March 22 Service
Greetings Oakridge Family!
Another week has come and gone, and it seems as though the news is changing almost hourly at this point. Though we long to be together for corporate worship, and we acknowledge that nothing electronic will replace that gathering, we are thankful for the technology we have that allows us to maintain a snippet of connection. It is our hope and prayer during this time of uncertainty that we will all, as a church body, find ways to continue to support one another, to lift one another up in prayer, and to spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). In a time where we as a society are urged to quarantine and separate from one another, the community and familial love of the church can shine as a light in the darkness. What a great opportunity to make some phone calls, to check in on a friend or neighbour, or to contact some of our more isolated church members and pray with them!
As with last week, the purpose of what follows is, as best we can given our circumstances, to simulate a time of corporate worship together via an electronic medium. The leadership of OBC trust and pray this placeholder will be a blessing to you until we’re able to gather together again. We have also started a brand new, midweek podcast which we will be releasing every week, and which serves as an opportunity to dive deeper, as we engage in conversation about the previous Sunday’s sermon.
Prayer of Dedication
To begin, let’s pray.
Father God, although we are in circumstances that are less than ideal, we recognize today that you are still on your throne. You are Creator, Sustainer, the Almighty God, and that does not change. Though we are separated by distance, and we long to gather together to sing your praises and worship you corporately, we acknowledge that our worship is not dependent on location. You are omnipresent and have made a way to yourself through the blood of your Son Jesus and the power of your Holy Spirit, and we praise you for that. Today as we sing to you, as we read your Word and listen to it spoken and taught, we pray that our worship would be pleasing to you. Would we be able to say, as your servant Paul wrote, that we have learned to be content in all circumstances, and would we praise you with joy and thanksgiving in our heart through it all.
Call to Worship*
“Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord” (Psalm 113).
Worship in Song
Let’s take time now to listen to these songs of praise, noticing together the powerful, Scripture-soaked truths therein (click the Play button to listen).
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30).
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:4–5).
“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory’” (Isaiah 6:1–3).
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
God, you are good. You are Holy. You are perfect, and gracious, and merciful. We could spend all of our time and effort and still not fully fathom the breadth or the depth of your character and your love for us. Father, we praise you today as Lord of all creation. We take a moment now to reflect and be thankful for just how much you have blessed us. We thank you for creating us. We thank you for a roof over our head and food to eat. We thank you that we can still connect with each other. We thank you for healthcare and medical professionals, and those who are putting themselves at risk to help others. But more than all of that, we thank you for Jesus Christ. We thank you for the truth of the gospel: that you loved us so much that you sent your Son, that whoever believes in Him will spend eternity with you.
God we also approach your throne of grace with petition today. We ask for your help that our world so desperately needs in a time such as this. We pray for safety, for health, for protection. We pray that through these situations, we would be a light pointing to the love of Christ, and that many around us would come to faith in Him. We pray for courage in the face of fear, for wisdom in the face of uncertainty, and that the truth of your Word would be a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path.
Father, today we also grieve for that which is lost. We join in grief with the thousands in our world who have lost loved ones unexpectedly. We grieve our loss of freedom, of security, of pleasure, and of comfort. But in the midst of that, we turn to you as the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions so we can comfort those in any affliction with the comfort we ourselves have received. And we recognize that our security is in you, our eternity secured by the blood of the Lamb.
Finally, Lord, we recognize that you are God and we are not. Help us to trust you even when it’s hard. As that man once said, “we believe, help our unbelief.” Forgive us for our doubts, our fears, and our lack of trust, and would your Holy Spirit fill us with power, love, and self-discipline.
We pray all these things to you Father God, in the name of your Son Jesus, and through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Even in these trying times, we are reminded of the commands in the New Testament to give generously, sacrificially, and with joy. Giving is still available online or envelopes with cheques can be dropped off in the church mailbox beside the main front doors
Trouble watching the video? Listen to the message as a Podcast.
Song of Response
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 24–25).
COVID-19: For congregational updates on future meeting times, cancelations, and information regarding the coronavirus, please check our church website regularly.
WORD Processing Podcast: With the help of a number of tech-savvy and servant-hearted individuals, we have created a podcast with new episodes to be released each Wednesday morning. This resource can be accessed and subscribed to via Anchor, iTunes, and Spotify It’s also linked on our church website and wherever else podcasts are found.
Groceries: If you are stuck in isolation and in need of assistance with things like getting groceries, picking up medications, or other errands, please contact the church office at 905-849-0567).
Hymn Sing: Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, our Hymn Sing scheduled for March 29 has been cancelled.
Women’s Brunch: The Women’s Ministry Brunch scheduled for March 28th has also been cancelled.
Spring Women’s Bible Study: Beginning on April 21st, come spend your Tuesday evenings, 7:00–8:30pm, exploring the perennial question, How do I live a fruitful, pleasing, and meaning-filled life for God? If you’re interested, please contact the church office to sign-up (905-849-0567, [email protected]).
2020 Annual Mission Trip: We’re planning to travel to Camp Joli-B in Rollet, Quebec from May 13–17. All are welcome to join! If you’re interested, please contact the church office to sign-up (905-849-0567, [email protected]).
*Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® unless otherwise noted.