpasses all our understanding, so that true Shalom can settle in, which includes peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, welfare and tranquillity.[i] Amen

Song: Let all mortal flesh keep silence     

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly minded,
for with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth
our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of all, in human vesture,
in the body and the blood,
Christ will give to all the faithful,
his own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its van guard on the way,
as the Light of Light, descending
from the realms of endless day,
comes the powers of hell to vanquish
as the darkness clears away.

At his feet the six-winged Seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye
veil their faces to the Presence
as with ceaseless voice they cry,
‘Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah, Lord most high.’

Words: Liturgy of St. James,
English translation Gerard Moultrie, 1829-1885, alt.
Music: French traditional carol
Words and music public domain
License #A735555​. All rights reserved, Permission
to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

We celebrate at the table

Invitation to the Lord’s Supper

Affirming our faith                   Apostles’ Creed

Communion prayer

Breaking bread and offering the cup

We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

Response: Give thanks to the Lord

Reflection on giving

Song: People in darkness    

People in darkness are looking for light.
Come, come, come, Jesus Christ.
People with blindness are longing for sight.
Come, Lord Jesus Christ.
These days of adventure when all people wait
are days for the advent of love.

People with sickness are praying for health
Come, come, come, Jesus Christ.
People in poverty want to have wealth.
Come, Lord Jesus Christ.
These days of adventure when all people wait
are days for the advent of hope.

People in trouble would like to be free.
Come, come, come, Jesus Christ.
People with arguments want to agree.
Come, Lord Jesus Christ.
These days of adventure when all people wait
are days for the advent of peace.

People in sadness are trying to sing.
Come, come, come, Jesus Christ
Bells in the steeple are waiting to ring
Come, Lord Jesus Christ.                                               
These days of adventure when all people wait
are days for the advent of joy.

Words: 1-3 Dosia Carlson, and copyright
Words: v4 Ken and Jeanne Stright and copyright
Music: Dosia Carlson © Dosia Carlson 1983
License #A735555​. All rights reserved, Permission
to stream the music in this service obtained from

Sending out with God’s blessing

Response: God to enfold you

Music postlude

(Zoom breakout rooms)

[i] Hutchings, D. (2020, December 5). Love story: shabby peace.

2nd Sunday of Advent

10:00 am December 6, 2020

led by: Rev. Heinrich Grosskopf

Elder: Ransford Kusi-Menkah

children’s time: Fionna McCrostie

vocalist: Glynnis McCrostie

Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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