Order, Voices, & Words

Order

Sunday, January 2, 2022

  • Pre Worship Audio (10:15am) – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’
  • Music 1 (10:30am)

Come Thou Fount

I Need Thee Every Hour

  • Welcome/Introduction of Lynn/Prayer. Rick
  • Music 2                                                        Lynn

Christ Be All Around Me

Be Thou My Vision

  • Scripture Online – Albany
  • Music 3 Lynn

What A Beautiful Name

  • Message   Eyes Up Rick
  • Music 4 – Song Special (with words on screen) Lynn

Awake My Soul

(Note to Lynn: begin to play during prayer)

  • Benediction Isaiah
  • Community Rick
  • Closing Peace                                         Rick
  • Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Voices and Words

Music 1 

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing

CCLI Song # 108389

John Wyeth | Robert Robinson

Verse 1

Come Thou fount of ev’ry blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Verse 2

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy grace Lord like a fetter
Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee


Prone to wander Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart Lord take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above 

I Need Thee Every Hour

CCLI Song # 78811

Annie Sherwood Hawks | Robert Lowry

Verse 1

I need Thee every hour
Most gracious Lord
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford

Chorus

I need Thee O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee

Verse 2

I need Thee every hour
In joy or pain
Come quickly and abide
Or life is vain

Chorus

I need Thee O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee

Verse 3

I need Thee every hour
Most Holy One
O make me Thine indeed
Thou blessed Son

Chorus

I need Thee O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee

Welcome, Introduce Lynn, & Prayer

  • Welcome
  • Introduction of Lynn Herble, wife of Tim owner of NYAJ, Music instructor at Morre High, and worship leader at churches in area. 
  • Prayer

Dearest Father and Almighty Creator

We ask for your Grace today, despite our pride

Your forgiveness, despite our doubt

Most of all Lord, we ask for your love to soothe us through these dark times

May we face whatever it is to come in your divine will 

with courage and open hearts of acceptance 

Amen

Music 2 

Christ Be All Around Me

CCLI Song # 7016414

David Leonard | Jack Mooring | Leeland Mooring | Leslie Jordan

Verse 1

As I rise
Strength of God go before lift me up
As I wake
Eyes of God look upon be my sight

Verse 2

As I wait
Heart of God satisfy and sustain
As I hear
Voice of God lead me on be my guide be my guide

Chorus

Above and below me
Before and behind me
In ev’ry eye that sees me
Christ be all around me

Above and below me
Before and behind me
In ev’ry eye that sees me
Christ be all around me yeah

Verse 3

As I go
Hand of God my defense by my side
As I rest
Breath of God fall upon bring me peace
Bring me peace

Interlude

Oh oh Christ be all around me yeah
Oh oh Christ be all around me yeah

Bridge

Your life Your death Your blood
Was shed for ev’ry moment ev’ry moment 

Be Thou My Vision

CCLI Song # 30639

Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne

Verse 1

Be Thou my vision
O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me
Save that Thou art


Thou my best thought
By day or by night
Waking or sleeping
Thy presence my light

Verse 2

Be Thou my wisdom
Be Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee
And Thou with me Lord


Thou my great Father
I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling
And I with Thee one

Verse 3

Riches I heed not
Nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance
Now and always


Thou and Thou only
Be first in my heart
High King of heaven
My treasure Thou art

Scripture 

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present the infant Jesus to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, 

“Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 

Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying 

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. 

Anna never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:21-38

Music 3 

What A Beautiful Name

CCLI Song # 7068424

Ben Fielding | Brooke Ligertwood

Verse 1

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

Chorus 1

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King


What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Verse 2

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

Chorus 2

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is


Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Bridge

Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave

The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

Bridge

You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign


Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

Chorus 3

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Ending

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Message

A new year, a new beginning. If we are to be honest we pretty much sucked at preparedness for the last 2 new years. We were not prepared for the regular use of words like pandemic, quarantine, lockdown, insurrection, conspiracies, we were blindsided by unexpected realities such as threats to our democracy, additional pandemic strains, tarnished and shrinking evangelicalism, growing extremism, growing and accepted racism, attacks on voting rights that compare to the Jim Crowe eras, mainstreamed false prophets as in the days of Isaiah, and so much more, and this does not even include our person tragedies and trials. 

