36 East Victoria St.
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Some of us have the tendency to take credit for our successes while blaming circumstances for our failures. But if God is sovereign, we must see our best traits—even our hard work and determination—as gifts that are not earned but received. Join us this week as we learn from the story of a king named Saul the danger of entitlement and the reward of trusting God.

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SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 8:4–7; 10:17–19, 22–24; 13:1, 13–14

1 Samuel 8:4–7

4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.


1 Samuel 10:17-19

17 Now Samuel called the people together to the Lord at Mizpah. 18 And he said to the people of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ 19 But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your thousands.”


1 Samuel 10:22-24

22 So they inquired again of the Lord, “Is there a man still to come?” and the Lord said, “Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.” 23 Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”


1 Samuel 13:1

13 Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel, [but he disobeyed the command of the Lord].


1 Samuel 13:13-14

13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”




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.

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





Some people carry a rabbit’s foot for good luck; others call upon a favorite saint to give them fortune; others still suppose that a cross around their neck will ward off calamity. Yet the God of the Bible cannot be conjured or manipulated. How can we trust a God whom we cannot control? Join us this Sunday as we look at the story of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.

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SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 4:1-11

1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.

Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle. 3 And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

5 As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. 6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. 9 Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.”

10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell. 11 And the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.



True God,
We admit that we take your name in vain in order to get worldly gain.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess that we try to manipulate you into our image rather than be conformed to the image of Christ.

Lord, forgive our sins.

We admit that we turn away from the parts of your Word that we do not like.

Lord, have mercy.

We confess that we have trusted in ourselves to protect and comfort us.

Lord, forgive our sins.

Silent confession

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, forgive our sins.




Verse 1
Jesus I am resting resting
In the joy of what Thou art
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee
And Thy beauty fills my soul
For by Thy transforming power
Thou hast made me whole

Jesus I am resting resting
In the joy of what Thou art
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart

Verse 2
Oh how great Thy loving kindness
Vaster broader than the sea
Oh how marvelous Thy goodness
Lavished all on me
Yes I rest in Thee Beloved
Know what wealth of grace is Thine
Know Thy certainty of promise
And have made it mine

Verse 3
Simply trusting Thee Lord Jesus
I behold Thee as Thou art
And Thy love so pure so changeless
Satisfies my heart
Satisfies its deepest longings
Full supplies its ev’ry need
And surrounds me with Thy blessings
Thine is love indeed

Verse 4
Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee
Resting ‘neath Thy smile Lord Jesus
Earth’s dark shadows flee
Brightness of my Father’s glory
Sunshine of my Father’s face
Keep me ever trusting resting
Fill me with Thy grace





Abuse of power, hypocrisy, absence of leadership—these realities seem to mark our world. Sadly, tragically, they also describe the church. In such a situation it is easy to become cynical and hard to trust authority. And yet, it seems, that at a fundamental level people cannot exist without leadership. In these dark times of scandal and abuse, where do God’s people turn? How can they move forward in the face of so much corruption. This week we will see that these are the exact questions that 1 Samuel asks and answers. We invite you to come explore this very relevant book with us.

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SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 2:12, 17, 22–35

12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 17 … the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.

22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.

26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.

27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29 Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men. 34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.




In Romans 2, the Apostle Paul asks God’s people to consider their own hypocrisy. He writes: if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? … 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

This is a searching and sobering passage. When we act hypocritically Paul says we cause unbelievers to blaspheme God’s name.

But there is good news. Isaiah 30:15 says “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” So we are going to take some time in quietness to repent. To consider, to confess, and to mourn our own hypocrisy and the hypocrisy of the church.





For the bread which you have broken,
For the wine which you have poured,
For the words, which you have spoken,
Now we give you thanks O Lord.

By this pledge that you do love us,
By your gift of peace restored,
By your call to heaven before us,
Sanctify our lives O Lord.

With our sainted ones in glory,
Seated at our Father’s board,
May the Church that waits now for Thee,
Keep love’s tie unbroken Lord.

In your service Lord defend us.
In our hearts keep watch and ward.
In the world where’r you send us,
May your kingdom come O Lord.





On January 6, the world watched as riots in DC turned violent and threatened the lives of public servants in both parties. Some of the rioters claimed to be motivated by their Christian faith, donning Christian symbols into the Capitol. Others who claim to be Christ-followers have said they support the insurrection on the same basis. How should those seeking to follow the crucified Nazarene view and respond to such claims? Join us this week as we pause our current sermon series in order to see our current events through the lens of Scripture.

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SCRIPTURE: Exodus 20:1-7

And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.







2020 was an especially disorienting year. It was difficult to discern truth from error, reality from fiction, and where to be confident and where to show circumspection. The good news is that we are not the first or only people to experience this. When we open the book of 1 Samuel, Israel is in a very similar situation. This week we are reminded that even though we live in a world with varying shades of gray, God does not leave his people without a clear witness to the truth, and is faithful to provide his word, which is a light in the darkness. Click HERE to RSVP to the service.



SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 3:1–10, 19–21

[1] Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.

[2] At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. [3] The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.

[4] Then the LORD called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” [5] and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

[6] And the LORD called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” [7] Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

[8] And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. [9] Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

[10] And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

[19] And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. [20] And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD. [21] And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.



In the book of James we read:  1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

James recognizes our tendency to ignore God’s word. Even we profess to honor God’s word, we often ignore it in our practice. Take some time to consider the ways in which you have ignored God’s word in your life.

silent confession



Speak O Lord as we come to You
To receive the food of Your holy word
Take Your truth plant it deep in us
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith
Speak O Lord and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory

Teach us Lord full obedience
Holy reverence true humility
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity
Cause our faith to rise
Cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority
Words of power that can never fail
Let their truth prevail over unbelief

Speak O Lord and renew our minds
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us
Speak O Lord till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory