January 15, 2023 – Second Sunday after Epiphany
A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, January 15, at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 15.
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Call to Worship
One: O Lord, open our lips,
All: And our mouths shall declare your praise.
One: O Lord, open our eyes,
All: So that we may behold your presence.
One: O Lord, open our ears,
All: So that we may hear your call to follow.
One: Lord, open our hearts,
All: so that we may offer you worship in love and joy.
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.
“Be thou my vision” (Book of Praise 1997 Hymn 461). Words (8th century) unknown Irish. English words by Irish linguist Mary Elizabeth Byrne (1880–1931), set to verse (1912) by Anglo-Irish scholar Eleanor Henrietta Hull (1860–1935). Music (tune: “Slane”) traditional Irish. This harmony by English minister and musician Erik Reginald Routley (1917–1982); this descant by English hymnwriter John Whitridge Wilson (1905–1992). English words and verse setting, along with music in the public domain. Harmony copyright © 1975 and descant copyright © 1983 Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
God, our Creator and Redeemer, your faithfulness endures forever. You offer us new life in Christ Jesus and call us to follow him. You challenge us to bring life and hope to the world you love. In you we find strength and courage to face every challenge, until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ arrives. And so we offer our praise and gratitude to you, O God, with Christ and the Spirit, one God, now and always. Amen.
Faithful God, you sent Jesus Christ to seek and save the lost yet it’s hard to recognize we have lost our way. We seek the next new thing instead of your gift of new life. We follow the trends of our culture rather than Jesus’ example. Wash over us with your cleansing Spirit, and renew our commitment to follow your purposes revealed 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.
Declaration of Pardon
One: Let us rejoice, for God has put a new song in our mouths! Trust in God’s enduring love and mercy, washing over us every day. Know that forgiveness is yours through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Thanks be to God!
The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Guildwood Senior Choir presents
“Consider the Lillies”. Words (1997) by American composer J. Paul Williams (1937–2010). Music (1997) by American composer and educator James Michael Stevens (1961–). Words and music copyright © 1997, 2008 by Harold Flammer Music (a division of Shawnee Press); used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
Fun with the young at heart (children’s story)
A Welcome Moment
Guildwood Senior Choir presents a duet
“I, the Lord of sea and sky” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 592). Words (1981) by American composer and Christian songwriter Daniel Laurent Schutte (1947–), based on Isaiah 6:8 and 1 Samuel 3:4. Music (1983; tune: “Here I am, Lord”) by Schutte with harmony by Michael Pope and John Weissrock. Words copyright © 1981 and music copyright © 1983 by Daniel L. Schutte and New Dawn Music; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Performed by Carolyn Ward-Glasgow (soprano) and Kristyn Chepelsky (alto), acompanied by Rachelle Risling.
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
In preparation, have a look at these pictures of the Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, a small church in Ronchamp, France, that was built in 1954–1955, and designed by Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier.
I am sure we don’t have to travel to the church in France to experience such sacredness and holiness. I am sure we can experience a sense of sacredness, when we see flowers on the field, a beautiful tree, when we see a beautiful sunset or sunrise when we see a bright star in the night sky, I can go on for a while…
Yes, we should be able to experience this sacredness of God every day and where-ever we are and whoever we meet. But we don’t always experience this scaredness that gives us peace and helps us to realize how small our problems are. Perhaps because we are too busy… Yet I believe people are hungry to experience this life-giving quietness, sacredness and holiness. We sometimes don’t realize how hungry we are until we experience it.Today we are looking at the gospel of John. John chapter 1, verse from 37 to 42:
37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
The text from the gospel of John tells us a story of how two disciples, Andrew and another disciple, who is believed to be Philip, ended up following Jesus. The gospel of John is very different from the other gospels. In other synoptic gospels, Jesus comes to his disciples first and asks them if they want to follow Jesus. But in the gospel of John, the two of them come to Jesus first and try to find out if Jesus is someone they can follow. These two disciples, Andrew and Philip, even before meeting Jesus, were searching for something, we don’t know what; perhaps they were seeking the presence of God or maybe they wanted to understand God better or wanted to know how to forgive themselves. Whatever their reason, they stopped following John the Baptist and wanted to follow Jesus. When Jesus saw them, Jesus asked them, “What are you looking for?” (verse 38) That is the question Jesus continues to ask us even today. We keep ignoring this question. “What are you looking for, and what are you searching for?”We don’t realize we are constantly searching for something. When we are honest with ourselves, we recognize we desire something more than our superficial needs such as worldly success, recognition, and popularity, and we are seeking true fulfillment, purpose, and understanding. When we are honest with our hearts, we realize we desire something more than our physical needs; we are hungry for forgiveness, healing, and belonging. Our hearts are searching for God’s eternal peace, justice, grace and love.Our souls are hungry to get to know Jesus and his love for us…
The two disciples asked back, “Where are you staying?” (Verse 38) They wanted to know where Jesus stayed…where his home was… I don’t think they were asking for the physical address of where Jesus was staying or what does your house look like? But I believe that they wanted to know the source of wisdom and faith for Jesus. I believe they wanted to know where to find true meaning, peace, understanding and forgiveness. That is also the question of our hearts and our life we should never ignore, “Where do you find peace? How do we find strength? How do we go on?”
