Sunday (Zoom) Message: Human desires and Godly plans

Dayspring ZOOM Connect Worship, Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost,

August 30, 2020, 10 am MDT

Gathering

Music:  Those who wait on the Lord

Those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall rise up on wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint:
help us, Lord; help us, Lord, in your way.

Those who serve the suffering world
shall renew their strength;
they shall rise up on wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint:
help us, Lord; help us, Lord, in your way.

Those who live the risen life
shall renew their strength;
they shall rise up on wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint:
help us, Lord; help us, Lord, in your way.

Those who love the Mystery
shall renew their strength;
they shall rise up on wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint:
help us, Lord; help us, Lord, in your way.

Those who die on the march
shall renew their strength;
they shall rise up on wings as eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint:
help us, Lord; help us, Lord, in your way.

Words: trad., public domain
arr. J. Bell; © 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

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

Welcome and announcements:

Call to Worship

L: Give thanks to God and tell of God’s gifts.
P: We will sing praises for all that God has done.
L: Let your hearts be joyful!
P: We will seek God’s presence continually.
L: Call to mind God’s wonderful works.
P: We will always remember the blessings of God and glorify God forever!

Music: Glory, Glory Hallelujah

Glory, glory hallelujah
Since I laid my burden down
Glory, glory hallelujah
Since I laid my burden down

African American spiritual
public domain 

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

Eternal and ever-loving God, deep is our desire for what is true and enduring. Deep is our need to see clearly. Deep is our longing for You, dear Lord. In You we live and move and have our being. You are the root of love, the fountain of knowledge, the source of wisdom, the path of right living. You are the beginning and end of all things. Our thoughts cannot comprehend your mystery. And so we worship You in humble praise, Holy God, ever three and ever one.

God of wisdom, You teach us with your love, You touch us with your mercy, and You challenge us with your truth. Send us your Holy Spirit to help us understand the scriptures so that we may encounter You as we listen for your living Word.

Although You satisfy our deepest desires, dear Lord, we confess together that we have often turned away from You:

We have sought meaning in shallow places. We have clung to old hurts and familiar habits. We have nursed anger and envy. We have been self-absorbed and lacked compassion. We have turned our backs on those in need. Forgive what we have been, amend who we are, and guide us toward what we may become according to your grace. Hear our personal prayers of confession now, dear Lord…

Assurance of God’s faithfulness:  Minister

Friends in Christ, the apostle Paul declared 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 through God’s grace

Music: Jesus loves me

Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong;
they are weak, but he is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me…
The Bible tells me so.

Anna Bartlett; William Bradbury
public domain

Music: Open our eyes, Lord

Children’s time: Fionna McCrostie (Prayer & Lord’s Prayer)

Music:  At the name of Jesus

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him King of glory now;
’tis the Father’s pleasure we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning was the mighty Word.

Humbled for a season, to receive a name
from the lips of sinners, unto whom he came;
faithfully he bore it spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious when from death he passed.

In your hearts enthrone him; there let him subdue
all that is not holy, all that is not true.
Look to him, your Savior, in temptations’ hour;
let his will enfold you in its light and power.

Christians, this Lord Jesus shall return again,
with his Father’s glory o’er the earth to reign;
for all wreaths of empire meet up on his brow,
and our hearts confess him King of glory now.

Words: C.M. Noel, public domain
Music: R. Vaughn Williams. © Oxford University Press
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved.
Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Scripture readingMatthew 16:21-28 (New Revised Standard Version)

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

The Cross and Self-Denial

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Music:  His truth is marching on

Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
His truth is marching on

African American spiritual
public domain

Message: “Human desires and Godly plans”

How easily do we, like Peter, in last week’s passage, get the feeling everything is now going my way? Especially when we get that glowing affirmation?

Peter had made that rock-solid confirmation that “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” With everything else being shaky, there was at least his one solid statement to make. It was upon this firm statement that Jesus said that the church would be built.

This is the church that has lasted 2000 years and counting. Not our church, the church that God established as the ones called out to be God’s, followers of Jesus Christ.

The grand plan of God is unfolding in a world with so many unjust things happening, back in the time of Jesus, and also in our day. People tend to be rooted in systemic human positions of comfort, often only thinking of their own desires.

Have you ever stood in the way of the ‘grander plan’ that God had through Jesus? How easily do I also stand in the way?

It’s so comfortable to know that our church is a solid sign of God’s presence. We can have the desire to sustain, maintain and perpetuate that which we might never examine more closely. The question that arises in my mind, is how much of it has been upset by Covid-19? When the pandemic upsets our lovely peace and tranquillity, one can’t but wonder whether something new and even better might be born out of the upheaval.

