October 10, 2021

What, me worry?

Passage: Psalm 126; Matthew 6: 25-33
Service Type:

 

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH

October 10 2021

 

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • St. Andrew's welcomes you to this worship service today. We pray that you will have a blessed Thanksgiving full of gratitude for the bounty which the Lord has provided through the harvest.
  • Thank you Rev.Shirley Cochrane for leading our worship this Thanksgiving Sunday.
  • October's Loonie offering is designated to St. Andrew's Hall lunch program that provides meals to students on the campus of UBC Vancouver.
  • We continue to pray for a speedy treatment, recovery, and healing for Rev. Ena van Zoeren. May the Spirit of the lord sustain and keep you through out the days ahead Ena.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

God blesses us with gifts of love,

with relationships that bring joy and gratitude.

God blesses us with talents and opportunities to serve,

all we need for faithful living.

God protects us in times of danger:

and guards us from the time of trial.

So, we gather to offer thanksgiving to the Lord our God.

Praise be to God for all good things, now and always!

 

HYMN                803  Come ye thankful people come

 

  1. Come, ye thankful people, come,
    raise the song of harvest home;
    all is safely gathered in,
    ere the winter storms begin;
    God, our Maker, doth provide
    for our wants to be supplied.
    Come, to God's own temple, come:
    raise the song of harvest home.
  2. All the world is God's own field,
    fruit unto God's praise to yield;
    wheat and weeds together sown,
    unto joy or sorrow grown;
    first the blade and then the ear,
    then the full corn shall appear.
    Lord of harvest, grant that we
    wholesome grain and pure may be.
  3.  For the Lord our God shall come
    and shall take the harvest home;
    from the field shall in that day
    all offences purge away,
    give the angels charge at last
    in the fire the tares to cast,
    but the fruitful ears to store:
  4. Even so, Lord, quickly come
    to thy final harvest home:
    gather thou thy people in,
    free from sorrow, free from sin;
    there, forever purified,
    in thy presence to abide.
    Come, with all thine angels, come
    raise the glorious harvest home.

 

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PRAYER of ADORATION

God of all creation, in this season of thanksgiving for the harvests of the earth, we are struck by the beauties of autumn, leaves in bright colours, birds flying south in formation, fields ripe with produce. Such beauty speaks of your goodness, your desire to provide what each beloved creature needs.

As we gather this day, renew our sense of thanksgiving for what you give to us in the fruitfulness of creation, and in Christ Jesus who teaches us how to walk wisely on the earth you made. For all your good gifts we honour you with thanks and praise, now and always.  Hear us as we confess together …

 

UNISON PRAYER OF CONFESSION

God of our lives, when we give thanks

for your good gifts around us,

we know that we enjoy an abundance

many cannot even imagine.

Yet we confess we do not always see

 the blessings in which we share.

We worry about the future,

if we can recover from the pandemic,

whether we will have enough

for our families to flourish.

Forgive our fears of going without,

and our failure to be grateful for how

much goodness is already ours.

In Jesus name we pray  AMEN

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

Jesus, our High Priest, knows the temptations of the human heart. From the throne of grace, he offers us mercy in our weakness. His strength renews us in faithfulness. Thanks be to God.

 

THE PEACE

May the peace of the risen Christ  bless and be with you …and also with you

 

HYMN       435  For the beauty of the earth

  1. For the beauty of the earth,
    for the beauty of the skies,
    for the love which from our birth
    over and around us lies,
    Lord of all, to thee we raise
    this our sacrifice of praise.
  2. For the beauty of each hour
    of the day and of the night,
    hill and vale, and tree and flower,
    sun and moon and stars of light,
    Lord of all, to thee we raise
    this our sacrifice of praise.
  3. For the joy of ear and eye,
    for the heart and mind's delight,
    for the mystic harmony
    linking sense to sound and sight,
    Lord of all, to thee we raise
    this our sacrifice of praise.
  4. For the joy of human love,
    brother, sister, parent, child,
    friends on earth and friends above,
    for all gentle thoughts and mild,
    Lord of all, to thee we raise
    this our sacrifice of praise.
  5. For each perfect gift of thine,
    to the earth so freely given,
    graces human and divine,
    flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
    Lord of all, to thee we raise
    this our sacrifice of praise.

 

CCLI  11394548

 

SCRIPTURE READINGS

 

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.

 

Matthew 6:25–33

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

SERMON: "What me worry?"

 I speak in the name of God our Father, Jesus our Saviour  and the Holy Spirit our  enabler.

 

Years ago, I occasionally visited my mom’s sister when I was in the same community for church meetings. One time when we were sitting having tea, my auntie confessed “You know, sometimes I worry because I have nothing to  worry about “   I have no idea  what I said  in  reply.  I don’t recall my mom being a worrier  -  my dad  did all the worrying  for her.  I have decided though  it must be genetic  for there are plenty others  in  my family on both sides  who are chronic worriers.

