February 13, 2022 - Home Worship Service

February 13, 2022 – 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

Morning prayer – New every morning is Your love, great God of light, and all day long You are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve You, to live peacefully with our neighbors, and to devote each day to Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. (UM hymnal pg 877)

Psalm 1

L: Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law they meditate day and night.

P: They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

L:The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

P: Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Hymn #337  Only Trust Him

  1. Come, every soul by sin oppressed, there's mercy with the Lord;
    and He will surely give you rest, by trusting in His Word.

Refrain:
Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now.
He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

  1. For Jesus shed His precious blood rich blessings to bestow;
    plunge now into the crimson flood that washes bright as snow.
    (Refrain)
  2. Yes, Jesus is the truth the way that leads you into rest;
    believe in Him without delay, and you are fully blest.
    (Refrain)
  3. Come then and join this holy band, and on to glory go,
    to dwell in that celestial land where joys immortal flow.
    (Refrain)

Children’s message

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38

On Monday, we celebrate a special holiday. What was that holiday? It is Valentine’s Day. I like Valentine’s Day because it is a time when everyone stops what they’re doing in their busy and hurried lives, and they tell the people who are important to them that they love them!

Most people do more than just TELL those special people that they love them—they DO something to show their love for them. They might give them a fun gift. They might give them a special valentine’s card, or they might prepare a special meal for their sweetheart. They might even write a love letter to their sweetheart.

Did you know that God has written a love letter to each one of you? The Bible is God’s love letter for us. The Bible tells us that God created each of us, and that He loves all of us no matter what! It doesn’t matter how many mistakes we make or what kinds of bad choices we make, God will still love us.

God loves us SO much that He sent His son Jesus to live and walk here on the Earth. During His years of ministry, Jesus taught us a great deal about love. Still today, Jesus teaches us that it is not only important to love others, but it is also important to show our love for others.

In the Bible, we find a verse where Jesus said this: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34

Isn’t it great that we have this amazing love letter, the Bible, to remind us that God loves us and to show us how to love others through the examples of Jesus Christ?

I know that there are many people in your life that you love. I hope that you will do more than just TELL those people that you love them. I hope you will find ways to SHOW those people that you love them EVERY DAY! And I also want you to remember that God has sent YOU a love letter, and in that letter, God promises that He will love you—NO MATTER WHAT!

PRAYER: God of Love, we thank You for giving us the greatest love letter of all—the Bible. Help us to use that love letter as a reminder of how much You love us. Help us also to find ways to love others as Jesus has loved us. In Jesus’ Precious Name we Pray, AMEN. (Sermons4Kids.com)

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You most gracious and forgiving Father for hearing the cries of 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 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. 

Offering spotlight:  The trustees of our church maintain the buildings and grounds and are looking to spring in the midst of winter.  Thank you for your tithes and offerings that keep everything in good working order, and maintain a beautiful appearance.  The trustees are meeting tomorrow evening, 6:30 pm and welcome workers and anyone who is interested in upkeep of the buildings and grounds.  

Offertory prayer: Magnificent God, You created the universe, and Your wisdom shines through the laws of nature that we discern. In the incarnation of Your Son Jesus Christ, You worked a miracle to bring salvation. Through Your awesome deeds, You light an inextinguishable hope in our hearts. Help our congregation to work together in new ways to tell others Your amazing good news. May our tithes and offerings support Your work through our outreach ministries. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn of Preparation #421 Make Me a Captive, Lord

  1. Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free.
    Force me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be.
    I sink in life's alarms when by myself I stand;
    imprison me within Thine arms, and strong shall be my hand.
  2. My heart is weak and poor until it master find;
    it has no spring of action sure, it varies with the wind.
    It cannot freely move till Thou hast wrought its chain;
    enslave it with Thy matchless love, and deathless it shall reign.
  3. My power is faint and low till I have learned to serve;
    it lacks the needed fire to glow, it lacks the breeze to nerve.
    It cannot drive the world until itself be driven;
    its flag can only be unfurled when Thou shalt breathe from heaven.
  4. My will is not my own till Thou hast made it Thine;
    if it would reach a monarch's throne, it must its crown resign.
    It only stands unbent amid the clashing strife,
    when on Thy bosom it has leant, and found in Thee its life.

Message scripture: Luke 6:17-26

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch Him, for power came out from Him and healed all of them.

Then He looked up at His disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Message:  In Front of God and Everybody                  Pastor Becky Cuddeback

Have you ever seen a sight which just overwhelms you? It may be something incredibly beautiful, like a sunset or the birth of a child or animal. