Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:4,5)

Thank you for choosing to set aside this time of worship. Your joyful presence glorifies God.

Preparation: And can it be

Call to Worship (Psalm 100:1-3)

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Hymn: Great is thy faithfulness


O Lord God,

We bring thanks and praise to you this day. As we are reminded of your love we rejoice in your grace. It is in your unending love that we find our joy. As we rejoice with you through this worship, may you be glorified.

Send us your spirit and awaken our spirits to your presence. Fill our hearts with joys that come from you. Grant us your generosity in this worship to share with the world around us abundantly. In your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

Scripture Reading: Luke 5:27-32

Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

‘Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’

Sermon: What it cost to follow Christ Part 2

The Queen died on Thursday. As we pray for her family we remember that with her death, a chapter of history closes. This chapter began after World War II, contained the Cold War, and many atrocities of humankind, the likes of which the world had never experienced. Also in this period was the unprecedented economic growth for the West and the rise of prosperity for the middle class in the Western Europe, Canada, and many nations. Many of us are still benefiting from this prosperity. Human achievements through science and technology have also been astounding.

She leaves the fractious world full of troubles, however. The divisions in our society are getting more drastic as political factions jockey for power. Stories of conspiracies, propaganda, and falsehood are overwhelming and obfuscating and smothering anything that is true. With malicious accusations and libellous recriminations, reasons and common sense are no longer the guide in conversations. Indeed, people do not have conversations or dialogues. They have shouting matches to justify their positions. In the meantime, only a few care for others. We can say easily that today’s world is not the one we grew up in. Today’s struggles are very different and far more difficult than ones we faced three or four decades ago.

Columnist Lawrence Martin of the Globe and Mail makes an interesting observation in this week’s column regarding the way the world is divided now. What is important for our discussion concerns his thoughts on the media decline in the last two decades especially when social media as we know it today took off and in many ways supplanted traditional media now known to youngsters as MSM or mainstream media. Like many other columnists, he documents the rise of 24 hour cable news and partisan talk show hosts eventually undermining the authoritative newspapers, radio and television news by incessant and non-stop opinions doing their best to gain the public's attention. Counting the eyeballs two decades ago and chasing after more clicks today are displayed as culprits. Essentially he describes the world that does not worry about shame, sin, and repentance.

His descriptions of the decline of social values are based on expressed shameless and sinful actions everywhere. One reason our political leaders have such low ratings of approval has to do with the fact that they govern for themselves shamelessly and are careless about doing sins in public. Instead of peace, they advocate for wars. Where justice ought to prevail, oppression, abuse, and indiscriminate malpractices are rampant. All these misbehaviours are pervasive and accepted as normal.

It is not all doom and gloom. It does appear that while she presided as Canada’s queen, Canada went through enormous changes. Believe it or not, some good things happened. One of the best things that happened was the confession we as the Church made for our wrongs. I do know how controversial it was for us to confess our wrongs before the entire country, but repentance is the very thing that starts us on our journey in following Christ. As Christians, bringing our sins before God and those whom we have harmed is part of who we are. Without repentance and confession, our words are hollow and hypocritical at best. Expressing sincerely our sorrows for harms our indigenous neighbours experienced because of our participation in running the Residential Schools was a moment we became the followers of Christ again. Yes, sincere repentance and confession are the proper response to God’s call.

In this tumultuous world, we are reminded clearly of our purpose in life (deaths have a way of clarifying our priorities). In this morning’s passage, Jesus lays out God’s purpose in life. By using a parable of good shepherd, Jesus speaks to Pharisees who are upset over Jesus’ welcome of sinners that God’s love is all about searching out the lost as much as it is for rejoicing in the righteous. This is an opposite message to what religious authorities and leaders of institutions were giving. Their message was to keep to the law and pay the consequences for wrong actions. Redemption and inclusion were far from their teachings: punishment and exclusion were the fundamentals of their interpretations of God’s love. In other words God’s love was conditional upon being righteous.

Jesus explains the difference between God’s love as interpreted by the Pharisees and God’s love as steadfast in all circumstances even when people sin and fall away from God. As the good shepherd searches out the lost one leaving the rest behind until that lost one is found and as a woman puts all her effort into finding a lost silver coin, Jesus declares to them the extent to which God will go to save the lost. He asserts that God’s love is more than the task of finding. It is the joy of reunion where the lost are brought into the new creation Jesus emphasises here. The shepherd’s and woman’s rejoicing are part of God’s love. In this way, Jesus shows aches, pains, and loss God experiences when a person sins and falls away into life of death.

Jesus does something remarkable by tying the joy and finding of the lost. Usually church leaders, scholars, and teachers describe God as being above and beyond human emotions. God in their eyes ought to be worshipped from afar. Accordingly, God is so unknowable, mysterious, and impenetrable that ordinary people cannot imagine what God is like. Jesus erases this distance between God and God’s people. Jesus explains God for having emotions much like us in every way. God aches for the lost. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, God waits for the son who went far away. God rejoices just like the shepherd who found the lost sheep and the woman who recovered the lost silver coin. In this sense of pain of the loss and joy of the reunion, humanity embodies God’s love in ways that all can relate. This is new. This is so dramatically different from the descriptions of religious leaders and theologians about the immutable, invisible and inaccessible God.

Somehow in love, God and we are pretty similar in feelings, emotions, and reactions. This is why God who loves is so different from a king or queen of this world, a well meaning religious leader, and a kindly neighbour. Aches of pain God carries is very similar to aches of pain people feel when they see their children in trouble, their loved ones being lost to the dark side of life. These parables Jesus speaks of points to the way of God’s new creation. As we think about this wonderful love we receive from God, we, in turn, become part of God’s expression of love for the world. This is the tricky part. We can no longer remain neutral when we see those who are lost to God or who choose the way of running away from God. As part of God’s new creation, we, too, feel God’s ache for the lost as our ache. As we rejoice with God in finding the lost, we, too, go out in search of the lost with earnest desperation and full effort. Like the shepherd and the woman, on God’s behalf we do and will not stop until we find the lost one.

This “love” is the cost of following Christ. Wherever we see we are able to witness how lost our neighbours are to God. Sadly they do not know they are lost. They do not want to be found. When we embody God’s love which expresses God’s pain of having lost them they cannot understand. They are too independent of God to care of what God thinks of and feels of their state of being. Indeed, they feel they are now free of religious shackles. They do not feel that they are living in sin. They could not care less about living under the power of death because their lives are full of pleasure and fulfilment. Our task of searching out the lost, therefore, sounds out of touch. Love for them is nothing more than having their needs and desires met. Why should they enter into life where they have to care for neighbours and strangers and even enemies?

When we follow Christ, the cost is high. We get ridiculed, dismissed, and judged as fools. We are told to love our own and leave them to be. In this world, like this shepherd and that woman, we do know the joy of finding those whom God lost. Like the father of the prodigal son, we carry aches and pains and wait patiently along with God for the return of the lost and reunion with them. This is the high cost we pay for being Christians today. Yet, this high cost is worth every bit because when the lost is found, there is great rejoicing in God’s new creation.


O Lord, hear our prayer as we lift up our voices in gratitude!

Our world is struggling. Climate catastrophes, economic down turns, rising inflations, and many other factors are forcing everyone into an anxious and fear filled world. Anger that people used to control is unleashed now in the public places. Denigrating others has become a regular part of everyday life. Our world is tumbling into the world of sin. We pray that you will give us strength in faith to withstand and confront this world of sin with love. We pray that in following Christ we may bring his good news to those who are being oppressed, abused, mistreated, and forgotten.

Our world is getting more and more mired in conspiracies, fake news, and malicious gossip. People use these as tools to gain power and privilege. A larger number of people are joining in to create more untruths than ever before in order to benefit from this ailing world. Help us to witness the truth that was given in Christ Jesus. Guide us to stand in your truth. Fill us with your Spirit to be the bearers of truth always.

Our world is glorifying greed, is gleefully participating in gluttony, is lusting after all pleasures, and is worshipping the proud. In so doing, the world as you created is being plundered and wasted. Everyone is busy trying to gain more for herself. Sin has now breached into the hearts of people in ways that we have never seen before. We pray that you will shape us as your people, unshackling us away from these sins. Open our eyes to see the sins we are perpetrating. Change our hearts to know that your way is the only hope that will save us from the sin of this world.

O Lord, Wars are stoked and fanned by leaders of powerful nations. People are suffering needlessly and dying to enrich the few in these wars. Atrocities have replaced peace and prosperity. So many are driven out and are suffering. Make us a channel of your peace. Use us as peacemakers in this world of endless wars.

We pray for those who are sharing your love everywhere. Your servants are bringing your love to many dark places in this world. Give them protection and courage. Through them continually reshape this world in your Son’s image. May those who welcome them find you through your servants.

All these and more we pray in your Son’s name. Amen.


Please remember that we are starting up again with Cinnamon Bun Tuesday. It will begin at 10 am. Please come and share in the fellowship. Bring friends.

The session will meet on Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 pm.

Our condolences was shared with Lou Barnes' family yesterday at 11 am with a graveside service.

Starting today, we are asking you to take a look at the list of tasks that are available at Drummond Hill and see if you might like to serve. Please prayerfully consider and see if God is asking you to serve in an area of ministry.


Offering Prayer:

O Lord, with joyful hearts, we bring these gifts and offer them to you. Receive them. Be glad. Be glad not because we have brought the best or the greatest gift, but because these are gifts that contain our love for you and for our neighbours. In accepting these gifts, shape us in ways that we become the embodiment of your love in this trouble filled world. Use us as your hand that brings your love to all. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Hymn: God will take care of you