Gathering God’s People
Acknowledgement of First Peoples
From river to ocean, from campfire to hearth,
May the First People who have cared for this Land be blessed.
From breath to song, from step to dance,
May those who follow Your Song lines guide us on the journey of living honourably in this place.
From greeting to Amen, from silence to chorus,
Call to Worship (Abingdon Worship Annual 2018)
Blessed are those who meditate on God’s ways, for they are like trees planted by streams of living water, bearing fruit in due season. Happy are those who draw near and grow strong in the Lord.
Draw near to God and grow strong in God’s presence. Seek God’s wisdom and know joy as God draws near.
Live as trees planted by living waters, and Christ will give you peace.
Rest in the shade of the Tree of Life, and Christ will lead you home.
Draw near to God, and God will draw near to you.
Hymn TIS 107: “Sing praise and thanksgiving”
Source of wisdom and understanding, plant us by your streams of living water, that we may bear the fruit of peace and mercy in the seasons of our lives; …Place your wisdom and understanding within us, that we may be far more precious than jewels to those in need of your healing love. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
We live in a world, O God, that looks for wisdom and understanding in all the wrong places.
You teach us that charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, yet we strive for these things above the virtues of industry, mercy, gentleness, and service…
Declaration of Forgiveness
When we draw near to God, God draws near to us. God blesses us with humility, gentleness, mercy, wisdom, and understanding. Draw near to God and touch the inexhaustible love of God.
Thanks be to God!
When we make peace, we sow the seeds of justice by our peaceful acts. Let us sow the peace of Christ this morning, as we share signs of our commitment to justice and mercy.
Peace be with you!
And also with you
A Word with the Children/Young People
Rev. John told the story of children walking along the street, holding their precious toys. One girl was cuddling her China doll which was knocked from her hands. The result was predictable…the doll smashed, breaking the child’s heart with it. But her friend remained with her, sharing tears of grief. We can rarely mend problems god other people but we can grieve with them. Letting them know that we share their pain and are reaching out to support them.
Invitation to the Offering
With the wife from Proverbs, who is far more precious than jewels, let us open our hands to the poor and our hearts to the needy. Let us sow peace in our world through the gifts and offerings we collect this day.
Hymn TIS 650: “Brother sister, let me serve you.”
The Service of the Word
James 3:13 - 4:3
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.
35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
Preaching of the Word
Can Goodness and Wisdom Coexist? –
Here, I have selected just one of the many points Rev. John covered today and drawn his words on that subject together..
James in his letter tries to show the natural link between goodness and wisdom. The combining of wisdom and goodness is not something we want to restrict. We have a contrast of two kinds of wisdom: heavenly/godly wisdom with earthly/evil wisdom. Like the early church people, we want to know how to gain heavenly/godly wisdom.
This distinction between goodness and wisdom is one that has never occurred to me but when we attached “worldly” to “wisdom” all becomes clear. But the “wisdom” of the Bible’s Sophia fits the bill. That wisdom is God’s wisdom, wisdom coming from God. That sort of wisdom goes hand in hand with goodness and the holy action that follows.
Hymn TIS 609: “May the mind of Christ my Saviour” Amen to that. Isn't that the point of listening for God’s voice?
Music to lead us to prayer: This is a time for each of us to draw near to our God. A time of quiet to absorb the words we have heard in the readings and the sermon or to contemplate our own concerns and bring them before God.
Hymn TIS 256: “From heaven you came, helpless babe”. And yet we are so unwilling to become helpless before our Lord and be guided by God’s will. We try so hard to find our own solutions.
Having drawn near to the God of love, we go forth to bear fruit in due season. Having drawn near to the Spirit of wisdom, we go forth with humility and understanding. Having drawn near to the Presence of mercy and grace, we go forth as children of compassion and peace. Go with God.
Hymn TIS 780: May light come into your eyes