This Sunday marks the fourth week of Advent. Please join with us as we light the candle of love and think about the kind of love Jesus brings us for today and for the future.
On Sunday we will be having a Communion service lead by Major the Rev. Andrew Cameron, a Presbyterian minister serving as a chaplain (padre) with the Canadian Armed Forces.
Our Gospel lesson for this Sunday is taken from Matthew 1: 18-25, the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
God’s love for us is on full display as we commemorate his birth. “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4: 9-10
Order of Service
Prelude Call to Worship Lighting of the 4th Advent Candle Prayers of Adoration & Confession Declaration of Grace Choir Anthem: “In the Bleak Midwinter” Children’s time Hymn 110: “Come thou long-expected Jesus” Responsive reading: Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19 Isaiah 7: 10-16 Matthew 1: 18-25 Hymn 121: “Long ago prophets knew” Sermon: “Love in the face of adversity” Offertory Prayers of the people Invitation to Communion Hymn 542: “Let all Mortal Flesh keep silence” Communion Hymn 134: “Lord you were rich” Benediction Go now in Peace Postlude
This Sunday, the Rev. Ian Fraser, a retired minister of the Presbytery of Montreal, will be leading worship as well as outlining the process that lies ahead for us as we consider our future.
This Sunday is World Communion Sunday and we will join with Christians around the globe in celebrating our unity through Christ. We have learned in the past three years that we live in a world that is much more connected than we had ever imagined. Imagine a world where Christ’s compassion would spread just as rapidly!
Ian will focus worship on Jeremiah and a land investment that he made. Jeremiah was much more adept at proclaiming God’s message than property management, but his purchase is a lesson for us all.
Order of Service
World Communion Sunday
Called to Worship Prelude Call to Worship Hymn 304: v. 1 fr., v. 1 Eng, v. 2 fr, v. 3 Eng “Les cieux et la terre” Prayer of Adoration & Confession The Pardon and Peace
The Word Proclaimed The Scriptures Responsive reading: Psalm 96 Jeremiah 32: 1-3, 6-15 Luke 4: 16-21 Hymn 685: “How Firm a Foundation” (omit v. 4) Sermon: “Crazy Investments” Offertory
The Word Made Visible Invitation Hymn 528: “Jesus calls us here to meet him” Communion
The Going Out Hymn 775: “Sent forth by your blessing” Benediction Go now in Peace Postlude
Tomorrow is both communion and Trinity Sunday. Two weeks ago was Ascension Sunday when we remembered Jesus’ ascension to power at the right hand of God the Father. Last week was Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the church. An obvious question is how the ascended Jesus and Holy Spirit are related to God the Father? The answer that the early church came to, after some argument and controversy, is the doctrine of the Trinity. While there are still ongoing arguments (the Copts in Egypt insist that Jesus had only a divine nature rather than two natures (divine and human) that is the majority view; Roman Catholic and Orthodox argue about whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone or the Father and the son), these are minor details. The main point, on which Christians of all denominations agreed is that our Trinitarian understanding of God is what is basic and distinctive about our faith. Tomorrow we will focus on this Russian orthodox icon of the Trinity which those who go to coffee hour should recognize.
Icons are intended to be used for worshipful meditation and contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity. So we will use it as our jumping off point for a communion mediation. The three persons of the Trinity are gathered round the communion table and invite us to join with them in their dance of love.
Order of Service
TRINITY SUNDAY June 12, 2022 Prelude Call to Worship Hymn #299: “Holy, holy, holy” Prayer of Adoration Prayer of Confession and Declaration of Grace Responsive reading: Psalm 8 Proverbs 8: 1-4; 22-31 Anthem: Psaume 8 Romans 5:1-5 John 16: 12-15 Hymn 394: “Come thou almighty king” Sermon: “Communion with the Trinity ” Offertory Hymn 524: “We come as guests invited” Communion Hymn #295: “When long before time” Benediction Go now in peace Postlude
On Sunday, we will celebrate Communion. Just a reminder: if you are joining us on YouTube for this communion service, please provide your own elements of bread (or a cracker) and wine (juice). For those participating in-person, the inner glasses of the tray contain white grape juice.
Lent, as we follow Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem, is a penitential season in the church year. We are supposed to take stock of our lives and to repent. Repent of what we may ask? Perhaps we are not conscious of breaking God’s law in any particular way. We are not aware of bad habits that need to be given up. Lent is often thought to be a season for practicing denial: giving up chocolate, alcohol, rich foods. But in this parable Jesus points us in a different direction. Here repentance involves a turning around, a turning to God, a transformation so that a barren life becomes a fruitful one. Something positive rather than something negative.
Tomorrow’s gospel lesson starts with people coming to Jesus with a question about God’s judgment, “when a building collapses (say, the theater in Mariupol) and some survive but others are killed, is it because they have angered God and are being punished for their sins? Hardly a common opinion in our time, but apparently not unusual in theirs. Misfortune was interpreted as God’s judgment. Don’t think like that, said Jesus. God is not out to get you for your sins.
Then he tells them a parable about God’s judgment and repentance. A fig tree has not borne fruit for three years. The owner decides that is it time to chop down this unproductive tree to make space for one that may bear fruit. But the gardener intervenes, “Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.” God’s judgment includes mercy and a reprieve. Not forever, but time enough so that, with proper care and nurture, the tree can become fruit bearing. That, rather than punishment, is the objective.
In communion. Jesus invites us to the table to repent, to turn to God and be nourished so that we can become more fruitful disciples. The reality of God’s grace abounds. In the words of our Old Testament lesson for tomorrow: “Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Let the wicked abandon their way of life and the evil their way of thinking. Let them come back to God, who is merciful, come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.” The good news of God’s grace is not confined to the New Testament. It is there all through the Bible from the beginning, for those who look for it.
Order of Service
Prelude: PWS&D Lenten Liturgy Hymn 665: “O Worship the Lord” Prayer of Adoration Prayer of Confession Declaration of Grace The Lord’s Prayer Responsive reading: Psalm 63 Isaiah 55: 1-9 Anthem: “O God you are my God” (Psalm 63) Luke 13: 1-9 Hymn: “Comme un cerf altéré brame” Meditation: “Repentance as fruitfulness” Hymn 524: “We come as guests invited” Offering and Offertory Communion Hymn 371: “Love divine, all loves excelling.” Benediction Go now in peace Postlude