Sunday (Zoom) message: Thanking is easy

Dayspring ZOOM Connect Worship, Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost,

October 11, 2020, 10 am MDT


Music:  For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies

Lord of all to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

For the beauty of the hour
Of the day and of the night
Hill and vale and tree and flower
Sun and moon and stars of light

For the joy of human love
Brother, sister, parent, child
Friends on earth and friends above
For a gentle thoughts and mild

For each perfect gift of thine
To our race so freely given
Graces human and divine
Flow’rs of earth and buds of heav’n

words: F.S. Pierpoint; Music: C. Kocher
public domain

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

Welcome and announcements

Call to Worship

L: Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good;
P: God’s steadfast love endures for ever.
L: God crowns the year with bounty;
P: Pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy.
L: Valleys deck themselves with grain;
P: they shout and sing together for joy.
L: Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord or declare all God’s praise?
P: Let us praise God together for all God’s goodness to us.

Music:  Be still and know

Be still and know
that I am God

words and music: anonymous
public domain

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

Generous and forgiving God,
You are the first and the last, the giver of all good things.
Your glory is endless; your power, incomparable.
Your love stretches wider than the universe,
your mercy reaches beyond the heights of heaven.
We gather with hearts thankful for the abundance of your creation
to worship and adore You.
Inspired by this time of worship,
may our hearts overflow with praise each and every day,
and may our lives reflect our gratitude to You
in the ways we share your abundant love
in Jesus’ name.

Lord, we bring our needs before You.
You know our situation here in Edmonton, would you guide us in being careful regarding health practices, so as to prevent spread rather than contributing towards any spread.
You are our light and our wisdom, we trust You.

God of prophets and parables, as we gather to listen to the scriptures read and proclaimed, may we hear your voice, and in hearing, may our lives be transformed by your grace.

God of prophets and parables, as we gather to listen to the scriptures read and proclaimed, may we hear your voice, and in hearing, may our lives be transformed by your grace.

Let us confess our sins before God and one another:

Generous and loving God, we confess that in a world where many do not have enough, we enjoy more than we need. In a world where many live in fear, we take peace for granted. In a world where many have lost hope, we become indifferent to despair and grumble about small things. Forgive us, merciful God, and transform our lives to shine with the generosity, peace and hope You offer us in Christ Jesus. Now we also bring our personal prayers of confession to you during these moments of silence…

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

Friends, while it is true we have all sinned, it is a greater truth that we are forgiven through God’s love in Jesus Christ. To all who humbly seek the mercy of God I say, in Jesus Christ our sin is forgiven. Be at peace with God, with yourself and with one another.

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

Children’s time: Peter Eerkes

Music offering:  Forever – Glynnis McCrostie

Give thanks to the Lord our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that’s been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise; sing praise, sing praise
Forever God is faithful, forever God is strong
Forever God is with us, forever and ever; 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

Scripture reading: Luke 17:11-19 (NRSV) Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13 they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

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: “Thanking is easy”

Honestly, it is very easy to say thank you. These are two mere words, “thank you.” It’s one of the most natural things to do, and the lightest gesture to make.

I know that as human beings we are way more complex than that. We tend to be more like the nine other lepers than like the one.

Why would it be? Why would a thank you be so difficult? Especially when it evokes a smile in the other person’s inner being to receive the thank you.

“Thanks” is what this weekend is all about. And yes, there are many reasons to have a shroud of gloom hanging over us that take away the Thanksgiving spirit. For one, the pandemic has taken away so much of the lightness that allows thanks to live in us.

Eventually, the chances may well be nine out of ten that thanks is being obstructed by something within our inner being.

You may suffer from depression, or depression may even not be part of your experience. Your life might have turned out much harder than expected.

There can be so many corks in our lives that prevent us from saying thanks. Instead of a cork in the tenth leper’s life, there was a channel that opened him up to say thank you.

Billy Strayhorn on wrote the following in one of his messages by the title “A gratitude adjustment”, and I quote some of his lines freely [i]: “One of the key differences between the nine and the one is, the nine were made well, they were healed. But the tenth leper was both healed and made whole. The other nine needed a definite gratitude adjustment.

Only one of the ten?

One can’t believe that only one of them came back to thank Jesus.

Only one. This is one of those passages where you actually see Jesus a little bedazzled by his bystanders. “Weren’t there ten of you? Where are the other nine?” All the poor Samaritan could do was shrug his shoulders and grin in embarrassment and gratitude.

It makes one wonder if acts like these aren’t what caused the spiritual struggle in the garden, the night Jesus also wrestled with his willingness to give his life on the cross for our sake. His encounters with the Sadduccees and Pharisees, the ungratefulness of these folks who used to have leprosy.

It all had to add up and weigh on Him that night. Only one. To quote Vizzini, the Sicilian in the Princess Bride: “Inconceivable.”

And yet, that’s exactly what happened. Ten were healed and only one returned to give thanks.

Maybe the other nine were like a poster I saw one time.

Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

Maybe that’s how we should look at the other nine, as a warning. Anyhow, out of the ten who were healed, only one gave thanks. The others needed what Billy calls a gratitude adjustment.

