Called to deliver God’s word (click here)
Light the Christ Candle
Bringing in the Scriptures
445 open our eyes Lord (click the blue text for YouTube music, sorry there may be advertising)
- Welcome back to worship in the church building this morning, what a joy it is to gather together and worship our Lord. For those who are online we hope to be adding the video recording of the sermon later this afternoon.
- We wish all the fathers out there, the very happiest of Father's Days ever. Following the service be sure to check out St. Andrew's facebook page for the Father's Day car show. Thank you to all who took the time to build your paper cars and send pictures of them so creatively situated.
- A big thank you to Janet Hanna for painting the front doors of the church this past week. You will never again wonder where the doors are just incase that was a problem for you in the past.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God of the prophets, call to us today
Call us into Your ways of love, justice and righteousness.
God of the prophets, remind us again how much You love us
Sing to us Your ways of love, justice and righteousness.
God of the disciples, teach us how to follow You
Teach us Your ways of love, justice and righteousness.
God of all creation, help us to know Your ways
We gather to hear Your call, to sing Your praise,
to teach each other, to pray and worship as the Body of Christ.
HYMN CLUSTER (please note, the hymns will proceed unannounced)
- ATBS 163 shout to the North
- ATBS 1 you are my all in all
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
We gather to meet with you God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We desire to be aware of your presence in our day for you, Lord, are here now; your Spirit dwells within us.
We are gathered to bring you our worship And offer you our praise. WE long to be conscious that you walk beside us, and to know that we do not make the journey alone
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, draw near to us as we draw near to you
O God of all the prophets, you knew us and chose us before you formed us in the womb. Fill us with faith that speaks your word, hope that does not disappoint, and love that bears all things for your sake, until that day when we shall know you fully, even as we are known by you. Amen.
Call to Confession
We turn to God in prayer not because we are compelled but because God invites us.
We come to God not because of our righteousness but because of God’s grace.
In that spirit, we offer this prayer of confession and unburdening.
UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Loving God, we know that in every generation you call forth prophets to proclaim your word. We give you thanks that you are still speaking even today. Your Spirit inspires the young to see visions of a new creation and elders to dream of a time not yet known.
Like Jeremiah we have spoken your word to unwelcoming ears. When we have been rebuffed, even attacked, we have blamed you and have complained that your calling has not been full of the blessing and light that we have expected.
- Like the Romans we turn away from you, while trusting in your grace to protect us from our own foolishness. Help us to place our trust in your grace, while picking up the calling placed upon us in baptism.
Mired in this sinfulness we miss the Good News of your reconciling love and are unable to communicate it. Forgive us, God. Restore us with humility and awaken us anew to your presence and your promise, that we may indeed speak your word, of judgement, justice and grace. May we speak your love to all whom we meet. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
The God of creation is a God of mercy. God is quick to forgive and God’s promise of restoration is for all people. Friends believe the Good News of the Gospel, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
PASSING THE PEACE
May the peace of the lord Jesus Christ be with you….. and also with you.
Please share a socially distanced sign of peace with one another.
HYMN CLUSTER (Please note the hymns will proceed unannounced)
- ATBS 28 Let the redeemed of the Lord
- ATBS Refiner’s fire
Children go to Sunday School
Jeremiah 20: 7-13
7 You deceived[a] me, Lord, and I was deceived[b];
you overpowered me and prevailed.
I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.
8 Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
10 I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!
Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends
are waiting for me to slip, saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
then we will prevail over him
and take our revenge on him.”
11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior;
so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12 Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous
and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
for to you I have committed my cause.
13 Sing to the Lord!
Give praise to the Lord!
He rescues the life of the needy
from the hands of the wicked.
Matthew 10: 24-39
24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[b]
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
SERMON Called to deliver God’s word (click the tittle to view the sermon)
All of us are called to deliver God’s word. It is not just a job for preacher’s on Sunday morning. It is a job for all of God’s people in, all of their life circumstances. In fact, it is likely easier for you to share that word in your neighbourhood and your workplace and the other places inhabited by you in your, than for me.
Frankly, when people find out I am a minister, they get a look of panic on their face. You wonder what is going through their mind,
Is she going to talk constantly about God?, might be one of the questions; but more likely, what bad words have I used in front of her.
I totally get what it means to be different from most people in the world around me. Not because I am, I am just as human as anyone else, but my calling sets me apart in ways that often make people in the world look at me like I am an alien.
Yet we are all called to be aliens in this world, simply because this world is not our home….but you are an ET alien whereas I am viewed as slightly more frightening. And even so, let us remember that there were those who were afraid of ET as well.
So when you consider that there will be those with whom you interact who will have or who are reacting to you with fear and hostility, how would you rate your job satisfaction as a person called to deliver God’s word?
A joy and a privilege
Easy and rewarding
Life affirming and amazing
filled with obstacles and danger
Or perhaps all of the above.
If you knew how difficult it would be before you signed on, would you?
If you had read the job description before you started would it have daunted you?
- Be like the teacher
- You will be maligned like your teacher has been maligned.
- Have no fear in spite of persecution
- Proclaim loudly and boldly the word of God
- Do not be afraid
- Remember I came to bring a sword
- Your foes will be members of your own household.
- If you do not take up your cross you are not worthy of me.
- If you lose your life for my sake, you will find it.
In your job interview, if asked, what parts would you say you have difficulty with?
The Agnus Day sheep when discussing this passage https://www.agnusday.org/ get that this is a difficult calling.
Take up your cross says one. Does Jesus think he will really get any followers. No one wants that kind of treatment.
The answer from his friend: It’s what God does for us. It is who God is for us.
The first sheep is not persuaded saying: And that’s supposed to make me want to like it?
Are we supposed to like the persecuted life? Are we supposed to embrace ridicule or scorn?
We began this morning with God’s word found in Jeremiah.
It is pretty clear at this point that Jeremiah is mocked, and scoffed for his message.
This is a tough time for the people of Israel, but tough times demand tough words. This word of the Lord that Jeremiah is called to speak is tough.
Difficult to listen to.
Disturbing and disheartening.
This faith community is passing from an old world to a new world, but they don’t see the road ahead, never mind the destination.
There is mourning and grief; but there is also anger and hurt. The old world has been wrenched from their hands and the new has not yet been revealed.
Even worse, their misplaced hopes are being exposed as lies. They don’t know where to turn.
Enter Jeremiah. The prophet of doom and gloom. The message he brings is harsh, honest, judgmental and often fierce.
Who wants to listen to that?
Sometimes when you speak the harsh truth the people’s reaction against it is so strong that it renders them incapable of hearing the hope that is also spoken.
Hope because God has always done great things in the past and God will do great things now. Hope because God only rebukes his people to win them back and to bless them.
And so the people, unable to hear the hope treat Jeremiah harshly. They don’t want to hear the message and they blame Jeremiah for bringing it.
This abuse, persecution and mocking finds its way into Jeremiah’s heart. He suffers for it. He laments because of it. In the process Jeremiah moves back and forth, from complete despair and sweeping hope. He is in turn committed to God and angry with God for calling him to this thankless task.
He gives up. He quits. He turns away from God.
And yet he keeps coming back to God.
We get the sense that he may not necessarily be happy about it. Almost in anger he proclaims that in spite of everything he cannot remain silent, he feels compelled to speak. He acknowledges that God’s word burns within him and that he feels the force of needing to speak it.
Do we ever feel that way? We don’t want to say it, yet we feel the words being wrenched from us. If I am honest, sometimes; but just as often I feel the word and ignore the Holy Spirit.
The truth is that being God’s servant is not easy. Delivering God’s word is hard.
When we are opposed, we get anxious, and fearful. And so we react.
We fall down.
We ignore the Holy Spirit.
Yet, God’s Spirit is insistent.
And we may groan in frustration, but again we speak, we tell the story, we give love when we don’t feel loving. We like Jeremiah cannot remain silent.
Even so the commentators point out that Jeremiah remains constant.
Do you ever wonder about that? How does Jeremiah remain constant to God’s calling when he argues with God, complains to God and even rails against God?
He remains constant, they say, because although he does not appear to have a firm, strong or unwavering faith, he is honest. What Jeremiah brings is a deeply truthful and honest interaction in his relationship with God.
Do you remember the parable of the two brothers, both asked by their father to complete a chore. One said no, yet later came and completed the task. The other said yes, but did nothing. Which one did the will of the Father, Jesus asks.
An honest relationship with God will include our no and our grudging reluctant obedience. And if we are honest, it will also include the days we say yes and then do nothing.
The consistency is in coming back to God, and reaffirming that we are servants who bring the good news of God to those around us.
It is demanding. There is no doubt about it.
