Virtual Service – July 11, 2021

8:30 am

July 11, 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

• Christmas in July – Yes, you read that right, and we want to hear from you, before Friday, July 16th.  We would like to know what your favourite Christmas carol is. I know… how do you pick one? Ok, we’ll let you choose two. We would love to sing Christmas carols together and celebrate Jesus’ birth in July. Of course, we will celebrate again in December too. Christmas in July will be just that, a joyful summer celebration of Christ’s birth.
• 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 VBS at home lesson online. Have you ever really, really messed up? Adam and Eve did, and for a while their sin messed EVERYTHING up!
•  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, and welcome to Walton’s virtual service today. Jim and I were discussing that the parking lot is filled with cracks, running down both sides of the parking lot. I hope they don’t split, or divide the parking lot up. Jim explained that in his sermon today, he will be talking about a house divided against itself, cannot stand, not really a parking lot divided, and not to worry that the Property Committee and some of the staff are in the process of hiring someone to come and fill the cracks.

The parking lot is 20 years old this summer and the parking lot has been maintained and the cracks filled every couple of years. By dealing with the problem and fixing it before it gets worse, hopefully we will be able to use the parking lot another 20 years before it will need to be replaced. Working together to maintain and keep a good upkeep of our church house is important. Thanks to all those who help

keep our facilities maintained. Let us join together in worship this morning, and learn what Jesus has to say. Let us join together in the call to worship.

Call to Worship

Many of us grew up with a heavy dose of guilt, even to the point of saying I’m sorry for saying that I’m sorry and there are lots of folks not here because they felt they were over-churched and over-guilted.  But here we are. We gather to get off the negative guilt train, to experience  God’s amazing, forgiving, unconditional love, and to focus on the positive of being a compassionate community.  We connect, we worship.

(D. Lander, The Gathering, Pentecost 1, 2018) 

Opening Prayer

Gracious God, help us to make every Sabbath about you.  Quiet our hearts, give rest to our souls, and refocus our spirits for true renewal comes only from you.  Holy Spirit, please help us to be intentional with our time and worship, and encourage us to find rest in your arms. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

(adapted Carol O-Neil, The Gathering, Pentecost 1, 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: Heart & Soul – Better Together

Val and Alison sat down to play the piano in Bronte Hall, but there was a problem. They were trying to play the duet “Heart & Soul,” but they weren’t playing together. Alison thought the melody was the most important part, and Val thought her part was just as important. They weren’t listening to each other at all and the song sounded awful!

Isn’t that what it’s like when people have arguments? Everyone thinks their opinion is the most important and they don’t always listen to people who have a different point of view. They talk over each other and all you get is noise. But when we listen to each other, learn from each other, and work together, everything becomes much easier.

Alison and Val decided to work together on the song, and together they made beautiful music!

Anthem:  “Rise Above the Walls”

Scripture Reading:  Mark 3: 20-30 (NRSV)

And the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.  When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.”

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come.

But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter;  but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Morning Message: “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand” – Rev. Jim Gill

It’s rather funny when you think about it; even people who have never ever read the Bible quote the Bible in their daily speech. My first year English professor would tell each incoming class that you cannot truly understand English literature without having a working knowledge of the Bible.

So much of our everyday language comes from 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 things we say from the Bible. In our second reading from Jeremiah, which is one of the Lectionary readings for this Sunday, we hear expressions like, “scattering the sheep,” “gather the remnant,” and “the days are coming.”

Today I begin a 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.

“A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND”

This expression was often quoted during last year’s U.S. election campaign, and ever since by politicians, reporters and pundits. The U.S. is at its most critical junction since the Civil War. Now it’s not the division of the North and South like during the 1861-1865 War between the States, but a division between so-called Red and Blue States.

Churches have also been divided at times. Not all the Presbyterian churches in Canada joined the 1925 Church Union that created the United Church of Canada. Hence there is still a Presbyterian Church in Canada today.

We hear Flamborough wants to leave Hamilton. Quebec and Alberta talk about separation. In businesses, in family life, in government, in sports teams and even in local congregations, there can be divisions.

This phrase, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, like most everything else on the internet. Perhaps you have seen this infamous meme online: “Abraham Lincoln said in 1864, ‘The problem with internet quotes is that you cannot always depend on their accuracy.’” Wait. It will come to you. Lincoln did not even have the phone, let alone internet in his time.

While the 16th president of the United States actually did use today’s phrase in a famous speech, he didn’t invent it. Jesus did. Jesus did, does and will do so much that other people are often given or take credit for.

This all happened when Jesus was rebuffing some made up Pharisee charges. Jesus regularly had to do this over the three years of his earthly ministry. In this case, it was that Jesus was casting out demons because Jesus himself was possessed.

In his own defence, Jesus uttered the phrase that would be used by Lincoln centuries later. Jesus said if I was Satan how could I cast myself out? How can Satan cast out Satan?  Jesus says Satan is not divided, meaning the Pharisees’ charges did not make sense. They were just trying to discredit him.

In a more positive sense when you use the expression “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” it literally means that success comes from sticking together. To do anything else is to invoke disaster through division. Like the expression goes, there is no “I” in the word “ Team.” Scoring the goal most often happens only because of those who got the assist.

Lincoln gave this speech, known now as the “House Divided Speech,” before becoming the 16th American president. His message was that if the country continued on its racially divided path, it would break in two, which it ultimately did, leading to America’s Civil War. Lincoln said, “In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed –

‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing, or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new-North as well as South.”

While Jesus originated the phrase that’s the focus of today’s message, Lincoln captured its meaning so well for his very tumultuous time. You see, this is one of the wonderful practical truths that the Bible is the living word of God. It has a timeless message for each and every generation. While the Bible is full of history, it is full of everyday wisdom and coaching for everyday life and living.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I think of marriage as such a house. Marriage is many things, one of which is an economic union. I reviewed the most common problems in marriages as noted by many credible study surveys.

What causes the most concerns? Communication, of course. Money is also huge. In various studies, money ranks #5, #1, #6, #5, #2, #12 and #5 on the list. From my pastoral experience, it is for sure in the top three areas of conflict. A spendthrift marries a tightwad. Maybe, an exaggeration but when there is such a huge division in partners’ views over money a house may fall. It may very well divide.

Let’s hear this passage from the paraphrase of the Bible called The Message: “The religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumours that he was working black magic, using devil tricks to impress them with spiritual power. Jesus confronted their slander with a story: ‘Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan? A constantly squabbling family disintegrates. If Satan were fighting Satan, there soon wouldn’t be any Satan left.’”

At Walton we work on unity, trying to avoid the house of faith ever being divided in the way Jesus spoke about. I recall talking to a person who had recently moved to this area from another part of the country. They were out church shopping in Burlington and Oakville, as people often do in August. They filled out a pew card for me to call them, which I did. They told me that the church they came from in another part of Canada would have internal fights every few years. This person thought those skirmishes were a good thing for the congregation, for they weeded out people who did not think as they did or as their close church friends did.

Later in the conversation, the person told me sadly that church congregation was now down to only 60 people. People did not want to come to their church, it seemed. This person could not see the connection between their house of worship dividing against itself every few years, and its numeric decline. I was not surprised they never returned to Walton again and chose to join another congregation.

Our church culture is not to have a house divided against itself. We work daily on fostering unity, not division. We do not want everyone to think alike or be alike, and for sure we do not want to weed out anyone who sees life differently than maybe we do.

This week why not try to catch yourself saying expressions, phrases, idioms and truisms. Wonder to yourself who first said them. Look them up; I bet many come from the Bible.  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.”

Prayer of Confession

Dear God, how can you use us to share the good news if we are so focused on what we should be getting?

How can you count on us if we are paralyzed by fear or anger?

We confess that, in our hearts and minds, we are often dwelling back in Nazareth, and not with you as you share the good news in other villages and throughout the countryside.

For us, we pray (a time of silent prayer)

Words of Assurance

When we find ourselves up on our symbolic “high horse,” God helps us get back down to earth again.  When we are afraid or angry, God speaks peace and calmness into us. This is the good news: we are a forgiven people. Thanks be to God!

