Tomorrow, we are delighted to finally resume in-person worship at St. Andrews with Henry Cobb Howes at the piano. The service will also be live-streamed on YouTube, which should significantly improve sound quality (Peter also identified a hidden setting in the software that was generating lots of distortion.) The audio mixer finally arrived; it is an impressive beast and Peter has spent lots of time figuring our how it works and how it needs to be configured in our situation. We will continue to maintain physical distancing and wear masks. Vaccination passports are also required for the time being.
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to have coffee hour tomorrow or next week but, God and government willing, we will be able to gather for coffee or tea starting March 4th.
This year we are reading through the gospel of Luke and tomorrow we get Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, which is less familiar to us than Matthew’s . (Matthew quotes Jesus as saying, “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Luke’s “blessed are the poor” is simpler and combined with warnings to the rich. What he says might be summarized as “blessed are you who are poor, hungry, sad, and expendable. Woe to you who are rich, full, happy and popular.” In the past couple of generations, Luke has been favoured by liberation theologians who have emphasized God’s “preferential option for the poor” in the ongoing class war between rich and poor.
Jesus’ inaugural sermon (that we read a few weeks ago) is given a political twist. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Even if he is not interpreted in Marxist terms, Luke’s plain talk about the rich and the poor can leave us feeling awkward. How often have we been told that, as citizens of North America, we are the “richest people on earth”?
Order of service
On line Prelude (O. Messien)
Call to Worship
Hymn #134: “Lord, you were rich”
Prayer of Adoration
Prayer of Confession
Declaration of Grace
Responsive reading: Psalm 1
Jeremiah 17: 5-10 (The Message)
Anthem: “Aimer, c’est tout donner”
Luke 6: 17-26
Hymn: “The Trees”
Meditation: “Luke’s version”
Hymn #624: “ Blessed are they”
Offering and Offertory
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Hymn #748: Lord of all hopefulness