My all time favorite response to a sermon came when I taught on some aspect of Jesus calling us to serve him. I don’t remember exactly what calling passage, but it must have sounded difficult. But I remember the reaction.
One woman greeted me at the back of the sanctuary and said> NO. NO. I can’t do it. Don’t ask me to do it.
That’s the way it is with God’s calling. It will sometimes be very hard. We will be persecuted and reviled. We will be rejected and scorned. There will be days we don’t want to do it.
But these same things happened to the prophets, who despaired that God had abandoned them. These same things happened to Jesus, who asked to have the cup taken away from him. These same things happened to the disciples as they worked to establish the church, and wondered at their loyalty to God when the congregation rejected the message they brought.
Persecution, opposition can lead to wondering if we are capable of continuing. I am reminded of Paul’s advice to Timothy:
2 Timothy 4: 1-3 1I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom: 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires
Bring the word. In season and out. When the people listen and when they don’t. When you are accepted and when you are stoned. When the people shout amen and the people shout for you to be killed.
What ever season of life, you are called to deliver the word. And God will be with you. And God will bring that word to fruition.
In Isaiah 55: 11 we read: so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Thank God the results are not in our job description, the results belong to God. All we have to do is to speak God’s word. Over coffee. In a quiet chat at work. On the street corner and maybe even from the pulpit. In good times and in bad. On easy days and days that are so difficult we can barely put one foot in front of the other, our job is simply to deliver the word of God.
Are we ready?
HYMN Dare to be a Daniel
GATHERING PRAYER REQUESTS
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE sins and sinners version
Almighty God, across the ages you have guided your people through the wilderness, assuring us of a home in your eternal city. Strengthen us along the way, that we might not neglect our call to serve the cities and towns where we live. Help us to trust in your unfailing presence amid all of our fears. Grant us wisdom to discern your way in this world even as we hope for the next.
Today, O God, you have reminded us to never give up on speaking your Word, but we also need to be reminded to never give up praying.
Let us never give up praying for justice, or the oppressed in this world
Today is World Refugee Day, may we never forget the plight of those who remain in Refugee Camps, living a life cycle of hope and despair, like those exiled in the time of Jeremiah. Make us responsive to their plight and cause us to find ways of bringing them to a new home, a new life, where justice and peace are possible. And let that justice begin with us.
Let us never give up praying for the hungry of this world
We pray for all those who will receive the produce from our garden. It will ease their hunger for a day, so show us also how to work for justice that will bring the day when hunger and homelessness will be gone from the earth. And let that justice begin with us.
We pray for farmers as they watch over the crops they have sown. Bring rain and heat at the right times to bring in a full crop and send the labourers for the harvest so that all food will go to those who need it.
Let us never give up praying for healing, or the sick in this world
For Bill and Dean that treatment will make all the difference.
for trish with thanksgiving for healing almost completed.
For Gwnyth and continued recovery
for Jeremy that he may find healing in and for his heart
Bring healing into this world and may it begin with us.
Let us never give up praying with thanksgiving, for it rightly belongs to you.
In this Public Servants week we pray for all those who serve the public. For volunteers who hand out boxes at the Food Bank, to those who serve in public office. For Dr. Henry and her unflagging strength at her task. For politicians and leaders who struggle to find the right way and the right thing, and who are often criticized. We pray this week especially for the RCMP in our town. Police are facing difficulty as pubic opinion causes some to cry out against policing. Just as you were with the prophets, and with Jesus, be with those who work for our safety with compassion and justice and a desire to bring peace and calm into often difficult and dangerous situations.
And we cannot pray in thanksgiving, without thanking you for being our Father and for bringing us to our own fathers whose love has shaped us and made us strong. Bless them with your strength.
May we always pray for others with thanksgiving, for we are grateful for the ways in which you touch us through their labours.
Let us never give up praying, for to give up is to deny our faith.
And so we pray with faith for all those needs in a world that needs your presence in turmoil.
For Arizona that the wildfires may be controlled and extinquished.
For countries that struggle to ease the spread of Covid 19, be healing
For countries that struggle to see how to bring about justice among their own people, be wisdom
For those who labour in places that are not safe. Hospital employees in every department. Armed forces deployed in peacekeeping.
May our faith find expression in our prayers, even as we pray together saying:
LORD’S PRAYER (Sins/Sinners)
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
your Kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are your now and forever. Amen
HYMN 792 Let us hope
Online: O day of God draw nigh
BLESSING AND BENEDICTION