Sunday (Zoom) message: Freedom!

Dayspring Zoom Connect Worship, Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost,

September 6, 2020, 10 am MDT

Gathering

Music:  Spirit of gentleness

Spirit, spirit of gentleness,
blow through the wilderness, calling and free,
Spirit, spirit of restlessness,
stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.

You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep;
and over the eons you called to each thing;
“Awake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.”

You swept through the desert, you stung with the sand
and you goaded your people with a law and a land;
and when they were blinded with idols and lies,
then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes.

You sang in a stable, you cried from a hill,
then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still;
and down in the city you called once again,
when you blew through your people on the rush of the wind.

You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes.
From the bondage of sorrow all the captives dream dreams;
our women see visions, our men clear their eyes.
With bold new decisions your people arise.

songwriter James K. Manley ©; published in Everflowing Streams (1981). “Spirit,” l. 1-4 (1978)
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved.
Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Greeting: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you…”

Welcome and announcements

Call to Worship

L: Sing to the Lord a new song.
P: We will worship God, our Maker!
L: Let us praise God with song and dance,
P: For God is gracious and loving!
L: Let us bring God glory and honour,
P: For God deserves our praise.

Music:  Be still and know

Be still and know
that I am God

words and music: anonymous
public domain
arr. G. McCrostie

Prayers of Approach and for God’s Help and Prayer of Confession

Holy One, God of grace and glory, Your creative power is beyond imagining. Your love is wider than the whole universe; your mercy, greater than the heights of heaven; your wisdom, deeper than the sea. Maker of all things, You became one of us in Jesus Christ, and through your Spirit, You are present with us in every place and every time. We worship You, Creator, Christ, and Spirit, one God, now and always,

God ever-present, yet ever new, guide us by your Word and Spirit, so that in your light, we may see clearly what You call us to do. In your truth, may we know how best to follow You, and in doing so, find true peace through Christ, your living Word. Amen.

In confidence and honesty, let us now confess our sins to God and to one another:

Although Christ is among us as our peace, we confess we are a people divided, within ourselves and against each other. We cling to the values and habits of a broken world. The profit and pleasures we pursue harm creation and the lives of others. The fears and jealousies we harbour set neighbour against neighbour, and nation against nation. The freedom and abundance we enjoy belong mostly to a few when they are God’s gift to all. Have mercy upon us, dear Lord. Heal us, forgive us, and set us free to serve You in the world as agents of your reconciling love in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Assurance of God’s faithfulness:  Minister

The apostle Paul declared that the night is far gone, the day is near. So let us lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Know that we are forgiven by God’s grace and that we may be at peace with God, with yourself and with each other.

Music: Open our eyes, Lord

Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus
To reach out and touch him
And say that we love him

Open our ears, Lord
And help us to listen
Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus

Words and music: Bob Cull; © Maranatha! Music 1976; The Copyright Company
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: Lynn Vaughan

Music:  I, the Lord

I, The Lord Of Sea And Sky,
I Have Heard My People Cry.
All Who Dwell In Dark And Sin,
My Hand Will Save.
I Who Made The Stars Of Night,
I Will Make Their Darkness Bright.
Who Will Bear My Light To Them?
Whom Shall I Send?

Here I Am Lord, Is It I, Lord?
I Have Heard You Calling In The Night.
I Will Go Lord, If You Lead Me.
I Will Hold Your People In My Heart.

I, The Lord Of Snow And Rain,
I Have Borne My People’s Pain.
I Have Wept For Love Of Them,

They Turn Away.
I Will Break Their Hearts Of Stone,
Give Them Hearts For Love Alone.
I Will Speak My Word To Them
Whom Shall I Send?

I, The Lord Of Wind And Flame
I Will Tend The Poor And Lame.
I Will Set A Feast For Them,
My Hand Will Save
Finest Bread I Will Provide,
Till Their Hearts Be Satisfied.
I Will Give My Life To Them,
Whom Shall I Send?

Here I Am Lord, Is It I, Lord?
I Have Heard You Calling In The Night.
I Will Go Lord, If You Lead Me.
I Will Hold Your People In My Heart.

Words and music: D. Schutte; © 1983, New Dawn Music
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: Exodus 12:1-14 (New Revised Standard Version)

The First Passover Instituted

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Music:  Glory to the Father

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning
is now, and will be forever
Amen, amen, amen

words: trad.; music: J. Weaver 1978
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved.
Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Message: “Freedom!”

There are so many ways in which we can be stuck.  We can be run into the ground by man-made problems, or even just circumstances where we are held in a place of not being able to go anywhere.

It could be addictions. It could be marital relationships. Or it could be poverty that holds us in a tight grip. How about being held tightly by abuse that happened during our childhood days?

“Stuck” can be a condition of not being able to think in new and fresh ways. “Stuck” can also be an emotional feeling of being held bound and not able to escape out of this emotional feeling, as if you’re scared of failing or not being able to overcome the awful predicament you are in. “Stuck” can also perhaps be the inability to see very far, being in a state of twilight.

Turning to Exodus 12, we hear a story of the Israelites being stuck in the foreign land of Egypt and receiving instructions for what they have to do when they are liberated from Pharaoh. Just in the verse before chapter 12, this is what one hears: “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.” This whole nation of Israel was stuck in bondage, trying their utmost to get out of Egypt. They were doing hard labour as slaves. Moses was to lead them out.

