36 East Victoria St.
Santa Barbara




SERVICE SUMMARY: Have you ever wrestled with God? Every person of faith knows what it’s like to doubt; every Christian has wrestled with God in some way. A man named Jacob once wrestled with God in a way that changed his life forever. Join us this Sunday for the first Sunday in Advent series, When God Appears.




In a very real sense, the Christian community lives in Advent all the time… The disappointment, brokenness, suffering, and pain that characterize life in this present world is held in dynamic tension with the promise of future glory that is yet to come. In that Advent tension, the church lives its life.

—Fleming Rutledge, Advent




1 Peter 5:6-11

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


Genesis 32:22–32

22 The same night [Jacob] arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.




Holy Father,
We take for ourselves what you have promised to give in time.

We confess our impatience with you.

We choose to fulfill our desires in sinful and inordinate ways.

We confess our lack of self-control.

We look to temporary things to satisfy us.

We confess our lack of hope.

We judge bitterly those people and circumstances that make us wait.

We confess that we have not loved well.

We need your mercy. 

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Silent Confession

Lord Jesus Christ, give us grace to wait for you until you come again. Amen.




1. Light after darkness, gain after loss,
Strength after weakness, crown after cross;
Sweet after bitter, hope after fears,
Home after wandering, praise after tears.

2. Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain,
Sight after mystery, peace after pain;
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast,
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last.

Weeping may remain for a night
But joy arrives in morning’s new light
I’ll praise the God of merciful plight
Still I will praise him, still I will praise him, my God.

3. Near after distant, gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness, life after tomb;
After long agony, rapture of bliss,
Right was the pathway, leading to this.

You give and you take away
In darkness still I will say:
“A good God I serve this day.”
Still I will praise you, still I will praise you.


from Our Strivings Cease, released November 18, 2018
Words: Frances Ridley Havergal, 1879 (verses); Zac Hicks, 2008 (chorus & bridge)
Chorus & Bridge based on Psalm 30:5 & Job 1:21
Music: Zac Hicks, 2009
(c)2009 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)




SERVICE SUMMARY: For many of us, the word “hospitality” evokes an industry rather than a way of life. It’s something we buy or experience, not something we offer. Yet the Christian Bible is full of commands to show hospitality to the very people who need it most. Join us this Sunday as we look at the Christian calling to show hospitality.




He is a Christian who, even in his own house and in his own country, acknowledges himself to be a stranger. For our country is above, there we shall not be strangers.

—Augustine of Hippo


The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’

—St. Luke


All the lonely people

Where do they all come from?

All the lonely people

Where do they all belong?

—John Lennon and Paul McCartney




Leviticus 19.33-34

33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.


Hebrews 13:1-2, 14

Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares…

14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.




Merciful God,
in Christ you promise forgiveness and new life, making us part of the body of Christ.

We confess that we remain preoccupied with ourselves, separated from others.
We cling to destructive habits, hold grudges,
and show reluctance to welcome one another.
In your loving-kindness
have mercy on us and free us from sin.

Remind us of the promises you make in baptism
so that we may rise to new life
and live together in grace.




Let us be known by our love
In every word, in every deed honor the Son
Let our light shine in every eye
Let us be known by our love

For the glory of the Father
For the glory of the Son
For the glory of the Spirit
Let us be known by our love

Let us be known by our joy
In every home, in every heart sing to the Lord
Let our life show goodness and hope
Let us be known by our joy

For the glory of the Father
For the glory of the Son
For the glory of the Spirit
Let us be known by our joy

Let us be known by our peace
In every town, in every tribe Jesus is King
Let us go forth, heal and restore
Let us be known by our peace

For the glory of the Father
For the glory of the Son
For the glory of the Spirit
Let us be known by our peace

from Crumbs, released November 1, 2018




SERVICE SUMMARY: We’ve all heard the statistics–people are more lonely today than they’ve ever been. We’ve created vast networks on social media to connect in the global village, but few of us know our actual neighbors or have close friends where we live. What went wrong? And what does following Jesus have to do with making friends and building neighborhoods? Join us this Sunday as we look at our core value of community.




So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,

Since we’re together, we might as well say,

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Won’t you be my neighbor?

—Fred Rogers


Our communities suffocate when we fail to express how grateful we are for the goodness we find there — the ordinary expressions of fidelity and love that are so easy to take for granted.

—Christine Pohl




Proverbs 27:4-6; 9-10; 17

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,

    but who can stand before jealousy?

5 Better is open rebuke

    than hidden love.

