Nancy & Norm
PROCESSIONAL: Thy Word
CALL TO WORSHIP:
God has given us breath to live and spirit to sing.
Thanks be to God.
God has gathered us into a community of care and worship.
Thanks be to God.
Let us worship God with love, thanksgiving and praise.
Thanks be to God.
WELCOME & COVID RULES:
#56 Great Is Your Faithfulness Vs. 1 & 2
OPENING PRAYER & THE LORD'S PRAYER:
Lord, we gather together this morning to worship You and to pray. We pray that You will always be there to light our way. We strive every day to resist evil and pray that Your light will always shine on. May
others see Your glory through us and come to worship You as the Living God. And we continue to pray with Your words, saying: 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.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES:
OFFERING: There will not be the usual collecting of our offering.
God's kingdom is brought to this earth whenever we choose, and we bring our unique gifts. To pray for God's kingdom means we are making a commitment to create a world here on earth that closely mimics what we imagine heaven to be like. Every decision we make, every choice, every action, every offering has the potential to bring God's promised kingdom to life here. We are all given different gifts so we can all bring a small piece of God's kingdom in the way we are gifted to bring it. Let us pray: Gracious God, accept these gifts, and with them and our lives, to be used in Your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
New International Version
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
New International Version
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
New International Version
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
HYMN: #3 What A Friend We Have In Jesus Vs. 1 & 2
Lord, please forgive us for what we have done to You. We offer up this forgiveness prayer in hopes that You will look at our mistakes and know that we didn't mean to hurt You. We know that You know we are not perfect. We know that what we did went against You, but we hope that You will forgive us, just as You forgive others like us. We will try, Lord, to change. We will make every attempt to not give in to temptation again. We know that You are the most important thing in our life, Lord, and we know that what we did was disappointing. We ask, Lord, that You provide us with guidance in the future. We ask for the discerning ear and open heart to hear and feel what You are telling us to do. We pray that we will have the understanding to remember this time and that You give us the strength to go in a different direction. Lord, thank you for all You do for us. We pray that You pour Your grace upon us. This we pray in Your name, Amen.
"Wide River To Cross" Norm Rennie
"lf we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8. Have any of you ever made a mistake? Be honest. Hands up if you've ever made a mistake. See, even my hand is up r When you made that mistake, whether big or small, did you do anything about it? You've probably heard the story of the man who got up early and dressed in the dark, only to find out later, when he got to work, that he was wearing one blue sock and one Argyle sock, He couldn't go back home to change them, so when anyone noticed, he just said, III have another pair just like them at home!" The lesson: if
you learn to chuckle at your mistakes, you will seldom be short of laugh material.
We all make mistakes, and some of these mistakes are funny, like the two different socks. But we don't like admitting that we've made a mistake because we get embarrassed and we think those who saw or know about our mistakes will look down on us. Most of us don't like to admit when we're wrong. Some say the three hardest words for a man
to say is "I love YOU," but it's probably more true that the three hardest
words for us to say are "I was wrong."
Some mistakes are quite serious, and, at the very least, can cause of lot of problems. A drum major on parade in a California town tossed his baton which hit two 4000-volt power lines, melting the baton as well as blacking out a ten block area and putting a radio station off the air. A bank robber told the teller not to give him the cash but to deposit the money into his checking account. Thank God for dumb criminals. On his first assignment for a newspaper, a rookie reporter drove a company car to a car-crushing plant, parked in the wrong area, and returned from interviewing the manager just in time to see the vehicle compacted into scrap metal.
However, some mistakes turn out to be very good. Alexander Fleming left a pile of dirty petri dishes stacked on his workstation before he left on vacation and when he returned home he discovered a lot of contamination. He dumped most of the dishes in a vat of Lyso!. But when he got to a dish containing staphylococcus, something odd caught his eye. The dish was covered in colonies of bacteria except in one area where a blob of mold was growing and that's when penicillin was identified. From that little act of scientific sloppiness, we got one of the most widely used antibiotics used today. Other discoveries made by mistakes include the slinky, Post-it notes, the colour mauve, plastics, Corn Flakes and Wheaties, the pacemaker and many others.
These mistakes brought something positive, but not all mistakes end up that way. In life, all Christians will make mistakes, but we should all want to use our mistakes for good and to learn from them. Everyone makes mistakes, even those in the Bible. Ask yourself, are you gaining wisdom from your mistakes?
All of us have said things we wish we hadn't and we have dome things we wish we hadn't done. But what is past is done and we don't get a do-over with our past mistakes. So how can we fix it? There's only one place to find the answer and that's the Bible. Everyone makes mistakes, even those in the Bible. The heroes of the faith were not perfect, they had their share of blunders. But God will always forgive us our little mistakes and our largest sins as long as we ask for His forgiveness. I'll give you a few examples: first from Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, let us reason together says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." And from Daniel 9:9, "The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have reb lled against Him." From Micah 7:18-19. "Who is a God like you who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us." So let's ask ourselves, once we ask for forgiveness are we gaining wisdom from mistakes?
Now, let's listen to a Bible story about making a mistake.
When Jesus came out of the wilderness, having passed through the great temptation, He was filled with the Spirit of God. He came once again to the place where John was baptizing. It was late afternoon and John was standing with two of his disciples, John and Andrew. After seeing Jesus, John the Baptist said to his disciples, If Look! There is the Lamb of God." Hearing this, John and Andrew quickly ran to Jesus. Jesus asked, "What are you looking for?"
They asked Him where He was staying and Jesus invited them to come and see. John and Andrew spent the rest of the day with Jesus, but first Andrew said, "I want my brother Simon to be in on this." Then Andrew brought Simon to Jesus, and Jesus named him Simon Peter.
The next day Jesus was determined to go to Galilee, but first He found Philip and told him to come with Him. And Philip went and found his friend Nathanael whose home was in Cana.
When Jesus met Nathanael He said, "Here is really an Israelite, true and honest." Nathanael was surprised that Jesus knew who He was. Jesus told him that He noticed him earlier under a fig tree praying secretly under the tree's branches. And then Nathanael knew that Jesus was the Son of God.
Jesus asked, "Do you believe? You shall see greater things. I'm telling you that you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
That made Nathanael think of Jacob's dream. In his dream, Jacob saw a ladder or stairway reaching from heaven to earth, and angels going up and down on it. Nathanael had called Jesus the Son of God, but Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. That made a connection between heaven and earth. Nathanael was a very thoughtful man, and he thought a lot about what Jesus had said. He realized that Jesus is the ladder reaching from heaven to earth: Son of God, Son of Man. And
through Him God sends the angels from heaven to earth to care for us.
Then they all left and went straight to Nathanael's home in Cana. On the third day there was a wedding there and Jesus was asked to attend. Jewish weddings were steeped in tradition and ritual. One of the customs was providing an extravagant feast for the guests. Something went wrong at this wedding however, because they ran out of wine early. In that culture such a miscalculation would have been a great humiliation for the bridegroom. Mary, Jesus' mother, was also attending the wedding. It was an open wedding where everybody was welcome. There were more people than had been expected, perhaps because they heard that Jesus was there. Before long the refreshments were gone. The bridegroom was very embarrassed. But Mary quietly said to Jesus, "They have no wine."
Jesus replied, "Do not try to direct Me. It isn't time yet for Me to act." But His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you to do."
Jesus loved His mother and He wouldn't disappoint her when He could help it. The servants stood looking at Him, waiting. There were six big jars standing there. They had probably held the wine that was now depleted or perhaps they had been filled with water for household use. However, they were empty now.
Jesus told the servants to fill the jars with water. They hurried to the well and drew the water, bucket after bucket, and poured it into the six big jars. Soon all six jars were full of water.
Then Jesus said, "Draw some out and take it to the master of the feast."
They did as they were asked and the master of the feast tasted it. Then he called to the bridegroom. He said, "Everyone else serves his good wine first, and his poorer wine after the guests have drunk a lot. But you have kept back your good wine until now."
The master of the feast didn't know, the bridegroom didn't know and all the guests didn't know where the good wine had come from. But the servants knew, and it didn't take long to let all the people know that Jesus, the Son of Mary, had turned six big jars of water into wine. And Jesus' fame grew.
Turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana was the first miracle Jesus performed. This miracle, showing Jesus' control over physical elements like water, marked the beginning of His ministry. Like His other miracles, it benefited people in need. Not only did Jesus produce a large quantity of wine, but the quality of it astonished the banquet master. In the same way, Jesus pours His spirit into us in abundance, giving us God's best. And after they saw this miracle the disciples began to see how amazing Jesus really was.