(adapted Norah Laverty, The Gathering, Pentecost 1, 2021)

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Invitation to Communion

This is the table of God,
the joyful host.

Everyone, child, youth, and adult, is welcome to eat at this table.
No matter what your religious affiliation, no matter what your particular beliefs or nagging doubts may be,

You are welcome to share in this meal.
With the boldness of Jesus we invite everyone:

Come and joyfully share!

At this table all differences are put aside, and we share in the glory of our common humanity, anticipating that day when all God’s creation will dwell together in harmony, prosperity and peace.  Come then, as you are, in all your glory, to this feast of joy!

We dare not come to this table trusting in our own goodness or virtue.
We come knowing we need forgiveness and trusting God to grant it.
We come because we are hungry for meaning and need to be fed.
God, forgive and feed us.

We come because Jesus Christ invited us.
We come as Christ’s guests to the heavenly banquet.
We come in remembrance, but much more; in recalling the sacrifice of Christ for us we are moved to Christ-like identification with suffering humanity.

We join here not in passive recollection of ancient signs, but in active reflection of the flesh and blood realities that these signs represent.

Jesus, stand among us today as host and celebrant!

Assurance of Pardon

The feast of God is designed to satisfy not our physical appetites but our hunger and thirst for righteousness. The table has long been set and there has always been a place reserved for you.  Jesus Christ beckons you, “Come.” Beloved, your sins are forgiven.  In witness to your new life in Christ and communion with one another, you are asked to gather round the heavenly table.  Amen.

We are one bread, one body, one cup of blessing.  Though we are many throughout the earth and this church community is scattered, in your many kitchens, and living rooms, rest your hand lightly upon these elements which we set aside today to be a sacrament.  Let us ask God’s blessing upon them.

 Words of Remembering

We remember that Paul the apostle wrote letters to congregations throughout places we now call  Greece, Turkey and Macedonia, and they were the first “remote” worship resources.  Our online service has a long heritage.

The Communion words sent to the church at Corinth were these:

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said. “This is my body that is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

 Prayers of Thanksgiving

Let us pray in thanksgiving for this meal of grace, rejoin that, by the very method of our worship, we have embodied the truth that Christ’s love is not limited by buildings made with human hands, nor contained in human ceremonies, but blows as free as the Spirit in all places.

Spirit of Christ you have blessed our tables and our lives.  May the eating of this Bread give us courage to speak faith and act in love, not only in church sanctuaries, but in your precious world, and may the drinking of this cup renew our hope even in the midst of this pandemic. Wrap your hopeful presence around all whose bodies, spirits and hearts need healing, and let us become your compassion and safe refuge.  Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

God finds no differences in us, or in our gifts.  We are all acceptable to God; our gifts no matter how big or small are all acceptable to God

♥ by secure online payment from your debit or credit card. Click here to go to our donation page to make a single or recurring donation. Multiple funds can be included in one donation by using the “Add Donation” button
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.
♥ by cheque through the mail slot at the Church office entrance or by Canada Post
♥ by monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Prayer

These gifts, O  God, are given with our hearts, our hands, our spirits. Accept them as Christ accepted all who came, we pray. Bless them as he blessed bread and wine and people, for the coming of the reign of generosity, peace, and grace. Amen.

(adapted R. Wardlaw, The Gathering, Pentecost, 2018)

Benediction

Go from here and enjoy this summer season: at home or away, God will be with you.
In good times and challenging times, God will support us.
As we face our own challenges, God will steady us.
As we face challenges as a church, God will work with us.
As we strive to welcome others, God will call on us to open hands and hearts.
We have confidence, we go in hope, for God goes with us!

(adapted D. Sparks, The Gathering, Pentecost 2018)

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!

• Walls That Divide (Ron Klusemeier)
• In Christ There is no East or West (Lift Up Your Hearts #268)
• Deep in our Hearts (More Voices #154)
• For the Healing of the Nations (Lift Up Your Hearts #289)
• Olde Irish Blessing

 

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, July 7th