Virtual Service – August 8, 2021

8:30 am

August 8, 2021

Virtual Service

Welcome to virtual church!

For the latest news and updates from Walton, please check our Facebook page, Instagram and website. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos of service, the choirs and more!

Please contact office@waltonmemorial.com if you would like to be added to our email list.

Sunday Service Video (30+ minutes followed by the hymns)

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text. If you wish, you can download and print the service from this document – link – or you can read the complete service below.

The hymn-sing is at the end.

Announcements

• Going to a beach, near or far this summer? We walk this journey together, so we would like to share our journey together. In the summer of 2019, we started our walkway at the front of the church by asking you all to bring a flat stone from a beach you are going to, or from a special place you would be going to during the summer. The project was put on hold for the summer of 2020, but we are working to finish it this year and would love to receive more stones. We are hoping to dedicate the walkway and garden project in the fall.
The idea is to fill the little walkway behind the trellis, where the angel is in the garden at the front of the church. We are asking for flat smooth stones from a beach you might visit on vacation, from your cottage, or from one of our Bronte beaches. The stones should be from the size of your palm up to the size of your hand.
Please let us know the specifics of where your rock came from, whether in Canada or beyond. Email Rev. Gill at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com with the details. Please contact the church office to drop your rocks off; do NOT add them to the walkway yourself. Thanks for walking our journey together!
• A new way to donate to Walton — Text-to-Give!  Donate securely at any time just by texting a dollar amount to 84321 (eg. $5).  See our Text-to-Give page for more information.
Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual VBS at Home lesson online. This week in our Shipwrecked VBS we’ll learn that when you put Jesus first, you won’t have to worry about a thing. Because when you’re worried, Jesus rescues!
Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com
If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com.

Welcome

Good morning! Have you noticed how much writing we see on walls? It’s funny, it is an art form for some people, and it is venting for others.

Some writing says do not enter or exit, some have messages I don’t know what they mean.

Others are beautiful pieces of art.

We are standing in front of a beautiful piece of art, and it has many messages and we are today looking at the theme of the “writing on the wall” from a biblical story. Today, we are thinking of our own lives and what writing may be on the wall for us. It is a chance for us to reflect on what we see on the wall literally and figuratively.

So, come let us share with you some photographs of some of the walls we have experienced and let us also join in worship.

Call to Worship

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

Let us remember who is in charge, who is looking out for each one of us. Who makes the sun rise and the sunset, who gives us the miracle of birth, who comforts us when we are mourning, and welcomes our loved ones into heaven.

Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in praise and thanksgiving today, for this is the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad, happy, overjoyed that we can be here together in worship whatever way that looks for you today!

Opening Prayer

O Gentle Saviour, we pray today to embrace the gift of God’s grace.  For we know in our hearts that God’s grace is our life force.  God’s grace has many qualities, and one of those qualities is humility.  Jesus, stand among us in our hometown, or where we are today.  Do not pass through our midst and go on your way.  Let your truth and grace dissolve our need for entitlement, and let humility catch its breath among us.  Amen.

(adapted Norah Laverty, The Gathering Pentecost 2021)

The Lord’s  Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy 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 thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Youth Story:  “When one door closes another opens…”

J: Val what are you doing here?

V: Well, I’m trying to figure out what the person who wrote or drew this drawing here on the wall was thinking about, or doing when they wrote on the wall? I have never understood why someone would spray paint over something? I think they spray-painted over the Tim Horton sign to cover it up? I used to take my kids here to this Tim Horton’s after their doctor appointments. It used to be a very busy Tim Hortons, I don’t know why it isn’t here any longer?

J: I used to stop here all the time too when I used to do services in the western part of Aldershot, I used to stop and get a maple dipped donut.

V: That sounds delicious. I know everyone has their favourite kind of donut, mmmm!  Not sure why there is writing on this wall though? Is it because they are upset because this place closed down, or is it a celebration that something new is going to come in here?  We don’t always know what the writing on the wall means, right?

J: We don’t, no we don’t.  But we know in our lives that when one door closes, God has a way of opening up a new one.

V: Thank goodness!! You are right. So that makes that door closing not so bad.

J: You know, we have to be patient, and ask for God’s guidance on which door God wants us to go through.

V: That’s true, but he is always leading us, and putting us in a place that is best for us. If we trust him, he will always guide us to the right door, right?

J:  Exactly.  Sometimes I find God writes in big bold letters, “JIM GO IN HERE!” Other times it is not as clear, the door is ajar just a little, and I need to push it.

V:  You need a little nudge sometimes?

J: I do. So let us ask God for that nudge in prayer.  Let us pray. O God we give thanks for the doors you open for us, We pray that we will respond to the door that you want us to go through, that we will feel that nudge or see that big sign you have given us, and step through in faith. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Anthem:  “Rise Above the Walls” Youth Choir

 

Scripture Reading: Daniel 5: 1-6, 22-28, Ephesians 4: 25- 5:2

Daniel 5:1-6 (New Revised Standard Version)

King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them.

While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them.

So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.

Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.——

“But you, Belshazzar, his son, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this.  Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand.

But you did not honour the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.  Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. “This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, peres. “

Here is what these words mean:

Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Ephesians 4:25-5:2  The Message

What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense.

Tell your neighbor the truth.

In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work. Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Wake Up from Your Sleep

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Message: “The Writing is on the Wall”  Rev. Jim Gill

Sermon Series: Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Were from the Bible

Nearly everyone has heard of the Bible. However, even people who have never read the Bible quote it in their daily speech. My first-year U of T English professor would tell each incoming class that you cannot truly understand English literature without having a working knowledge of the Bible, for much of everyday language comes for the Bible.

“At your wits end,” “Eat, drink, and be merry,” “To move mountains,” and “Like a lamb to the slaughter” are just a few examples of common phrases which come from the Bible. In our readings today we hear expressions like, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” aka do not go to bed angry. “Walk in the way of love,” “Do not give the devil a foothold,” and “The law of the Medes and Persians.”

Today I continue my short summer series of messages entitled, “Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Were from the Bible.” Bible literacy is an important part of our walk of faith. I hope this series will help you better understand the Bible for yourself. Today’s focus is a phrase from the book of Daniel: “The writing is on the wall.”

In our times if you say that the writing is on the wall, you mean that there are clear signs that a situation is going to become very difficult or change things as they are. For example, “after twenty straight defeats, the writing is on the wall for the basketball team manager.”

Today’s phrase comes from the Biblical story of one of King Belshazzar’s great feasts recorded in Daniel 5:5-31. During the meal in the presence of the king, a hand without anybody attached to it appears and writes on the palace wall. The king, frightened, called for his astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers and offered rewards to whoever could interpret the writing.

Think of how the Pharaoh’s astrologers back in Egypt could not interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams about the seven fat and seven thin cows and how Joseph was called up from jail to interpret. In the case of today’s reading, none of the wise men could read the message written on the wall by just a hand until the queen suggested they call Daniel.

Daniel came, and the king offered him a reward if he could interpret the writing. Daniel told the king to keep the reward and give it to someone else, and that he would interpret the writing, but not before telling the king about  failing to learn from his father’s mistakes, and “humbling himself.”

Humility is a constant theme in the Book of Daniel. It is not just a message for Daniel’s time. Humility is such a timely message for our time and generation. We need fewer selfies and more focus on others and God.

Nathaniel Blair writes, “Humility is often misrepresented as though it means we need to be self-deprecating, helpful to others but never allowing others to help us and never being seen to accept the praise of others. This is not true humility because it remains centred on ourselves.”

“Humility,” says Lewis, “is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” Hear that – less focus on me, me, me. Again, humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.

One of my mentors, John Maxwell, writes, “But I believe humility is a character trait that every leader should value and develop. I define it as an everyday choice to credit God for our blessings and others for our successes. Humble leaders understand their place in light of God and others. It doesn’t mean that they devalue their own strengths, just that they acknowledge the areas where they need help.”

This critical lack of royal humility had earned King Belshazzar the prophetic response of God, which resulted in the hand writing a message on the wall during the great feast. This is the interpretation of the writing. “God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”

“Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.” The king had, indeed, “seen the writing on the wall.”

