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04.14.2019

SERVICE SUMMARY:

We don’t tend to value servants. In fact, we often do everything we can to make sure we aren’t the ones doing the serving. We might imagine that God would do the same, enlisting us to serve him. Yet Jesus said he came not to be served, but to serve. What does it mean that God calls himself a servant? Join us this Sunday as we continue our series on Knowing God from the Book of Isaiah.

REFLECTIONS:

This servant would offer God an absolutely obstruction-free “void” within the realm of the human world and history, wherein God may act as the “Creator” of a new world, his world, the way he wants it: where the impossible is daily bread, and in place of the present reality in which the barren one cannot possibly conceive, “the children of the barren one are more than those of the one that is married.”

—Paul Nadim Tarazi

In the Old Testament only the strange, silent figure of Isaiah 53 stands before us as one who, it is said, remains innocent and righteous.

—N.T. Wright

his is one of the chapters that lie at the very heart of the Scriptures. It is the very Holy of holies of Divine Writ. Let us, therefore, put off our shoes from our feet, for the place whereon we stand is especially holy ground.

—C.H. Spurgeon

SCRIPTURE:

John 13:1–14

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Isaiah 53:1–12

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
 and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many, 
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

SONG OF CONFESSION

Verse 1

Falling down upon our knees
Sharing now in common shame
We have sought security
Not the cross that bares Your name
Fences guard our hearts and homes
Comfort sings a siren tune
We’re a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You

silent confession

Verse 2

Lord we fall upon our knees
We have shunned the weak and poor
Worshipped beauty courted kings
And the things their gold affords
Prayed for those we’d like to know
Favor sings a siren tune
We’ve become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You

silent confession

Verse 3

You have caused the blind to see
We have blinded him again
With our man-made laws and creeds
Eager ready to condemn
Now we plead before Your throne
Power sings a siren tune
We’ve been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You

Ending

We’re a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You
We’ve become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You
We’ve been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You

SONG TO CONSIDER

04.07.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

We all want to have God on our side. In fact, competing groups throughout history have made that audacious claim. But God doesn’t take sides the way we do–he is on his own side. He is the Lord of all people, not just our particular tribe. Join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series on Knowing the One and Only True God.

 

REFLECTIONS:

The reality is, of course, as soon as you think seriously about it, that the mission field is everywhere, including your own street – wherever there is ignorance or rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

—Christopher J. H. Wright

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 56:1-8

Thus says the Lord:

“Keep justice, and do righteousness,

for soon my salvation will come,

and my righteousness be revealed.

2 Blessed is the man who does this,

and the son of man who holds it fast,

who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it,

and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,

“The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;

and let not the eunuch say,

“Behold, I am a dry tree.”

4 For thus says the Lord:

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,

who choose the things that please me

and hold fast my covenant,

5 I will give in my house and within my walls

a monument and a name

better than sons and daughters;

I will give them an everlasting name

that shall not be cut off.

6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,

to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,

and to be his servants,

everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,

and holds fast my covenant—

7 these I will bring to my holy mountain,

and make them joyful in my house of prayer;

their burnt offerings and their sacrifices

will be accepted on my altar;

for my house shall be called a house of prayer

for all peoples.”

8 The Lord God,

who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,

“I will gather yet others to him

besides those already gathered.”

 

 

Isaiah 45:22-25

22 “Turn to me and be saved,

all the ends of the earth!

For I am God, and there is no other.

23 By myself I have sworn;

from my mouth has gone out in righteousness

a word that shall not return:

‘To me every knee shall bow,

every tongue shall swear allegiance.’

24 “Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,

are righteousness and strength;

to him shall come and be ashamed

all who were incensed against him.

25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel

shall be justified and shall glory.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN: During this season of Lent we will be singing our confessions of sin. There will be space for silent, private confession during the song. Please use this time to reflect on the ways you’ve failed to love God and your neighbor and confess them to our Merciful God.

VERSE

Most merciful God, our Father of grace,
we confess we have sinned,
we have walked our own way.
Our love has been fickle,
our hearts they have strayed.
So, Lord, in your mercy, forgive us we pray.

