Home / Recent Sermons / Sunday (Zoom) message: Walking alongside us

Sunday (Zoom) message: Walking alongside us

Posted on

Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 17, 2020

Scripture:
John 14:15-21

Dayspring zoom worship, May 17, 2020

Gathering

Music prelude:   How deep the Father’s love

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

Welcome and announcements

Call to worship 

L: Let us see you this day, O God,
P: Come to us as light.
L: Let us hear you this day, O God,
P: Come to us as truth.
L: Let us sense your presence, O God,
P: Come to us as love.
L: Come and let us worship, God.
P: We will rejoice in God, our Saviour.                               

Opening praise song: Great are you Lord               

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

Great are You, Lord

Written and performed by Chris Tomlin

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

Creator, Christ and Spirit; how awesome is your love, O God, One in Three and Three in One! In You, we live and move and have our being. In You, we find our beginning and our end. In You, we find a judge who is kind and gracious. We know You as Saviour, keeping watch over all your people, calling us to walk in paths of justice and peace, leading us away from trouble, toward the hope You promise. Here we offer You our praise and worship, seeking to serve You in gratitude each and every day.

Lord, today, once again we admit and acknowledge that we can’t get by without your loving care and protection every day. We ask You how we can know You more and more. While we go through these trying times, we realize just how much your faithfulness means in our lives. Would You continue to accompany all of those who are currently going through shattered heartache and loss, through illness and separation?

Lord, we will soon be listening to your scriptures being read. Therefore, Spirit of Truth and Love, move in us and among us as we listen to the Scriptures read and proclaimed. Open our minds and hearts to God’s Living Word so that we may know it more fully and follow it more faithfully day by day.

Creator, Christ and Spirit, before we listen for your Word… We also offer You our confession so that we might renew our faithfulness to You. We have claimed to be wise when we were ignorant. We have sought truth in untrustworthy voices, and trusted lies without questioning. We have sought after things of little value, and valued little the things of great worth. Forgive us our foolishness. Renew us by your mercy. Restore within us a right spirit and guide us in your ways of wisdom.                                             

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

Hear the good news! Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ – And Christ died for us; Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Friends, believe the good news of the gospel. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and set free by God’s generous grace.

Children’s time     Saul Carvajal

Music meditation: How deep the Father’s love                 

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Songwriter: Stuart Townend

Performed by: Taryn Harbridge

Scripture reading:  John 14:15-21 (From The Message version of the Bible, as translated by Eugene Peterson)   read by: Iris Routledge

The Spirit of Truth

15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

18-20 “I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.

21 “The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”

Message: “Walking alongside us”                Rev. Heinrich Grosskopf

To be in solitude, going solo, without anybody to be with you, can at first be fun. Finally, all the buzz stops and it feels like my wish, “Help, stop the world from spinning, so that I can get off” is finally fulfilled. It can be liberating. It can afford me some time to reflect on the meaning of life. It can allow me to get back to doing the many, many chores that might have been left undone. Simple things like deep-cleaning the main floor of one’s home. Getting to that yard project that you’ve always wanted to complete.

And then I have a hunch this has been happening to more people than we would imagine. You do have to do it all alone. Being alone again is different from being lonely.

Being lonely in a world crowded with people and activities can be described as utterly scary. It can be heartbreaking. It can cause depression and a general feeling of illness.

We just aren’t created to be alone. We are creatures that need company. God knew that from the very start of things and therefore created Eve to be beside Adam.

How often have you experienced loneliness to almost feel like being without oxygen?

This might indeed be why Jesus said these words just before departing from his group of friends, his disciples: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.” Or, as The Message puts it even more understandably: “I will talk to the Father, and He’ll provide you with another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.”

God wants a relationship with us, but never are we forced into this relationship. In fact, there is the freedom in this world to actually “go it alone” and many do.

However, when God sent Jesus to be with this world, it was an act of love. When Jesus was about to depart from the world, this was exactly what He was promising to his friends or his disciples. The Holy Spirit would be this Friend, an advocate, the helper, the comforter and counsellor to accompany us along our way.

All along through John’s gospel, we are told about Jesus who is God who became flesh among us. He became Emmanuel, God-with-us.

There tends to be lots of preaching about Jesus’ resurrection being a culmination instead of an inauguration. If getting to Easter and the celebration of the resurrection is perceived as having run the race to its full, our perception takes us to a finishing line that is a disillusion. The journey of life has actually only started. We have only just begun our spiritual journey.

