Sunday (Zoom) message: A deployed Spirit and a deployed church

Trinity Sunday 

Scriptures:
Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 2:4a
Psalm 8
Matthew 28:16-20

Dayspring Zoom Connect Worship, Trinity Sunday and Communion,

June 7, 2020 

Gathering

Music prelude: Morning Has Broken (Instrumental)
          songwriters: Eleanor Farjeon / Yusuf Islam, performed by: Gles Fuerte

Greeting: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you…”                 Ransford Kusi-Menkah  (Welcoming elder)    

Welcome and announcements: Ransford Kusi-Menkah

Call to worship:  Ransford Kusi-Menkah

The high point has been reached. 
The stone has rolled.
The grave cloths have been folded.
So now simply remember what He has told you…
All authority in Heaven and on earth is His.
As we go from here, let us keep faith in Him

Opening praise song: How great is our God           

The splendor of a King,
clothed in majesty
Let all the Earth rejoice
All the Earth rejoice

He wraps himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

songwriters: Chris Tomlin / Ed Cash / Jesse Reeves

Prayers of approach and for God’s help and of confession: Heinrich

Creator God, we gather with joyful hearts to remember all You have done for us and to seek your holy presence. You spoke, and the world came into being, in beauty and in balance between all things. In loving partnership, You made humankind in your image and called us to walk with You in creation. When we wandered away, You came to us in Christ, to show us how to live in this world and how to love You and each other more fully. Your Holy Spirit keeps coming to us, to guide us in the work of your kingdom. In all ways and for all time, You are with us, and so we worship You in love and gratitude, trusting You will never leave us, ever Three and ever One.

Dear Lord, we are constantly in need of your wisdom, especially, and even more in times when our lives are in upheaval. We continue to hold our frontline workers before You in prayer. We pray for our government, for the persons doing deliveries, those that are more exposed to the threat of infection than the average person, the pharmacists, the people who work in grocery stores, the postal carriers and so many more.

Now, eternal God, as we are praying, hearing Children’s Time, listening to songs, read your Scriptures, help us to hear your Word in these words; to listen and understand. May we embrace your truth, which You give us in Jesus Christ, through the patience of your guiding Spirit.

God our Creator, we confess that we have not lived wisely in your creation, and so the earth suffers. God our Redeemer, we have not valued ourselves or one another as those made in your image, and so our relationships are strained. God our Sustainer, we have not trusted in your loving guidance, and so we follow paths that lead to foolish ends. Forgive our mistaken choices and selfish desires. Call us back to your loving presence and teach us again how to follow You. Now we become silent for a few moments to mention our personal thoughts and words of confession to You…

Assurance of God’s forgivenessHeinrich

Dear friends, the apostle Paul declared to us that, from now on, we regard no one from a human point of view. If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. Everything old has passed away. See, everything has become new! Thanks be to God that we can all make a new start this day and every day.

Children’s time:    Lynn Vaughan                       (Prayer & Lord’s Prayer)

Music meditation: Morning has broken     

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the One Light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

songwriters: Eleanor Farjeon / Yusuf Islam
performed by: Gles Fuerte

Scripture readings:  Ransford Kusi-Menkah

Genesis 1:1-2:4a (Contemporary English Version – CEV)

The Story of Creation

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was barren, with no form of life;
it was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness.
But the Spirit of God was moving over the water.

The First Day

God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came and then morning—that was the first day.

The Second Day

God said, “I command a dome to separate the water above it from the water below it.” And that’s what happened. God made the dome and named it “Sky.” Evening came and then morning—that was the second day.

The Third Day

God said, “I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground.” And that’s what happened. 10 God named the dry ground “Land,” and he named the water “Ocean.” God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good.

11 God said, “I command the earth to produce all kinds of plants, including fruit trees and grain.” And that’s what happened. 12 The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 13 Evening came and then morning—that was the third day.

The Fourth Day

14 God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. 15 I command them to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened. 16 God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, 18 to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 19 Evening came and then morning—that was the fourth day.

The Fifth Day

20 God said, “I command the ocean to be full of living creatures, and I command birds to fly above the earth.” 21 So God made the giant sea monsters and all the living creatures that swim in the ocean. He also made every kind of bird. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. 22 Then he gave the living creatures his blessing—he told the ocean creatures to live everywhere in the ocean and the birds to live everywhere on earth. 23 Evening came and then morning—that was the fifth day.

The Sixth Day

24 God said, “I command the earth to give life to all kinds of tame animals, wild animals, and reptiles.” And that’s what happened. 25 God made every one of them. Then he looked at what he had done, and it was good.

26 God said, “Now we will make humans, and they will be like us. We will let them rule the fish, the birds, and all other living creatures.”

27 So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. 28 God gave them his blessing and said:

Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on the earth.

29 I have provided all kinds of fruit and grain for you to eat. 30 And I have given the green plants as food for everything else that breathes. These will be food for animals, both wild and tame, and for birds.

31 God looked at what he had done. All of it was very good! Evening came and then morning—that was the sixth day.

So the heavens and the earth and everything else were created.

The Seventh Day

By the seventh day God had finished his work, and so he rested. God blessed the seventh day and made it special because on that day he rested from his work.

That’s how God created the heavens and the earth.

Responsive Psalm 8 (CEV) –

L:  Our LORD and Ruler, Your name is wonderful everywhere on earth! 
P: You let Your glory be seen in the heavens above. 
L: With praises from children and from tiny infants, You have built a fortress. P: It makes Your enemies silent, and all who turn against You are left speechless. 
L: I often think of the heavens Your hands have made,
P: and of the moon and stars You put in place. 
L: Then I ask, “Why do You care about us humans? 
P: Why are You concerned for us weaklings?” 
L: You made us a little lower than Yourself, 
P: and You have crowned us with glory and honor. 
L: You let us rule everything Your hands have made. 
P: And You put all of it under our power  
L: the sheep and the cattle, 
P: and every wild animal, 
L: the birds in the sky, 
P: the fish in the sea, and all ocean creatures. 
All: Our LORD and Ruler, Your name is wonderful everywhere on earth! 

Matthew 28:16-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Commissioning of the Disciples

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Message: “A deployed Spirit and a deployed church”

Have you seen that meme that says, “the church is not empty, the church has been deployed”? Yes, I know that this may be a bit of an overstatement, as we as churches haven’t exactly gone out and upended everything and conquered that which is to be “conquered”, so to speak.

However, in another sense, a lot of this has actually been happening, in a general, but also a specific sense. We would love to believe that what we do as a church still goes on, although since March 15 none of us are in the church on a weekly basis. We have been restricted, we have gone inside and indoors. We have sat behind our computers, or with our iPhones, Tablets or Androids in our hands. Church life has – in a sense – become much more active in that we care for one another, check-in with folks, which had often become things that we trusted that church attendance would take care of.

When we look at what’s been happening lately, at how much of the world is suffocating under Covid-19, how drastically unemployment has ballooned, we have been, in many senses, thrust into crisis mode. There’s no way to deny it. People are suffering in so many ways, physically, and also mentally.

Last week we celebrated “Pentecost Sunday.” This is, in a sense, the culmination of all that we as Christians believe. The Spirit of God was sent out 50 days after the resurrection.

If it weren’t for God Spirit present among us, we would be hard-pressed to address what’s been happening right now in the world and news. The events that have been happening lately call for us to be sent and used by the Holy Spirit. In one sense, I would dare to say that God’s Spirit has been “deployed” throughout history, to be God with us, Jesus Christ with us.

Now, who is this Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit some abstract presence that only a few, the very holy ones have access to? When God brought light from the deepest night, God, through the Spirit was moving over the water, bringing order from chaos.

As Kathryn Matthews describes it so eloquently [i], “The sun and the moon and the stars were set in the over-arching sky as signs of beauty and the changing of the seasons, providing light and direction and the keeping of time. God filled the earth with vegetation that was fruitful and nourishing, moved the waters back from the land and provided a home for the creatures that crawled across it, walked upon it, and flew over it. In the midst of this loveliness, the garden of this earth, God tenderly placed human beings, blessing us and calling us to be caretakers and stewards of God’s work. And then God looked upon all of this and found it good — pronounced it good.

Is there any more beautiful, more inspiring, more powerful poetry than this ancient story about who we are, what creation is, and most importantly, who God is?

In this morning’s reading from Psalm 8, the voice of the psalmist puts the praise and wonder of ancient Israel into the mouths of us as worshippers, looking up at the moon and the stars, who are astounded by God’s amazing creative powers, God’s splendid works, even as they appreciate the place of humans, just “a little lower than the angels,” in the midst of God’s plan for all of these things.”

This is the Spirit of God that wants the best for us. This is the Spirit, that, in a sense, is continually being deployed over all that is threatening to fall apart. When the pandemic struck, the Spirit continues to move over the water, over the chaos that threatens our whole existence on God’s beautiful earth.

This Holy Spirit is clearly present in the church, in the lives of Christians. We needn’t feel as if we are obligated to do extraordinary things. The softness of the Spirit is present in our lives merely deploys us in our attitudes, our words of kindness, of respect and empathy for whoever we encounter.

