Sermon for 08 Nov 2020

Sermon 669 Visioning a New World

Take a moment and think of the perfect world. What would be in it and what would be excluded? Would there be hunger? Would there be war? Would there be poverty?
Then ask yourself, why don’t we have a perfect world?
Do you remember the song by the Beatles, “ Imagine”? The lines
Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try
No hell below us, Above us only sky
Imagine all the people, Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion, too
Imagine all the people, Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us, And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world… You…
This song was banned because it went against the status quo. We have been and still are conditioned to believe that there is only one way the world can operate and that includes war and violence. It includes injustice and poverty.
On days like Remembrance Day we are often pushed to glorify war. Not to take away from the heroism and the sacrifice but we also need to remember that what they had to do was horrible. The mass killing of fellow human beings was horrific. That is why we have PTSD. Sane human beings are not mentally equipped to kill others. It goes against our nature.
Instead of the pictures we see of laughing and celebrating soldiers, we need to see the pictures of torn bodies and destroyed homes.
But war has a tremendous financial gain for a select few.
Today’s world is very different than any time in the past. We no longer live in isolated villages that we have to protect. Our world is controlled by mass economic monopolies, or multi-nationals. The idea that some soldier giving up their life will have any impact is ridiculous.
But a change only comes through a vision.
The soldiers of the First and Second World Wars had a vision that there would be no more war. The soldiers in the other wars, Vietnam, Korea and all the rest hoped that their kids would never have to go through what they went through.
We are conditioned to believe that war is inevitable
Many studies have been done about children who grow up in war zones and how after a few generations they believe that that is the only way to resolve issues. Unfortunately we are much in the same situation. We have a hard time visioning a world without war
And so we need a vision of a perfect world.
If we have a vision of a perfect world, anything else becomes inadequate. If you have a vision of a perfect kitchen floor, then one muddy dog print is disturbing. But if the floor is always dirty you give up.
In the scripture today there is a vison of a world without war; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
There is a bronze statue in the United Nations garden called Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares. It’s a gift from the Soviet Union sculpted by Evgeniy Vuchetich, representing the figure of a man hammering a sword into the shape of a ploughshare. It comes from this scripture which is repeated in Isaiah. Jesus also pushes the idea of a peaceful world in the Beatitudes and in general.
The term “Never Again” has a wide usage. It has been used specifically in conjunction with genocides. In particular the holocaust. It comes from a 1927 poem called “Never Again shall Masada fall” by poet Lamdan. It is about the siege of Masada in which a group of Jewish rebels held out against the Roman Empire and finally committed suicide instead of being captured. It is seen as a symbol of bravery.
But the term “Never Again” is a call to us all to stand firm against war.
In Whitby there is a girls school called Trafalgar Castle. It may sound strange to some of you, but I went there a number of times. The real reason was because they rented out their chapel to do weddings. On the wall was a plaque that read“Thoughts become words; words become actions; actions become habits; habits become character; character becomes your destiny.
We need to think; we need to vision; a world without war so that it becomes our destiny.
PRAYER A Prayer for World Peace,
We pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding on to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe
in a world emancipated from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead men or women to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which we and all men and women were created.
We give thanks to all those who have sacrificed to make this world better and safer. We give thanks for those who have tried to hold your vision of a perfect world up for the world to see. We ask that we might carry the vision of a perfect peaceful world. Challenge us to settle for nothing less. Amen
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in 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
lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
forever and ever Amen
1) Etransfer info at bottom of page
2) Gilford Drive through roast beef supper On November 18 is sold out
3) Thanks to helpers and decorations for today
4) Wet naps are in each pew. Please clean before and after and throw
them in the garbage can at the door.
5) Place offering in plate at door
Opening Prayer
Hymn Make me a Channel of Your Peace
Reading of the Names of Remembrance
Minute of Silence
Scripture Micah 4: 3-5
Reflection Visioning a New Day
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Let there be Peace on Earth
Go Now in Peace
Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen
Info about contributing
The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0
An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)
Send the Etransfer to
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill
No security question
Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks