August 23, 2020 - Home Worship Service

Welcome & AnnouncementsGood morning church!

Today, Sunday, August 23rd from 10-11am Pastor Jenn will be blessing the backpacks in front of the Lighthouse. She will be handing out a little gift for the students to put on their backpacks so they can look at it and be reminded of the love of God and Lightstreet church. There will be a blessing during the online worship service too, but if the children and youth would like to come receive the gift, please do so during the hour of 10am-11am. If that time does not work for you, feel free to contact PJenn about another time at 570-317-0422.

Next Sunday, Aug 30th, Pastor Jenn will hold the 9am ZOOM worship. Then at 10:10am she will be preaching in person at Rohrsburg UM Church 706 Zaners Rohrsburg Rd, Orangeville, PA 17859  and at 11am she will be at Orangeville UM Church 402 Mill St, Orangeville, PA 17859 for in person worship as well. Both churches are part of our charge. Feel free to attend with a mask. No chairs needed.

Sunday, September 6th we will start up in person worship at Lightstreet with the 8am contemporary service in the Lighthouse where you bring your own mask and chair. And then at 10:30am will be our traditional service in the church sanctuary. You will need a mask and will be asked to be spaced apart from others unless you are sitting with those in your household. 8am will have the praise band leading. 10:30 we will have traditional music via sound system. No singing allowed at this time, just humming. And no children and youth Sunday School just yet.

 

Sunday 9:00 am Zoom Worship & Prayer

Pastor Jenn and your church leaders invite you to ZOOM, Sunday morning, 9:00 am. 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85441468430?pwd=aEJmcnJ3SGdkbWphMnlRV3JwQ3dXQT09

  Meeting ID: 854 4146 8430        Password: 279040

One tap mobile:  +19294362866,,85441468430#,,,,0#,,279040# US (New York)

For audio only using a landline or non-smart phone:  1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

 

 

Worship:

I invite you to light a candle to welcome the Light of the World in your presence and prepare your heart for worship this day

Call to Worship

L: Life can sometimes be very difficult.
P: We look around and wonder where God is.
L: In the midst of our trials and tribulations, God is with us.
P: God surrounds us with love and courage.
L: Come, let us praise God for God’s abiding presence.
P: Lord, thank You for always being with us, even when we don’t recognize Your loving presence. AMEN.

 

 

Opening Hymn: This is My Father’s World by Donna Farver

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/this-is-my-fathers-world-1

 

1. This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears, all nature sings,

and round me rings the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; His hand the wonders wrought.

 

2. This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white, declare their maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear Him pass; He speaks to me everywhere.

 

3. This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!

 

 

Opening Prayer

As summer draws to a close, we begin to focus our attention to the activities of autumn. For some it will mean preparing children for school; for others youth will be preparing to enter college or the work force or perhaps military service. Be with these precious ones as they embark on life’s journeys. Be with each one of us as we encounter life’s challenges. Open our hearts to receive Your healing mercy and Your transforming love. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

 

 

Children’s time: It's our children's time and I want to start with a question I ask you each and every week: Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God! 

PJ: That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and I'm so lucky to spend time with you!

 

I have a story I want to share with you. It’s called waiting. Waiting https://youtu.be/AKymOw3Cqpw

 

You have been waiting for school to start, haven’t you? And soon you will be going back. Maybe in person, maybe on line, and things will be different. You will wear a mask, your schedules will be different, and teachers will be trying new things too.

 

Today we are going to talk about patience. And patience is when we are able to wait and see what will happen as time goes by. Like those toys in that book we just heard. God gives us patience and wants us to use that fruit especially in those times when we are not sure what will happen or how it will go. So today we are going to offer a special prayer for you and all the school staff for everyone to have patience and everyone to be safe and strong as you begin a new year. And if you have time later this morning, I invite you to come to the front of the Lighthouse where I can bless your backpack and give you a bottle of hand sanitizer that you can hang on your backpack so that when you look at, you will remember this conversation about patience, as well as the love God and this church offers you.

