Order, Words, & Voices

Order

Sunday, April 3, 2022

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

Music 1 (10:30)  Christian & Team

Come Thou Fount vs.1 and 3,

Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 2 Fairest Lord Jesus Christian & Team

Scripture John 4:5-15 Online – Hannah

Music 3 Be Thou My Vision Christian & Team

Message Giving Up On A Miracle (John 11) Rick

Music 4 Leaning on the Everlasting Arms – 1 & 3 Christian & Team

Benediction (signal to Dave when slides are ready) Dave

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calm Jazz’

Words and Voices

Music 1 (10 slides)

Come Thou Fount

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 3

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

Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)

CCLI Song # 4768151, Chris Tomlin | John Newton | Louie Giglio

Verse 1

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Verse 2

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Chorus

My chains are gone I’ve been set free
My God my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love amazing grace

Verse 3

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

Verse 4

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

Chorus

My chains are gone I’ve been set free, 

My God my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains, 

Unending love amazing grace

Welcome/Prayer (5th Sunday of Lent – No slides)

God, you said I Am to Moses in his spiral of fear and insecurity. You revealed that you are the I Am to a fearful Elijah as you unveiled his eyes to see your back. You shocked the women mourners as you revealed that you are I Am as you stood before them at your grave. Your I Am assurance comforted your disciples as you appeared to them in their hiding place. You are our I Am. You are on time, you are present, you are life. You are the giver and the lover of Life. You are the God who created us for life. Your life is eternal, your life is hope, your life is joy, your life is peace. God, may we always recognize that you are  life.

Amen

Music 2 (4 slides)

Fairest Lord Jesus

CCLI Song # 27800, August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben | Joseph August Seiss

Verse 1

Fairest Lord Jesus Ruler of all nature
O Thou of God and man the Son
Thee will I cherish Thee will I honor, Thou my soul’s glory joy and crown

Verse 2

Fair are the meadows fairer still the woodlands
Robed in the blooming garb of spring
Jesus is fairer Jesus is purer, Who makes the woeful heart to sing

Verse 3

Fair is the sunshine fairer still the moonlight
And all the twinkling starry host
Jesus shines brighter Jesus shines purer, Than all the angels heav’n can boast

Verse 4

Beautiful Saviour Lord of all the nations
Son of God and Son of Man
Glory and honor praise adoration, Now and forevermore be Thine

Scripture (No Slides)

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” Martha went back to tell her sister Mary that Jesus was here. Mary got up quickly and went to Jesus. The Jews who were consoling Mary, followed Mary thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary got to Jesus, she knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews with her also weeping, he was deeply moved and greatly disturbed in spirit. He said, “Where have you laid him?” Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Jesus, “Lord, there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 

John 11:17-44

Music 3 (4 Slides)

Be Thou My Vision

CCLI Song # 7056332

Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne | Russell Mauldin

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 and 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

High King of heaven my victory won
May I reach heaven’s joys bright heaven’s Sun
Heart of my own heart whatever befall
Still be my Vision O Ruler of all

Ending

Be Thou my Vision

Message – Giving Up On A Miracle (18 Slides)

The story of John 11 is a story of two women experiencing grief in the time of loss, both fighting their way through the death of a loved one. Big picture though, it is a story of life. 

This story takes place shortly before Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of a week that will conclude with death, grief, and loss. Today’s story picks up as these two women struggle through a journey of Giving up on a Miracle in order to arrive at a Miraculous act of God.

Jesus approaches the home of Mary and Martha four long days after their bother Lazarus had died. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, were soul mates to Jesus, they were chosen family. As Jesus grew nearer to his friend’s home, Martha rushed to meet him.    

[Slide] “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 

Although we often read anger and hostility in the voice of Martha, this was probably just a statement of perceived fact told to another grieving soul. Jesus had healed others, impossible miracles, but he had not been present to heal Lazarus, it was too late.

Later, when Mary was face to face with Jesus, her first words, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Echoed the sentiment of her sister. It was a sentiment that made sense to them and even to the other Jewish mourners. 

Jewish tradition held that the spirit remains with the body for three days after physical death, then, on the fourth day, as the spirit sees that the color of the dead one’s face has changed, death is finished. Lazarus completed process of dying was over, it was too late for a miracle of healing. If only Jesus had arrived one day earlier. Mary and Martha had given up on the hoped for miracle, Jesus didn’t get there in time.

[Same Slide] “Just one day earlier, Jesus, I just wish you could have made it one day earlier.”

