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09.01.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up? Maybe if you work a little harder, exercise a little more, eat a little healthier, get up a little earlier, or find something else to “do” you could get there. But finite creatures have limits, and we will inevitably come to our own limits with more to do and most likely a persistent feeling of not being enough. What if you’re already enough? How would that change your work and rest? Join us this Sunday as we look at Abiding in the Sabbath Rest of Christ.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

The Ten Commandments help the liberated from falling back into the bad moral habits of slaves, and thus help a free people remain faithful to the logic of their liberation.

―Réme Brague

A great benefit of Sabbath keeping is that we learn to let God take care of us — not by becoming passive & lazy, but in the freedom of giving up our feeble attempts to be God in our own lives.

—Marva Dawn

 

SCRIPTURE:

2 Peter 1:3-8 NIV

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

Deuteronomy 5:12–15

“‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

Gracious God,

our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

VERSE 1:
We are the vineyard You have planted
Tend our leaves and wild branches:
we abide, we abide in You.
We abide, we abide in You.

VERSE 2:
Fruit growing from our strength and labor,
rain on us with grace and favor:
we abide, we abide in You.
We abide, we abide in You.

REFRAIN:
Where can my soul find living water?
Apart from You we bear no fruit!
O plant my feet down by the river:
we abide, we abide in You.

 

credits

from Work Songs, released October 6, 2017
WE ABIDE, WE ABIDE IN YOU
By Sandra McCracken
Vocals: Paul Zach, Madison Cunnigham, Liz Vice, Isaac Wardell, and
Orlando Palmer
Guitar: Isaac Wardell
Piano: Orlando Palmer
Tambourine: Liz Vice

08.25.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: Broke, tired, hungry, spent, dry—scarcity is a concept we know all too well. And this scarcity leads to anxiety. But Jesus says there is another way—that we can joyfully live in abundance. Come this week as we hear afresh his invitation to a joy-filled life.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

Spiritual life flows out of union with Christ, not merely imitation of Christ.”

―Richard F. Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life

 

We must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us. Therefore, to share with us what he has received from the Father, he had to become ours and to dwell within us.

—John Calvin

 

Running on (running on empty)

Running on (running blind)

Running on (running into the sun)

But I’m running behind

—Jackson Browne

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

2

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

3

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence.

4

He will cover you with his pinions,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

5

You will not fear the terror of the night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

6

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

7

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

8

You will only look with your eyes

and see the recompense of the wicked.

9

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—

the Most High, who is my refuge—

10

no evil shall be allowed to befall you,

no plague come near your tent.

11

For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways.

12

On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.

13

You will tread on the lion and the adder;

the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;

I will protect him, because he knows my name.

15

When he calls to me, I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

16

With long life I will satisfy him

and show him my salvation.”

 

 

John 15:1-11

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN – based on Philippians 2:3-8

We confess that we don’t always have the mind of Christ;
Instead we live by selfish ambition and conceit.
In our pride we consider ourselves more significant than others.

Lord, have mercy.

We pursue our own interests over the interests of others.
We have have an inflated view of ourselves,
And believe others exist for our goals.

Christ, have mercy.

We build ourselves up and take the posture of a master,
bossing others around as if we were gods.
We obey our own desires, even to the point of self-destruction.

Lord, have mercy.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

VERSE 1:
We are the vineyard You have planted
Tend our leaves and wild branches:
we abide, we abide in You.
We abide, we abide in You.

VERSE 2:
Fruit growing from our strength and labor,
rain on us with grace and favor:
we abide, we abide in You.
We abide, we abide in You.

REFRAIN:
Where can my soul find living water?
Apart from You we bear no fruit!
O plant my feet down by the river:
we abide, we abide in You.

 

credits

from Work Songs, released October 6, 2017
WE ABIDE, WE ABIDE IN YOU
By Sandra McCracken
Vocals: Paul Zach, Madison Cunnigham, Liz Vice, Isaac Wardell, and
Orlando Palmer
Guitar: Isaac Wardell
Piano: Orlando Palmer
Tambourine: Liz Vice

08.18.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18 asks. It’s a good question. I wonder if you have ever asked it. God created the universe out of nothing with a word (John 1:1). He split the Red Sea (Exodus 14:22). He brought bread from the sky (Exodus 16:15) and water from a rock (Numbers 20:11).He caused a virgin to conceive a child (Luke 1:31) and gave sight to the blind (Matthew 9:30). He even raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43). But what about forgiveness? Can God just forgive? And if he can, doesn’t that make light of the very real consequences of our actions on those around us? How can God both graciously forgive and yet still treat evil as evil? It is precisely this question that lies at the heart of Christianity. Come this week as we consider it.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

If we sin against one another, we are required to forgive one another.  We are even warned of dire consequences if we refuse. Why can’t God practice what he preaches and be equally generous?

