October 24, 2021 – Twenty-second 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, portions of the scripture passage and his sermon which you will find linked below.
– Your webmaster
Call to Worship
(taken from Psalm 34: 1–4)
One: I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Many: My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
One: O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
All: I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Lighting of the Christ Candle
Hymn (Book of Praise) 568 – “I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew”
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
Loving Jesus, come to our life and find us now. Look into our souls and ask us what it is we need from you, heal us that we may see, hear, and live fully as your people.
O God, forgive us if we do not trust you enough to honestly tell you what it is we want of you. Forgive us if we believe that it may be too much or not enough to meet your wishes for us. Forgive us if we cannot believe that you would want good for us, or that you would blame us for our need of healing.
Jesus Christ, Look upon us with your healing grace. Stay with us in kindness, Holy Spirit.
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.
Declaration of Pardon
There is no one who is separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus. There is no place that cannot be reached by grace. We are forgiven by the divine love of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
And also with you!
Fun with the young at heart (children’s story)
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
Message, portions of the scripture reading and sermon video
The video will become available on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 12:15 AM.
Sermon text – “Bartimaeus within us”
Today the gospel of Mark invites us to meet Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, son of Timaeus, who was sitting by the roadside, crying out for help. We don’t know what kind of blindness he was struggling with, whether he could not see physically or spiritually, we don’t know for sure, but we see what this blind beggar, Bartimaeus represents in our society, marginalized people and people who have no voice in the community …. People who are considered to be unholy, unclean and sinful …. People who are in desperate need…. People that we don’t want to associate with …. People who scare us…. People we are accustomed to ignore…. Or perhaps Bartimaeus represents our soul that we have learned to ignore again and again…. Perhaps Bartimaeus represents our desire to forgive others. Or perhaps he is our hunger to be forgiven…. Perhaps he is our true hunger for prayer and inner peace…. Or perhaps he is our desire to encounter God eternal…. We try so hard to ignore the cries of our soul by saying, “I will do it tomorrow. I will do it next week.” “Not right now, but later.”
I would like to highlight the verse 48,
“Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly.”
I would like to highlight the word, “Many”. Not surprisingly, there were many who challenged Bartimaeus to stay quiet, expected him to remain helpless and do nothing about his pain and situation…. We know who these many are … where we can meet them. We know the sound of many…. Many expect us to stop asking: Why so many people are sleeping on the streets in one of the wealthiest countries? Why can so many people not work hours and hours yet become poorer?
“Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’”
Jesus heard Bartimaeus’ plea, yet instead of going to Bartimaeus directly and say “I am here. What do you want me to do?”, Jesus asked the many to extend his invitation to Bartimaeus, “Call him here.” I believe that is the command of our divine God, that we need to listen carefully. That is our homework. It is the homework of our faith to extend the invitation of Jesus Christ to those who are crying out for Christ. Christ is not asking us to heal Bartimaeus’ blindness, nor asking us to replace Christ, but Christ is inviting us to extend his invitation to Bartimaeus instead of ignoring him and pushing him away from Christ. Jesus is asking us to listen when someone is crying out for help. No, we don’t have all the answers the other is seeking, but we can offer the presence of Jesus Christ. We might not have the answers they are seeking, but we can listen to their cries and cry with them.
Christ is not asking us to become Bartimaeus’ savior but to offer the presence of Christ. That is the command of Jesus Christ for all of us to listen to Bartimaeus, welcome, and accept Bartimaeus in the name of Jesus Christ. You never know what God can do through our small listening, welcoming, and accepting. And this is how the many responded to Christ’s command:
“Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”
May this be our response when Christ commands us by saying, “Call him here.”
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
O God, we bring our gifts in humble faith and hope. Take them into your loving hands and bless them that we may be those who add to the life of the world. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope
We give thanks to you, O God, for love that breaks through barriers of propriety and boundaries that we often set for ourselves and others. We thank you that the life of Jesus Christ shows us the heights and depths of your healing power and that you are not defeated by those who would push people to the edges.
Hold our lives in stillness, O God, that we may listen and hear new voices around us. Give us pause that we may see what we have not seen in the needs and sufferings of others, especially in the lives of those who may be outside our usual places of looking.
Gather the pain of the people into our life here, Jesus Christ, whether they are like us or not. Translate their shouting for you into words that we can recognize.
Part the walls of our defence, O God, so that the unexpected ones may enter. Open our hearts to receive them when they come, Holy Spirit.
Make us more aware of the needs in each other, O God, creating pathways for people to share their truths without fear, and spreading carpets of care and acceptance before them so that they do not fear judgments or simplistic solutions to complex problems.
Fill our lives with the openness of grace and lift up gifts of healing among us, O God, that we may be those who transform the future of others with love.
Hymn (Book of Praise) 371 – “Love divine, all loves excelling”
Changing the Light
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you always. 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 2021-10-23 11:30– First version