 

Blessing of the backpacks & hand sanitizers:

Gracious God, we lift to You today, these students. They stand here ready to they commit themselves to study and learning in the school year ahead. We ask Your blessing on each of them. Further, we ask Your blessing on their backpacks. They will hold the schoolwork of each student and will be carried from home to school and back again. As these students carry these backpacks, may they be reminded of the love and care of this congregation that surrounds them each school day. And as they clean their hands with these sanitizers, may they remember how You keep our hearts clean with Your love. We pray as well for the teachers and administrators and all the staff in our schools. May they also be sustained by Your blessing. May they be reminded that this congregation embraces their call to teaching and learning and surrounds them with love and care as well.
We pray in the name of Jesus who we seek to follow day by day. Amen.[1]

 

 

Joys & Concerns:

Pastoral & Lord’s Prayer:

We thank you, O Lord, that we are not alone. You watch over us, guide us, and lead us in Your righteous pathways. When we stumble and fall, You lift us up and gently place us on that pathway again. When we doubt, You surround us with your mercy and peace, reassuring us of Your presence through the love of others and of our Savior Jesus Christ. Through the abundance of Your mercy and forgiving love, we are empowered to be disciples, to reach out to others, to offer the words and deeds of hope in a struggling world. Lord, when we have neglected or ignored the needs of others because it just wasn’t convenient for us to help; when we backed away with excuses on our lips and indifference in our hearts, forgive us and set us on the right path of service and compassion in the name of Jesus who modeled faithful living for us. Remind us that we are residents of a global community. Help us to hear the plight of those who have been voiceless. With the gifts that we have and the love of Christ, direct our lives in compassionate service to others. Today we name in our hearts before You people that we love who are dealing with sorrow and illnesses; people who feel abandoned and alone; people who are entering schools and colleges, military service, the workforce. Hear our hearts, Lord, and may You heal and transform lives. We also name those people and situations filled with joy and hope; a new home, the birth of a child, celebrations of special occasions, and often just a beautiful day. For all these things, and for Your patience with us, we offer ourselves, renewed in this faith by praying these words Jesus taught us, saying … 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass 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.  [2]

 

 

Offering

In gratitude for all that God has done for us and given to us, we return a portion of these gifts that they may be used in service to others. Let us receive our morning offering.

 

 

Prayer of Dedication

Generous God who always gives to each one of us the best, we thank You for this opportunity to share from our abundance. Bless these gifts, offered through the ministries and mission of this church. In Jesus’ name, we pray. AMEN.

 

 

Sermon: The Fruit of the Spirit is Patience

 

I’d like to begin with a poem written by Dr. Seuss, titled THE WAITING PLACE 
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.

 

Once again Dr. Seuss nailed it. As the day breaks forth until the evening sun sets, everyone is just waiting. We wait for the time we need to leave for work or school, or the time we can leave work or school. We wait for emails or the items we ordered through the mail. We wait for the food to be cooked, the dishes to be done, the nightly news to come on. And sometimes, let’s face it, we wait for sleep. Yet today’s lesson encourages us to be patient in our waiting, which is not always easy to do, but it is something God’s Spirit empowers us with, and the Apostle Paul calls us to.

 

Receive our lesson: Scripture Lesson: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24

Final Exhortations, Greetings, and Benediction

12 But we appeal to you, brothers, and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.

23 May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The One who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

 

The background to this text is this, it is believed to be Paul’s first letter that we have in the New Testament. Paul himself established this house church and left Timothy in charge who had gotten word to Paul that the church members were struggling since he left. This is to be expected as prior to their conversions, they were Gentiles serving under the Roman empire. Their lives were different before Christ. They used to be content serving the empire, enjoying the growth of their city. But when they began to serve Jesus, support for Him took away their support for Rome, and this was noticed. Therefore, Christians were not looked upon favorably in Thessalonica. In fact, a number of the new converts were persecuted and killed for their faith. Hence, Timothy wrote to Paul that there were some struggles within the church regarding their faith. And this letter was Paul’s response to those concerns.

 

In this letter, Paul writes to nurture their faith development. He begins with praising them for their faithfulness: 1: 2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ

 

In chapter 2 he writes about what a blessing it was to be part of their church,2: 13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers. And he ends that chapter hoping to visit them again one day.