—John Stott

O Love incomprehensible 

That made Thee bleed for me 

The Judge of all has suffered death 

To set His prisoner free

—Anne Steele, Augustus Montague Toplady

 

SCRIPTURE:

2 Corinthians 3:4-8a; 12-13; 18

4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought  to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?

12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that theIsraelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end.

18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

 

Exodus 34:1-8

The Lord said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. 5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN– In confession, we admit our faults before a God who loves to forgive. Let’s spend a moment in silence, admitting our faults and confessing the ways we’ve sinned against God.

silent confession

Lord, hear our sins and have mercy on us. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

08.11.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

No matter who you ask or where you look, everyone can acknowledge that something is wrong with the world. Things are not as they should be. But if you ask what the problem is or how to fix it, the responses vary. What is your vision of the world as it should be? How would Jesus answer that question. Join us this Sunday as we look to the words of Jesus in the Gospel According to Matthew.

 

 

REFLECTION:

The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight — a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.

—Cornelius Plantinga

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 11:1-10

1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

 

 

Matthew 5:9-12

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN– 

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to glory of your Name. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

08.04.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: We all want a friend who always lets us in and never lets us down. We all want someone we can count on to be there for us when we need it. What would it look like if we saw God as a faithful friend who never leaves our side? Join us this Sunday as we hear from the Book of Ruth.

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Luke 12:22-26

22 And [Jesus] said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

 

Ruth 1:1-18

In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, 5 and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. 7 So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN– In confession, we admit our faults before a God who loves to forgive. Let’s spend a moment in silence, admitting our faults and confessing the ways we’ve sinned against God.

silent confession

Lord, hear our sins and have mercy on us. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

07.28.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: A vision of God’s glory and holiness may startle and stun but that vision will not sustain. Only God’s enduring presence–his enduring fire in our lives–will truly transform us. Join us this Sunday as we look at how God revealed himself to a man named Moses and a people named Israel on a mountain named Sinai.

 

REFLECTION: 

I do not think, in the nature of things, that mortal man can at all realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin in the sight of that holy and perfect One with whom we have to do.… the very animals whose smell is most offensive to us have no idea that they are offensive, and are not offensive to one another.  And man, fallen man, I believe, can have no just idea what a vile thing sin is in the sight of that God whose handiwork is absolutely perfect.

—J. C. Ryle

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Hebrews 12:18-29

18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

 

Exodus 19:1-21

19 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot;[a] whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to look and many of them perish.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to glory of your Name. Amen.

07.21.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: We’ve all heard the story of the shepherd boy named David who defeated a giant named Golliath. What does this ancient story mean for us and our motivations? Join us this Sunday as we hear from David Stoddard, our Global Partner in Berlin.

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

1 Samuel 17:21-49

21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.
24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”
28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.
31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off.40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

 

1 Samuel 18:1-5

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN – In confession, we admit our faults before a God who loves to forgive. Let’s spend a moment in silence, admitting our faults and confessing the ways we’ve sinned against God.

silent confession

Lord, hear our sins and have mercy on us. Amen.

07.14.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: Certain aromas evoke powerful memories and even emotions. St. Paul tells us that Jesus and his followers have a certain fragrance in the world. What is that fragrance and what does it communicate? Join us this Sunday as we continue our series on 2 Corinthians.

 

 

REFLECTION:

Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him.

—CS Lewis 

 

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

—Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Genesis 12:1-3

1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country[b] and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

 

 2 Corinthians 2:12-17

When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13 my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to glory of your Name. Amen.

07.07.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: How do you know how to identify the presence of God? It will always involve grace, change, and our weakness. Come this Sunday as we look at the story of Gideon in the book of Judges.

 

 

REFLECTION:

God does not need your strength: he has more than enough power of his own. He asks your weakness: he has none of that himself, and he is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in his own mighty hand. Will you not yield your weakness to him, and receive his strength?

—Charles Spurgeon

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

2 Corinthians 12: 1-10

I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

Judges 6:11–16, 7:2–4, 16–18

11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”

2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

4 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.”

 

16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN – In confession, we admit our faults before a God who loves to forgive. Let’s spend a moment in silence, admitting our faults and confessing the ways we’ve sinned against God.

silent confession

Lord, hear our sins and have mercy on us. Amen.

 

06.30.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

In Mark 8 Jesus confronts his disciples (and us) with the deep challenge of his identity and forces us to reckon with who he is, what he came to do, and what it means to really follow him. Come this Sunday as we look at what is revealed to us, his disciples.

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 22:22-31

22 I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.

25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
28 For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.

 

 

Mark 8:27-37

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many thing

s and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.35 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul?

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to glory of your Name. Amen.