CHORUS

Restore us, change us. Lord, lead us on.

silent confession

sing VERSE and CHORUS (x2)

silent confession

BRIDGE

That we may do justly,
forever love mercy,
together walk humbly
with you. (x3)

sing CHORUS (x2)

03.31.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

“Trust is earned, not given,” we like to say. But when trust is lost, squandered, or exploited, it’s even more difficult to get it back. When wounded, our hearts become suspicious and slow to trust. Yet we all need a faithful friend; someone we can trust; someone who is loyal and consistent; someone who never stands us up or lets us down. Join us this Sunday as we look at the Faithfulness of God from the Prophet Isaiah.

 

REFLECTIONS:

So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!

—Martin Luther

I will remember you, will you remember me?

—Sarah McLachlan

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Luke 15: 11-24a

And [Jesus] said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’”

 

Isaiah 49:13–21

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
   break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people
   and will have compassion on his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me;
   my Lord has forgotten me.”

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast,
And have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
Your walls are ever before me.
Your sons hasten back,
And those who laid you waste depart from you.
Lift up your eyes and look around;
All yours sons gather and come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “you will wear them all as ornaments;
You will put them on, like a bride.

“Though you were ruined and made desolate
and your land made waste,
Now you will be too small for your people,
And those who devoured you will be far away.
The children born during your bereavement
Will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
Give us more space to live in.’
Then you will say in your heart,
‘Who bore me these?
I was bereaved and barren;
I was exiled and rejected.
Who brought these up?
I was left all alone,
But these–where have they come from?”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN: During this season of Lent we will be singing our confessions of sin. There will be space for silent, private confession during the song. Please use this time to reflect on the ways you’ve failed to love God and your neighbor and confess them to our Merciful God.

Falling down upon our knees,
sharing now in common shame,
We have sought security,
not the cross that bares Your name.
Fences guard our hearts and homes—
comfort sings a siren tune.
We’re a valley of dry bones;
Lead us back to life in You.

silent confession

Lord we fall upon our knees,
we have shunned the weak and poor,
Worshipped beauty, courted kings,
and the things their gold affords,
Prayed for those we’d like to know—
favor sings a siren tune.
We’ve become a talent show;
Lead us back to life in You.

silent confession

You have caused the blind to see,
we have blinded him again
With our man-made laws and creeds,
eager, ready to condemn.
Now we plead before Your throne—
power sings a siren tune.
We’ve been throwing heavy stones;
lead us back to life in You.

We’re a valley of dry bones; lead us back to life in You.
We’ve become a talent show; lead us back to life in You.
We’ve been throwing heavy stones; lead us back to life in You.

03.24.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

Many people picture the Christian God as a cosmic killjoy, one who rejects, denies, and withholds. But Scripture paints quite a different picture, revealing a God who loves lavishly, gives abundantly, and welcomes hospitabitably. Come hear more about this God as we continue our series in Isaiah.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

For all its greatness (trust me—I am the last man on earth to sell it short), the created order cries out for further greatness still. The most splendid dinner, the most exquisite food, the most gratifying company, arouse more appetites than they satisfy. They do not slake man’s thirst for being; they whet it beyond all bounds.

—Robert Farar Capon

Mi casa es su casa (My house is your house).

—Spanish speakers everywhere

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Luke 14:12–24

12 He–that is, Jesus–said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

 

Isaiah 25:1–12

1 O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
2 For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.
4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
5 like heat in a dry place.
You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
as heat by the shade of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is put down.
6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain,
and Moab shall be trampled down in his place,
as straw is trampled down in a dunghill.
11 And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it
as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim,
but the Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands.
12 And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down,
lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN: During this season of Lent we will be singing our confessions of sin. There will be space for silent, private confession during the song. Please use this time to reflect on the ways you’ve failed to love God and your neighbor and confess them to our Merciful God.

Most merciful God, our Father of grace,
we confess we have sinned, we have walked our own way.
Our love has been fickle, our hearts they have strayed.
So, Lord, in your mercy, forgive us we pray.

silent confession

Most merciful God, our Father of grace,
we confess we have sinned, we have walked our own way.
Our love has been fickle, our hearts they have strayed.
So, Lord, in your mercy, forgive us we pray.

Restore us, change us.
Lord, lead us on. (x2)

silent confession

That we may do justly,
forever love mercy,
together walk humbly
with you. x3

Restore us, change us.
Lord, lead us on. x2

03.17.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

We tend to lead with our strengths and put forward our highlight reel in public life. “Look how great I am,” we say to the world. Yet it’s our failures and regrets that keep us up at night. “If I were truly known, I’d surely be rejected,” we think. What does Jesus think of our failures and mistakes? Will he still love us even when we’ve failed him? Join us this Sunday as we look at the Apostle Peter’s relationship to Jesus.

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 63:7-9

I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord,
the praises of the Lord,
according to all that the Lord has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8 For he said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely.”
And he became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction he was afflicted,
and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

 

John 21:1-19

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN: During this season of Lent we will be singing our confessions of sin. There will be space for silent, private confession during the song. Please use this time to reflect on the ways you’ve failed to love God and your neighbor and confess them to our Merciful God.

Falling down upon our knees,
sharing now in common shame,
We have sought security,
not the cross that bares Your name.
Fences guard our hearts and homes—
comfort sings a siren tune.
We’re a valley of dry bones;
Lead us back to life in You.

silent confession

Lord we fall upon our knees,
we have shunned the weak and poor,
Worshipped beauty, courted kings,
and the things their gold affords,
Prayed for those we’d like to know—
favor sings a siren tune.
We’ve become a talent show;
Lead us back to life in You.

silent confession

You have caused the blind to see,
we have blinded him again
With our man-made laws and creeds,
eager, ready to condemn.
Now we plead before Your throne—
power sings a siren tune.
We’ve been throwing heavy stones;
lead us back to life in You.

silent confession

We’re a valley of dry bones; lead us back to life in You.
We’ve become a talent show; lead us back to life in You.
We’ve been throwing heavy stones; lead us back to life in You.

03.10.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

We hear it all the time: “All paths lead to the same God.” But we don’t seem to apply that logic anywhere else in life. No one puts an address into Google Maps and then choses whichever street they prefer at the intersection. We want to get where we’re going. The God of Israel revealed himself as the One and Only True God. It was audacious a claim then as it is today. Join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series from the prophet Isaiah in order to understand what this might mean for us.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

Pretending that the world’s religions are the same does not make our world safer. Like all forms of ignorance, it makes our world more dangerous. What we need on this furiously religious planet is a realistic view of where religious rivals clash and where they can cooperate.

—Stephen Prothero, God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter

 

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

—John 14:6

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Hebrews 1:1-6, 10-12

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
Or again,
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12 like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”

 

Isaiah 46:5-13

“To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
6 Those who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!
7 They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN: During this season of Lent we will be singing our confessions of sin. There will be space for silent, private confession during the song. Please use this time to reflect on the ways you’ve failed to love God and your neighbor and confess them to our Merciful God.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

FOR GOD ALONE (PSALM 62)

For God alone – my soul in silence waits
For God alone – my soul in silence waits

He alone is my rock and my salvation
I will not be shaken
My hope is in Him
All my hope is in Him

How long, how long will ever men drag me down?
How long, how long will ever men drag me down?

He alone is my rock and my salvation
I will not be shaken
My hope is in Him
All my hope is in Him

credits
from God Is The Friend Of Silence, released March 23, 2018
all rights reserved

03.03.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

Take a walk on the beach at dusk or hike to the top of a mountain and you will know–this world is glorious. Its glory is experienced not just in extravagant landscapes but also in simple pleasures like food, friendship, and meaningful work. But for all it’s glory, this world doesn’t quite fulfill us. It only whets our appetites for something bigger; something outside of this world. That’s because we were made to live for the glory of God, and nothing in this world can compare to that. Join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series on Knowing the One and Only God.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

The half committed Christian is the most miserable person on earth. He’s just enough in the world to be miserable in the presence of God; he’s just enough into God to be miserable in the world.

—Charles Spurgeon

Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

—1 Corinthians 10:31

If we have gathered people into congregations by appeasing their appetites and desires, how can we help them deal with the fact that their problems in life and character, even ‘in church’, are primarily caused by living to get what they want?” 

—Dallas Willard

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 48:1–11

1 Hear this, O house of Jacob,

   who are called by the name of Israel,

   and who came from the waters of Judah,

who swear by the name of the Lord

   and confess the God of Israel,

   but not in truth or right.

2 For they call themselves after the holy city,

   and stay themselves on the God of Israel;

   the Lord of hosts is his name.

3 “The former things I declared of old;

   they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;

   then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.

4 Because I know that you are obstinate,

   and your neck is an iron sinew

   and your forehead brass,

5 I declared them to you from of old,

   before they came to pass I announced them to you,

lest you should say, ‘My idol did them,

   my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’

6 “You have heard; now see all this;

   and will you not declare it?

