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.

Order, Words, & Voices

Order

Sunday, February 27, 2022

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

Music 1 (10:30am)                                        Lynn/Abbie

        How Majestic is Your Name

        All Hail the Power

Welcome/Prayer                                         Rick

Music 2                                                          Lynn/Abbie

        El Shaddai

Scripture                                                       Online – Zach

Music 3Lynn/Abbie

        What the Lord Has Done

MessageMortal Concerns                 Rick

Music 4     Way MakerLynn/Abbie

Benediction                                                    Dave

Community (Gallery View)                           Rick

Closing Peace                                                 Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Words and Voices

Music 1

How Majestic Is Your Name

CCLI Song # 26007

Michael W. Smith

Oh Lord our Lord how majestic is

Your name in all the earth

Oh Lord our Lord how majestic is

Your name in all the earth

Oh Lord we praise Your name

Oh Lord we magnify Your name

Prince of Peace Mighty God

Oh Lord God Almighty

Oh Lord our Lord how majestic is

Your name in all the earth

Oh Lord our Lord how majestic is

Your name in all the earth

Oh Lord we praise Your name

Oh Lord we magnify Your name

Prince of Peace Mighty God

Oh Lord God Almighty

All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name (Coronation)

CCLI Song # 25400

Edward Perronet | John Rippon | Oliver Holden

Verse 1

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name

Let angels prostrate fall

Bring forth the royal diadem

And crown Him Lord of all

Bring forth the royal diadem

And crown Him Lord of all

Verse 2

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race

Ye ransomed from the fall

Hail Him who saves you by His grace

And crown Him Lord of all

Hail Him who saves you by His grace

And crown Him Lord of all

Verse 4

Let ev’ry kindred ev’ry tribe

On this terrestrial ball

To Him all majesty ascribe

And crown Him Lord of all

To Him all majesty ascribe

And crown Him Lord of all

Verse 5

O that with yonder sacred throng

We at His feet may fall

We’ll join the everlasting song

And crown Him Lord of all

We’ll join the everlasting song

And crown Him Lord of all

Welcome/Prayer

Father, we stand on the sidelines in what seems to be a world gone mad.

We wonder, ‘What next?”, “Why this”, and “Why now?”

Eventually we ask, “Where are you God?”

However, we trust that you are present.

You are present in the midst of the overwhelming crowd, you are present in the midst of the fighting, you are present in the midst of our pain, our fear, and our fading hope.

We seek to simply touch your garment for a stolen moment of assurance, of affirmation, of peace, and of healing.

God, today, may your Spirit give us the courage to step out and into the flow of the crowd, to risk the vulnerability of laying our baggage down so that we can, instead, reach for you.

May we remember our hope is you as we hesitantly move towards you.

Amen

Music 2 

El Shaddai

CCLI Song # 26856

John W. Thompson | Michael Card

Chorus

El Shaddai El Shaddai

El Elyonna Adonai

Age to age You’re still the same

By the power of the name

El Shaddai El Shaddai

Erkamkana Adonai

We will praise and lift You high

El Shaddai

Verse 1

Through Your love and through the ram

You saved the son of Abraham

Through the power of Your hand

You turned the sea into dry land

To the outcast on her knees

You were the God who really sees

And by Your might

You set Your children free

Chorus

El Shaddai El Shaddai

El Elyonna Adonai

Age to age You’re still the same

By the power of the name

El Shaddai El Shaddai

Erkamkana Adonai

We will praise and lift You high

El Shaddai

Verse 2

Through the years You made it clear

That the time of Christ was near

Though the people couldn’t see

What Messiah ought to be

Though Your Word contained the plan

They just could not understand

Your most awesome work was done

In the frailty of Your Son

Chorus

El Shaddai El Shaddai

El Elyonna Adonai

Age to age You’re still the same

By the power of the name

El Shaddai El Shaddai

Erkamkana Adonai

We will praise and lift You high

El Shaddai

Chorus

El Shaddai El Shaddai

El Elyonna Adonai

Age to age You’re still the same

By the power of the name

El Shaddai El Shaddai

Erkamkana Adonai

We will praise and lift You high

El Shaddai

Scripture

Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 

The woman had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she thought, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 

As soon she reached Jesus and discreetly touched his cloak her hemorrhage stopped; she instantly felt the healing in her body. She was healed of her disease that had plagued her for 12 years! 

She tired to subtly sneak away after this healing but Jesus was immediately aware that healing power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 

And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’”  Jesus looked all around to see who had done it. 

Finally, the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Mark 5:25-34

Music 3 

What The Lord Has Done In Me

CCLI Song # 2582803

Reuben Morgan

Verse 1

Let the weak say I am strong

Let the poor say I am rich

Let the blind say I can see

It’s what the Lord has done in me

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna

To the Lamb that was slain

Hosanna hosanna

Jesus died and rose again

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna

To the Lamb that was slain

Hosanna hosanna

Jesus died and rose again

Verse 2

Into the river I will wade

There my sins are washed away

From the heaven’s mercy stream

Of the Saviour’s love for me

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna

To the Lamb that was slain

Hosanna hosanna

Jesus died and rose again

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna

To the Lamb that was slain

Hosanna hosanna

Jesus died and rose again

Verse 3

I will rise from waters deep

Into the saving arms of God

I will sing salvation songs

Jesus Christ has set me free

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna

To the Lamb that was slain

Hosanna hosanna

Jesus died and rose again

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna

To the Lamb that was slain

Hosanna hosanna

Jesus died and rose again

Message –  Mortal Concerns

Chapter 5 of the gospel of Mark details of 3 different moments of  God’s divine interjection into the lives of 3 very different individuals. One was a man of importance, 2 were of persons of little to no importance living in fear. A person of power, and 2 with absolutely no power. One was known and respected, 2 dismissed and despised.

All 3 shared a common state of struggle, at the end of their ropes, able do nothing to remedy their pain – Jesus was their only hope.

The first was a man who lived among the countryside of the Gerasenes, ‘among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for this man had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him.’ (Mark 5:3-4).

An unnamed man whose identity was of no importance. The only identification of this man is his struggle, the reason he is undesirable and despised to the community.

The second is a woman, also unnamed also known by her struggle, also undesirable and despised. A 12 year never ending menstruation period was her struggle. The very cycle created to give life, is the very thing that has became an encumbrance to living life. Constantly striving to be invisible to put off her community from calling her unclean and disgusting. Always fatigued and even more, always rejected. ‘She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.’ (Mark 5:26)

The third person is a prominent and important community and community and religious institution leader. One of the few religious officials who had not rejected Jesus. Most importantly, this man had a name – Jairus. His struggle is not a long term affliction as the other 2, but it is nonetheless has him at the end of his rope and, he too, see Jesus as his holy hope. An daughter moments from death. ‘Jairus came and, when he saw Jesus, fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So Jesus went with Jairus.’ (Mark 5:22-24)

Three near hopeless mortals recognizing that their only hope was the God of the living.

Our focus today is the named woman. A mortal settled into an intentional unnoticed life, hoping to be the unseen, invisible, not because this made life bearable, but because it had made what little life she still had possible. Unclean, humiliated, rejected, dismissed, ignored, hated, and even worse, pitied. So, like so many other unnamed mortals, she went about living in the shadows where people like her belonged.

Actually, the unnamed woman is a side story, it is an unplanned ‘along the way’ moment, unexpected, and unwanted. Jesus was on his way to heal the daughter of Jairus, the named religious official. On Jesus’ way, the crowds were clamoring for his attention. The disciples were doing their job navigating the path. As the woman overheard that Jesus was approaching she prepared to jump into the flow, hoping to blend in and go unnoticed. It was a struggle to enter the flow, and then an impossibility to keep up with the speed of the mob, all the time risking being outed as unclean or trampled.

This is what you do when you have only this one hope, you hold on with all your might risking the little you have left to risk. Finally, she was close enough and she reached out and touched the cloak of Jesus, she sought to steal a bit of his healing power without being noticed, without being seen, and then to disappear back into the crowd, back into oblivion.

‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well,’ she thought, ‘Jesus will not even know, no one will be aware of my presence, or that a healing has take place.’ (Mark 5:28)

Indeed, she was healed. She was so healed that she had to stop for just a moment to process the miracle. For just for a moment she forgot to flee, for just for a moment she forgot to hide. And in that moment, Jesus noticed her.

‘Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”’ (Mark 5:30)

Both, the woman and Jesus, recognized something holy had just taken place. For both it was a mortal moment, a physical, earthly, healing but still it was holy.

“Who touched my clothes?”

HIs disciples were incensed at such a ridiculous question. ‘Everyone is touching him, it is a crowd for goodness sake,’ they muttered to each other.

 Jesus continued to look at the crowd, scanning it for the person who had stolen a healing. Perieblepeto is the greek word translated ‘looked’ in verse 31, is actually better translated as ‘Glared’. A fearful look that must have put even more fear into the now healed woman.

‘Jesus glared at the crowd looking for the one who had thought they could go unnoticed intentionally touching him.’ (Mark 5:32) But, the woman knew she could no longer hide, she had been healed, she was no longer bleeding, everyone was going to noticed. Such a moment cannot be long hidden.  Instead of returning to her solace of hiding, she confessed.

The woman ‘came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told Jesus the whole truth.’ (Mark 5:33)

Was she afraid because being invisible had become her modus operandi? Was she fearful of even more humiliation than she had suffered through for the past 12 years? Was she concerned that Jesus would take the healing away?

Whatever the reason, she chose the truth instead of her fear. Jesus’ response was not a retribution, it was a recognition of faith, life, and living.

“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (Mark 5:34)

Your faith, Go in peace, Be healed.

Faith – the healing was not the touching but the trust placed in Jesus. The giving over her misery, the recognition of ‘I cannot’, the final hope, surrender to Jesus.

Peace – a choice, from here on she could live free of the fear that had consumed her life, the misery that had stolen her full attention, the resentment from her community – or she can lay all the baggage down and let it all go. She could now chose to live life, to choose the peace that she had in this moment.

Healed – a determination to not allow the things of the earth, nor the things of the body, define her. To live for a consistent and constant healing – a resolution only possible through faith and peace.

In 2012, Sharletta Evans, of Denver Colorado, reached the end of her rope.  12 years without even a glimmer of hope had her ready to risk stepping into the crowd, subjecting herself to rejection and humiliation. Worse than the condemnation of others, Sharletta had lived 12 years suffering continual devastating loss. In 1995, Evans had lost her 3 year old son, Casson, in a spray of 21 bullets as part of a drive by shooting. Raymond Johnson, 15 year old boy, who, with his other gang members, had unintentionally shot and killed her son. 12 years of pain, not from a physical condition she carried but her emotional loss was as bad as any medical affliction could have been. After 12 years, she recognized there was no more hope of having any hope ever again. She recognized it in her other son, Calvin, for who she had been less than present for since the shooting. Calvin had been 6 years old, and sitting next to his brother at the moment of the shooting. His unprocessed pain, combined with her unprocessed pain, had created a darkness in which the 2 could only live to survive. Finally, an uncrushable faith led her, and her now young adult son Calvin, to travel to the High Security prison in Limon, Colorado to meet the killer of their beloved Casson. Not knowing what she, and her son, were going to face when the killer came into the room, both sat in the prison visitor room, hesitantlly, fearfully, and uncomfortably waiting. What followed was an 8 hour visit ending with Evans becoming a mother to the man who, as a teen, had ruthlessly killed her 3 year old son. Evans, empowered by her remaining glimmer of faith had seen Jesus in the midst of the judgmental and condemning crowd. Knowing the risks, she nevertheless snuck into the flow and aggressively (an effort only possible through a determined faith) pushed her way to Jesus. She carried with her a shred of hope given to her by God and her hand grasping her hurting son as they sought to touch the garment of Jesus. She owned her actions and vulnerably admitted that it was her that had intruded on Christ, Christ turned and said – you and your son are not only healed, you are now a healer of others. Jesus called her to let go of her resentment and hate and be the hope for her son’s killer. It was in that extension of her healing that her life, her son’s life, and the life of Raymond Johnson were healed. It was a moment in which true life began.

Empowered by a desperate faith, Evans made the choice to always return to peace, and to always seek the healing path rather than the path of resentment, hatred, and hopelessness. She decided that it was time to step out of her pain and into the risky crowd. She stepped out and in by faith.

What risky healing is God leading you to step into?

Let’s Pray

Music 4 

Way Maker

CCLI Song # 7115744

Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu

Verse 1

You are here moving in our midst

I worship You I worship You

You are here working in this place

I worship You I worship You

You are here moving in our midst

I worship You I worship You

You are here working in this place

I worship You I worship You

Chorus

(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper

Light in the darkness my God that is who You are

(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper

Light in the darkness my God that is who You are

Verse 2

You are here touching ev’ry heart

I worship You I worship You

You are here healing ev’ry heart

I worship You I worship You

You are here touching ev’ry heart

I worship You I worship You

You are here healing ev’ry heart

I worship You I worship You

Chorus

(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper

Light in the darkness my God that is who You are

(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper

Light in the darkness my God that is who You are

Tag

That is who You are

That is who You are

That is who You are

That is who You are

Bridge

Even when I don’t see it You’re working

Even when I don’t feel it You’re working

You never stop You never stop working

You never stop You never stop working

Even when I don’t see it You’re working

Even when I don’t feel it You’re working

You never stop You never stop working

You never stop You never stop working

Even when I don’t see it You’re working

Even when I don’t feel it You’re working

You never stop You never stop working

You never stop You never stop working

Chorus

(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper

Light in the darkness my God that is who You are

(You are) Way Maker Miracle Worker Promise Keeper

Light in the darkness my God that is who You are

Benediction

Leader: This week, we awoke to the crowds clamoring for Jesus, seeking to touch is garment.

