Order, Words, & Voices

Order

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Pre Worship Audio (10:15am) – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Music 1 (10:30)  Grave Into Gardens/Come Thou Fount Makaela/Abbie

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 2   How Deep the Father’s Love Makaela/Abbie

Scripture (Slides ready in case sound is bad) Online – Duffy

Music 3 I Surrender All Makaela/Abbie

Message Faith Regardless Rick

Music 4 Great is the Lord Makaela/Abbie

Benediction (signal to Nikki when slides are ready) Nikki

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Words and Voices

Music 1

Graves Into Gardens

CCLI Song # 7138219

Brandon Lake | Chris Brown | Steven Furtick | Tiffany Hudson

Verse 1

I searched the world but it couldn’t fill me
Man’s empty praise and treasures that fade
Are never enough


Then You came along and put me back together
And every desire is now satisfied here in Your love

Chorus

Oh there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You

Lord there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

Verse 2

I’m not afraid to show You my weakness
My failures and flaws
Lord You’ve seen them all
And You still call me friend


‘Cause the God of the mountain
Is the God of the valley
And there’s not a place
Your mercy and grace won’t find me again

Chorus (x2)

Oh there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You

Lord there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You

Bridge (x2)

You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only one who can

Bridge

You turn graves into gardens
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You’re the only one who can

Tag (x2)

You’re the only one who can

Come Thou Fount Come Thou King

CCLI Song # 4775010

John Wyeth | Robert Robinson | Thomas Miller

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

I was lost in utter darkness
‘Til You came and rescued me
I was bound by all my sin when
Your love came and set me free


Now my soul can sing a new song
Now my heart has found a home
Now Your grace is always with me
And I’ll never be alone

Chorus

Come Thou Fount come Thou King
Come Thou precious Prince of Peace
Hear Your bride to You we sing
Come Thou Fount of our blessing


Come Thou Fount come Thou King
Come Thou precious Prince of Peace
Hear Your bride to You we sing
Come Thou Fount of our blessing

Verse 3

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness 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

Chorus (x2)

Come Thou Fount come Thou King
Come Thou precious Prince of Peace
Hear Your bride to You we sing
Come Thou Fount of our blessing

Come Thou Fount come Thou King
Come Thou precious Prince of Peace
Hear Your bride to You we sing
Come Thou Fount of our blessing

Welcome/Prayer

  • God, you are the All of our faith, faith in anyone, or anything else, is worthless.
  • Sometimes, though, our faith is fragile, it is easily forgotten, easily discounted.
  • The things of our earthly reality often are allowed to distract and detour us from our faith.
  • The things of our earthly reality are sometimes permitted to commandeer our faith, to destroy our faith.
  • Father, we pray for the strength to grasp firmly and to hold on to our faith.
  • May we pause to remember the You of our faith and a moment to release the Self of our faith.
  • May we cease to affirm out faith through our strength but through your power.
  • May we be willing to, by faith, grounded firmly in you, willingly step our and step in – to face the risks, the unknown, the painful, as well as the glorious and holy.
  • God, may our faith be firmly set on your.

Amen

Music 2

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

CCLI Song # 1558110

Stuart Townend

Verse 1

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure


How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Verse 2

Behold the Man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers


It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

Verse 3

I will not boast in anything
No gifts no pow’r no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection


Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Scripture

As Jesus taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, they like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 

They steal the widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance the say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” 

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 

A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 

Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 

For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she contributed out of her poverty – she has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:38-44

Music 3

I Surrender All

CCLI Song # 23189

Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter | Winfield Scott Weeden

Verse 1

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live

Chorus

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all

Verse 2

All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me Jesus take me now

Chorus

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all

Verse 3

All to Jesus I surrender
Make me Savior wholly Thine
Let me feel the Holy Spirit
Truly know that Thou art mine

Chorus

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all

Verse 4

All to Jesus I surrender
Lord I give myself to Thee
Fill me with Thy love and power
Let Thy blessing fall on me

Message –  Faith Regardless

‘Where is lent in the Bible?’ This is the question I am frequently asked this time of year. The answer is, ‘It is not.’ Nor is the Advent, Christmas, or Easter. Christian Holidays, and the manners in which we observe those holidays, are truly a human invention. Actually, in the history of the Church, there were no religious holiday observances until 325 after Jesus. No Christmas, No Easter.

While 325 years might seem like a long time to observe the resurrection, it is important to know that until this time, Christians were unacceptable and persecuted. Having a holiday was not even a consideration as it would draw attention to a people who strived to be unnoticed.  However, after 300 years of persecution for being Christian, now, politicians and governments were clamoring for the approval of Christians.  The new religion of choice, Christianity became a visible religious institution because the political powers recognized the rapid growth of Christians and therefore, politicians dropped Judaism as the the religion they courted and colluded with. While this surely seemed to be wonderful, it doesn’t take long for the pitfalls to soon be visible. However, easy in the 300s Christianity was flourishing and believers were thrilled. One of the first actions of the Christian institution was to officially make remembrance and observance of the resurrection an official holiday.

