Order, Words, & Voices 03.27.22

Order

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Pre Worship Audio (10:15am) – ‘Calm Jazz’

Music 1 (10:30)  Lynn/Abbie

O Worship The King

Come Thou Almighty King

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 2 Just As I Am Lynn/Abbie

Scripture John 4:5-15 Online – Sherri

Music 3 Special – Love Can Build A Bridge Lynn/Abbie

Message Vulnerable People (John 4:7-15) Rick

Music 4 Living Hope Lynn/Abbie

Benediction (signal to Isaiah when slides are ready) Isaiah

Anniversary Video

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calm Jazz’

Words and Voices

Music 1 (8 slides)

O Worship The King (Lyons)

CCLI Song # 1486

Johann Michael Haydn | Robert Grant

Verse 1

O worship the King all glorious above
And gratefully sing His power and His love
Our Shield and Defender the Ancient of Days
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise

Verse 2

O tell of His might O sing of His grace
Whose robe is the light whose canopy space
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm

Verse 4

Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite
It breathes in the air it shines in the light
It streams from the hills it descends to the plain
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain

Verse 5

Frail children of dust and feeble as frail
In Thee do we trust nor find Thee to fail
Thy mercies how tender how firm to the end
Our Maker Defender Redeemer and Friend

Come Thou Almighty King (Italian Hymn)

CCLI Song # 29073/Felice de Giardini

Verse 1

Come Thou Almighty King
Help us Thy name to sing
Help us to praise

Father all glorious
O’er all victorious
Come and reign over us
Ancient of Days

Verse 2

Come Thou Incarnate Word
Gird on Thy mighty sword
Our prayer attend
Come and Thy people bless

And give Thy Word success
Spirit of holiness
On us descend

Verse 3

Come Holy Comforter
Thy sacred witness bear
In this glad hour
Thou who almighty art

Now rule in ev’ry heart
And ne’er from us depart
Spirit of pow’r

Verse 4

To Thee great One in Three
Eternal praises be
Hence evermore

Thy sov’reign majesty
May we in glory see
And to eternity
Love and adore

Welcome/Prayer (4th Sunday of Lent – No slides)

God, we live in a world where there is continual war and turmoil. You came to give us peace. We survive in a world where those you created cry out for dignity and respect. You came to provide hope. We live in a world immersed in arrogance and insecurity. You came to show us humility and generosity. We survive in this world because you are our confidence and our stability. You came so that we can learn to trust you. Lord, when our patience wains and redirects us to trust in others or ourself, you use our disillusionment to turn us back to you. We are grateful for your overflowing patience. We often give up on you but you never give up on us. Thank you God for your unconditional love.

Amen

Music 2 (3 slides)

Just As I Am (Woodworth)

CCLI Song # 23206

Charlotte Elliott | William Batchelder Bradbury

Verse 1

Just as I am without one plea
But that Thy Blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God I come I come

Verse 2

Just as I am and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot
To Thee Whose Blood can cleanse each spot
O Lamb of God I come I come

Verse 4

Just as I am Thy Love unknown
Hath broken ev’ry barrier down
Now to be Thine yes Thine alone
O Lamb of God I come I come

Scripture (No Slides)

So Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. The water well which Jacob had built 2,000 years before was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well around noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (Jesus disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

John 4:5-15

Music 3 (Special – No Slides)

Love Can Build A Bridge

Paul Overstreet / John Jarvis / Naomi Judd

I’d gladly walk across the desert with no shoes upon my feet

To share with you the last bite of bread I had to eat

I would swim out to save you in your sea of broken dreams

When all your hopes are sinking, let me show you what love means

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don’t you think it’s time?

Don’t you think it’s time?

I would whisper love so loudly, every heart could understand

That love and only love can join the trials of man

I would give my hearts’ desire so that you might see

The first step is to realize that it all begins with you and me

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don’t you think it’s time?

Don’t you think it’s time?

When we stand together, it’s our finest hour

We can do anything (anything)

Anything (anything)

Keep believin’ in the power

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don’t you think it’s time?

Don’t you think it’s time?

Message –  Vulnerable People (13 Slides)

Almost 2 thousand years before the birth of Christ, a man named Jacob dug a well. The digging of the well was totally utilitarian, it was dug to meet physical needs of his livestock and workers. It was dug to provide this life sustaining element of God’s creation, much like air, which ties man, animal, and vegetation, to God’s creation. Water.

It was a well dug into the ground of the land promised to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham, a promise that extended to Jacob. Jacob, at this moment, lived on the promised ground, but the promise was still just a promise, it would take a people to make it a home. Jacob’s sons, and 2 of his grandsons, would later be ancestry thread of the people that would make this land a home.