Response: They may not know that Jesus is the destination of all seeking hope.

Leader: We all stand on the sidelines fearing the risk of reaching for you.

Response: We fear the vulnerability of laying down our baggage.

Leader: Our faith reminds us that God, and God alone, is our hope, our refuge, even in the times of trouble.

Response: God gave us live so that we may life.

Leader: It is when we reach the end of our rope, accepting the fact that there is very little left for us to do.

Response: We turn to the Father, we remember the Son, and we listen for the Spirit.

Leader: There we find hope.

Response: There we find peace.

Leader: May our destination be hope.

Response: May our arrival give us peace.

Community 

  • March/April Bible Studies survey now up, deadline today February 27
  • Contribution Statements with changes available this week
  • Best Next Update
  • March Anniversary month, luncheon March 20
  • Next Sunday – Faith Regardless, Mark 12:38-44 (1st Sunday of lent)
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine

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.

Order, Words, & Voices

Order

Sunday, February 20, 2022

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

The Solid Rock

Rock of Ages

  • Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick
  • Music 2                                                      Billy/Abbie

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

  • Scripture (No slides just reader) Online – Musgroves
  • Music 3 Billy/Abbie

I Know Whom I Have Believed

Message The Effectiveness of Absurdity Rick

  • Music 4 The Truth Billy/Abbie
  • Benediction (signal to Linda when slides are ready) Linda
  • Community (Gallery View) Rick
  • Closing Peace                                         Rick
  • Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Words and Voices

Music 1 (9 Slides)

The Solid Rock

CCLI Song # 25417

Edward Mote | William Batchelder Bradbury

Verse 1

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Verse 2

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In ev’ry high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Verse 4

When He shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Rock Of Ages

CCLI Song # 40588

Augustus Montague Toplady | Thomas Hastings

Verse 1

Rock of Ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee
Let the water and the blood
From thy wounded side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure
Save from wrath and make me pure

Verse 2

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law’s demands
Could my zeal no respite know
Could my tears forever flow
All for sin could not atone
Thou must save and thou alone

Verse 3

Nothing in my hand I bring
Simply to the cross I cling
Naked come to thee for dress
Helpless look to thee for grace
Foul I to the fountain fly
Wash me Savior or I die

Welcome/Prayer (No Slides)

God, in this moment we come before you

We come with painful baggage and minds full of things that distract us from you and from truth

We come with shaky foundations and falling walls

Lord, we come asking for clear minds and focused hearts

We hope for a genuine heart seeking truth, real truth

We long to be able to see you God, to see truth Lord, amongst the false prophets, the persuasive half truths, and the deceit that calls for our attention

Father, may we, this morning, let go of those things that blind us to you, may we lay down our baggage so we can fully listen, fully look, and fully trust you

Amen

Music 2 (6 Slides)

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

CCLI Song # 22609

Louisa M. R. Stead | William James Kirkpatrick

Verse 1

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know thus saith the Lord

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Verse 3

Yes ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest and joy and peace

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Verse 4

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee
Precious Jesus Savior Friend
And I know that Thou art with me
Wilt be with me to the end

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Scripture (No Slides)

Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.” Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.” Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him another question.

Luke 20:27-40

Music 3 (6 Slides)

I Know Whom I Have Believed

CCLI Song # 31762

Daniel Webster Whittle | James McGranahan

Verse 1

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known
Nor why unworthy Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own

Chorus

But I know whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day

Verse 2

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart
Nor how believing in His word
Wrought peace within my heart

Chorus

But I know whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day

Verse 5

I know not when my Lord may come
At night or noonday fair
Nor if I’ll walk the vale with Him
Or meet Him in the air

Chorus

But I know whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day

Message –  Absurdity (13 Slides)

I listened as a young couple, who had been together about 3 years, tell me a story of their latest argument.  For the husband, the entire argument began when his wife walked in the door from work and immediately noticed a small pile of dirt on the kitchen floor. For the wife, the argument began shortly after they began dating. As she calmly questioned why the dirt had not been cleaned up on the floor she had just cleaned the day before, the husband, apologetically jumped up and cleaned up the mess. While he thought this would solve the problem, in truth, this was just the beginning. She continued to remind him of her work cleaning the entire house the entire weekend before, a process during which he had not helped with at all. As her focus of discontent continued, he finally asked, ‘Are we still talking about the dirt on the floor?’ To which she cried out, ‘No, it is not about the dirt, and you should know this!’ Remarkably, shortly after this, the 2 sat down and talked about his lack of attention and concern, and her constant attention and concern.

Communication can be a challenge in the best of times, bring in baggage that is unknown to one of the parties and you can have an explosive and destructive lack of communication.

Our passage today is about a moment of communication that was designed to be absurd, full of baggage, weighted down by an unholy agenda,. It is also one of the few times when Jesus does not answer the question with more questions. Here, Jesus answers with a very clear and definitive answer. Those trying a use of absurdity, an approach that was surely successful in the past, did not prove effective. In the end, those seeking to trick Jesus with absurdity were silenced, asking no more questions of Jesus ever again.

Chapter 20 of the gospel of Luke falls within a series of discussions in which various religious groups question Jesus’s activity and his religious thinking. Opening in verse 3 the key question that serves as the theme for all the questions: “by what authority are you doing these things?” (Luke 20:3).

This all takes place as Jesus’ public ministry is drawing to a conclusion as he is approaching the crucifixion. Jesus has entered Jerusalem and by the end of the week he will have been crucified and buried. The climax of the story, of course, will be the empty grave.  It is during this week, however, we see Jesus’ moments with crowds wind to a close, moments after the resurrection will be spent with, and preparing, the followers. This week began with the crowds shouting in support, the next crowd that will shouting ‘Crucify Him!’. During this week, there will be a rapid intensification of the opposition as the religious authorities who will seek every opportunity to bring about the death of Jesus.

The Jewish religious institution had 2 primary groups of men overseeing the practices, theology,  and finances of Judaism. Much like our political parties, these two groups both played major roles in religion, and , much like our political parties, they also had unshakable agendas. This is the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees, who questions Jesus in our passage today, were largely the aristocrats, they were the experts on law.They were not believers in the mystical stuff (angels, heaven, hell, resurrection, life after death, etc.), and, in general were not as spiritual as they were legalistic. They held authority over the temple which is primarily why they cease to exist after the destruction of the temple 70 years after Jesus birth.

Also, the Sadducees only believed the Pentateuch, the Torah, the first five books of ur Old Testament, they rejected the books of the prophets and the Psalms. 

All of this baggage was brought to their discussion with Jesus especially that they did not believe in resurrection and therefore they did not believe in any life after earthly death. This was their line in the sand, it was the core of their very existence. But in this encounter with Jesus they attempt to make the idea of an after life an absurd way to disprove that Jesus is from God.

The Sadducees thought they would make Jesus, and the belief in the resurrection, look foolish. So they used the levirate marriage laws from Deuteronomy 25:5-10 as the basis for their argument.

The Levirate law was designed to look after widows who were left not only without the support of a husband but also of her husband’s children – due to the damage humans had already made with a patriarchal culture. The law states that is a man dies without children, then the man’s brother must take the widow as a wife in order to provide for her through the birth of his children through her. The Sadducees then carry this absurdity out through several brothers none of which produced children and all ended in the husbands death. Leaving the question, ‘In the afterlife, who is her husband, or, who does she belong to?’

[2 Slides] Jesus avoids the Sadducees trap through 2 means. First, he demonstrates their failure to understand the resurrection — resurrection life, contrary to the assumption betrayed by their question, is qualitatively different from life here and now. Second, he demonstrates their failure to understand Scriptures by using a passage from their own Pentateuch, their own Torah, a passage they accept as being holy, a passage they have either missed or ignored — the Exodus 3 story of Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush,

[Slide] God said to Moses, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” God further said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

Exodus 3:5-6

As God is introducing himself to Moses he begins with a definite statement, ‘I Am’. It is a present tense saying, ‘I Am Being.’ Not only this, but God adds to this, ‘I Am Being the God of your Father, I Am Being the God of your ancestor Abraham, I Am Being the God of your ancestor Isaac, and I Am Being the God of your ancestor Jacob.’ God does not say ‘I Was their God’ but instead, God says the very present and active tense ‘I Am Being their God.’

In Mark’s account of this story Jesus begins his response to the Sadducees with, 

“This is the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?

Mark 12:24

The Sadducees, as with the other questioners of Jesus during holy week, had an agenda, to make Jesus say or do something that was heretical, unholy, offensive. They did this through an absurd question about resurrection even though they did not believe in the resurrection. It was an attempt to attack the Jesus and the Pharisees. Their attempt was a dismal failure because it revealed their lack of understanding of the law of God, something they believed was their turf, and therefore that they did not know or understand the God of their law.

[Slide] First, they failed to notice their adherence to the societal acceptance of a patriarchal culture – men were supreme and all others were less than human. Women were property. Instead of correcting the wrong perception of women, they maintain their sinful patriarchtical status.

[Slide] Second, they believed that women, as property, could only survive with the help of a husband and the children that God would give to the husband.

[Slide] Messiah College Professor of Biblical Studies, Emerson Powery, writes, “the female body often becomes the place of theological regulation. For this unnamed woman, Torah would determine her earthly relations but could not resolve her future life.”

[Slide] Third, they were ignorant about afterlife, heaven, where all of God’s children will live, truly live, as God’s beloved, not as possessions of any other child of God.

[Slide] Here is our truth from this interaction of Jesus with the Sadducees – God is a God of the living.

[Slide] Jesus himself said that, ‘I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’ (John 10:10). Remember that this word life is not just life now but also eternally, but it is Now as well.

The question is ‘What theological beliefs do we still have in place that displace and disregard the lives and bodies of people? What beliefs hold a greater sway on us than God’s call to love and respect? What theological debates cause us to circle our wagons in an inclusive faith club ignoring those who don’t fit?

David Lose, Senior Pastor, Mount Olivet Church in Minneapolis wraps it up this way, 

[Slide] Resurrection (empowered by the God of the living) insists that the whole person will in some way be united with God  (see I Corinthians 15, especially 35-49). 

[Slide] It is the whole person, not some wispy essence, that God promises to redeem. We do, in fact, die — there is no escaping that. 

[Slide] But because of the One who died on the cross and was raised again from death, we live and die with the promise that God will similarly raise us from death to new life where, in the words of Jesus today we “cannot die, because [we] are like angels and are children of God, being children of resurrection” (20:36).”

[Slide] Our hope is the God of the living.

Let’s Pray

Music 4 (5 Slides)

The Truth

CCLI Song # 7172904

Andrew Holt | Austin Davis | Lauren Strahm

Verse 1

What could take away the sting of death
Only a love I hadn’t met
What could cause this restless heart to rest
Only the promise that You kept

Pre-Chorus

For so long I was searching for truth
When all along I was searching for You
Then You opened my eyes

Chorus

You opened my eyes to see You Lord
Oh I was blind to love before
You opened my heart to know the truth
Now all I see is You
All I need is You

Verse 2

What can cause the broken things to heal
Only a power that is real
What can cause the prideful heart to kneel
Only a grace that none can steal

Bridge

There is only one Name who conquered the grave
Only one way my soul can be saved
Only one truth only one life
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ

Benediction (6 Slides) (signal to Linda when slides are ready)

Reader: God, you are the God of our peace

Response: God, you are the God of the living

Reader: God, you are the God I our misery and our calm

God, you are the God of the living

God, you are the God of our hope

God, you are the God of the living

God, you are the God that calls for us, that woos us to you

God, you are t he God of the living

God, you gave us life in the beginning and raise us to new life

God, you are the God of the living

God, you are compassionate, you are merciful, you are passionate, and you are love

God, you are the God of the living

Community (4 Slides)

  • March/April Bible Studies survey now up, deadline February 27
  • Afghan info come and go today, noon to 3pm
  • Contribution Statements rechecking (confusion w/quarantines)
  • Next Sunday – Mortal Concerns

Peace (3 Slides)

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.

Order, Words, & Voices 02.13.22

Order

Sunday, February 13, 2022

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

Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord

Come, Now is the Time to Worship

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

Take My Life and Let it Be

  • Scripture (No slides just reader) Online – Jake Musgrove
  • Music 3 Lynn/Abbie

Take Time to Be Holy

  • Message Rick
  • Music 4 That’s Why We Praise Him Lynn/Abbie
  • Benediction (signal to Segun when slides are ready) Segun 
  • Community (Gallery View) Rick
  • Closing Peace                                         Rick
  • Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Words and Voices

Music 1 (13 Slides)

Open The Eyes Of My Heart

CCLI Song # 2298355

Paul Baloche

Chorus

Open the eyes of my heart Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You

Verse

To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy holy holy

Chorus

Open the eyes of my heart Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You

Verse

To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy holy holy

Verse

To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy holy holy

Bridge

Holy holy holy
Holy holy holy
Holy holy holy
I want to see You

Chorus

Open the eyes of my heart Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You

Come Now Is The Time To Worship

CCLI Song # 2430948

Brian Doerksen

Chorus

Come now is the time to worship
Come now is the time to give your heart
Come just as you are to worship
Come just as you are before your God
Come

Verse 1

One day every tongue
Will confess You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains
For those who gladly choose You now

Chorus

Come now is the time to worship
Come now is the time to give your heart
Come just as you are to worship
Come just as you are before your God
Come

Verse 2

Willingly we choose to surrender our lives
Willingly our knees will bow
With all our heart soul mind and strength
We gladly choose You now

Chorus

Come now is the time to worship
Come now is the time to give your heart
Come just as you are to worship
Come just as you are before your God
Come

Ending

Come come just as you are come come

Welcome/Prayer (No Slides)

Lord, you call us to abide in you.