Running out of wine was hardly a life or death situation, nor was anyone in any physical pain. Yet Jesus interceded with a miracle to
solve the problem. God is interested in every aspect of our life. What matters to you and me matters to Him.
We all make so many little mistakes and blunders. And there's a knock, knock joke that can help remind us what to do. Knock, Knock. Who's there? Leon. Leon who? Leon me when you're not strong. So when we get discouraged and sometimes we get depressed, and we know exactly what to do, we can always lean on Jesus. Because if Jesus is our guest, He will know what to do. He will take the little, common things we have in our homes and make them sweeter than anything we could purchase. Jesus doesn't offer us anything cheap. Everything He offers us is the very best.
I leave you with you two questions: Have you ever asked Jesus to come and be a guest in your life? Is Jesus a friend of yours?
Let us pray: Gracious Lord, we thank you that Mary believed in Jesus and encouraged Him to begin His ministry at the wedding at Cana and help us to be bold disciples. Like the master of the feast at Cana, everyone makes a mistake, big or small. Thank you for the many times You have given us a second chance. We ask that You provide us with guidance. We accept the responsibility for the mistakes we make. We know You have given us Your grace. We know You have given us Your mercy. Forgive us for the times we have made bad choices and help us forgive ourselves. This we ask in Your name. Amen.
God loves us like a good parent and is present in every aspect of our existence. Let God's joy, peace, love and justice be the reality for us as we live the way Jesus taught us to live. Let us always stay centered on God's
love, for that is the true reality in this, our present, and in all our future. This we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN: #42 lean On Me
BENEDICTION & CHORAL AMEN: Go now, and live out our song of praise to God. Discipline yourself in all things, however small, so that you may attain the prize of salvation that is yours in Jesus Christ. We go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
POSTLUDE: Nancy & Norm
Psalm 145 : 1-8
New International Version
A psalm of praise. Of David.
1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty--
and I will meditate on your wonderful works
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works--
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
Philippians 1 : 21-30
New International Version
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[a] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
New International Version
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Matthew 20: 1-16 Just Standing Around
In many farming communities, migrant day laborers stand on corners from the early hours of the morning, waiting for someone to hire them. Workers who are standing at the corner of a park, the market, or the hardware store in the early afternoon have probably been up since four or five in the morning.
Those who do not get hired by the various local landowners will probably have nothing to eat that night. Often the people who are hired first are the young, strong men--the people who are healthy and in the prime of their lives.
The older folks, the women, and children are the ones who suffer most. They often wait all day long to be hired.
They wait, they hope, they pray that someone will come...needing them... wanting them... with mercy and grace.
Oftentimes they go home empty handed. Or if they are hired toward the middle or end of the day, they certainly won't make enough money to survive.
The social situation in Jesus' day was that many small farmers were being forced off their land because of debt they/incurred to pay Roman taxes. This violated God's command in Leviticus that land could not be taken away from the people who work it, but of course the Romans didn't care about this.
As a result, large pools of unemployed people gathered each morning, hoping to be hired for the day. They were the displaced, unemployed and/or underemployed workers of their day. Those still waiting at five o'clock had little chance of earning enough to buy food for their
families that day.
Yet our Landowner pays even them a full day's wage.
In this parable, about the way things work in the kingdom of heaven, the landowner, of course, represents God. The day laborers waiting in the marketplace to be hired are the lost, the hungry, the broken, the marginalized.
They are the lost sheep. The lost coin. They are the meth addicts. They are the prostitutes. They are the reviled tax collector, and the corrupt businessperson. They are the least, the last, the lost: They are you and me, or our neighbor next door. And they are all waiting for something.
Maybe they are searching for meaning in life. Maybe they are desperate. Maybe they are hungry. Maybe they are thirsty.
But.... the Landowner is out looking for them. He's looking to take them from the marketplace to the vineyard. He's looking to care for them, to have mercy on them.
He has work for them to do. and He will pay them all the same wage--whether they are hired first or last...whether they/are the most hated criminal in the world, or the most venerated saint.
The beginning of this parable is fairly typical of many of Jesus' parables, and it's consistent with ancient farming and modern farming for that matter. The landowner goes out to hire day laborers, and he does so early in the morning.
The laborers agree on a denarion for the day's work.
Then, after this familiar opening scene, the parable becomes increasingly strange.
