September 11th 2022 – “God’s Joy”

Dear all, 

I hope that you all had a good vacation and feel rested. Summer is now over and we are back to whatever our post-COVID routine looks like. Hopefully it includes church attendance! This week also saw the death of Queen Elizabeth. The birth and death of monarchs is a very ancient and personal way of measuring time. The events in the Old Testament are dated in reference to the reigns of Israel’s kings. Isaiah, we are told,  experienced his call to be a prophet while serving in the temple “in the year that King Uzziah died.” 

In the many tributes and obituaries to Queen Elizabeth, much is said of her sense of duty and the seventy years of service to her subjects. However, I haven’t yet seen references to her Christian faith, which was undoubtedly real and at the centre of her remarkable life. As we look back, there is much to be thankful for the way in which she graciously presided over the end of the empire and the declining place of Britain in the world.  The Suez crisis, a few year after her coronation, made obvious to all that Britain had been displaced as a world power by the United States. Current events in Eastern Europe remind us that declining powers do not always accept their reduced place in the world with such good grace. It requires faith that the rise and fall of empires is not a matter of political will and force of arms but lies within the providence of God. Our role to find our place and fulfill the duties that God places before us, as Queen Elizabeth so conspicuously did. 

Tomorrow, our subject is God’s joy that Jesus points to in the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. We are summoned to be share in a community bound together with joy rather than one spawned out of common grievance and resentment.

Order of Service

Call to Worship
Hymn 65: “All people that on earth do dwell”
Prayer of Adoration and Confession
Declaration of Grace and Lord’s Prayer
Responsive reading: Psalm 98
1 Timothy 1: 12-18
Anthem: Psaume 98
Luke 15: 1-10
Hymn 422: “Sing a New Song unto the Lord”
Sermon: “God’s Joy”
Hymn 787: “The kingdom of God”
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession
Hymn 324: “Be still my soul”
Benediction /Go now in Peace