Order, Voices, & Words


Sunday, January 9, 2022

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

All Creatures of Our God and King

O Come All Ye Faithful

  • Welcome/Prayer (Zoom Gallery View) Rick
  • Music 2                                                        Lynn

I Love to Tell The Story

Everlasting God

  • Scripture (No slides just reader) Online – Kelly
  • Music 3 Lynn

Here I Am To Worship

  • Message   A Piercing Sword Rick
  • Music 4 Lynn

We Are

  • Benediction Nikki
  • Community (Zoom Gallery View) Rick
  • Closing Peace                                         Rick
  • Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Voices and Words

Music 1 

All Creatures Of Our God And King

CCLI Song # 1503

St. Francis of Assisi | William Henry Draper

Verse 1

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
Alleluia alleluia
Thou burning sun with golden beam
Thou silver moon with softer gleam

O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia

Verse 2

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in heaven along
O praise Him alleluia
Thou rising morn in praise rejoice
Ye lights of evening find a voice

O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia

Verse 3

Thou flowing water pure and clear
Make music for thy Lord to hear
Alleluia alleluia
Thou fire so masterful and bright
Thou givest man both warmth and light

O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia

Verse 4

And all ye men of tender heart
Forgiving others take your part
O sing ye alleluia
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear
Praise God and on Him cast your care

O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia

Verse 5

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him alleluia
Praise praise the Father praise the Son
And praise the Spirit Three in One

O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia 

O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

CCLI Song # 31054

C. Frederick Oakeley | John Francis Wade

Verse 1

O come all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye O come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of angels


O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord 


  • Welcome
  • Prayer

God, Sometimes we wander around in deep, dull darkness. 

But Lord, we ask that we may be illuminated by your grace and love. We want to radiate and reflect the brilliance of your light. 

Shine through us, let our lives share your light with others. 

In Jesus name we pray, 


Music 2 

I Love To Tell The Story (Eaton Square)

CCLI Song # 29413

Arabella Katherine Hankey | William Gustavus Fischer

Verse 1

I love to tell the story
Of unseen things above
Of Jesus and His glory
Of Jesus and His love
I love to tell the story
Because I know ’tis true
It satisfies my longings
As nothing else can do


I love to tell the story
‘Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old old story
Of Jesus and His love

Verse 3

I love to tell the story
‘Tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time I tell it
More wonderfully sweet
I love to tell the story
For some have never heard
The message of salvation
From God’s own holy Word

Everlasting God

CCLI Song # 4556538

Brenton Brown | Ken Riley


Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord


Our God You reign forever
Our Hope our strong Deliv’rer


You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles


Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twel6ve years old, they went to the festival as usual. When the festival was over, they went home, but Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know about it.

They traveled for a whole day thinking that Jesus was with them in the group. They began looking for him among their family and close friends, but they did not find him. So they went back to Jerusalem to look for him there.

After three days they found him. Jesus was sitting in the Temple area with the religious teachers, listening and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and wise answers. 

When his parents saw him, they wondered how this was possible. And his mother said, “Son, why did you do this to us? Your father and I were very worried about you. We have been looking for you.”

Jesus said to them, “Why did you have to look for me? You should have known that I must be where my Father’s work is.” But they did not understand the meaning of what he said to them.

Jesus went with them to Nazareth and obeyed them. His mother was still thinking about all these things. As Jesus grew taller, he continued to grow in wisdom. God was pleased with him and so were the people who knew him.

Luke 2:41-52

Music 3 

Here I Am To Worship

CCLI Song # 3266032

Tim Hughes

Verse 1

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes let me see
Beauty that made
This heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You


So here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
And You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

Verse 2

King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly You came
To the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor


And I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
And I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross


I served at a church that had former Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon as a guest speaker. I ended up squeezing into a very small space on a pew on the font row.

Meadowlark lemon was at least 6 6, or maybe 8 feet 12 inches tall. Lemon played close to 10,000 games before retiring, in 25 years he only missed one game because of a questionable bowl of stew in Hungary. Known as the Clown Prince of Basketball. Jesse Jackson said Lemon gave  America an alternate view of black people. Teammate Jolly Manning, said, “Lemon changed people’s attitudes about race, he changed foreigners’ attitudes about America, and along the way, he made millions love the game of basketball.”

That morning, Meadowlark entered and squeezed in next to me on my small space of pew. This giant who had lived an extraordinary life, known world wide, now was towering over me. 

As the service was ending, Lemon lowered his head down to the level of my head and whispered, “I’m starving.”

At that moment, extraordinary met my ordinary. “Me too!” I said. Extraordinary became ordinary like me.

In our passage today, we hear the first documented words of a post pregnancy Mary and of her son, Jesus.