Long before we had an Easter Bunny, baskets, candies, and colorful dyed eggs, a preparation in the form of a 40-day fasting period prior to Easter Day became a legitimate thing. The practice became known as Lent, observed primarily through fasting. Lent was actually adapted from an already established practice aimed mainly at new converts as a period of repentance and reflection before their baptism. As Lent this began as a contemplative suggestion but it soon became a strictly observed yearly practice. Over time, as 40 days of fasting became unbearable and most everyone was already cheating, the official strictness lessened to a suggested 40 day denial of something beginning on Ash Wednesday.

Author, Eric Ferrris comments, “Lent is about Jesus and what Jesus did.  What really matters is our embrace of Christ crucified and the empty tomb.”

(Eric Ferris, The Lent Experience)

In the end, any faith tradition is only of value if it is remember in our hearts rather than controlled be the will of others.

This year, our Lent observance will not be limited to a chronological journey experiencing the events of Jesus during that final week in Jerusalem. Instead, we are going to seek to understand the deep truths of Holy Week through 7 moments along the overall path of Jesus to the empty grave.

Those truths will lead us through themes of forgiveness and deliverance, through inclusion and acceptance, resurrection and hope, participation and involvement, listening and choosing, service and surrender, and today, we will begin with a second Sunday of diving into the truth of Faith.

Faith. Jesus said, even faith as small as a mustard seed could move mountains out of our way. Faith enabled the weak, frail, and near hopeless woman into the mob. Faith put a hammer into the hands of Noah to build an ark to save his family. Faith enabled Abraham to take a path that had yet to been named by a God he did not know. Faith is what has met countless persons, who were at the end of their rope and, and at that point, were willing to trust and move forward.

Faith, it was what led Jesus to head towards Jerusalem even though everyone around him said to go somewhere else. Faith, led Jesus through a cheering crowd and then later, through that same crowd, who were now jeering. 

And Faith, was what led a poor penniless widow to quietly walk into the temple square each week to give her minuscule offering to God. 

It was also Faith, which at that same moment, turned Jesus gaze away from his followers to witness the faith of this frail woman who had every reason to abandon her faith and, instead, make sensible use of her penny to sustain herself for a few more days.

It was still early in the week for Jesus, he had entered the city against the will of all who knew him. Many of the religious leadership had already begun to attack him in very passive aggressive ways hoping to get Jesus to say or do something that would turn the crowds adoration of Jesus to hatred. The Sadducees had asked a back door question about resurrection, the Pharisees had attempted to back Jesus into a corner with questions to trick Jesus into offending the Romans or the Jews,  and the Scribes, the group that knew every minutia of the law, as well as how to manipulate the law and to twist and abuse it in order to control and oppress others – asked the pivotal question about God’s commands. Jesus basically answered the scribe’s question with one word, LOVE. As with the others, the scribes ceased to ask anymore questions when their trick question was answered with LOVE.

All of this had taken place in the temple square where Jesus was still allowed to teach, but this would be the last time. Jesus was moments from a final exit, but first, there was a final essential holy moment in this holy place that had become so unholy. Jesus had just given his last teaching to his followers, a teaching that had described much of the core of the unholiness. Jesus revealed to his the unholy hearts of the Scribes. Their expertise had become a tool of greed and selfish gain. Instead of leading the people to see God in the Law, they had searched and dug to find loopholes in, and manipulations of, the law. This abuse especially targeted the defenseless widows, stealing what little they had, crushing any hopes they held onto.

It was one of those widows that captured Jesus’ attention, he watched as she walked over to the treasury to give her offering. She uncomfortably stood in line behind those who had much and from which gave staggering and overwhelming amounts of money. She tightly grasped her few coins, worth about a penny in full, this was all that she had. The widow could have snuck out of the line in humiliation, disgraced by her small gift surrounded by the huge gifts given before her, but she stayed. As she approached the front of the line, the man accepting her offerings scoffed at this worthless embarrassment, but still she gave. This woman, possibly one of those widows victimized by the scribes still gave her gift – it was not a gift to the treasury officials even though they would possibly still pocket her measly offering. None of this mattered because she was making an offering out of her poverty to God. It was not a gift to the worst of humanity.

Jesus points this woman out, not because of her the significance of her offering, but because she alone gave from a heart of total sacrifice. While the other gifts given were insignificant as a percentage of the givers wealth, this woman gave more that she rationally should have given.

This was Jesus’ final temple square teaching moment. This was the final lesson he taught in this place, it was the most essential teaching he needed to share. Here, in this place, the ‘House of God’ from which God was about to leave, in this moment, Jesus points out the one person that has come to give a sacrifice in the true spirit of sacrifice – entrusting her offering to God. 

It was an insignificant act by an even less significant person, but it was the holy moment that Jesus not only noticed but then used as he first step to empower his followers for the week to come. 