Their instructions were how and when to prepare a sacrificial meal that became known as “Passover”, or “Pesach”. This event lies smack in the middle of the story of how there were ten plagues that the Israelites were afflicted with, of which the very last one was that “every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die.” “How cruel and tragic” we might say, and we might want to say that this is just a myth and only a deeper message of how powerful God is. This, however, dismisses the meaning of Passover. The people of Israel were to slaughter a lamb or a goat and their stance was to be one of readiness, hurry and disquietude. All of this was to happen in the middle of the night, like a thief arriving at an unannounced time. What is very significant, is that Pharaoh’s attack on the Hebrew children must be interpreted in light of God’s ancient promises to Abraham and Sarah: “He (God) brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be’.” Pharaoh of Egypt would not be allowed to stand between God’s promises and the people through whom these promises would be fulfilled.

The way in which it would happen was that the Israelites would, on that particular day, the fourteenth of the first month, take the blood of the slaughtered lamb and paint it on their doorposts so that the angel of the Lord would protect the firstborn of the Hebrew people of Israel. The struggle that was happening was God fighting on the Israelites’ behalf. The Egyptians, alas, did not get that memo. The Israelites were in the middle of God acting out war against Pharaoh’s heinous crimes. This was to ensure the future of the promise to Abraham.

With the fog of war fully engulfing the land, God summons the Israelites to the work of liturgy, ritual, and memory. [i]

This is why the Passover becomes the sacrificial meal that would be celebrated throughout the centuries, right through to the Thursday before Jesus Christ was crucified, and beyond, until this very time we live in right now. The Last Supper was the celebration of Passover. The crucifixion of Christ was happening right at the same time of the year, the weekend when most Jews were on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to celebrate the struggle that the Hebrews experienced before they could go out of Egypt.

As we know, many movies were inspired by this event. Some of us who are older can remember the movie “The Ten Commandments” directed by Cecil B DeMille, released in 1956 and starring Yul Brynner as Pharaoh and Charlton Heston as Moses. Others might remember “Out of Egypt” starring Kara Cooney in 2009, or the animation musical “The Prince of Egypt” released in 1998.

Is there something to learn from the Passover and the liberation from Egypt? As Michael Chan puts it: “The ritual offers its participants a specific promise, bound to the concrete reality of the sacrificial victim’s blood: “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (verses 12-13). The blood of the sacrifice distinguishes the people of God from the Egyptians and shields them from death and judgment. [ii]

Today too, we can live in a freedom that God brought to us by the victory that Jesus gained over sin and death.

We too, don’t need to be bound to any systems, or to death, because there is a second death that we won’t be part of as we are allowed to know that we live eternally.

This, dear friends, is what we celebrate as we take part in the Lord’s Supper. “You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations, you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.” Our faith in Jesus Christ gives the Lord’s Supper a brand-new dimension. It gives the believers in Jesus Christ a brand-new life. Amen

Music:  Here is bread

Here is bread, here is wine
Christ is with us, he is with us
Break the bread, drink the wine
Christ is with us here 

Here is grace, here is peace
Christ is with us, he is with us
Know his grace, find his peace
Feast on Jesus here 

In this bread there is healing
In this cup there’s life forever
In this moment, by the Spirit
Christ is with us here

Here we are, joined in one
Christ is with us, he is with us
We’ll proclaim, till he comes
Jesus crucified

Songwriter: Graham Kendrick Copyright © 1992 Make Way Music/ Integrity’s Hosanna! Music
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved.
Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

The Lord’s Supper

Communion Prayer

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.

Communion:

Prayer of gratitude

Lord God, in gratitude, in deep gratitude for this moment, this meal, these people, we give ourselves to you. Take us out to live as changed people because we have shared the living bread and cannot remain the same. Ask much of us, expect much from us, enable much by us, encourage many through us. So, Lord, may we live to your glory,
both as inhabitants of earth and citizens of the commonwealth of heaven. Amen

Music:  In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful

In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful
In the Lord I will rejoice
Look to God, do not be afraid
Lift up your voices, the Lord is near

composer: Jacques Berthier; 1991 © Taize 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

Reflection on giving:  

We give to support the ministry and mission of our congregation. During this time of COVID-19 restrictions, our members have been generous. Thank you for that generosity. However, because we have lost the contributions to our budget from the organizations that use our building, we are running a shortfall. So, we all need to dig deep. We do our giving in the various ways described on the screen and in the Dayspring Weekly News.

Prayer and blessing: Minister

Music:  God to enfold you

God to enfold you, Christ to uphold you
Spirit to keep you in heaven’s sight
So may God grace you, heal and embrace you
Lead you through darkness into the light

Words: J. Bell, G. Maule; © WGRG 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


[i] Michael J. Chan, 2020: Commentary on Exodus 12:1-14 (online at http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4569)

[ii] Michael J. Chan, 2020: Commentary on Exodus 12:1-14 (online at http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4569)


Minister: The Rev. Dr. Heinrich Grosskopf

Welcoming Elder: Ransford Kusi-Menkah

Worship Arts Coordinator (Guitarist): Gord McCrostie

Pianist: Binu Kapadia


Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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