Order, Words, & Voices 11.06.22

Order, Words, & Voices

11.06.22.22  (I Samuel 2:1-10)

Order

Pre Worship Music

Leave Screen Share On from Opening Songs through Lord’s Prayer

Opening Songs: Lynn

Trading my sorrows

Bless the lord

Call to Worship and Lord’s Prayer Steve

Reading Grace & Lily

Song: Lynn

We Fall Down with Holy holy holy

Message I Samuel 2:1-10 Rick

Song: Lynn

Take Time To Be Holy

Community/Closing Peace Rick

Benediction Rick

Post Worship Music

Music

I’m trading my sorrows

I’m trading my shame

I’m laying them down

For the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sickness

I’m trading my pain

I’m laying them down

For the joy of the Lord

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord amen

I am pressed but not crushed

Persecuted not abandoned

Struck down but not destroyed

I am blessed beyond the curse

For His promise will endure

That His joy’s gonna be my strength

Though the sorrow 

may last for the night

His joy comes with the morning

I’m trading my sorrows

I’m trading my shame

I’m laying them down

For the joy of the Lord

I’m trading my sickness

I’m trading my pain

I’m laying them down

For the joy of the Lord

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord

Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord amen

Bless the Lord O my soul O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before O my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up 

It’s a new day dawning

It’s time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass 

and whatever lies before me

Let me be singing 

when the evening comes

Bless the Lord O my soul O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before O my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love 

and You’re slow to anger

Your name is great 

and Your heart is kind

For all Your goodness 

I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons 

for my heart to find

Bless the Lord O my soul O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before O my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name

And on that day 

when my strength is failing

The end draws near 

and my time has come

Still my soul 

will sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years 

and then forevermore

Bless the Lord O my soul O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before O my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name

Worship Your holy name

Lord I’ll worship Your holy name

Call to Worship/Lord’s Prayer (Slides)

Leader: An Ephraimite named Elkanah had two wives and two sons.

Response: He was a descendent of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

Leader: His wife Peninnah birthed the two sons.

Response: His wife Hannah birthed no children, no sons.

Leader: In their culture, not having children was considered a disgrace on the woman.

Response: To not have any sons was a curse on the woman’s future.

Leader: It was a time when women were consider ‘less than.’

Response: It was a time when women’s voices were not heard.

Leader: Elkanah’s wife Penninah bullied Hannah, taunting her about not having any children, not having any sons.

Response: She was probably jealous, she recognized that Hannah was the favored wife.

Leader: So, Hannah prayed, she prayed loud, showing her heart to God and man.

Response: The priest who heard Hannah’s prayers thought she was drunk.

Leader: All people had, and have, a voice that is heard by God – God heard Hannah’s prayers, God answered Hannah’s prayers.

Response: Hannah did not quit praying.

Join me in voicing the words of the prayer of Jesus.

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Forgive us our trespasses, while we forgive those who trespass against us.

And, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Reading (No Slides)

Then Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart rejoices in you Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, all because I rejoice in your salvation. There is no one holy like you Lord, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like you God. Mankind must not go on boasting so very proudly, mankind must not let arrogance come out of our mouth; for you Lord are the God of knowledge, and with you God, actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty are broken to pieces, but those who have stumbled strap on strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry cease to be hungry. Even the infertile woman gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes.

The Lord puts to death and makes alive; God brings down to Sheol and brings up. The Lord makes poor and rich; Go humbles, He also exalts. God raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the garbage heap seating them with nobles and giving them a seat of honor as an inheritance;

The pillars of the earth are yours Lord, and you set the world on them. You watch over the feet of your godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for a person shall not prevail by might. Those who contend with you Lord will be terrified; there will be thunder in the heavens against them, God will judge the ends of the earth; God will give strength to His king, God will exalt the horn of God’s anointed.”

I Samuel 2:1-10

Music

We fall down

We lay our crowns

At the feet of Jesus

The greatness of mercy and love

At the feet of Jesus

And we cry holy holy holy

And we cry holy holy holy

And we cry holy holy holy 

is the Lamb

Holy holy holy

Lord God Almighty

Early in the morning

Our song shall rise to Thee

Holy holy holy

Merciful and mighty

God in three persons

Blessed Trinity

Holy holy holy

All the saints adore Thee

Casting down their golden crowns

Around the glassy sea

Cherubim and seraphim

Falling down before Thee

Which wert and art

And evermore shalt be

Holy holy holy

Lord God Almighty

All Thy works shall praise Thy name

In earth and sky and sea

Holy holy holy

Merciful and mighty

God in three persons

Blessed Trinity

And we cry holy holy holy

And we cry holy holy holy

And we cry holy holy holy 

is the Lamb

And we cry holy holy holy

And we cry holy holy holy

And we cry holy holy holy is the Lamb

Message – Immersive Faith

I Samuel 2:1-10

[Screen Share slide 1 as Rick approaches podium – leave screen share up until after slide 9]

[Slide 1

[Slide 2] This morning we awoke to a miracle, a human-made miracle, nonetheless, this morning, those of us in states that have daylight savings time received an extra hour. We got more time!

Time is the proverbial dilemma that faces humans across the spectrum of different faiths and of those who claim no faith. Time is an element of our human reality that is unique to humans. 

[Slide 4] Time clashes as our faith intersects with our reality.  We ask “Why does God take so long?” or “Why is God absent during my difficult times?” 

[Slide 5] This question is the unspoken prayer of Hannah. Hannah who surely asked  ‘How many more prayers do I have to say, how many more times do I have to endure society and Peninnah’s taunts, how many more times will God be silent?’ 

Hannah, over a long period of time, said a lot of prayers. Finally, she uttered a prayer that she had not yet said yet, a prayer she had not been willing to say yet, a prayer that contained a promise to God, a prayer said at the right time for Hannah and for God 

[Slide 6] “Lord of armies, if You will indeed look on the affliction of me, Your bond-servant, and remember me, and not forget me, Your bond-servant, but will give me, Your bond-servant, a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” (I Samuel 1:11)

[Slide 7] Only one time in this prayer Hannah mentions the injustice inflicted on her, and three times, Hannah reminds God, and probably herself, that she has made a decision to serve God regardless of her suffering. This significantly frames Hannah’s heart even in this moment of misery. – 

[Slide 9] ‘God, regardless of your answer, or your absence, I am your servant. My heart will still follow you, my mind will still belong to you, I will serve you.’

[End Screen share]

For Hannah, God had a divine and an earthly purpose in her time of waiting, the years of prayers that seemed to be unheard, there was the reason God had seemed absent. It was not a cruel test given by God to prove that Hannah was ready for this child, it was an essential moment for Hannah to be ready for this child, a child of great purpose. This child, while still a child, would be called by God to confront the powerful Priest Eli, he would, as a young adult, anoint the first King of the Isrealites, and then, while that first King was growing increasingly paranoid and violent while still in power, Samuel would be called by God to risk anointing the replacement King. Samuel would be a ruler in a time when there was no ruler. He would be a guide in a time when the Isrealites desperately needed a guide, a time when they did not yet realize they needed a guide, a time when everyone did what was best for them alone, they only did ‘what was right in their own eyes’. He arrived on the scene at the end of the times of the Judges and served as the first prophet in the time of the prophets. 

Samuel’s nature would have to be a man with a vulnerable tender heart towards God and Man, yet God’s calling would also require him to stand strong in the face of adversaries and threats. He would need his mother’s continued and consistent prayers even though she would have to pray from a distance. There was a reason God waited to reveal the answer to Hannah’s prayers. There would be alot on his shoulders, and there would need to be an ‘all in’ immersion of both of his parents.  

[Slide 10 Leave screen share up until after slide 11

So, after Hannah had come to a place where she was ready to make the promise to God that she would release her son to God’s calling, a time when she was truly ready to make that sacrifice, ‘The Lord remembered Hannah, and it came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him of the Lord.” (I Samuel 1:19b-20)

So, when the time came to release her son Samuel, Hannah, spoke to Eli the priest. She revealed her promise to God as well as God’s answer to her prayers, and then she stuck to her promise, she willingly fulfilled her pledge.

