A Tale of Two Prayers
A preacher and a taxi driver both died and went to heaven. St.
Peter was at the Pearly gates waiting for them. 'Come with me',
said St. Peter to the taxi driver. The taxi driver did as he was
told and followed St. Peter to a mansion. It had anything you
could imagine, from a bowling alley to an Olympic sized pool.
'Wow, thank you!' said the taxi driver.
Next, St. Peter led the preacher to a rugged old shack with a
bunk bed and a little old television set. 'Wait, I think you are a
little mixed up', said the preacher. 'Shouldn't I be the one who
gets the mansion? After all I was head of a congregation, went
to church every day, and preached God's word.'
'Yes, that's true,' said St. Peter, Tut during your sermons
people slept. When the taxi driver drove, everyone prayed.'
It would seem that this preacher had more than a few lessons
to learn about humility. It would also seem that such was the
case for the Pharisee in our lesson this morning. Today's
reading from Luke brings us the Parable of the Pharisee and the
This is, in essence, a parable about prayer.... And a story about
two very different prayers.
What is it about these two prayers that still speaks so directly
to our hearts today — 2000 years after the parable was first
spoken? With apologies to Charles Dickens, let's take a closer
look at this "tale of two prayers", to see what it might teach us
after so many years.
This parable follows another parable the persistent widow
where Jesus teaches us to be persistent in our prayers. Today's
story gives us more information on what those persistent
prayers should look like.
When I read this parable again, preparing for this message, the
first thing that I thought about was humility. And the next thing
I knew, Mac Davis was crooning in my head:
"Oh Lord it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every
way. I can't wait to look in the mirror, 'cause I get better lookin'
each day. To know me is to love me, I must be a hell of a man,
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble, but I'm doing the best that I
Without question, we're often surrounded by people that could
use a lesson in humility. Some of them might be our friends,
some are invariably people in positions of authority, some are
even running to be President of the United States. The scary
thing is, if we are truly honest, it also just might be us, too.
The first to enter our tale of two prayers is the Pharisee. Who
were the Pharisees? Today, we have a prejudice against the
Pharisees. We've heard so many stories about them that we
immediately cast them as the bad guy. But that's not the way
they were seen when Jesus spoke about them.
And it's important that we see them as honored members of
the Jewish community if we are to fully understand this
parable. The Pharisees were well respected and honored
members of their community. They were lay people, not
priests. They were dedicated to studying and diligently
following the laws laid down by God.
Our Pharisee knew the laws of the Torah, and followed these
laws very carefully. He wanted to make sure God knew of his
righteousness. Of course, he didn't sin like others did — robbers,
evildoers, adulterers. He was so righteous that he even went
beyond the requirements of the law. The law only required one
fast a year. He fasted TWICE a week. The law only required a
tithe on certain parts of one's income. He tithed on ALL he
received. In his eyes, he was the best of the best; a credit to
God and deserving of a place in the kingdom.
Our other player in this tale is the tax collector. There was no
doubt in the minds of those listening to Jesus at the time, that
this was the bad guy in the story. A tax collector worked for
Rome. A tax collector would have been perceived by the
community as the worst of the worst of Jewish citizenry,
perhaps even lower. Tax collectors, in the Scriptures, were Jews
who worked for the ruling Roman authorities. They were
considered both extortionists and traitors. They were
extortionists because they were notoriously noted for collecting
more taxes than was owed and pocketing the difference. They
were considered traitors because they served the occupying
power of Rome.
So, as the parable opens we're supposed to view the Pharisee
as the good guy, at least compared to the tax collector, who is
our perennial "bad guy". There are many obvious differences
between these two men; but the biggest difference between
the Pharisee and the tax collector was the object of their
The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself, including his
great piety, his going beyond the law, his great adoration for
God. The tax collector, however, prayed simply to seek God.
The Pharisee addressed his prayer to God, but talked about
himself. He loved himself, prayed about himself, and thought
about himself with great pride.