Jesus responded to them, “Come and see.” (verse 39) Instead of trying to explain or state an answer, he invites them to see their answers for themselves. Jesus does not offer a quick fix to their questions, instead, he invites them to join him. He provides an opportunity to deepen their sight and actions. He offers a chance to become his friend.
And that is what they did. Verse 39, “They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.They came, saw where he was staying, and they remained with Jesus that day”…They saw, and they remained with Jesus that day. I wonder what they saw, heard, felt, and experienced that day by being with Jesus. I wish I was there with them. I wish I could ask, “What did you see that day? What did you ask? What did you hear? What did you learn? What did you find out? Well, they kind of tell us what they saw that day. I am going to read verses 40 and 41:
40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah”.
They found the Messiah, and they found the Christ, they found the presence of Christ….who could help them to find their life again, who could help them to find peace, who could help them to find a new life….
Hope at the end of our life journey, we can say what Andrew said to his brother, Peter, “We have found Christ Jesus.” At the end of our life journey, we could say to ourselves, “In our messy, not-so-perfect life, we found God… we were found by God.”
Dear friends, we are spiritual beings. Not only we search for the physical food to sustain our body, not only do we look for shelter to protect us, not only we seek wealth to make ourselves comfortable. But our souls search for meaning, understanding, friendship, peace, happiness, forgiveness, and healing. May we pray that we find God in all we do, may we be found by God who loves us unconditionally, who is ready to forgive us more than we are to prepared to forgive ourselves…
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
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow”(Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 830) Based on the tune “Old 100th” with words by English bishop and hymnwriter Thomas Ken (1637–1711). Words and music public domain.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise him all creatures here below.
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
Prayer of dedication
Gracious God, we offer you our gifts with humble hearts. Each gift seems small on its own, so bless each one and those of your people throughout the Church. Through the work of your Holy Spirit, surprise us with all that our gifts can accomplish, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope
God of purpose and promise, we open our hearts to you in prayer, trusting in your mercy to bear the burdens we carry.
We thank you for the work and witness of your Church, bringing your Good News into many lives and situations throughout the earth. Today we pray for congregations that are struggling financially, for churches caught up in conflict, and for all those church members who are tired and need your renewing Spirit.
We thank you for the healing that comes from your hand, O God, in times of reconciliation when your forgiving love is at work, and in times when pain is eased and grief is comforted. Today we pray for those whose emotions are raw, for those whose bodies are weakened in this winter of sickness and for any whose minds are troubled in any way. Give them hope for new life with you.
We lift to you people around the world who work for justice and unity to prevail in the midst of division: in nations where conflict has broken out or repression rules, in places facing poverty, famine or destruction from disaster, and anywhere racial and ethnic disparities weaken common life. We pray for Canada in this time when resentments simmer and differences deepen. Send your justice to bring relief and your peace to help understanding prevail.
As the followers of Jesus, give us the courage to unite not only in prayer but also in action for the needs of this world. Strengthen us to work together, despite our differences, so others may see what it means to follow you in Christ’s name.
“Lord, Jesus, you shall be my song” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 665). English words (1970; translated from the original French words of 1961) by Anglo-Canadian priest, musician and theologian Stephen Sommerville (1931–); music (1961; tune: “Les Petities Soeurs”) by Les Petites Soeurs de Jésus. English words copyright © 1970 Stephen Sommerville. Music copyright © 1987 Les Petites Soeurs de Jésus.
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.
Impromptu on “All Things Bright and Beautiful”. Music (tune: “Royal Oak”) adapted from a 17th-century English folk tune, “The 29th of May”. This arrangement (2023) by GCPC Music Direct Rachelle Risling. Music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 2023 Rachelle Risling; used by permission.
Copyright © 2023 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church
Last updated 2023-01-16 12:20 – Added Sermon text; added Postlude info; moved Musical Reflection to Senior Choir presents a duet.