With each moment the parable starts feeling less like a story about farming, and the characters seem to be less and less the owner of a real vineyard and real farm laborers.
The owner goes back to the marketplace later in the morning and in the mid-afternoon, searches out and finds more unemployed workers.
We are told that they are "standing around the marketplace doing nothing" and that the landowner promises to pay these folks "whatever is right."
This really is very unusual because generally a farm owner would have hired all the laborers he needed early in the morning. But this guy keeps going back and looking for more!!!
As we read the parable, we start to get the sense that the landowner hires these people later in the day not because he needs them, but simply because they are there. In other words--they need him!!!
Then, the story gets even stranger.
The landowner goes back to the marketplace at the end of the day. He finds more laborers "standing around." Now, these would be the laborers that no one else wanted. These would be the real outcasts. The real hard-cases. These would be the paralytics, the blind those with missing limbs, the lepers, the old, the widows and the very young.
"Why are you just standing around here doing nothing all day long?" the landowner asks. "Because no one hired us,' they replied. And so he responded, 'You also go work in my vineyard.'" And Notice that the landowner doesn't even promise to pay them anything.
Then, when the day ends, the landowner not only pays those who were hired last first, he also pays everyone the same wage.
But those who were hired first grumbled against the landowner. They got a little angry, like maybe they might have been taken advantage of.
This parable is kind of similar to the parable of the Prodigal Son. The older son in the story is furious that the younger brother who squandered his inherirance is welcomes home by their father with joy and a great celebration.
It is not fair.
It,s not fair that the older son, who stayed home and did what he was supposed to do, doesn't get morethan what the younger son gets.
An how unjust it is that the landowner doesn't pay those who labored all day more money than those who only worked an hour. How unfair of the landowner to treat all the laborers equally!!! I tell you friends, it all just smacks of socialism!
But... One thing that the persons who were hired earliest in the day miss, is that they were given the great privilege of working much longer than those major outcasts; the folks who had to stand around all that time, being rejected again and again--wasting much of their lives.
To be invited into the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of the Vineyard Owner is the greatest thing that can ever happen to us. As soon as we start working for God, our lives take on meaning. We begin to move towards transformation, and we experience a peace and a joy that the world can never know. And we have life, REAL life, right here and now!!!!
To come in late is to miss all that. How could we ever grumble?
Think of the miserable experiences for those who do not yet know the Lord. Think of the misery, to have to live in this broken, dog-eat-dog world without a personal relationship with God...without hope, without meaning and without ever experiencing the UNCONDITIONAL love
of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
One thing we learn from this parable is that the landowner gives everyone in the story work. Each of the laborers are eventually employed.
They all begin the day in the same situation, but by the time the day is done, those hired early in the morning easily forget where they started.
Life is a marketplace of people waiting for the opportunity to do what they were created to do. Every person has great potential which is waiting to be discovered. And all of the laborers in Jesus' parable were people of great potential as well. And they would have stayed in the marketplace all day if the Landowner had not come and offered them a job.
The Landowner's call--like our call from God--was the beginning of their self-worth and their productivity.
Our only choice is whether to answer the call to work in Goc 's kingdom or to stand idle and waste our lives. And it's not God's will that anyone's life should be wasted, so God extends the invitation repeatedly, searching and seeking out the lost in order to gather in as many people as possible into God's vineyard.
Everyone is equally deserving or undeserving of the opportunity to work, and the reward is equal for all as well.
"I want to give to this one who was hired last the same as I give you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you resentful because I am generous?"
The landowner has the right to pay His workers not on the basis of what they themselves have done, but on the basis of His own compassion.
And those of us who worship this kind of God must also imitate His generosity, mercy and love. God has called all of us to go into the marketplace, over and over again, inviting the precious human creatures He loves, saying, 'You also go into the vineyard.'
We serve a God Who's generosity is outrageous!!! We should rejoice and be glad!!!
And friends, we should get to work!!! AMEN
Sum it up!
Matthew 22: 34-40
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Since the beginning of the time of the Scriptures and of the Commandments People have been trying to sum up the commandments into its essence.. It has been documented that there are 613 Commandments in the scriptures We are very well acquainted with the 10 Commandments, and if you notice the first half of the Commandments are addressing man’s relationship with God And the second half of the Commandments are addressing man’s relationship with man Overtime, other commandments and laws were added to the 613, or 10 Commandments by teachers of the law… their intention was to control and to prevent people from transgressing the law altogether.
Jim Cantalon said
“If you can imagine the law as a circle, and then a fence around that circle made up of extra laws to prevent the people from even approaching the circle.” It was virtually impossible to keep the 613 laws, or the10 Commandments, let alone these extra burdens.
The main message
So what then are people to do?
Thanks be to God that a way has been provided! Thanks be to God for the “good news“. Thanks be to God for the saviour of the world not just the nation of Israel. Our Lord Jesus Christ , His finished work on the cross. And for these words which we have from our saviour which are very precious, that is “To love the Lord your God…etc. And your neighbor…etc”
Thank you for the cross
Picture the cross…. A vertical and horizontal plain…
What do you learn from this passage and from the cross?
That you cannot have one without the other!
Why?... man’s relationship with God … to be right with our God
Why?... man’s relationship with man … to exercise justice with our Neighbor.
We live in a time now where everything is coming to a head,, so to speak Everybody has an opinion of what is right and what is wrong. Some peoples idea of right, is other peoples idea of evil, and vice versa. How can I be?
People spew out all kinds of things on the Internet that many of us get involved with. But I’m telling you it’s like a rabbit hole that just goes on and on.
So, How are Christians, those who put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ,. How are we to think, and behave?
What is our source of truth? What is our guidebook?
Well I submit to you today, and I will submit to you tomorrow and every day of my life. That the holy scripture in your Bible is the only source of truth. Do you wanna be right with God? Then you have to do it on His terms!
We as a human race are prideful, we like to come up with our own ideas. With our own ways with our own systems. We like to take this and that from the Scriptures that we like. And throw the other things away.
I have a way of saying that when it comes to the Lord Jesus. Sometimes we throw the baby out with the bathwater.. we think Jesus is OK, we just don’t like his book… we like to picture Jesus born in a manger on Christmas morning, but we don’t like to picture him coming back in the clouds with glory to judge the nations! We love the idea of the Jesus who says. “Suffer not the little children to come onto me” but we cringe at the part where Jesus says. “Depart from me for I never knew you“..
No we are the most blessed of people, when we except the whole counsel of God. We are truly saved from what we deserve when we give our lives to Christ. We are truly enlightened when we are doers of the law and not just hearers.
I admit to you that there are many parts in this book that sometimes make me cringe,, but it’s the parts that reveal the character of humanity,, and our incredible resourcefulness to invent wickedness.. but not the parts that reveal the character of God!
What must our mantra be?
Let’s sum it up! Matthew chapter 22
When we can wrap our minds around this concept.. I love the Lord our God with all our hearts.,
That it is a concept of love. A concept of thankfulness for what The Lord has done and is doing and, not so much a concept of don’t do this don’t do that make sure you do this make sure you do that.
Then we will begin to realize that as we allow the sanctification process of the Holy Spirit to work in us that we just naturally become more Christlike , More loving, more patient, more obedient, more willing etc.
And notice you can’t have one without the other, by that I mean it’s first relationship with God that is nurtured and cherished by us. Then the natural consequences and working out is our relationships with our neighbours.
If you love God and ate your neighbors. You’re a liar
If you love your neighbours but can’t stand the things of God. You’re lost
We all have to repent of such ways of thinking.
God first and foremost with its natural outflowing to your neighbours.
If I may suggest, because this is The problem that I face almost weekly when I argue and negotiate with the Holy Spirit…
I say to my self and to the Lord, Of course in my daily devotions. Because I’m so good…. “But I can’t stand this person“ and you after all Lord are most understanding and can excuse me on this can’t you? And then I read His book and come to my senses. NO
So rather than trying to find something loveable in the unlovable. I pray this way… Lord love this person through me! Lord make me a vessel of your will. Not my will Lord but yours…
Then and only then most times, not always. I can find the patients and the love to Direct to those who are not quite so lovable.
I wish I could do the same thing when it comes to the love for food. But unfortunately no matter how much I pray. Brussels sprouts still taste like brussels sprouts.
So may We all be encouraged today by this passage in Matthew chapter 22. And may we all go out and meditate on this mantra.
And may we implement it now in every day for the rest of our lives.