Now, let's not be too harsh with the idea of pride, per say.
Everything does have a place, pride included. It can be healthy,
and necessary, in moderation. Pride in a job well done. Pride in
a child who does well in school. No, it's misplaced pride that
we're talking about here. Pride that becomes arrogance.
Misplaced pride that leads to statements like: "Wow, his
clothes are pretty ragged. He should take more pride in
himself." Misplaced pride that leads us to place ourselves
above other people. Misplaced pride that leads to arrogant
slogans like "Make America Great Again".
Pride makes us spiritually blind to sin. Our egos are so inflated
that we sometimes do not see our own shortcomings. It's not
that we can't see them, it's just that we choose not to. And it
follows that if we convince ourselves we have no sin, then we'll
never seek God for forgiveness.
Pride leads to down-nose looking. When pride infects our
vision, we start to look to look down our nose at other people.
We ignore their needs, their struggles, mock their requests; at
the same time believing that we're better than they are.
The Christian writer C.S. Lewis called pride "the great sin."
In his book, Mere Christianity, Lewis said,
"According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost
evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all
that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride
that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice:
it is the complete anti-God state of mind... it is Pride which has
been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family
since the world began."
Lewis is not simply giving us his private opinion but
summarizing the thinking of great saints through the ages.
Augustine and Aquinas both taught that pride was the root of
You can hear the pride in the Pharisee's prayer: "Thank you
that I'm not like other people." This prayer offered by the
Pharisee accomplishes nothing. He's not seeking God's will, nor
is he honoring God's presence in his life. Pride causes us to
chase after goals God has not set. Pride leads us to try to satisfy
our own egos.
Pride is always more concerned about what people think than
about what God thinks.
Psalm 138:6 says, "Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon
the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar."
Proverbs 16:5 says, "The Lord detests all the proud of heart."
James 4:6 & 1 Peter 5:5 both say, "God opposes the proud but
gives grace to the humble."
Imaging the Pharisee standing there & thinking, "How do I
look? Is my robe all right? Do I look pious enough? Maybe I
should fold my hands?" He has this great religious aura and he
prays with this powerful voice that sounds so holy. And
everybody goes, "Wow, he is really religious."
But God wants us to be real with Him: He doesn't want us to
pretend to be something we're not. He wants us to be
authentic. He wants us to admit that we have doubts and
questions. John the Baptist did; Thomas did; so why not just be
real with God? He can deal with your doubts and questions.
He's a big God.
Let's look at the "bad guy" in our parable:
"But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up
to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, 'God, be
merciful to me, a sinner.' I tell you, this man went down to his
home justified rather than the other."
Did you hear it? It's barely audible to the ear. His prayer doesn't
sound like much. But don't mistake very few words for very
little meaning. This short, seven-word prayer.
"God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
No fancy words, no pious chest pounding, no artificial religious
preservatives here. Just an open, honest, plea from a man who
was probably very wealthy otherwise. And he is the one who
goes home justified. Why? Because he prayed the right way?
No. Because God accepted his prayer. Because God never turns
away a broken, humble heart.
A proud lawyer asked a farmer once: "Why don't you hold your
head up in the world? I bow my head before neither God nor
man." The farmer replied: "Do you see that field of wheat?
Only the heads of wheat that are empty stand upright. The
well-filled ones bow low.
Both men prayed; but both men didn't approach God the same
way. The Pharisee and his prayer were entirely self-centered;
he prayed with and about himself, he repeated "I" four times.
We can address our words to God, but actually be praying to
ourselves, because our focus is on ourselves, not on God.
Praying with Pride makes "MY will be done" not "Thy will be
done", and that's a pretty big difference, isn't it?
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector guides us to
the place of prayer where we can meet God: That way begins
with, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
HE NEW COVENANT
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
We don’t have to go too far to see the destruction caused by the wars in the mid-East—earthquakes in Italy-fires in Alberta-floods and tornadoes south of the border We watched the devastation on TV --its hard to imagine people coming home to find homes demolished—burnt to the ground--downtown strewed with rumple from the destroyed buildings—the schools, hospitals nothing spared. Maybe some of you experienced house fires and barns burnt to the ground here in our community.