Jacob did not anticipate that this well would be a lifeline for own his descendants thousands of years later. Anticipated or not, roughly 2 thousand years later, Jesus sat at the well. Vulnerable, worn out, exhausted, and in need of, but unable to reach for, the life source of water.

Ironically, Jesus was in his physical state due to a water problem. Many of the religious leaders who had already begun seeking to ways to discredit Jesus, began sowing division between Jesus’ followers and the followers of John the Baptizer. They were pointing out that Jesus and his followers were baptizing more people than John and his disciples. The truth was, both leaders and their disciples, were baptizing people wherever they could find water.

Water. Cleansing, reenergizing, pure, life sustaining, refreshing, water.

Jesus was on a mission, he was exhausted by the efforts of his foes and their attempts to drag him into a ‘we-them’ fight. Jesus had work to do, he was there to proclaim truth, to fulfill the law, to bring peace, and to give back hope to a vulnerable people who were thirsty for truth, fulfillment, peace, and hope.

So, Jesus left the bickering and scheming and traveled back to his homeland. To get there, he and his disciples traveled through Samaria. Traveling through Samaria was the not the desire of most Jews, but the path was quicker, and Jesus was not concerned about the expectations of even his own people. As he, and his disciples approached the Samaritan city Sychar, Jesus stopped at Jacob’s well outside the city. Maybe he was too thirsty and too hungry to travel anymore, maybe he was fully aware of the crowds that gathered around him anywhere he went. Maybe his disciples saw that he was tired and insisted he remain behind. Whatever the reason, he remained at the well alone.

A vulnerable man in need of a drink of water.

As the disciples disappeared in the distant horizon, Jesus saw a woman coming toward the well. It is here we see Jesus’ refusal to let labels govern. We also see  the woman’s ingrained human assumptions based on labels. Jesus sees another vulnerable person, other human sees 2 powerful labels on this man. 

Jesus says, ‘Give me a drink of water.’

The woman can barely hear the actual words of Jesus due to the defining echo of her assumptions about Jesus. ‘He is a man, he is a Jew.’

In an effort to remind him of her labels and his labels, the woman says, “How in the world can you ask me for a drink of water? You are a Jew and you are a man. I am not a man, I am a woman, and I am not a Jew, I am a Samaritan. Men don’t speak to woman and even more importantly, Samaritans don’t speak or share our buckets and cups with your people!  And Your people don’t’ speak, and you definitely don’t share your buckets and cups with us!”

Jesus didn’t need to be reminded of this fact. He was well aware of the views that were held by his people towards the Samaritans and by the Samaritans towards his people. Basically, they held this disdain for each other because each group held to a religious practice of Judaism which conflicted with the other. Jesus had learned early on in life that his people did not like the Samaritans and that his people did not respect women, any women.

Jesus was on a mission, a mission to be the conduit of God’s love to those God had created. He was not on a crusade to establish or enlarge a religious institution, to overturn political governments, to engage in societal rebellions, or even to attack culture norms. Jesus was on a mission to teach all people that God loves them and then let the power of God’s love change religions, confront politicians and governments, reform culture norms. Jesus knew that once we truly understand how loved we are, it is impossible not to understand how loved others are as well.  If we do love God, it is God’s expectation that we will also follow God’s love response towards others.

Jesus did not lecture on the right and correct way to affirm and accept people – his message was not how and to be respectful, he just did it. Even when he was confronted by the Syrophoenician woman he listened and heard. Jesus raised the bar on what love is, he subtly used a parable about the compassion and mercy of a Samaritan traveler, he welcomed those considered too unclean or too sinful to be loved by God, he treated women as human beings. However, Jesus’ verbal message, his empowering passion, was about all people hearing the truth, it was about humanity grasping God’s love for them.

To say that Jesus did not know about the labels which are placed on others would be inaccurate. He had been trained in a culture, that masterfully labeled anyone who was different, powerless, or vulnerable – It was his internal denial of those labels that made the difference in his external actions. 

[Screen Share from here on]

  1. [Slide] Jesus did not give any credence to the culture norms that he had been taught since childhood. He was not bound to the external response to labels that were insisted on by others.  His bar of acceptance was not limited to those he understood, those who made him comfortable, those who were like him – Jesus’ bar of love and acceptance was reflective of God’s love. He saw all people as the loved people that they were and are.
  1. [Slide] Jesus recognized the labels placed on people, not as a sign of worth or worthlessness, but as an alert to their struggle and pain. You have probably heard someone say “I don’t see race.” This was not the case with Jesus, in seeing people and their struggles identified by their labels, he was able to affirm and love them even in the midst of their pain. Struggles that were often passed down ancestrally for generations. Jesus saw the pain of gender, he felt the pain of being an outsider, he experienced the pain of poverty, he understood the pain of being different or considered ‘not normal, he witnessed the pain carried within all of the labels of those he encountered. 

So, a thirsty and hungry man, who was exhausted by all the manipulation and maneuvering going on around him wherever he went, sat resting next to a well dug 2,000 years earlier by his ancestor.

Approaching the well was a woman from the nearby Samaritan city of Sychar – so it would have made sense to assume this was a Samaritan woman. A woman who was carrying a bucket and a cup to get water from the well dug 2,000 years before by her ancestor.

The man was thirsty and knew maybe this woman could assist him with getting a drink from the well. “Could you give me a drink from the well?” He said while squinting his eyes through his sweat.

[Slide] “How can you ask me for a drink? I’m a woman you are a man, I am a Samaritan, you are a Jew!” The woman responded revealing her adherence to the labels attached to her and those attached to this man. In doing so, she revealed her internal felt vulnerability.

[Slide] Jesus, probably with a reassuring grin on his face said to her, ‘This well was a gift from God through our ancestor Jacob to meet our physical needs. “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”’

[Slide] On an interesting side note, we never see Jesus actually get a drink of water. His vulnerable thirst is not quenched. One has to jump forward to another time when Jesus says these same words and only received dehydrating sour wine.

[Slide] Also interesting is the manner in which we see this story, which is to depend on this woman’s labels to interpret her words. We see that the woman has had five husbands and is now with a man that is not her husband. Our immediate interpretation, probably consistently backed up by preachers (including myself), is to say that the woman is of lax moral character, unfaithful to her husbands. We seldom think of the woman as a vulnerable victim, could these husbands have been abusive or something else. 

[Slide] Is it possible that this community placed different labels on this woman, labels like abused, mistreated, abandoned, vulnerable? Labels which led them to strive to protect her from further pain. This would explain why the people later listened to her.

[Slide] Our learned responses to cultural labels govern and define our assumptions and actions. Jesus did not do this. Jesus loved his neighbor as himself. Jesus died on the cross for all of those labeled neighbors. Jesus didn’t work to explain his actions, he allowed his actions to enhance and reinforce his teachings.

[Slide] As the woman turned to run home and tell everyone about her healing encounter with Jesus, his disciples returned. ‘They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman.’

[Slide] ‘Meanwhile, the woman was back in Sychar excitedly telling everyone who would listen, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” Her neighbors left the city and were on their way to Jesus. Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.

[Slide] Later, they affirmed the woman’s testimony by telling her, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that you were right, this is truly the Savior of the world.”

[Slide] How do we allow labels inhibit all people from seeing the God that truly loves us and truly loves them? 

[Slide] How does our own adherence to our labels blind us to a confidence in God’s love?

Let’s Pray

Music 4 (8  slides) 

Living Hope

CCLI Song # 7106807

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham

Verse 1

How great the chasm that lay between us
How high the mountain I could not climb
In desperation I turned to heaven
And spoke Your name into the night

Then through the darkness Your loving-kindness
Tore through the shadows of my soul
The work is finished the end is written
Jesus Christ my living hope

Verse 2

Who could imagine so great a mercy
What heart could fathom such boundless grace
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

The cross has spoken I am forgiven
The King of kings calls me His own
Beautiful Savior I’m Yours forever
Jesus Christ my living hope

Chorus

Hallelujah praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ my living hope

Verse 3 (x2)

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me

Chorus (x2)

Hallelujah praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ my living hope


Ending

Jesus Christ my living hope
Oh God You are my living hope

Benediction (6 slides)

Leader: We live in a world where there is continual war and turmoil.

Response: Jesus came to give us peace.

Leader: We survive in a world where those God created cry out for dignity and respect.

Response: Jesus came to provide hope.

Leader: We live in a world immersed in arrogance and insecurity.

Response: Jesus came to show us humility and generosity.

Leader: We survive in this world because God is our confidence and our stability.

Response: Jesus came so that we can learn to trust God.

Leader: When our patience wains and redirects us to trust in others or ourself, God uses our disillusionment to turn us back to God.

Response: We are grateful for God’s overflowing patience.

Leader: We often give up on God but God never gives up on us.

Response: We are grateful for God’s unconditional love.

25th Anniversary Congratulations video

Community

  • Spring Bible Studies continue – Monday March 28 (w/dinner at 6) or Wednesdays, March 30 at noon (w/lunch), Exodus 4:18-7:13. Please RSVP.
  • Next Sunday – Giving Up On A Miracle, John 11:17-35 (5th Sunday of lent) 
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com
  • Easter eggs for Afghanistan Refugees in San Francisco due today, if you forgot to bring your filled eggs, speak with Rick today.

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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