Loving God, You call us to turn away from our own selfish interests, to take up our cross, and to follow You. To find our lives, may we live them in service of Your mission.
As we come before You this morning, give us open hearts and open hands. Make us eager to hear Your voice and seek Your guidance.
Open our minds to Your ever-present spirit that is always moving within and around us. Open our spirits to Your nudging and open our lives to Your love.
Jesus tells his apostles it won’t be easy to share the gospel
Confession & Words of Assurance
Lord Jesus Christ,
we call You Lord, yet it is too easy for us to worship other things. Other activities, other relationships, other gods.
You tell us we cannot serve two masters, yet we spend more time focusing our energies elsewhere, diverting our time, our energy, our money, our attention away from You.
Forgive us, gracious Savior, when our hearts are led astray, when we serve other gods and worship them.
Help us turn away from our distractions and sin. Strengthen us to set our faces toward Jerusalem, to take up our cross and follow You.
We pray this, counting on Your grace. Amen.
God knows our weaknesses, our fears, and our failures, and none of that matters. We are what matters to God, and when we ask forgiveness for our shortcomings, it is already given. Be assured you are enough.
Warning about trouble
Matthew 1024 Disciples are not better than their teacher, and slaves are not better than their master. 25 It is enough for disciples to be like their teacher and for slaves to be like their master. If people call the head of the family Satan, what will they say about the rest of the family?
The One To Fear
26 Don’t be afraid of anyone! Everything that is hidden will be found out, and every secret will be known. 27 Whatever I say to you in the dark, you must tell in the light. And you must announce from the housetops whatever I have whispered to you. 28 Don’t be afraid of people. They can kill you, but they cannot harm your soul. Instead, you should fear God who can destroy both your body and your soul in hell. 29 Aren’t two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. 30 Even the hairs on your head are counted. 31 So don’t be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.
Telling Others about Christ
32 If you tell others that you belong to me, I will tell my Father in heaven that you are my followers. 33 But if you reject me, I will tell my Father in heaven that you don’t belong to me.
Not Peace, but Trouble
34 Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came to bring trouble, not peace. 35 I came to turn sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law. 36 Your worst enemies will be in your own family.
37 If you love your father or mother or even your sons and daughters more than me, you are not fit to be my disciples. 38 And unless you are willing to take up your cross and come with me, you are not fit to be my disciples. 39 If you try to save your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will surely find it.
Performed by Margaret Whisselle
Prayers of the People
(Please add your prayers aloud and in the comment in section below)
God we come before you this weekend, full of wonder and frustration, full of fear and love, full of willingness and trepidation.
We celebrate with our siblings in other faith traditions as they mark their new season of growth and light. Let us remember that we are all Your children in love, separated only by our understanding of how to communicate with You.
We remember our indigenous siblings who struggle with justice and reaffirming their culture. We have not always been kind and we have much to repent, but we are here today willing to listen, learn and raise them up on this day of recognition.
We celebrate fathers, grandfathers, almost fathers, want-to-be fathers, uncles-who-father, step-fathers and so many others who have touched the lives of Your children. You gave us the best example of how a father should love their children. As we hold up the men in our lives, we pray that they follow Your guidance and humility.
We remember those who have had cruel fathers, neglectful fathers, absent fathers, abusive fathers…. on days like today it is very hard to look at our society celebrating something good when that has not been our experience. Help us remember that You are the ultimate Father and Mother to us all, and Your love can heal what was made broken on earth.
We continue to pray for first responders, medical personnel, front like workers, civil servants, letter carriers, chaplains, and all those working hard to help our society function in this time of pandemic. We are so tired of the restrictions, and know that frustration must be even more pronounced for those who have had to fight this virus first hand. Help us to remember we do have a role to play in keeping our neighbours healthy and safe. This is not about our own interest, but about caring for Your children.
We pray for students who have finished their diplomas and degrees, recognizing their disappointment that the year did not end as they imagined.
We pray for those willing to put their bodies and lives on the line for justice.
Gathering all these prayers into one, we offer the prayer tradition has taught us:
Our Father, who art in heave, hallowed be Thy name. Your kingdom come, Your 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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Benediction & Commission
As you stay in your space
We have been asked to ‘take up the cross’ and follow Jesus. Spend time meditating on your cross. What is your job in bringing the community of God to fruition? Who are your helpers?
This time of worship has been to refresh and renew your spirit, and now it is time to go forward, enriched by the love of God the creator, the example of God the redeemer, and the energy of God the sustainer. Amen.