Dunsford United Church Bulletin – Transcript Service – March 7, 2021
Kevin Fitzpatrick – Liturgy
WELCOME AND CELEBRATIONS
In the name of a message of love and compassion in the world we know as Jesus Christ, we are guided by the Holy Spirit. God leads us here.
Wherever you are, God is with you, God is with me and God is in creation in all forms, everything good. God is where God needs to be.
We come and celebrate together, our milestones, our successes, anniversaries, birthdays, and God celebrates with us!
LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES
If you have a candle, I invite you to light it, or hold the light of God in your heart, knowing, that the light of God, burns brightly inside of you and glows and shines on those around you, when you are the hands and feet of God in the world.
We come today, knowing our Light has come, we light the Christ Candle, representing Christ in our lives, and that light that shines in our community. We take that light into our community and carry that light and do Gods work here as the light and the hands of God. And we carry our light out into the world, looking for other messages of love and light in the world, our neighbours, and the light shines brighter, to mend the world.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE LANDS
We acknowledge, honour and respect this land and the Anishnabeg/Mississauga peoples with whom Treaty 20, Williams treaty, was signed, on the lands where we are, and we acknowledge also and give thanks for the lands and people of treaties and unceded territories of all who are worshiping. It is up to all of us to live into truth, respect, reconciliation and right relations.
PRAYER OF APPROACH
whose signature we see, if we dare to look,
in the creation of the universe,
help us this hour to look and to listen
for Your handwriting and Your voice in this place,
among these people.
Connect our temporary praise to Your timeless rhythms,
Your ageless melodies,
Your everlasting joyful noise.
Guide us now to focus upon You,
knowing that in You,
our distractions become new possibilities for action.
Breathe life into our singing, our praying,
our speaking, our listening, our touching,
that all these activities might become more than they are.
In our worship we reach out to You, O God,
knowing that You have already enfolded us in Your arms.
In Jesus, we pray. Amen.
~ posted on My Redeemer Lives website. http://www.myredeemerlives.com/prayers.html
WE HEAR GOD’S WORD
Exodus 20:1-17 Living Bible Translation
Then God issued this edict:
2 “I am Jehovah your God who liberated you from your slavery in Egypt.
3 “You may worship no other god than me.
4 “You shall not make yourselves any idols: no images of animals, birds, or fish. 5 You must never bow or worship it in any way; for I, the Lord your God, am very possessive. I will not share your affection with any other god!
“And when I punish people for their sins, the punishment continues upon the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of those who hate me; 6 but I lavish my love upon thousands of those who love me and obey my commandments.
7 “You shall not use the name of Jehovah your God irreverently,[a] nor use it to swear to a falsehood. You will not escape punishment if you do.
8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath as a holy day. 9 Six days a week are for your daily duties and your regular work, 10 but the seventh day is a day of Sabbath rest before the Lord your God. On that day you are to do no work of any kind, nor shall your son, daughter, or slaves—whether men or women—or your cattle or your house guests. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heaven, earth, and sea, and everything in them, and rested the seventh day; so he blessed the Sabbath day and set it aside for rest.[b]
12 “Honor your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you.
13 “You must not murder.
14 “You must not commit adultery.
15 “You must not steal.
16 “You must not lie.[c]
17 “You must not be envious of your neighbor’s house, or want to sleep with his wife, or want to own his slaves, oxen, donkeys, or anything else he has.”.
John 2:13-22 Living Bible Translation
13 Then it was time for the annual Jewish Passover celebration, and Jesus went to Jerusalem.
14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices, and moneychangers behind their counters. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out, and drove out the sheep and oxen, scattering the moneychangers’ coins over the floor and turning over their tables! 16 Then, going over to the men selling doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Don’t turn my Father’s House into a market!”
17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Concern for God’s House will be my undoing.”
18 “What right have you to order them out?” the Jewish leaders[a] demanded. “If you have this authority from God, show us a miracle to prove it.”
19 “All right,” Jesus replied, “this is the miracle I will do for you: Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up!”
20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can do it in three days?” 21 But by “this sanctuary” he meant his body. 22 After he came back to life again, the disciples remembered his saying this and realized that what he had quoted from the Scriptures really did refer to him, and had all come true!
Prayer of Approach:
We acknowledge you, O God, as creator and as liberator.
You are the One who brought the captives out of Egypt
and delivered them from the oppression of slavery.
You gave laws which shaped how people were to relate to you,
to each other and to the whole environment.
You implored people to worship only you,
knowing that whatever was put in your place
would become the object of idolatry—
would become the priority of people’s lives.
In this time of worship, help us to focus on you, O God,
as the priority of our lives.
Remind us of your steadfast love
revealed so clearly in the new commandment of love
which Jesus disclosed with his life and,
as we especially remember in this period of Lent, with his death.
Speak to us anew as we offer this prayer and our worship
in Jesus’ name and for his sake. Amen.
— written by Moira Laidlaw and posted on Liturgies Online.
Questions for Reflection
How do we view the commandments that God offered Moses? Do we see the Love in these rules?
What ways do you see God’s Love in your daily life, or your faith journey?
Reflection: 10 ways to Radical Love
I have a good friend, who I worked with for many years in retail, and his faith influenced my faith, and I would say that it was partly his fault that I am writing this today.
His influence led me on this path towards Ministry in some part that I don’t know if he understands, or knows, but maybe he does, but I still blame him for his part in this wonderful journey.
He and I like to joke around often, and our friendship has lasted these many years, but he and I would get into these wonderful and deep discussions around faith, and it help deepen my understanding of God, and so I mean that it is his fault seriously and jokingly.
I always admired his faith, that he was wise beyond his years, but coming from a troubled family, and his life before he said he ‘found God’ was rough around the edges and his relationship with God saved him from self-destruction.
We were talking about the Ten Commandments one day and he asked me “Have you ever looked at them from a direction of Love?”
He continued that before he turned to a life of faith, he used to view these 10 rules as limiting and confining, “don’t do this, don’t do that, thou shalt nots” and they meant that he couldn’t have any fun.
My friend changed his mind about these after a life changing experience where he was in a terrible car accident, where he was drunk at the wheel and hit another car.
It was a stupid and careless act of selfishness and poor judgement on his part, and it affected the lives of a family who was in the other car he hit.
My friend was arrested and he was filled with shame, guilt, regret and didn’t forgive himself for this reckless act, and he prayed to God that the other people would be okay, and my friend spent a while in jail over this, but he was released, the people in the other car survived, it changed his life.
He felt his prayers answered, and more so, God loved him to give him another chance at life, to change his lifestyle to one who respected himself, others and the God who loves him unconditionally.
My friend told me that he started to look at these rules as radical loves, ways that God wants to protect us, and keep us from harm, like a loving parent, nurturing and giving loving guidance, to care for us and wanting to make sure we are safe as any compassionate parent does for their children.
If the words of these commandments, came with more encouragement, care, that spoke of the God who adores us, who holds us dear, who wants to encourage us, many may not look at them as denying us of anything.
Let’s look at the way we can understand them as Love, God’s Love written for us in human words.
The Decalogue as they are sometimes called, can be separated into two sections, with the first four commandments set out as how we worship God and the last six commandments set out around human relationships.
But these commandments intertwine among each other, that in the premise of worshiping God, we must be a people that practices Love as God inspires through the covenant of love, trust, hope, and the gift of life.
And in this Love, that we must practice love for others, we are God’s own and we must act in a kind, generous, benevolent, respectful love with all beings.
Let’s make it simple. It’s all about how God loves us, and we are to love God in that relationship, and how we love each other in human relationship.
What if the commandments were in an affirmative perspective?
What if the Radical Loves were this way?
I am God who Loves you, unconditionally. Agape
Because I Love you, I want to warn you of the falsehoods in life and treat them as such.
Because I Love you, My Love desires respect, recognize the power of names, words and language.
Because I Love you, Take time to rest, recognize a Sabbath, because you Love yourself.
Because I Love you, Love and honour the elders who care and nurture you.
Because I Love you, Love other living beings, and the value of their life.
Because I Love you, Love and honour the sanctity of all relationships, and those of others.
Because I Love you, Love and honour the property of others.
Because I Love you, Love your neighbour and uphold the truth between you and your neighbour.
Because I Love you, Love and aspire for your own happiness.
These Radical Loves should bring peace among all who follow them, they should bring into practice grace and mercy among all beings.
Worship should be an everyday practice that encompasses every space as sacred, all beings, all peoples treated with respect, compassion, equity, and Love as God teaches us.
I hold dear some words, shared with me, by another friend, who was diagnosed with terminal illness, and I supported them until their death. Their faith carried them through their illness, pain and suffering, and through it all they felt Love, by family, by the medical community, and found peace in the fact that though their life was cut short, God’s Love surrounded them.
