Order, Words, & Voices 04.17.22

Order

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Pre Worship Audio (10:15am)

Welcome/Call to Worship (10:30) Rick

Music 1 – Standing Christian & Team
Christ the Lord has Risen Today
Crown Him with Many Crowns

Prayer (prepare for online reader during prayer) Rick

Scripture Mark 13:1-8, 32-37 On Line-Kristen Y

Music 2 Christian & Team
Glorious Day

Message   Not Here (Mark 16:1-8) Rick

Congregational Response
Benediction (signal Steve when slides ready) In Person-Steve

Music 4         Because He Lives             Christian & Team

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio

Words and Voices

Welcome (No slides)

Blest is the Lord Jesus who came to us a little child, one of us, flesh and blood to share in our humanity – For God so loved the world.

Blest is the Lord Jesus who came to us as carpenter and yet in whose creative hands a world was fashioned – For God so loved the world.

Blest is the Lord Jesus who came to us as fisherman and yet pointed to a harvest that was yet to come – For God so loved the world.

Blest is the Lord Jesus who came to us as teacher and opened eyes to truths that only the poor could understand – For God so loved the world.

Blest is the Lord Jesus who came to us as healer and opened hearts to the reality of wholeness – For God so loved the world.

Blest is the Lord Jesus who came to us as prophet, priest and king, and yet humbled himself to take our place upon the cross – For God so loved the world.

Blest is the Lord Jesus who came to us as servant and revealed to us the extent of his Father’s love for human kind – For God so loved the world.

Blest is the Lord Jesus, who rose from the ignominy of a sinner’s death
to the triumph of a Saviour’s resurrection – For God so loved the world.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son for the sake of me, you, and all sinners. Blest is the Lord Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer.

Let us on this day remember and celebrate the resurrected Jesus!

[Please stand as we open with celebration and praise.]

Music 1 (14 slides)

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today (Easter Hymn)
CCLI Song # 27965
Charles Wesley | Samuel Arnold

Verse 1
Christ the Lord is risen today alleluia
Sons of men and angels say alleluia
Raise your joys and triumphs high alleluia
Sing ye heavens and earth reply alleluia

Verse 2
Lives again our glorious King alleluia
Where O death is now thy sting alleluia
Once he died our souls to save alleluia
Where’s thy victory boasting grave alleluia

Verse 3
Love’s redeeming work is done alleluia
Fought the fight the battle won alleluia
Death in vain forbids Him rise alleluia
Christ hath opened paradise alleluia

Verse 4
Soar we now where Christ has led alleluia
Following our exalted Head alleluia
Made like Him like Him we rise alleluia
Ours the cross the grave the skies alleluia

Crown Him With Many Crowns (Diademata)
CCLI Song # 23938
George Job Elvey | Godfrey Thring | Matthew Bridges

Verse 1
Crown Him with many crowns
The Lamb upon His throne
Hark how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own

Awake my soul and sing
Of Him who died for thee
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity

Verse 2
Crown Him the Lord of life
Who triumphed o’er the grave
And rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save

His glories now we sing
Who died and rose on high
Who died eternal life to bring
And lives that death may die

Verse 3
Crown Him the Lord of love
Behold His hands and side
Rich wounds yet visible above
In beauty glorified

No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight
But downward bends each burning eye
At mysteries so bright

Verse 4
Crown Him the Lord of peace
Whose power a sceptre sways
From pole to pole
That wars may cease

And all be prayer and praise
His reign shall know no end
And round His pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet

Verse 5
Crown Him the Lord of years
The Potentate of time
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime

All hail Redeemer hail
For Thou hast died for me
Thy praise shall never never fail
Throughout eternity

Prayer (3 slides beginning part way through)

God of resurrection of life and death, and God of rebirth
Renew our hearts and minds
God of promise of all beginnings and of all endings
Renew our hearts and minds
God of hope of new growth and harvest
Renew our hearts and minds
[Please join in the Lord’s prayer, words are on the screen]
[3 slides begin]
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
Amen.

Scripture (No Slides)

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Mark 16:1-8
Music 2 (11 slides)

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

Verse 1
One day when heaven
was filled with His praises
One day when sin was
as black as could be
Jesus came forth to
be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men my example is He

The Word became flesh
And the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Chorus
Living He loved me
dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
O glorious day (glorious day)

Verse 2
One day they led Him up
Calv’ry’s mountain
One day they nailed Him
to die on a tree
Suffering anguish
despised and rejected
Bearing our sins my Redeemer is He

The hand that healed nations
Stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

Chorus
Living He loved me
dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
O glorious day (glorious day)

Verse 3
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose over death He had conquered
Now is ascended my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him
From rising again

Chorus
Living He loved me dying
He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
O glorious day (glorious day)

Bridge
One day the trumpet
will sound for His coming
One day the skies with
His glories will shine
Wonderful day
my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Ending
O glorious day glorious day
O glorious day
Message – Not Here (27 Slides)
Open with these12 slides/screen share, have ‘Holy’, first slide, up as Rick begins.
[13 Slides] Holy. Holy cow. Holy mackerel. Holy smoke. Holy roller. Holy @#$%&!. Holy Mary, mother of God. Holy land. Holy Week. Take off your shoes Moses, you are standing on Holy ground. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty. Early in the morning my song shall rise to thee.”
(Reginald Heber)

This a a holy time. Not just for us, followers of Christ, but for the followers of the three major religions, all which tie their ancestry back to Abrahan, all who are now also observing Holy.

1.8 billion people are, in this holy time, are, with restraint and repentance, remembering the times over 1,300 hundred years ago when their people we in the midst of suffering, brutality, and oppression, longing for deliverance, calling out to God.

15.2 million people, in this holy time, are remembering the times over 3,000 years ago when their people were in the midst of suffering, brutality, and oppression, longing for deliverance, calling out to God. In their observance they are asking 4 questions,
Why do we only eat matza at this time?
Why we eat bitter herbs at this time?
Why do we dip our food twice at this time?
Why do we al recline to eat at this time?

2.3 billion people, in this holy time, are remembering over 2,000 years ago, when their people were in the midst of suffering, brutality, and oppression, longing for deliverance, calling out to God. Remembering the brutal death of their Messiah, the time of fear and confusion, a time of hopelessness met by another moment, also a moment of fear and confusion, when they were confronted by an empty tomb.

Holiness is all around us. A time of remembrance and holiness. A time of deliverance, guidance, and community.

As Christians we focus on Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. When the standard of how to live, love, and relate was raised by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. A time of deliverance, guidance, and community.

This holy moment takes us all back to a time of brutality and hopelessness, a time of confusion and chaos, a time of doubt, fear, and despair.

Currently, w live in a time when brutal wars are taking place, when masses of people around the globe have become homeless refugees, a time when evil seems to have taken control. We have experienced, and are still in the midst of, a pandemic, unmatched gun violence, extreme effects of climate change, a visible resurgence of racism, trauma and distress, and wars… A time when God’s children of all faiths and cultures are crying out for deliverance, hope, and peace.