To walk blamelessly, to do what is right, and to speak truth in love.

God, you warn us to not slander, to not do evil, and to not condemn others.

Father, this is how we abide in your, this is how we honor you, this is how we fear you.

As we gather on this day, may we choose to recommit to a life of abide, may we strive to live in your tent on your holy hill.

Amen.

(Psalm 15)

Music 2 (4 Slides)

Take My Life And Let It Be (Hendon)

CCLI Song # 1390

Frances Ridley Havergal | Henri Abraham Cesar Malan

Verse 1

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Verse 2

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee

Verse 3

Take my voice and let me sing
Always only for my King
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee

Verse 6

Take my love my Lord I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
Ever only all for Thee

Scripture (No Slides)

Now as Jesus went on his way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Martha had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

Music 3 (6 Slides)

Take Time To Be Holy

CCLI Song # 93748

George Coles Stebbins | William Dunn Longstaff

Verse 1

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

Verse 2

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

Verse 4

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

Message –  Taking Care of God (? Slides)

Mom grew up on a farm where everyone played a part – especially around harvest time when everyone work before the sun rose and long after the sun set. Time was always of the essence as heavy rains were a frequent destroyer of the crops, and therefore any possibility for financial security for the coming 12 months. Everyone old enough to be put to work participated. The women would be up, usually before the men, as a hearty breakfast was prepared and then served. As the men ate the women would begin work on a huge lunch. The men were working to pay the bills and keep the farm, the women were working to keep the men nourished and encouraged as they would face an exhausting 15 plus hour day. When the work was completed for the day, there would be a light dinner followed by a short time to relax and then to bed for a quick night of sleep. Then, the next morning everything would resume their work of supporting and taking care of each other. Nothing anyone was doing was busy work, it was all essential work and every person working was at the best place for them in that moment.

This is a story I have had on my mind this week as I spent time with the story of Mary and Martha. A story where Martha was in the kitchen alone preparing the meal and her sister Mary was assumedly sitting in the living room with the men listening to Jesus. A story where Mary is consumed with the words of Jesus, while Martha, with each peak from the kitchen is becoming progressively more angry that she was doing all the work and Mary was just sitting in the living room like a queen. In Martha’s mind, fixing the meal, being in the kitchen, is alway the most important place to be (as well as for the other females), Jesus is their guest and they need to take care of him, Mary should be in there working and not making Martha do everything!

Martha’s thinking eventually did what that type of thinking usually does, it led her to do something that, in her right mind, she would have never done. She marched into the living room and tersely confronted Jesus.

[Slide] “Do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me?”

It was a confrontation of Jesus, a complaint about Jesus to Jesus, it was an accusation against Jesus, an assumption about Jesus, an intense moment of anger towards Jesus. And then Jesus calmly responds, 

[Slide] “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. – Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus is saying that he is not going to take this moment from Mary, nor will the Spirit ever allow this to be taken away from Mary.

Passionately working on the meal, desiring to take good care of Jesus and to give him the best meal ever, was not a bad thing. Like all of us, Jesus liked to eat, and I am sure, also like all of us, Jesus loved to eat a great meal. On top of that, hospitality was a cultural expectation. Jesus himself had told his own disciples to ‘shake the dust off their feet’ when not shown hospitality in the places they went to minister. Yet, here, hospitality was not the best thing..

[Slide] The word “distracted”, periespato, means to be pulled or dragged in different directions, it is an active force operating against us. Jesus is sitting in their living room and will not be sitting there later – this is the moment when he is there. He will survive with a lesser meal, and there will be other times when a feast is needed, but now, it is a time to soak up Jesus, to let him take care of those present.

[Slide] “Both listening and doing, receiving God’s Word and serving others, are vital to the Christian life, just as inhaling and exhaling are to breathing. Yet how often do we forget to breathe in deeply? Trying to serve God without being nourished by God’s word is like expecting good fruit to grow from a tree that has been uprooted.” (Elisabeth Johnson, Theology Professor)

[Slide] Psalms 37 calls us to ‘Rest’ in the Lord, to cease from anger and to abandon wrath; to not get upset with another because such inner distractions lead only to evildoing. Martha reaches that point, she plows into the living room with utter disregard for the holiness of Jesus’ presence and expresses her frustration – a frustration which was originally targeted at her sister but now, Jesus has become the target.

Oddly, it is in this surreal moment when Martha let go and freely expressed herself. Now, Martha was free to reconsider what was really a priority in this moment. Jesus didn’t rebuke or correct her, he didn’t say she was doing the wrong thing, but, that she was not doing the best thing. Jesus didn’t even correct her attitude or her outrage – Jesus knew that this was Martha at the end of her rope. Arriving at the end or rope is a very common place that lands us in the living room at Jesus’ feet. She was realizing that her choice to take care of Jesus, had been in conflict with her desire to be nurtured by Jesus.

In high school I worked as a life guard. In our training we learned that when trying to save person who was drowning, you had to be very careful to not be caught up in their efforts to save themself. If the person was not at the end of their rope, willing to trust another to save them, there would be a danger of the taking the lifeguard down as well.

[Slide] “A drowning man cannot be saved until he is utterly exhausted and ceases to make the slightest effort to save himself.”

― Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life

It is often the end of our rope when we finally quit trying, we quit fighting, we quit doing, we quit arguing, we quit being distracted and, instead, we are silent, we listen, we allow Jesus to immerse us. To allow the Spirit to give us a moment of rest and focus. We may not feel anything but still we recenter, we pause, we get an objective moment to reprioritize, to see clearly, to let ourself BE in the midst of Jesus.

The prophet Amos spoke for God when he told the people to be silent. They were consumed with busyness all week, and then, when the day of rest came, they would pace and fret until they could get back to work. In not taking the moment of rest, when they returned to their busyness they returned even more disconnected from God, leading to even more actions in unlike God’s call, they were oppressive to the poor and needy. God’s message through Amos was to be silent, take the moment to let God renew you. They missed the moment and were then unable to abide with God.


This was Martha’s moment, the longer she was distracted with good busyness, the more she stepped further from the message of Christ. She needed to be in the living room instead of the kitchen.

In Psalm 15, the Psalmist calls on each of us to choose to fully dwell in God’s presence, to take up residence, to be fully there/fully present at the feet of Jesus.

Selah. Breath. Soak Jesus in.

[Slide] As was the case with Martha,  ‘To take being in God’s presence seriously is both comforting and unsettling.’ 

(Craig A. Satterlee, Bishop)

[Slide] Those who dwell with God abandon trusting their ability to shape and control their lives and the world and instead put their full trust in God. They are ready and looking for the extraordinary holy ‘best choice’ moments found in the most unextraordinary moments.

Your moment may be when you realize that you, for the first time, desire to fully trust Jesus with your life. It may be a moment when you realize that you have been hiding in the kitchen and missing Jesus in the living room. Or, it may be you, at the end of your rope with nothing else you can do, recognizing just how far you are from God.

Let’s turn our thinking around for a moment.

What if the story is not about Martha versus Mary, what if it is not about Hospitality versus sitting at Jesus feet? What if it is a story about Mary and Martha and an opportunity to do something much greater than what they, or anyone else, would think was culturally possible? What if this moment was an invitation for both women to break barriers and to be disciples of Jesus? What if Jesus is inviting Mary and Martha to violate the gender expectations of their day and to sit at Jesus feet? What if Jesus is proposing that both of these women imagine themself as part of God’s Kingdom, called to bring about its presence here and now?

[Slide] What if this is an ‘invitation to Martha to be the impossible, a disciple? What if the better thing is the invitation to believe that you are who God sees you to be.’

 (Karoline Lewis, Professor of Biblical Preaching)

[Slide] ’This is the sort of thing that Jesus does, breaking the cultural constraints and setting people free for the kingdom. That’s necessary if we are actually going to love our neighbors and love God. It has happened (and must continue to happen) in the face of slavery, and racism, and sexism, and homophobia. The church needs to be set free for such faithful listening and discipled violation of cultural assumptions so that we can love the strangers and sojourners among us, so that we can love our Muslim and Hindu and atheist neighbors, so that we can sit at the feet of Jesus and hear what he has to say to us.’

(Brian Peterson, Professor of New Testament)

What if…..

What if God’s desire is that we are in the place where we need to be? It may be in the living room or it may be in kitchen. It may be the exact place where we are most needed, or the place we most need to be. Finding that place is not a paralyzing experience, it is not a process of quiting life until we are sure. What if, like Martha, we usually know that we are supposed to be in the kitchen until everything inside of us screams that we need to be in the living room, until we walk into and ask, ‘why am I not in the living room!?’  Maybe the question is ‘What is keeping me from being where I am supposed to be at this moment?’ Maybe it is not even a questions of where but a question of What – ‘At this moment, Jesus is in the living room encouraging me to join him, what is the best use of my time, now?’

[Slide] “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

Let’s Pray

Music 4 (6 Slides)

That’s Why We Praise Him

CCLI Song # 2668576

Tommy Walker

Verse 1

He came to live live a perfect life
He came to be the living word our light
He came to die so we’d be reconciled
He came to rise to show His pow’r and might

Chorus

That’s why we praise Him that’s why we sing
That’s why we offer Him our ev’rything
That’s why we bow down and worship this King
‘Cause He gave His ev’rything

Verse 2

He came to live live again in us
He came to be our conquering King and friend
He came to heal and show the lost ones His love
He came to go prepare a place for us

Chorus

That’s why we praise Him that’s why we sing
That’s why we offer Him our ev’rything
That’s why we bow down and worship this King
‘Cause He gave His ev’rything

Bridge

Halle hallelujah
Halle hallelujah

Chorus

That’s why we praise Him that’s why we sing
That’s why we offer Him our ev’rything
That’s why we bow down and worship this King
‘Cause He gave His ev’rything

Benediction (6 Slides) (signal to Segun when slides are ready)

Leader: We welcome God into our lives, into our home, into our heart.

Response: Sometimes we are so busy we forget God is there.

Leader: We ask God for hope, peace, perseverance, and strength.

Response: Often times we forget that God is enough.

Leader: We seek God in our struggles, and in the struggles of others.

Response: Most of the time we fail to sit at God’s feet and to wait for God’s response.

Leader: We beg God for moments of joy.

Response: May we look for the joy in all our moments.

Leader: We cry out for moments of light.

Response: May we seek out the light in our darkness.

Leader: May we all, this week, take a break from our busyness and sit at Jesus’ feet.

Response: May we all, take a breath and recognize God in our moments.

Community (No Slides)

  • March/April Bible Studies survey now up, deadline February 27
  • Afghan info come and go February 20, noon to 3pm
  • Contribution Statements rechecking (confusion w/quarantines)
  • Next Sunday – Unnoticed Absurdity, Luke 20:27-38

Peace (3 Slides)

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.

Order, Words, & Voices 02.06.22

Order

Sunday, February 6, 2022

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

I Love To Tell The Story

Love Lifted Me

  • Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick
  • Music 2                                                      Abbie

Grace Greater Than Our Sin

  • Scripture (No slides just reader) Online – Kristen Young
  • Music 3 Abbie

Amazing Grace

  • Message Rick
  • Music 4 (special/no slides) Goodness of God Abbie
  • Benediction Peyton 
  • Community (Gallery View) Rick
  • Closing Peace                                         Rick
  • Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Words & Voices

Music 1 (12 Slides)

I Love To Tell The Story

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

Chorus

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

Verse 4

I love to tell the story
For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest

And when in scenes of glory
I sing the new new song
‘Twill be the old old story
That I have loved so long

Chorus

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

Love Lifted Me

CCLI Song # 66926

Howard E. Smith | James Rowe

Verse 1

I was sinking deep in sin
Far from the peaceful shore
Very deeply stained within
Sinking to rise no more


But the Master of the sea
Heard my despairing cry
From the waters lifted me
Now safe am I

Chorus

Love lifted me
Love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me


Verse 2

All my heart to Him I give
Ever to Him I’ll cling
In His blessed presence live
Ever His praises sing


Love so mighty and so true
Merits my soul’s best songs
Faithful loving service too
To Him belongs

Chorus

Love lifted me
Love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me

Welcome/Prayer (No Slides)

God you are the Father of all
Father of the poor, the unkept, the weak, the marginalized
Father of those we may not like, and don’t want to like
Father of those who don’t know you and those who love you
Forgive us when we exclude and dismiss others
Help us to understand your full heart and your generous table
To remember that your table has room for the unloveable, such as ourselves
May we learn to love all our brothers and sisters with the unimaginable love that you drenched us with before we ever knew you

Amen

Music 2 (8 Slides)

Grace Greater Than Our Sin

CCLI Song #31690

Daniel Brink Towner | Julia Harriette Johnston

Verse 1

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt

Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

Chorus

Grace grace God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within


Grace grace God’s grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Verse 4

Marvelous infinite matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe


You that are longing to see His face
Will you this moment His grace receive

Chorus

Grace grace God’s grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within


Grace grace God’s grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Scripture (No Slides)

Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet Jesus could not escape notice, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Mark 7:24-30

Music 3 (8 Slides)

Amazing Grace

CCLI Song # 4755360

John Newton

Verse 1

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me


I once was lost but now am 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

Verse 3

Through many dangers toils and snares
I have already come


‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home

Verse 4

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun


We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun

Message –  Aggressive Advocate (19 Slides)

When our children were young, the mother of one of their peers was a loud, woman who often created an uncomfortably awkward environment just by appearing at an event. She often used words that did not need to used, and even more often used means to express herself that most people would deem inappropriate. She was quick to express her negative thoughts about her own children to those children and even about her own children to others, at the same time was an aggressive advocate for her children. While her actions and words were sometimes difficult to watch, Andrea and I loved to watch her in action. Even more, we often admitted to each other that we wished we felt the freedom to be her. Such is an aggressive advocate.

