November 14, 2021 – Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost and Remembrance Sunday
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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.
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Call to Worship
(based on Psalm 121: 1–2)
One: I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from?
All: My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
One: He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
All: The LORD watches over you — the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
One: the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life;
All: the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Lighting of the Christ Candle
Hymn (Book of Praise) 670 – “Amazing Grace”
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
Loving God, you offer us a life beyond all imagining, By your love all things are made possible; As we worship today, give us courage to embrace your vision and live its truth, through the grace of Jesus Christ and through the sanctifying work of your Holy Spirit.
Faithful God, you have called to us and offered us love, comfort and eternal hope. Yet, we have turned away. We focus on our own desires, willing to abandon your call at the slightest whim. Yet, you are ever faithful, always calling us back, offering us love and comfort again and again. And so we turn to back you, seeking your forgiveness and mercy. Help us to grasp the fullness of your faithfulness to us, the joy that comes with the assurance of salvation. and the hope that comes with the resurrected life you have promised us in Christ Jesus.
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
In Jesus Christ, we are all welcomed, forgiven and accepted.
Thanks be to God.
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
The Liturgy of Remembrance
One: On this Remembrance Sunday
All: we gather to pray for a world where no one will learn war anymore.
One: On this day when the guns once fell silent,
All: we gather to pray for peace to reign in every heart, home and nation.
One: On this day of hope, we come before you, God,
All: to remember all those who gave their lives so we could be free.
In Flanders fields
By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The Act of Remembrance
One: They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
All: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
One: At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
All: We will remember them.
A Minute of Silence
PRAYER OF PEACE and for others
Holy One, we come before you now with praise and thanksgiving, as well as sorrow and concern, in our hearts. With gratitude on this Remembrance Sunday, we call to mind the soldiers, sailors, air personnel, and RCMP who have paid the ultimate price that we might live in freedom. We remember those who died in distant wars and those more recent. By sacrificing their lives, they left us the responsibility and the duty to continue their work on the things that make for peace. From generation to generation, may their valour and selflessness never be forgotten.
We are especially mindful today of the effects of military life on the body, mind, and spirit. Give courage, comfort, and healing to all those who suffer wounds, both visible and invisible. Help us to remember that the effects of conflict reach far beyond the battlefield and can last a lifetime. Enable us to provide the support our service members need to live happy and healthy lives. May our commitment to them be as full and complete as their commitment to serve Canada before self.
Lest we forget, the families and friends of our service members share in the burdens of military life. Bring comfort and strength to the relatives and friends of those who serve. When they are grieving the loss of their loved ones, may they know your compassionate and comforting presence. When they are separated from one another due to deployments or other operational requirements, may their bonds be strengthened. When their lives are uprooted because they are posted to a new location and everything is new all over again, may they be upheld by the constancy of your steadfast love. Accompany them in their daily joys and protect them in difficulties.
May our act of remembrance this day honour those who have put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others. May we never forget their sacrifice, the families who grieve for them and support them, and their example of integrity, loyalty, courage, and duty.
As people of faith, we re-commit ourselves to work together for peace in our world. May the hope that we carry in our hearts lead us to seek new and creative ways to resolve our differences. We look forward to that day when your reign is fully realized among us and swords are turned into plowshares and nation no longer lifts up sword against nation.
We also long for the moment when mourning, suffering, and sickness are no more. Until that day comes, we ask that you respond to us when we lift before you in the silence of our hearts the names of those people, places, and situations that are in need of your tender loving care this day…
Restore them to health and wholeness, O God.
We ask all these things in the name of the One who came to show us your ways.
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
Message, portions of the scripture reading and sermon video
The video will become available on Sunday, November 14, 2021, at 12:15 AM.
In the gospel of Mark, Jesus talks about signs of the end time. Unfortunately, the end time is no longer a fairy tale because today we have more than 13000 nuclear warheads, which could destroy our entire planet more than 1000 times. We have witnessed 9/11, we have seen World War I, World War II, we are seeing what is happening in Afghanistan, we are experiencing the pandemic and global warming. We, humans, are fully capable of bringing an end to ourselves and others. So Jesus talking about the end time does not seem to be too irrelevant or impossible anymore.
Here are some of the troubles we will go through, verse 8,
“For nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”
Verses 12 & 13,
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name.”
We have been experiencing them for a while. We know what is happening around the world, and we are fully aware of what happens in a family, how a brother betrays his brother, how a father hurts his child, and how children take advantage of their older parents. According to the scripture, these troubles and conflicts we experience in our human life are the signs that would help us to realize that there is God in our life that there is something more to our life than what we know and what we see today.
All the challenges, conflicts, and troubles we experience today don’t tell us that we humans are terrible and hopeless, but they simply remind us that we humans are far from perfect, that we have not arrived at our true home. We are constantly searching for our spiritual home, something eternal: truth, peace, and the divine love. Rather than punishing ourselves for the troubles, failures, conflicts, and problems we experience, I believe this is what the scripture invites us to do.
“When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
I would like to highlight verse 13,
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Jesus invites us, to endure.
To endure means to be patient. God is not asking us to be hard on ourselves or to blame everyone else.
But God is encouraging us to be patient. We all know how hard it is to be patient, especially as we live in a world that expects and believes in a quick solution to every problem we face…
We don’t like to be patient because we often feel being patient is about doing nothing and being helpless. That is not what it means to be patient and endure according to our Christian faith.
Then, what does our scripture teach us about being patient?
I believe the entire Bible teaches us about patience and waiting, so we can spend the next 24 hours talking about patience. I am just going to highlight two qualities of patience.
First, the scripture teaches us being patient is about being persistent.
2nd Timothy chapter 4 verse 2, the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “Proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.” According to the Apostle Paul, being patient is about being persistent, doing what we can and must each day. Waiting is not about being helpless or doing nothing, but doing everything that we can. It doesn’t matter how small and fragile that is. We are to do what we can. There is another word for being persistent. It is about being faithful.
Being patient means being faithful. Mother Theresa said, “God does not require that we be successful only that we be faithful.” God calls us to be faithful with God and our lives, not successful. Our patience, persistency, and faithfulness do not guarantee success, but it ensures we will experience God more.
Second, the scripture teaches us that being patient accepts that our life is a process and has seasons. And that God is in charge of the seasons of our life.
Job 23: 8-10, “If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.”
I don’t think there is anyone who teaches us more about patience than Job.
Job teaches us that patience is about trusting that our life is a process of deepening our love and faith in God. Patience is about accepting our life is a process of becoming whole. And God is in charge of the seasons we go through. Winter does not come, not when we put snow tires on.
Nor does winter wait until we buy a snow shovel… It comes when it is ready to come.
We should not get too frustrated when our work does not get rewarded right away.
We should not lose our hearts when there is no progress we would like to see.
Patience helps us to accept our time can be different from the time of God.
It is about being able to tell ourselves, “It is okay when we come short of what we had planned and hoped.” It is about being able to say to ourselves, “It is okay, God is with me.” even when we do not see what is waiting for us today. Think about the way we met. I would like to believe that we are meant to be here today. God has placed us together in this particular community at this specific time. I have seen this again and again from my own life as well as from other people’s life. There is this mystery of whom we meet and how we meet, and when we meet. Not every relationship ends happily, but none of us can question whether we learn from every relationship and we experience God through everyone we encounter in our human life. Everyone we meet, every challenge we go through become a part of who we are today and tomorrow. I believe patience is about learning to appreciate everyone we meet, and God has prepared for us every season.
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
Lord, we thank for Your faithfulness. Thank you that we can always trust in You. You are an abundant God and out of Your great mercy you have given us so much. In a response to your grace we receive, we give our gifts to you. May our gifts help establishing your work in our community and beyond. May it be a great blessing to many. We ask all this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Hymn (Book of Praise) 560 – “Put Peace into each other’s hand”
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 2021-11-12 19:10 – First version