11 February 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 Gord Penley, our greeters Heather and Craig Rothwell, Charlotte Taylor on live streaming, with john Duffin on sound. Thank you everyone!
- Welcome to those who are joining us online today. We are so 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.
- Save the dates for our Lenten activities – Feb 14 (Wednesday) 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
- Contemplative Prayer happens every Wednesday at 11 here in the sanctuary – we’ve moved to the front of the church to be amidst these lovely windows.
- Announcement about reconciliation event
- 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.
God, today you have called us to the mountaintop.
Help us to look forward to where you would have us go.
Help us to listen carefully to the words of your healing love.
Open our hearts and spirits to receive your encouragement and your hope.
Help us to understand what it is you need us to receive from you this day, God.
Help us to trust that however things change, wherever the road leads us, we are not alone.
Let us worship God.
*Hymn: We Have Come At Christ’s Own Bidding VU 104
Prayer of Approach & The Lord’s Prayer
Radiant God, source of all light,
on this Transfiguration Sunday we remember
how you surrounded Jesus with your glory
and we watch for your light in our own lives.
It is so easy to want to stay on the mountain
or in a comfortable pew while
you walk to the valleys of need in our world.
It is so easy to want everything to stay the same,
Because we know that life is filled with uncertainties
and difficult journeys that are hard for us to face.
fill us with light and courage to carry good news into all the
corners of the world and to see and know the joy of your presence
along all of our journeys.
This we pray 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
Prayer of Confession
Forgive us, God, when we are stubborn and for those times when we just don’t seem to understand.
Forgive us for those times when we just can’t bear the thought of moving forward, and would rather stay stuck, exactly where we are.
Remind us that you are with us, wherever we are.
You call us from the mountaintop to go to the valley where there is struggle and pain; where healing is needed.
You call us to go where we will learn more about faith in the midst of life,
Where we can walk with others and share hope.
So forgiven us when courage doesn’t come easily
And for those times when we’d just rather not.
Prepare us, God, for the journey.
Help us to listen to you.
Forgive us and strengthen us God.
We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
Sung Response: Like A Rock. MV 92
Assurance of Pardon
Get up and do not be afraid. We are forgiven. We are being led and cared for every step of this journey. Having been forgiven, and offered new life, with God’s love we will find our way. Thanks be to God.
The Word of God Proclaimed
Prayer of Illumination (Gord Penley)
God of love and wisdom, your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Give us grace to receive your truth in faith and love, and strength to follow on the path you set before us; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Reading: Matthew 17:1-9 p. in the New Testament of your pew bibles
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became bright as light. 3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I[a] will set up three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, the Beloved;[b] with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they raised their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Get Up, Do Not Be Afraid
Hymn: Three Things I Promise MV 176
Our Response to God
Offering: We take time to recognize and dedicate all that has been offered to our church this week, gifts of money to help us pay our bills and keep this building safe and warm for our user groups and activities, gifts of time, your talents and skills, and of course your prayers. Let’s stay seated and sing …
Offering Hymn: What Can I Do MV 191
God of transforming power, may your love and light in our world be affirmed in the gifts we give, and the work we do. As our worship this morning begins to come to an end, may we hear Jesus’ voice sending us out into the world, into the valleys and shadows … may we listen and go, with all we have to offer, and ourselves, blessed with your love. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
Prayers of the People
God, we can imagine what it must have been like for Jesus’ friends on the mountain with him. Seeing something so amazing, being filled with both confusion and joy, trying to make sense of it all.
And we know what it is like to just want to stay on the mountain too God, to stay with you and not have to face what is happening in the world. To find a place of calm and not get involved in all of the messy-ness of the world.
But you call us into the world. You call us to go and follow you into the world to care for your creation and for your children. You call us to rejoice and to work for justice, to reflect light into the darkness and to preach the good news of new life and forgiveness of sins, of a world transformed and lives renewed.
So give us courage God. Give us courage to follow you into the world and give us hope to see our way to your promises,
even when the road we are personally on is difficult.
Our prayers today are not only for ourselves but we also turn over to you all of the prayers of our hearts – those that are known to this community and those that are known only to us individually.
We pray for all who are dealing with challenging circumstances of all kinds.
Especially we pray for those who are recovering after surgeries, who are healing after accidents, who are facing difficult decisions, and receiving difficult treatments.
We pray for all whose lives have been turned upside down –
We pray for those struggling with anxiety and fear, for those facing increased financial challenges and those who are underhoused.
We pray for our world, that we may be led to respond to issues of inequality, violence, war, and climate change with wisdom and determination, so that all may be safe, all may have opportunities, and so that future generations may experience in full the glory of your creation.
May we all be led in wisdom and grace to work together and help one another to find our way forward and solve problems we face.
Finally God, we pray for ourselves and this community.
may the courage and hope in your promise of transformation and new life echo into the darkest corners of our own lives so that we may be strengthened and renewed ourselves, ready to travel down the roads we must travel, hopeful even in the midst of our anxieties and fears.
May we find hope in you, even as the world around us feels so uncertain.
May we each be reminded and believe,
that through your love
exist endless possibilities and endless promise. Amen.
*Hymn: O World of God. VU 258
May God now send us back down the mountain of our worship.
We have been changed.
We can’t be silent anymore
We have seen the Light of the World.
Go and share the radiance of love!
Sung Blessing: Go Now In Peace