Our passage today takes place after Jesus fed 5,000 people, he walked on water, he performed multiple healings, he sent his disciples to be his hands and feet among the oppressed communities, and then, later, he fed 4,000 people, again with leftovers just before he made a very deliberate turn towards Jerusalem and the cross. In the middle of all of that, Jesus makes a very intentional trip to the city of Tyre, a city with a very shady past and as well as a very dismal prophetic future.

Maybe he went there because immediately before he had engaged with the religious leaders with the shocking news that no food that enters the body is actually holy or unholy, but, instead, it is what comes from us, out of our heart, our core. Maybe it was to reveal that God’s grace is for all people, not just the Jews. Probably, however, it was because he was exhausted by the crowds and thought he could get a bit of privacy in this gentile city.

We actually looked at this passage back on October 3 during which we examined the story from the perspective of Jesus. From Jesus’ perspective we not only are confronted with the question of ‘why did Jesus go to Tyre’, but also, ‘why does he use words that are so rude, and even possibly racist’. If you are interested you can view that video on our web site.

Today, however, we are going to view the story from another perspective, the perspective of a gentile mother who was a very, very, aggressive advocate for her daughter.

[slide] New Testament scholar, Matt Skinner, calls the gentile woman a ‘tenacious Syrophoenician theologian’ and he asks [slide] “Who says things like desperation and tenacity aren’t the same thing as faith, when that desperation and tenacity are brought to Jesus? [slide] Don’t lose track of the simplicity of her achievement. Her theology doesn’t originate in books and study; it’s an expression of painfully experienced need and fierce motherly love. [slide] The woman does exemplify faith. In doing so, she makes us consider what “faith” even means. Notice, especially, her persistent efforts (refusing to go away until she gets what she came for), [slide] her hopeful insight (refusing to believe even a tiny speck of grace isn’t out of reach and knowing just a scrap can make the difference for her), [slide] and — in the end — her trusting acceptance (her willingness to take Jesus at his word and journey home alone to confirm her daughter’s healing).”

Matt Skinner, New Testament professor

She is a bulldog for her daughter. Her advocacy is without limits. Her determination has feet. Her faith is aggressive, vulnerable, and desperate. The condition of her daughter has consumed this mother’s life, she was exhausted, there was nothing left that could be done. She was powerless, but not hopeless. She wasn’t giving up until giving up was the only remaining option- until she found the the right person to whom she could give up to – Jesus.

Without any religious practices this outsider woman, with one simple yet profound sentence, moves Jesus to action. Without any grand theatrics or voices from heaven Jesus credits her words 

Genuine authentic words from our hearts are the words that God hears. These are the words that Jesus, as our aggressive advocate, takes to the Father. We see this in the sincere words, words that demonstrate the reality of the heart, polished words from a Roman Centurion and we see this here in the simple, yet profound, words from a mother at the end of her possibilities, these are the words that Jesus draw Jesus’ attention. Words that come from deep within without pretense. These are holy words.

She answered Jesus without offense, humbly without pride, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” The woman does not beg for an exception, does not argue her worth, or even the substance of Jesus words. She didn’t even attempt to argue against a God that excludes. She pointed out what the Spirit had revealed to her – children at a table are messy, there will be crumbs.

She went home without proof, she walked away from Jesus without any concrete evidence, she just accepted him at his words. There, at her home, she found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. She believed before she saw. ‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’

‘She begged Jesus.’ Begging is humiliating, begging can be heard by anyone standing close by. What brought her to Jesus? Had she heard of the healings and acts of deliverance? Had she heard about the feeding of the 5,000 that ended with an overflow abundance of food? Had the overflow of food sparked a recognition within her that God is a God of abundance? Had she put 2 and 2 together and calculated that even those on the outskirts of the Jewish crowd were possibly given the leftovers? Had the Spirit been working in her mind and heart, revealing God’s abundance. Was Jesus looking for words that would indicate that her request was before the one true God, not a celebrity in the flesh?

[slide] Faith is revealed in humble sacrifice.

[slide] Faith is strengthen in our willingness to let the Spirit lead.

[slide] Faith is proven in our unsubstantiated trust in God’s actions

[slide] Faith is evidenced in,

[slide] Humility

[slide] Obedience

[slide] Trust

Faith is ‘desperation and tenacity brought to Jesus.’ Faith is seen in her insistence that the table cannot hold the abundance that God gives.

We know Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, as an instrumental figure of our faith, however in Genesis 32 we see a frightened man heading home to face the consequences of his younger days. He is returning home to a probable vengeance seeking brother, so fear is justifiable. His return is risky, he could lose everything, including his life. Much like the gentile woman, he is desperate, he has done everything he can to survive but doubts that even his groveling will lessen the blow.

[slide] Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. [slide]  Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with the man. [slide]  Then the man said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So the man said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” [slide]  Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” [slide]  Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But the man said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. [slide]  So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.

Genesis 32:22-31

Sometimes faith leaves us broken, battered, and bruised.  Sometimes it leaves us walking with a limp. Sometimes even death. Faith leads us to trust. To trust the generous God of abundance. That leads us to return home even before there is any assurance of health, deliverance, safety, knowing that we have already trusted whatever we will find when we open that door, and that we will survive whatever limp we may be left with.

Lets pray –

Lord, remind us that advocacy, justice, and transformation is not always agitated uprisings and nonstop activity, instead, it is usually through the calm and persistence commitment of small groups and individuals. May we be your tool of  the advocacy, justice, and transformation you desire in our world. May your peace go with us, wherever you may send us. May your Spirit guide us through the wilderness, protect us in the storm, and bring us home rejoicing at the wonders you have shown us. Amen.

Music 4 (No Slides)

Goodness of God

CCLI Song # 7117726

Ben Fielding | Brian Johnson | Ed Cash | Jason Ingram | Jenn Johnson

Verse 1

I love You Lord
Oh Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
I will sing of the goodness of God

Chorus

All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

Verse 2

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In darkest night
You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a father
I’ve known You as a friend
I have lived in the goodness of God

Chorus

All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

Benediction (5 Slides) (Lily – give Peyton a nod when slides are ready)

Leader: We stand at God’s table as outsiders by birth but family through Jesus

Response: We stand at the table because of God’s grace

Leader: At the table we fully belong and are fully invited to partake

Response: At the table none are left begging for crumbs

Leader: We look around the table and see a multitude of labels, practices, and  expressions of faith

Response: We see familiar and unfamiliar faces, all are family

Leader: We partake with the Father who responds with empathy, mercy, and compassion

Response: We partake with Jesus, our advocate and the Spirit, our voice

Leader: The table is a place of hope

Response: The table is a place of love

Community (No Slides)

  • Winter Bible Studies late February waiting on covid numbers
  • Afghan info luncheon February 20
  • Next Sunday – Taking Care of God, Luke 10:38-42

Peace (3 Slides)

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.

Order, Words, & Voices

Order

Sunday, January 30, 2022

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

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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

Trust and Obey

  • Scripture (No slides just reader) Online – Grace
  • Beyond Our Marketplace Interview. (rick &online) Rick & Lita Sample
  • Music 3 Lynn/Abbie

Heart of Worship

  • Message Rick
  • Music 4 Lynn/Abbie

Special – (No Slides) Cornerstone

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

Order

Sunday, January 30, 2022

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

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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

Trust and Obey

  • Scripture (No slides just reader) Online – Grace
  • Beyond Our Marketplace Interview. (rick &online) Rick & Lita Sample
  • Music 3 Lynn/Abbie

Heart of Worship

  • Message Rick
  • Music 4 Lynn/Abbie

Special – (No Slides) Cornerstone

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

Words and Voices

Music 1 (7 Slides)

‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus (Trust In Jesus)

CCLI Song # 22609

Louisa M. R. Stead | William James Kirkpatrick

Verse 1

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know thus saith the Lord

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Verse 2

O how sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to trust His cleansing blood
Just in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing cleansing flood

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Verse 4

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee
Precious Jesus Savior Friend
And I know that Thou art with me
Wilt be with me to the end

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

CCLI Song # 7067212

Aaron Shust | Paul Baloche

Chorus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Welcome/Prayer (No Slides)

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your unconditional love; Your goodness and Your loving-kindness to us and to all that are called by Your name. Great is Your faithfulness and we praise You – for You alone are worthy. Keep us low at the cross and help us to patiently wait for You in humble submission to Your Holy Spirit by trusting Your word of grace, even when we don’t understand – for You are good to those who wait for You. Help us to seek You with all our heart, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Music 2 (8 Slides)

Trust And Obey

CCLI Song # 22094

Daniel Brink Towner | John Henry Sammis

Verse 1

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way
While we do His good will
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Verse 2

Not a shadow can rise
Not a cloud in the skies
But His smile quickly drives it away
Not a doubt nor a fear
Not a sigh nor a tear
Can abide while we trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Verse 3

Not a burden we bear
Not a sorrow we share
But our toil He doth richly repay
Not a grief nor a loss
Not a frown nor a cross
But is blessed if we trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Verse 5

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way
What He says we will do
Where He sends we will go
Never fear only trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Scripture (No Slides)

Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens. 

We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. 

We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought. With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest. 

We have made a pact with Egypt and Assyria, to get enough bread. 

Our ancestors sinned; they are no more, and we bear their iniquities.

Lamentations 5:1-7

Beyond Our Marketplace w/Rick and Lita Sample (1 intro slide)

We last spoke with Rick and Lita Samples about 5 months ago as they prepared to welcome the refugees from Afghan arriving over the holiday season. This morning we welcome them back as we seek to go beyond our marketplace.

Questions:

  1. Share with us what you did over Christmas to minister to the Afghans?
  2. On our last visit you shared of the disillusionment of some of the Afghans with their faith and faith practices. Have some come to a recognition of Jesus?
  3. What are your Afghan ministry plans for 2022?
  4. Could you share a bit of the pain the Afghans have experienced?

Music 3 (6 Slides)

The Heart Of Worship

CCLI Song # 2296522

Matt Redman

Verse 1

When the music fades all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

Pre-Chorus

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

Chorus

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You all about You Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You all about You Jesus

Verse 2

King of endless worth no one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor all I have is Yours
Ev’ry single breath

Pre-Chorus

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

Chorus

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You all about You Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You all about You Jesus

Message – Response Time (13 Slides)

Understanding the journey of another is usually an impossible feat. We are told that to understand the pain of another person’s misery we must walk a mile in their shoes. Usually a mile is insufficient to truly grasp the depths of hopelessness and pain of another. That is a challenge that Rick and Lita face in their ministry with the Afghan and other immigrants and refugees. To probe the stories of the fear and desperation of lives markedly different than your own, to gain an empathy of their never-ending struggles.

In the classic To Kill A Mockingbird, Father Atticus Finch attempts to enlighten his daughter Scout as he tells her,

[Slide]“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” 
– Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Marcus Aurelius, considered to be the last ‘Good’ Roman Emperor wrote,

[Slide]“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” 
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
 

Poet Maya Angelou stated,

[Slide]“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” 
– Maya Angelou

This was the journey of Jesus, crawling into human skin, walking around in it for an entire human lifetime. We have seen Jesus come to grasp the suffering as he traveled to the oppressed communities, as he confronted the unbearable deep loss of the death of a friend, as he looked into the eyes of a woman facing a brutal death due to her gender, and on multiple times as he experienced very real and deep seated rejection. 

Tomorrow, our son Isaiah will begin a series of tests to determine what is going on with his heart. These tests will look at his heart and cardio system as he is put through a series of environments such as stress, work, and rest. 

While the focus for Isaiah will be on his physical heart, the experiences of the Israelites throughout the old testament, especially before, during, and after the Babylonian exile acts as a test for their metaphorical heart. The core of their being. We get to see the prophetic warnings for over a century before the exile, we see the gradual awakening among the Israelites during the exile, and we see the struggles following the exile. What is even more significant however, is that this heart testing reveals our own hearts to us.

One perspective we seldom have about the exile is the situation back in Jerusalem for those not forced into exile. These individuals were the unwanted, these that were deemed useless or counter productive. Jeremiah was left behind, the Babylonians didn’t want to hear his messages anymore than the Isrealites – and in the description given in the book of Lamentations we see the others that remained were basically the priests and the young girls. These were left to a fruitless and unproductive land, a defenseless city, and temple in crumbles. For them, life in slavery looked better than their hopelessness and despair.

The five depressing poetic chapters of Lamentations was probably written by Jeremiah, one of the prophets who attempted to warn the people of the coming exile. His is a first hand account of the suffering and pain of himself and those that remained.  

The Hebrew title for Lamentations, sepher and ‘êkâ   – meaning readings ‘The Book of How.” Laments, in general, just explain the on going suffering and usually, the reason for the suffering. They provide no promise of hope or deliverance only an understanding of the pain. 