Easter, it is not just a remembrance of an event that took place over 2 thousand years ago, it is a reminder that people still exist who are crying out for deliverance, hope, and peace.

This is a time to not only remember but also to recognize the current realities of our world.
Screen share for duration of line
[Slide] “In these catastrophic times, we find ourselves coming back to our faith traditions to find those answers of how to translate all of the noise that we are hearing day in and day out, and how to turn that noise into action. Feelings lead to Hope which can motivate action and change.”
Imam Mohamed Herbert, Tulsa, OK Islamic Society

Sergey Nakul, pastor of Grace Reformed Church in Kyiv, Ukraine, who has decided to stay in Kyiv and minister in the midst of the Russian invasion says,
[Slide] “Friends ask me, what lessons have you learnt during these days of war? I express this with only one powerful and precious word, ‘Emmanuel – God is with us.’
Sergey Nakul, pastor of Grace Reformed Church in Kyiv, Ukraine,
Our remembrances and observances of a time that was, as well as our current
Screen share for duration of line time which still is, presents us with an opportunity to join the women standing at the foot of the cross, and then at the empty grave, to experience their confusion and fear. To understand their all consuming sense of abandonment.

[Slide] “Sometimes in dire circumstances when we ask ‘where is God?’ We are unaware that God is actually giving us his strength to carry through the circumstances. It is okay, and natural, to feel abandoned, even Christ on the said, ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’ Jesus endorses that human feeling.

[Slide] Small acts of evil have real impact, and small acts of love send ripples of grace through the world.

[Slide] Jesus was a person who drew lines, and Jesus was a person who stood for right. He turned over the tables in the temple where the money changers were treating the people unfairly.

[Slide] Jesus stood up and would not tolerate injustice. And, yet when Jesus is crucified, he doesn’t attack those who are crucifying him, he instead prays for them, ‘God forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.’ Until forgiveness is mutual the cycle of war and bloodshed continues.”
Father Constantine Lazarakis (Priest of Orthodox Church of the Hamptons, south Hampton NY).

[Slide] “Our ancestors also lived in catastrophic times. They walked this path before us, and created ways to withstand the suffering around them which helps us in our day to day life withstand the suffering around us.

[Slide] Helping us on an individual level, step by step, not just to nourish our souls but to transform that into action. Coming out of a dark and narrow place into a place of freedom. It’s about hope, overcoming the obstacles that lead to human suffering.”
Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick, (Temple Beth Am in Seattle, WA)

So, today, in this time of remembering God’s work in the past, we also remember the suffering of great swaths of God’s children currently suffering times of brutality, uncertainty, displacement and doubt, times when the question of ‘Where is God?’ are justified and understandable – we reckon back to a woman named Mary, standing at an empty grave, asking the same question, “Where is God?’

This year, on this Easter morning, we go to the gospel of Mark. The final chapter of Mark, his account of Jesus’ resurrection, has been a mystery to many Bible scholars and experts. Many feel that the actual writings of Mark end with verse 8, and that later, someone, added the final verses. Some modern translations end with verse 8, while others continue with a notation. It is not that the extra verses are unBiblical, their accuracy is documented, they affirm truth. However, they are not consistent with Mark’s writing. It is possible that these verses were added to lessen the bluntness of Mark’s ending. However, when we stop at verse 8, we have Mark challenging us to think of the resurrection not as a moment of finality, but instead, as a moment where Jesus is moving forward – Enhancing our perspective on the divine as well as the human elements of the resurrection
Screen share for duration of line
Screen share for duration of line story.

[Slide] With this in mind, Mark’s Gospel gospel ends with fear and silence: “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid” (16:8). There are no resurrection appearances, there is no final commissioning of the disciples; there is only confusion, fear, and silence, and the group of women do not return and tell the disciples.

[Slide] ‘Mark’s Gospel ends, shrouded in darkness and disillusionment. No wonder scribes and interpreters throughout the ages have felt compelled to finish Mark’s story for him. We want closure; we want an ending that ties up the loose ends of the story and brings it to a satisfying conclusion –

[Slide] we want a happy ending. We want to see Jesus alive! But the risen Jesus does not even appear in Mark. We are left, with the women, in their fear and confusion.’
Elisabeth Johnson, Professor, Lutheran Institute of Theology, Meiganga, Cameroon

As Judas showed up in the garden to betray Jesus, followed by Jesus arrest – the disciples deserted Jesus and fled. Peter show up for Jesus’ trial but emphatically denied knowing Jesus—not once, but three times.

Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome stand as witnesses to the events of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. They see the tomb where Jesus’ body is laid. They return early on this first day of the week to anoint Jesus’ body for burial. Once there, there is no body. Instead, a young man dressed in a white robe greets them with the news that Jesus is not here, he has been resurrected, and then commissions the women to “go, tell his disciples, and especially Peter, that Jesus is going ahead to Galilee as they had planned”.

The women are now authorized to proclaim the good news that Jesus has been resurrected, yet, the young man’s words fail to dispel the women’s fear. Like the male disciples, the women flee, overcome by terror and amazement. “And they say nothing to anyone”. 
Screen share for duration of line

[Slide] “Mark’s abrupt ending presents us with a tension between disappointment and anticipation. An unfinished story closer to our actual experience of the world. In the real world, tensions are often unresolved; loose ends are rarely all tied up. Our lives are full of unfinished stories—

[Slide] We try to find ways to find an ending that satisfies, but every ending we fashion inevitably disappoints. Despite Mark’s unsettled and unsatisfying ending, it leaves us with anticipation and a reason to hope. The tomb is empty, Death could not hold Jesus down.

[Slide] “Go, tell his disciples and Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you”. We have every reason to believe that what Jesus promised will take place, because his word has already been consistently fulfilled. Our life of faith is lived between the resurrection and Jesus’ ultimate return.

[Slide] We walk by faith and not by sight, clinging to the promise that we will see the Lord, despite the fear and confusion we currently experience. God will bring to completion the redemptive, reconciling work already begun in Jesus Christ, as God has promised.“
Elisabeth Johnson, Professor, Lutheran Institute of Theology, Meiganga, Cameroon
“You missed Jesus because he has already moved on, there is much to do. Tell the disciples, and especially Peter who needs some encouragement now, to meet Jesus in Galilee as planned. We must continue what we have been doing!”

Mark’s presentation is not a different story of Jesus resurrection, it is just Jesus continuing what he had be doing all along, the women eventually did speak, and Jesus continued doing what he said he would do, doing what he had arranged with the disciples, doing what the Father sent him to do. Over 2,000 years later, we are left to act on the story. We are invited into the narrative, to meet Jesus who has gone ahead of us to our Galilee. This is just ‘the beginning of the good news’ – this, today, is, yet again, our renewed and refreshed faith beginning.

“But go, tell his disciples and Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”

Let’s PrayResponse – Congregational Response (9 slides)

Leader: May we remember the little child, flesh and blood like us, who shared in our humanity.
Response: We remember our resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leader: May we remember the carpenter by whose creative hands our world was fashioned.
Response: We remember our resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leader: May we remember the fisherman who pointed to a harvest yet to come Response: We remember our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

Leader: May we remember the teacher who opened eyes to truths only the poor could understand.
Response: We remember our resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leader: May we remember the healer who opened our hearts to wholeness.
Response: We remember our resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leader: May we remember the prophet, priest and king, who humbled himself to take our place on the cross.
Response: We remember our resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leader: May we remember the servant who revealed to us the Father’s love.
Response: We remember our resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leader: May we remember the Son who revealed to us the Father.
Response: We remember our resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.

Leader: Let us on this day remember and celebrate the resurrected Jesus!
Response: We remember Jesus, the evidence of God’s Love.

Response – Music 3 (6 slides)

Because He Lives
CCLI Song # 16880
Gloria Gaither | William J. Gaither

Verse 1
God sent His Son they called Him Jesus
He came to love heal and forgive
He bled and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove
My Savior lives

Chorus
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives

Verse 2
How sweet to hold our newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days
Because Christ lives

Chorus
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives

Verse 3
And then one day I’ll cross that river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then as death gives way to vict’ry
I’ll see the lights of glory
And I’ll know He reigns

Chorus
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He livesCommunity (5 Slides)

Spring Bible Studies continue – Monday April 18 (w/dinner at 6) or Wednesday, April 10 (w/lunch at noon), Exodus 13:1 – 17:7 Please RSVP.
Next Sunday, April 17 – First Called, John 20:11-18
An Eggcellent Discussion, registration email link on web site
Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com
Thanks from San Francisco – Pictures

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 04.10.22

Order

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Pre Worship Audio (10:15am)

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 1 – Standing (10:30)  Lynn/Abbie

The Name of the Lord

The Solid Rock

Scripture Mark 13:1-8, 32-37 In person – Renee

Music 2 Lynn/Abbie

Hosanna (Praise is Rising)

Ancient of Days

We Fall Down

Message Out of the Shadows Rick

(Lk 23:50-56, Mk 14:1-9, Jn 19:23-30)

Congregational Response 

Benediction (signal Peyton when slides ready) In Person-Peyton

Music 3 Is He Worthy Lynn/Abbie

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio

Words and Voices

Welcome/Prayer (No slides)

God, we enter now into the holiest week of the year. A week in which we remember the sacrifice of your son on the cross, the culmination of the unholiest moment in history. A moment marked by violence, hatred, and fear in order to offer humanity deliverance, hope, and peace. A moment empowered fully by your love. A moment in which the unseen were invited to be seen by the savior who saw the invisible and dismissed. May this week be an epiphany to us all as we remember that you invited the unnoticed, the fearful, the powerless, and those who had given up to see their purpose in your eternal plan. May we see how we are called to be your avenue of mercy, compassion, acceptance, affirmation, and love in a world in need of all that is you. 

Amen

Music 1 (15 slides)

The Name Of The Lord

CCLI Song # 265239, Clinton Utterbach

Chorus 1

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord most high

Chorus 1

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be the name of the Lord most high

Chorus 2

Holy is the name of the Lord
Holy is the name of the Lord
Holy is the name of the Lord most high

Chorus 2

Holy is the name of the Lord
Holy is the name of the Lord
Holy is the name of the Lord most high

Verse

The name of the Lord is a strong tower
The righteous run into it and they are safe
The name of the Lord is a strong tower
The righteous run into it and they are safe

Chorus 3

Glory to the name of the Lord
Glory to the name of the Lord
Glory to the name of the Lord most high

Chorus 3

Glory to the name of the Lord
Glory to the name of the Lord
Glory to the name of the Lord most high

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

Scripture (No Slides)

As Jesus walked away from the Temple, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at that stonework! Those buildings!” Jesus said, “You’re impressed by this grandiose architecture? There’s not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble.” Later, as he was sitting on Mount Olives in full view of the Temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew got him off by himself and asked, “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?” Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.

“But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father. So keep a sharp lookout, for you don’t know the timetable. It’s like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch. So, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning. You don’t want him showing up unannounced, with you asleep on the job. I say it to you, and I’m saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch.”

Mark 13:1-8, 32-37 (MSG)Music 2 (20 slides)

Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)

CCLI Song # 4662491

Brenton Brown | Paul Baloche

Verse 1

Praise is rising
Eyes are turning to You
We turn to You
Hope is stirring
Hearts are yearning for You
We long for You

Pre-Chorus

‘Cause when we see You
We find strength to face the day
In Your presence
All our fears are washed away
(Washed away)

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna
You are the God who saves us
Worthy of all our praises
Hosanna hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here Lord Jesus

Verse 2

Hear the sound of
Hearts returning to You
We turn to You
In Your Kingdom
Broken lives are made new
You make us new

Pre-Chorus

‘Cause when we see You
We find strength to face the day
In Your presence
All our fears are washed away
(Washed away)

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna
You are the God who saves us
Worthy of all our praises
Hosanna hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here Lord Jesus

Pre-Chorus

‘Cause when we see You
We find strength to face the day
In Your presence
All our fears are washed away
(Washed away)

Chorus

Hosanna hosanna
You are the God who saves us
Worthy of all our praises
Hosanna hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here Lord Jesus

Ancient Of Days

CCLI Song # 798108

Gary Sadler | Jamie Harvill

Verse

Blessing and honor glory and power
Be unto the Ancient of Days
From ev’ry nation all of creation
Bow before the Ancient of Days

Chorus

Ev’ry tongue in heaven and earth
Shall declare Your glory
Ev’ry knee shall bow at Your throne
In worship

You will be exalted O God
And Your kingdom shall not pass away
O Ancient of Days

Verse

Blessing and honor glory and power
Be unto the Ancient of Days
From ev’ry nation all of creation
Bow before the Ancient of Days

Chorus

Ev’ry tongue in heaven and earth
Shall declare Your glory
Ev’ry knee shall bow at Your throne
In worship

You will be exalted O God
And Your kingdom shall not pass away
O Ancient of Days

Bridge

Your kingdom shall reign
Over all the earth
Sing unto the Ancient of Days
For none can compare
To Your matchless worth
Sing unto the Ancient of Days

Chorus

Ev’ry tongue in heaven and earth
Shall declare Your glory
Ev’ry knee shall bow at Your throne
In worship

You will be exalted O God
And Your kingdom shall not pass away
O Ancient of Days

Ending

Hosanna hosanna

We Fall Down

CCLI Song # 2437367, Chris Tomlin

Verse

We fall down
We lay our crowns
At the feet of Jesus
The greatness of mercy and love
At the feet of Jesus

Chorus

And we cry holy holy holy
And we cry holy holy holy
And we cry holy holy holy is the Lamb

(Possible repeat of Verse and Chorus – not in slides)Message – Out of the Shadows (14 Slides)

Today is Palm Sunday. It is on this morning that most Christian churches around the world, are celebrating the final public entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Today, we mark the observance of what is, ‘Holy Week’. A week that begins with celebration and joy, a week that will end with darkness and tears. It is a Holy Week, in all that is accomplished, all that is achieved, in all that moves life forward for us now and for eternity – however, it is also the most unholy period of all time in history. While mankind has inflicted many unholy periods throughout history, this one was and is different. This week was a brutal attack on heaven and earth, a week of evil versus right. Mostly, the difference about this period in history is that it defined righteousness as the ultimate victor, that hope can be found even in the worst of times, that peace exists even in the midst of wars and turmoil, it was on this week that Love won.

The week began with an unparalleled parade. It would be Jesus’ final public appearance, except for his appearance 6 days later on the cross. On this day, however, Jesus approached the city gates cheered on by a mighty impromptu crowd. It was a hoard of people moved to praise in a way that even they did not understand. The crowds was not unruly, it could not be classified as a mob. It was a loud crowd though, the type of loud that can sometimes become draw unwanted attention, it could be a problem. The religious officials told Jesus to make the crowd be quiet. Jesus answered honestly and said that if he did the rocks and stones would begin to make a much louder noise, a much scarier possibility. 

This was the last time that Jesus appeared in front of a joyful crowd, voices screaming ‘Hosannah!’ Later in the week, this same crowd would gather again, only this time their voices would be hostile and hateful, yelling for Jesus’ death.

Last times and final moments are significant. The last time before an adoring crowd, the last time for a public vocal affirmation. This was Jesus’ last time before he would experience extreme loneliness, vitriol, humiliation, scorn, and death. It would be a week of many last times. It would also be a time of a handful of individuals called out of the shadows, to step up to be a vital part of the work God would accomplish on this week.

After Jesus completed his final official public entrance into Jerusalem, he entered the temple, this too was another last time. 

The Temple. Originally a simple portable tent tabernacle – it was there that God resided among man. It was a holy place, a place where the people could see that God was truly present. Next, an actual brick and mortar structure was built. It was beautiful, it was awe inspiring. It was holy – until it was not.  About 600 years before Jesus would enter this temple for the last time, the Prophet Isaiah pronounced that the Temple was no longer a holy place. That the religious practices taking place there had become meaningless. Isaiah would say that God no longer wanted to attend their church. That temple was then destroyed, to be replaced by a third temple, a second beautiful building, this one, however a little less beautiful and a bit less awe inspiring. Eventually, a wicked king made improvements and enhancements to make the Temple more acceptable to the Jews longing for beauty and impressive architecture of the previous temple. The King’s benevolent effort was self serving and ultimately caused unholiness to seep out into the people. In this second temple building, the very proof that God was present in the temple, no longer officially resided in the building. God’s presence had become an issue personal issue, an issue of each individual and their own trust and reverence. God was there for those truly seeking him, but for many, it was just a beautiful building, something to be proud of. A building to define a people in a way that was no longer authentic.  

[Slide] As Jesus and his disciples exited the Temple, for the final time as a group, one of the disciples commented on the beauty of the structure and the impressive by grandiose architecture. Jesus responded by warning ‘this building already had decay eating away at it, and that it all would soon be a pile of rubble.’

[Slide] “When?” The disciples asked.

[Slide“I don’t know, only the Father knows.” Jesus answered. “So keep a sharp lookout, for you, and no human, knows the timetable. It’s like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each  assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch. 

[SlideSo, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning. You don’t want him showing up unannounced, with you asleep on the job. I  say it to you, and I’m saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch.”

The temple, this beautiful building, would indeed be a pile of rubble in less than 75 years. While it would ultimately fall at the hands of the Roman oppressors, the destruction had already begun within the building and within the hearts of the people.

It was during this ‘holy’ week that the disciples and other followers of Jesus would begin to see some of the beautiful bricks of this temple begin to symbolically fall. The pile of rubble would begin to amass. The world of these men to whom Jesus spoke would soon be turned upside down. Their teacher, their savior, would soon be crucified, some of them would soon publicly deny even knowing Jesus, and all would soon be hiding in justifiable fear. Soon, these men would be able to do nothing, others would be called forth to fill the gaps in their absence. Soon, they would think the desolation of their hopes meant a life ahead of hopelessness.

But, Jesus had said, 

[Slide] ‘This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.’

Mark 13:8b

[Slide] ‘Out of birth pains comes life.’

Biblical scholar Samuel Cruz says,

[Slide] In the midst of this apparent chaos and destruction, Jesus brings words of hope: “This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.” It is easy to forget that the narrative does not end with gloom and doom. 

[Slide] Although too often this narrative has been used to portray a hopeless and catastrophic situation, in reality, Jesus seems to be speaking about a hopeful and salvific future. We all know, and some have experienced, the   physical pain that women endure while giving birth. 

[Slide] However, after the most powerful forces of pain take place, birth is the result, and the new life is then celebrated. 

[Slide] Therefore, it seems that the apocalyptic words of Jesus were meant to bring a message of hope especially to the subjugated of his society and ours. 

[Slide] The description and verbiage used to explain what was to occur in the future is not even hyperbolic in nature. The changes will be radical and disruptive to the status quo. 

[Slide] The structures that will collapse might not be physical ones, they might be the stones and walls that have kept and continue to keep the oppressed, the marginalized, the undesirables, those living in the shadows, from fully realizing their ministerial potentials. 

[Slide] In our current era and political context, the words of Jesus bring comfort to the church and especially to those who have been kept marginalized.”

Samuel Cruz, Associate Professor of Church and Society, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, New York, N.Y.

Up to this week, inside the temple, was a veil. This veil was a symbolic and very real wall to most that they could not enter the temple inner place. This veil was designated to only allow a few to enter the holy place. The result was that this limited most of humanity from this holy place. It was here that sacrifices were carried out and God’s voice was to be heard. However, this veil had been a creation of humanity to restrict God from humanity, and humanity from God. Centuries before, the Isrealites had requested that Moses speak to them for God and for them before God. Their fear of God had prompted them to distance themselves from God. By the end of this week, the veil would rip, the barrier would be removed – changes were already taking place. Those in the shadows were already being called out.

Jesus disciples, these who would be the leaders of the follower of Jesus, of the new testament church, now began to slip into the shadows.

[Slide] ’At one time Jesus’ disciples had left all to follow him. But now, these disciples would leave everything to get away from Jesus. A total abandonment of Jesus by the band of disciples who would flee to escape the consequences of association with Jesus.’

Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla, Dallas Theological Seminary

I was a time when societal norms would be crumbling, when cultural practices would be challenged, when the ignored would be called to take the risk and step out of the shadows and be seen.