Both women were knee deep in the first four stages of the Kubler-Ross non-linear model of grief.  

[Slide] Denial

[Slide] Anger

[Slide] Bargaining

[Slide] Depression

[Slide] Before walking away, Martha and Jesus’ conversation culminates in one of Jesus’ most supremely comforting statements “I am”.  It isn’t that her brother will rise again in the resurrection on the last day, but that Martha is, in fact, face to face with and beloved by the one who is in himself the embodiment of life. Martha responds with a confession of faith. 

[Slide] Being in relationship with Jesus means facing death and grief with him and learning that still, in spite of the death and the dryness and the finality of the door at the entrance to the tomb of our hopes, he can still be said to be life.  Nothing is ever so dead that it keeps Jesus from being life.  Life is not only a future hope.  Abundant life is always and now.

(Meda Stamper, Christian Writer, Leicestershire, England)

[Slide] In the women’s original statement to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died,” there was one other issue. In addition to the issue of Jesus’ timing, the women addressed Jesus’ absence, it was a question of presence. “Why, Jesus, were you not present?”

[Slide] To this question also came Jesus’ answer, “I am.”

[Slide] It was probably not an acceptable answer, it was probably not even a heard answer.  “Yes, you are here now, but what about yesterday, or three days ago? Where were you then? Why were you not here?”

[Slide] Jesus’ answer of “I am” says much, but it has to be heard by the suffering mourner. How is it possible to fully grasp the full definition and presence of Life standing in front of you when all you can think of is death?

[Slide] “I’m here,” Mary. I’m here, Martha.” Jesus says.

[Slide] “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. I am here.” Jesus says.  

Presence, especially full presence, is a tough sell when confined to words only. This is why Jesus does not limit his “I am’ identification to words. As always, Jesus put his presence into action.

The Jewish practice of grief involved mourning associates. Shiva, as it was called, was the practice of mourners joining in the grief process of another. This group of volunteer, and possibly professional, mourners, would come alongside a true mourner to accompany them through the process. Probably lasting a week, these helpers would mourn with the mourner, assuring they journey all the way through the initial process. The grief process was, and is, essential and these individuals participated to assist and guide the one who had suffered loss.

Martha, seems to have refused the help of the mourners, none seem to accompany her on the journey. Mary, however, did have the mourners on her side. As she cried, they cried. When she went to the tomb, they travel alongside of her. When she screamed out in pain and misery, they also screamed out, affirming her pain. 

As Jesus saw Mary crying, he joined her in her grief. Jesus felt the pain of loss of this brother, but even more difficult was watching his dear sister experience this loss. ‘Jesus cried.’ He understood Mary’s grief because he too felt that grief. The two authentic mourners helped each other through the necessary process. 

In our culture we mourn differently, more or less effectively. We send flowers, cards, make phone calls, we sit in the pews to cry with the mourners, – and, the best part, we bring food, and casseroles, and desserts – all as our assistance in the mourning journey. 

It could be said that, once again, Mary was making the better choice. While Martha was attempting to dissect their experience of the past four days,  Mary was choosing to lean in to her grief, she, along with the Shiva mourners, cried. Jesus joined her the journey of grief, he too was in pain. Jesus wept.

However, we see something different with Jesus, something that tells us about the very nature of God. 

“Remove the stone that is sealing the grave shut,” Jesus requested of those present.

“Bad idea Jesus,” Martha said, “my bother has been in the grave for four days now. He is going to look horrible and smell atrocious. Let’s just remember him as he was, it is best for everyone that we keep the tomb sealed.”

Jesus was undeterred, so the stone was moved. Jesus, in an intentionally loud voice, shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”  And, Lazarus slowly made his way out of the tomb.  His feet, hands, and face were all still bound and covered by his burial cloths. It was messy and smelly, just as Martha had warned.

Then, Jesus gave Lazarus back to the living, it was now their responsibility to help him breath in this refreshed life God had given to Lazarus. “Unbind him, and let him go,”

It was messy and smelly. Rising out of death always is.

[Slide] “Being raised from the dead entails a community dedicated to loving  one another in the liberating love of Jesus Christ.  Jesus does not do the easy thing (keep bad things from happening), Jesus does the hard thing, which is to reverse destruction. Jesus does not hurry to Lazarus’ bedside to nurse him to health. He waits. Takes his time. And then when death has occurred, Jesus appears at the tomb to weep with the mourners.” 