These are not just an opportunity for moaning and complaining. Lamentations comes from the ailing heart of a narrator (probably Jeremiah) and the young girls. There is a back and forth of these first hand voices expressing the pain. While there is not a solution, Lamentations gives us the heart journey of these, and, at the same time, the heart journey of those in exile. Basically, Lamentations is a journey with a destination of repentance. The basic narrative is to explain the agonizing situation but scattered throughout are voices of evolving recognition of personal responsibility for at least a portion of their situation.

Jerusalem, who is described as a disregarded woman, comes to a personal guilt but also a selfish blame and vengeance.

[Slide]The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word; but hear, all you peoples, and behold my suffering; my young women and young men have gone into captivity. I called to my lovers but they deceived me; my priests and elders perished in the city while seeking food to revive their strength.

[Slide]See, O Lord, how distressed I am; my stomach churns, my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious. In the street the sword bereaves; in the house it is like death. They heard how I was groaning, with no one to comfort me. 

[Slide]All my enemies heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it. Bring on the day you have announced, and let them be as I am. Let all their evil doing come before you; and deal with them as you have dealt with me because of all my transgressions: for my groans are many and my heart is faint.

Lamentations 1:18-22

Can you see that, a recognition of personal responsibility that is still intertwined with a hesitancy, not a full unconditional recognition of guilt – not an immersion that leads to full repentance. Then let’s look at the final words in chapter 5.

[Slide]But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. Why have you forgotten us completely? Why have you forsaken us these many days Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old—unless you have utterly rejected us, and are angry with us beyond measure.

Lamentations 5:19-22

It took awhile but eventually Lamentations gets to a point where responsibility is not encumbered with conditions or even blame – instead there is a recognition of ‘my part’ as well as an understanding that God is just.

Owning up to our roll even in our suffering, or the suffering of others, requires a release of pride and arrogance. This is not easy for us humans, especially when our primary goal is to hide in the garden so no one can see our nakedness, our faults, our failures. Right now we see this playing out across our own country, a refusal to take an honest look at, not only our ancestors part in oppression but also a genuine unchartered dive into our continued role. The largest Christian denomination in the US has been unable over the past years to even come up with a condemnation of White Christian Nationalism.


We don’t like to feel guilty. We don’t want our status quo challenged. We don’t like admitting our mistakes. 

The truth is, however, that we still life in a world full of credible laments and God calls on us to listen and consider, to let the Holy Spirit move revealing the truth of our own responsibility.

We can deny, we resist accepting our own part. We can defend ourselves, we can fight, we can blame, we can argue against the validity of the Lament process while denying all personal responsibility. Or, we can let down our guard and own our responsibility, we can listen, we can learn, we challenge ourself, we let Jesus’ embrace of all people become our heart.

Biblical scholar Walter Bouzard writes, 

[Slide]“It is likely true that these Laments are not immediately applicable in every North American context. Oh, there have been moments in our collective history where our national self-understanding was shaken by violence and war, where some among us were left wondering about God’s agency in the world’s catastrophes. 

[Slide]The tragic events of 9/11 serve as one stark example another is the Sandy Hook Elementary school slaughter late in 2012.  Communities whose lack of means and political power has left them devastated and with a real sense of having been forsaken by God. 

[Slide]Such people, such communities, are given Laments, words, to bring before God in the poetry of Lamentations. The lament of Jerusalem reminds us that such pain is actually experienced on a daily basis around the globe and down the street. By hearing their pain and by seeking deep empathy with them, we can join our prayers to theirs. 

[Slide]We can implore the LORD on their behalf, offering lamentations for those who cannot hear their own voices in the din of explosions and the over the cries of their anguish. 

[Slide]Who knows? By empathetically weeping with those who hurt far away and with those who suffer in our own contexts, we may come to love them. And if we come authentically to love them, our eyes might even be opened to see that the Lord to whom we cry out together is already there — wherever they are — among the broken and suffering in our world. 

[Slide]Jesus is there, wounded, pierced, weeping, but speaking a quite promise of a reign of God that will yet come. Oh, maranatha! (1 Corinthians 16:22).”

In listening to the laments of others we ask God for an empathy, we ask for God’s love. It is then that we are ready for our own epiphany, our own realization of even our own part in the Laments, maybe our own responsibility. 

In Boston this past week, Isaiah and I walked past the oldest continuously maintained Victory garden since WW2. You have probably heard of these, it was all part of American’s taking their responsibility in the Lament of the war. Shared sacrifice. The simple act of growing vegetable in a public manner or in your own yard, a way of accepting responsibility for the war. They also rationed resources, paid war taxes, went to work to fill manpower needs, and much more, just to do their part.

We all have a part in the world. How we treat others, how we encourage and support the downtrodden, hearing and considering our part in the Laments of the world, sacrificing our comfort when we do not have to do so. We are all called to avail ourself to God’s empathy.

We are all called to transformation in the midst of our own Laments as well as the Laments of others.

Let’s Pray

Music 4 (7 Slides)

Cornerstone

CCLI Song # 6158927

Edward Mote | Eric Liljero | Jonas Myrin | Reuben Morgan | William Batchelder Bradbury

Verse 1

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name

Chorus

Christ alone cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm He is Lord
Lord of all

Verse 2

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil

Chorus

Christ alone cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm He is Lord
Lord of all

Verse 3

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless stand before the throne

Chorus

Christ alone cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm He is Lord
Lord of all

Benediction (4 Slides)

Reader: As we leave from here, we go into a world of pain and suffering.

Response: As we leave from here we go into a world of Laments.

Reader: May we choose to listen and not turn away from their stories.

Response: May we choose to remember that Jesus embraced everyone.

Reader: We go from here remembering that God created everyone.

Response: We go from here choosing love for everyone.

Reader: May we choose to hear, may we choose to accept, may we embrace.

Response: May we seek empathy as we pray for all.

Community (No Slides)

  • Winter Bible Studies in February waiting on covid
  • Next Sunday – 

Peace (3 Slides)

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

And also with you.

Go in peace.

Music 1 (7 Slides)

‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus (Trust In Jesus)

CCLI Song # 22609

Louisa M. R. Stead | William James Kirkpatrick

Verse 1

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know thus saith the Lord

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Verse 2

O how sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to trust His cleansing blood
Just in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing cleansing flood

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Verse 4

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee
Precious Jesus Savior Friend
And I know that Thou art with me
Wilt be with me to the end

Chorus

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus Jesus precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

CCLI Song # 7067212

Aaron Shust | Paul Baloche

Chorus

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Welcome/Prayer (No Slides)

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your unconditional love; Your goodness and Your loving-kindness to us and to all that are called by Your name. Great is Your faithfulness and we praise You – for You alone are worthy. Keep us low at the cross and help us to patiently wait for You in humble submission to Your Holy Spirit by trusting Your word of grace, even when we don’t understand – for You are good to those who wait for You. Help us to seek You with all our heart, in Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Music 2 (8 Slides)

Trust And Obey

CCLI Song # 22094

Daniel Brink Towner | John Henry Sammis

Verse 1

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way
While we do His good will
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Verse 2

Not a shadow can rise
Not a cloud in the skies
But His smile quickly drives it away
Not a doubt nor a fear
Not a sigh nor a tear
Can abide while we trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Verse 3

Not a burden we bear
Not a sorrow we share
But our toil He doth richly repay
Not a grief nor a loss
Not a frown nor a cross
But is blessed if we trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Verse 5

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way
What He says we will do
Where He sends we will go
Never fear only trust and obey

Chorus

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Scripture (No Slides)

Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens. 

We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. 

We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought. With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest. 

We have made a pact with Egypt and Assyria, to get enough bread. 

Our ancestors sinned; they are no more, and we bear their iniquities.

Lamentations 5:1-7

Beyond Our Marketplace w/Rick and Lita Sample (1 intro slide)

We last spoke with Rick and Lita Samples about 5 months ago as they prepared to welcome the refugees from Afghan arriving over the holiday season. This morning we welcome them back as we seek to go beyond our marketplace.

Questions:

  1. Share with us what you did over Christmas to minister to the Afghans?
  2. On our last visit you shared of the disillusionment of some of the Afghans with their faith and faith practices. Have some come to a recognition of Jesus?
  3. What are your Afghan ministry plans for 2022?
  4. Could you share a bit of the pain the Afghans have experienced?

Music 3 (6 Slides)

The Heart Of Worship

CCLI Song # 2296522

Matt Redman

Verse 1

When the music fades all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart

Pre-Chorus

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

Chorus

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You all about You Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You all about You Jesus

Verse 2

King of endless worth no one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor all I have is Yours
Ev’ry single breath

Pre-Chorus

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

Chorus

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You all about You Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You all about You Jesus

Message – Response Time (13 Slides)

Understanding the journey of another is usually an impossible feat. We are told that to understand the pain of another person’s misery we must walk a mile in their shoes. Usually a mile is insufficient to truly grasp the depths of hopelessness and pain of another. That is a challenge that Rick and Lita face in their ministry with the Afghan and other immigrants and refugees. To probe the stories of the fear and desperation of lives markedly different than your own, to gain an empathy of their never-ending struggles.

In the classic To Kill A Mockingbird, Father Atticus Finch attempts to enlighten his daughter Scout as he tells her,

[Slide]“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” 
– Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Marcus Aurelius, considered to be the last ‘Good’ Roman Emperor wrote,

[Slide]“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” 
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
 

Poet Maya Angelou stated,

[Slide]“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” 
– Maya Angelou

This was the journey of Jesus, crawling into human skin, walking around in it for an entire human lifetime. We have seen Jesus come to grasp the suffering as he traveled to the oppressed communities, as he confronted the unbearable deep loss of the death of a friend, as he looked into the eyes of a woman facing a brutal death due to her gender, and on multiple times as he experienced very real and deep seated rejection. 

Tomorrow, our son Isaiah will begin a series of tests to determine what is going on with his heart. These tests will look at his heart and cardio system as he is put through a series of environments such as stress, work, and rest. 

While the focus for Isaiah will be on his physical heart, the experiences of the Israelites throughout the old testament, especially before, during, and after the Babylonian exile acts as a test for their metaphorical heart. The core of their being. We get to see the prophetic warnings for over a century before the exile, we see the gradual awakening among the Israelites during the exile, and we see the struggles following the exile. What is even more significant however, is that this heart testing reveals our own hearts to us.

One perspective we seldom have about the exile is the situation back in Jerusalem for those not forced into exile. These individuals were the unwanted, these that were deemed useless or counter productive. Jeremiah was left behind, the Babylonians didn’t want to hear his messages anymore than the Isrealites – and in the description given in the book of Lamentations we see the others that remained were basically the priests and the young girls. These were left to a fruitless and unproductive land, a defenseless city, and temple in crumbles. For them, life in slavery looked better than their hopelessness and despair.

The five depressing poetic chapters of Lamentations was probably written by Jeremiah, one of the prophets who attempted to warn the people of the coming exile. His is a first hand account of the suffering and pain of himself and those that remained.  

The Hebrew title for Lamentations, sepher and ‘êkâ   – meaning readings ‘The Book of How.” Laments, in general, just explain the on going suffering and usually, the reason for the suffering. They provide no promise of hope or deliverance only an understanding of the pain. 

These are not just an opportunity for moaning and complaining. Lamentations comes from the ailing heart of a narrator (probably Jeremiah) and the young girls. There is a back and forth of these first hand voices expressing the pain. While there is not a solution, Lamentations gives us the heart journey of these, and, at the same time, the heart journey of those in exile. Basically, Lamentations is a journey with a destination of repentance. The basic narrative is to explain the agonizing situation but scattered throughout are voices of evolving recognition of personal responsibility for at least a portion of their situation.

Jerusalem, who is described as a disregarded woman, comes to a personal guilt but also a selfish blame and vengeance.

[Slide]The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word; but hear, all you peoples, and behold my suffering; my young women and young men have gone into captivity. I called to my lovers but they deceived me; my priests and elders perished in the city while seeking food to revive their strength.

[Slide]See, O Lord, how distressed I am; my stomach churns, my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious. In the street the sword bereaves; in the house it is like death. They heard how I was groaning, with no one to comfort me. 

[Slide]All my enemies heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it. Bring on the day you have announced, and let them be as I am. Let all their evil doing come before you; and deal with them as you have dealt with me because of all my transgressions: for my groans are many and my heart is faint.

Lamentations 1:18-22

Can you see that, a recognition of personal responsibility that is still intertwined with a hesitancy, not a full unconditional recognition of guilt – not an immersion that leads to full repentance. Then let’s look at the final words in chapter 5.

[Slide]But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. Why have you forgotten us completely? Why have you forsaken us these many days Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old—unless you have utterly rejected us, and are angry with us beyond measure.

Lamentations 5:19-22

It took awhile but eventually Lamentations gets to a point where responsibility is not encumbered with conditions or even blame – instead there is a recognition of ‘my part’ as well as an understanding that God is just.

Owning up to our roll even in our suffering, or the suffering of others, requires a release of pride and arrogance. This is not easy for us humans, especially when our primary goal is to hide in the garden so no one can see our nakedness, our faults, our failures. Right now we see this playing out across our own country, a refusal to take an honest look at, not only our ancestors part in oppression but also a genuine unchartered dive into our continued role. The largest Christian denomination in the US has been unable over the past years to even come up with a condemnation of White Christian Nationalism.


We don’t like to feel guilty. We don’t want our status quo challenged. We don’t like admitting our mistakes. 

The truth is, however, that we still life in a world full of credible laments and God calls on us to listen and consider, to let the Holy Spirit move revealing the truth of our own responsibility.