“God makes Love simple, and as humans we complicate things.”
Love should be simple, Jesus tried to show those around them that, but Jesus also knew humankind and the emotions, the ideologies, opinions, constructs that we like to fashion to give order and structure to our world.
When Jesus clears out the temple, it is an act of cleansing of the hearts more than that of the physical space where the moneychangers occupy.
Jesus overturns tables of money and commands those who are selling the creatures that are supposed to be a sacrifice for sins to stop making the sacred space a marketplace.
In this place of spiritual preparation, Jesus sees a place where monetary needs are more the focus of worship than trust in God’s Love.
Jesus then approaches the authorities who charge Jesus of disrupting how the temple was being managed, human structures to measure human profit to keep the temple operating. The authorities demand Jesus to give them a reason of how he was operating in God’s Love.
Jesus answers in a way that they would not understand beyond their human comprehension:
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”.
The authorities bewildered thought that Jesus was talking about the Temple of rock and mortar, that took 46 years to build, and in their worry over that building, could not understand when Jesus was referring to himself.
In God’s Love, in Jesus through his sacrifice, his death and resurrection, we receive the gifts of mercy and grace. God’s Love that makes all things possible if we believe.
God’s Love was in the temple of that human and divine presence of Jesus, while the authorities were too occupied with the physical location to worship God.
And yet God and the purpose of Love was standing right before the authorities, as Jesus is the purpose of our Love, and is always before us, not in any physical location.
We come during this time of Lent, may be in a worried state, uncertainties, and fears, because of the state of the world we live in during a pandemic.
We may be facing fears that lead us to limit our understanding of God’s Love in our midst, when we worry about the physical location of God’s Love, we miss the Love of God standing in front of us.
Jesus is the revelation of God’s Love, and when we put trust in God’s Love, when we put our faith in God’s Love, we truly understand God’s Love for us, not found in any physical location, but in our hearts, where Jesus lives in the Holy Spirit.
We are the temple of God’s Love, and in the Love that God provides us, we are given the template to believe all things are possible.
Once we understand this, sacrifices will be made, changes will happen, our lives may not look the same, but God’s steadfast Love will give us courage and strength to adapt and move forward to be the church, we, who are the people of God’s Love. AMEN!
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Creator God, we come before you
asking prayers for those who lead
As you poured out your love in the Word
may we hear your word and follow;
may the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts lead us
Holy One, we come before you –
a people broken into shards of lives
hidden by the limitations of our eyes.
Help us to see as You see
as you poured out your love in the Word.
May we hear your word and follow
may the words of our mouths and
the meditations of our hearts lead us
God of Mercy, we come before you –
seeking to live as you command, but often failing,
and thus we are torn by
cries of despair
lost to foolishness and
despite your love in the Word
Help us to hear your word and follow.
May the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts lead us
Gentle God, we come before you
giving thanks for all our blessings
the gift of life
all we care for this day.
Help us to be Your hands.
Incline Your heart, O gracious God, and teach us to love
O Christ, our rock, and our Redeemer.
~ written by Terri C. Pilarski, and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.org/2012/03/11/sunday-prayer-lent-3b/
We hold up to prayer all in our midst, in our community and our world that need prayer.
(Silent Prayer of those names of our community and world)
Hold those we pray for in your Love and Compassion, may they know your presence as they face their challenges and hardships, provide them with peace and comfort, courage and strength, wisdom, and guidance.
We pray this in Jesus’ name.
As we do so, let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught 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 trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power and the glory,
Forever and ever.
WE ARE SENT OUT IN FAITH TO SERVE
Scripture for Next Week
Numbers 21:4–9 A bronze serpent heals the people.
Psalm 107:1–3, 17–22 (VU p. 831 Parts One and Two) God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Ephesians 2:1–10 We are not saved by our own doing, but by grace.
John 3:14–21 For God so loved the world.
Bible passages : https://www.biblegateway.com/
Prayer of Approach https://re-worship.blogspot.com/
Opening Prayer https://re-worship.blogspot.com/
Pastoral Prayer: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/
DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH
Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5 Tel: 705-793-2511
Worship Minister (Supply): Kevin Fitzpatrick 705-340-0973 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Envelope Steward: Kathy
CCLI License #11197107
Visit our new website: http://dunsfordunitedchurch.com