The word was – ‘WHY?’

Every year Jesus’ family went to the temple. At 12 years of age, Jesus joined his parents on this trip. The community caravanned together the 65 miles to Jerusalem. On the way home, after a day of travel, Mary and Joseph realized they had not seen Jesus all day – Up to this point they felt certain that Jesus was with others in the caravan. However, a caravan search told them that they were incorrect, Jesus was still at the Temple square. 

Imagine the emotions and panic in the minds of Joesph and Mary. The desperation, frustration, guilt, shame, panic, and then anger as they found him after searching for 3 days.

I imagine Mary, after finding Jesus, lifted the adolescent by his elbow and escorted him away, all the while asking,

“Why, why did you do this to us?!” “Did you not even notice that you had not seen us for more than 3 days?! “After all your father and I have done for you?!

I’ve got to admit, I’m 100% on team Mary on this one.

And then, Jesus, fully human response of “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I would be here?” 

Jesus had found his place, his element, his people. Learning what it was to understand God from a human perspective. This was why God put on the flesh, why Jesus was born as an infant – to fully experience the human experience. 

At the United Air Force Academy football games, every home game includes a fly over of some highly exciting aircraft. As the planes fly over, the cadets will all eagerly look to the sky. As soon as the plane is visible the cadets excitement is obvious, cheering,  waving their hands – this is their thing, this is their place. One game, as the fly over began, from the speaker we all heard that the aircraft flying over would be the first public appearance of the new stealth bomber, which none of the cadets, or the crowd, had yet seen. The cadets went crazy. It was an amazing sight to watching them all, spontaneously turn and run up to the top for a better look  They cheered and jumped with excitement – this was their thing.

This was the case with Jesus, here in the temple square he was home, the discussion, the environment, the sharing, this was his passion. How could mom and dad not share his enthusiasm?

But, these two ordinary human parents did not understand Jesus’ passion, and quite frankly, Jesus did not understand their passion.

See the conflict? Jesus, God, came to deliver humanity, and in the course of that mission to personally travel though the human experience. Mary and Joseph were called to be parents. 

On this day, Jesus began a new phase of his human journey. He now was aware what it was to be a human adolescent to learn, respect, and obey.  Because of this conflicting intersection of Holy and Human, and particularly this relationship with his parents, Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

This was Jesus first major lesson. The first time Jesus had to make a very ordinary human choice to live in both worlds. His Holy purpose alongside the very Human world where he now lived – in the extraordinary ordinariness of humanity.

Also, on this day, Mary began a scrapbook in which she placed the events of this day along with the memories of the innkeeper, the shepherds, the angels, and Anna and Simeon. A book that also reminded her of the pain for mothering prophesied to Eve and the  prophecy from Simeon – “this child will be a sword piercing your soul”.  It would be the  treasure she would and need throughout her own education process including standing at the foot of the cross watching her son die.

“Did you not know that I would be about my father’s business?” Jesus asked his mother Mary. 

This may have been Mary’s first arrival at the intersection of Holy & Human. The 12 year old adolescent chooses to engage with the the religious intellectuals. A naive trust and laser focus causing him to forget about every thing else, including his caring parent. Jesus became human to fully experience the Human experience, and this may have been his biggest lesson yet. At this intersection, Jesus let himself learn the lesson, he listened to Mary and let his mistake be part of his journey. Be respectful, think of others, see things through the perspective of another, understand you parent’s viewpoint, remember, you are not an island.’   

The Father gave Jesus as an infant so God could fully understand and identify with us. Learning what it is to be human living amongst humans, and navigating his own mistake was all part of the experience. Jesus didn’t come hard wired already knowing all the human details – nor was he immune to the harrowing experience of adolescence. 

This is one of the most rejected truths for followers of Jesus. We know that Jesus was a perfect human and we think that means our view of perfection. We don’t want Jesus to be an annoying and frustrating adolescent, we want his hair to be neatly combed, clothes without wrinkles, no zits, blemishes, or scars, not wearing t-shirts with appropriate words and pictures, a sincere smile and an authentic respect of his parents. But mistakes and  learning from those mistakes is not sinful, it is part of the human experience.

As we look at the Bible through these different perspectives, last week Anna, and this week Mary (a mother of an adolescent), we take a moment to see in an applicable way, applicable to our own life. 

Anna, at the age of 84, was at a new beginning. She had arrived at the destination of seeing Jesus, and now it was a new phase of life. She let nothing hinder her stepping out, from looking up and forward.  She pushed aside very real roadblocks in her Holy & Human path. She  recognized that she was not too old, or too alone, or too dismissed, nor was she too pitiful or too frail. She responded from where she was to the path and obstacles ahead by looking up trusting God’s power and might.