We can deny, we resist accepting our own part. We can defend ourselves, we can fight, we can blame, we can argue against the validity of the Lament process while denying all personal responsibility. Or, we can let down our guard and own our responsibility, we can listen, we can learn, we challenge ourself, we let Jesus’ embrace of all people become our heart.

Biblical scholar Walter Bouzard writes, 

[Slide]“It is likely true that these Laments are not immediately applicable in every North American context. Oh, there have been moments in our collective history where our national self-understanding was shaken by violence and war, where some among us were left wondering about God’s agency in the world’s catastrophes. 

[Slide]The tragic events of 9/11 serve as one stark example another is the Sandy Hook Elementary school slaughter late in 2012.  Communities whose lack of means and political power has left them devastated and with a real sense of having been forsaken by God. 

[Slide]Such people, such communities, are given Laments, words, to bring before God in the poetry of Lamentations. The lament of Jerusalem reminds us that such pain is actually experienced on a daily basis around the globe and down the street. By hearing their pain and by seeking deep empathy with them, we can join our prayers to theirs. 

[Slide]We can implore the LORD on their behalf, offering lamentations for those who cannot hear their own voices in the din of explosions and the over the cries of their anguish. 

[Slide]Who knows? By empathetically weeping with those who hurt far away and with those who suffer in our own contexts, we may come to love them. And if we come authentically to love them, our eyes might even be opened to see that the Lord to whom we cry out together is already there — wherever they are — among the broken and suffering in our world. 

[Slide]Jesus is there, wounded, pierced, weeping, but speaking a quite promise of a reign of God that will yet come. Oh, maranatha! (1 Corinthians 16:22).”

In listening to the laments of others we ask God for an empathy, we ask for God’s love. It is then that we are ready for our own epiphany, our own realization of even our own part in the Laments, maybe our own responsibility. 

In Boston this past week, Isaiah and I walked past the oldest continuously maintained Victory garden since WW2. You have probably heard of these, it was all part of American’s taking their responsibility in the Lament of the war. Shared sacrifice. The simple act of growing vegetable in a public manner or in your own yard, a way of accepting responsibility for the war. They also rationed resources, paid war taxes, went to work to fill manpower needs, and much more, just to do their part.

We all have a part in the world. How we treat others, how we encourage and support the downtrodden, hearing and considering our part in the Laments of the world, sacrificing our comfort when we do not have to do so. We are all called to avail ourself to God’s empathy.

We are all called to transformation in the midst of our own Laments as well as the Laments of others.

Let’s Pray

Music 4 (7 Slides)

Cornerstone

CCLI Song # 6158927

Edward Mote | Eric Liljero | Jonas Myrin | Reuben Morgan | William Batchelder Bradbury

Verse 1

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name

Chorus

Christ alone cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm He is Lord
Lord of all

Verse 2

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil

Chorus

Christ alone cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm He is Lord
Lord of all

Verse 3

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless stand before the throne

Chorus

Christ alone cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm He is Lord
Lord of all

Benediction (4 Slides)

Reader: As we leave from here, we go into a world of pain and suffering.

Response: As we leave from here we go into a world of Laments.

Reader: May we choose to listen and not turn away from their stories.

Response: May we choose to remember that Jesus embraced everyone.

Reader: We go from here remembering that God created everyone.

Response: We go from here choosing love for everyone.

Reader: May we choose to hear, may we choose to accept, may we embrace.

Response: May we seek empathy as we pray for all.

Community (No Slides)

  • Winter Bible Studies in February waiting on covid
  • Next Sunday – 

Peace (3 Slides)

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

And also with you.

Go in peace.

Order, Words, & Voices

Order

Sunday, January 23, 2022

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

The Solid Rock (CCLI Song # 25417)

Standing On The Promises (CCLI Song # 31803)

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

In Christ Alone (CCLI Song # 3350395)

  • Scripture Online – Randy
  • Music 3 Lynn

Good Good Father (CCLI Song # 7036612)

  • Message Rick
  • Music 4 Lynn

Special – Make Room (CCLI Song # 7122057) Lynn

  • Benediction Lily
  • Community. Rick
  • Closing Peace Rick
  • Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Words and Voices

Music 1

The Solid Rock

CCLI Song # 25417

Edward Mote | William Batchelder Bradbury

Verse 1

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Verse 2

When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In ev’ry high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Verse 3

His oath His covenant His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Verse 4

When He shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

Chorus

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Standing On The Promises

CCLI Song # 31803

Russell Kelso Carter

Verse 1

Standing on the promises of Christ my King
Through eternal ages let His praises ring
Glory in the highest I will shout and sing
Standing on the promises of God

Chorus

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Verse 2

Standing on the promises that cannot fail
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail
By the living Word of God I shall prevail
Standing on the promises of God

Chorus

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Verse 5

Standing on the promises I cannot fall
List’ning ev’ry moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my All in All
Standing on the promises of God

Chorus

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Welcome/Prayer

  • Welcome
  • Prayer

In you, oh God, we have life and community.
Wherever we are, may your voice be heard.

Unconditional, is the love that you place in our hearts.
Everlasting, is the promise of hope you make.

We gather as the church.
We gather as the disconnected.
We gather as the restless.

We gather in the unknown, the unimaginable, the unrevealed:
We gather to acknowledge our restlessness,
We pray for rest, to remember your sacrifice, and to celebrate a reconnection with you.

God, you see all time and space spread out before you
while we see only in part.
You know the paths set out for us while
we see only our journey to this present moment.

Thank you that we are here together now.
Reconnect us to our environment which we care for, to our community which we serve and to each other whom we love.

When our paths disperse again, we may move as one.

We ask this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Music 2

In Christ Alone

CCLI Song # 3350395

Keith Getty | Stuart Townend

Verse 1

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light my strength my song
This Cornerstone this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm


What heights of love what depths of peace
When fears are stilled when strivings cease
My Comforter my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Verse 2

In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save


Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

Verse 3

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again


And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

Verse 4

No guilt in life no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny


No power of hell no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Scripture

The prophet Jeremiah was not taken into exile by the Babylonians and therefore remained in Jerusalem. He sent a letter to the exiled elders, priests, prophets, as well as to all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 

This was after the King and queen, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans, and smiths had all departed from Jerusalem.

The letter said: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 

Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.

For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Matthew 12:46-50

Music 3

Good Good Father

CCLI Song # 7036612

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett

Verse 1

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

Chorus

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are, It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Verse 2

I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

Chorus

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Bridge

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Verse 3

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

Chorus

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Message – The End of the World As We Know It

Andrea and I often remember the days when our children were younger. All the business, the sports and clubs, the activities, the homework, the doctors appointments, the medicines, etc. Just remembering it is exhausting. As I look back it our lives consisted of 

  1. Making sure we got kids to activities on correct day and at correct times, and then not to forget they needed a ride home, which was provided by us.
  2. Homework, and then finding someone who could better help with homework.
  3. Brushing teeth, putting on shoes, wearing weather appropriate clothing, and all matters of personal hygiene.
  4. And the list goes on.


I remember moments when Andrea and I would remind ourselves that we just have to survive this phase, and then with each new phase we would say it again, and again.  Each phase would present new challenges, and, strangely enough, a romantic longing for a previous stage. The success of each stage usually depended on us letting go of past stages – releasing our selective memories of the past world as we knew it. 

Currently we are finding navigating parenthood of adult children as a new unexpected challenge. Keeping our mouths shut, accepting choices, ridding ourselves of disapproving and skeptical facial looks that we are unaware of, and instead supporting and affirming.  With each new phase, we mourn, we celebrate, and we move into an unknown future. This, of course, is life.

I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy watching the growth and accepting journey of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Holding an infant and being approached in the Temple by strangers who already knew Jesus, searching for her 12 year old and finding him engrossed in conversation with religious elite, Mary with Jesus at the wedding hosted by her dear friend, and then comes the comments of Jesus when his mother and siblings comes for a visit.

“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 12:48-49

Tactless, inconsiderate, disrespectful, rude, are all words that can easily come to mind with Jesus’ response. This was all part of Mary’s journey, a journey of recognizing and accepting the fact that her son, Jesus, belonged to the world. With each of these moments there was an end to her world in many ways, as is often the case with all parents. Each path led her to another destination where she would endure and persevere, and then struggle to release, as parents do. With each arrival, there would be a new affirmation providing strength for the next phase of her journey. It was all being stuffed into her mental scrapbook, her inner treasure chest. 

Jesus belonged to the world. It was painful, frustrating, offensive, and even devastating. Mary’s journey was a path of prohetic fulfillment of sorrow and pain. With each end of the world moment, she would step up to a new beginning stronger for the next end of the world moment.

The end of the world as Mary knew it was never the end of her journey. A destination was an endings awaiting a new more challenging, beginning. With each ending, she was better equipped for the next beginning. 

An ending is a moment of release followed by a first step of the new beginning. It is always a moment when we recognize that what we view as an ending is actually just a change of normal.

In their 1989 song, The End Of The World As We Know It, musicians REM sing 7 rants about the possible elements of an actual end of the world. Listing everything from natural disasters, to politicians, to terrorism, to religion and nationalism, and more. There are, however, 8 repeats of the chorus which state “It’s the end of the world as we know it…And I feel fine.”

Mary’s journey is a path of an increasing awareness of “I’ll be fine’ with each “End of the World as She Knows it.” An increasing trust in the God of her path.

Let’s remember the perspectives we have seen so far this month. 

  1. We are never too old, too frail, too fragile, too hopeless or homeless, or too dismissed, to face God’s new journey.
  2. Before we can start something new, we must be willing to let go of something old.
  3. And, last week as Reverend Mercer revealed to us, we are always called to intercede for others through our actions and our prayers.

Today we add, ‘An ending of the World as we Know It’ is never really an ending. Thus, we are going to be fine – whatever that means.

I recently listened to an East Coast pastor say that Covid destroyed the business model of the church. The model called for packing pews and filling rooms, Covid was, for the church, The End of the World as We Know It. We all struggled, some refused to let go and fought for the old normal while the rest of us stepped into a new beginning. A beginning we would not have if we had not faced ‘The End’ and allowed God to lead us at the point of the new beginning. 


As Mary felt the sting of a son’s supposed rejection, she responded by reconciling the truth that world as she knew it, had indeed ended. The world now owned her son. However, Mary’s scrapbook held other treasures. Centuries before Mary gave birth to Jesus, her ancestors had also experienced an end. Following the conquering of their nation and destruction of their cities, land, and their Temple, the Israelites had to assume their world had come to an end, especially what they knew as their world. However, through the prophet Jeremiah, God promised them that this was not the end, but a new beginning, a new opportunity. 

Jeremiah didn’t sugarcoat God’s message. He honestly let the people know this new beginning was going to at times be painful and hopeless. This new phase of their journey would require greater sacrifice with an abundance of unseen & unfelt hope. It would be a new world, with a greater challenges than ever before. An unknown direction but still the same God leading, the same God of her ancestors, the same God of Mary’s  treasure chest, the same God that had been documented and proven in her internal scrapbook over and over since creation. 

Sure, it looked dark. The men were to continue to build houses while the women were to continue to build their lives. To not only birth and raise children but also, and more agonizing, to build it with a purpose and a hope. “This is our home, the fruitfulness of this (Babylonia) place and these people (Babylonians), is our fruitfulness.” Jeremiah finishes by enlightening the people of the decades ahead that they will live in this exile and slavery.

They were called to trust God’s plan, hope in the midst of the darkest hopelessness. Hope even when hope is elusive. Not realizing that this time was a time to fill the treasure chest that would turn them back to God, and ultimately, bring them back to an old home ready for a new normal, a new reality, a renewed hope.

Let’s go back to Mary, the mother of Jesus, standing with the siblings of Jesus outside the doorway of the building where Jesus was speaking. Earlier, I stated that Jesus’ words were Tactless, inconsiderate, disrespectful, and rude. Probably, I should add the word ‘Humiliating.’ I think possibly the crowd around Mary was embarrassed for her. In an human sense all those words seem true. However, as Mary was probably thinking this same thing, she paused and reached over in the corner where she kept that scrapbook, that treasure chest, and she opened it up. In it, she pulled out the story of the shepherds, the wise men, the inn keeper, she was reminded of the Anna and Simeon, and she rolled her eyes as she recollected Jesus as a twelve year old, and even Jesus at the wedding in Cana. With each reminder she remembered her son’s mission and her own purpose. With each memory she was strengthened and empowered to trust the God of the paths. Then, she grabbed the hands of her grown children to leave. I would imagine that they protested in defense of their mother, reminding her that their brother was tactless, inconsiderate, disrespectful, rude. I think, Mary had a slight grin, because she knew something bigger, a God given passion explained the words and annoying actions of this son and brother. She was able to head home realizing that it was not the end of the world, but, instead, it was the beginning of the next part of the journey. She let go, and left the crowd, trusting this untrustable swath of humanity to listen and accept the sacrifice of her son – whatever that sacrifice was going to mean. 

She stood at a new beginning, looking back for a moment she breathed and released, she took a look at the scrapbook remembering God’s faithfulness as she looked ahead, trusting God.

This is our path. A path of trusting God even when it seems to be the end of the world. A journey of letting go and stepping out on a new path, a new normal, a new beginning with each new turn and obstacle. A path that is eternal, never ending. A path put together by our God who loves us and willingly made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We stand at this place as we face the insurmountable challenge of caring for a loved one, we stand at a graveside mourning the loss of a spouse, we stand in the hospital halls begging for healing, we stand as we fearfully look at our finances, we tear up at the demise of relationship, we stand stand stunned at the loss of a job, we stand at the End of the World as we know it. But, we will be fine.