A day or 2 later, a condemned man stepped out and invited Jesus to his home for dinner. The man still carried the label of leper, and all the fear that instilled in the public even though he had been healed or was no longer contagious.

At that dinner a woman stepped out into an unwelcoming space of judgement and condemnation to anoint Jesus – an anointing she would resume after the crucifixion.

During the walk to the cross, a man was pulled out of the crowd to carry the cross for a physically exhausted Jesus.

A group of women stepped up to a visible place in the crowd near the cross on which Jesus hung. A group that was unhidden in the crowd, identified by their grief and pain.

A religious official opposed his contemporaries act of brutality towards Jesus and stepped out to claim the body of Jesus to give Jesus his tomb.

At the same time, this official, made space for the women followers of Jesus to accompany the body to the tomb for the proper anointing.

All of these individuals took a risk stepping out, their gender, their vocational positions, their societal ranking, their culture, their futures, were all secure as long as they could remain in the shadows, unseen, unnoticed. But, as the disciples could no longer meet these needs, another community of followers was called out, called to minister when no one else could address the needs. 

This was the crumbling of the bricks of the temple. A calling to all that followed Christ, a calling that invited all to be a part of the sacrifice. A personal involvement that was unencumbered by any barriers between humanity and God.

Believers were left with a pile of rubble. A dead Savior, a hostile community, a need to run back into hiding, but jobs still needed to be completed, acts of love had to still be carried out. A pile of bricks and stones. It was only the birth pangs of what laid ahead.

This is not the end. The same women that stood before the cross, who followed Jesus body to the tomb, would approach the tomb at sunrise the day after the Sabbath. On their way to the tomb they would worry about how they could remove the stone from the entry of the tomb. Once there, they found that the stone had already been removed, and, as they looked in, they found that the tomb was empty. Soon, they were told, “Jesus is Not Here.” And the next phase of the journey would begin.

Let’s PrayResponse – Congregational Response (6 slides)

Leader: We give thanks for God’s word, God’s truth. 

Response: May we allow God’s truth to guide and lead us.

Leader: We recognize that Holy is always present but often hidden by unholiness.

Response: May we trust the Holy when we only see unholiness.

Leader: We live in the shadows, covered in fear. Fear of others, fear of judgement, fear of condemnation, fear of that which we do not know.

Response: May we trust in God when God calls us to step out of the shadows.

Leader: We are called to the uncomfortable, the unfamiliar. We are invited to be a part of God’s work.

Response: May we offer the sacrifices of ourselves.

Leader: We are invited into God’s work, God’s deliverance, God’s eternal hope given to us.

Response: May we step into God’s calling.

Leader: We are living proof that Love has won, hope is here, peace is always present.

Response: May our lives be the outflow of Hope, Peace, and Love.

Response – Music 3 (18  slides) 

Is He Worthy

CCLI Song # 7108951, Andrew Peterson | Ben Shive

Verse 1

Leader: Do you feel the world is broken
Response: We do

Leader: Do you feel the shadows deepen
Response: We do

Leader: But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through
Response: We do

Leader: Do you wish that you could see it all made new
Response: We do

Verse 2

Leader: Is all creation groaning
Response: It is

Leader: Is a new creation coming
Response: It is


Leader: Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst
Response: It is


Leader: Is it good that we remind ourselves of this
Response: It is

Chorus 1

Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s Root
And the Lamb who died to ransom the slave

Is He worthy
Is He worthy
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy of this
He is

Verse 3

Leader: Does the Father truly love us
Response: He does

Leader: Does the Spirit move among us
Response: He does

Leader: And does Jesus our Messiah hold forever those He loves

Response: He does

Leader: Does our God intend to dwell again with us
Response: He does

Chorus 2

Is anyone worthy
Is anyone whole
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s Root
And the Lamb who died to ransom the slave

From ev’ry people and tribe every nation and tongue
He has made us a kingdom and priests
To God to reign with the Son

Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory
Is He worthy
Is He worthy
Is He worthy of this
He is

Ending

Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
He is. He is.

Community (5 Slides)

  • Spring Bible Studies continue – Monday April 11 (w/dinner at 6) or Wednesday, April 13 (w/lunch at noon), Exodus 11:1-12:51 Please RSVP.
  • Next Sunday, April 17 – Not Here, Mark 16:1-8 (Easter) 
  • An Eggcellent Discussion, registration email link on web site
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com
  • Special Gathering today

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, April 3, 2022

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

Music 1 (10:30)  Christian & Team

Come Thou Fount vs.1 and 3,

Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 2 Fairest Lord Jesus Christian & Team

Scripture John 4:5-15 Online – Hannah

Music 3 Be Thou My Vision Christian & Team

Message Giving Up On A Miracle (John 11) Rick

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

Benediction (signal to Dave when slides are ready) Dave

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calm Jazz’

Words and Voices

Music 1 (10 slides)

Come Thou Fount

CCLI Song # 108389

John Wyeth | Robert Robinson

Verse 1

Come Thou fount of ev’ry blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise


Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Verse 3

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy grace Lord like a fetter
Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee


Prone to wander Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart Lord take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)

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

Verse 1

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

Verse 2

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

Chorus

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

Verse 3

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

Verse 4

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

Chorus

My chains are gone I’ve been set free, 

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

Unending love amazing grace

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

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

Amen

Music 2 (4 slides)

Fairest Lord Jesus

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

Verse 1

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

Verse 2

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

Verse 3

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

Verse 4

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

Scripture (No Slides)

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

John 11:17-44

Music 3 (4 Slides)

Be Thou My Vision

CCLI Song # 7056332

Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne | Russell Mauldin

Verse 1

Be Thou my Vision O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light

Verse 2

Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord
Thou my great Father I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

Verse 3

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

Ending

Be Thou my Vision

Message – Giving Up On A Miracle (18 Slides)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Slide] Denial

[Slide] Anger

[Slide] Bargaining

[Slide] Depression

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

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

(Meda Stamper, Christian Writer, Leicestershire, England)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus is the ‘I Am’

We must never marginalize Jesus to the past

We must never narrowly assign Jesus to the future

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

Jesus is life in the midst of death.

Jesus is hope in the pain of tragedy

Jesus is peace in the midst of chaos and confusion

Jesus sits with us in our tears

Jesus cries with us

Let’s PrayMusic 4 (8  slides) 

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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

Chorus

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

Verse 1

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

Chorus

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

Verse 3

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

Chorus

Leaning (leaning on Jesus), 

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

Leaning (leaning on Jesus)
Leaning on the everlasting arms

Benediction (6 slides)

Leader: When this world is in turmoil

Response: Jesus is the I Am.

Leader: When this world is in shambles 

Response: Jesus is the I Am

Leader: When this world is in peace

Response: Jesus is the I Am

Leader: When we cry pain filled tears

Response: Jesus, our I Am, cries with us

Leader: When our voices scream shouts of joy

Response: Jesus, our I Am, shouts with us

Leader: When our world is in need of love

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

Community

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

Peace

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

And also with you.

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

Order, Words, & Voices 03.27.22

Order

Sunday, March 27, 2022

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

Music 1 (10:30)  Lynn/Abbie

O Worship The King

Come Thou Almighty King

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 2 Just As I Am Lynn/Abbie

Scripture John 4:5-15 Online – Sherri

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

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

Music 4 Living Hope Lynn/Abbie

Benediction (signal to Isaiah when slides are ready) Isaiah

Anniversary Video

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calm Jazz’

Words and Voices

Music 1 (8 slides)

O Worship The King (Lyons)

CCLI Song # 1486

Johann Michael Haydn | Robert Grant

Verse 1

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

Verse 2

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

Verse 4

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

Verse 5

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

Come Thou Almighty King (Italian Hymn)

CCLI Song # 29073/Felice de Giardini

Verse 1

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

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

Verse 2

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

And give Thy Word success
Spirit of holiness
On us descend

Verse 3

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

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

Verse 4

To Thee great One in Three
Eternal praises be
Hence evermore

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

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

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

Amen

Music 2 (3 slides)

Just As I Am (Woodworth)

CCLI Song # 23206

Charlotte Elliott | William Batchelder Bradbury

Verse 1

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

Verse 2

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

Verse 4

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

Scripture (No Slides)

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

John 4:5-15

Music 3 (Special – No Slides)

Love Can Build A Bridge

Paul Overstreet / John Jarvis / Naomi Judd

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

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

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

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

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don’t you think it’s time?

Don’t you think it’s time?

I would whisper love so loudly, every heart could understand

That love and only love can join the trials of man

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

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

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don’t you think it’s time?

Don’t you think it’s time?

When we stand together, it’s our finest hour

We can do anything (anything)

Anything (anything)

Keep believin’ in the power

Love can build a bridge

Between your heart and mine

Love can build a bridge

Don’t you think it’s time?

Don’t you think it’s time?

Message –  Vulnerable People (13 Slides)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A vulnerable man in need of a drink of water.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Screen Share from here on]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Pray

Music 4 (8  slides) 

Living Hope

CCLI Song # 7106807

Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham

Verse 1

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

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

Verse 2

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

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

Chorus

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

Verse 3 (x2)

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

Chorus (x2)

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


Ending

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

Benediction (6 slides)

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

Response: Jesus came to give us peace.

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

Response: Jesus came to provide hope.

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

Response: Jesus came to show us humility and generosity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

25th Anniversary Congratulations video

Community

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

Peace

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

And also with you.

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

Order, Words, & Voices 03.20.22

Order

Sunday, March 20, 2022

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

Music 1 (10:30)  Lynn/Abbie

A Mighty Fortress/Spirit of the Living God

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 2 To God be the Glory Lynn/Abbie

Scripture Galatians 5:1, 13-18 Online – Randy

Music 3 Breathe on Me Lynn/Abbie

Message Truth – Then & Now Chuck

Music 4 Have Thine Own Way Lynn/Abbie

Benediction (signal to Beth when slides are ready) Beth

Anniversary Video

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calm Jazz’

Words and Voices

Music 1

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Verse 1

A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing


For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe
His craft and pow’r are great
And armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal

Verse 2

Did we in our own strength confide
Our striving would be losing
Were not the right Man on our side
The Man of God’s own choosing


Dost ask who that may be
Christ Jesus it is He
Lord Sabaoth His name
From age to age the same
And He must win the battle

Verse 3

And tho’ this world with devils filled
Should threaten to undo us
We will not fear for God hath willed
His truth to triumph thru us


The prince of darkness grim
We tremble not for him
His rage we can endure
For lo his doom is sure
One little word shall fell him

Verse 4

That word above all earthly pow’rs
No thanks to them abideth
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Thru Him who with us sideth


Let goods and kindred go
This mortal life also
The body they may kill
God’s truth abideth still
His kingdom is forever

Spirit Of The Living God

CCLI Song # 23488

Daniel Iverson

Chorus

Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me


Melt me mold me
Fill me use me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me

Welcome/Prayer (3rd Sunday of Lent)

  • God, you have set us free through the life and sacrifice of your son Jesus Christ.
  • You call us to stand firm in that freedom, to not return our existence and choices wooing us back to our former state of slavery.
  • You challenge us to not use our freedom for indulgence but, instead, we are to bond ourselves to each other.
  • You call us to a slavery not of chains and shackles but of love, love for each other and to all of your created.
  • While our human nature prompts us to bite and devour one another, you empower us to love our neighbor as yourself.
  • You, God, given us the Spirit who is a better lead than our flesh.
  • Thank you God for setting us free.

Amen

Music 2

To God Be The Glory

Verse 1

To God be the glory great things He has done
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin
And opened the life gate that all may go in

Chorus

Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He has done

Verse 2

O perfect redemption the purchase of blood
To every believer the promise of God
The vilest offender who truly believes
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives

Chorus

Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He has done

Verse 3

Great things He has taught us
Great things He has done
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son
But purer and higher and greater will be
Our wonder our transport when Jesus we see

Chorus

Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He has doneScripture

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.

Galatians 5:1, 13-18

Music 3

Breathe On Me

CCLI Song # 2449795

Lucy Fisher

Verse 1

Breathe on me breath of God
Love and life that makes me free
Breathe on me breath of God
Fan the flame within me

Chorus

Teach my heart heal my soul
Speak the mind that in Christ we know
Take me to Your sanctuary
(Breathe on me)

Verse 2

Speak to me voice of God
Soft and still inside my heart
Speak to me Word of God
Comfort heal restore with love

Chorus

Teach my heart heal my soul
Speak the mind that in Christ we know
Take me to Your sanctuary
(Breathe on me)

Message –  Truth – Then & Now

  • Grace Fellowship really started on a Thursday night February 13, 1997 when a group of believers met in Bob and Carolyn Waddle’s home and committed to starting a church with a strong belief that God was leading them to continue on in the journey of grace that He had been and was working in their lives. At that meeting they voted to call us to be the founding pastor and wife. A few days later we met at Bill & DeAnn Pollard’s home and came up with the name Grace Fellowship. Our Charter service was March 2, 1997 at the Ballet Studio. We will never forget the excitement and movement of God’s Spirit on that day. We were utterly shocked when 146 people showed up and over 70 people joined together as charter members. Some of you here today were there then.
  • We didn’t know it then but that was the beginning of the best 9 ½ years of our 27 years of pastoring. We learned together the rhythms of grace. We nurtured each other with a commitment to grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And by the grace of Christ, we experienced a healing from performance-based faith and a development of a healthy heart of grace-based relationships.
  • On our 2nd Sunday together I started a series through the Book of Galatians.* The theme of Galatians is Chapter 5 Verse 1. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” On Sunday evenings we studied through a book titled “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.”

