Your Party Invitation 08.22.21

Order

Opening Audio (10:15am)
Spotify – Calm Jazz

#1 ONE Video #1 (4:12)

  • Call to Worship

Come to the Table  (Sidewalk Prophets, Glover, McDonald, Frey)

Live/OnLine

  • Prayer                       Rick
  • Music 1                     Abbie

        Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us     (Thrupp, William Bradbury)

  • Story                                               Online-Isaiah, In Person- Dona
  • Music 2

        Wherever He Leads I’ll Go              (B. B. McKinney)

  • Speaker Introduction – Kyle          Rick
  • Message    ‘Your Invitation’’           Kyle Tubbs
  • Music 3                    Abbie

        I Have Decided To Follow Jesus    (Thomas, Davis)

  • Community                                   Rick
  • Benediction                                  Online-Isaiah, In Person-Dona
  • Sharing the Peace                         Rick

Closing Audio
Spotify – Calm Jazz

Voices & Words

Prayer

God,
Thank you for your invitation to us to come to the table
Thank you for inviting us to participate in your feast
Thank you for your invitation to come to your table
God, we recognize that it is only at your table we will find healing
It is only at your table we will find hope
Is is only at your table we will find joy
It is only at your table we will find love
God, we recognize that your table was made by you
The craftsmanship is apparent, the stability is everlasting
The table was built with your sacrifice, love, and truth
The table is designed by your mercy and compassion
God, it is at your table that we are fully relieved of our burdens
Our baggage, our regret, our pain, our despair
It is at your table we receive hope and grace
God, thank you for our invitation to come to your table
May we pull out a seat for others to join us at your table.
Amen.

Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us

Verse 1
Saviour like a shepherd lead us
Much we need thy tender care
In thy pleasant pastures feed us
For our use thy folds prepare
Blessed Jesus blessed Jesus
Thou hast bought us thine we are
Blessed Jesus blessed Jesus
Thou hast bought us thine we are

Verse 2
Thou hast promised to receive us
Poor and sinful though we be
Thou hast mercy to relieve us
Grace to cleanse and pow’r to free

Blessed Jesus blessed Jesus
Early let us turn to thee
Blessed Jesus blessed Jesus
Early let us turn to thee

Verse 3
Early let us seek thy favour
Early let us do thy will
Blessed Lord and only Saviour
With thy love our beings fill

Blessed Jesus blessed Jesus
Thou hast loved us love us still
Blessed Jesus blessed Jesus
Thou hast loved us love us still

Our Story
Have you ever been invited to something that you didn’t really want to go to?
I hate that, you have to think of a credible excuse for declining and then you have to say it in a way that sounds genuine. You convincingly decline and then all you can think about is what you are going to eat instead.
You worry that maybe the food at the dinner party will be better than anything you can cook or get at a drive through.
To make matters worse, you obsess, wondering if you should go just to make an appearance and then leave if the food doesn’t look all that bad.
Or, if you should go peak in the windows to see if you like any of the people that are at the dinner party…and… if the food looks good.
What about being invited to a birthday party, or a funeral? There are so many issues you have to consider before deciding if you want to go!
Will it be boring? Will it be awkward? Will it last too long? Will someone talk who should never be allowed to talk in public? Will you have to bring a gift, or hug anyone? How long do you have to stay? Will you have to dress up?
We get it..
Will anyone good be there? Will anyone bad be there? Will anyone disgusting be there? Should you wear a mask? Do you do handshakes, knuckles, or elbows? Do you….
Yes, we get it Dona…. You know, Jesus was invited to the home of a fellow Pharisee where was a man with Dropsy, basically Edema, a frequent sign of congestive heart failure. The man probably had a very swollen and uncomfortable look, his coloring was probably odd, and no one really knew if he was contagious or not. FYI, social distancing probably did not have to be a mandate.
The religious leaders were intensely watching, they wanted to see if Jesus would reach out to the man, if he would heal the ailing man. It was the Sabbath and healing is work. Work was forbidden on this day of rest.
The man looked unclean, he assuredly solicited a response of disgusted dismissal – so, using a religious law would be an excuse to not go near him. Such callousness would be justified, it was an appropriate religious response. It would be more ‘holy’.
Jesus knew what the leaders were thinking and confronted their hypocrisy. As expected though, Jesus did engage with this untouchable man and he did heal him on the Sabbath.
After this nail biting moment, Jesus began talking about our self centered attitudes that are the primary factor in our own arrogance. Sadly, ultimately, they result in a self centered illusion that causes us to miss the miraculous work of God around us, work that even happens on Holy and Restful days.
As Jesus approached the Pharisee’s table he commented on choices of the guest in their choices of seats. It was a very applicable message about self centeredness and arrogance. One of the guests, then responded with the comment,  “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 
Oh, that had to be cringe worthy for everyone already seated.
Maybe, or, possibly, it was a welcome attempt to distract from their own seat choices.
Jesus calmly responded, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. When the dinner was ready to eat, the master sent his servant to say, ‘Come; dinner is ready.’” 
But the invitees made excuses. They said, ‘I have bought a piece of land which I must go see.’ Another said, ‘I need to try out my new oxen.’ Another said, ‘I am a newlywed, I’d rather just eat with my new spouse.’ So the servant returned and reported this to his master.
Let’s just say that the Master was not happy, “Go out immediately, go into the streets and all over the town, bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ The master instructed, the servant ran out with the new invitations and then returned to report to the master, ‘I’ve done what you ordered me to do, and there is still room at the table.’ 
The master sent the servant back out with more invitations, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. Let me tell you this,” the master said, “none of those who were originally invited will taste my dinner.’”
May we be grateful for an invitation to the table. May we express our gratitude for Truth, and for God, who is truth, though our willingness and determination to allow truth to transform our lives and to change how we see and live in God’s creation and amongst God’s created.
May we reflect the gift of God’s sacrifice through our lives and our engagements. May God’s compassion and mercy be seen in us. May truth be at our core as we are immersed in God’s grace, and may it be vividly witnessed just as it was seen in the person of Jesus and the work of his Spirit.

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

Chorus
Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 1
Take up thy cross and follow Me
I heard my Master say
I gave My life to ransom thee
Surrender your all today

Chorus
Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 2
He drew me closer to His side
I sought His will to know
And in that will I now abide
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Chorus
Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 3
It may be through the shadows dim
Or o’er the stormy sea
I take my cross and follow Him
Wherever He leadeth me

Chorus
Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 4
My heart my life my all I bring
To Christ who loves me so
He is my Master Lord and King
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Speaker Introduction

Rev. Kyle Tubbs serves as the coordinator of CBF Oklahoma and as a  church starting consultant for CBF Global. Before coming to Oklahoma, Kyle led CBF’s nationwide church starting initiative in Decatur, Georgia. Prior to those ministries, he served as the founding pastor of Peace of Christ Church in Round Rock, Texas and on the staffs of Trinity Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Texas, and First Baptist Church of Eula, Texas.

Kyle earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a master of divinity degree from Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary. He is a candidate for the doctor of philosophy degree, focusing his dissertation on contextual leadership, from Dallas Baptist University. Kyle is also a trained and certified executive leadership coach.

Kyle and his wife, Kaily, live in Norman with their sons, Emmett and Henry, and dog, Kennedy. They enjoy playing and laughing together as a family at public parks and recreation centers.

Message        ‘Your Party Invitation’ 

• Story: I was a youth minister running a VBS type program during a mission trip. Energy and involvement was low so we threw a party. The joy and energy reminded us that the Kingdom of God is like a party where all are welcome.
• Today, I want us to think about the Kingdom of God. Who gets an invite to be part of it?
• In context, we meet Jesus in the house of a Pharisee, but it was a trap. Remember that Jesus did not just
identify himself with one group, but with anyone who invited him.

Luke 14:15-24
One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’

But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore  I cannot come.’

So the servant returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’

Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

• Think from the Jesus’ perspective for a moment. Have you ever been somewhere where you know that someone doesn’t like you?
• One of the guys tries to break the awkward silence. He says, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God.”
• The Pharisees at thought that they would be the ones in the Kingdom, and did not think about others getting an invitation too.
• Jesus retorts by telling a story about a great dinner.
• Invitations go out, and the responses are questionable. They are excuses.
• The first comes from one who says they need to check out some land I just bought. Wouldn’t you look at land before buying it?
• The second says they need check out some oxen. Who would buy these things before seeing them first?
• The third gives an excuse about just being married, but shouldn’t they be with their spouse?
• These excuses all have in common that they are too busy to go to the party
• When the servant returns to tell the host that the invitations had been rejected, the host then tells him to go back out.
• This time when the servant comes back, the invitations have seen…ACCEPTED. And the servant tell the host that there is still room.
• The host is thrilled and says go back out into the roads and invite everybody.