This was not a lesson about money, nor was Jesus raising the bar on acceptable gifts to God – this was a concrete visual of Faith. This woman, who knew of the evil corruption that had consumed the leaders in this place. She possibly had experienced it first hand as the scribes had tricked her out of any resources she still had. She knew that her gift in the hands of this evil would be undervalued and tossed aside – but she was not giving her gift to these people, nor was she giving it to this institution. She was giving all she had to God – in the only way she knew how to give. She had separated the just and holy God from these unholy and failed religious leaders. She did not allow them to take away from her the opportunity to fully trust God.

That is what faith is, it enables us to keep on going when our resentments, bitterness, and even fear, call on us to run away. 

Jesus, ultimately was going to give an unappreciated gift to this people. A gift that would be met with ugliness, hatred, and venomous screams – a gift given to a people who were in need of that very gift. A death for a life, even when recipients of the gift  did not want or deserve the sacrifice.

Let the same mind [the same faith] be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 

Instead [of walking away from trust in God and saving himself] he emptied himself, he took the form of a slave, born in human likeness.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

Children’s author, Maurice Sendek, writer of Where the Wild Things Are, grew up in the home of Jewish Polish immigrants, who, at every meal, made sure that the children understood how blessed they were to not have experienced the horrors of the Holocaust like many of their ancestors. Later, as an adult, the reality would really set in at Sendek better understood that all of his father’s family had been brutally murdered by the Nazis. It was during this time of revelation that resentment and hatred took over, his faith was challenged by a supposedly loving God who seemed to turn his head during the genocide that had taken so many of his ancestors. The more he held onto the resentment and hatred, and as it began to grow, he found himself unable to also hold onto and a decimal of faith. So he let go of the faith – he could not separate a just and loving God with the brutal beasts of his town history. He let go of and ran from his faith.

I’ve seen people go through unimaginable pain and heartache and find that, they too, are unable to hold onto their faith. They stand in line to give their trust to God and cannot reconcile the reality of this world. I’ve also seen people who abandoned their faith because of a disagreement at church, or even an ugly acting church softball team. 

Reality is tough, it is often even more difficult to hang onto our faith in the midst of an awareness of reality. Sadly, it is the faith that carries us through the pain, that prepares us for the next pain. It is faith that keeps our focus on the God who understands pain, and is heartbroken by our pain. A God who graces us with the faith to survive when we fully hand over our trust to God.

What are you carrying that is straining your hold on faith?

Music 4

Great Is The Lord

CCLI Song # 1149

Deborah D. Smith | Michael W. Smith

Verse

Great is the Lord
He is holy and just
By His power we trust in His love


Great is the Lord
He is faithful and true
By His mercy He proves He is love

Chorus 1

Great is the Lord
And worthy of glory
Great is the Lord
And worthy of praise


Great is the Lord
Now lift up your voice
Now lift up your voice
Great is the Lord

Verse

Great is the Lord
He is holy and just
By His power we trust in His love


Great is the Lord
He is faithful and true
By His mercy He proves He is love

Chorus 2

Great are You Lord
And worthy of glory
Great are You Lord
And worthy of praise


Great are You Lord
I lift up my voice
I lift up my voice
Great are You Lord

Ending (x2)

Great are You Lord
Great are You Lord
Great are You Lord
Great are You Lord

Benediction

Leader: Faith moves us from standing on the side watching hope and peace pass by on its path to healing and release.

Response: We stand on the side because stepping in is scary.

Leader: Faith calls on trust, trust is a response, it is an action, it moves us form the sideline, it empowers us to step in.

Response: We stand on the side because trusting is scary.

Leader: Unfailing trust requires an unceasing and never ending knowing of the one in who are trust resides.

Response: Faith is powerless without trust, trust is unstable without faith.

Leader: Misplaced trust disappoints, Maligned trust leaves us empty and confused, Mistaken trust leaves us faithless.

Response: But righteous and holy trust sees our feet on a rock and our faith secure.

Leader: May our trust be in the God of victory, our God of presence, our God of Deliverance, our God of Mercy, our God of Hope, Our God of Love.

Response: May our trust be in God.

Leader: Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Faith gives us understanding that the worlds were prepared by the word of God.

Response: Faith reminds us that there is much unseen behind what we can see.

Community

  • March/April Bible Studies details – Mondays beg March 21 (w/dinner) at 6 (tent.) or Wednesdays beg March 23 at noon (w/lunch), Exodus, 6 weeks.
  • Best Next Update – Masks optional when seated
  • Anniversary month luncheon March 20 at Joe’s following worship
  • Next Sunday – ‘Graced with a mistrial’, speaker Segun Bongundui, John 8:1-11 (2nd Sunday of lent) 
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com
  • QR codes/‘Order, Words, Voices’

Peace

As you leave this place, may the peace of the Lord go with you.

And also with you.

We gather here because of God’s love for us, we go from here because of God’s love for everyone out there. Go in the peace of the Lord.

Published by rickanthony1993

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

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