• Galatians laid the foundation for us. We agreed to be committed to Christ and Christ alone for our salvation and sanctification. We agreed that the only way we could know how to accomplish that was to “KEEP STANDING FIRM” in the belief that the Bible is the absolute Word of God and our only authority. With the Word as our guide we ACTIVELY, and with VIGILANCE, guarded ourselves from ever being “subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Here is how we did it:

[Slide] I. We seized the truth that we are set free from religious legalism. (2-12)

[Slide] II. We devoted ourselves to the truth that we are set free to choose love. (13-15)

[Slide] III. We accepted the boundaries of the truth that we are free from a license to sin. (16-21)

[Slide] IV. We individually accepted the responsibility that we are set free to live life by the Spirit. (22-26)

*(You can find that series on Galatians at http://therelationalrub.com/galatians/)

Music 4

Have Thine Own Way

Verse 1

Have Thine own way Lord have Thine own way
Thou art the Potter I am the clay
Mold me and make me after Thy will
While I am waiting yielded and still

Verse 2

Have Thine own way Lord have Thine own way
Search me and try me Master today
Whiter than snow Lord wash me just now
As in Thy presence humbly I bow

Verse 3

Have Thine own way Lord have Thine own way
Wounded and weary help me I pray
Power all power surely is Thine
Touch me and heal me Savior divine

Verse 4

Have Thine own way Lord have Thine own way
Hold o’er my being absolute sway
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only always living in me

Benediction

Leader: Christ has set us free to live a free life. We must take our stand! 

Response: We shall never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on us.

Leader: It is absolutely clear that God has called us to a free life. Let us not use our freedom to destroy our freedom.

Response: We shall not exchange our freedom for another form of slavery.

Leader: Let us use our freedom to serve one another.

Response: That is how true freedom grows.

Leader: All that we know about truth is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself.

Response: Loving others is an act of true freedom, without love our freedom is worthless.

Leader: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit, so you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.

Response: A free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.

Leader: Love and Selfishness are contrary to each other. When we allow our emotions, agendas, judgement, or condemnation, to determine if we selfishness over love, we return to shackles and chains.

Response: We must not let anything take away our freedom.

Leader: Christ has set us free to live a free life.

Response: Christ has set us free of everything that prohibits love.25th

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.
  • Anniversary month luncheon today at Joe’s following worship
  • Next Sunday – Vulnerable People, John 4:7-15 (4th Sunday of lent) 
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com
  • Easter eggs for Afghanistan Refugees in San Francisco available today

Peace

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

And also with you.

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

Order, Words, & Voices

Order

Sunday, March 13, 2022

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

Music 1 (10:30)  Victory In Jesus Makaela/Abbie

No Longer Slaves

Welcome/Prayer (Gallery View) Rick

Music 2   Blessed Assurance Makaela/Abbie

Scripture Online – Kelly

Testimony Andrew/Jaimie

Music 3 How He Loves Makaela/Abbie

Message Graced With Mistrial Segun

Music 4 Jesus You Alone Makaela/Abbie

Benediction (signal to Petty when slides are ready) Petty

Community (Gallery View) Rick

Closing Peace                                         Rick

Closing Audio – ‘Calming Acoustic Guitar’

Words and Voices

Music 1 (19 Slides)

Victory In Jesus

CCLI Song # 1259

Eugene M. Bartlett

Verse 1

I heard an old old story
How a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me


I heard about His groaning
Of His precious blood’s atoning
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory

Chorus

O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood


He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood

Verse 2

I heard about His healing
Of His cleansing pow’r revealing
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see


And then I cried dear Jesus
Come and heal my broken spirit
And somehow Jesus came and brought
To me the victory

Chorus

O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood


He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood

Verse 3

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea


About the angels singing
And the old redemption story
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there
The song of victory

Chorus

O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood


He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood

No Longer Slaves

CCLI Song # 7030123

Brian Johnson | Joel Case | Jonathan David Helser

Verse 1

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

Chorus

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Verse 2

From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

gone

Chorus

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Bridge (x2)

You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of Godgone

Chorus (x2)

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Welcome/Prayer (No Slides) (2nd Sunday of Lent)

  • God, on this second Sunday of Lent, we thank you for the witness of faith as seen in the risks of the suffering woman and the sacrifice of the oppressed widow.
  • We thank you for the empowerment of faith as we let go of our grasp on control and instead let go and lay it all down exchanging everything for a confidence in trusting you.
  • We understand your encouragement to your followers early in holy week and we respond to that same encouragement to us to trust you instead of others or ourselves.
  • Lord, today we see forgiveness, your mission of deliverance, your offering of reconciliation.
  • Most of all, we marvel that you made the sacrifice we were unable to make, you offer the hope that we cannot create, and you lift us up in a world that easily keeps us down.
  • Father, thank you for your love that endures, your love that affirms and accepts, for your love that is the very core of who you are.
  • May we allow your love flow through us to a world that needs your love as much as we do.

Amen

Music 2 (6 Slides)

Blessed Assurance

CCLI Song # 22324

Fanny Jane Crosby | Phoebe Palmer Knapp

Verse 1

Blessed assurance Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation purchase of God
Born of His Spirit washed in His blood

Chorus

This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Verse 2

Perfect submission perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy whispers of love

Chorus

This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Verse 3

Perfect submission all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting looking above
Filled with His goodness lost in His love

Chorus

This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Scripture

While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

John 8:1-11

Music 3 (11 Slides)

How He Loves

CCLI Song # 5032549

John Mark McMillan

Verse 1

He is jealous for me loves like a hurricane
I am a tree bending beneath
The weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of


These afflictions eclipsed by glory
I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

Pre-Chorus

Oh how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us so

Verse 1

He is jealous for me loves like a hurricane
I am a tree bending beneath
The weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of


These afflictions eclipsed by glory
I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

Pre-Chorus

Oh how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us so

Chorus

(Yeah) He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
(REPEAT)

Verse 2

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking
So Heaven meets earth


Like a sloppy wet (unforeseen) kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way that

Chorus

(Yeah) He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
(REPEAT)

Pre-Chorus

Oh how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us so
(REPEAT)

Message –  Graced with a Mistrial (10 Slides) [Slide]

The Lord Jesus had just left a festival where as usual, controversy and arguments and all sorts of opinions about him were spoken by the attendees. Actually, he was almost arrested (John 7: 32-33, 45-47).

Today’s story is itself a controversy:

  • Bible scholars still argue if it belongs in the bible.
  • Putting all the argument aside, we can see that the story is consistent with what the Lord Jesus preached.

As I read through, I just thought to ask these questions of myself:

[Slide]

  • Have you ever been in a situation where the Loving thing to do could result in a violent response towards you?
  • What happens when someone’s strength is been taken advantage of?
  • In this text, two victims turn the tide on a situation that is known today by many as one of the many sweet descriptions of God’s Grace.

There are definitely many more questions the story of today will drop on our hearts but these few just stood out for me personally.

  • [Slide]

8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came back into the temple [court], and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began teaching them. Now the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the center of the court, and they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death]. So what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?

