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02.11.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: We are all affected by our possessions, whether they are expensive or not, new or old, abundant or scarce. We tend to find ourselves looking to them as our source of happiness. Come this Sunday to see what Matthew 19 has to say about where we ought to put our trust.

 

 

REFLECTIONS

All men seek happiness, this is without exception. Whatever different means they do employ all tend to this end.

—Blaise Pascal

 

Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.

― Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project 

 

Jesus is a teacher, especially in Matthew, but Jesus is first and last a Lord, and, in fact, only when Jesus’ lordship is accepted will his teaching be able to be followed.

—Frederick Dale Bruner

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 37:4-7, 23-26

4 Delight yourself in the Lord,

   and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;

   trust in him, and he will act.

6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,

   and your justice as the noonday.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;

   fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,

   over the man who carries out evil devices!

 

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,

   when he delights in his way;

24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,

   for the Lord upholds his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,

   yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken

   or his children begging for bread.

26 He is ever lending generously,

   and his children become a blessing.

 

Matthew 19:16-30

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world,] when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold[c] and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

God, you ask us to place our complete trust in you.

Forgive us for putting our hope in possessions.

-silent confession-

 

Lord, you ask us to be rich in good deeds.

Forgive us for our lack of generosity.

-silent confession-

 

God, have mercy on us and enable us to entrust ourselves to you.

For Christ’s sake, amen.

02.04.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: If we understand that God is in control of all things, how are we to make sense of being responsible for our lives and making plans for the future? Come this Sunday to hear what God’s word says from the book of James.

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

 

James 4:13-17

13  Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

God of grace,
we confess that we have elevated
the things of this world above you.

We have made idols of possessions and people
and used your name for causes
that are not consistent with you and your purposes.

We have permitted our schedules to come first
and have made plans for our life according to our own interests.

Lord, and giver of life,
Forgive us for living as if our plans are certain
and as if we control the future.
Help us to learn to follow you. Amen

01.28.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: We are made to remember; we make scrapbooks, take photos, keep genealogies, and retell stories, and yet we easily forget. Not only do we forget what others have done for us, we forget God and all he has accomplished. Come this Sunday as we take time to remember God and his faithfulness.

 

REFLECTIONS:

Marriage is not just spiritual communion, it is also remembering to take out the trash.

–Joyce Brothers

 

Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering God in gratitude. Such a perspective puts God in view in all of life, not just in the moments we set aside for worship or spiritual disciplines. Not just in the moments when life seems easy.

–Henri Nouwen

 

SCRIPTURE:

1 Chronicles 16:12-34

12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,

   his miracles and the judgments he uttered,

13 O offspring of Israel his servant,

   children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

14 He is the Lord our God;

   his judgments are in all the earth.

15 Remember his covenant forever,

   the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

16 the covenant that he made with Abraham,

   his sworn promise to Isaac,

17 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,

   to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,

   as your portion for an inheritance.”

19 When you were few in number,

   of little account, and sojourners in it,

20 wandering from nation to nation,

   from one kingdom to another people,

21 he allowed no one to oppress them;

   he rebuked kings on their account,

22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,

   do my prophets no harm!”

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

   Tell of his salvation from day to day.

24 Declare his glory among the nations,

   his marvelous works among all the peoples!

25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,

   and he is to be feared above all gods.

26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,

   but the Lord made the heavens.

27 Splendor and majesty are before him;

   strength and joy are in his place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,

   ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

   bring an offering and come before him!

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;

30     tremble before him, all the earth;

   yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,

   and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

   let the field exult, and everything in it!

33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy

   before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.

34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

   for his steadfast love endures forever!

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin.

 

For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you alone, have I sinned,

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are justified in your sentence

and blameless when you pass judgment.

 

You desire truth in the inward being;

therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

 

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and put a new and right spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence,

and do not take your holy spirit from me.

01.21.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: In a culture dominated with soundbites, instant cocoa, and same day delivery, we can find it difficult to wait. We are impatient with the longer, slower, but complete results of writing, training for a marathon, or cooking from scratch. How does this desire for instant gratification play into our relationship with Jesus. Come this Sunday to find out as we continue our series in Mark.

 

REFLECTIONS:

A true genius admits that he knows nothing.

― Albert Einstein

 

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.