[Slide 11] “Pardon me,” she said to the priest on her yearly visit to the temple,  “As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this boy, and God, who I have prayed to for decades has granted me my request. Now I have dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” (I Samuel 1:26-28)

[End Screen Share]

And then Hannah, once again, said a prayer, but this one was not a prayer of need, it was a prayer of praise and rejoicing, a song of praise, but a prayer in grief nonetheless. After this prayer, Hannah, along with “Elkanah, returned to their home at Ramah. But the boy stayed in order to attend to the service of the Lord before Eli the priest.” (I Samuel 1:11). Hannah would return once a year to see Samuel bringing him a new robe.

This praise of God was a prayer of immersion into her memories of who God was and what God had done, as well as his promised presence. In her new grief, as she left her young child, she needed, in order to survive, to remember that she could continue to trust God. It is important to understand, and it is necessary for us to be able to apply Hannah’s reality to our reality, that Hannah returned back to the same basic circumstances that caused her so much grief. There would still be taunts by Peninnah because Hannah would still be childless, she would still be looked down upon by society, because  it would still look like she had no future. The difference now, however, was that her faith had grown over those years of prayer, her faith had been affirmed and secured as she had this personal faith real life experience that God was present.

Dr. Chan Hellman refers to this as our memory muscles. A affirming moment or success which we hold to as a motivator and foundational strength treasure that assures us that we can, and are able to, move forward. We call it faith, faith that grows and with each knowledge of truth moment, with each real life personal moment of holy, with each answer from God we recognize, with each experience of God’s presence. Growing mental and cardio muscle mass that serves to get us through the future moments when we need muscle to survive.

In our lives, there are two layers of humanity, both were present in Hannah, at the same time. For Hannah, one layer was the reality of loss, she was, understandably, grieving that her son would not be returning home with her, the other layer is the reality of who God is, the ‘whats’ about God that she has learned in her struggle. This layer of evidence, arrived at in the midst of  those prayers, supports and upheld the layer of her painful reality that was waiting for her at home. Hannah was able to continue on, and did survive, in her new state of loss and grief, of taunting and injustice, all supported by the other layer that held that memory muscle, a recognition of who God is and and what she personally has witnessed God did and was doing. 

Hannah begins her praise prayer saying, “I’m bursting with God-news! I’m walking on air. I’m laughing at my rivals. I’m dancing my salvation.” (I Samuel 2:1 MSG) 

This is not a prayer of resentment and bitterness as one would expect, it is truly a prayer of sincere and authentic praise. Instead of grieving on the layer of life reality, now Hannah stands on this layer of muscle that reminds her that God can be trusted even when the passing of time tells her otherwise. Hannah’s prayer of rejoicing is not voiced from the layer of grief and loss, that layer will never be able to speak of rejoicing. However, it is possible to rejoice in the layer of her recognition of who God is. Standing on this layer of reality unseen, the layer that reminds her of her proven God, that she jumped fully in, she immersed herself in praise – praise of the God who is and the God who always will be.

She is rejoicing, not because God gave her a son or that her son is chosen by God for mighty acts, she does not actually mention that. Hannah is rejoicing in the God who has heard her prayers, the God who is present and the God who will be present even as things go back to her miserable normal reality. This layer of life has revealed to her that God hears the voices of the downtrodden, the dismissed, the marginalized. She has spent her entire life being looked down upon within and outside her home, considered ‘less than’ by society, she has been an object of pity and rejection to all that know her. She has also faced the reality that in her elderly years she will be dependent on that pity for her own survival. Now, she was free from that, now this voiceless marginalized person was heard and she recognizes that there is a layer of life she has failed to recognize. Those painful, seemingly unanswered prayers, have opened her eyes to the reality most never see.

In her prayer, Hannah is laughing at those who arrogantly think of themselves as better than others. Those that dismiss her, discriminate against her, that talk in hushed and harsh tones about her. She is talking about those in her household, those in her community, those in the religious community, those in the power of politics. Now, however, she is confident that her strength comes from the God of strength not the favor of others. She has also realized that she does not have to accept the lies they say or think about her. She knows better, she now has the muscle of the layer of truth. 

