Dunsford United Church Bulletin Transcript – March 28, 2021

Kevin Fitzpatrick 

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.

OPENING PRAYER

Though we have known hardship and pain,

though life has not always turned out as we had hoped,

we will stand here and say:

God’s steadfast love endures forever!

Though life becomes more complex,

the deepest questions remain unanswered,

and the mystery of faith deepens, we will say:

God’s steadfast love endures forever!

And though the pain of the world

often seems more than we can bear or address,

we will stand firm in our faith and say:

God’s steadfast love endures forever!

~ written by Ann Siddall and posted on the website of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre.  http://www.stillpointsa.org.au/

WE HEAR GOD’S WORD

Philippians 2:5-11 Living Bible

5 Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, 6 who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, 7 but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men.[a] 8 And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.[b]

9 Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name which is above every other name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Mark 11:1-11 Living Bible

11 As they neared Bethphage and Bethany on the outskirts of Jerusalem and came to the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples on ahead.

2 “Go into that village over there,” he told them, “and just as you enter you will see a colt tied up that has never been ridden. Untie him and bring him here. 3 And if anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, ‘Our Master needs him and will return him soon.’”

4-5 Off went the two men and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside a house. As they were untying it, some who were standing there demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”

6 So they said what Jesus had told them to, and then the men agreed.

7 So the colt was brought to Jesus, and the disciples threw their cloaks across its back for him to ride on. 8 Then many in the crowd spread out their coats along the road before him, while others threw down leafy branches from the fields.

9 He was in the center of the procession with crowds ahead and behind, and all of them shouting, “Hail to the King!” “Praise God for him who comes in the name of the Lord!” . . . 10 “Praise God for the return of our father David’s kingdom. . . . ” “Hail to the King of the universe!”

11 And so he entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked around carefully at everything and then left—for now it was late in the afternoon—and went out to Bethany with the twelve disciples..

Prayer of Approach:

We come today and sing our own Hallelujah!

Love rides on a donkey,

In the womb of Mary, she carried her baby to Bethlehem,

He rode a donkey before his birth.  

Through the gates of Jerusalem, coming in peace,

He rode a donkey before his death.

Blessed are you who comes in God’s name!

You come in God’s name, in suffering love.

You come in God’s name, healing brokenness.

You come in God’s name, as forgiveness.

You come in God’s name, in humility.

You come in God’s name, reconciling us to You.

Liberating Redeemer, Christ who comes in salvation!

Make us uncomfortable, lead us into deeper wonder.

May our life be a reflection of God’s Love.

Grant us Grace, offer us mercy,

To welcome us into holy restlessness.

Bless us, open our hearts to the world,

That we may live by the Holy Spirit

In your name. Amen

Questions for Reflection

What phrases or verses in the scripture stood out for you today?

Where do you celebrate God’s love today?

What peace can you celebrate today?

How does Hallelujah (God be praised) sound in today’s world during our living out a pandemic?

Reflection:  Peace and the Parade

We all have this picture of Palm Sunday.

Jesus rides into Jerusalem, on the back of a donkey, proclaimed as King, praised as coming in the name of the Lord.

Palm branches waived in the air, laid on the ground in front of him, garments of cloth laid before him as he rode the donkey into Jerusalem.

We expect the parade today.

And as we come to another Easter, that is socially distanced and self-isolating, we long for that parade.

We looked to a parade to celebrate in our life before COVID, a time to come together as the social creatures we are, we love festivity in a social environment, experiencing something of importance in our celebration.

And we long to celebrate together, in a parade, in a social gathering, in our church, anywhere.

And yet, we find ourselves coming to Palm Sunday, time moves on, even if our world seems to stand still.

Though we can still celebrate that Jesus is our example to emulate in our daily faith.

We know that according to the authors of the New Testament, Jesus fulfills the scriptures by riding a donkey through that gate, we know that the people greet Jesus with Palms and proclaiming Hosannas.

We know Jesus’ enemies are there, watching and plotting the opportunity to ensnare Jesus and end his rebellion.

We know the week that Jesus will walk, we know that Jesus will share one last meal with his friends and be betrayed by one of his ow.

