Worship Service – Sunday, July 19th

The GATHERING

Call to Worship:    

In this time and place, we worship from many places and peoples, we come to this time of prayer.

In this time and place, we meet the presence of the living God.

The living God who creates us and all that is.

In this time and place, the risen Christ is in our midst.

The risen Christ who accompanies us and all people.

In this time and place, God’s Holy Spirit breathes in and through us.

The Holy Spirit who transforms us and all life.

In this time and place we are one people of God.

In the name of God, Source of all being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Prayer of the Day:

Holy God, who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus the Word made flesh to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit,
we seek to put our trust in you, to trust you for guidance, compassion and growth.

We seek to worship you in Spirit and in truth, trusting in the power of your transformative love.

We pray this in the name of Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

Listening for THE WORD

Scripture Readings:
      Proverbs 3:1-8 and I Timothy 6:17-19        

The first reading today is from the Book of Proverbs chapter 3 verses 1 to 8.

Listen for what the Spirit is saying to the Church.

My child, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments;
2 for length of days and years of life
    and abundant welfare they will give you.

3 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good character
    in the sight of God and of people.

5 Trust in God with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge God,
    and God will make straight your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    be in awe of God, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be a healing for you and a refreshment for your body.

The second reading is from First Timothy chapter 6 verses 17 to 19

17 As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty,

or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19 thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

This is the story of our faith.  Thanks be to God.

Reflection:  We Trust in God
                            by Rev. Jay Olson

Welcome to SummerSpirit United Church worship. This is the third Sunday of SummerSpirit and we are working our way through, praying through and listening to, our new creed, the creed of the United Church Of Canada. 

“We are not alone.  We believe in God.”

Last week the Rev. Deborah Laing told us a story of a funambulist – an acrobat.  In her story a french acrobat stretched a rope across Niagara Falls and walked across on it.  On one of his many crossings he asked the crowd, “Do you believe in me?”  and they responded, “Yes, we do.”  To which he responded, “Then who will climb upon my back and let me carry them across the falls?”

Deborah’s story is the perfect segue into the line of our creed that says, “We trust in God.”

We trust in God. Do we? Can we? 

Trust is a tricky thing.  We trust that our loved ones will care for us.  We trust day and night that things will work – little things and necessary things – until they don’t and then we moderate or temper our trust using our own resourcefulness including putting our trust in those who can make those things work again.

And then there is blind trust and legal trusts, breach of trust.  These legal offenses can have significant consequences.

When trust is broken it is often painful and traumatic.  It can hinder a person from trusting others including those who would have their best interests at heart. 

Peoples around the world today are protesting over broken trusts and treaties, protesting organizations and institutions that have abused the public trust given to them.  We remember today and give thanks for the life of John Lewis, longtime member of the US House of Representatives, who spent his life in the cause of human rights for all people.  Congressman Lewis died yesterday at the age of 80 years.  He went from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with Dr. King in 1963 to becoming the conscience of the Congress.

How many times have we heard “Trust me”?  From our friends all the way to national leaders, trust me.  But why?  On whose back would I climb and be carried across the falls?  Would anyone trust me to even help them across the street?

And now we declare, “We trust in God.”  Why, at a time when there is little reason to trust anyone or anything, would I put my trust in God?

We can say that we trust people and we trust God, but the question is really trust them for what?  I might trust my doctor to have skills and knowledge and understanding because I know that she is required to be trained. My trust often then turns into an assumption of perfection forgetting that she is a human being and human beings make mistakes.  By the way, I do trust my doctor.  She has not made any mistakes with me, but I know that over time it is a possibility.

What does it mean to trust in God? What perfection do we expect from the Holy One?  For what do we expect when we place our trust in God?  For example, we trust that God answers prayer but some of those answers are not the ones we want.

Wisdom literature says, trust in God and lean not on your own understanding. The implication is that our own understandings, training, experience and education are limited.  There is more to know and that more comes from reaching beyond ourselves, seeking to align ourselves with that One, we do not see.  It may feel like blind trust and yet done with the energy, intelligence, imagination and the love given to us by that same Holy One, yet there is that response that comes, the voice of that One who says, do not be afraid, I am with you. 

The question for me today is not whether God is trustworthy but rather for what do I put my trust in God? 

I trust God to know what is good for me and that might have nothing to do with what I want or what I seek. I trust that God is at work in the world even though I long for God to become the kind of rescuer that would save those who suffer. I trust that I will forever be in relationship with and in the presence of God in this life and in the next and in that I have absolutely no reason to doubt.

For what do we put our trust in God?  A big part of the answer is found in the creed itself.  “We believe in God who has created and is creating;

who has come in Jesus the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new;

who works in us and others by the Spirit.”

We trust in God because we continue to see God’s work of creating life even where there are no apparent signs of life because God has always done that.  We read the ancient stories and tell our own stories about how God creates even in our grief and lament.

We trust God to reconcile and redeem because generation after generation has born witness and told the stories of redemption, of people and places made new.

We trust in God to work in us and others because God has provided us with the ultimate advocate and comforter, the sustainer/nourisher, God’s own Spirit.

Trust in God is to trust in God not for what I want but for what God wants.  To trust in God is to invest in God’s ways, God’s realm, God’s dream of abundant life for all.  It takes humility, courage, a commitment to lifelong learning, including learning to see life through Jesus’ eyes.  It takes patience, perseverance and resilience. 

As it says in 1st Timothy (and I paraphrase here), set your hopes [your trust] on God who richly provides.  The privileged are to do good, to be rich in good work, generous and ready to share so that we may take hold of the life that REALLY is life.

Trust in God to continue to create, to redeem and to nourish.  Now that is a back I can limb on!  And by the way, God works through us to accomplish all that so, strengthen your faith muscles.  God uses our backs to strengthen the backs of others, to make the world healthier and better for all.  Thanks be to God!        
Can I have an AMEN? 
Amen.

The RESPONSE

Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer:

Video by Marpole Youth – A New Creed:

A New Creed: 
                We declare our faith together saying,
                We are not alone.  We live in God’s world.
                We believe in God:
                    who has created and is creating,
                    who have come in Jesus, the Word made flesh,
                    to reconcile and make new,
                    who works in us and others by the Spirit.
                We trust in God.
                We are called to be the Church:
                    to celebrate God’s presence,
                    to live with respect in Creation,
                    to love and serve others,
                    to see justice and resist evil,
                    to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
                    our judge and our hope.
                In life, in death, in life beyond death,
                                God is with us.
                                We are not alone.

                Thanks be to God.
      (A New Creed, The United Church of Canada)

Choral Anthem for Reflection on the Offering:   

I can tell the world, yes, about this, I can tell the nations, yes, that I’m blessed.

Tell them what my Lord has done, tell them that the conqueror has come,

And he brought joy to my soul.

My Lord done just what he said. Yes, he did!  He healed the sick and he raised the dead.

He lifted me when I was down, he placed my feet on solid ground.

 Oh Lord, he brought joy that morning, when he saved me.

Joy that morning, when he blessed me.  I’ll tell it, how he brought this joy to my soul.

The COMMISSIONING

Please follow the  liturgy text printed below to join this service.

July 19, 2020

After the Service
feel free to attend the Zoom Knox Fellowship virtual coffee at 11:30 am

Note:  Each time you see a musical link in the liturgy, mute or lower the volume on your device before clicking on the link. 
Once you have done that then click on the link.  If an ad pops up, you can then “Skip Ad” and not be disturbed by the noise of the advertisements.  Once you see that the music is beginning then unmute or raise the volume on your device.  This will allow a more meaningful worship experience for you.  Peace be with you.

About This Site

This may be a good place to introduce yourself and your site or include some credits.