28 January 2024
God Invites Us To Gather
Words of Welcome
- Welcome to worship here at Maple Grove United
- My name is Rev. Jessica McCrae and I am so happy to be leading this time of worship with you along with our musicians Dr. Deborah Henry and Eran Rozen, Pat McKee on guitar, our choir, our scripture reader Pat Thomson , our greeter Judy Berube , Charlotte Taylor on live streaming, with John Duffin on sound. Thank you everyone!
- Welcome to those who are joining us online today. We are glad that you chose to join worship in the Grove today! Please if you have time, drop us a line at the church and introduce yourself.
- Contemplative Prayer group continues to meet in the chapel on Wednesdays at 11 am and Fridays at 4 pm
- Save the dates for our Lenten activities – Feb 14 we’ll have a time of conversation, prayers and scripture – as well as receiving ashes at 1 pm in chapel
- Lenten study group begins Feb 29 at 1 pm in the chapel
- If you would like to make an offering to the work of this church there is a plate as you came in, and offerings can also be made through electronic transfer, cheque dropped off to the church, and through Canada Helps.
Acknowledgment of the Land –
This is Algonquin land. It is said that
“As long as the sun will shine,
As long as the rivers will flow,
As long as the grass will grow
The Anishnabe life would continue to circle forever.”
We thank them, the first nations of this land, for their care of this creation and commit to working together to care for this land into our shared future.
Our Christ Candle is lit. We give thanks for the light of Christ in our life and in the work and worship we do together. If you are at home I invite you to light your own candle to celebrate the light that lives in our world. Let us prepare our hearts and minds for our worship, as we listen to our prelude.
Call to Worship.
We thank you, O God, for the gift of this day.
For the support of our community,
for the hope that you bring into our hearts,
for the healing you are bringing to our world.
We thank you, God, for the ability to worship as community,
for songs and prayers that sustain us
not only in this time of worship,
but whose words and tunes stay in our head,
bringing us hope through the week.
We thank you, God, for the everyday moments of our lives.
Some days we are filled with joy and celebration,
some days we struggle with uncertainty and fear,
but God has given us this gift of community
to support us and encourage us through it all.
God has given us the gift of hope that sustains us in all our days.
With gratitude for the gifts of God,
let us worship God.
*Hymn: Eternal, Unchanging, We Sing VU 223
Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer
Eternal God, be with each of us in this time we have together today
Touch our souls with comfort and calmness.
Open our hearts and our minds to the things you want us to learn together
so that we may gain wisdom for the decisions we face and for the paths we must walk.
Give us courage to question and to grow
so that wherever our road leads we can look forward with confidence and assurance, trusting God, in your wisdom and love.
In Jesus’ name and in the words he taught us we pray
Hallowed be your name
Your kindom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
for yours is the kindom
The power and the glory
Forever and ever
Anthem: Trust and Believe
Prayer of Confession
God of new beginnings
whenever we come home to you
we realize how far we have wandered
and how much we have forgotten
of your love for us.
There have been too many days
we have not loved you with our whole hearts
or loved our neighbour as ourselves.
Forgive us, heal us,
Restore us to strong and good relationship with you.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Sung Response: Like A Rock. MV 92
Assurance of Pardon
The good news of our faith is that new life can spring from places that seemed dry and without life, in hearts that are frustrated and exhausted. Our God is a God of second chances and opportunities to begin again. We are forgiven. Live into this love and share this hope.
The Word of God Proclaimed
Prayer of Illumination (Pat Thomson)
God, as we hear the scripture read this morning
open our ears, open our hearts, open our minds.
Help us to hear a new and nourishing message for our lives.
May this time inspire us, challenge us and encourage us
and may we take your message of love and hope into our world.
Reading: Luke 4:14-30 p.61 in the New Testament of your pew bibles
Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding region. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’ ” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown.25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months and there was a severe famine over all the land,26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many with a skin disease in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.
Sermon: What’s In It For Us?
Hymn: Lord, Speak to Me VU 589
Our Response to God
Offering: We will take time in our service now to give thanks for the gifts that have been given so generously this week – financial donations, donations to our outreach projects, time, talents, and prayers …. Let us stay seated as we sing:
Offering Hymn: What Can I Do MV 191
Take these offerings we give God
And transform them for your work in the world.
May they become your wings for others;
Wings of protection for those oppressed,
Wings of warmth for those without love,
Wings of freedom for those without hope. Amen.
Prayers of the People
God of new life and new beginnings we give you thanks for the many opportunities you give us to start over
We give you thanks for inviting us on this faith journey
To travel down new paths, to meet you in new ways.
You know it isn’t always easy for us God,
We mistake your love for this promise that we’ll get what we want,
We become frustrated when our prayers aren’t answered quickly or in the ways we want,
We can easily feel like we have been forgotten
That we are stuck in a frustrating silence.
Help us to listen.
Help us to hear beyond our frustrations with the problems of our world,
the worries of our life,
the ordinary-ness of our days
for the comfort of your voice
the wonder of your presence
and the joy of your love.
Help us God, to hear your hope.
We pray that you will help us to share what we hear with others.
We pray for our church family today God, for those who are with us and those who are not,
We pray for those beyond our church family too.
For all who are in need of extra guidance and new direction
For all who are filled with grief, disillusionment, pain.
We pray for all who need to feel the nearness of your love and hope for new beginnings.
We pray for those who are facing uncertainty
Those in hospital, recovering from illness, receiving treatments, and those who are in wait and see mode unsure of the path forward.
We pray for our church, that together we will celebrate the happiness and joy of others with fullness
And that we will continue to support and comfort each other with love and compassion when the road seems foggy and dark.
Help us to enter deeper relationship with you and be strengthened and encouraged in the week ahead.
We pray in the name of Jesus,
Our Risen Christ,
Our companion, our guide. Amen.
*Hymn: Come, Let Us Sing of a Wonderful Love VU 574
Go now to follow the way of Jesus:
see others as he did;
dare to give freely as he did;
and to love unconditionally as he did.
Go, embraced by the love of God, Creator Redeemer and Sustainer. This day and always.
Go with love. Amen
Sung Blessing: Go Now In Peace