Hilary Plowright
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Home Church Season of Creation, October 24, 2021, Rev. Karen Hollis

We acknowledge these lands upon which we worship are the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey,

you are welcome here!

Preparing the Space Around Us

Welcome if you are gathering on zoom or if you are worshipping at home with the bulletin. We are one community and all part of the body of Christ. I invite you to prepare the space around you so that for the next hour you can be fully in this worship experience, not to keep out the realities of the world, rather to focus us in the midst of it all on God. If you need to go and get something or shift something around you, feel free. This Sunday we are beginning the Season of Creation and will continue for a total of 4 weeks. This year we will be exploring the book of Job and listening for its wisdom on creation. We will journey with Job as he expands his awareness of his identity as a part of God’s creation.

Preparing the Space within Us

Let us prepare now the space within us for a time of worship. I invite you to sit quietly, perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself also to what you need from this time of worship.

One:  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, 

          and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

All:    And also with you       

Call to Worship  -  Pattern of Our Days One:      

 God of the past who has mothered and fathered us

All:    We are here to thank you

One:  God of the future who is always ahead of us

All:    We are here to trust you

One:  God of the present here in the midst of us

All:    We are here to praise you

One:  God of life beyond us, within us

All:    We rejoice in your glorious love

Opening Prayer  -   Lutheran World Federation, edited

Spirit of the wind and the whirlwind, breathing though every person and place, as we gather for worship, open our eyes to the mysteries of creation and our place within the orbit of your grace, as you did with Job long ago. In Christ we pray, Amen.

Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty  - VU #315

1 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,

God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

2 Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee;

casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,

which were, and art, and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,

though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see,

only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,

perfect in power, in love, and purity.

4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,

God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Prayer of Confession  -  Adapted from Walter Brueggemann

God of grace and glory, we call out your name in as many ways as we can. We call out to you from our places of suffering, from the particular angle of our lives. We give you names, but it is the name of our deep need, our deep wound, our deep hope that needs to be spoken. And then, we are astonished that while our names for you serve for a moment, you break beyond them in your freedom, you show yourself yet fresh beyond our grasp. As we cry out your name today, break free from us, O God, and assure us again that you are God . . . beyond us . . . for us, but beyond us, not at our beck and call, but always in your own way.

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of Grace 

Friends, receive today the love of God that is poured out for you . . . and receive the mystery of God’s healing grace in the places of your greatest need and know that you are God’s own. Thanks be to God!

Peace of Christ 

In this strange, virtual space, let us acknowledge together the peace Christ brings whenever we gather. Let us say together,

            N-Z:  The Peace of Christ be with you!

            A-M: And also with you!

First Reading: Job 31:4-8, 33-40 (Transl. Robert Alter) - Don Butt

Does He not see my way,

       and all my steps count?

Have I walked in a lie,

       has my foot hurried to deceit?

Let Him weigh me on fair scales,

       that God know my blamelessness.

If my stride has strayed from the way,

       and my heart gone after my eyes,

              or the least thing stuck to my palms, 

let me sow and another shall eat,

       my offspring torn up by the roots.

Did I hide like Adam my wrongdoings,

       to bury within me my crime,

that I should fear the teeming crowd,

       and the scorn of clans terrify me,

              fall silent and keep within doors?

Would that I had someone to hear me out.

       Here’s my mark – let Shaddai answer me,

              and let my accuse indict his writ.

I would bear it upon my shoulder,

       bind it as a crown upon me.

the number of my steps I would tell Him,

       like a prince I would approach him.

If my soil has cried out against me,

       and together its furrows wept,

If I ate its yield without payment,

       and drove its owners to despair,

instead of wheat let nettles grow,

       and instead of barley, stinkweed.

Here end the words of Job.

Second Reading: Job 38:1-21 (Transl. Robert Alter) - Charlie Blackburn

And the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind and He said:

Who is this who darkens counsel

       in words without knowledge?

Gird your loins like a man,

       that I may ask you, and you can inform Me.

Where were you when I founded earth?

       Tell, if you know understanding.

Who fixed its measures, do you know,

       or who stretched a line upon it?

