Due to copywrite limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


A nation that forgets its past has no future.  A nation that fails to honor its heroes, soon will have no heroes to honor.

Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.     ~Winston Churchill


     Human beings are relational creatures. We are created to be in relationship with one another and with God. No one, no matter how independent or disconnected they may feel they are, functions completely outside the context of relationships. From the moment we are born we are thrust into relationship with people around us—the people who delivered us, the people who will be taking care of us in a hospital nursery, our family, and God. When we enter this world we do so forming relationships right from the start.

     Relationships, healthy relationships, require a lot of work and care to continue. In particular, relationships require trust to grow and become mature. Relationships rooted in trust can bring out the best in us. Relationships rooted in anything else can bring out the worst.

     Today’s readings give us the chance to consider the trust required in the relationship between God and God’s people. Moreover, we are invited to give thought to the consequences of replacing trust with something else: hubris stemming from trust in one’s identity or work (in Amos), or hubris stemming from trust in others to sustain us rather than God (in Matthew). Paul reminds us that our relationship with God is cause for joy, even in the midst of sorrow, since we believe (trust) God’s promise of eternal life through the living Lord Jesus.


Call to Worship

On this Remembrance Sunday we gather to pray

for a world where no one will learn war anymore.

On this day when the guns once fell silent,

we gather to pray for peace to reign in every heart, home and nation.

On this day of hope,

we come before you, God, to remember all those who gave their lives so we could be free.

In this time of story, song, and prayer, help us to catch a vision of how the world could live together.O

And so, let echo the old prayers—make us channels of your peace.

CHILDREN’S SONG:    Give Me Oil In My Lamp


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


Almighty God, grant that we who gather here today may pay fitting tribute and honour to the memory of those who have died in the service of their country.  May we be so inspired by the spirit of their love and courage that, forgetting all selfish and unworthy motives, we may live only to your glory and to the service of your people.  May we who desire peace be willing to work for justice.  We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

A Time of Remembrance

O Canada!  Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.

With glowing hearts, we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Words of Remembrance:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning.

We will remember them.

Minute of Silence

Words of Remembrance:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O God, and may perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of the righteous, through your great mercy, rest in peace. Amen.


What would you do?  You and a friend are walking in the woods, heading to the cabin of another friend to celebrate their birthday.  Both of you have a flashlight.  You have put extra batteries in your coat pocket.  Halfway to the cabin, your friend’s flashlight dies.  They did not bring extra batteries.  What do you do?

Here are some options:  If your friend’s flashlight uses the same sized batteries as yours, you can give them to your friend and both of you carry on.  Hopefully, your flashlight batteries will last until you get there.  But what about the way home?….

You tell your friend that your flashlight still works and you will share the light to get to the cabin.  You also have extra batteries in case the ones in your flashlight give out on the way home.

You tell your friend to find their way back to their house in the dark and get some more batteries.  Your friend can meet you at the cabin later.

What do you do?  Hopefully, you will either share your batteries, or share the light from your flashlight.  Sending your friend back through the woods in the dark is mean, as well as being possibly dangerous.

Jesus told his disciples that he was the light of the world.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that Jesus loved people.  Jesus’ love helped people.  Jesus wanted his disciples to love people as much as he did and to share that love.  When we love people, it’s like sharing the light of a flashlight.  Life seems happier, or at least not as scary, when someone shares the love of Jesus with you.  Knowing someone is willing to help you give you hope.  The situation may be bad, yet knowing you are not alone gives you courage and strength to get through.

We are to be the light of Jesus to others.  We are to remind people that Jesus loves them, cares for them, and through us, is with them in tough times.  It can be hard work, being the light of Jesus.  It is also worth it.


Draw us close, Holy Spirit, as the Scriptures are read and the Word is proclaimed. Let the word of faith be on our lips and in our hearts, and let all other words slip away. May there be one voice we hear today — the voice of truth and grace. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Amos 5:18-24

In the days of Amos, people thought that the day of the LORD would be a time of great victory, but Amos announced that it would be a day of darkness, not light. He said liturgy is no substitute for obedience. The LORD demands justice and righteousness in the community.

18Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
  Why do you want the day of the Lord?
 It is darkness, not light;
  19as if someone fled from a lion,
  and was met by a bear;
 or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
  and was bitten by a snake.
20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
  and gloom with no brightness in it?

21I hate, I despise your festivals,
  and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
  I will not accept them;
 and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
  I will not look upon.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
  I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
  and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Psalm 70

R:  You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry. 

1Be pleased, O God, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me.
2Let those who seek my life be put to shame and confounded;
  let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and be disgraced. R
3Let those who say to me “Aha!” and gloat over me turn back because of their shame.
4Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
  let those who love your salvation say forever, “Great is the Lord!”
5But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me quickly, O God.
  You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry. R

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Some of the Thessalonians are worried that dead Christians will be excluded from the resurrection to eternal life when Christ comes again. Paul reassures them with the word of hope that all Christians, living or dead, will be raised into everlasting life with Christ.

13We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus tells a parable about his own second coming, emphasizing the need for readiness at all times.

 1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”



Matthew 25:1-13

As a 21st century woman, I have issues with this parable.  Sure, you can tell me to “get over it”.  I choose not to do that.

The Gospel of Matthew was written to prove that Jesus Christ is Israel’s long-awaited, promised Messiah, the King of all the earth, and to make plain the Kingdom of God. The expression “kingdom of heaven” is used 32 times in Matthew. The two expressions are used interchangeably.  The setting of Matthew’s gospel is the patriarchal, Roman-occupied, Jewish culture of the Middle East. 

Jesus uses a wedding procession to set the stage for his parable.  Since we are over 2,000 years, a continent and a culture removed from this text, let me point out some facts from antiquity to better understand the stage as it is presented to us.

Marriage:  Typically, Jewish girls were betrothed either in infancy or around the age of 8 or 9, and married by age 10 or 11 – sometimes younger.  Disturbing?  Yes, much!  So that means our “bridesmaids” in Jesus’ parable are children – possibly 6-9 years of age, and the bride not much older! 

παρθένοι (parthenoi); μωραὶ (morai); φρόνιμοιa (phronimoia):  virgins, morons and prudent ones.  Those virgins who did not bring extra oil are referred to as morons.  No, “foolish” is not a strong enough translation for the Greek word morai.  Jesus is saying that the five little virgins who did not bring extra oil are stupid.  The other five little virgins are prudent and apparently mature for their age because they planned ahead and brought extra oil.  Either that, or their mothers made sure they were well looked after. Either way, these prudent little virgins seem somewhat selfish, which, one may say, could be a typical trait of a 7-year-old.

Marriage procession:  When the wedding day finally arrived, the bridegroom would dress himself in festive garments, wearing a crown of gold, or silver, or flowers. He would proceed with his best friend and other attendants from an unknown place at an unknown time to the bride’s father’s house. The virgins would be outside waiting along the way in the evening with their oil lamps lit, until the loud warning cry, “Behold the Bridegroom Comes, Go You Out to Meet Him,” and they would meet him and proceed with him to the entrance of the bride’s father’s house, lighting the way.

When the bridegroom finally showed up at the entrance of the bride’s father’s house there would again be a loud cry, “Behold the Bridegroom Comes, Go You Out to Meet Him.” The procession would begin from the bride’s father’s house to the house of the bridegroom. It began with great celebration, the bridegroom, the bride, the friend, the virgins, musicians, and many other friends and relatives would walk and dance, and cast flowers, and sing songs.

Richard Swanson, Professor of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., also has issues with this parable.  He writes, when I finish hearing the parable, I still notice that it does its work by separating and excluding.  The women are separated from each other (by the amount of oil in their lamps) and they do not offer aid to each other.  Those who arrive late have the door shut in their faces, this though it is the middle of the night and they are alone on the street.  Beyond that, this story of separation and exclusion aims its energy at women.

I am suspicious of such stories, and have come to distrust them.  There is danger in narrative schemes that only work if women are made to be morons.  There is danger in any theological structure that imagines that separation and exclusion are the essence of faithfulness.  It is time we pointed these dangers out.”`

Of course, as Jülicher pointed out in the last century, parables make a central point, and they will move heaven and the narrative earth to do this.  So the unreasonable act of exclusion is what allows the storyteller to give Jesus his final line: “Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  This final line implies that we ought perhaps to be thinking about the “feast that is to come,” and not just some average wedding feast.  But that makes things worse, not better, since now inclusion in the Dominion of God is determined by a gatekeeper who locks the door against those who are not sufficiently prudent, against those who asked for help and were refused.”1

While I agree with Professor Swanson, I also know it is not helpful to judge the Biblical text from a 21st Century standard.  Too much time, culture and insight has passed.  We can, however, learn from the text.

Like it or not, the situation Jesus describes in his parable was typical in his time and place.  Women were not people, they were property.  They had no status and no voice.  Still, there are numerous situations in scripture that show Jesus held women in high regard.  Perhaps, if we look at this parable from a different perspective, Jesus will surprise us.

Rev. Dr. Raj Bharat Patta is an ordained minister of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church in India and currently serves as a recognised and regarded minister of the Methodist Church in the UK. Growing up in India, Raj already views the scriptures from a different culture and perspective than those of us living in North America.   

The point of Jesus’ parable is that we are to be always vigilant.  Each and every day we are to live our lives as servants of Christ, always prepared for when Jesus will come again, always serving others while we wait.  This may mean serving Christ until our dying breath, because Christ may choose not to return in our lifetime.

When Raj was a child, his mother and a group of her friends put on a play about this parable.  Their interpretation of the text had a profound, positive, effect on Raj’s faith.  As a result of this experience, he perceives the following insights and surprises from Jesus’ parable:

Caste systems in India and elsewhere have operated on notions of purity and pollution, for people are divided into dominant castes and outcastes based on descent and occupation. To recognise people as people, irrespective of their roles, statuses, or occupations is an important marker for a just and equal society.

This parable, then, is a recognition of the fact that the divine in Jesus communicates the message of final judgment through these unnamed, underrepresented, and unduly presented women, whom Christians from the first century until our own think are incapable of being the bearers of the Gospel. This parable of the ten unnamed women, therefore, is an affirmation of the strength of women as bearers, instruments, agencies, and resources of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.2

Thank you, Jesus, and thank you, Raj, for pointing this out.  Raj continues:

This parable, along with the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats that follows shortly after it, invites us to recognise that the divine in Christ has been visiting us daily at odd hours in different forms: in the hungry, the homeless, the imprisoned, etc. We have been busy going around to trim our lanterns and meeting market dealers, missing opportunities to meet and eat with the divine. This parable of ten women is challenging us to stay awake to recognise God who in Christ is coming to us in unexpected people, inviting to meet and dine with them.3

Being in the presence of Christ in others is paramount.  We are in the midst of a pandemic.  Thousands are struggling financially, emotionally, psychologically.  At the time of writing this sermon, the world waits to hear the results of the U. S. election and prepares for the victory parties and fallout from the decision.  Racial tensions continue to rise worldwide.  Wars have not ceased.  Remembrance Day is coming, a reminder that two World Wars have not been enough to teach humanity the need for peace.  Poverty, homelessness, addiction and hunger are rampant.  It is enough to make some people want to give up and wish for death. 

Into this scene of despair and hopelessness shines the light of Christ – through us!  By clinging to Christ, we gather the strength of faith to see Christ in each person, to acknowledge the strength and hope the Holy Spirit gives us to help another up, provide comfort and be a source of hope.  I don’t know the exact number of those who follow Christ in the world, I do know that if each of us trusts Christ implicitly to guide and serve, this world will be a blessing to others, one person at a time, in every situation in every part of this globe. 

Trust God.  Have hope.  Be vigilant.  Serve others as safely as you can.  Christ IS with us!  Amen.


1Richard Swanson, Director, Provoking The Gospel Storytelling Project; Matthew 25:1-13.

2Rev. Dr. Raj Bharat Patta, The Politics of Representation – Matthew 25:1-13



HYMN OF THE MONTH:  More Voices #127  I Saw The Rich Ones


Longing for Christ’s reign to come among us, we pray for the outpouring of God’s power on the church, the world, and all in need.

Holy God, rouse us to deep praise as we gather for worship. Enliven our worship with sincere and heartfelt song. Sustain the work of all church musicians and artists who lead us in praise and prayer.  We give thanks for Kevin, Linda, Allan and Brian; for their love of music, willingness to serve and making our worship experience that much richer.  God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy Creator, all that you make you deem very good.  Help us to see all people as your good creation.  May there be greater understanding among nations, denominations and faiths so that peace is a priority for all.  God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Holy Judge, let justice roll down like waters over this world. Reign over the courtrooms of every land, in the hearts of those who guard the law and those who stand accused of crimes. Be present in cases where we long for both justice and mercy to prevail. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Holy Companion, console those who feel lonely or abandoned. Share the hours of those who live and eat alone. Comfort those who have few friends or who struggle with their identity and place in this world. Be with those who suffer in body, mind and spirit.  We pray for Mike Froese; Brooke Alexiuk; Tracy Skoglund; Carolyn & Douglas; Gordon Dreger; Debbie & Dwayne; Nicole; Sandy Lange; Matthew Grossman.  God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Holy Protector, be with all observing Remembrance Day. Guard the lives of active duty and retired military personnel. Comfort all who mourn those who have died in the line of duty. Heal the wounds, both physical and mental, experienced by service members. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Holy and Immortal One, we pray in thanksgiving for the lives of all who have died. Remind us of the frailty and shortness of our own lives and inspire us to use them for the building up of your kingdom. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Receive our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, until that day when you gather all creation around your throne where you will reign forever and ever.  Amen.



Having gathered, remembered, heard, given, and prayed,

we ask, Almighty God, for your blessing, and for your continual presence in our lives.

Remind us that no matter where we go, you are there.

No matter how bleak the world becomes, all it takes is one ray of light for a new day to be upon us once again.  We give thanks in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

SENDING SONG:  Voices United #684  Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace


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