It doesn’t take much to imagine how it was in 587 BC, for the Israelite after a long exile they are returning home— and they had a rude awakening, they found their city of Jerusalem destroyed and their holy temple leveled to the ground—the people were devastated.
So we can have some empathy for the Israelite coming home to the destruction the Babylonians have done to their cities.
In the midst of this devastation, comes Jeremiah a prophet of God—Jeremiah lights a candle of hope to help overcome the people’s darkness--he attempts to give the people a new spirit—trying to comfort them and give them some hope of the future.
Through Jeremiah, God cries out to the people, “I will make a NEW COVENANT and I WILL WRITE IT ON THEIR HEARTS.”
**This NEW COVENANT contains a promise. Listen, God said “I will be your God and you will be my people.”
THAT’S ALL?? You would think that the law would have been spelled out in lists of rules that told us how to behave, but no, according to God, this simple sentence said it all. All the people had to do to belong to the covenant was to say, “WE WILL BE GOD’S PEOPLE.”
There was newness in the New Covenant, “the law will be written on the heart” God promises to change the people from the inside out, to give them a center. This is God’s language of love and faithfulness.
In Jeremiah we read how God provided covenants in the past, remember the 10 Commandments which contained commands, laws, and declarations all engraved on stone tablets. The people seemed incapable and powerless to make the lifestyle changes demanded by these laws.
Besides these tablets were kept hidden in the Ark, that’s the box the rabbis carried in their travels– then kept behind the veil in the temple-opened only to the priests. Written laws could easily be forgotten and misinterpreted.
I mentioned sometime backof the “Wicked Bible.” –printed 400 years ago-Commandment -#14 Thou shalt commit adultery!! The word “NOT.” was mistakenly omitted. We see it’s easy to make an error when copying written laws and it can have a disastrous or humorous affect if taken as the law!!
Written and Spoken Covenants didn’t seem to work.
God needed a method to help us learn from lessons from the past and be more inclined to follow good advice, something we are not very good at. Just think, people undergoing bypass surgery, a life and death matter they are directed by doctors to change their eating habits, stop smoking, exercise and significantly alter their life style. They know they should make these changes, yet studies show after two years patients have forgotten to alter their behavior and continued as if they never had the surgery.
Well this time God decided we needed behavioral changes coming from within-- so a new means of communicating with the people was needed.
And God took a unique approach, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their HEARTs, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” No Tablets, nothing to carry, for it will be installed in their “HEARTS.”
Imagine on our hearts! What change will that make to our way of living? Let’s Listen, God’s not finished and has more to say.
God goes on to tell them there will be “no more teaching about God” from now on instructions for living will be on everyone’s heart—and “Sin will be a thing of the past, all will receive forgiveness of their past sins and all wrong doings will be forgotten.”
I can heard them thinking, “is this really a good news?” Laws on our heart—no teaching—no sin—every wrong forgiven. I wonder if many thought this New Covenant will take away freedom—freedom to live the way they want!
Now don’t think God had any plans to take away our freedom to choose, but God is hopeful that with a new Covenant written on our hearts, our decisions will be made with compassion from the heart as well as the brain.
I was watching a Woody Allen movie this week “The Curse of the Jaded Scorpion” he was talking to his girlfriend who believed he had stole some jewelry. I paraphrase Woody said, “Can’t you believe me! Don’t just think with your brain it’s just a mass of grey matter. Think with your heart it’s full of life with blood running through it that keeps you alive.”
Imagine this is actually what God is saying to us!
There is a parallel between God’s New Covenant to the Israelites --and God’s message to us today through the life and teaching of JESUS.