In what were its sockets sunk,

       or who laid its cornerstone,

when the morning stars sang together,

       and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Who hedged the sea with double doors,

       when it gushed forth form the womb.

When I made cloud its clothing,

       and thick mist its swaddling bands?

I made breakers upon it My limit,

       and set a bolt with double doors.

And I said, “Thus far come, no farther,

       here halt the surge of your waves.”

Have you ever commanded the morning,

       appointed the dawn to its place,

to seize the earth’s corners,

       that the wicked shall be shaken from it?

It turns like sealing clay,

       takes color like a garment,

and their light is withdrawn from the wicked,

       and the upraised arm is broken.

Have you come into the springs of the sea,

       in the bottommost deep walked about?

Have the gates of death been laid bare to you,

       and the gates of death’s shallow have you seen?

Did you take the breadth of the earth?

       Tell, if you know it all.

Where is the way that light dwells,

       and darkness, where is its place,

that you might take it to its home

       and understand the paths to its house?

You know, for you were born then,

       and the number of your days is great!

Third Reading: Job 40:25-27;41:1-10 (Transl. Robert Alter) - Charlie Blackburn

Could you draw Leviathan with a hook,

       and with a cord press down his tongue?

Could you put a lead line in his nose,

       and with a fishhook pierce his cheek?

Would he urgently entreat you,

       would he speak to you gentle words?

Look, all hope of him is dashed,

       at his mere sight one is cast down.

No fierce one could arouse him,

       and who before Me could stand up?

Who could go before me in this I’d reward,

       under all the heavens he would be mine.

I would no keep silent about him,

       about his heroic acts and surpassing grace.

Who can uncover his outer garb,

       come into his double mail?

Who can pry open the doors of his face?

       All around his teeth is terror.

His back is rows of shields,

       closed with the tightest seal.

Each touches against the next,

       no breath can come between them.

Each sticks fast to the next,

       locked together, they will not part.

He sneezes shoot out light,

       and his eyes are like the eyelids of dawn.

Reflection: - God Speaks                

Silent Reflection

New Zealand Creed: 

Let us affirm our faith . . . 

You, O God, are supreme and holy.

You create our world and give us life.

Your purpose overarches everything we do.

You have always been with us.

You are God.

You, O God, are infinitely generous,

good beyond all measure.

You came to us before we came to you.

You have revealed and proved

your love for us in Jesus Christ,

who lived and died and rose again.

You are with us now.

You are God.

You, O God, are Holy Spirit.

You empower us to be your gospel in the world.

You reconcile and heal; you overcome death.

You are our God. We worship you.

Prayers of the People  -  Paddy Waymark

One:  God of Peace and Steadfastness,        

All:    Hear Our Prayers

Lord’s Prayer - Ecumenical Version

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, 

and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.

Offering  - Gail Reed – Outreach Committee

Offering Prayer 

God of love and justice, You call us to compassion and service in our community and beyond. We give thanks for this call and pray we continue to respond faithfully. We give thanks for the work of the outreach committee, their attention to the needs on the island, and their discernment about how best to respond. We dedicate the gifts we offer to the ongoing ministry of the church, including the ministry of service. We rededicate our lives to your service, O God, and joyfully respond to your call. In Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.

Hymn: Let All Things Now Living  - VU #242

1 Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving

To God our Creator triumphantly raise,

Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us,

by guiding us on to the end of our days.

God's banners are o'er us, pure light goes before us,

a pillar of fire shining forth in the night,

till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished,

As forward we travel from light into Light.

2 By law God enforces, the stars in their courses,

and sun in its orbit, obediently shine;

The hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains,

the depths of the ocean proclaim Him divine.

We too should be voicing our love and rejoicing,

with glad adoration a song let us raise:

till all things now living unite in thanksgiving

To God in the highest, hosanna and praise.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.

Blessing   -    Iona Community

If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

One:  The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey,           guiding you, cherishing you.

N-Z:   The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories,            feeding you, challenging you.

A-M:  The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom,           comforting you, disturbing you.

All:    The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living,  guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together, a           community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!

One:  Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:    Thanks be to God! Alleluia!