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;

    profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Oil and perfume make the heart glad,

    and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,

    and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.

Better is a neighbor who is near

    than a brother who is far away.

Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,

    rising early in the morning,

    will be counted as cursing.

17 Iron sharpens iron,

    and one man sharpens another.


Colossians 3:1-17

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.




God of love and justice,
we long for peace within and peace without;
for harmony in our families and communities;
for the light of your grace in the midst of our darkness.

Yet we confess that we are often anxious.
We do not trust each other
and we harbor violence in our hearts.
We are not willing to take the risks
and make the sacrifices that love requires.
Look upon us with kindness and grace.

silent confession

Rule in our community and in all the world;
show us how to walk in your paths,
through the mercy of our Savior.




SERVICE SUMMARY: Jesus called his message the gospel, which means the good news. The Christian message isn’t a good rule to follow or good advice to take. The Christian message is the good news that God became human in order to save humanity.  It’s not something for you to do, it’s about what’s already been done for you. When God asks believers to proclaim the good news, there is power to redeem and transform. The power is in the message of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not the methods of the one proclaiming him. And that’s good news too. Join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series rooted in the core convictions of the Church.




Social networks are the basic mechanism through which conversion takes place. . . . The principle that conversions spread through social networks is quite consistent with the fact that the earliest followers of Jesus shared many family ties and long-standing associations. . . . Although the very first Christian converts in the West may have been by full-time missionaries, the conversion process soon became self-sustaining as new converts accepted the obligation to spread their faith and did so by missionizing their immediate circle of intimates.

—Rodney Stark




Jeremiah 1:4-11

4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;

for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,

and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to deliver you,

declares the Lord.”

9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.

10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,

to pluck up and to break down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.”

11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”


Acts 18:1-11

After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.




Sing first verse

Leader:  God of mercy, whose Son, Jesus Christ, longs to embrace us in his love, we confess that we have disobeyed your commands and ignored your mission; our ears have been deaf to your call and our hearts have been cold to your love.

Sing second verse

Leader:  Father, we confess that we have hurt others and dishonored your
name. We have hoarded our gifts instead of using them to bless
others. We have failed to reflect your love to the watching world.

Sing third verse

Leader:  Lord, have mercy on us, and forgive us for our sins.
Receive us again as your children, not because we are worthy,
but for the sake of Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.

Close song




SERVICE SUMMARY: You’ve likely heard the famous Bible verse that says “For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son…” God is moved and motivated by love for humanity. As Christians are sent into the world with the good news of Jesus, they must be likewise motivated by love. What does that look like in a culture that doesn’t often want to hear it? Join us this Sunday as we learn what it means to speak the truth in love.




I’m not that spiritual /  I still go out all the time to department stores.

—The National




Isaiah 42:1-10a

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,

    my chosen, in whom my soul delights;

I have put my Spirit upon him;

    he will bring forth justice to the nations.

2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,

    or make it heard in the street;

3 a bruised reed he will not break,

    and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;

    he will faithfully bring forth justice.

4 He will not grow faint or be discouraged

    till he has established justice in the earth;

    and the coastlands wait for his law.

5 Thus says God, the Lord,

    who created the heavens and stretched them out,

    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,

who gives breath to the people on it

    and spirit to those who walk in it:

6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;

    I will take you by the hand and keep you;

I will give you as a covenant for the people,

    a light for the nations,

7     to open the eyes that are blind,

to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,

    from the prison those who sit in darkness.

8 I am the Lord; that is my name;

    my glory I give to no other,

    nor my praise to carved idols.

9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,

    and new things I now declare;

before they spring forth

    I tell you of them.”


1 Peter 2:11–12, 3:13–16

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.


13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.




God of mercy, whose Son, Jesus Christ, longs to embrace us in his love,

We confess that we have been wayward children.
We have disobeyed your commands and ignored your mission;
Our ears have been deaf to your call and our hearts have been cold to your love.

silent confession

Father, we confess that we have hurt others and dishonored your name.

We have been selfish and self-reliant.
We have hoarded our gifts instead of using them to bless others.
We have failed to reflect your love to the watching world.

silent confession

Lord, have mercy on us, and forgive us for our sins.

Receive us again as your well-beloved children,
not because we are worthy, but for the sake of Christ
who loved us and gave himself for us. Amen.




SERVICE SUMMARY: The best things in life—the best restaurants, the best albums, the best views, the best movies—demand to be shared. We can’t help but beckon another to taste what we have tasted and to confirm it to be good. So if Jesus is the life of the world, how do we share his message and presence with others? Join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series on our core values.