We know that Jesus’ friends will scatter, we know Peter will deny Jesus as a friend three times, we know he will be crucified at the end of it all. But we also know that it isn’t the end, but the beginning.

As Jesus rides into Jerusalem, come to spread a message of love and compassion, a peaceful message from a peasant riding on a donkey.

The people who seen Jesus would know the scriptures and know the message Jesus was sending, riding on the donkey.

The Pharisees to the scribes to the ordinary Judean citizen would know the scriptures that explained Jesus’ actions.

9 “Rejoice greatly, O my people! Shout with joy! For look—your King is coming! He is the Righteous One, the Victor! Yet he is lowly, riding on a donkey’s colt! 10 I will disarm all peoples of the earth, including my people in Israel, and he shall bring peace among the nations. His realm shall stretch from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.

Zechariah 9: 9-10 Living Bible Translation

Jesus never called himself ‘King’ a term that was established to proclaim his role as Messiah by his followers as according to scripture.

Jesus came as God’s messenger to the world.

Jesus came with God’s message of love and compassion and peace. He was given many names Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Wonderful Counselor.

God proclaimed at Jesus’ baptism, “Here is my Son, my beloved, listen to him.” The Holy Spirit came down like a dove and rested upon him.

Jesus came to the lakeshore, he said ‘come follow me’ to the fishermen, he said ‘I will make you fishers of people’ and he called his disciples and they called many people.

Jesus performed many miracles, making the blind see, the deaf hear, he raised the dead, he made many who were unclean, clean again, in body and spirit.

Jesus recognized himself with the marginalized, sat and ate with those that society oppressed, rejected, ostracized.

Jesus walked on water and he calmed the storm.

Jesus also rocked the boat with many in authority and made enemies, and Jesus knew this and told his friends he would die for this.

Jesus approached Jerusalem and entered to palm branches and Hosannas and cried for Jerusalem.

Jesus was betrayed by one of his friends, sold for thirty pieces of silver.

Jesus was tried and found guilty and whipped and beaten then sentenced to death.

Jesus came as a blessing of God’s love to his disciples, his followers and to us.

And again the Hebrew scriptures were used by the New Testament authors to clarify this.

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until tribute comes to him;[a]

    and the obedience of the peoples is his.

11 Binding his foal to the vine

    and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,

he washes his garments in wine

    and his robe in the blood of grapes;

12 his eyes are darker than wine,

    and his teeth whiter than milk.

Genesis 49: 10 -12

Jesus came to give a message of love and compassion in this world and God’s kingdom that was not of this world. A sense of justice and came with a heart full of peace and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus a meager peasant who was rich with God’s love, knew no earthly riches, only the clothes on his back and was given three nails and a crown of thorns for his kingship on earth.

Jesus came as a servant, a servant of God, a servant for the people, a servant for us, and we are to express our thanks in servitude.

To be the servant of Christ-like presence in our day, being a blessing to others in our faith. A humble servant as Jesus was for the people.

Jesus born into humility, a donkey carried his poor mother Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem (Luke2: 4-7).

The gentle beast of burden carried who we Christians proclaim “Saviour of the world” and Jesus connected the image of Mary’s donkey to connect to common people.

Jesus came for them. Jesus came for us.

Jesus embraced the weak, the poor, the widow, all who were downtrodden, oppressed, and his simple story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 33-34) speaks of the love and compassion he offers and teaches to us.

33 “Finally, another man, a Samaritan,[a] came upon the bleeding man and was moved with tender compassion for him. 34 He stooped down and gave him first aid, pouring olive oil on his wounds, disinfecting them with wine, and bandaging them to stop the bleeding. Lifting him up, he placed him on his own donkey and brought him to an inn. Then he took him from his donkey and carried him to a room for the night.

Luke 10:33-34

Palm Sunday and Holy Week speak to us of two different worlds. One of a Holy kin-dom of God.

Kin-dom of God rather than Kingdom of God.

The kin-dom of God binds us together, as siblings, that God’s love binds us to each other and God, rather than a Kingdom, which says there is a ruler over that realm.