Even an end is never a signal to give up hope. Even when hope itself looks hopeless, hope is still present.

Our path does not stop, not even for the end of the world as we know it.

Let’s Pray

Music 4

Make Room

CCLI Song # 7122057

Evelyn Heideriqui | Josh Farro | Lucas Cortazio | Rebekah White

Verse

Here is where I lay it down
Every burden every crown
This is my surrender
This is my surrender
Here is where I lay it down
Every lie and every doubt
This is my surrender

Chorus

And I will make room for you
To do whatever you want to
To do whatever you want to
And I will make room for you
To do whatever you want to
To do whatever you want to

Bridge

Shake up the ground of all my tradition
Break down the walls of all my religion
Your way is better
Your way is better

Ending

Here is where I lay it down
You are all I’m chasing now
This is my surrender

Benediction

Reader: We now leave to live our lives, to grow old, to raise our families, we leave to love neighbor, stranger, and family.

Response: We will leave trusting God.

Reader: We will get on with living our lives, mindful of the dreams God has for humanity, whether we are in Jerusalem, Babylon, or wherever we may be, we will trust that God’s peace will come.  

Response: We now leave in hope even when hope seems absent.

Reader: We leave because that is where our path leads us.

Response: We leave because that is where God’s love takes us.

Community

  • Winter Bible Studies in February waiting on covid
  • Next Sunday –

Peace

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

And also with you.

Go in peace.

Order, Words, & Voices 01.16.21

Order

Sunday, January 16, 2022

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

Just A Closet Walk With Thee

Here I Am To Worship

  • Welcome/Mercer Introduction/Prayer (Zoom Gallery View) Petty
  • Music 2                                                        Abbie

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

  • Scripture (No slides just reader) Online – Peyton
  • Music 3 Abbie

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

  • Message   Jamie
  • Music 4 Abbie

Special – (No Slides) He Walks With Me

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

Words & Voices

Music 1 (Abbie)

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

CCLI Song # 1828321

Jack Schrader

Verse 1

I am weak but Thou art strong
Jesus keep me from all wrong
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk let me walk close to Thee

Chorus

Just a closer walk with thee
Grant it Jesus is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be dear Lord let it be

Verse 2

Through this world of toil and snares
If I falter Lord who cares
Who with me my burden shares
None but Thee dear Lord none but Thee

Chorus

Just a closer walk with thee
Grant it Jesus is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be dear Lord let it be

Verse 3

When my feeble life is o’er
Time for me will be no more
Guide me gently safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore to Thy shore

Chorus

Just a closer walk with thee
Grant it Jesus is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be dear Lord let it be

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

Chorus

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

Bridge

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

Chorus

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

Welcome/Prayer (No Slides) (Petty)

  • Welcome
  • Jaimie Introduction
  • Prayer

Eternal God, we bow as empty vessels waiting to be filled but our minds and souls are busy with many things which impede our being filled by you. We become preoccupied with our worries. We worry about our children, our finances. our responsibilities. our health. our world.

Help us to release these cares and troubles, empty us of them so that we may be filled. Filled with a sense of your presence, with the touch of your spirit, with new energy, and with your power. Mostly though, may we be filled with trust and faith.

Empower us as we worship in this place and then enable us as we leave into the midst of those you love. Replace the stagnant waters with your refreshing Spirit. God, may you, through us, give the world your gift of newness, refreshment, and renewal.

Amen

Music 2 (Abbie)

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

CCLI Song # 25194

B. B. McKinney

Chorus

Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 1

Take up thy cross and follow Me
I heard my Master say
I gave My life to ransom thee
Surrender your all today

Chorus

Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 2

He drew me closer to His side
I sought His will to know
And in that will I now abide
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Chorus

Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Verse 3

My heart my life my all I bring
To Christ who loves me so
He is my Master Lord and King
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Scripture (Online – Peyton)

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 

When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” Jesus’ mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 

Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 

Then, Jesus said to the servants, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” 

So the servants took the wine. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew).

The steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 2:1-11

Music 3 (Abbie)

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

Message (Jamie)

Wedding at Cana: “Really, Mom?”

A couple of weeks ago Andrew and I took Albany and Will to Birmingham for the day to eat at our favorite restaurant, hit an antique store, and then shop at our favorite bookstore.  It’s a huge store with all kinds of books, games, movies, collectibles, and more.  We had all kind of wandered in our own directions.  After a little while, I ran into Albany, and she joined me.  We were walking and talking for a bit, and we ran into Will.  He didn’t just join us quietly, nor was his response, “Oh Mother, it is good to see.  Let me join you.”  Instead I got, “I was looking for Dad, but you’re better than nothing.”  13 year olds, right?

Moms have a unique job.  We have the interesting perspective of seeing the areas in which our kids could grow and encouraging and guiding them.  Whether it is correcting their grammar or their posture or their phone skills.  We want to guide and make sure they are prepared for life.  At the same time, somehow, we can overlook all of those faults or gaps in knowledge and we seem to have the ability to believe in our kids more than anyone else.  

Today we are going to look at a passage that you have probably heard many times.  It is the first recorded miracle that Jesus performs, but we also want to pay close attention to Mary’s, Jesus’ mother’s, role in this story.  I do want to take a quick moment and bring up The Chosen.  If you have not watched the series of Bible stories, I highly recommend them.  I think you can find most of them on YouTube and some streaming platforms.  While most Biblical based TVs and movies are terribly done, this one is truly great.  Even my kids enjoyed it.  So check out the Chosen, especially the one about the Wedding at Cana.

John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.”

Often times when I have read this passage or heard it preached, the focus is often on Jesus performing his first miracle.  This is important and definitely a significant moment, but I think if we step back and look at it from the perspective of Mary, we can also learn a lot.  

There is something comforting and familiar about Mary in this story.  She kind of portrays the typical mother, doesn’t she?  

For those of you who do not know, my husband is a meteorologist.  He works at MSU and does a lot of statistics and artificial intelligence stuff that uses weather data.  When we used to live here in Oklahoma, he was a forecaster for a private company while he was working on his masters and doctorate, though he doesn’t really forecast any more.  Often in the Spring and some other times during the year, we get frantic calls from Andrew’s mom.  Now Andrew’s parents live in DFW and have some fairly prominent TV meteorologists who are often tracking the storms down to what intersection they are crossing.  However, Andrew’s mom will call across the country and get a forecast from her son, sometimes I think to measure it up against the TV meteorologist.  

But truly, Andrew’s mom’s reaction is typical for many moms.  They have spent so much of their time praying for, loving on, guiding and cheering their children on, that when they see them excel at something, they believe in their children in a way few people in life will ever believe in us.  

And I think we see this from Mary in this moment.  We are told from the passage that Mary has noticed that they are running out of wine at the wedding.  We don’t know how Mary knew the bride and groom, but we can imagine that they were close since she chose to act.  So she goes to Jesus, her son, and tells him that they are out of wine. 

Now also we don’t know to what extent Mary is aware of what Jesus can do.  The Bible is pretty silent about his formative years.  But we can see that Mary believes Jesus can do something to fix the problem.  

You are probably familiar with the modern Christmas song, “Mary, did you know?”  It’s one of my dad’s favorite Christmas songs.  I think a lot of people like it because it addresses questions that many of us never really pondered having not been in that situation.  This past Christmas I noticed that the song was becoming a meme, especially among Christian women on Facebook, declaring, “of course Mary knew!”    

While I don’t know that she could grasp the magnitude that her son would have on the world, I believe there is truth in the memes.  We don’t know what signs Mary saw in young Jesus’ life.  We don’t know if there were miraculous things that happened.  But even when Jesus was an infant, Mary knew that he was special.  When they took Jesus to the temple as an infant to dedicate him to God, Simeon told Mary, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” She is told from the beginning how important His life will be for the world, and how badly she will grieve Him at the end.  Then Anna referred to Jesus as the “child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”

And let’s not forget that instead of taking a pregnancy test, Mary was visited by angel who told her she was carrying a child who would be called “Son of the Most High God”.  So I can’t help thinking that she knew.  Besides the conception being miraculous, she had several people who told her what was to come and that He was the Messiah.  The Bible tells us Mary pondered and treasured these things in her heart.

So when we see her bring the lack of wine to Jesus’ attention at the wedding, we see that she believes he can do something.  Now we don’t know if she planned for him to run to the store or what, but we see her resolute belief that Jesus will take care of the problem.  Which makes Jesus’ response so baffling, unless you’re a mother.

“Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 

Now isn’t this reminiscent of Jesus’ 12 year old response when they found Him at the temple?  Remember they were traveling for Passover and realized Jesus was no longer with them and when they finally find him at the temple, he seems unfazed that his parents have been worried about him.   Luke 2:48 we see another very typical Mother moment from Mary.  She said, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

And Jesus replies in the most perfect pre-teen nonchalance that can drive a mom crazy.

49 “Why were y’ou searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? 

And I love verse 50, because this is where I seem to live.  

50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

As a mom of 3 teens, I don’t think anything sums it up quite like that.  I think that is why I find it so interesting that Mary is in this moment where she has seen a need and she brings it to her son.

Jesus protests and tells her He isn’t ready, but Mary will not be dissuaded.  She doesn’t plead.  She doesn’t badger Him.  Instead she says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

It is at her intercession that Jesus begins his public ministry.  While the only people who knew what he had done were the servants and his disciples, it served as a moment that set his public ministry into motion.  It is in seeing this that strengthens the disciples belief in Jesus that will cause them to follow Him all the way to the cross.  

What we learn from Mary is how to be an intercessor.  The lack of wine at the reception would not have looked poorly upon Mary.  It probably would not have even affected her directly.  But we see her tender heart noticing the lack of wine and knowing that the family they were there to celebrate would be brought to shame.  She brought her concern to Jesus.

What this should remind us is that God invites us to participate in His work.  He invites to intercede for those around us.  In a society that prides itself in looking out for #1 and sometimes having a me first attitude, this is pretty countercultural.  But we cannot reconcile the words of Jesus with our actions if we don’t. 

 Ephesians 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Jesus told the disciples that the whole law could be summed up in Love God and Love People.  Then He gives us some pointers telling us to take care of the widow, the orphan and the oppressed.  He tells us that when we feed the hungry and clothe the needy that it is like we are feeding and clothing Him.  By being His hands and feet, we are interceding the needs of those around us and sharing Christ’s love with a broken world.

We can also intercede for those around us who are hurting by praying for them.  

Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

We need a faith like Mary’s.  We need to be aware enough when we look around this world that we can see the broken pieces and then intercede.  If we can be His ambassador and His hands and feet and address the situations, we should do so, as if we were working for the Lord.  But if it is something out of our hands, then we are called to pray and to have faith like Mary’s.  Sometimes it is about taking our request to God in prayer and then walking away with faith that God is in control.  We have to believe that he will take care of the situation even if it isn’t the way we would choose.  And that is tough, but truly it is what we are called to as Christians.  

I have been debating on whether or not to share this last story with you all week.  I struggle telling it because I can’t explain.  While I believe God moves in mighty ways, I often feel a little uncomfortable and cynical with signs and miracles and stuff. But every time I tried to end my message, I would think about this story.

When Albany was almost 5 years old, she had been in her room playing and came in the living room and told me she needed to pray for baby Myles.  Myles was the son of our friends Jay and Crystal and was still an infant.  I asked Albany what we were praying for Myles for and she said, “He has fire on his head.”  I smiled and held back a giggle while she bowed her head and prayed.  So I bowed my head and after we said “amen” she skipped off and went back to playing.  Thinking the situation was cute, I texted Jay & Crystal and told them about it.  I got a phone call about a minute later and it was Jay and his voice was shaky.  He told me they had just loaded Myles in his car seat to take him to the hospital.  He had been running a fever all day and it had just reached 104.  They got my text as they had put him in the car.  They ran in and got the thermometer and checked his temperature and it was normal.  

I think sometimes we become so cynical and skeptical as adults that we forget how big and powerful our God is.  I don’t share this story often because in my adult mind, it doesn’t make sense.  But children have such a simple faith.  And when we are interceding for those around us, we need to come with that same child-like innocence and faith.  

So as I close today, I encourage you to see where you can intercede.  And I don’t mean fixing everyone else’s problems.  I’m going to reread our verse from earlier, Ephesians 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  

We aren’t responsible for solving the entire world’s problems.  Instead, our lives are our ministries.  Your job, your family, your neighborhood, that is your ministry.  Ask God to show you areas you can intercede and be His hands and feet.  And take the burdens and the trials that those in your life are going through to God in prayer and know He is already at work and drawing near to the brokenhearted. 

I want to close with one of my favorite quotes by Stephen Grellet.

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Let’s Pray

Music 4 (No Slides) (Abbie)

He Walks With Me (1 Peter)

CCLI Song # 7068848

Sandra McCracken | Seth Philpott

Verse 1

Though now we have trials
We wait for salvation
Though tested by fire
We suffer with joy

Verse 2

By His great mercy
Our hope has been born again
Faithful as the morning
We’re raised up with Christ

Chorus

And I cannot see Him
But oh how I love Him
I cannot see Him
But I believe I know He walks with me
I believe that He walks with me

Verse 3

Raised up with the priesthood
To witness His wondrous works
Called out from the darkness
To shimmering light

Chorus

And I cannot see Him
But oh how I love Him
I cannot see Him
But I believe I know He walks with me
I believe that He walks with me

Benediction (Dave)

Reader: As we go out there, we are aware that we can be a frustrating people.

