Sunday at Scarboro – Oct 30th 2016

Service: 10:30 am44-oct30_blessing-001-001
Coffee and Fellowship at 10 am

Minister:   Rev. Lee Spice
Theme:     All Saints Day,  Inside Out – Our Heart’s Blessing
Anthem:    For All the Saints….Williams/arr. Rosenberg
Special events this week include: Hymn Sing,
A special thanks for Rev. Diane Strickland and Rev. Erin Klassen, and Covenanting with Rey Mailloux

Inside Out: Our Heart’s Blessing – All Saints’ Day
Luke 6: 20 – 31 (NT pp. 49)
October 30, 2016

Today we are honouring the saints who have made a difference in our lives but have since died. Please see the insert in the Order of Service for a list of today’s hymns and the loved ones in whose memory we sing.

Just As I Am (VU 508; Vs. 1 and 4)

He Leadeth Me (VU 657; Vs. 1 and 4)

On this day, we celebrate the lives and faith of those dear ones who once were among us but have since died.  Their memory and their spirit lives on.  For many of us, the faith of these dear ones continues to inspire us.  We are unified with them and with each other as we follow the Way of Jesus, and worship God together.  Let us begin our worship as we sing Blest Be the Tie that Binds.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds (VU 602; Vs. 1 and 4)

Would You Bless our Homes and Families?  (VU 556; Vs. 1 and 4)

You may have noticed that we’re singing a fair number of older hymns today.  We sing them in memory of loved ones that have gone before.  Some of them reflect times gone by.

You may also notice that some of the hymns have the older language.  This is a good opportunity to remember that, as time goes by, our faith, our understanding of God changes.  In the past, many hymns took on a militaristic, triumphal tone.  Most of the language for God was male.  We have come to understand that victorious, colonizing, patriarchal language usually does not reflect the faith of today, even if we do enjoy the old hymns.  This hymn is an example of a terrific old favourite, during which some of us will graciously let some of the antiquated words pass.

For All the Saints – Anthem…………………Williams/arr. Rosenberg

The first words of the Bible are, “In the beginning, God.”  Before our grandmothers were born, and their grandmothers, and their grandmothers, there was God.  Before the beginning of time, before the earth was formed, there was God.  Before our own first breath, and after our last, there is God, the Holy One.

Spirit of Gentleness (VU 375; Vs. 1 and 4)

The words that we heard read from the Gospel of Luke talk about blessings.  Blessed are the poor.  Blessed are the hungry.  Blessed are those who are weeping.  Truly, these don’t sound like blessings.  But when we hear them, perhaps we can be reminded that the blessing is that God is with us in the good times and the bad.  Jesus preached about a kin-dom in which the first are last and the last first, where riches don’t matter – in fact, they weigh you down.  I believe that great blessings come to those who can recognize the Holy One in the trials of everyday, and in the world around them.

How Great Thou Art (VU 238; Vs. 1 and 4)

One of the most amazing things that unites us with each other and with the saints of our faith is the wonder that we have for the Holy One.  Last week, when we talked about confession, the realization was that, when we have missed the mark – when we have participated in something that separates us from God – the Holy One desires to reconcile our relationship.  When we approach God for healing, God responds.

Amazing Grace (VU 266; Vs. 1, 2, 3 and 5)

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms – Choir Anthem…………………Arr. Geordie Roberts

The last part of our reading packed in so much advice that it would be easy to miss something.  But, as we heard it, so many of us remembered those whose lives really exemplified Jesus’ message.  “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

These are the tenets of the upside-down, inside-out kin-dom, disrupting the status-quo by responding in love to those who have power over others.  Perhaps the most astounding thing about the upside-down, inside-out kin-dom is how God can work through the saintly, and the not particularly saintly.  Perhaps today you are remembering and missing one of those not particularly saintly saints.

Abide with Me (VU 436; Vs. 1 and 2)

Perhaps you have also noticed that a recurring theme is the need to rely on God in times of trouble. This is another thing that connects us with the saints of our faith.

Will Your Anchor Hold? VU 675 (VU 675; Vs. 1 and 4)

And so we offer our thanks for those who have gone before, and we ask that their lives continue to inspire us, as we seek to follow the Way of Jesus.  May God continue to bless our journey.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (VU 651)

In the Bulb There is a Flower (VU 703)

We Shall Go Out with Hope of Resurrection (VU 586)

Go Now in Peace (SFAGP 67)