Our reading from the gospel according to Matthew, speaks into another aspect of our lives as followers of Christ, “…the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.” “Some doubted.” I wonder how much doubt fills our lives right now. Is doubt threatening to take over all the goodness that God intends for us? The important thing to grasp is that doubt isn’t the opposite of faith. Doubt is rather the one thing that grows our faith. If we just knew it all, our faith wouldn’t stand the test of time.

When we as the church are deployed by the Spirit, and I say “deployed” very cautiously, we are allowed to be present in the lives of so many who are doubting. It is okay to doubt. We all doubt, and we doubt often. Being present for our fellow believers doesn’t mean we need to have all the answers. We can just be. Just as the Spirit of God, according to the Creation Story was moving over the water, it wasn’t with all the certainty that we expect. Water in the Creation Story in Genesis 1 depicts chaos.

It is in this that Jesus said: “…remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus is with us through the Spirit, every moment. Being with us can happen through each of us. Don’t be shy or hesitant to connect with friends and loved ones, because, through you, the Spirit still moves over the endless chaos we encounter.

God’s Spirit shows up in the lives of our fellow believers, through each of us. It happens in the life of the homeless. It happens in the life of the self-assured ones who are now thrown into despair. It happens in the lives of the mobs, the criminals, the destitute, we have no right to look down upon any person struggling.

Let the Spirit move through us, every day! Amen

Song: Creation sings the Father’s Song

Creation sings the Father’s song;
He calls the sun to wake the dawn
And run the course of day
Till evening falls in crimson rays.

His fingerprints in flakes of snow,
His breath upon this spinning globe,
He charts the eagle’s flight;
Commands the newborn baby’s cry.

Hallelujah! Let all creation stand and sing,
“Hallelujah!” Fill the earth with songs of worship;
Tell the wonders of creation’s King.

Creation gazed upon His face;
The ageless One in time’s embrace
Unveiled the Father’s plan
Of reconciling God and man.

A second Adam walked the earth,
Whose blameless life would break the curse,
Whose death would set us free
To live with Him eternally.

Creation longs for His return,
When Christ shall reign upon the earth;
The bitter wars that rage
Are birth pains of a coming age.

When He renews the land and sky,
All heav’n will sing and earth reply
With one resplendent theme:

The glories of our God and King!

songwriters: Keith Getty / Stuart Townend / Kristyn Getty

performed by Keith & Kristyn Getty

The Lord’s Supper:

Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, you formed us in your image
and breathed into us the breath of life.
When we turned away and our love failed, your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity,
made a covenant with us to be our sovereign God and spoke to us through your prophets.
So, with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven,
we praise your name and join their unending hymn: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.Hosanna in the highest.Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest. Holy are you, and blessed is your Son, Jesus Christ. Your Spirit anointed him
to preach good news to the poor,
to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
and to announce that the time had come
when you would save your people.
He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and ate with sinners. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your church,
delivered us from slavery to sin and death,
and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. When the Lord Jesus ascended,
he promised to be with us always
in the power of your Word and Holy Spirit.

[Let us all come to the table of the Lord!]

Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died,
and was buried;
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
He is seated at the right hand
of the Father,
and he will come to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen

Institution

Luke 24 (institution)

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us, while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ ‘The Lord has risen indeed,

Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’

Communion:

The Communion

These are the gifts of God for the people of God. 
(Breaking of Bread)
Because there is one bread,
we who are many are one body,
         for we all partake of the one bread.
When we break the bread,
         it is a sharing in the body of Christ.
The body of Christ, broken for you, take eat.

(Offering of the Wine)
When we bless the cup,
         it is a sharing in the blood of Christ.
The blood of Christ, broken for you, take drink.

Prayer of gratitude:

Reflection on giving…………. Ransford Kusi-Menkah    (Welcoming elder)

We give because we are the recipients of God’s overflowing love.

We give because our givings support our minister and the church staff who enable us to be a community of Faith and Care.

We give in order to take care of our building – an inheritance from those who have gone before us and from the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Our building is one of the ways in which we offer care to our community.

We give in order to be able to meet together for worship via the internet.

We give to support the ministry and mission of the Presbyterian Church in Canada across our nation and throughout the world.

And in these days of COVID-19 distancing, we do our giving in the various ways described on the screen and in the Dayspring Weekly News.

Closing prayer: Heinrich

Blessing: Heinrich

“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 Corinthians 13:13)


[i] https://www.ucc.org/worship_samuel_sermon_seeds_june_7_2020


Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church

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