Sunday Worship from the Sanctuary on ZOOM: Where do you see the Kingdom of God?

Worship on the Lord’s Day
10:00 am June 13, 2021
led by Darlene Eerkes
Music director: Binu Kapadia
Elder: Iris Routledge
children’s time: Courtney Vaughan
vocalist: Lynn Vaughn

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

Greeting:

L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you

P: and also with you

Lighting of the Christ candle

Welcome and announcements

Silent preparation for worship

Opening words:

L: Our hope is in the name of the Jesus Christ, who establishes God’s Kingdom on Earth

P: God’s love endures forever

L: Lift up your hearts!

P: We lift them up to the Lord!

Opening praise: Great are you Lord: 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

Songwriters: Jason David Ingram, David Leonard,
Leslie Jordan. Great Are You Lord lyrics © Integrity’s Praise Music, Integrity S Alleluia Music. Reprinted with permission and permission to stream under CCLI, License #3095377. All rights reserved.

Call to worship:

L: Nurturing God, you have called us to participate with you

All: in building your Kingdom on Earth

L: Help us, through the power of your Holy Spirit,

All: in building your Kingdom of love

L: For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory

All: Forever and ever. Amen

 Prayers of approach and confession

Creator God, to you belong the mysteries of the universe.

You transform the smallest seeds into magnificent trees,  

And you shape hardened hearts into loving ones.

Transform our hearts and imaginations, so that we will love YOUR Way. 

 Forgive our neglect of your gifts to us, when we fail to nurture the fruits of your Spirit

Forgive us when we forget that this is your world and we do not adore you as we should!

Forgive us when we fail to love all your people, condemning some as unworthy of your love

and failing to cherish our brothers and sisters that are different than us.

Forgive us when we ignore injustice and fail to give mercy, as we have been granted immeasurable grace from You.

Forgive our rudeness, our inability or unwillingness to accept truth

and our failure to strive for reconciliation.

In this moment, hear our personal prayers of confession to you

Response: I waited, I waited on you Lord

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

Friends – We are forgiven and we are invited to participate with God in building God’s Kingdom on Earth,
We are blessed with God’s life-giving Spirit,
Through this Spirit we are re-created to reflect God to the world and we are shaped to fulfill God’s purposes for us on Earth, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Response: Be still and know

Prayers for God’s help and guidance

Holy God, we pray for your help and guidance as you have called us to bring your love to all people. Help us to plant seeds that nurture and grow your Kingdom on Earth, making all things new as you intended. 

 Prepare us and renew our commitment to trust in your Way

and to live in your Spirit, reflecting your love to others near and far. 

 We offer our prayers on behalf of those in our congregation named in the Prayer corner…

and those who are known privately to us…

Receive these prayers, O God, and transform us that we may have eyes to see

and hearts to understand not only what you do on our behalf,

but what you call us to do so that your Kingdom comes closer on earth

to be as it is in heaven.  AMEN.

We listen for the voice of God

Children’s time   (Open our eyes Lord 445; Lord’s Prayer 535)

Song: In the bulb there is a flower         674       

In the bulb there is a flower;

In the seed, an apple tree;

In cocoons, a hidden promise:

Butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter

There’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until its season,

Something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence,

Seeking word and melody;

There’s a dawn in every darkness

Bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future;

What it holds, a mystery,

Unrevealed until its season,

Something God alone can see.

 In our end is our beginning;

In our time, infinity;

In our doubt there is believing;

In our life, eternity.

 In our death, a resurrection;

At the last, a victory,

Unrevealed until its season,

Something God alone can see.

Words and music: Natalie Sleeth; © 1986, 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

Scripture reading:  Mark 4:26-29                            NT(NRSV)

Response: His truth is marching on            

Message: “Where do you see the kingdom of God?”

 Friends – Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, to call into existence a new way of living. It is the way of fullness… the way of abundance…the way of blessing.

But, What should life in this kingdom be like? 

How might we behave in ways that reflect the KOG? 

Being God’s faithful people, being God’s beloved community leads us to work towards the fullness of this Kingdom.  God’s community will live in love and will reflect God’s love for the world. Jesus often used parables (stories) to help us understand more about God and our place in God’s world.

Gardening is a wonderful analogy to so much of what happens in life.  For those of you who have ever planted a seed or grown a flower, you will identify with this story read by Iris in the scriptures this morning. Jesus gives us a picture of what God’s Kingdom is like – a seed is planted and as the days pass the seed grows in the soil and matures to produce a harvest. The viewer watches with amazement the growth of the seed… to become a full plant.

Have you ever walked in a large forest and been awed by the incredible trees and plants stretching into the sky?  They can be massive, diverse in kind and each one showing the wondrous design of a Creator. If you look closely, you will see new tiny growth, and sometimes growth in the most unusual places.

I am most fascinated by plants and trees that grow out of cracks in rocks where the ground is barren and there appears to be no soil. I love to plant seeds and see the growth. And yet, it still amazes me that a tiny seed (seemingly nothing of significance), with time, becomes a plant that produces beauty and has purpose. I feel a lot like the observer in our story today – this person does not know how the growth took place, but growth happens!

I think in this story the seed refers to God’s Kingdom on Earth.  Growth is certain, whether we see it or not. Jesus established this community and this Kingdom IS right now – rooted and growing on Earth through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

We were reminded on Pentecost Sunday a few weeks ago that we can’t SEE God’s Holy Spirit but we sometimes see and hear the results of this power amongst us. Someday God’s Kingdom will be fully established on Earth as it is in heaven.

Did you hear what I said? 

That God’s kingdom will be fully established on Earth as it is in heaven! I can only imagine what that might look like – but we are assured throughout scripture that it WILL happen.

But let’s take a few moments today to consider “Where do we see the Kingdom of God around us?

The teacher in me is giving you a challenge this morning –

I want you to take 15 seconds and think about this questions: Where do you see the KOG?

You might consider where you see growth in God’s Kingdom?

Where do you see the actions of people reflecting God’s love?

Take 15 seconds and think about this. ….

People of God – We are part of this story, privileged participants and partners with our God in growing this heavenly place on Earth. This means we plant seeds and work to develop creations’ potential while also working to heal the dysfunction or brokenness around us.

We are called to engage in acts of restoration where we show hope, love, joy, peace, forgiveness – don’t these sound like the fruit of the Holy Spirit?  Let me name some of these fruits of the spirit again  – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness….

As people of God, we pray and work to bring change, improve situations for people, and build healthy communities.

Followers of Christ, we are to BE like God in our world. We are gifted with individual and collective abilities.  We are given the responsibility to develop an awareness of problems and find ways to respond to solve issues in our lives and the world around us.  We are provided with skills and resources to improve life.

This is true for scientists, doctors, construction workers, teachers, farmers, parents… all people in God’s world.  We are to plant seeds – acting as God’s salt and light in the world.  Our faith and service should be expressed in our relationships and in our work.

Let me give some examples of where I see God in the work that we do at DPC.

  • Sometimes we respond to an injustice – where we volunteer our time and assist people who do not have the income or expertise to complete their required income tax forms.
  • Or, giving of our time and skills to manage a Food Bank Depot so that needed food is distributed to families in need.
  • Serving in the kingdom of God might mean giving of our financial resources to sustain the church obligations to staff and buildings to continue our congregational ministries…
  • or giving of time and resources to ensure children receive food in schools… or neighbours receive what they need through support from the neighbourhood care network.
  • We might be involved in organizing and actively working to support the struggle of refugees for survival and a better life…
  • Or working as a Stephen Minister to walk alongside another person experiencing a very difficult challenge at this time in their life’s journey.
  • Serving in God’s Kingdom means using our gifts of hospitality – providing acts of encouragement (our Easter baskets, baked goods, treats).
  • As a congregation we pray faithfully, serve on ministry teams, and give of our time, talents and resources to bring shalom to our world.

These are some examples of the Kingdom of God in our midst. I could go on and say many more… I hope you filled in examples in your thinking about Where you see the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes things are easy for us to do and sometimes we are really pushed out of our comfort zone.  Both are great experiences that help us grow – to become more Christ-like, through the power of God’s holy spirit.

Dear Friends listening today – The kingdom of God is being established on Earth.

We continue to experience change in our workplaces and in our families.

We are experiencing change in our Church community as we connect with each other and worship in online forums.

We are discovering new ways to share musical talents.

Our youth and children are challenged to engage in online Bible Studies and bedtime stories.

The search for a new minister is an indication of more changes still to come.

But, friends, all of this is part of our growth as people and as a community (seeds in the KOG).

I suggest that we CAN move forward with confidence in Jesus who has established God’s Kingdom on Earth.  God is with us in these changes.  God’s creative, sustaining power of the Holy Spirit is growing God’s Kingdom.

With confidence we can say the words in the Lord’s prayer that we pray each week when we ask for God’s kingdom to come on Earth as it is in Heaven.

This speaks of our hope in God’s power to grow the seeds to their full purpose.

This requires our actions and participation in building this Kingdom.

We end the Lord’s prayer with a declaration that all of life belongs to God – For yours (God) is the Kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

Song: Spirit of the living God                 400      

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. 

 Spirit of the living God, move among us all; make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love: humble, caring, selfless, sharing, Spirit of the living God, fill our lives with love

Words: v.1, Daniel Iverson; v.2, Michael Baughen © Birdwing Music 1935, 1963; 1982 Hope Publishing Co. Music: Daniel Iverson © Birdwing Music, 1935, 1963. Reprinted with permission under CCLI, License #3095377​. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI

 We respond to serve God

Prayer of gratitude

God of all Creation

Thank you for establishing your Kingdom on Earth

Thank you for inviting us into your Way, to see your Truth and to enjoy this Life in you. 

 We are amazed at the mysteries of change and growth

that can come from tiny seeds and actions. 

 We recognize the power of your Holy Spirit among us, acting in your world. 

Help us to participate in the healing of the world by living lives of compassion

and grace so that your Kingdom is established on Earth. Amen.

Response: Now thank we all our God

Reflection on giving

We have been giving faithfully even though there is no offering plate being passed in the sanctuary. It may be a while before we return to the sanctuary, but we are still able to continue the ministry and mission that define Dayspring using the various ways described on the screen and in Dayspring Weekly News. Thank you all for your contribution, which comes freely from hearts full of gratitude.

Song: With the Lord as my guide           574        

With the Lord as my guide, I will walk through the desert, rest by the water, run in the wind.

With the Lord by my side, I will stand on the mountain, drink from the fountain of love deep within.

 With the Lord as my guide, I will see all the talents, accept the balance of who I am.

With the Lord by my side, say yes to the calling,

fear not the falling, trust in God’s plan.

With the Lord as my guide, I will work with my sister, care for my brother, bend with their pain.

 With the Lord by my side, we will rise up together, strengthen each other, courage regain.

 With the Lord as my guide, I will rise in the morning, praise for the dawning beauty of day.

 With the Lord by my side, I will sing, sing forever, always a lover, seeking God’s way.

Words and Music: Jim Strathdee© Desert Flower Music, 1977
Reprinted with permission under ONE LICENSE, License #A735555. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

Sending out with God’s blessing

And now – as we close… receive God’s blessing –
Live fully in the Kingdom of God.
Be changed and grow.
Be shaped by God’s Spirit and reflect God’s love to the world. 
For the kingdom – the power and the glory belongs to God.  Amen

Response: Amen, we praise your name, O God

(Zoom breakout rooms)

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.Jesus

Copyright 2021 Darlene Eerkes

Posted in Recent Sermons.