March 13, 2022 – Second Sunday in Lent
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Call to worship
One: The Lord is our light and our salvation:
All: Of whom shall we be afraid?
One: The Lord is the stronghold of our life:
All: We will wait for the Lord in faithfulness.
One: Let us seek the Lord’s face in this time of worship:
All: We will honour God’s presence in our prayers and our praises!
Lighting of the Christ Candle
(Please, pray with us silently)
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
God ever creating, ever loving, ever leading: when things around us feel chaotic, you are peace. When so much we hear is not reliable, your word is truth. When we are paralyzed by fear and anxiety, your presence is freedom. When we feel helpless, your love gives us hope. God, you are the Source of all that matters. We bring you our prayers and our praise this day, for you reveal yourself to us in the goodness of creation, in the love and mercy of Christ, your beloved, and through the energy and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
God of compassion, We are creatures who seek our own comfort. We confess that we prefer our own plans to your purposes. We shrink from costly discipleship and put our own interests first. Forgive our fleeting commitment and the times we have indulged our own complaints. Have mercy on us. Inspire us with the energy to do your will and serve our neighbours in the example of Christ, your Son and our Lord.
We pray in Jesus’ name, and continue to pray as he taught:
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
Friends in Christ, while it is true that we have all sinned, it is a greater truth that we are forgiven through God’s love poured out in Jesus Christ. To all who humbly seek the mercy of God I say, in Jesus Christ our sin is forgiven Be at peace with God, with yourself, and with one another.
Thanks be to God.
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
Our world is one. We are interconnected to each other. When one is hurt on the other side of the world, we feel his and her pain. What is happening in Ukraine or what is happening in Afghanistan…. We feel their pain. Who wins from a war? No one wins. I believe everyone loses. Each day, we hear many heartbreaking stories, both sad and inspiring stories. One of them caught my eyes… It was a story about an 11-year-old Ukrainian boy who traveled 600 miles from the city of Zaporizhzhia, with a phone number written on his hand. His mother could not come with him because he had to look after her sick mother. Unfortunately, he was not the only one….
“Where is God?” we ask? “Why does God remain silent?” we ask? Our Christian faith reminds us of God, who was found in Jesus Christ, who suffered and died on the cross as one of us. We believe in God, who participated in our human suffering. We believe that when we cry, God cries with us. When we die, God dies with us. That is not to romanticize our human suffering but to remind us that God is not found in our human success, power, or authority; God is found in our humble love for each other. Yes, we humans wanted a warrior god who could overpower everyone… But God showed us Jesus, who died and suffered with us as one of us….
The more I think about these children and their families who are leaving their homes and are being separated from their loved ones, the more Jesus I see. During this week, I thought about the journey Jesus took Jerusalem. The journey he took to Golgotha in his final days…. I cannot imagine what went through the mind of Jesus and what about God?
Today we read the gospel of Luke chapter 13, where Jesus said, “Yet today, tomorrow and the next day I must be on my way…..”
Somewhere in his final journey to Jerusalem, Jesus said, “Yet today, tomorrow and the next day I must be on my way.” The gospel of Luke is believed to be written by the physician Luke who pays close attention to psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing. He carefully writes the way Jesus touches others, the way Jesus speaks, the way Jesus thinks, the way Jesus feels, and the way people respond to each other. Luke invites us to see more of Jesus, not what he did outside, but what was going through in him and his human hearts and spirit, how he brought the presence of God to others and to his own ministry.
In this particular text, Jesus invites us to live today, tomorrow and the next day… (Chuck will elaborate on it more on Sunday) Not just today, or just tomorrow or just the next day, but all today, tomorrow and the next day. Jesus invites us to live today by fully embracing what our yesterday, today, and tomorrow offer to us. Jesus also talks about the next day. It is a day after tomorrow, a day after our plan comes to an end… This next day presents a big problem for many of us because we love to control.
I would like us to look at the book of Acts chapter 1 verse 6 to 8, the book of Acts is the second book written by the same author of the gospel of Luke. I believe it gives us a clue in what it means to embrace the next day in our spiritual journey.
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
What does the Bible teach us about embracing today, tomorrow, and the next day?
We are given our days, not just for us to fill our days with our plans, desires, wants, and ours, but to receive the Holy Spirit and witness the coming of Christ, to welcome this stranger God into our human hearts. ….(Chuck will elaborate on it more on Sunday)
I would like to believe that God did not give us today, tomorrow, and the next day, so that we could control more, buy more, and succeed more, but we could welcome God and celebrate our life with Christ.
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.
Dedication of our Gifts
Prayer of dedication
Living God, we offer our gifts today in hopeful gratitude. Bless these gifts and use them to increase the goodness enjoyed by those in need. Bless our lives that, through our relationships, others will be touched by the hope we know in Christ Jesus and find their lives blessed by his love and mercy. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope
God of strength and comfort, in the quiet calm of your presence, we pause in the whirlwind of concerns around us, and set aside our own interests and distractions to pray for the world you love.
Today we remember before you:
All people in their daily life and work… our families, friends and neighbours, those we work with, and those whose faces we recognize regularly but do not know. Be with all who find these times stressful or exhausting:
We remember before you this congregation, our presbytery, and congregations of other traditions near us, as well as those who serve in church leadership and all who nurture faith in others. Help us support each other and look to the future with hope.
We pray for this community, our country, and governments throughout the world, as well as all those who work for justice, freedom and peace. Send your Spirit, the Advocate, to speak for the voiceless and challenge injustice.
We pray for victims of hunger, fear, injustice and oppression, for all who struggle to rebuild their communities after natural disaster and the effects of the pandemic, and for all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble. Bring them comfort and courage, and the support of their neighbours.
(Please, pray with us silently)
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 © 2022 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church
Last updated 2022-03-12 00:30 – First version.