― Abraham Lincoln

 

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond understanding!

—Romans 11:33

 

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

—1 Corinthians 13:12

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 35

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

   the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

2 it shall blossom abundantly

   and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

   the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,

   the majesty of our God.

3 Strengthen the weak hands,

   and make firm the feeble knees.

4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,

   “Be strong; fear not!

Behold, your God

   will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

   He will come and save you.”

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

   and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

   and streams in the desert;

7 the burning sand shall become a pool,

   and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,

   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8 And a highway shall be there,

   and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;

the unclean shall not pass over it.

   It shall belong to those who walk on the way;

   even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.[a]

9 No lion shall be there,

   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

   but the redeemed shall walk there.

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return

   and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

   they shall obtain gladness and joy,

   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

Mark 8:22–26

22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

01.14.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: Christians often pray to God as “Father”, but do we really trust in his fatherly love for us? What would it look like to truly live as a “child” of God? Come and learn more as Pastor Joshua Burdette teaches from Romans 8.

 

REFLECTIONS:

The story of paradise lost becoming paradise regained is the story of God’s grace bringing us from alienation from him to membership in his family. God’s grace restores us to what Adam lost for us – sonship to the God who made us, loves us, and provides for us in every detail in life.

—Sinclair B. Ferguson

 

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

—Stuart Townend

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 69:1-3,13-16, 30-33

Save me, O God!

   For the waters have come up to my neck.

2 I sink in deep mire,

   where there is no foothold;

I have come into deep waters,

   and the flood sweeps over me.

3 I am weary with my crying out;

   my throat is parched.

My eyes grow dim

   with waiting for my God.

 

13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.

   At an acceptable time, O God,

   in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

14 Deliver me

   from sinking in the mire;

let me be delivered from my enemies

   and from the deep waters.

15 Let not the flood sweep over me,

   or the deep swallow me up,

   or the pit close its mouth over me.

16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;

   according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.

 

30 I will praise the name of God with a song;

   I will magnify him with thanksgiving.

31 This will please the Lord more than an ox

   or a bull with horns and hoofs.

32 When the humble see it they will be glad;

   you who seek God, let your hearts revive.

33 For the Lord hears the needy

   and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

 

Romans 8:14-17

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Father, giver of all life, you fearfully and wonderfully made us;

But we confess that we often refuse to honor and thank you as our Creator.

 

Holy Spirit, you have given us a new identity in Christ;

But we confess we are hard hearted and prone to seek comfort in idols.

 

Lord, you nurture and care for us as a loving parent;

But we confess we reject your love and turn from your comforting voice.

 

God, have mercy on us, and pardon us through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Amen.

 

01.07.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: R.E.M. put to song what we all know by way of personal experience: “Everybody hurts.” Sometimes the pain is so real and so deep that we have a hard time focusing or seeing a path out. Confusion sets in, then hopelessness. Where in this hurting world can we find healing? Is there a path to life? Come this Sunday as we look at John chapter 1.

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 9:1-7

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.[b]

2 [c] The people who walked in darkness

   have seen a great light;

those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,

   on them has light shone.

3 You have multiplied the nation;

   you have increased its joy;

they rejoice before you

   as with joy at the harvest,

   as they are glad when they divide the spoil.

4 For the yoke of his burden,

   and the staff for his shoulder,

   the rod of his oppressor,

   you have broken as on the day of Midian.

5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult

   and every garment rolled in blood

   will be burned as fuel for the fire.

6 For to us a child is born,

   to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder,

   and his name shall be called[e]

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and of peace

   there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

   to establish it and to uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

   from this time forth and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

 

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.[e] 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God,[f] who is at the Father’s side,[g] he has made him known.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Father, the light of your salvation shines in the world and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Yet we live as if your light cannot defeat darkness.

Forgive us for doubting your salvation.

Through your Spirit, you never abandon us; your name is Emmanuel, “God with us.”

When life becomes difficult, we fear your presence has left us.

Forgive us for turning to other things for comfort.

Jesus, at your return you promise to wipe away all tears and heal all pain.

Instead of trusting you to restore your world, we take matters into our own hands.

Forgive us for doing what is right in our own eyes.

Lord, of these things we repent. Help us to trust you and live as beacons of light in this dark world, ever-waiting for your glorious return! Come, Lord Jesus.