It is probably time to take a brief trip back to humanity’s beginning.

In the beginning God.

Sometimes we forget that. We forget that there was a time of nothingness, a time when even light, as we pragmatically identify light, did not exist.

A time when we would have only seen – God.

In the beginning God.

A full sentence, a sentence that warrants a period after just 4 words. It is incorrect to say ‘God was in the beginning,’ because God was not in the the beginning, God was our beginning.

Nothing else, only God.

God was all there was to see, to experience, to trust.

God. God was, and is, enough.

If we attempted to look down, to look away, we would still only see God.

When God began to create something out of nothingness, the process included giving us eyes and ears. And then, in God’s moment of outrageous generosity and audacious trust in, us, God’s own created, God gave us hearts and minds. God gave us the choice to see, or not see, to look, or not to look.

And, to top it all off, God breathed life, his life, into us. Regardless of what we ultimately do with that breath, God still breathed it into each, and all, of us.

Not long after creation, humanity chose to turn our gaze elsewhere. We used our God given choice to turn away and to make ourself our own God.

It was Eve who had the first grasp that we, even with our eyes, ears, hearts and minds, we were not created to be God, nor are we even capable of being God.

Eve proclaimed, “Guys, we cannot do this, we can doing nothing without the help of God!”

Humanity could not create something out of nothingness. Even if we could, we would still be creating out of the nothingness created by God.

Because very few, if any, listened to Eve’s epiphany, humanity fell into an existence of survival.

It was in survival, in the blinding brightness of the total darkness, that humanity faced our most raw choice – “To whom do we cry out?”

For most, those that had forgotten the creator, those who had forgotten the breath given by the creator, the choice was “I will cry out to myself” which soon morphed into, “We will cry out to ourself.”

There were those that remembered God’s breath within them. Their recognized that “I can only cry out to God.”

In the midst of their brutal survival, some remembered God with each each fresh breath. Eve breathed in and remembered God as she gave birth to son Seth. Noah, breathed in that fresh breath as he stepped out of the ark into a refreshed creation. The descendants of Noah were given the opportunity to breath in a new crisp breath as they scattered. Abraham and Sarah breathed in God’s breath anew when they left their home, their families, their vocation, their false gods, their faith, as God offered them an existence that was more than survival.

The story goes on and on, it was a minority that turned from the distraction of survival to consciously breathe in the refreshed and renewing breath of God. That breath continued to open eyes and ears. That breath gave a new beginning over and over.

This breath raised their gaze, it let them look out, forward, and even up to the God that gave breath.

The Psalmist described this state of being, the state where we fall back into the breath of God, the state where we are content with each new beginning.

“Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me.”

The psalmist speaks first to those things that prevent us from breathing and looking up, proclaiming that the authentic search is not rooted in pride, arrogance, superiority, or disdain, but instead, the Psalmist offers the state of being that which permits us to genuinely look to God.

“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child resting with their mother, looking up by choice to the see the source of my sustenance. My soul is like a weaned child within me, composed and freed from discontent. I will hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.” (Psalm 131, AMP)

This is God’s call as we face a new beginning. To recognize and rid ourself of pride and arrogance, to confront our own attitudes of superiority, and to cleanse our attitudes of disdain.To replace these with rest in God’s provision, God’s peace, looking up to God. We look to God, free of discontent, permitting our Hope to be forever rooted in God.

On the eighth day after Jesus birth, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were safely ready for Jesus’ naming and circumcision. We see something very contemporary in their 7 day wait. The law, in an effort to prevent the spread of disease stated that any person exposed to blood must quarantine in lockdown for seven days, 14 days if it is for the birth of a female. This wait time was to protect Mary and Jesus from any exposure to illness, but it was also an effort to protect the others, the public from the same. This is a procedure of Purification for the ‘unclean’. Being ‘unclean’ was not a sin but a natural preventative identification to not only protect the one that had been exposed, but also to keep that person from exposing others. It was part of loving others as we love ourselves. After purification, the birthing mother, and child, were to quarantine for an attentional 33 days for further purification before additional public exposure. The first 7 days of purification can be understood scientifically, this second, longer, period is less clear. Possibly to provide needed time of bonding for child, mother, and father. It may have been an extra effort to ward off disease, who knows, the point is, however, Mary and Joseph honored this process of protecting themselves and others regardless of reasoning. They were willing to give up freedoms to stay healthy and to give the same considerations to others, all others.

