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Trinity United Church
October 3, 2021
Proper 22

“Connection not Perfection”




Rev David: May the peace of Christ be with you.

Welcome to Trinity United Church in Port Coquitlam, BC.
We are so grateful that you have chosen to spend some time with us, we are glad you are here.

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Acknowledgement of Territory 
Much of what we know as the Northwest Coast of North America was occupied by the Coast Salish Peoples. The territory where Trinity United Church of Port Coquitlam resides is the unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nations. The United Church of Canada denounces the Doctrine of Discovery which assumed these lands were unoccupied when European Settlers first came here and seeks to be in right relationship with our indigenous neighbours.

Let us prepare our hearts and minds for worship.

Prelude/ Lighting of the Christ Candle
CLICK HERE for “Welcome Home Fall 2021” video

Call to Worship 

God creates all that is
and affirms that it is Good.
God makes us part of that good creation,
and provides us with all we need.
God calls us to seek justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly.
God call us to love and serve others.
Come let us participate in God’s good creation through worship.

Prayer of Approach 

Holy One, 
in times of joy and deep sorrow, 
you are with us. 
In our anger and frustration, 
in our celebrations and achievements, 
you hold us in your steadfast, loving embrace. 

You are the source of all we are 
and provide us with all we need 
to grow, to flourish and to serve. 

As we worship draw us near, 
that we might know your presence. 
In the name of the one 
who gave all for all, we pray. Amen.

Hymn: “We Praise You, O God” VU 218

We Rest in a Reconciling Love: a guided meditation

I invite you to take a deep breath and relax, maybe close your eyes. We are going to take a few minutes to rest in God’s reconciling love.

There may have been a moment in the last day or week when you were short with someone, angry, unkind, or maybe selfish. Maybe you have a bundle of less than charitable moments. Set that bundle aside, give that burden to God, let it go. God’s love is unconditional, steadfast, and eternal. And for now, relax as much as you can, letting your chair hold your weight, let yourself feel heavy where you sit. Breathing slowly, and calmly.

As you breathe and relax, imagine God’s unconditional, steadfast, and eternal love. Some may imagine it as a light; others might imagine it as warmth, or maybe tingling. For some it might feel like sitting with a close loved one. Whatever the image, hold that feeling of sitting in God’s presence; sitting in God’s unconditional, steadfast, and eternal love.

I am going to read a few words from scripture, and then we are going to sit silently in God’s love for a whole minute. If you feel your thoughts are getting distracted, simply remember and repeat to yourself the words from scripture I’m about to read, and return to God’s unconditional, steadfast, and eternal love. 

The scripture words are from Psalm 26:2, “examine my heart.” 

[3 minutes of silence]

Thanks be to God.


Retelling Our Ancient Story “Job Looks for God”

    …listening, caring, loving and waiting to answer.

There was once a man called Job, who loved God very much. Job was very rich and had many friends and a big family. Job had a beautiful house and many animals. But one day, Job lost everything that he had. Then, Job became sick. Job felt very sad and worried. Job wondered if God knew that he was feeling sad, alone, frightened, and angry. Job decided to talk to God.

Job looked straight out in front of him. “God,” said Job, “You know I am sad and sick. Why is this happening to me? Are you listening, God?” 

Job didn’t hear anything, but all the time God was listening, caring, loving, and waiting to answer.

Job turned to his right. “God,” said Job, “You know I am confused and angry. Why is this happening to me? Are you listening God?”

Job didn’t hear anything, but all the time God was listening, caring, loving, and waiting to answer.

Job turned to his left. “God,” said Job, “You know I am alone and frightened. Why is this happening to me? Are you listening God?”

Job didn’t hear anything, but all the time God was listening, caring, loving, and waiting to answer.

Job turned and looked behind him. “God,” said Job, “You know I have done all I can to live in your way. Why is this happening to me? Are you listening God?”
Job didn’t hear anything, but all the time God was listening, caring, loving, and waiting to answer.

Job looked above, Job looked below, Job looked over and under, around and within and said, “God, Where are you?  Are you listening God?”

Job didn’t hear anything, but all the time, God was listening, caring, loving and waiting to answer.

Job knew he would get an answer when God was ready. Job would have to wait for God to speak. Job still loved God and Job knew God still loved him.

Psalm 25 refrain 2 VU 752


Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12

1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6But someone has testified somewhere,
‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
   or mortals, that you care for them?
7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
   you have crowned them with glory and honour,
8   subjecting all things under their feet.’
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12saying,
‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’

This is the witness of the early church. Thanks be to God!

Hymn: “God Weeps” MV 78


May the words my mouth
and the meditations of all our hearts
be acceptable to you, O God,
our rock and our redeemer. Amen.

The book of Job contains some of the oldest passages in the Bible. I remember my Hebrew Prof in Seminary pointing out that she couldn't just sit down and read the Book of Job in the same way that you and I, fluent English speakers, can't sit down and read Beowulf in Old English. The language is just too different.

So it is reasonable to think that the Book of Job, and some passages from Exodus, are perhaps where the writing of the Bible actually began. And it largely deals with the issue of why do bad things happen to good people and what do we do about that?

The Hebrew Scripture from today's lection tells the first part of Job's story. It’s rather problematic.

God is holding court in the heavens. Satan shows up. Now Satan isn't a bad guy. Satan is just the guy who asks the hard questions. God is pretty happy with this particular mortal, Job, who is deeply, deeply faithful. God is rather proud of Job's behaviour. 

And Satan says, well, Job is faithful because you've made him rich, given him a huge family and he's never had any health issues. Take any or all of those things away, and see how faithful he remains.

So God says to Satan, do with Job whatever you want, but don't take his life, and yeah, we'll see that he is still faithful.

Thanks a lot, God!

Then God kind of disappears from the story for many, many pages and chapters.

So Job loses everything: his Barns and crops, a building falls and kills all his wives and children, then Satan gives him a dreaded skin disease. Job is left sitting on a pile of ashes, scraping his skin with a broken piece of pottery.

Three friends come and sit with him in silence. Then, they start talking.

One friend reasons, Well, Job, you weren't as holy as you thought you were. You must have done something wrong, and God is punishing you.

Job insists that he has done everything that God has required of him and his conscience is clear. He just wants to know God's presence again.

The second friend says, Curse God and be done with God. God clearly has it in for you.

Job insists that God isn't done with him. And he will wait to feel God's presence again.

The third friend reasons, God is God of all creation. God simply doesn't have time and energy for one little human. Stop waiting for God and get on with your life.

But again, Job insists that God has time for each of us and he will keep on waiting.

I’ve seriously abbreviated the story. Each of Job’s friends goes on for pages and pages arguing his point, and Job’s responses each take pages and pages. I’m giving you the gist of their arguments.

This is where the reading ends for today. While Job is still in the midst of his grief, pain and suffering, waiting with the patience of Job.

As I've said, this is one of the oldest texts in the Bible.

It is part of the Wisdom Tradition that we have been hearing from for several weeks now. In a couple weeks, we will get to hear the end of the story and the wisdom might become more apparent to us. But for now, we are struggling with the wisdom of pain and suffering in the world.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Another way of framing the question is, If God is good, present, knowledgeable, powerful and all seeing, where does the evil we experience come from?

The story of Job does give a brief account of the "why there is evil" as this bet between God and Satan. It is almost comical, because who would genuinely believe that a benevolent God would gambol away our wellbeing so recklessly?

We discover that most of the story is much more concerned about Job's response to the things that happen to him than about WHY these things happen to Job. There are only a dozen or so verses dedicated to God and Satan making a deal, the vast majority, and I mean pages and pages of text, is committed to Job's response.

Job refuses to lay blame for his circumstances on anyone, himself, God, or his family or friends. What has happened has simply happened. No blame.

Job refuses to discount God. Job still intends to maintain relationship with God, despite the fact that God seems completely absent. God isn't acting the way Job would have him act. Job is holding on to hope.

Job choses to hold the tension of good and evil. He accepted good from the hand of God, why would he not also accept ill from the hand of God? This is life according to Job.

Job choses to sit in the anguish, waiting for God, until something shifts.

There are times when we experience bitter anguish: the death of a loved one; the loss of something dear to us; illness or physical pain; the threat of our own death or loss of ability.

How do we cope with that anguish? Do we blame ourselves, or others? Do we blame God? Do we cut God off? If God isn't fulfilling our expectations do we decided God isn't for us?

We are, I think, often tempted to do some portion of all three.

The story of Job calls us to resist these temptations and to hold the tension between our faith that God is Good and our experience of evil in the world.

The story of Job doesn’t end here. There is more to come. But for now, we are being called to wait patiently in the pain, in the anguish, holding the tension between our faith and hope on one side and our experience of pain and suffering on the other.

The story won’t end here. But for today. This is where we are.

May we learn patience.
May we be gentle in our waiting with each other and ourselves.
May we not give in to the temptation of easy answers and quick responses.
And may we trust that the story doesn’t end here.

Special Music 



We remind folks that your financial gifts make our ministry happen. We have been fortunate to have received considerable support from government sources during the pandemic, however, those resources are expected to end soon. So, we would ask you to re-evaluate what you are able to give and to give responsibly for the wellbeing of our ministry together.

We are so grateful for the generosity of our membership, for all the gifts of time, skill, prayer and money. Thank you.

If you are not already on Pre-Authorized Remittance, you can give by sending a cheque to the church office, or by clicking on the donate now button on our website.

Holy One, receive our gifts of money, time and skill.
Bless them to serve your world, to reveal your good news.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and intercession 

We pray for all who are suffering, with illness both physical and mental, through grief, and in loneliness.

We pray for all who seek justice, especially those who resist evil and yet are still shunned and persecuted.

We pray for all who feel small and insignificant, the weak, those who feel ignored, unseen and unloved.

We pray for all who are abandoned and abused, who have no power, who are marginalized or rejected by the status quo.

 We pray for survivors of the residential school system and for the children who did not return home.  

We pray for those whom we know and love:

Bart, Catherine, Gladys, Olga, Bob, Ria, Susan/Star, Treena…

Take every one of us into your arms, as Jesus did with the children, and bless us every day that we are supported, liberated, loved and accepted.
And now we turn to you as a child turns to her mother seeking affirmation and comfort, singing the words Jesus taught us…

The Disciples’ Prayer “Our Father” VU 960


Hymn: “We Are Pilgrims” VU 595 

CLICK HERE for video.

Commissioning and Benediction 

I invite you to turn on you videos and hold your hands out in a sign of blessing…