Now, we see Mary, 12 years into her journey, accepting of new lessons, new realities, frustrating challenges of adolescence – in this, she understands the unique challenges of God’s path, challenges that present differently to everyone but are all a part of our Human & Holy journey. Challenging us to accept who we are when God calls us and to be open to where he will take us. Never forgetting are not alone on this journey.

For Mary the greatest struggle on her path was this Holy/Human Intersection. Her’s was a path of scattered roadblocks of anxiety and insecurity. Parenthood, at best is a struggle, parenting the Messiah as an adolescent was an unchartered battle. 

In this moment of Mary’s life, this is her struggle, a battle – the Holy & Human. This is the path for all of us. She was stuck in the ‘how it should look’ verses the ‘how holy looks right now.’ 

When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, they also destroyed the extravagant temple constructed by King Solomon. That first temple was an amazing oasis enriched with the best building materials, the immensity of space and size, and the Holy presence of God, the Ark of the Covenant. 70 decades later, when the Israelites returned and rebuilt the temple they did not have the resources or the manpower that Solomon had. Their temple did not have the glory, the immensity of size and space, and, no Ark, which by many was interpreted as ‘God was not present.” 

As the disappointed became disillusioned and disappointed, they began to complain. After centuries of the disillusioned complaining, King Herod offered to rebuild the temple, better and more glorious than before. It would be the greatest Temple ever! The problem was that Herod was more led by his desire for power and approval. His offer was accepted and soon the temple was larger, more ornate, but now, truly without the glory and presence of God. By some Herod was accused of desecrating the Holy place, to those who just want a temple that looked and felt as good as before, Herod was a hero. 

This was the struggle of Holy and Human. The people had moved their trust from the Holy to the powerful, to one who had the resources and finances to build. The temple was no longer a place at the intersection of Human and Holy, now it was a place under  the control of Humans. While the were a people truly trusting in the power and might of God, now they were trusting in the politicians, the religious leaders, those with power, money, audacity, and empty promises. 

Those that noticed this desiccation of the Holy Space, the lack of true trussing in God, this struggle was intense. They could see it but had no power to change it, they could sense it but had ability to convince other believers of the reality of this struggle.

This may be the beginning of the presence of our pandemic of anxiety. We see the reality of humans, including followers of Christ, accepting the help of Herod, but at the same time we see the Holy of God’s truth. We see the hollowness of false prophets at the same time as others do not. We hear of the nature of God, compassion, mercy, grace, love, but we do not see any of those characteristics in the people we have chosen to follow. We recognize the power of agendas, while at the same time, we allow them to trample all over the Holy.

[Paul Thorne “To start something new you have to let go of something old”]

Mary’s adjustment in this phase of life was to trust God as she maneuvered the thin ice of living at the intersection of Holy and Human. This, too, is our path.

Let’s pray.

Music 4 

We Are

CCLI Song # 6129877

Chuck Butler | Ed Cash | Hillary McBride | James Tealy

Verse 1

Ev’ry secret ev’ry shame
Ev’ry fear ev’ry pain
Live inside the dark
But that’s not who we are
We are children of the day


So wake up sleeper lift your head
We were meant for more than this
Fight the shadows conquer death
Make the most of the time we have left


We are the light of the world
We are the city on a hill
We are the light of the world
And we gotta we gotta we gotta
Let the light shine


Let the light shine
Let the light shine ooh

Verse 2

We are called to spread the news
To tell the world the simple truth
Jesus came to save there’s freedom in His name
So let His love break through


We are the light we are the light we are the light
So let your light shine brighter
We are the light we are the light we are the light
Jesus You are the light You are the light
You are the light
We will lift You high and shine shine shine


Let the light shine let the light shine
Let the light shine let the light shine 


Reader: May you see Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of man.

Response: May His holiness and humanity be our reality.

Reader: May we see God’s sharing in our human experience may we see the depth of God’s love for us.

Response: May this connect our human heart to God’s holy Son.

Reader: May we use moments when God seems absent to receive comfort in the waiting. May we remember that God’s love is constant,

Response: May we remember that God’s Spirit is never absent.

Reader: May we always remember that Mary and Joseph found God’s presence in the most miserable of places and in the midst of overwhelming circumstances.

Response: May we remember that Jesus is waiting for us in our misery and joy.

Reader: May we never forget that Anna said yes to a new beginning even though there were a multitude of reasons to say no.

Response: Mary said yes in the midst of frustration and aggravation.

Reader: May we always remember God’s presence and faithfulness.

Response: May we always remember God’s love.


  • Covid
  • Beware of Scams on Bank Accounts
  • Winter Bible Studies in February
  • Next Sunday – Guest Preacher – Jaimie Mercer (John 2:1-11)


Reader: As we stand at a new beginning, 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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