 

In chapter 3 Paul references the report he received from Timothy about the Thessalonian Church and writes, 3: 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

 

And in chapter 4, Paul writes about what he and all Christians at that time were waiting for, the coming of the Lord. 4: 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so, we will be with the Lord for ever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

Now you do need to know that Paul believed Jesus was coming back in his time. So, the ministry he shared was focused on being ready. Being ready for Jesus’ return, when God will make all things right. Which is why in chapter 5 Paul calls for patience, as our lesson shared because they were waiting for the second coming.

I want you to listen to the Message’s interpretation of this text: Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. 16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

 

I like that line, “this is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus to live” God wants believers to be like Christ. And let’s face it, Jesus himself was patient. He had to be with the criticisms He received. He had to be patient to show what grace can look like. And He was patient, time and time again, because the Spirit was with Him. As our lesson continued:  19-22 Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.23-24 May God Himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If He said it, He’ll do it!

 

Paul’s preaching encouraged them to recognize with God, all things are better, all things are made “holy and hole” (v 23). Furthermore, the Thessalonians should appreciate the signs of God’s power already evident in their community because this is a time of transformation that began on the cross and continues through the Church, where God is strengthening and building up the believers with the fruit of the Spirit.

 

Friends, we too are waiting, waiting for Jesus to return and for God to make all things holy, whole, and right. Yet until that return, may we welcome the work of the Spirit among us to follow God’s will. To share love, joy, peace, and patience. And in so doing, trust that God is at work beyond us to correct the wrongs we know and see.

 

Robert Schuller once shared this statement regarding patience;

Don't try to rush God. Mountains don't move overnight. Give God time to work miracles.

I have seen God dissolve resentments, resolve frustrations, fill lonely hearts with new love,

and wash away hurts like a new wave washes away scars on sand scratched by children's sticks.

I have seen God turn juvenile delinquents into great men, criminals into good citizens,

alcoholics into church elders. God can get you out of a rut, onto a new road, and over the mountain that seemed impassable, if you will be patient.[3]

His point is the present is never the end of the story. No matter how discouraging it seems now, God is at work among us and justice and righteousness and love  will have the final word, therefore we can wait for that victorious word if we let the Holy Spirit produce in us the fruit of patience.

 

I want to close with a prayer I found on Crosswalk.com, a website that encourages the Christian faith. And one of their contributors, Lori Freeland, wrote various prayers about patience as it was something she was struggling with in multiple areas of her life. So, she offers prayers for patience with children, with a spouse, through a crisis, and I want to end with this prayer of patience, that I reworded a little bit, that she labeled: Teach Me to be Like You

The prayer starts with this Scripture lesson: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Let us pray: We are human—which often makes us oblivious to what’s around us. We are in so much of a hurry to get our own stuff done, that we forget to stop and notice what’s going on with everyone else.  Nudge us when we get distracted and caught up in ourselves. Remind us that we need each other, and we especially need each other in the Church. Thank you for knowing we weren’t meant to walk through life alone and for giving us the opportunity to be Jesus to each other. May the Spirit’s patience calm our waiting, our wanting, and instead lead us to trust and believe in Your salvation that makes all things holy and whole. We ask this as You shine through us with the gospel of Your Son, our Savior. Jesus Christ. Amen.[4]

 

 

Closing Song: The Way by LUMC Praise Band

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/the-way

 

Through every battle Through every heartbreak Through every circumstance
I believe that You are my fortress Oh, You are my portion And You are my hiding place, oh

Chorus: I believe that You are the way, the truth, the life
I believe that You are the way, the truth, the life

I believe Through every blessing and every promise Through every breath I take
I believe that You are Provider Oh, that You are Protector. You are the One I love, oh Chorus

And I believe that You are

And it's a new horizon and I'm set on You And You meet me here today with mercies that are new
All my fears and doubts, they can all come too Because they can't stay long when I'm here with You
It's a new horizon and I'm set on You And You meet me here today with mercies that are new
All my fears and doubts They can all come, too Because they can't stay long when  Chorus

And I believe that You are

And it's a new horizon and I'm set on You And You meet me here today with mercies that are new
All my fears and doubts, they can all come too Because they can't stay long when I'm here with You
It's a new horizon and I'm set on You And You meet me here today with mercies that are new
All my fears and doubts They can all come, too Because they can't stay long when  Chorus

And I believe that You are

 

Benediction/Sending Forth

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

May the work of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lead you this day and the days to come to not grow weary experiencing God’s love, joy, peace, and patience. AMEN.

 
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