When the plan that God has in the gospel according to Matthew, remember that there were certain steps in God’s grander plan that hadn’t unfolded yet. When Peter had been admitting that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, Simon Peter wasn’t aware of the bigger things waiting around the corner.

How don’t you also look at the way things are or were until recently, thinking this is just fine. We get all impressed with our accomplishments and have a sense of arrival. Perhaps that was Peter’s problem. He might have felt that way. My goodness, I’ve done well. I’ve even heard from Jesus that this confession of mine is what is going to be the basis upon which things in the future will be built. I’ve got it right.

Then, there are events in our lives when we become self-conceited, just like Peter. It even feels like I want to build a monument, put up a plaque and shout hurray! I got my degree, I’ve become a Canadian citizen, people have affirmed me. I reached Canada Hall of Fame status. Our city has its own Light Rail Transit (LRT). Canada is rated as one of the best countries in the world. And then, when life takes a turn, and our desires aren’t met, then we want to put up a roadblock. Our human desires become more important. Our systemic ways of being, of having become comfortable, could become the exact parts of our lives that need to be dismantled.

When Jesus “began to show his disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Matthew 16:21), it was Peter, the maker of solid confessions, that turned around and said to Jesus “Stop! This ain’t gonna happen, not under my watch!”

How easily don’t we too want to maintain the status quo, have things going my way, nothing turned over in favour of the disenfranchised? Peter had it right and then it all went horribly wrong in a short few sentences (narratively speaking).

It is when justice comes to its fuller purpose on earth, that one sees the “Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” It is for this reason that Jesus would undergo great suffering, be killed and be raised on the third day.

Isn’t it eventually when we are prepared to give in and not have our way under all circumstances that systemic injustices can be put right? We can’t always have it our way. Just as Simon Peter couldn’t have it his way.

In the end, God’s project of love is allowed to flourish. New ways are opened up. The vista upwards towards God gets clearer and more visible. We are often very familiar with God’s project of love. Here it is, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Isn’t this the reason why Jesus must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering? God wanted to give his only Son so that we could live eternally.

Eugene Peterson wrote: “Hoping that God’s love would bring eternal life, does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with a bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying.

Hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion or fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what God said He will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it. That is not hoping in God but bullying God. ‘I pray to God — my life a prayer — and wait for what God will say and do. My life is on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.’” [i]

It isn’t about my human desires, but much rather about the Godly plans that are unfolding in this life.

Amen

Music:  Take up your cross

Take up your cross, the Saviour said,
if my disciple you would be;
deny yourself, the world forsake,
and humbly follow after me.

Take up your cross; let not its weight
fill frightened spirit with alarm;
his strength shall bear your spirit up,
and brace your heart, and nerve your arm.

Take up your cross, nor heed the shame,
nor let your foolish pride rebel:
for you the Saviour bore the cross,
to save your soul from death and hell.
Take up your cross, then, in Christ’s strength,
and every danger calmly brave;
’twill guide you to a heavenly home,
and lead to victory o’er the grave.

Take up your cross and follow Christ,
nor think till death to lay it down,
for only those who bear the cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown.

songwriters: C.W. Everest, H. Baker; public domain

Prayer of gratitude:

Dear Lord in whom we live and move and have our being. We come to You in prayer as the summer season draws nearer to its close. And we prepare for an autumn filled with many changes: We give You thanks for the occasions we have enjoyed this summer, savouring the beauty of your creation right outside our doors. Thank You for the chances we’ve had to catch up with family and friends, and whatever opportunities for travel, recreation and restoration have been possible. We recognize how blessed we are to live in Canada and so we are grateful for each moment in which we found rest and relaxation in the summer season. Amen

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.

Music:  Forever

Give thanks to the Lord
our God and King
His love endures forever

Songwriter: Chris Tomlin © 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

PrayerDear Lord, we offer these gifts to you in hope and thanksgiving. Use them to transform the world you love with the good news we celebrate in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Blessing:

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

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] Taken from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson Copyright (c) 1980, 2000 by Eugene Peterson. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com (https://thepastorsworkshop.com/sermon-illustrations-2/sermon-illustrations-hope/)


Minister: The Rev. Dr. Heinrich Grosskopf                                             
Welcoming Elder: Jim Jeatt

Worship Arts Coordinator (Guitarist): Gord McCrostie
Pianist: Binu Kapadia

Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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