GOD gave “a law written on the heart”— JESUS taught us “to love from the heart”—GOD said “the least and the mightiest(everyone) will know Me” — JESUS said “I came to save the world.”(everyone)-- GOD told them “their sins were forgiven and forgotten”— JESUS said “your sins are forgiven, go and forget your past.”
Most important GOD told them of a new relationship .”I will be your God and YOU shall be my people.” It will be a closer bond than before. JESUS taught us by words and deeds how to live in the New Covenant, “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” JESUS went the whole nine yards to be a model for us to follow. This was to be a totally new relationship between God and his people.
God only wants the best for us and with love engraved on our heart, it should give us freedom to live and love to the fullest.
It will be Intermingled with our emotions, our hopes and dreams.
What will it be like?
It will be Like FALLING IN LOVE for the first time—REMEMBER THOSE DAYS, remember the freedom we felt—We couldn’t wait to be with our love one—we brought them gifts, we wrote them love letters and we treated them with love and kindness.
It will be like grandparents, especially-grandma, hovering love and kindness on our grandchildren. Sometimes they might not deserve it but with the love and wisdom we have gathered some wisdom over the years and having GOD’S Covenant written on our hearts, we always respond to them with forgiveness and love.
Maybe that’s what it will be like, living by our heart, it will be itself an adventure in freedom—no revenge--no hate-only love—and knowing that all our actions reflect a new life that lies in our heart full of love and forgiveness.
Doesn’t that sound like the way we would want to live?
How will the New Covenant help us?
Instead of homes where parents feel the need to write down rules and set curfews, limits and chores and post them on the fridge; instead their might new approaches that will bring about family discussions and cooperation. Everyone, young and old, will have a say, share their ideas and everyone will pitch-in to make a loving home.
Picture people arguing —maybe husband and wife(we all know that scene)—two neighbours, maybe Steven Harper and Justin Trudeau slugging it out over some parliamentary procedure.
In the heat of the argument I don’t think anyone would be looking up the OLD COVENANT, written somewhere in the bible.
But love coming from our heart it will be natural to stop arguing and bickering— and will give us the freedom to compromise and not feel bitter—no winners or loser.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would abide by God’s law written on our hearts so we could and cherish our neighbours and live in peace and harmony with creation.
In Canada we have many concerns that need to be looked into--social security, first nation poverty, homeless men and women, teenage suicides, climate change and the list goes on!
We might have better luck addressing some of these problems if we would only think and act from the heart.
It seems that God’s NEW COVENANT can work in many different situations and it seems the sooner we start applying, the love that written on our hearts, the better off we will be.
Jesus calls us to open ourselves up to God, to welcome God’s love and say “WE WILL TRULY BE GOD’S PEOPLE!”
More photos at the end............................
Please note that the service was videotaped...
Celebrating 160 years
PRELUDE: The Franklin Ensemble
PROCESSIONAL: Amazing Grace (1779)
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
ti once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now ti see.
Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.
When we've been here ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise than when we'd first begun.
CALL TO WORSHIP:
ONE: Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord!
ALL: Praise the Lord! Give thanks to our God!
ONE: God has blessed us and brought us together to this time.
ALL: God has blessed us and brought us to this place.
ONE: In our 160 years together, our Church Family has weathered winters, storms and periods of drought.
ALL: In our 160 years together, our Church Family has enjoyed gentle sunshine, nourishing rains and the leisurely warmth of summer blessings.
ONE: For 160 years, God has nurtured and fed us, caused our roots to sink deep.
ALL: For 160 years, God has shown us His grace, growing fruit of abundant varieties.
ONE: For 160 years, God has made us witnesses in the world.
ALL: For 160 years, God has placed us in loving fellowship with one another.
ONE: Praise the Lord for 160 years! Praise our God for 160 more!
ALL: Praise the Lord evermore! Oh, praise the name of the Lord!
Throughout the Bible, the Lord reminds people to tell all generations of
their Lord's wonderful works. Part of what that means for us as a church, is that we must preserve the memory of how God has worked in our lives. A church that has a strong sense of its history will have a better sense of identity to build on for the future. Today we are going to take a look back to rediscover how our church came into being and how it has grown and changed over the years.
