June 4, 2023 – Trinity Sunday and First Sunday after Pentecost
A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, June 4, at 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6:00 PM EDT on Sunday, June 4.
Call to Worship
One: Holy are you, Source and Creator of all things;
All: We praise you for your gift of life.
One: Holy are you, Son and Redeemer of all things;
All: We thank you for your gift of new life.
One: Holy are you, Spirit and Sustainer of all things;
All: We bear witness to your truth
One: and worship your holy name,
All: Ever Three and Ever One.
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.
“More love to thee” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 707). Words verse 1 (1856) by American author Elizabeth Payson Prentiss (1856–1878). Words verse 2 (1990) by Canadian educator, author and hymnwriter Edith Margaret Clarkson (1915–2008). Music (1868; tune: “More love to thee”) by American manufacturer, hymnwriter and philanthropist William Howard Doane (1832–1915). Words v.1 and music public domain. Words v.2 copyright © 1990 Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A
Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)
Holy God, you are Three in One and One in Three. Praise to you, Source of life, maker of Heaven and Earth, who created us in your image and called us good. Praise to you, Jesus Christ, born in our flesh to teach us how to love and offer us grace and mercy. Praise to you, Holy Spirit, for the energy you bring us to greet each day as a gift. Holy God, Three in One and One in Three, we praise you for your mystery and mercy. Reveal to us how to live as your people and witness to your wonder and grace.
God of mystery and mercy, you know the details of our lives. You see the sin and the sorrow we bear; you see the problems and the possibilities we face. You see how we fit into the world around us and how we rub each other the wrong way. We confess we do not always see what you see. Open our eyes to the truth of our lives and touch us with your grace.
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
The Apostle Paul reminds us that from now on we regard no one from a human point of view. If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. Everything old has passed away. See, everything has become new! Thanks be to God that we can all make a new start through God’s gift of forgiveness and peace! Thanks be to God!
One: The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
All: And also with you.
Guildwood Senior Choir Presents
Fun with the young at heart (children’s story)
A Minute of Appreciation: John Roblin
The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)
“O Jesus, I have promised” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 569). Words (1869) by English Anglican priest and hymnwriter John Ernest Bode (1816–1874). Music (1881; tune: “Angels Story”) by English organist, composer, and choirmaster Arthur Henry Mann (1850–1929). Words and music in the public domain.
Matthew 28:16–20 <– this links to on-line text of the NRSV bible
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him, but they doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The scripture reading is followed by:
One: The Word of God.
People: Thanks be to God.
Desmond Tutu, a South African Anglican bishop was fond of this famous African saying,
“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
In the present day, numerous Christians acknowledge and openly admit that throughout history, certain atrocities have been committed in the name of God. These regrettable actions include colonization, the establishment of residential schools, slavery, the Crusades, and other similar events. That is not to diminish the positive contributions made by many Christians such as the acts of sharing food and resources, advocating for and assisting marginalized individuals, and constructing educational institutions for women and the less privileged.
Today, we find ourselves encountering one of the most commonly misunderstood, misused, or even abused teachings of Jesus and the Bible.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The final teaching of Jesus found in the gospel of Matthew is commonly referred to as the Great Commission. Unfortunately, there have been instances where some Christians have used this scripture to rationalize oppressing, mistreating, and colonizing others in the name of God. It is crucial for us to open our hearts and minds, allowing the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us unlearn and relearn the true essence of this significant teaching from Jesus.
During today’s sermon, our focus will be on the Great Commission, reflecting upon its relevance in our lives today and seeking to understand Jesus’ true message.
1) Verse 18, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
The authority to which Jesus refers is not a worldly authority. It is not the type of authority that compels, oppresses, and exploits others for our own self-interests. Rather it is an authority that enables us to selflessly serve others, and it is an authority that empowers us to overcome our own petty desires and fears.
This divine authority bestowed upon us by God grants us the humility to kneel and wash the feet of sinners. It grants us the capacity to embrace others with open hearts. Moreover, this God-given authority empowers us to listen attentively and place our trust in God even amidst our own personal hardships and challenges.
2) Verse 19, “To make disciples of all nations.”
The act of making disciples of all nations involves extending an invitation to others to enter the kingdom of God. It serves as a reminder that we all belong to God. In the midst of our daily struggles, it is all too easy to forget our true identity and where we truly belong. We can easily fall prey to becoming victims and slaves of our circumstances, surrendering to the power of darkness that surrounds us. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that we are meant to be loved, accepted, forgiven, and embraced. The world we live can be harsh, isolating, and punishing, often tempting us into believing that we are alone. However, the act of making disciples of all nations is the act of proclamation to one another that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ. It is to affirm that we are interconnected in the name of God, bound together as a community.
3) Verse 19, “To baptize people in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
To baptize people in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is not about bringing more people into the church. Please, don’t get me wrong, we love seeing more people. But that is not the ultimate purpose of our faith. It revolves around assisting one another in accepting and preparing for our own journey of death and resurrection. It helps each other to embrace the inevitable human experience of death as a gateway to a new beginning.
4) Verse 20, “Teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded us…”
Teaching others to obey everything that Jesus has commanded us is not about making others to follow what I think is right, but rather about guiding them to recognize the divine voice of God.
In the New Testament, the Greek word the word for “obey” is “hup-akou?,” which is a combined word between “Akouo” to hear and “hupo” under. To obey literally means “to hear under.” To obey Jesus is to attune ourselves to the gentle voice of Jesus Christ resonating within our human hearts. It means listening to the voice of love.
5) Verse 20, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” I believe that summarizes the essence of the gospel of Matthew. That completes the gospel of Matthew. The gospel of Matthew challenges us that the work of faith is about to remember that the love of God continues to the end of the age.
It teaches us that the love of God does not end, even when we are disappointed with God. The companionship of Jesus Christ with us does not end, when we stop coming to church. The love of Jesus Christ for us does not end, even when we struggle to love ourselves. The presence of Jesus Christ continues to abide in us even when we don’t have all the right answers for our life.
May we present our gifts to God in response to what we have received from God?
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 306). Based on the tune “Old 100th” with words (1989) by English hymnwriter Brian A. Wren (1936–). Words copyright © 1989 Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Music public domain.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise God all creatures high and low;
praise God in Jesus fully known,
Creator Word and Spirit One.
Prayer of dedication
God of overflowing love, receive our gifts as signs of our love and commitment to live for you. Bless our gifts and our lives, that they may accomplish more than we can ask or imagine, as we follow Jesus, equipped by the Spirit to serve you well and wisely. Amen
The Sacrament of Communion
Fraction and Distribution
“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.
Copyright © 2023 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church
Last updated 2023-06-10 22:20 – Added sermon text; updated Choral Amen info.