(Melinda Quivik, Liturgical and Homiletical Scholar, St. Paul, Minnesota)

[Slide] But, to fully understand the underlying truth of this story, we must grasp the underlying revelation of this story. “[Jesus] was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.” As Jesus sees, and experiences, the anguish of Mary, the narration tells us that Jesus was deeply disturbed and troubled, Jesus was agitated. It was an inner disgust to an earthly reality. 

Have you ever experienced anxiety. Anxiety mild, extreme, or anyplace in between? It can grip your mind as well as you gut. You are bothered, distracted, aggravated, knowing something is just not right. Anxiety is not just a condition of the mind, it impacts you physically. Many think they may be having a heart attack, or that there is something else wrong within. This is much the same as the physical condition of Jesus at this moment.

Jesus is experiencing God’s disdain, or hatred, towards death. Mankind was not   created for death, it is unnatural, mankind was created for life. Jesus was, Jesus is, life. Death is what happens to our bodies and minds as life in a fallen world that infects and attempted to consumes us. Death is our natural reality but it was not our original created reality, nor is it our intended eternal reality. God, the creator, created us for life. Death is the blasphemy to life. 

Lazarus was not resurrected to this life, he was raised temporarily from the ravages of death. He would still experience a final death soon. Just as humans are not created for death, the body is also not designed to return after a death experience. The bruises and even brutal impacts on the body are still there. This is not resurrection, an eternal new breath of life. Earthly death is an attack on life. This is why we seldom see individuals raised from the dead, it is not necessarily a good thing for the person being raised, instead it is a sacrifice, and probably a disappointment, for them. When someone is raised from death there is a very important purpose for them being called back. Ultimately Lazarus would experience resurrection from the eventuality of death. 

As Jesus saw the periphery destruction of Lazarus’ death on Martha and Martha, the pain of death, the loss, the misery, that remained – Jesus was troubled, disturbed, angered, and agitated. That is what happens when death intrudes on life.

Ginger Barfield, about of 2015 shooting of 9 church goers in Charleston, wrote,

[Slide] “What are we to say in the midst of the suffering and reality and death? Is it enough to toll the bells and read the names? No. We are to proclaim the truth of the sting and stench of death. We are to acknowledge the grief and anger that may never totally depart those who are left in this life. We are to state the reality of the disturbing fact of the brutality of death. Anger, deep disturbing pain, agitation of spirit and body are palpable. 

[Slide] But the gospel truth does reign. We have our hope not on things on this earth but in the power of the cross of Christ and the resurrection of those who are his children. Jesus’ words of John 11:25 are the resounding gospel note that we proclaim this day: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.” 

Ginger Barfield, Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies & Theology Lutheran Theological Seminary)

Jesus is the ‘I Am’

We must never marginalize Jesus to the past

We must never narrowly assign Jesus to the future

We must always grasp the fact that Jesus is our now I Am

Jesus is life in the midst of death.

Jesus is hope in the pain of tragedy

Jesus is peace in the midst of chaos and confusion

Jesus sits with us in our tears

Jesus cries with us

Let’s PrayMusic 4 (8  slides) 

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

CCLI Song # 31779, Anthony Johnson Showalter | Elisha Albright Hoffman

Chorus

Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Verse 1

What a fellowship what a joy divine
Leaning on the everlasting arms
What a blessedness what a peace is mine
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Chorus

Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Verse 3

What have I to dread what have I to fear
Leaning on the everlasting arms
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Chorus

Leaning (leaning on Jesus), 

Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning (leaning on Jesus), 

Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Benediction (6 slides)

Leader: When this world is in turmoil

Response: Jesus is the I Am.

Leader: When this world is in shambles 

Response: Jesus is the I Am

Leader: When this world is in peace

Response: Jesus is the I Am

Leader: When we cry pain filled tears

Response: Jesus, our I Am, cries with us

Leader: When our voices scream shouts of joy

Response: Jesus, our I Am, shouts with us

Leader: When our world is in need of love

Response: Jesus, our I Am, shares love from God’s abundance

Community

  • Spring Bible Studies continue – Monday April 4 (w/dinner at 6) or Wednesday, April 6 at noon (w/lunch), Exodus 7:14-10:29. Please RSVP.
  • Next Sunday – Out of the Shadows, Luke 23:50-56, Mark 14:1-9, John 19:23-30 (6th Sunday of lent) 
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com (over 50,000 helped)

Peace

As you leave this place, may the peace of the Lord, the I Am, 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: