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09.22.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: Christians talk a lot about the grace of God, but how does “grace” actually function in a Christian’s life? Is it a one-and-done act of mercy to save us from judgement and give us a fresh start in life? Or is it a perpetual gift of mercy that transforms every aspect of our lives? Come learn more as we continue our series in the core values that shape us as a Church.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

Faith … is a divine work in us which changes us and makes us to be born anew of God … It kills the old Adam and makes us altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers; and it brings with it the Holy Spirit. O it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. It does not ask whether good works are to be done, but before the question is asked, it has already done them, and is constantly doing them.

—Martin Luther

 

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or His own gifts. Who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

—John Milton

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Ezekiel 37:1-6, 11-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.  And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

 

Colossians 2:6-19

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

Father, Giver of Life, you have conquered our enemies and redeemed our lives from the grave.

Forgive us for returning to habits of slavery and death.

Jesus, Lamb of God, you have paid the penalty for our sin and given us the gift of your righteousness.

Forgive us for resisting your gift by trying to make ourselves worthy of your salvation.

Holy Spirit, Helper and Friend, you have drawn near to dwell in us and unite us to Christ.

Forgive us for our self-reliance and for seeking help apart from you.

silent confession

Triune God, have mercy on us and forgive us for our sin.

Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

09.15.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: The gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t good advice, it’s good news. It isn’t a list of things to do, it’s an announcement of what has already been done. It’s the story of the innocent life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection of Jesus on behalf of the world. Yet too often we reduce it to an aphorism, an example, or a program. What would it look like to recognize that there is a dynamic power in the good news of Jesus? Join us this Sunday as we begin our sermon series Rooted: the Values that Enable us to Flourish.

 

REFLECTION:

Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.

—Tracy Morgan

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 61:1–4, 7

1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;

    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

    and the day of vengeance of our God;

    to comfort all who mourn;

to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

that they may be called oaks of righteousness,

    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

They shall build up the ancient ruins;

    they shall raise up the former devastations;

they shall repair the ruined cities,

    the devastations of many generations.

Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;

    instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;

therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;

    they shall have everlasting joy.

 

Romans 1:15–17

15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

 

 

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.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

09.08.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY: In our world today, many of us are busy. Time is a scarce resource. Even our hobbies and social calendars can leave us breathless. How can we slow down and be present before God? Does he want our work or our attention? Join us this Sunday as we continue our sermon series on Abiding in Christ.

 

REFLECTIONS:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

—Ferris Bueller

 

“Every time you check your phone in company, what you gain is a hit of stimulation, a neurochemical shot, and what you lose is what a friend, teacher, parent, lover, or co-worker just said, meant, felt.”

―Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

    whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

    of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me

    to eat up my flesh,

my adversaries and foes,

    it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,

    my heart shall not fear;

though war arise against me,

    yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

    that will I seek after:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

    all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord

    and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter

    in the day of trouble;

he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;

    he will lift me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up

    above my enemies all around me,

and I will offer in his tent

    sacrifices with shouts of joy;

I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;

    be gracious to me and answer me!

You have said, “Seek my face.”

My heart says to you,

    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

    Hide not your face from me.

Turn not your servant away in anger,

    O you who have been my help.

Cast me not off; forsake me not,

    O God of my salvation!

10 

For my father and my mother have forsaken me,

    but the Lord will take me in.

11 

Teach me your way, O Lord,

    and lead me on a level path

    because of my enemies.

12 

Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;

    for false witnesses have risen against me,

    and they breathe out violence.

13 

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord

    in the land of the living!

14 

Wait for the Lord;

    be strong, and let your heart take courage;

    wait for the Lord!

 

 

Luke 10:38–11:4

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

11 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread,

and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

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 peace as we confidently rest in your sovereign will.  Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

Like a child, like an infant
I will still and hush my soul
I am resting in Your provision
You’ve already made me whole

 

Be still my soul, be still
Be still my soul, be still…

 

I lift my heart up, with great expectation
Here in Your arms I’m satisfied
Israel rise up, and know your salvation
He is our hope, our strength, our light

 

Be still my soul, be still
Be still my soul, be still…

 

credits

from God’s Highway, released September 9, 2016
Greg LaFollette – guest vocals / © 2016 Drink Your Tea Music [ASCAP] All rights reserved. Used by permission. Admin. by Music Services.

09.01.2019

 

 

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

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

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

―Réme Brague

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

—Marva Dawn

 

SCRIPTURE:

2 Peter 1:3-8 NIV

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

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

 

 

Deuteronomy 5:12–15

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

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

Gracious God,

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

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

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

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

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

 

credits

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

08.25.2019

 

 

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

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

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

―Richard F. Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life

 

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

—John Calvin

 

Running on (running on empty)

Running on (running blind)

Running on (running into the sun)

But I’m running behind

—Jackson Browne

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

2

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

my God, in whom I trust.”

3

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence.

4

He will cover you with his pinions,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

5

You will not fear the terror of the night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

6

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

7

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

8

You will only look with your eyes

and see the recompense of the wicked.

9

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—

the Most High, who is my refuge—

10

no evil shall be allowed to befall you,

no plague come near your tent.

11

For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways.

12

On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.

13

You will tread on the lion and the adder;

the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14

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

I will protect him, because he knows my name.

15

When he calls to me, I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

16

With long life I will satisfy him

and show him my salvation.”

 

 

John 15:1-11

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

 

 

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

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

Lord, have mercy.

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

Christ, have mercy.

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

Lord, have mercy.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

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

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

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

 

credits

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

08.18.2019

 

 

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

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

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

—John Stott

O Love incomprehensible 

That made Thee bleed for me 

The Judge of all has suffered death 

To set His prisoner free

—Anne Steele, Augustus Montague Toplady

 

SCRIPTURE:

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

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

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

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

 

Exodus 34:1-8

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

 

 

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

silent confession

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

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

08.11.2019

 

 

SERVICE SUMMARY:

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

 

 

REFLECTION:

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

—Cornelius Plantinga

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 11:1-10

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

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

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

 

 

Matthew 5:9-12

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

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

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

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN– 

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

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

08.04.2019

 

 

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

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Luke 12:22-26

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

 

Ruth 1:1-18

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

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

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

 

 

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

silent confession

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

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER

07.28.2019

 

 

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

 

REFLECTION: 

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

—J. C. Ryle

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Hebrews 12:18-29

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

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

 

Exodus 19:1-21

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

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

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

07.21.2019

 

 

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

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

1 Samuel 17:21-49

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

 

1 Samuel 18:1-5

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

 

 

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

silent confession

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