  • Every person in this story has a chance to come to the party, but it is up to both the wealthy and poor, healthy and sick to accept or decline the invitation. The invitation is for EVERYB

• The host is able to feed and take care of everybody.
• The invitation is based solely on the loving graciousness of the host.
• Jesus shows us that everyone is given the opportunity to be at the party! The invitation is directly from God to you. You are invited!

  • In the kingdom there are roads and bridges to a party, and everyone is welcome and invited.
  • • In the kingdom of God, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control permeate throughout.

• In the kingdom of God, God loves you because God is good.
• In the kingdom of God, shame is replaced with acceptance.
• In the kingdom of God, who is your neighbor? Everyone!
• But…if everyone is invited to this kingdom, does everyone know they are invited?
• Who are the folks today who need to know they have an invitation to the party?
• Who are folks that may not be thought of first but need to experience the joyous love of God?
• In God’s kingdom, everyone is welcome. You are welcome. The invitation is for you. The invitation is also for everyone else too.
• In God’s kingdom, grace means that God never runs out of what we need.
• The miracles show us that God provides.
• Wine is almost out? More wine!
• Food is almost out? More food!
• And in faith we can rest knowing that God will provide all the grace we need!
• You are welcome into the presence of Christ through the ever expanding Kingdom of God.
• How can we celebrate the kingdom of God together? We come together in humility, service, and love.
We look like Christ.
• Let’s think about the disciples for just a minute. They were extremely diverse. Their education,
backgrounds, ethnicities, and vocations varied.
• You don’t have to worry about being in or out. Whether you check off the right boxes, or if you are in
the right category to be a child of God.
• Galatians 3:28 “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
• The beautiful good news from our Gospel story today is a reminder that you are invited to the party, the
Kingdom of God.
• This story also encourages us to think about those not in this room.
• Who needs an invitation to the Kingdom of God?
• Who needs to hear that they are also invited to rest in the grace of God?
• What will it take for you to accept the invitation to the party?
• Who do you need to invite to the party?
• Benediction: May you hear the invitation loud and clear this morning. You are invited. The Kingdom of God is within you and waiting for you all around. You just have to say yes. And may you invite others to join you in the love of God this week. Amen.

I Have Decided

Verse 1
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back no turning back

Verse 2
The world behind me the cross before me
The world behind me the cross before me
The world behind me the cross before me
No turning back no turning back

Verse 3
Though none go with me still I will follow
Though none go with me still I will follow
Though none go with me still I will follow
No turning back no turning back

Ending
No turning back
No turning back
No turning back
No turning back

Community

  • Community
  • Dirty Hands Day
  • hin·nê·nî  (Here I Am) – Bible Studies resume in October (survey before to see options and preferences)
  • Uncomfortable beginning September 19 – solicit uncomfortable passages/stories
  • Next Sunday – Open Door, Acts 28: 16-31
  • Summer Breeze
  • Free Stuff in entryway
  • Covid Update
  • Offering Details

Benediction

Dona: Once again, it is time to go.

Isaiah: Time to go into the marketplace, time to go onto the public square.

Dona: Time to look for the invitations from God, time to share the invitations in the marketplace and the public square.

Isaiah: Time to listen to the plans of God.

Dona: It is time to go amongst all who are created and loved by God.

Isaiah: In other words, it is time to recognize that all of those in the marketplace and the public square are endearingly noticed by their creator, by our God – they are all invited to the feast.

Dona: It is time to go.

Isaiah: Time to lay down our own selfishness and instead see God’s sacrifice.

Dona: It is time to go.

Isaiah: It is time to respond with God’s grace

Dona: With God’s peace

Isaiah: With God’s joy

Dona: With God’s love

Isaiah: With God’s hope

Dona: It is time.

Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, and hope go with you.

And also with you.

Let’s take God’s invitation into the marketplace and the public square. Let’s take our that invitation not as enemies of others, but as fellow created humans to which we have the opportunity to be the avenue of delivery of those invitations.

Let us go letting that invitation be visible in our life actions and words. Let’s show that invitation to God’s great grace, God’s great peace, God’s great love, and God’s great hope. Let’s go deliver those invitations!

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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