 

12.31.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: If we are honest, there are short, and sometimes long periods of time in our life when our circumstances cause us to doubt whether or not God is in control of this world. Come this Sunday as we look again at the Christmas story in order to find comfort when we are filled with doubt and fear.

 

REFLECTIONS:

Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.

—Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost

 

We had evidence and no doubt. I have seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

—T.S. Elliot

 

All men would be tyrants if they could.

—Daniel Defoe

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 57

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

   for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

   till the storms of destruction pass by.

2 I cry out to God Most High,

   to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

3 He will send from heaven and save me;

   he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah

 

God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

4 My soul is in the midst of lions;

   I lie down amid fiery beasts—

the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,

   whose tongues are sharp swords.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!

   Let your glory be over all the earth!

6 They set a net for my steps;

   my soul was bowed down.

They dug a pit in my way,

   but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah

 

7 My heart is steadfast, O God,

   my heart is steadfast!

I will sing and make melody!

8     Awake, my glory![b]

Awake, O harp and lyre!

   I will awake the dawn!

9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;

   I will sing praises to you among the nations.

10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,

   your faithfulness to the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!

   Let your glory be over all the earth!

 

Matthew 2:13-23

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,

weeping and loud lamentation,

Rachel weeping for her children;

she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

 

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Father, the light of your salvation shines in the world and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Yet we live as if your light cannot defeat darkness.

Forgive us for doubting your salvation.

Through your Spirit, you never abandon us; your name is Emmanuel, “God with us.”

When life becomes difficult, we fear your presence has left us.

Forgive us for turning to other things for comfort.

Jesus, at your return you promise to wipe away all tears and heal all pain.

Instead of trusting you to restore your world, we take matters into our own hands.

Forgive us for doing what is right in our own eyes.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

“Joy has dawned upon the world,
Promised from creation—
God’s salvation now unfurled,
Hope for ev’ry nation.
Not with fanfares from above,
Not with scenes of glory,
But a humble gift of love—
Jesus born of Mary.

Sounds of wonder fill the sky
With the songs of angels
As the mighty Prince of Life
Shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place,
Shaped the earth in darkness,
Cling now to a mother’s breast,
Vuln’rable and helpless.

Shepherds bow before the Lamb,
Gazing at the glory;
Gifts of men from distant lands
Prophesy the story.
Gold—a King is born today,
Incense—God is with us,
Myrrh—His death will make a way,
And by His blood He’ll win us.

Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom;
Reconciling God and man,
Christ, our mighty champion!
What a Savior! What a Friend!
What a glorious myst’ry!
Once a babe in Bethlehem,
Now the Lord of hist’ry.”

WORDS AND MUSIC BY KEITH GETTY & STUART TOWNEND COPYRIGHT © 2004 THANKYOU MUSIC/ADM. BY WORSHIPTOGETHER.COM SONGS, EXCEL. UK & EUROPE, ADM. BY KINGSWAY MUSIC. TYM@KINGSWAY.CO.UK.

12.24.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: Waiting can be challenging but it can also heighten our joy when our hopes are realized. Our world groans under the weight of disorder and brokenness, but this week we celebrate that God is faithful and has given us a gift beyond our expectations. What exactly does this gift entail? Come this week to discover and receive what God has done.

 

REFLECTIONS:

I have never had a child come to see me to talk about the stress of the holidays. They aren’t worried about making it to all the parties, buying the perfect presents, maxing out their credit cards, and travel plans. As every child knows, the only stress of Christmas is how can we possibly wait for it to arrive— the day we receive so much.

—Craig Barnes, The Pastor as Minor Poet

Of what benefit would it be to me if Christ had been born a thousand times, and it would daily be sung into my ears in a most lovely manner, if I were never to hear that he was born for me and was to be my very own?

—Martin Luther

 

SCRIPTURE:

Luke 2:1–7

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:8-20

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:21–22; 25–32

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem sto present him to the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,

according to your word;

for my eyes have seen your salvation

that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and for glory to your people Israel.”

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Father, we long to recapture the wonder of Christmas. You showed the world your splendor in the coming of your Son, the mystery of God becoming man to make us your children.

Yet, we confess that,

instead of being worshipful, we are complacent;

instead of being joyful, we are irritable;

instead of being peaceful, we are anxious.

In our unbelief, we have become impoverished with divided hearts and distracted minds.

Have mercy on us and forgive us for the sake of Emmanuel, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

“Joy has dawned upon the world,
Promised from creation—
God’s salvation now unfurled,
Hope for ev’ry nation.
Not with fanfares from above,
Not with scenes of glory,
But a humble gift of love—
Jesus born of Mary.

Sounds of wonder fill the sky
With the songs of angels
As the mighty Prince of Life
Shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place,
Shaped the earth in darkness,
Cling now to a mother’s breast,
Vuln’rable and helpless.

Shepherds bow before the Lamb,
Gazing at the glory;
Gifts of men from distant lands
Prophesy the story.
Gold—a King is born today,
Incense—God is with us,
Myrrh—His death will make a way,
And by His blood He’ll win us.

Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom;
Reconciling God and man,
Christ, our mighty champion!
What a Savior! What a Friend!
What a glorious myst’ry!
Once a babe in Bethlehem,
Now the Lord of hist’ry.”

WORDS AND MUSIC BY KEITH GETTY & STUART TOWNEND COPYRIGHT © 2004 THANKYOU MUSIC/ADM. BY WORSHIPTOGETHER.COM SONGS, EXCEL. UK & EUROPE, ADM. BY KINGSWAY MUSIC. TYM@KINGSWAY.CO.UK.

12.17.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: In a culture dominated with soundbites, instant cocoa, and same day delivery, we can find it difficult to wait. We are impatient with the longer, slower, but complete results of writing, training for a marathon, or cooking from scratch. How does this desire for instant gratification play into our relationship with Jesus. Come this Sunday to find out as we continue our series in Mark.

 

REFLECTIONS:

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”

—Romans 11:33-34

 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

—Isaiah 55:8

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 35

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

   the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

2 it shall blossom abundantly

   and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

   the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,

   the majesty of our God.

3 Strengthen the weak hands,

   and make firm the feeble knees.

4 Say to those who have an anxious heart,

   “Be strong; fear not!

Behold, your God

   will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

   He will come and save you.”

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

   and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

   and streams in the desert;

7 the burning sand shall become a pool,

   and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,

   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8 And a highway shall be there,

   and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;

the unclean shall not pass over it.

   It shall belong to those who walk on the way;

   even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.[a]

9 No lion shall be there,

   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

   but the redeemed shall walk there.

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return

   and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

   they shall obtain gladness and joy,

   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

Mark 8:22-26

22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Promised Christ:

We are a world at war.

Our peace depends on your coming.

We are a sinful people.

Our pardon depends on your mercy.

We are full of good intentions, but weak at keeping promises.

Our healing depends on your finished work.

Lord Christ, Word made flesh, our world waits for your peace,

for your pardon, and for your healing.

Even so; come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

12.10.2017

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: Holidays are times for feasting, we go to great lengths to plan menus, set attractive tables, and select the guests we want to invite. God too has gone to great lengths to prepare an eternal feast, but who is invited? Come this Sunday to find the answer to this question as we return to our series in Mark.

 

REFLECTIONS:

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.

—Brené Brown

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

—Revelation 19:9

On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine– the best of meats and the finest of wines.

—Isaiah 25:6

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 25:1, 6-9

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.

 

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.”

 

Mark 8:1-21

1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” 4 And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” 5 And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. 8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

14 Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”[b] 16 And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. 17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20 “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Lord, we have not kept watch for you.
We have occupied ourselves with our own concerns.
We have not waited to find your will for us.
We have not noticed the needs of the people around us.

Forgive us for our lack of watchfulness.
Help us to wait to know your will.
Help us to look out for the needs of others.
Help us to work, watch, and wait for your coming. Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

Verse 1

Go to the highways and hedges,

go to the farthest of fields

Go and compel, the sick and the well

For our Father’s house will be filled

Verse 2

Go to the streets of the city,

bring in the crippled and blind

All who would taste this banquet of grace

Must come and waste no more time.

Chorus

Come to the feast, come to the table

The great and the least, the rich and the poor

Come to the feast, come to the table

Come and hunger no more. Come and hunger no more

Verse 3

In the robe of the lamb you’ll be covered,

dressed in his pure righteousness

For all of your guilt, his blood it was spilt

So come by your Father be blessed