August 13, 2023 - Home Worship

For the week of August 13-19 – 11th Sunday after Pentecost

Morning Prayer Through the storms of life, O God, You are with Your people in the person of Jesus Your Son. Calm our fears and strengthen our faith that we may never doubt His presence among us but proclaim that He is Your Son, risen from the dead, living for ever and ever. Amen. (Lectionary)

Hymn: #469 Jesus Is All the World to Me

  1. Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all;
    He is my strength from day to day, without Him I would fall.
    When I am sad, to Him I go, no other one can cheer me so;
    when I am sad, He makes me glad, He's my friend.
  2. Jesus is all the world to me, my friend in trials sore;
    I go to Him for blessings, and He gives them o'er and o'er.
    He sends the sunshine and the rain, He sends the harvest's golden grain;
    sunshine and rain, harvest of grain, He's my friend.
  3. Jesus is all the world to me, and true to Him I'll be;
    O how could I this friend deny, when He's so true to me?
    Following Him I know I'm right, He watches o'er me day and night;
    following Him by day and night, He's my friend.
  4. Jesus is all the world to me, I want no better friend;
    I trust Him now, I'll trust Him when life's fleeting days shall end.
    Beautiful life with such a friend, beautiful life that has no end;
    eternal life, eternal joy, He's my friend.

Psalm 85:8-13

85:8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His faithful, to those who turn to Him in their hearts.

85:9 Surely His salvation is at hand for those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land.

85:10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

85:11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.

85:12 The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.

85:13 Righteousness will go before Him, and will make a path for His steps.

Children’s Message

Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:31 (NIV)

Has there ever been a time in your life when you needed someone to give you a helping hand? Of course, there has! Can you name some? (Give them time to respond, then continue.) How about when you first began to try to tie your own shoes, did you need someone to help you? It was probably your mother, wasn't it? She worked patiently with you until you were able to do it all by yourself. How about when you got your first bicycle, didn't your dad run along beside you and hold you up? When you began to learn to read, did you just pick up a book and start reading? Of course not, someone—probably a teacher—helped you learn. Did any of you need any help learning how to play soccer? There are always going to be times when you need a helping hand—even when you are grown!

Today's Bible lesson is about a time when the disciples of Jesus needed a helping hand — one disciple in particular whose name was Simon Peter.

It had been a long, hard day for Jesus and His disciples. After the disciples had helped Jesus feed more than five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two small fish, Jesus told them to get into their boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side of the lake. Jesus then went up on a mountainside to be alone and to pray.

Later that evening, the disciples were quite far out onto the lake when the wind began to blow and the waves began to bounce their boat around on the water.

Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to the disciples, walking on the water. When the disciples saw Him, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they cried.

Jesus immediately spoke to them: "Don't be afraid! Take courage. I am here!"

Peter spoke up, "Lord, if it is really You, tell me to come to You, walking on the water."

"Yes, come," Jesus answered.

So, Peter climbed out of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus. But when he started looking around and saw the waves being blown about by the wind. He was afraid and he began to sink. "Lord, save me!" he cried.

Jesus reached out His hand and caught Peter. "Why did you doubt?" Jesus asked.

So, you see, even a grown-up fisherman like Simon Peter needed a hand from Jesus when it came to walking on the water. You and I may face some pretty rough times in our life, but as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will always be there to give us a hand.

Father, help us to remember that You are always there when we need a helping hand. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. (

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers for those dear to our hearts.  We now pray as You have taught us: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us, not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Offering spotlight: Thursday is our final VBS Thursdays session for the summer.  Your prayers have been felt.  Over 40 children have come from all over the community with more than 40 of us helping in some way.  Thank you for your prayer support, your hands-on presence and your financial gifts to this ministry.   

Offering prayer: Forgiving God, the first offering You ask for is the giving of ourselves, loving You and others boldly, refusing to let our fear of the storms around us keep us from taking risks. Forgive us for times when You have called us to leave our places of comfort, and we’ve ignored the call. Forgive us when our giving has not grown beyond our safety zone, but You blessed our gifts and us anyway. For those times when we dared to put our foot outside the boat and then sank up to our knees, thank You for not taking Your hand away. For all this, we give thanks in the holy name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn #512 Stand By Me

  1. When the storms of life are raging, stand by me; When the storms of life are raging, stand by me;

When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, Thou who rulest wind and water,

Stand by me.