Billy continues then, that he read about a woman named Cheryl Stephens who definitely had this gratitude attitude. She didn’t need a gratitude adjustment. She could be the poster person for the concept of gratitude. She was a young mother struggling with cancer yet determined to continue ministering to others. Cheryl went home to the Lord on November 19, 2003 at the age of 44. Her friends say she lived out Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

The following is a poem Cheryl wrote in 1984, long before her bout with cancer.

“Remember me not for who I was
But for who Jesus was in me.

Remember me not for the things I’ve done
But for the things Jesus did through me.

Remember me not as one who loved
Without remembering that ‘He first loved me.’

Remember me not as one who gave
But one to whom much was given.

Remember me not as one who spoke of God
But as one who knew God through his Son, Jesus.

Remember me not as one who prayed
But remember the One to whom I prayed.

Remember me not as one who was strong
But as one who cried out to God to be my strength.

Remember me not as one who died
But as one who lives forever because I have believed.

Remember not my life and death
For they will profit you nothing.

But please — remember the life and death of Jesus.
For He gave His life that we might live.
He died that we might never have to and He rose again
That we might have eternal life.

Remember not me, but do remember Jesus.”

Cheryl Stephens knew, not only the presence of Christ in her life, she also had the attitude of gratitude which allowed her to burst into full bloom in the midst of an otherwise difficult life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to sit and do nothing and make the best of your situation by simply saying “Thank You.” Blooming where you’re planted is tough. You have to overcome all kinds of adversities.

All I am saying is that it might be good to make the best of our situation and to shine as much as we can for Christ. Through your life, through your thankfulness, others will be drawn to Christ. And isn’t that what it’s really all about, bringing others to Christ?

Ten lepers were healed. One came back and was healed and made whole. Ten miracles and only one word of thanks. But that word of thanks is what we remember the most.

You see, the greatest thing about this passage isn’t whether or not the lepers were healed. The greatest miracle in this passage is that one human heart was healed and received a gratitude adjustment. The tenth leper went from a life of misery and separation to a life of joy and thanksgiving. That would be a great novel wouldn’t it, how that moment changed his life and how it played out in the rest of his life?

Gratitude led to healing and wholeness for the tenth leper and it can do the same for us as well. And all we have to do is take time for a gratitude adjustment. Always bear in mind how easy thanking really is. Amen

Music:  For the fruits of all creation

For the fruits of all creation,
thanks be to God;
for the gifts of every nation,
thanks be to God;
for the ploughing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safe-keeping,
thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labour,
God’s will is done;
in the help we give our neighbour,
God’s will is done;
in our world-wide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God’s will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit,
thanks be to God;
for the good we all inherit,
thanks be to God;
for the wonders that astound us,
for the truths that still confound us,
most of all that love has found us,
thanks be to God.

Words: Fred Pratt; Music: traditional; 1970 © Hope Publishing Co.
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555​. All rights reserved.
Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Prayer of gratitude

We give you thanks, dear Lord, for all things that make life good, and pray that all people will share in the blessings we know.

For the world, for the wonders of earth, sea and sky;
for beauty in nature and wildlife;
for the rhythm of the days and seasons;

We give You thanks, Lord, for waters that refresh and sustain life;
for soil that is fertile and rich; for those who tend crops and care for harvests; for those who produce, deliver and market our food and especially for those working tirelessly during the pandemic;

We give You thanks, Lord, for days to work and strength to do it; for the many different gifts and talents you have given us; for challenges met, especially during months of pandemic relief; and for moments of leisure and rest when you restore us;

We give You thanks, Lord, for human life; for talking and thinking together, working on problems and plans; for burdens and joys shared; for relationships that give life meaning, whether enjoyed face to face or at a distance;

We give You thanks, Lord, for our circle of family and friends; for children and their curiosity and joy; for the insight that comes with patience and experience; and for events shared and memories cherished;

We give You thanks, Lord, for your care and grace in times of anxiety, doubt and grief; for healing in times of illness, confusion, and distress; for rejuvenating strength and vision in times of renewal; for scientific knowledge and discovery to confront disease and improve health;

We give You thanks, Lord, for the trust we have that you hear each prayer and know every need; that you love and care for each soul and body; and that you walk with us through all our days and seasons, 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

Thanksgiving Sunday … what a wonderful time to give thanks for God’s Abundance! In the past few years we have honoured the Cameroonian tradition, as well as many other countries’ heritage and made our Thanksgiving Sunday one of significant thanks and contribution.  We have asked our congregation to bring food items for the Food Bank initiative, donations for the Richard Secord breakfast program or a special donation to Presbyterian World Sharing and Development.  As well, we asked people to come forward during offering and offer themselves to God’s work—in time or talent. This year because we aren’t physically in our sanctuary, let us consider our Thanks-giving—and give to an initiative listed above or perhaps you may decide to give a little extra towards our budget deficit as Dayspring faces financial challenges through the pandemic. 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: Gracious God, we present our gifts to you as tokens of our thanksgiving for all we have received from your hand. Bless these gifts and multiply them, just as Jesus multiplied a few loaves and fishes to bless others. Use our gifts and our energy to share your love in our community and around your world, for the sake of Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

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] Strayhorn, Billy J. 2020. A gratitude adjustment. From, (subscribed version)

Minister: The Rev. Dr. Heinrich Grosskopf

Welcoming Elder: Nick Nation

Worship Arts Coordinator (Guitarist): Gord McCrostie

Pianist: Binu Kapadia

Vocal soloist: Glynnis McCrostie

Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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