God bless you … AMEN
Call to Worship
Lord we are in your presence
Let us be in the right mind to worship you
Lord we are in your presence
Let the hills and valleys hear our prayer
Lord we are in your presence
Let our united prayers fold back the power of disease
Lord we are in your presence
Let our presence wash your feet with our grateful tears of joy
Welcome & Covid rules - (Betty)
Opening Hymn - #20 Morning Has Broken.
Opening Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Announcements and Special Days - (Betty)
There will not be the usual collecting with plates for our offering.
A collection box is available...Thank You!
Offertory Prayer - (in unison)
We place these gifts into your hands, O God. Infuse them with your transforming grace that they may become seeds springing forth with new life, new songs of praise and new hope for people everywhere. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Hymn - #90 Put Your Hand in the Hand
Prayer in Troubled Times
Scripture: Psalm 8 & Matt 19 1-6
Psalm 8 New International Version
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Matthew 19:1-6 New International Version
19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Message: “Out of the Mouths of Babes”
Message - Out of the Mouths of Babes
I was 4 years old when I remember starting to ask about the the realities and uncertainties of the world around me.
“Sweet Mother, if I keep growing will I hit the ceiling someday?”
“Sweet Mother, is elephant soup made from elephants? Why isn’t it grey?”
“Dear Father, why is that man walking up the steps of the Jewish temple, or church?”
After a particularly poignant dream, I said to my father, “You know, I can play the violin.”
My father was a total realist and pooh-poohed what I had claimed. “No, my Joe, you can’t play the violin yet, but some day, you might, with lots of practice.”
But I insisted that I could play it now. I told him I played it in my dream when I was asleep.
So he went and got my little violin from my toy closet and asked me to play it for him.
So, I did, and after several screes and screws, I put the little violin down and felt very sad. I knew that I had played it beautifully. See, it wasn’t so much that I failed to repeat my fluid dream performance. It wasn’t that I felt bad for myself. It was that I felt bad for my father. I knew how much he loved violin music, and I wanted him to hear it the same way I had played it in my dream, like an angel, perhaps.
You see, it is my belief that children have a special link to the Lord. It is a link born instinctively of love, a love that springs naturally from innocence and from an instinctive reaction to the world around them, carried forward by them at birth from their Creator. It is a love expressed by a need to share unselfishly in acts of giving, hugging, laughing, and creating. The creation is expressed in the way they play, the way they draw, the way they sing, the way they exuberantly give of themselves.
This is why Jesus spoke in Luke 18:15-17:
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Unfortunately, most so-called mature adults lose this connection to God as they grow older. Even Paul said in 1 Corinthians:
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
“I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
This is what adults do. They put childhood ways behind them. Of course, it is difficult not to do so. Childhood ways are often in conflict with our survival needs, so we suppress those ways, we forget our innocence, we forget our instinctive love for each other, we put behind “our childish ways.” These are the ways that I put behind me when I couldn’t play the violin for my father.
So, it becomes a challenge as we further and further suppress our childhood to remember and to retain the best parts of that childhood and to bring these with us into maturity. In a sense, this is what Jesus teaches us. When He says, Love God above all things, he is suggesting to us that God is the most important element of our lives. More important than any material or earthly concern. And how can we express that love for God? Love your neighbour as yourself. God is in us, God is in all our neighbours, God is present in all things, little children recognize this presence instinctively. So, our challenge is to retain this knowledge, this recognition, into our aging years and keep the God connection, the love connection with all people, our family, our friends, and also our enemies.
How are some of the ways that children express their love? Let me offer you some vibrant examples by kids of all ages and both genders.
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds ,
'What does love mean?
The answers they got were broader, deeper, and more profound than anyone could have ever imagined !
See what you think:
'When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn't bend over and paint
her toenails anymore.. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca, age 8
'When someone loves you , the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy, age 4
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl, age 5
'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny, age 8
'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen.'
Bobby, age 7
(Let me stop for a few seconds while you all just listen for a bit…did you hear and feel the love?)
If you want to learn to love better you should start with a friend who you hate.
Nikka, age 6
(we need a few million more Nikkas on Earth)
During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared any more.
Cindy, age 8
'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes
and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren, age 4
(Now I’m not sure if that is entirely love, but I’m also not sure it isn’t.)
'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica, age 8
(I really, really, love that one.)