HYMN: He Leadeth Me (1862)
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.
Sweet Hour Of Prayer (1845) Valley Boys
PRAYER & LORD'S PRAYER:
On this special Sunday of recognizing and remembering our
past and celebrating with the wonderful gift of music, we bring before You, Lord, our hopes and aspirations for our life together. We give thanks for all that has gone on before and we give thanks for all those who have gone before. And so today, we gather in Your name, to hear once again the stories of faith in song.
May we receive a new vision for the church which embodies the values of the kingdom of God. May we be a church where power is held lightly and where the good news of Jesus Christ for all people is made real among us.
May we be a church where all are welcome. May we be a church which
manifests unity through diversity. May we be a church where our weaknesses are completed in You as we find strength together.
And as we commit ourselves once again to the vision of our church , we
pray the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen
Hard Times Come Again No More (1854) Joe Hevesy
ANNOUNCEMENTS, BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES:
SPECIAL MUSIC: How Great Thou Art (1885) Howard Welburn
(congregation joins in last verse and chorus)
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God how great thou art!
Chorus: Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,
How great thou art! How great thou art!
SPECIAL MUSIC: How Can Keep From Singing? (1868) Stewart Burrows
ROCKBURN CHURCH: THE HISTORY Gordon Rennie
SPECIAL MUSIC: It Is Well With My Soul (1876) Diane Morrison
ONE: We are a remembering people.
ALL: We look back to God's saving acts in the Creation, the flood, the
covenant, the Exodus, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Church.
ONE: And we remember that God has chosen us, baptized us, welcomed us into the family of Jesus Christ, rooting our story with His eternal story.
ALL: I will open my mouth with a parable; I will teach you lessons from the past, things we have heard and known, things are ancestors have told us. We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done.
SPECIAL MUSIC: Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere (1910) Howard Welburn
YMN: Love Lifted Me (1912)
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me — now safe am I.
Love lifted me, Love lifted me,
When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.
All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I'll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing.
Love so mighty and so true merits my soul's best songs;
Faithful, loving service too to Him belongs.
Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves;
He will lift you by His love out of the angry waves.
He's the Master of the sea, billows His will obey;
He your Saviour wants to be — be saved today.
SPECIAL MUSIC: In My Heart There Rings A Melody (1924) Valley Boys
ROCKBURN CHURCH: THE FIXTURES & FURNISHINGS
As you enter the church, the original Bible and Communion Chalices are displayed in a case designed by John Howe and built by George F. Williams.
At the turn of the last century, the hanging light in the entry was given by the Mossop family.
The chandelier in the sanctuary still contain the original oil fixtures which are lit for Christmas Eve.
The stained glass window on the left side of the pulpit depicts the Beloved Teacher surrounded by a group of children. This window was given to the church by Jesse Reeves Ryser in 1967. The window on the right depicts St. Cecilia seated at the organ. It was donated in 1969 by friends and relatives of Mr. & Mrs. Gibson. Florence played the
original organ which was purchased in 1892. Her husband,
William, was Clerk of Session for 51 years. He also served as
Secretary Treasurer and choir director. In 1931, Mr. Gibson
designed the beautiful fir ceiling which was installed by David
Barrington of Ormstown.
The bell, which is rung every Sunday morning, was donated by Mrs. James Denham, Rossie Denham and Mr. George Goldie.
The tapestry of the Last Supper was purchased by the Evening Auxiliary of the women's Missionary Society. The pews were purchased in 1931 from St. Malachie Church in Ormstown, and the Communion Table was given by the Cain family in memory of their parents and siblings.
The Bible was donated by Mr. Clark and the book mark and pulpit fall were obtained from the Outremont Presbyterian Church.
The church hall, where you are invited to congregate after the service for cake and reminiscing, was donated by the Orangemen.
We are very blessed to have so much of our heritage come from the love of God and the love shared between the members of this church and the community.
SPECIAL MUSIC: You're Going To Need Somebody On Your Bond (1930) David Whyte and Kevin Harvey
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE:
Almighty God, we give You thanks for the work you have done in this place over the past 160 years. We give You thanks for Your love and faithfulness. When we called on Your name, You made Your presence known to us. When we prayed, You heard us.
When we proclaimed and heard Your Word, and shared Your
Sacraments, You have been in our midst. You have sent Your Holy Spirit to heal and comfort our hurts, our sorrows, our infirmities and our losses. Continue to comfort, heal and lift up the broken and afflicted among us. By the promise of Your presence, bring us Your healing love. Bring us at last to the joy of Your eternal kingdom, where, with the faithful of this church who have gone before us, we may evermore praise Your name.
Blessed Lord, draw our hearts to You, guide our minds, fill our
imaginations, control our will and make us wholly Yours. Use us as
You will, to the glory of Your holy name and the welfare of Your
people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
In The Bulb There Is A Flower (1985)
In the bulb, there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree,
in cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there's a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
There's a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There's a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will came the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
In our end is our beginning, in our time, infinity;
in our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection, at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
SPECIAL MUSIC: We Missed You At Church Last Sunday (1973) Kent Sutton
ROCKBURN CHURCH: THE FUTURE Nancy Campbell
So many churches have closed their doors over the past two decades and many more are only a generation away from that happening to them. If we go back to the beginning of Christianity we see the church that Jesus started was breakthrough church. It was a living and growing church. Rockburn is a living and growing church.
We are of one mind, always working together. We are together in our thinking, our ministry and our worship. We have been willing to do whatever it takes to see the work of God go forward. We work alongside one another. We minister to each other as well as those outside the church. We are willing to do whatever it takes to see the work of God go forward in this church.
As we look forward to the future of our church, we will not be satisfied with the status quo. We choose to be a breakthrough church. A church that is alive and thriving. A church made up of members who are alive and thriving in their walk with God. Rockburn Presbyterian Church does have a future!
Let us pray: God of our present and our future, as we have gathered here today we wonder what our future will bring. Fill us with a vision for what we could be. Give us hope for our congregation and our community. Help us find the choices that lead to a life in abundance.
God of hope, show us the opportunities in our chaotic world, remind us to consider seriously where our priorities and loyalties lie, and fill us with hope in a new heaven and a new earth. God of our future, may we walk boldly into what may come, as people, not only of faith, but of hope. May we share Your hope and promise with the world
in which we live. Amen.
SPECIAL MUSIC: Hallelujah (1984) Elisabeth Churchill
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below: Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Lord, we remember the faith of those from long ago. We honour their courage, their wisdom and determination on this day of celebration. We stand on the shoulders of many clouds of witnesses. We bring to You our time, talents and money to continue the work You began with our ancestors.
We stand in the middle of greater possibilities. You have carried us through many dangers, toils and snares. Eyes have not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of men and women, things which You have prepared for those who love You. We bring all we have to You. Use it to continue the work You started long ago. Amen
SPECIAL MUSIC: Gloria (1987) Rockburn Choir
HYMN: Shine, Jesus, Shine (1995)
Lord the light of your love is shining in the midst of the darkness, shining;
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us.
Set us free by the truth you now bring us. Shine on me; shine on me.
Shine Jesus shine; fill this land with the Father's glory;
Blaze, Spirit blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow; flood the nations with grace and mercy;
Send forth Your word, Lord, and let there be light!
As we gaze on your kingly brightness, so our faces display your likeness,
Ever changing from glory to glory:
Mirrored here may our lives tell your story. Shine on me; shine on me.
BENEDICTION & CHORAL AMEN:
May the past be a light of benediction on the present.
May the present be a radiant searchlight on the future.
May the future be a beautiful haven of well-earned rest.
And may the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.
POSTLUDE: Bless This House (1927) Chenaniah
"In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean to you?', you should tell them..."