It was after these 2 quarantines that Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple for a final purification sacrificial offering and for the dedication of the infant.

An elderly man named Simeon was looking up expectantly for the arrival of the Messiah. Simeon, fully ready to die, had been promised that he would see the Messiah before death. So he waited and watched. On this day, the Holy Spirit guided Simeon into the temple square, there we saw the baby Jesus. Even though he might not have expected an infant, his persistent trust created an openness to whatever, or whoever, the Messiah would be.

“Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your truth; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’” (Luke 2:28-32)

Following Simeon, an elderly woman approached the family of Joesph. Anna, had also been waiting for the Messiah. She had begun looking years ago and had now taken up residence in the temple square as she dedicated her life to looking up at Jesus. 

Anna was 84 years old, female, a widow, and basically homeless, four strikes against her in the minds of others. She was probably considered the temple square crazy woman – always approaching everyone to explain her quest to see the Messiah.

Nothing stopped Anna, she strived to be in the right place, at the right time, to see the Messiah. No sacrifice was too great, no opposition was too strong, no humiliation was too hurtful. She would not give up her pursuit.

Everyone who saw Jesus in those first years had roadblocks and barriers.

Mary, a young woman that was too young and too dismissed.

Joesph, a good man probably considered to be too gullible.

Elizabeth and Zechariah, an elderly couple – too old and too defeated.

The Inn Keeper, who gave out of his nothingness.

Shepherds who who only had their mundane tireless jobs staring at an open sky.

Anna and Simeon, both too old and ready to die.

All in their places, all in their life stages, all with a shared goodness, all watching as best they knew how, all hoping for the Deliverer.

We end looking back at Anna. Waiting, willing, and looking. Pushing aside the surmounting odds of her hope and still watching. Looking ahead for the new beginning. Just wanting a glimpse of the beginning of hope. Ignoring the impossibilities and looking for the Messiah, whether it be an earthly King or an defenseless infant.

For Simeon this was an ending, for 84 year old Anna this was a beginning (2:38). This may be the greatest thing for us to note at this time in this story. Anna’s journey, her calling, did not end at her destination, it just set her on the path for a new calling. She was not too old, she was not too alone, she was not to dismissed, she was not too pitiful, she was not too frail – She was Anna, standing at another beginning, trusting in God’s power and might.

As we stand in much that same place, may Anna’s unhindered preparedness be our inspiration.

Let’s pray.

Music 3 – Special 

Awake My Soul

CCLI Song # 7134998

Brooke Ligertwood

Verse 1

There is a sound I love to hear
It’s the sound of the Saviour’s robe
As He walks into the room where people pray
Where we hear praises He hears faith

Verse 2

There is a sound I love to hear
It’s the sound of the Saviour’s robe
As He walks into the room where people pray
Where we hear worship He hears faith

Chorus

Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud sing His praise aloud
Oh awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud sing His praise aloud

Verse 3

There is a sound that changes things
The sound of His people on their knees
Oh wake up you slumbering
It’s time to worship Him

Bridge

And when He moves and when we pray
Where stood a wall now stands a way
Where every promise is amen


And when He moves make no mistake
The bowels of hell begin to shake
All hail the Lord all hail the King

Bridge

Hey oh
Oh let the King of glory enter in
Hey oh
Fall down on your knees and worship Him
Hey oh
Let His praise rise up don’t hold it in

Benediction 

Reader: Dearest Father

Response: Almighty Creator

Reader: We ask for your Grace this year, despite our pride

Response: We ask for your forgiveness, despite our doubt

Reader: Most of all Lord, we ask for your love 

Response: Your love to soothe us through unexpected dark times

Reader: May we face whatever it is to come in your divine will Response: May we face whatever is to come with courage 

Reader: May we face whatever is to come with open hearts of acceptance 

All: Amen 

Community

Covid

Winter Bible Studies in February

Next Sunday – Posted w/scripture tomorrow, Monday 

Peace

Reader: As we begin another new year, may the peace of God go with you

Response: And also with you

Reader: Go in peace.

Published by rickanthony1993

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

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