 

One day a young locum  looked  at my x-ray taken for  one reason or another  and did not like what he saw. He outlined  what he thought it might be. Then he said “ you  don’t seem to be very upset with this”  I replied “ Well I’ve lived long enough  to know  not to panic until there is a reason to panic”   The look in his face  was  rather amazing – if indescribable  Finally he  said “Oh I’ve never  thought of that “  “Try it -  makes life  livable “  A subsequent x-ray revealed my body was  just fine.

 

Our gospel reading this morning  is very specific Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,

Worry is a common human thing. People worry about their kids or their marriage. They worry about their jobs or people at work. They worry about the world, or the future of the nation, or the direction the culture is moving.

Fear is overrated and over emphasized. Maybe part of the anxiety disorders we see so much around us flows from an over awareness of what can go wrong. Quite a few years ago, Zig Ziggler reported in Something to Smile about that:

„« 40% of our worries will never happen

„« 30% of our worries have already happened

„« 12% of our worries are over unfounded health concerns

„« 10% of our worries involve daily fretting that accomplishes nothing

„« Only 8% of our worries are truly justified and lead to constructive action!

Some of us don’t feel thankful. We feel worried. We feel anxious, concerned, lonely, distressed, or just plain bored.  It is sometimes hard to give thanks.

I’m told the economy is getting better, but I still know of so many who are unemployed or underemployed.  The pandemic and its dreadful consequences  floods  the world in waves – and we are now engaged in fighting through the 4th wave  -- and  we are left  feeling  when will this ever end !

Jesus is realistic about trouble, but he says that worrying is borrowing from tomorrow’s trouble. So don’t worry about tomorrow. Easier said than done! The only way we can stop worry  is by having faith that God has tomorrow taken care of.. Here is Jesus saying, “Don’t worry about your life.”

So what is your thanksgiving like?  Is it joy and gratitude, or anxiety and worry? Sometimes it is hard to follow the instruction of Jesus and not worry about our lives.

St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, said something very similar when wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" ( Phil 4:4)Paul was always giving thanks to God. In another letter, he wrote, (1Thes 5:18) "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

Now  before you say that it was easy for Jesus or for Paul to give thanks because they were spiritual giants, think again.. Paul talks about how difficult his life was in II Corinthians  chapter 11.  “I have worked hard. I have been in prison frequently, been flogged severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, - from bandits, - from my own countrymen,- from Gentiles; I’ve been in danger in the city, in the country, - at sea; … I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”

Yet this is the man who wrote, “Give thanks always!”  He meant we should be thankful when things are going great, but he also meant we should be thankful when things are not!   He wrote "give thanks in all circumstances.".

It’s hard to be thankful when someone in our family dies.  When our health  is threatened . When we  lose our job or go through a divorce or face a failure in our life. And yet Paul wrote "give thanks in all circumstances."

It is difficult to be thankful in all situations.

One of our traditional hymns we  will close with was written by a German Pastor, Martin Rinkart. It was in the 1600’s, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years’ War. Hundreds of people were dying. Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, an average of fifteen a day. His parish was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster. In the heart of that darkness, with the cries of fear outside his window, he sat down and wrote this as a table grace for his children:

Now thank we all our God With heart and hands and voices;

Who wondrous things had done, In whom His world rejoices.

Who, from our mother’s arms, Hath led us on our way

With countless gifts of love And still is ours today.

 

Thankfulness to God is not simply a self-centered appreciation for the things God does for us, or what God gives to us. Thankfulness to God is a God-centered appreciation for the faithfulness of God in our lives.

Worry consumes us when we are so focused on our own problems that we lose sight of God and his power. Being thankful in all situations is sometimes a matter of having a positive attitude. It is more than simply looking on the bright side. Jesus said we can overwhelm worry by opening our eyes to the power and goodness of God.

The promise that God will take care of our needs is not automatic nor universal. It is one of the outcomes of living for God and traveling the direction He is going. Live this way and we don’t have to worry.

Today the positive message  is Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The problem is that sometimes we have a hard time deciding what is of God’s kingdom and what is actually part of our own little fiefdom . We want to have God love us but we also want the friendship with the world and the relationships with the secular age so we feel like we fit in.

Yet the Kingdom of God is the place where God is in control.   Seeking God’s Kingdom is asking God to take control of those areas that push your buttons

What would it take for you to stop worrying? When we worry, we might feel like we are doing something productive. Wrong! Worrying is not going to change world events, the culture, or injustice at work. Worrying is not going to improve your health, fix your relationships, or balance your finances. Worrying is not going to help you solve your personal problems.

How do you seek the Father’s kingdom righteousness?

Take responsibility for your own actions, and don’t worrying about how other people respond.  Care for other people, and let God worry about whether they change.

Seek first the Father’s kingdom and his righteousness, and let God worry about the results. He can handle it!  But what about tomorrow, or next month, or next year?

Well, in the worst case scenario, God will still be on his throne, with Jesus at his right hand. God will still love you, and he will never forsake you. God’s children will still belong to him, and you will still be one of them.

Tomorrow may bring trouble; we don’t know about that. We only know that God will be with us tomorrow, as he is with us today. The question for us is, “How much are we with God today?” Today, we can… …worship God, celebrate his power and care for us. …seek his kingdom and his righteousness, believe that his kingdom will not fail. …and we can live with thankful confidence, cradled  in his power and love.

Psalm 126  is one of my favorites  May we too say  with great thankfulness  The Lord has done great things for us  and we are filled with Joy ‘  Amen

HYMN                802  For the fruits of all creation

 

For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God;

for the gifts of every nation, thanks be to God;

for the ploughing, sowing, reaping,

silent growth while we are sleeping,

future needs in earth's safe-keeping,

thanks be to God.

 

In the just reward of labour, God's will is done;

in the help we give our neighbour, God's will is done;

in our world-wide task of caring

for the hungry and despairing,

in the harvests we are sharing,

God's will is done.

 

For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God;

for the good we all inherit, thanks be to God;

for the wonders that astound us,

for the truths that still confound us,

most of all that love has found us,

thanks be to God.

 

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OFFERING

At this time of harvest, we celebrate the gifts of God’s good earth which sustain us. Yet this year we know in some places, harvests will not be plentiful. In every community, neighbours still struggle to recover from what has been lost during the pandemic. So today we offer what we have to share, grateful for God’s gifts large and small, praying they will make a difference in difficult times, trusting that God goes with us, whatever we face.

 

DOXOLOGY

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him all creatures here below

Praise him above ye heavenly host

.Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

 

OFFERTORY PRAYER

Generous God, we bring our offering with thanksgiving for all the goodness we enjoy in Christ and in creation. Bless these gifts and use them to relieve the need and anxiety many feel these days. Use us, too, so that lives filled with tears may see signs of your love and joy in what we can offer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our friend. Amen.

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Kind and Generous God, on this Thanksgiving weekend, we pause to give you thanks for all those things, both great and small,  those moments of wonder and those ordinary exchanges which fill our lives with meaning and offer us a sense of well-being.   (Keep a brief silence)

 

Merciful and Generous God, as we give thanks for the harvests of the earth and its goodness, show us how to live respectfully in creation and protect all that is precious to you.

In a year when harvesting has been disappointing in many places,

show us how to share what has been produced so that no one goes hungry:

We pray for farmers and farm workers as they steward the soil and work to grow and harvest food. For the folks who grow orchards and vinyards – vegetable farms  and grain fields – for those with livestock --all who work to supply us with nourishing food  we give you thanks  and ask for deep blessings upon them

 

Just and Generous God,

we pray for the good of your world and the common good in our community.

Where there is hostility between peoples or nations,

inspire leaders to show wisdom and courage in decision making.

We pray for areas hard hit by flood, storm, fire or earthquake,

and for all those struggling with the impact of the pandemic.

May neighbours with resources maintain generosity and compassion

for the long work of reconstructing lives and livelihoods

 

Healing and Generous God, we pray for all those facing health challenges or difficult times for any reason, and we pray for family and friends under stress or in sorrow whom we have named aloud or  in silence before you

……………………………

 

Give us patience and understanding as we draw near to them and help us reach out with compassion. By your Spirit, O God, May our friends see in us signs of a grateful heart.

 

O God, in Jesus Christ we have met your generous love and mercy.

Through our lives and by our prayers, reveal his love and mercy in this generation, for it is in his name we offer the prayer he taught us, saying:

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name,  thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

 

HYMN       457 – Now thank we all our God

  1. Now thank we all our God
    with heart and hands and voices,
    who wondrous things has done,
    in whom God's world rejoices,
    who from our mother's arms
    has blessed us on our way
    with countless gifts of love,
    and still is ours today.
  2. Oh may this bounteous God
    through all our life be near us,
    with everjoyful hearts
    and blessed peace to cheer us,
    and keep us all with grace,
    and guide us when perplexed,
    and free us from all ills
    in this world and the next.
  3. All praise and thanks to God
    who reigns in highest heaven,
    the Father and the Son
    and Spirit now be given,
    the one eternal God,
    whom heaven and earth adore,
    for thus it was, is now
    and shall be evermore.

 

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BENEDICTION

As you prepare to leave today and celebrate Thanksgiving may the love of God enfold you, The wisdom of the Son  enlighten you  may the fire of the Spirit kindle you and the Blessing of  God  remain with you  always

Amen

 

CLOSING SONG

Online: Take oh take me as I am