From this time forth I announce to you new things,

   hidden things that you have not known.

7 They are created now, not long ago;

   before today you have never heard of them,

   lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’

8 You have never heard, you have never known,

   from of old your ear has not been opened.

For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,

   and that from before birth you were called a rebel.

9 “For my name’s sake I defer my anger;

   for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,

   that I may not cut you off.

10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;

   I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,

   for how should my name be profaned?

   My glory I will not give to another.

 

Romans 11:33-36

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Our Father,

Forgive us for thinking small thoughts of you
and for ignoring your immensity and greatness.

Lord Jesus,

Forgive us when we forget that you rule
the nations and our small lives.

Holy Spirit,

Forgive us for minimizing your power
and squandering your gifts.

silent confession.

Triune God,
We confess that our blindness to your glory has resulted in shallow confession, tepid conviction, and only mild repentance.

Have mercy upon us;

in Jesus’ name, amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

02.24.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

“Things happen for a reason.” So the saying goes. But do they really? And how can we be sure? Does God actually control the circumstances of our lives or do bad things just happen to us because we live in a sin cursed world? Come this week as we learn how God’s rule provides a pillow for the most aching head, a sedative for the most unsettled nerves, and the confidence we need that God’s promises will come true.

 

 

REFLECTION:

There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. …On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldings [as the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty].

—C.H. Spurgeon

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.

—Matthew 10:29

Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken,
My Father’s care is round me there,
He holds me that I shall not fall,
And so to Him I leave it all.

—Samuel Rodigast

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 45:1–13

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
   whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
   and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
   that gates may not be closed:
“I will go before you
   and level the exalted places,
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
   and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
   and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
   the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
   and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
   I name you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
   besides me there is no God;
   I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
   and from the west, that there is none besides me;
   I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness;
   I make well-being and create calamity;
   I am the Lord, who does all these things.

“Shower, O heavens, from above,
   and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
   let the earth cause them both to sprout;
   I the Lord have created it.

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
   a pot among earthen pots!
Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
   or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
   or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”

Thus says the Lord,
   the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
“Ask me of things to come;
   will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?
I made the earth
   and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
   and I commanded all their host.
I have stirred him up in righteousness,
   and I will make all his ways level;
he shall build my city
   and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
   says the Lord of hosts.

 

Isaiah 41:1–10

Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
   let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
   let us together draw near for judgment.

Who stirred up one from the east
   whom victory meets at every step?
He gives up nations before him,
   so that he tramples kings underfoot;
he makes them like dust with his sword,
   like driven stubble with his bow.
He pursues them and passes on safely,
   by paths his feet have not trod.
Who has performed and done this,
   calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord, the first,
   and with the last; I am he.

The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
   the ends of the earth tremble;
   they have drawn near and come.
Everyone helps his neighbor
   and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,
   and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,
saying of the soldering, “It is good”;
   and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved.

But you, Israel, my servant,
   Jacob, whom I have chosen,
   the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
   and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, “You are my servant,
   I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
fear not, for I am with you;
   be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Sovereign Lord, you rule the nations,

But we live as though we are at the center of the universe.

Sovereign Lord, you ordain all things for your glory and our good,

But we seek to control our own lives and the lives of others.

Sovereign Lord, you have written all our days,

But we fret over the unknown.

Sovereign Lord, you rule with justice and mercy,

But we presume to be more just and merciful than you.

(silent confession)

Lord, forgive us for all the ways we think we can do your job better than you, and give us a humble confidence in your sovereign will. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

VERSE 1:
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

VERSE 2:
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

REFRAIN:
God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling face within the mystery, within the mystery.

VERSE 3:
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

VERSE 4:
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

REFRAIN:
God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling face within the mystery, within the mystery.

VERSE 5:
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

VERSE 6:
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

REFRAIN:
God of mercy! God of grace! Give us eyes to see!
Eyes to see Your smiling face within the mystery, within the mystery.

02.17.2019

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: 

We know from a young age that something is not right in this world. This world contains war, violence, hunger, poverty, exploitation, and inevitably, death. Death is the last enemy we will face, but we will feel his blows a million times before he puts us in the grave. Jesus, however, claimed to be stronger than death. In fact, he claimed to be the resurrection and the life. If you have Jesus, you get a new world–one without death or his weapons. Join us this Sunday as we learn from the Gospel of John.

 

 

REFLECTION:

What overwhelms me is the sheer humanness of Jesus, Jesus as the baby at Bethlehem, Jesus sitting tired and thirsty at the well outside of Samaria, Jesus exhausted by the crowds, Jesus recuperating his strength through sleep at the back of a ship on the sea of Galilee, Jesus hungry for figs on the way up to Jerusalem, Jesus weeping at the grave of Lazarus, Jesus thirsting for water on the Cross—for that precisely is God with us and one of us, God as ‘the wailing infant’ in Bethlehem …, God sharing our weakness and exhaustion, God sharing our hunger, thirst, tears, pain and death. Far from overwhelming us, God with us and one of us does the very opposite, for in sharing with us all that we are in our littleness and weakness he does not override our humanity but completes, perfects and establishes it.

—T.F. Torrance, Preaching Christ Today

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 56

Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?

All day long they injure my cause;
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
They stir up strife, they lurk;
they watch my steps,
as they have waited for my life.
For their crime will they escape?
In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

 

John 11:5-7; 17-44

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 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. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for 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 lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Lord, this world is not the way it is supposed to be.

We are bruised and broken by the curse.

Lord, we have not lived the way we were supposed to live.

We have cursed you and our neighbors.

Lord, we confess the ways we have sinned and our sinful responses to the ways we’ve been sinned against.

We have looked to other things to heal our pain.

(silent confession)

 

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Make us new.

Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

02.10.2019

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: 

“God is great; God is good; let us thank him for our food.” Maybe you grew up reciting this simple prayer before a meal. It’s easy to remember, but it’s difficult to comprehend. What does it mean that God is great and how does that differ from his goodness? Join us on Sunday as we contemplate why it’s necessary to worship a great God.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

God shows himself to be the great and true God in the fact that He can and will let His grace bear this cost, that He is capable and willing and ready for this condescension, this act of extravagance, this far journey. What marks out God above all false gods is that they are not capable and ready for this. In their otherworldliness and supernaturalness and otherness, etc., the gods are a reflection of the human pride which will not unbend, which will not stoop to that which is beneath it. God is not proud. In His high majesty he is humble. It is in this high humility that He speaks and acts as the God who reconciles the world to Himself.

Karl Barth

 

Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.

A.W. Tozer

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Ephesians 3.14-21

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Isaiah 40:9-31

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord,
or what man shows him his counsel?
14 Whom did he consult,
and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
and are accounted as the dust on the scales;
behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel,
nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.
17 All the nations are as nothing before him,
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.

18 To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
19 An idol! A craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
20 He who is too impoverished for an offering
chooses wood that will not rot;
he seeks out a skillful craftsman
to set up an idol that will not move.

21 Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23 who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

25 To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name;
by the greatness of his might
and because he is strong in power,
not one is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Most holy and merciful Father: we confess in your presence the sinfulness of our nature, and our shortcomings and offences against you. You alone know how often we have sinned–in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, and forgetting your love.  

Silent Confession

 

Have mercy on us, O Lord

Forgive our sins through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

1. When we see the risen Savior with the bread that he has blessed,
He becomes the living Servant, heav’nly food for holy rest.
Stay with us, for day is fading, feast with us, O secret King,
Show to us how Scripture’s story speaks of you in everything.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power.

2. Jesus, show yourself the Author and Perfecter of our faith,
In your living and your dying, consummation of God’s grace.
From creation to the exile, incarnation to the grave,
Resurrection to ascension; come, O Jesus, come to save.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power.

Open our eyes, shine on our sight,
O risen Lord, reigning on high;
Give us your life, bread from the skies;
Lift up our hearts, open our eyes.

3. You’re the Word that spoke creation, you’re the end of Moses’ Law,
You’re the goal of Abram’s blessing, you’re the King whom David saw;
You’re the Day the prophets longed for, you’re the covenant of grace,
You’re the hero of the Scriptures, now we see you face to face.

Do not our hearts burn now?
For you’re here in power. (Chorus)

4. Jesus, show yourself the Prophet, Jesus, show yourself the King,
Jesus, show yourself the Priest, all in all, and everything.

from Our Strivings Cease, released November 18, 2018
Words & Music: Bruce Benedict and Zac Hicks, 2012, 2018
(c)2012 Cardiphonia | Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)