Anglican Church of Canada
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Welcome and Call to Worship
In the midst of a world where people hunger and thirst,
Come worship a God who feeds the hungry.
In the midst of a world where people are abused and oppressed,
Come worship a God who calls for compassion and justice.
In the midst of a world filled with wars and rumor of war,
Come worship a God who desires nothing less than peace for the world.
In the midst of a world where love is not freely shown and forgiveness is hard to find,
Come worship a God whose grace and love know no end.
Destitute king, one with the hungry, the naked, and the scorned: may our faith be proved not in dogma and piety but in serving you in the last and the least; through Jesus Christ, the stranger’s Lord. Amen
A reading from Ezekiel read by Ben Leonard
Ezekiel tells the scattered Israelites that God will reverse the evil done by the bad human shepherds, will “gather them”, restore them to Palestine and will care for them . God will give them justice: rulers will be accountable for their actions.. There will be peace, prosperity and safety from attack by other nations; then Israel will truly know her God.
For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.
Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken. Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
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Psalm 100 led by John and Barb MacEachern
Be joyful in the Lord,
all you lands;
serve the Lord with gladness
and come into the divine presence with a song.
Know this: the Lord, the Lord, is God;
the One made us and to whom we belong;
we are God’s people, the sheep of God’s pasture.
Enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving;
go into these courts with praise;
give thanks to God and call upon the name of the Lord.
For the Lord is good, whose steadfast love is everlasting;
and whose faithfulness endures from age to age.
A reading from the Letter to the Ephesians read by Marg Wagner
In this rich, poetic text, the author tells the reader that the old, rulers, and dominions defined by those holding worldly power no longer call the shots for those who are followers of the way of Jesus.
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love] toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
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The Lord be with you
And also with you
The Holy Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ according to Matthew
Glory to you Lord, Jesus Christ
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46
The Gospel of Christ
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Sermon by The Rev Canon Lynn Uzans
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A Celtic Statement of Faith
We believe that God is present
in the darkness before dawn;
In the waiting and uncertainty
where fear and courage join hands,
Conflict and caring link arms
And the sun rises over barbed wire.
We believe in a with-us God
Who sits down in our midst
To share our humanity,
We affirm a faith,
That takes us beyond a safe place
Into action, into vulnerability,
Into the streets.
We commit ourselves to work for change
To stand with those on the edge;
To choose life
And be used by the Spirit
For God’s new community of Hope. Amen.
Prayers of the People led by Roz Robertson
Go now, and embrace the hope to which God has called us.
Recognize Christ in friend and stranger,
and as Christ has been gracious to you,
so be gracious to those in need.
And may God give you a place of rest on rich pasture;
May Christ Jesus be the shepherd king who binds your wounds;
And may the Holy Spirit give you wisdom
and reveal to you the fullness of the one who fills all in all. Amen