John 8: 1-5

[Slide Placekeeper]

  • Have you ever seen a situation where a judge receives a judgement without one been given?
  • The story begs many further questions:
  • Where was her partner?
  • Why did they find it easier to present a woman to the Lord Jesus as the criminal?
  • They even misquoted the book of Leviticus.

[Slide]

Investigating deeper, you might want to think and note some of the following:

  • Was this woman lured by a man known by the Pharisees so they could lure another man (The Lord Jesus) they knew very well to commit a NATIONAL offense???
  • It’s important to also notice that she was speechless as the whole conversation took place.
  • What amount of guilt and fear was she carrying at that moment?. 

[Slide]

If he should confirm the sentence of the law, and let it take its course, they would censure him as inconsistent with himself (he having received publicans and harlots) and with the character of the Messiah, who should be meek, and have salvation, and proclaim a year of release; and perhaps they would accuse him to the Roman governor, for countenancing the Jews in the exercise of a judicial power. But, [2.] If he should acquit her and give his opinion that the sentence should not be executed (as they expected he would), they would represent him, First, As an enemy to the law of Moses, and as one that usurped an authority to correct and control it, and would confirm that prejudice against him which his enemies were so industrious to propagate, that he came to destroy the law and the prophets. Secondly, As a friend to sinners, and, consequently, a favourer of sin; if he should seem to connive at such wickedness, and let it go unpunished, they would represent him as countenancing it, and being a patron of offences, if he was a protector of offenders, than which no reflection could be more invidious upon one that professed the strictness, purity, and business of a prophet.

Matthew Henry’s commentary

[Slide 7]

Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death]. So what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?” They said this to test Him, hoping that they would have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and began writing on the ground with His finger. However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]

John 8:5-11

[Slide 7]

“it’s the Holy Spirits job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to Love”

Billy Graham

Without a doubt, this was a clear case of favoritism, a clear case of humans playing judge by deciding who was to be charged and who was let go. These people had formed a Jury that already had a sentence before the trial even began. She practically stood no chance.

What was he writing when he stooped down? Was he trying to analyze the Law of Moses in his heart? 

[Slide 8]

“If Jesus said something more like, “Let he who has led a perfect, sinless life cast the first stone,” we would probably expect that they’d laugh in his face and ask him where the Law ever gives such a standard.  However, it changes completely when he calls out their status as witnesses.  They know they did not come with pure motives, and they know that’s against the Law and invites punishment itself.  They know that he knows it too, and therefore they cannot risk a trial of words with Jesus here.  Jesus was essentially saying, “If you’re confident in your motives as a witness, enough to risk punishment yourself, then come forward.”  That’s why they slowly leave.”

Daniel Wallace (Dallas Theological Seminary)

[Slide Placekeeper]

The Greek word for “without sin” used here is different from that used for sin.

It was actually only used once in the whole Greek new testament.

Deut 17, 19 and Exodus 23 all give us an in-depth understanding about witnessing in the LAW.

What was it about that phrase that made them disperse?

Those words were definitely inspired by the Holy Spirit.

[Slide 9]

I am not a law expert but according to USLegal, a mistrial is:

  • A mistrial is the termination of a trial before its natural conclusion because of a procedural error, statements by a witness, judge or attorney which prejudice a jury, a deadlock by a jury without reaching a verdict after lengthy deliberation (a “hung” jury), or the failure to complete a trial within the time set by the court..
  • This seemed more like a mistrial according to this definition
  • There prosecutors left the court before any judgement was delivered.

[Slide 10]

  • This story highlighted:
    • The beauty of God’s Grace.
    • The power of God’s forgiveness (John 8: 10-11).

She was strengthened to live above her sin by the words of the Lord Jesus which is a character of his forgiveness.

  • The need to always seek God’s wisdom in situations that may seem alright on the surface but with many layers of danger within.

In this story, the two victims walked out victorious of a dire situation by the utterance of just one statement. Just one!!!

May God always give us the wisdom to do and say the right thing, but not just the right thing, but to say and do the right thing the correct and WISE way as inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

Music 4 (14 Slides)

Jesus You Alone

CCLI Song # 7120418

Jesse Reeves | John Larson | Nicole McLean

Verse 1

Who is the great King of glory
Seated on high in the heavens
Oh Jesus You alone


You are the Lord God Almighty
Strong in compassion and mercy
Oh Jesus You alone

Pre-Chorus

I’ve searched the world
For a love that could fill my heart
Nothing compares
To the wonder of who You are

Chorus 1

Holy all the earth singing
Holy all the angels cry
Holy Jesus You alone
Jesus You alone

Verse 2

You set the stars in the heavens
You set the world into motion
Oh Jesus You alone


You breathed Your life in creation
You walked among Your created
Oh Jesus You alone

Pre-Chorus

I’ve searched the world
For a love that could fill my heart
Nothing compares
To the wonder of who You are

Chorus 2

Holy all the earth singing
Holy all the angels cry
Holy Jesus You alone
Jesus You alone


Worthy all creation sings
Worthy all the heavens
Exalt Thee Jesus You alone
Jesus You alone 

Jesus You alone

Verse 3

You shed Your blood for salvation
You broke the curse for our freedom
Oh Jesus You alone


You rose from death with the morning
You’ll come again in Your glory
Oh Jesus You alone
Oh Jesus You alone

Chorus 2

Holy all the earth singing
Holy all the angels cry
Holy Jesus You alone
Jesus You alone


Worthy all creation sings
Worthy all the heavens
Exalt Thee Jesus You alone
Jesus You alone 

Jesus You alone

Chorus 3

Holy
I can’t help but sing holy
How my heart cries out holy
Jesus You alone

Worthy
I lift my voice and sing worthy
I bow my life to exalt Thee
Jesus You alone
Jesus You alone

Benediction (6 Slides) (signal to Petty when slides are on screen)

Leader: We have experienced the hurled stones thrown by others.

Response: We have unjustifiably thrown stones.

Leader: We have knelt on the ground to be invisible, to lessen the impact of the pain inflicted.

Response: We have experienced Christ’s notice and deliverance.

Leader: We live amongst a people who cower as the stones are hurled, as the hate is given a voice.

Response: We know the other voice, the voice that lifts us up in love.

Leader: We have been given the task of letting that love flow through us.

Response: To love God and to love all.

Leader: We live a world that needs that love just as we need that love.

Response: We are called to live out that love to all.

Leader: We rejoice in the forgiveness that could only be given by God.

Response: We rejoice in that forgiveness accomplished for all.

Community (7 Slides)

  • 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 next Sunday, March 20 at Joe’s following worship
  • Next Sunday – Truth- Then and Now (Chuck Andrews) (3rd Sunday of lent) 
  • Pray Peace. Prayers for Ukraine – donation link at GFNorman.com
  • Easter eggs for Afghanistan Refugees available next Sunday
  • QR codes/‘Order, Words, Voices’

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, 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.

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