The secret of man is the secret of his responsibility.

—Václev Havel


Knowing what you know about yourself and the world, having read what you’ve read, having seen what you’ve seen, what are you going to do?

—Steve Garber, Visions of Vocation




Psalm 34:1-8;11

I will bless the Lord at all times;

    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul makes its boast in the Lord;

    let the humble hear and be glad.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,

    and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me

    and delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant,

    and their faces shall never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him

    and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps

    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!


Come, O children, listen to me;

    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.


2 Timothy 2:1-2

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.




Father, you have shown us the way of life through your Son, Jesus Christ.

We confess that we are slow to learn from him,

reluctant to follow him,

and hesitant to tell others about him.

Silent Confession

Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us. Renew us by your Holy Spirit and make us more like Jesus.








SERVICE SUMMARY: Is spirituality something separate from life in the so-called “real world” of work, chores, bills, and hobbies or is it a comprehensive way of seeing everything in the world? Join us this Sunday as we look at what Jesus requires of his followers.




The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence.

—Dallas Willard, The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship

Follow him and you will know him.

—Albert Schweitzer




Daniel 7:9-10; 13-14; 18

9 “As I looked,

thrones were placed,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
its wheels were burning fire.
10 A stream of fire issued
and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened.

13 “I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’


Matthew 28:16–20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”




Almighty God, you have raised Jesus from death to life
and crowned him Lord of all.

We confess that we have not acknowledged his authority or trusted in his commands.
We have boasted in our own achievements and failed to give him thanks.
We have been deaf to his call and blind to his work in our world.

Silent Confession

Forgive us and raise us from sin, that we may be your faithful people, following our Lord Jesus Christ.








SERVICE SUMMARY: Many people see spirituality as something separate and removed from the physical world. Yet in the Christian Bible, God created a good world full of physical matter–rocks and trees, mountains and plains, fruits and flowers, wheat and grapes, and flesh and bones of all varieties. Whiskers, scales, beards, cheek bones, manes, horns, eyelids, feathers, gills, and every cell in the animal kingdom was fashioned by a Creative Genius who delighted in all he made. What does that mean for spirituality? Join us this Sunday as we explore one of our core values: Creation Reconciled.




A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.

—Wolfgang von Goethe



Genesis 1:1; 31a

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.


Colossians 1:15–20; 1 Timothy 4:1–5

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.




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.








SERVICE SUMMARY: “What you see is what you get,” we are told. Yet the imagination is not satisfied with that answer. Whether as young children reading fairy tales or as adults beholding a mountain view, we all ask, “is there more than meets the eye?” Throughout history Christians have understood worship to be the place where heaven meets earth–a portal to another world. Can it really be so? Can those songs and prayers and idiosyncratic conversations in ancient cathedrals and suburban strip malls really lift the veil to glory? If so, what do they reveal? Join us this Sunday as we again look at worship, one of the fundamentals of Christian faith.




Some keep the Sabbath going to church; I keep it staying at home, With a bobolink for a chorister, and an orchard for a dome.

—Emily Dickenson

Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.

—Luke 4:16

Why is it … that while the places of worship in Cardiff were only sparsely attended, the trains come from … sea-side places were pack out? … Well, the answer is perfectly plain. They obviously prefer to be at the seaside and feel that they get more benefit there than they did in their chapels and churches.”

—Martin Lloyd-Jones




Exodus 19:1-17

On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”

When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”

16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.


Hebrews 12:18-29

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

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




Sovereign Lord, you rule the nations,

But we live as though we are 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.






SERVICE SUMMARY:What goes on behind the church doors every Sunday and why does it matter? What’s with all the singing, the standing, the sitting, the praying, the giving, the reciting, and the preaching? What’s with the creeds and confessions? And what on earth is all the talk of ‘body and blood’ about? Come find out this Sunday as we continue our sermon series called Rooted: the values that enable us to flourish. This week we’re talking about worship.




What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.

—Dr. Ashley Null, paraphrasing Thomas Cranmer,
16th Century Archbishop of Canterbury


I believe in God and the whole business but I love women best, music and science next, whiskey next, God fourth, and my fellowman hardly at all.

—Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins

Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship … is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

—David Foster Wallace




Psalm 115:1-13

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.
O Israel,[a] trust in the Lord!
He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!
He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!
He is their help and their shield.
The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us;
he will bless the house of Israel;
he will bless the house of Aaron;
he will bless those who fear the Lord,
both the small and the great.


Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.




Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.