To Truly Offer Welcome
Matthew 10:40-42, 25:34-45
“The House of Our God”
“The house of our God is not just for the holy,
The house of our God is not just for the wise;
Come in and be one with the common and lowly
Who wait with the hunger for God in their eyes.
The table of God is not just for the certain
The bread and the cup are not just for the pure;
The cross of the Christ has torn back the curtain,
The temple thrown open for the searching and sure.
The household of God is not just for the wealthy
The safe and the settled, the well-placed and known;
The people of God know the struggle is healthy,
And conflict is better than calm all alone.
The word of our God is not just for the clever
The service of God is not just for the strong;
The way of the cross is a journey forever,
So gather to pray, then we’ll travel along.
So welcome, welcome each other,
The old and the youthful, the fit and the faint;
Welcome sister and brother,
Welcome the seeker, the sinner, the saint.”
This hymn reminds us that there are no restrictions on God’s welcome. If we follow in God’s way, we too, will be welcoming to all. Jim Manley wrote this song in 1989 and it has been arranged by Kristin Anderson.
“Come, Now, You Blessed” (VU #592)
“Come, now, you blessed, eat at my table,”
Said the great judge to the righteous above.
“When I was hungry, thirsty and homeless,
Sick and in prison you showed me your love.”
“When did we see you hungry or thirsty?
When were you homeless, a stranger alone?
When did we see you sick or in prison?
What have we done that you call us your own?”
“When you gave bread to earth’s hungry children,
When you gave welcome to war’s refugees,
When you remembered those most forgotten,
You cared for me in the smallest of these.”
Christ, when we meet you out on life’s roadways,
Looking to us in the faces of need,
Then may we know you, welcome, and show you
love that is faithful in word and in deed.”
The text for this hymn was written by Ruth Duck in 1979. It is based on the story of the sheep and the goats from Matthew 25:31-46. The story of the sheep and the goats is a judgment parable. Jesus outlines the changes in behavior that must occur to be a true follower: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, tend the sick, show compassion to those in prison. The closing verses of the song reminds us of opportunities to follow and serve people in need in the present time. The tune is by Jeeva Sam of Regina, arranged by Ron Klusmeier (1995).
Hear the hymn at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThMr6BaQIr0
“Draw the Circle Wide” (MV #145)
“Draw the circle wide. Draw it wider still.
Let this be our song, no one stands alone,
Standing side by side,
Draw the circle wide.
God the still-point of the circle,
‘Round whom all creation turns;
nothing lost, but held forever,
In God’s gracious arms.
Let our hearts touch far horizons,
So encompass great and small;
Let our loving know no borders,
Faithful to God’s call.
Let the dreams we dream be larger
Than we’ve ever dreamed before;
Let the dream of Christ be in us,
Open every door.”
This hymn of inclusion was written by Gordon Light of the Common Cup Company in 1994 and arranged by Michael Bloss in 1998. If God’s love is the centre point of our lives, everything we do ripples out from God’s love and grows to encompass everyone we meet.
Hear the hymn at: https://youtu.be/zBNQ3zA7ulU
“Called as Partners in Christ’s service”
“Called as partners in Christ’s service,
Called to ministries of grace,
We respond with deep commitment
Fresh new lines of faith to trace.
May we learn the art of sharing,
Side by side and friend with friend,
Equal partners in our caring
To fulfill God’s chosen end.
Christ’s example, Christ’s inspiring,
Christ’s clear call to work and worth,
Let us follow, never faltering,
Reconciling folk on earth.
Men and women, richer, poorer,
All God’s people, young and old,
Blending human skills together
Gracious gifts from God unfold.
So, God grant us for tomorrow
Ways to order human life
That surround each person’s sorrow
With a calm that conquers strife.
Make us partners in our living,
Our compassion to increase,
Messengers of faith, thus giving
Hope and confidence and peace.”
This hymn were written by John Zundel in 1870. The words are a commissioning to go into the world with a deep commitment to live the life of a follower of Jesus, bringing our faith into all of our actions.
We will be using the familiar tune, BEACH SPRING, for this hymn.
“Send Us Out”
“Send us out in the power of your Spirit, Lord,
May our lives bring Jesus to the world.
May each thought and word bring glory to your name,
Send us out in your Spirit, Lord, we pray.”
The words and music for our benediction response were written by Ruth Fazal (1993).