July 10, 2022 – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, July 10, at 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6 PM on Sunday, July 10.
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Call to worship
One: Love the Lord your God,
All: with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind!
One: Love your neighbor as yourself,
All: with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind!
One: Do this and you will live!
All: Let us worship God!
Lighting of the Christ Candle
This is the Christ Candle. We light the candle to help us remember that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, is with us in every place and every time.
“God is love: come heaven, adoring” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 314). Words (1922) by English clergyman Timothy Rees (1874–1939). Music (1941; tune “Abbot’s Leigh”) by English clergyman Cyril Vincent Taylor (1907–1991). Words copyright © The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1997. Music copyright © 1942, renewed 1970 Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
God of all beginnings,
You have blessed creation with life and meaning. Your love makes a beginning in us, too, O God, in each new life born into the world, in each new friendship formed, in each kindling attraction, in each kind word and act for neighbour or stranger. We praise you, O God, for your love moving in the world around us, lived out in Jesus and by the Spirit at work in us.
God of loving kindness, Jesus called us to love you above all else, and our neighbour as ourselves. Yet we often fail to act in loving ways. We are distracted by our own needs, forgetful of the needs of others. We let differences divide us and excuse ourselves from reaching out. Forgive us, O God. Create in us new hearts so we can live and love faithfully in Jesus’s name.
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
In Christ, we are forgiven and set free to begin again. Let us give thanks for God’s mercy and be at peace with God, with ourselves and each other. Thanks be to God!
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Fun with the young at heart (children’s story) (Practicing faith)
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
The good Samaritan story is one of those stories that we don’t need to open the Bible. Not everyone will remember whether the story is from the gospel of Matthew or Luke or which chapter it is from, but everyone knows the story. It is inscribed in our hearts and our human collective memory and spirit. Our task as Christian is not to make a good sermon out of the story but allow the story to come alive in our hearts.
I believe Jesus invites us to have this inner conversation with the priest, the Levite, the Samaritan, the robbers, the inn keeper in the story, and the Holy Spirit in our human hearts.
I believe our task is not to judge the priest or the Levite in the story, but we are to sit down with the priest and ask, “What were you thinking? Why did you not stop to help? What were you going through?” We are to sit down with the man who was dying on the road and later being saved by the kindness of the Good Samaritan and ask him, “Tell me what happened to you that day?” We are to sit down with the robbers and ask, “What happened to you?” “Why are you hurting others?” We are to sit down with the good Samaritan and ask, “Why made you to help him? What did you feel when you were helping him? What did you see, hear, and learn from the experience?”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think we have to look far since I have been everyone in the story. There were times I was the priest and the Levite in the story who decided not to help the dying man on the street, whatever their reasons were. Sometimes it was because I was busy with my schedule and responsibility. Sometimes I did not have anything to give. Sometimes I was too tired to pay attention to others. Other times, I did not help because I did not know whether the other person was legitimate or because their story did not sense. Sometimes I become the priest unintentionally; other times I become the priest or the Levite very intentionally.
Yes, there were times I was the Samaritan helping others in need. It is great to be the good Samaritan helping others and speaking out for those who are marginalized. When I give and help others, I always find that I am the one who is saved in the process.
There were times I was the man who was deeply wounded, and broken, waiting helplessly for healing. I know what it is like to be paralyzed by disappointment, fear, anger, and hopelessness.
My life has taught me that I am the priest, the Levite, the helpless man paralyzed on the road, the Samaritan, the inn keeper, the robber, and I am fully capable of becoming any of them. I am one of them, and they are in me. I carry them within me. I carry the regrets of not doing and being enough, and not caring enough, but I also carry this joy of helping others, whether their needs are physical or spiritual. I carry the gratefulness of being supported and loved and the fear of being left alone and having to depend on someone else’s kindness.
I don’t think Jesus told us the good Samaritan story so that we could judge others and separate the good Samaritan from the priest or the Levite. I believe Jesus has gifted us the story to enlarge our understanding and love for each other.
Something that my life has taught me is that this world is full of these people who are suffering emotionally and spiritually, people who are paralyzed by loneliness, fear, sadness, anger, and disappointment. I am sure we all have met those who are dying to be heard, loved and forgiven. They are hungry for human contact. It is tough to recognize them because outside, they may look like the priest, the Levite, and the innkeeper, but inside, they are struggling.
I don’t know about you, but when I was the man stuck on the road, when I was paralyzed by disappointment, fear, and hurt, it was a small act of kindness, encouragement, and compassion that helped me move forward. That small push others give us is what separates those stuck on the road from those who are moving freely on the road… I believe it is God who allows us to meet each other. That is what makes us so humble in our life.
We think we can always be the priest and the Levite. Yes, we were taught to trust and worship our personal abilities and knowledge; yes, we were taught to think as long as you have this and that, as long as you try your best, everything will be okay, but all of us know at times our life requires something more than ourselves.
I believe Jesus has gifted the good Samaritan story to help us pray and remain humble. People we meet in our life, we don’t always control. I believe everyone we encounter in our life journey is there to help open our eyes a little wider and allow us to see God’s presence much clearer.
I believe the good Samaritan story invites us to learn to forgive, to be patient with each other, to ask for help, depend on each other, to pray for each other, and to care for each other.
May the story of the good Samaritan guide our daily interactions and encounters with one another.
“Poor Wayfaring Stranger”, (earliest known date: 1858) traditional American folk and gospel song. This arrangement by American composer Mark Hayes (ASCAP), copyright © 1998 GlorySound, a division of Shawnee Press, Inc.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
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
God of kindness, we offer our gifts in hope, trusting that you will bless them to bring such kindness to others in Jesus’ name. Give us the courage to be generous to neighbours and strangers for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Lighting Candles of Peace, Healing, and Justice
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope
Thank you, God: you are our soil, our food, our water, our sun, everything we need to grow. We offer these gifts to you, asking for your direction, as we work each day so that your king of light becomes more and more of a reality in this world.
God of justice, you call us to live out your justice and righteousness.
Free us, O God, to speak your word in a world that needs to listen to you.
Greed has overtaken the land and ambition has taken the place of the values you expect from us. Iniquity has taken hold, making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Give us your voice, that your church can serve as shepherd, guiding your people to your will for the world. Help us to walk in your footsteps, so that we never lose our way. Enable us to live and love in the way that you have taught us, so that we can act in grace, even with those who we consider our enemies.
God of compassion, work with us and free us, to tend to those who are weak and needy. You always care for those abandoned or rejected; use us to deliver them, with your guiding help, from all that would harm or oppress.
Heal your aching world, and use us to work out your will.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. AMEN.
“Love the Lord your God” (Book of Praise 1997, hymn 715). Words (1991) and music (1991; tune “Love the Lord”) by American musicians and hymnwriters Jean Strathdee (1944–) and Jim Strathdee (1941–). Words and music copyright © 1991 Desert Flower Music; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
Changing the Light
Now, it is time to change the light. The light that was in one place can now be in every place and every time going with you wherever you go.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (the risen 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 2022-07-11 – Added Musical reflection info.