I like to think that is what this faith calls us to, a kin-dom that God is at the centre and we are around God, and in turn, God is surrounding us, that connectedness, God is with us in the work we do, and Jesus friend to all, is our advocate before God, in reconciling and connecting us to God.

I believe that Jesus came to gather us as part of the kin-dom and he had to come to Jerusalem to the political centre to spread the message of God’s Love, Hope and Peace. A kin-dom, of justice, compassion, an end of violence, a message that would lead to his death.

The other world is the earthly powers, the kingdoms of wealth and domination and exploitation that those in power wield to control others.

The world has not changed very much in the last 2000 years, we have those in power that very much want to wield it to their own purposes and keep others under their thumbs, with greed, pride and ignorance. They are part of the pomp and stature that parades in through the front gates of our society, all that is wrong with the world.

We remember the teachings of our friend Jesus, we are asked to be part of his parade, to be the ones who are behind the scenes, spreading love and compassion, seeking social justice in our world.

 In our own way we are called to bring Jesus’ vision of kin-dom, spreading God’s message through helping our neighbours, and performing our own miracles by loving others, sacrificing our own time, serving others, being the humble servant.

We are challenged by Jesus to follow him, we can make a difference in this world, through living in harmony with others and showing compassion and caring, and we don’t have to be great and powerful to do this.

As we go into Holy Week and through Good Friday and look towards Easter look to being the friend Jesus calls us to be, spreading the message of God’s love for the world, shown through the life, we know in Jesus who came riding on a donkey.

Where is our parade today?

Our parade is celebrated whenever we emulate the love for Jesus in our faiths and in the lives of others.

Our parade is celebrated when we journey in this world, with kindness, generosity, benevolence, charity and advocacy for social justice.

We can still have our parade with our palm branches, celebrating social distanced, self-isolated, and it will be enough for now.

God knows the time will come, when we will celebrate our parade together again, but for now, God is with us, we are still the kin-dom, connected to each other, God with us, Jesus our friend is with us.

As we enter Holy week, look for opportunities to celebrate Jesus our friend, riding a road of peace, on the back of the burden animal, being the love and peace of God’s message to the world to every face you meet.

AMEN!

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Caught between joy and despair,

we yearn for the fulfillment of God’s desire

beyond the brokenness and neediness of this life.

We offer thanksgiving for God’s presence with us

and petitions for the transformation

of the church and the world.

We remember those who suffer,

 from illness, loss, temptations, loneliness, oppression

Be with them as they travel that dark road, be their guide.

We look at the leaders of this world

who You have placed there.

Give them guidance as they make decisions

to how the world should run.

We pray for this broken world

who we have used for our own purposes,

Help us to be conscious in our decisions

to be stewards and not masters of Your creation.

Help all your servants in all your churches and ministries,

to be a whole and in unison.

Of your purpose and help us

 to love one another as Jesus taught.

We hold up those names today 

 all who need prayer, 

 those who are written quietly on our hearts…

… be their comfort and healing.

Life-giver, Pain-bearer, Love-creator,

day by day you sustain the weary with your word

and gently encourage us to place our trust in you.

Awaken us to the suffering of those around us;

save us from hiding in denials or taunts

that deepen the hurt;

give us grace to share one another’s burdens

 in humble service. 

 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.

Amen.

WE ARE SENT OUT IN FAITH TO SERVE

As you continue to be God’s faithful in the world.

Love those you meet in your daily journey.

Love the creation God created the blessing of this world.

And Love each other, in everything you do.

Blessing each other in Grace, Compassion and Peace.

Walk Christ’s Love, this day and always!

Resources:

Bible passages: https://www.biblegateway.com/

Opening Prayer: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/

Pastoral Prayer:  https://re-worship.blogspot.com/

Dunsford Community Food Bank: Contact Fay Carslake 705-341-3699 or faycarslake@hotmail.com

DUNSFORD UNITED CHURCH

Church Office Hours: Wed. 9-5

Tel: 705-793-2511

Email: dunsfordunitedchurch@bellnet.ca

Visit our new website: www.dunsfordunitedchurch.com

Worship Minister (Supply): Kevin Fitzpatrick 705-340-0973 / mk.fitzy@sympatico.ca

Envelope Steward: Kathy


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