Hannah now as, and if, she chooses to remember, has muscle, the tools, of knowing that God hears her prayers. She no longer lives wondering if God even cares for a societal outcast like her, she no longer questions if God has abandoned her. Her tears and her pain are no longer mandated by others. She knows something they do not know, God is present. Even when her pain appears again, when the feelings of isolation present their ugliness again, Hannah knows a higher truth. Now she can laugh at the ignorance of society, now she can grieve over the fact that they have not seen this faith building layer supporting her life.

When Andrea and I, back in 2006, were looking for a house to fit our growing family, Andrea was looking at the practical elements, enough closet space, plenty of bathrooms, good schools, close to a grocery store – I was looking for trees. I find trees energizing and wonderful, at this point we had five kids so I wrongly assumed that they would rake leaves, so there was nothing not to love about trees. We found the perfect house with a yard full of trees, and once we moved in, I began planting more trees. One of those trees was a Redbud on the side of our house. Then, a couple of years ago, when that tree had grown along with the growth of my kids – I decided I wanted to move that tree.  Even though it had more than doubled in height, the trunk still seemed small so I figured it was doable. 

At the moment I voiced this plan to my very patient sons, they  attempted to educate me on what was going on under the surface that I clearly could not see – how the roots of that tree were at least the depth and width of the height of the tree. In the end, the tree remained on the side of our house.

You see, our lives are lived out above the surface. We can physically see, emotionally feel, and we can only experience one layer, the layer of what is going on in our lives above the surface. Hannah saw, and experienced, only the injustice above the surface, she felt only the pain. As she prayed and saw nothing going on above the surface that revealed the activity of God, she was restricted from seeing hope. It would have been easy to give up, to accept the labels placed on her by others, it would have been easy just to settle into the pain, to live life as a victim in bitterness and pain. However, she kept praying. With each prayer her roots grew a little stronger, she began to see a little better. Just as the roots of my tree grow in a way to support the visible life above, those prayers were growing her roots for what life, above the surface, had ahead for her. Those roots grew her to a place where she would be ready to bear this son, to release this son to God, to be an avenue of God’s will in the world. 

Hannah still went home devastated, she would still be an object of scorn and pity, still the focus of cruel comments by others, still a marginalized person that was forgotten by those who supposedly followed the same God as Hannah. However, in the midst of those prayers, her own roots had grown to support her, now her tears were not of the agony of following a God who was absent, now her tears were living proof that she had moved to the layer of life that reminded her that God was present, that she was strong, that she was not desolate, dismissed, regardless of what society thought they saw in and about her. She now could cry and laugh at the same time, reassured because she now stood on the layer of truth.

The story of Hannah is a story of God not being a God of time, but the God of the right time. It is a story of God’s mostly unheeded call to followers to love justice, kindness, and humility.  It is a story of a call to sacrifice God’s gift just after the gift has been received. It is a story of a society that sees and labels others in ways that are deceitful, hateful, and very unGodlike. It is a call for all believers to see what is unseen, to live, in the midst of reality, remembering truth, while, at the same time, to constantly seek to better know the God of truth.

OCC Banquet

Music 

Take time to be holy

Speak oft with thy Lord

Abide in Him always

And feed on His Word

Make friends with God’s children

Help those who are weak

Forgetting in nothing

His blessing to seek

Take time to be holy

The world rushes on

Spend much time in secret

With Jesus alone

By looking to Jesus

Like Him thou shalt be

Thy friends in thy conduct

His likeness shall see

Take time to be holy

Be calm in thy soul

Each tho’t and each motive

Beneath His control

Thus led by His Spirit

To fountains of love

Thou soon shall be fitted

For service above

Community

  • [Slide] Next Sunday, Atoning Joy, I Samuel 25:2-31
  • [Slide]  Advent Bible Study begins Wednesday, November 30 at noon Wednesday for three weeks. We will have an evening study if there is interest expressed (speak with Rick)
  • Thanksgiving Dinner, Sunday, November 20, details to come this week

Closing Peace

May the Peace of the Lord go with you. And also with you.

Benediction

“May God give you the grace not to sell yourself short, grace to risk something big for something good, grace to remember that the world is now too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but Love.”  

(William Sloane Coffin)

Published by rickanthony1993

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

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