October 10, 2021 – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
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Message from the Webmaster
We welcome the Rev. Chuck Moon to his third virtual worship service at Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church. With a new minister comes a new approach: Rev. Moon has recorded a video of a message, the scripture passage and his sermon which you will find linked below.
– Your webmaster
Call to Worship
One: God blesses us with gifts of love,
All: with relationships that bring joy and gratitude.
One: God blesses us with talents and opportunities to serve,
All: all we need for faithful living.
One: God protects us in times of danger:
All: and guards us from the time of trial.
One: So, we gather to offer thanksgiving to the Lord our God.
All: Praise be to God for all good things, now and always!
Lighting of the Christ Candle
Hymn (Book of Praise) 802 – “For the fruits of all creation”
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
Loving God, We give you thanks for creating us, nurturing us and loving us. In this hour of worship, renew our sense of thanksgiving for what you give to us through your creation, and in Christ Jesus who teaches us how to walk wisely on the earth you made. For all your good gifts we honour you with thanks and praise, now and always.
God of our lives, when we give thanks for your good gifts around us,
we know that we enjoy an abundance many cannot even imagine.
Yet we confess we do not always see the blessings in which we share.
Forgive our failure to be grateful for how much goodness is already ours.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen
Declaration of Pardon
Be at peace. Jesus knows the weaknesses of the human heart. Jesus understands our daily struggles. Jesus offers the forgiveness of the divine love.
We are forgiven: Thanks be to God!
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.4
Fun with the young at heart (children’s story)
A special moment of THANKS
Message, scripture reading and sermon video
The video will become available on Sunday, October 10, 2021, at 12:15 AM.
Sermon text – “Don’t worry?”
I was listening to a radio program that interviewed some of the survivors from the small town, Lytton, who lost everything by the wildfire. I remember one particular question the survivors were asked. “What do you miss?” One person said, “I miss rivers, mountains, and landscapes…”. The other said, “I don’t miss things. Material things can be replaced, but my dogs, cats, goats, animals. I miss them.” She began to cry out of the sadness of losing them and out of guilt not being able to save them.
I could hear a similar message from Jesus in the gospel of Matthew 6 who said,
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Jesus reminds us in the gospel of Matthew chapter 6 that we are not to worry about our life, what to eat, what to drink, or what to wear. It is not that they are not important to us, but because there are more important things in our life than what we eat and what we own.
We need to remember that Jesus lived a society where the shortage of food was much more common than where we are today. Jesus was not speaking to a group of North Americans where there is a culture of abundance. Jesus was speaking to the group of people who were struggling daily to meet their basic needs. He was talking to a group who tried everything yet did not have enough to eat. Jesus was not condemning people who were trying so hard to make their living, instead he was teaching them how to go on with their poverty, how to find peace and purpose even when they don’t have everything they need.
I believe Jesus is teaching us how to go on when we don’t have enough. How to go on, when we don’t have everything others have. When we feel like we have failed our life…. When we are disappointed with our situation….
What can we do? What can we do when our life isn’t going the way we wanted?
Jesus teaches us: First, Jesus wants us to ask a different question.
Verse 25 to 27,
“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”
Jesus encourages us to ask a different question.
When things go wrong, so easy for us to ask, “Why is this happening? Why is he doing that? Why is she not doing that? What did I do wrong? Am I being punished?”
That is when Jesus invites us to raise a different question, “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing.” When we are busy looking for a reason to blame, Jesus asks us to ask questions of our values. When we are busy looking for ways to deny our reality, Jesus invites us to think about our values and priorities. Whatever challenges we face: whether it is our family, finance, career, or health, Jesus invites us to ask ourselves the question of our values and priorities.
We are to ask, “What is more important to us? Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? (verse 25)” Do we worry about our children not doing well or do we worry about how others look at us as parents? Do we think about loving God or do we think about loving what God can offer to us? When Jesus tells us, “Do not worry about what you eat or what you will wear…”, Jesus is not asking us to deny our reality by saying, “Everything is okay,” when everything isn’t. Rather, when we face a challenge, Jesus is inviting us to pause and ask questions of our values and our priorities. What matters to you? You see, there is no easy choice we can make when we face a challenge, but there is always a choice we can make in every situation.
Second, Jesus invites us to look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
Verse 26 to 27,
“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
Verse 28 to 30,
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith.”
When we face a complex reality, Jesus invites us to look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. More precisely, Jesus invites us to look at how God works with the birds of the air and the lilies of the area. Jesus wants us to pay less attention to what God is not doing or what we think God is not doing and start paying more attention to what God is doing. Jesus does not wish us to spend our entire life asking, “How come I don’t have what he has or what she has?” but asking what is that I need to see and experience today? Our life offers far more than what we want. Our life is an opportunity for us to learn who we are and to meet people we care about and people who care about us deeply.
If we don’t feel God isn’t doing much for us, we need to ask others around us. I know when we face our challenges, it is relatively easy to think we are the only ones struggling, but if we dare to look around us, they are others; some are going through the same challenge, and others who went through them already. We need to listen and hear how God helped them to come out of their challenges.
We remind everyone that we must continue to pay our bills; in the absence of being present at Sunday worship, you may sign up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR), donate online, or drop off your offering envelope in the mailbox at the church. Do not leave a cash donation unattended in the mailbox; instead, please call the office (416.261.4037) to ensure someone will be there to receive it. The building will be checked daily for mail and phone messages. If you are not comfortable leaving an envelope, you are welcome to contact the office (once again, 416.261.4037) and someone will pick up your offering.
Prayer of dedication
Generous God, we bring our offering with thanksgiving for all the goodness we enjoy in Christ and in creation. Bless these gifts and use them to relieve the need and anxiety many feel these days. Use us, too, so that lives filled with tears may see signs of your love and joy in what we can offer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our friend. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope
Kind and Generous God, on this Thanksgiving weekend,
we pause to give you thanks for all those things, both great and small,
those moments of wonder and those ordinary exchanges
which fill our lives with meaning and offer us a sense of well-being.
Merciful and Generous God,
as we give thanks for the harvests of the earth and its goodness,
show us how to live respectfully in creation
and protect all that is precious to you.
In a year when harvesting has been disappointing in many places,
show us how to share what has been produced so that no one goes hungry.
Just and Generous God,
we pray for the good of your world and the common good in our community.
Where there is hostility between peoples or nations,
inspire leaders to show wisdom and courage in decision making.
We pray for areas hard hit by flood, storm, fire or earthquake,
and for all those struggling with the impact of the pandemic.
May neighbours with resources maintain generosity and compassion
for the long work of reconstructing lives and livelihoods.
Healing and Generous God,
we pray for all those facing health challenges or difficult times for any reason,
and we pray for family and friends under stress or in sorrow
whom we name in silence before you
Give us patience and understanding as we draw near to them
and help us reach out with compassion.
O God, in Jesus Christ we have met your generous love and mercy.
Through our lives and by our prayers,
reveal his love and mercy in this generation.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.
Hymn (Book of Praise): 457 “Now thank we all our God”
The blessing of God all-loving, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you today and evermore. Amen!
- “Go Now in Peace”. Words by American educator, lyricist and composer Don Besig (1936–) and American lyricist Nancy Price (1958–). Music by Don Besig. Words and music copyright © 1988 Harold Flammer Music, a division of Shawnee Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
- Performed by Rachelle Risling (keyboard) and the GCPC Senior Choir. Audio and video production by Rachelle Risling.
- Audio and video recording copyright © 2021 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church.
Copyright © 2021 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church
Last updated on 2021-10-9 15:00 – Added embedded audio of scripture reading.