There is indeed more to being a child of God than being raised from the dead and having eternal life. John’s gospel is very clear on that, and today’s reading is a precise statement about this. As children of God, we have not only been raised from the dead, we are assured of every single bit of abundant life.

In a distinct way, John’s gospel prepares us wholeheartedly for our life as Christians that goes well beyond an empty tomb. It prepares us for Pentecost, which is two weeks away. On May 31 we celebrate Pentecost Sunday.

In our reading from John 14, we are invited into Jesus’ last night with his disciples. It is Jesus’ Farewell Discourse. By the time Jesus gives his farewell discourse, his public ministry has ended. He “gathers his intimate disciples around a symbolic meal and instructs them for the last time concerning his person and work and their corporate identity and work as his disciples.” 1) It has become time for Jesus’ foot-washing, for learning about a new commandment, that we love one another. Just as Jesus has loved us, we also should love one another.

The depth of Jesus’ incarnation reaches even deeper levels. God is deeply present with us through Jesus. This is why, when Jesus knows He will be leaving, He is able to assure the disciples of a continued accompaniment.

This happens through the part of the Trinity, the three-in-one, that has often been called the “shy member” of the Trinity.

The “shy member”, the Spirit, does indeed walk alongside us. 

“Not a sage on a stage, but a guide that’s alongside.”

Not only does the Holy Spirit accompany us.

We too, as believers, get to accompany. It is not simply something that we do. It embodies who Jesus was for his disciples. It also shows who the Holy Spirit was, and is, for believers, both then and now. We embody that same accompaniment, by being quietly present with those whom we are in touch with. It could be our children, our peers, our parents who experience the Spirit’s presence through us. There is no truer friendship present when a friend is non-judgmentally present through life’s extreme challenges. We might think we are dispensable, that anyone can step in when we don’t feel like it, and then forget that accompaniment was what Jesus was. He was accompaniment as a leader. He still does it through his Spirit. That is why we aren’t being left orphan. God goes with us.

I was chatting with friends recently. One of the seven friends was visiting her 99-year-old father. Another has parents in their early 80s. “I’m an orphan,” another person said, “Who else is an orphan?” he asked, and five of us raised our hands. It speaks to the significance of having no living parents. People who are self-sufficient upper-middle-aged adults will use that word about themselves. We are orphans. That our parents are dead is significant, it matters, it affects how we see ourselves in the world.

When Jesus was speaking to his disciples, they were (I assume) all adults. So when He used the words “I will not leave you orphaned” it was closer to the word “bereaved”, or as the King James Version puts it, “comfortless.”

Our definite feelings of loneliness in this world, should therefore not overwhelm us. The Spirit has the specific function. The difficulties of CV19, the fear of being infected with coronavirus, do not need to overwhelm us.

We may allow the Spirit to accompany us through people’s presence, through the Spirit’s own presence and the assurance that we are not left comfortless or bereaved of the presence of God-with-us, Emmanuel.

We are invited at this point in time to focus increasingly on the One God, Father, Son, and often soft, shyer Holy Spirit who constantly walks alongside us. Amen

Song:   Holy spirit breath of God

Holy Spirit living breath of God
Holy Spirit living breath of God
Breathe new life into my willing soul
Let the presence of the risen Lord
Come renew my heart and make me whole
Cause Your Word to come alive in me
Give me faith for what I cannot see
Give me passion for Your purity
Holy Spirit breathe new life in me

Holy Spirit come abide within
May Your joy be seen in all I do
Love enough to cover every sin
In each thought and deed and attitude
Kindness to the greatest and the least
Gentleness that sows the path of peace
Turn my strivings into works of grace
Breath of God show Christ in all I do

Holy Spirit from creation’s birth
Giving life to all that God has made
Show Your power once again on earth
Cause Your church to hunger for your ways
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
May be clear for all the world to see

Written and performed by Keith and Kristen Getty

Prayer of gratitude

Reflection on giving   John Carr

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 – and the means by 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 in the Dayspring Weekly News.

Closing prayer

Blessing

“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)


1) The Farewell Discourse (John 13-17) at https://spoiledmilks.com/2017/12/04/the-farewell-discourse-john-13-17/#_ftn10 


Copyright 2020 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church

Use back button to return to main page.

Top