Response: As we go from here, we recognize that we can be a trying people.

Reader: We have doubts and we want all the answers.

Response: We seek answers but we fail to listen for truth.

Reader: We taste water that has been turned to wine.

Response: We don’t like taste so spit it out in revolt.

Reader: God promises us his presence, a promise that we are not alone.

Response: God tells to look for huge miracles in insignificant moments.

Reader: God shows us how to live.

Response: To live out compassion and mercy through our lives.

Reader: God show us how to love.

Response: To see the value of all.

Reader: God shows us how to forgive. 

Response: To not live in guilt, or condemn others to shame.

Reader: May we recognize that God is our light.

Response: Truth that lights our path.

Reader: May we not try to keep the light to ourselve.

Response: The light is for all.

Reader: May we start here, where we are.

Response: May we step out to wherever God leads.

Community (No Slides) (Petty)

  • Covid
  • Beware of Scams on Bank Accounts
  • Winter Bible Studies in February
  • Next Sunday – ‘The End Of The World As We Know It’, Jeremiah 29:1-7

Peace (Petty)

Reader: As you go from here may the peace of the Lord go with you.

Response: And also with you.

Reader: Go in peace. Have a great week and be safe for yourself and for others.

Order, Voices, & Words

Order

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

Chorus

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

Welome/Prayer

  • 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, 

Amen

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

Chorus

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

Verse

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

Pre-Chorus

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

Chorus

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

Scripture

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

Chorus

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

Bridge

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

Message

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

Pre-Chorus

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

Chorus

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
(REPEAT)

Interlude

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

Bridge

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

Ending

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

Benediction

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.

Community

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

Peace

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

Order, Voices, & Words

Order

Sunday, January 2, 2022

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

Come Thou Fount

I Need Thee Every Hour

  • Welcome/Introduction of Lynn/Prayer. Rick
  • Music 2                                                        Lynn

Christ Be All Around Me

Be Thou My Vision

  • Scripture Online – Albany
  • Music 3 Lynn

What A Beautiful Name

  • Message   Eyes Up Rick
  • Music 4 – Song Special (with words on screen) Lynn

Awake My Soul

(Note to Lynn: begin to play during prayer)

  • Benediction Isaiah
  • Community Rick
  • Closing Peace                                         Rick
  • Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Voices and Words

Music 1 

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing

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 2

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 

I Need Thee Every Hour

CCLI Song # 78811

Annie Sherwood Hawks | Robert Lowry

Verse 1

I need Thee every hour
Most gracious Lord
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford

Chorus

I need Thee O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee

Verse 2

I need Thee every hour
In joy or pain
Come quickly and abide
Or life is vain

Chorus

I need Thee O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee

Verse 3

I need Thee every hour
Most Holy One
O make me Thine indeed
Thou blessed Son

Chorus

I need Thee O I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
O bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee

Welcome, Introduce Lynn, & Prayer

  • Welcome
  • Introduction of Lynn Herble, wife of Tim owner of NYAJ, Music instructor at Morre High, and worship leader at churches in area. 
  • Prayer

Dearest Father and Almighty Creator

We ask for your Grace today, despite our pride

Your forgiveness, despite our doubt

Most of all Lord, we ask for your love to soothe us through these dark times

May we face whatever it is to come in your divine will 

with courage and open hearts of acceptance 

Amen

Music 2 

Christ Be All Around Me

CCLI Song # 7016414

David Leonard | Jack Mooring | Leeland Mooring | Leslie Jordan

Verse 1

As I rise
Strength of God go before lift me up
As I wake
Eyes of God look upon be my sight

Verse 2

As I wait
Heart of God satisfy and sustain
As I hear
Voice of God lead me on be my guide be my guide

Chorus

Above and below me
Before and behind me
In ev’ry eye that sees me
Christ be all around me

Above and below me
Before and behind me
In ev’ry eye that sees me
Christ be all around me yeah

Verse 3

As I go
Hand of God my defense by my side
As I rest
Breath of God fall upon bring me peace
Bring me peace

Interlude

Oh oh Christ be all around me yeah
Oh oh Christ be all around me yeah

Bridge

Your life Your death Your blood
Was shed for ev’ry moment ev’ry moment 

Be Thou My Vision

CCLI Song # 30639

Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne

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
Be 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

Riches I heed not
Nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance
Now and always


Thou and Thou only
Be first in my heart
High King of heaven
My treasure Thou art

Scripture 

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present the infant Jesus to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, 

“Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 

Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying 

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. 

Anna never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:21-38

Music 3 

What A Beautiful Name

CCLI Song # 7068424

Ben Fielding | Brooke Ligertwood

Verse 1

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

Chorus 1

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King


What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Verse 2

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

Chorus 2

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is


Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Bridge

Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence the boast of sin and grave

The heavens are roaring
The praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

Bridge

You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign


Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names

Chorus 3

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Ending

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Message

A new year, a new beginning. If we are to be honest we pretty much sucked at preparedness for the last 2 new years. We were not prepared for the regular use of words like pandemic, quarantine, lockdown, insurrection, conspiracies, we were blindsided by unexpected realities such as threats to our democracy, additional pandemic strains, tarnished and shrinking evangelicalism, growing extremism, growing and accepted racism, attacks on voting rights that compare to the Jim Crowe eras, mainstreamed false prophets as in the days of Isaiah, and so much more, and this does not even include our person tragedies and trials. 

It is probably time to take a brief trip back to humanity’s beginning.

In the beginning God.

Sometimes we forget that. We forget that there was a time of nothingness, a time when even light, as we pragmatically identify light, did not exist.

A time when we would have only seen – God.

In the beginning God.

A full sentence, a sentence that warrants a period after just 4 words. It is incorrect to say ‘God was in the beginning,’ because God was not in the the beginning, God was our beginning.

Nothing else, only God.

God was all there was to see, to experience, to trust.

God. God was, and is, enough.

If we attempted to look down, to look away, we would still only see God.

When God began to create something out of nothingness, the process included giving us eyes and ears. And then, in God’s moment of outrageous generosity and audacious trust in, us, God’s own created, God gave us hearts and minds. God gave us the choice to see, or not see, to look, or not to look.

And, to top it all off, God breathed life, his life, into us. Regardless of what we ultimately do with that breath, God still breathed it into each, and all, of us.

Not long after creation, humanity chose to turn our gaze elsewhere. We used our God given choice to turn away and to make ourself our own God.

It was Eve who had the first grasp that we, even with our eyes, ears, hearts and minds, we were not created to be God, nor are we even capable of being God.

Eve proclaimed, “Guys, we cannot do this, we can doing nothing without the help of God!”

Humanity could not create something out of nothingness. Even if we could, we would still be creating out of the nothingness created by God.

Because very few, if any, listened to Eve’s epiphany, humanity fell into an existence of survival.

It was in survival, in the blinding brightness of the total darkness, that humanity faced our most raw choice – “To whom do we cry out?”

For most, those that had forgotten the creator, those who had forgotten the breath given by the creator, the choice was “I will cry out to myself” which soon morphed into, “We will cry out to ourself.”

There were those that remembered God’s breath within them. Their recognized that “I can only cry out to God.”

In the midst of their brutal survival, some remembered God with each each fresh breath. Eve breathed in and remembered God as she gave birth to son Seth. Noah, breathed in that fresh breath as he stepped out of the ark into a refreshed creation. The descendants of Noah were given the opportunity to breath in a new crisp breath as they scattered. Abraham and Sarah breathed in God’s breath anew when they left their home, their families, their vocation, their false gods, their faith, as God offered them an existence that was more than survival.

The story goes on and on, it was a minority that turned from the distraction of survival to consciously breathe in the refreshed and renewing breath of God. That breath continued to open eyes and ears. That breath gave a new beginning over and over.

This breath raised their gaze, it let them look out, forward, and even up to the God that gave breath.

The Psalmist described this state of being, the state where we fall back into the breath of God, the state where we are content with each new beginning.

“Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me.”

The psalmist speaks first to those things that prevent us from breathing and looking up, proclaiming that the authentic search is not rooted in pride, arrogance, superiority, or disdain, but instead, the Psalmist offers the state of being that which permits us to genuinely look to God.

“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child resting with their mother, looking up by choice to the see the source of my sustenance. My soul is like a weaned child within me, composed and freed from discontent. I will hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.” (Psalm 131, AMP)

This is God’s call as we face a new beginning. To recognize and rid ourself of pride and arrogance, to confront our own attitudes of superiority, and to cleanse our attitudes of disdain.To replace these with rest in God’s provision, God’s peace, looking up to God. We look to God, free of discontent, permitting our Hope to be forever rooted in God.

On the eighth day after Jesus birth, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were safely ready for Jesus’ naming and circumcision. We see something very contemporary in their 7 day wait. The law, in an effort to prevent the spread of disease stated that any person exposed to blood must quarantine in lockdown for seven days, 14 days if it is for the birth of a female. This wait time was to protect Mary and Jesus from any exposure to illness, but it was also an effort to protect the others, the public from the same. This is a procedure of Purification for the ‘unclean’. Being ‘unclean’ was not a sin but a natural preventative identification to not only protect the one that had been exposed, but also to keep that person from exposing others. It was part of loving others as we love ourselves. After purification, the birthing mother, and child, were to quarantine for an attentional 33 days for further purification before additional public exposure. The first 7 days of purification can be understood scientifically, this second, longer, period is less clear. Possibly to provide needed time of bonding for child, mother, and father. It may have been an extra effort to ward off disease, who knows, the point is, however, Mary and Joseph honored this process of protecting themselves and others regardless of reasoning. They were willing to give up freedoms to stay healthy and to give the same considerations to others, all others.

It was after these 2 quarantines that Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple for a final purification sacrificial offering and for the dedication of the infant.

An elderly man named Simeon was looking up expectantly for the arrival of the Messiah. Simeon, fully ready to die, had been promised that he would see the Messiah before death. So he waited and watched. On this day, the Holy Spirit guided Simeon into the temple square, there we saw the baby Jesus. Even though he might not have expected an infant, his persistent trust created an openness to whatever, or whoever, the Messiah would be.

“Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your truth; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’” (Luke 2:28-32)

Following Simeon, an elderly woman approached the family of Joesph. Anna, had also been waiting for the Messiah. She had begun looking years ago and had now taken up residence in the temple square as she dedicated her life to looking up at Jesus. 

Anna was 84 years old, female, a widow, and basically homeless, four strikes against her in the minds of others. She was probably considered the temple square crazy woman – always approaching everyone to explain her quest to see the Messiah.

Nothing stopped Anna, she strived to be in the right place, at the right time, to see the Messiah. No sacrifice was too great, no opposition was too strong, no humiliation was too hurtful. She would not give up her pursuit.

Everyone who saw Jesus in those first years had roadblocks and barriers.

Mary, a young woman that was too young and too dismissed.

Joesph, a good man probably considered to be too gullible.

Elizabeth and Zechariah, an elderly couple – too old and too defeated.

The Inn Keeper, who gave out of his nothingness.

Shepherds who who only had their mundane tireless jobs staring at an open sky.

Anna and Simeon, both too old and ready to die.

All in their places, all in their life stages, all with a shared goodness, all watching as best they knew how, all hoping for the Deliverer.

We end looking back at Anna. Waiting, willing, and looking. Pushing aside the surmounting odds of her hope and still watching. Looking ahead for the new beginning. Just wanting a glimpse of the beginning of hope. Ignoring the impossibilities and looking for the Messiah, whether it be an earthly King or an defenseless infant.

For Simeon this was an ending, for 84 year old Anna this was a beginning (2:38). This may be the greatest thing for us to note at this time in this story. Anna’s journey, her calling, did not end at her destination, it just set her on the path for a new calling. She was not too old, she was not too alone, she was not to dismissed, she was not too pitiful, she was not too frail – She was Anna, standing at another beginning, trusting in God’s power and might.

As we stand in much that same place, may Anna’s unhindered preparedness be our inspiration.

Let’s pray.

Music 3 – Special 

Awake My Soul

CCLI Song # 7134998

Brooke Ligertwood

Verse 1

There is a sound I love to hear
It’s the sound of the Saviour’s robe
As He walks into the room where people pray
Where we hear praises He hears faith

Verse 2

There is a sound I love to hear
It’s the sound of the Saviour’s robe
As He walks into the room where people pray
Where we hear worship He hears faith

Chorus

Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud sing His praise aloud
Oh awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud sing His praise aloud

Verse 3

There is a sound that changes things
The sound of His people on their knees
Oh wake up you slumbering
It’s time to worship Him

Bridge

And when He moves and when we pray
Where stood a wall now stands a way
Where every promise is amen


And when He moves make no mistake
The bowels of hell begin to shake
All hail the Lord all hail the King

Bridge

Hey oh
Oh let the King of glory enter in
Hey oh
Fall down on your knees and worship Him
Hey oh
Let His praise rise up don’t hold it in

Benediction 

Reader: Dearest Father

Response: Almighty Creator

Reader: We ask for your Grace this year, despite our pride

Response: We ask for your forgiveness, despite our doubt

Reader: Most of all Lord, we ask for your love 

Response: Your love to soothe us through unexpected dark times

Reader: May we face whatever it is to come in your divine will Response: May we face whatever is to come with courage 

Reader: May we face whatever is to come with open hearts of acceptance 

All: Amen 

Community

Covid

Winter Bible Studies in February

Next Sunday – Posted w/scripture tomorrow, Monday 

Peace

Reader: As we begin another new year, may the peace of God go with you

Response: And also with you

Reader: Go in peace.

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