When I turned 5, my mother left my father and, together with my future stepfather, we escaped Hungary and eventually ended up in Montreal. A whole lot of things took place during that time, but what I want to bring out with this story is the reaction of a child to the event. The event of divorce. As you may know, Jesus was against divorce even if Moses approved of it in certain narrow circumstances. The point I want to draw out is that when parents divorce, it’s the children who take the greatest emotional hit. That, at least, was my personal experience. Now, I know there are many reasons parents divorce. Some are more readily justified than others. But I don’t want to delve into all those reasons, or even some. And children, to all appearances, can bounce back from the trauma and lead future fruitful lives.
I had a stepfather who raised me with fondness and a good heart. I received the benefit of his life experience and I was grateful for it. From him, I received fine examples of manhood in every possible way, hard work, physical activity, ethical behaviour, and tenacious attachment to principles. God was good to me. If I had to lose my father, He made sure I gained one just as good.
Of course, that didn’t remove the pain of finding out I would never see my birth father again, or so I imagined, even when at the age of 20 I met with him again in a bittersweet reunion. Even though my parents are all gone now, the pain of those early years of separation has never entirely washed away. That’s just the way a child hurts. It’s a permanent hurt. Oh, yes, I bounced back. I received no mortal wound, but it was a lifelong wound nonetheless.
That’s why Christ was so protective of all children. That’s why he said:
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”
Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge.
The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman, who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old Gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry.’
Children bounce back. Children are inherently optimistic. One year when I was coaching hockey with 12 year olds, one of the first things I taught them was to chant, “We’re No. 1, we’re No.1,” as they left the dressing room and took to the ice. Of course, there was always one kid who would ask, “But Coach, what if we’re not No. 1? What if we don’t win any games?”
So, I asked him, “Did I ever say anything about winning games, Ted?”
“The thing is, Ted, you have to be No. 1 in your head and in your heart before you can be that in the standings. In fact, once you know that, the standings don’t matter so much any more.”
Adults may not accept the wisdom in that principle as easily as kids.
Here’s what I mean. A writer wrote this little story:
On my way home one day, I stopped to watch a Little League baseball game being played in a park near my home. As I sat down on a bench behind the first base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was.
“We’re behind 14 to 0, he answered with a smile.
“Really,” I said. “I have to say you don’t look very discouraged.”
“Discouraged?” he said with a puzzled look. “Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t been up to bat yet.”
Then there’s the little story about a young man named Jamie Scott. His mother knew he had his heart set on winning a part in the school play, but since he was the youngest boy trying out, she was afraid he wouldn’t win a part. On the day the parts were awarded, Jamie’s mother drove to school to pick him up. As she drew near, Jamie rushed up to her, his eyes shining with excitement. “Guess what?, Mom, he shouted.
“I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer”
There’s another boy who will grow up to be a winner.
Of course, we can’t always be constantly optimistic. We can’t always be brimming with confidence, no matter how strong our beliefs are. But we can always put our trust in a loving God. We can always know that he has our back, that we will never be left alone.
Closing Prayer, the babes speak.
We believe in you
Thank you for the joy and beauty of this world
Thank you for all the animals and the growing things
Thank you for the stars up in the ether and
Thank you for the oceans that surround us with a water world.
When we see all such beauty and wonder
We have to take it all in and when we do
We see your face and all the love in it.
Amen Lord. Amen
Solo - I Still Believe in You (Joe - a cappella)
I Believe in You
I walked in wonder by the woods
as darkness claimed the day
I felt your presence, Lord, be near
It prompted me to say
Since You’re the all in all
I know what I must do
is whisper to the quiet night
that I believe in you.
And then my restless heart grew still
When came a sure reply
"My son, you are beloved to me
I heard your lonely cry"
Then all that was before
Was ever more so true
That anywhere within the night
I still believed in You.
I believe in You. I believe in You.
No one else could light the stars
And make the ocean blue,
I believe…in You.
And then the weight of all my fears
were washed away from me
I grew as placid as a cloud
And deep as any sea
Yes, I had wandered far
Much farther than I knew
When I decided to be still
I still believed in you.
I believe in You. I believe in You.
All the journeys I have made
Each a different hue.
I believe in You. I believe…In You.
You’re the one who lit the stars
And made my oceans blue.
Hymn - #29 Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Benediction & Choral Amen
Postlude: Nancy & Norm
Announcements: Welcome to our Rockburn Church Service!
Thank you Joe, Nancy and Norm for leading us in worship today.
Please respect the work of all those who generously prepare texts and services for our Church.
Do not copy without their authorization.