The great basketball coach John Wooden often told his players, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be thankful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” We see in daily life how a lack of humility can come before our downfall. Part of that lack of humility comes from always seeking power and control over all aspects of our lives. Always wanting to be in the forefront. Always wanting to be an expert on everything. Unwilling to learn from others. Unwilling to be that humble servant of God. While our second reading today from Ephesians does not use the word “humility” exactly, it does allude to it in many of its wise words

Let’s hear what Ephesians says:

• “Put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.” False speech can also be the self-talk we say to ourselves.

• “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others.” To me gossip is an unwholesome talk. In many ways gossip has moved from one-to-one, face-to-face telling, to gossip for all in so many aspects of media. Does it build up others let alone build up ourselves in a healthy way? No.

• “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.” I cannot believe how people treat other people who have another belief or opinion that is different than the one they hold.

• “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love.” Always go back to humble ourselves by committing ourselves to living out God’s example, the way of love.”

These are some of the ways given to us in Ephesians to prevent that writing on the wall in our own lives. You see, this is one of the wonderful practical evidences that the Bible is the living word of God for 2021. It has a timeless message for each and every generation about humility. While the Bible is full of history, it is also full of everyday coaching for life and living.

This week, when you catch yourself saying expressions, phrases, idioms and truisms, stop. Wonder to yourself who first said those words. Look them up. I bet many come from the Bible. Common phrases like “The blind leading the blind,” “feet of clay,” and “The fly in the ointment” are just three more examples of “Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Were from the Bible.”

God Moment:  “Humility”

You know those moments when you wonder if God’s in your life working. I was kneeling down on the pavement for Val to try to get a photograph to use in my sermon with just a hand and the word humility.

 This woman came running over with her dog all worried that something had happened to me and I couldn’t get up and that she would have to call 9-1-1.

We told her I was fine, and we explained what we were doing, and invited her over to look at the sign on the ground. It touched her heart. She told us she works in the restaurant business and she tries each day to have humility with whoever she meets as a customer.  All those lives that she touches as she serves their meals. What an incredible blessing!

Anthem:  “You Sing Over Me”

 

Pastoral Prayer

Caring, loving God, we ask you into our presence today to remind us that we are to love one another, not judge, not ignore, but to reach out and care for each other, however we can.

We are all not made of money, and maybe feel we have been struggling, but you ask us to look at our neighbour. They too have struggles. Whose struggles are worse?

Thank you, God, for seeing each one of us as your child, loving each one of us, crying and laughing with us, but most importantly wanting and guiding us to what is best for us.

Help me to give of myself, to give, instead of always wanting and looking at others with envy and desire at what others have. Help me to be thankful for them, to acknowledge to them how blessed they are, and mean it. Help me to look a little deeper this week at others, what they may be needed, instead of myself.

For in looking outwards,  I hear you say, “These too are my children, love them, take care of them, share my word and my love with the world, and grow my kingdom here on earth.”  Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Take what we offer today O God:  Take our caring for our neighbours, from a distance. Take our phone calls, texts, and social media greetings with our families and friends, take our action of moving away from our homes and venturing out into the world with social distancing. Take all we offer this morning in word, in action and in donation, blessing us and our giving in Jesus’ name. Amen. The offering will now be received.
(adapted Gord Dunbar, The Gathering 2021)

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Offering Prayer

Bread of Life, you are constant nourishment for our hungry souls.  Bless these offerings, that they become sustenance for our famished, yearning, and longing bodies, minds and spirits.  May we, with these gifts, continue to live the story of amazing grace. Amen.

(adapted Laura Turnbull, The Gathering, 2021)

Benediction

Go from this place today filled with God’s abundant love. Go from this place today filled with God’s love in your heart. Go now from this place and share this abundance and love with others.  Go now from this place and know that God is grateful for each and every one of you.  Go from this place. Go with peace. Go with grace.  Amen.

Walton’s Musical Message

This morning on Facebook and on YouTube, we’re sharing a video where Linda shares with us several of our favourite hymns! Sing along!

♥ We are One  (Voices United #402)
♥ Prayer for a Child (L Fletcher)
♥ You are My All in All  (Celebration Hymnal #583)
♥ Mothering God  (Voices United #320)
♥ May God’s Sheltering Wings (More Voices #214)

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, August 4th