  1. In the midst of tribulation, stand by me; In the midst of tribulation, stand by me;

When the host of hell assail, and my strength begins to fail, Thou who never lost a battle,

Stand by me.

  1. In the midst of faults and failures, stand by me; In the midst of faults and failures, stand by me;

When I’ve done the best I can, and my friends misunderstand,

Thou who knowest all about me, Stand by me.

  1. In the midst of persecution, stand by me;  In the midst of persecution, stand by me;

When my foes in war array undertake to stop my way, Thou who saved Paul and Silas,

Stand by me.

  1. When I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me; When I’m growing old and feeble, stand by me;

When my life becomes a burden, and I’m nearing chilly Jordan, O Thou Lily of the Valley,

Stand by me.

Scripture:  Matthew 14:22-33

Immediately He (Jesus) made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning He came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Message:              Pastor Becky Cuddeback

When do you rely on Jesus? We may say we rely on Jesus everyday, which in some ways is true. We rely on Jesus to be faithful to our daily devotions, to say our prayers and to schedule our time to best witness to our devotion and gratitude to God. We do all the right things and I am not diminishing those things. They are important practices for us to be committed Christians. These are the ways we fortify our faith and expand our understanding of God and how God interacts with us and to the world. Hear me, all good things, appropriate things, yet when do we rely on Jesus fully?

This morning we come to Jesus and His disciples in the midst of their time together. Jesus has just received the news of John the Baptist’s murder, taught all day, fed the multitude, then immediately Jesus puts the disciples into a boat to escape the crowd and find time for Himself. Immediately. This is a lot to take in, to wrap one’s mind around. It has been one big event after another. None of them have had the time to fully comprehend what has occurred. They are moving through one thing to the next and now they are headed into the chaos of the sea.

Our lives get like this also, probably too frequently. We get thrust from one thing to the next, often without the opportunity to appreciate what has just happened. Sometimes we need to be moved quickly to the next thing because dwelling upon an incident too long can be painful. Some things are worth remembering because the reality of what has just taken place is too painful or too real. Sometimes we don’t fully live into the joy of a blessed event because we feel we don’t deserve to be happy or we don’t want to experience the let down after it is over. Frequently we don’t set high expectations for things to go “right” because it is better to be pleasantly surprised than to be disappointed.

In many ways, we welcome the chaos because at least it is predictable in that it leaves us unsettled. The downside of chaos is that chaos has the ability to keep us from remembering what we know. It blocks our ability to tap into what is ingrained in us, what has been written on our hearts, prayed over us as children, or drilled into our heads in elementary school. Chaos disallows us the position of clarity and stability.

Jesus places the disciples in the chaos of the storm so He could reveal Himself to them. His point was to show them who He was and to whom He was connected. Jesus didn’t just show up and it was storming, Jesus knew exactly where the disciples were and what was happening. Jesus needed to show them He would be there, all to teach them to rely on Him in the storm. Up until now, Jesus had always been with them, they knew where to find Him. Jesus taught them reliance that night, as Jesus came to where they were in that storm and that Jesus could be counted on in the storms to come. This will become clearer and clearer to us as we move closer to Easter. We will see again how Jesus repeats this truth to them and to us again after the crucifixion.

When Jesus says “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid” a more literal translation of the sentence (according to my New Testament professor Carla Works) should be “Take heart, I am, do not be afraid.” It reveals Jesus’ source of power, Jesus claims His relationship to I AM. You remember I AM, it is the name God gave to Moses to tell the Hebrews in Egypt. It was the name that sent Moses to face Pharoah. Moses came in the name of I AM.

I AM delivered Moses and the Hebrews from Pharoah. I AM provided food and water in the desert. I AM gave the Hebrews a future and a name. Jesus comes by the power of God.

In the midst of our chaos, Jesus comes to us, maybe not the way we think or envision, but He does. He comes to us through those who read their devotions, say their prayers, and organize their lives in service to gratitude to the God Most High. They come to remind us of what we already know in our heads and hearts – we are never alone, Jesus comes with us. Amen.

Hymn: #419 I Am Thine, O Lord

  1. I am thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me;
    but I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee.

Refrain: Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to Thy precious, bleeding side.

  1. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the power of grace divine;
    let my soul look up with a steadfast hope, and my will be lost in Thine. (Refrain)
  2. O the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend,
    when I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend! (Refrain)
  3. There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea;
    there are heights of joy that I may not reach till I rest in peace with Thee. (Refrain)

Go into your week with the blessings of The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.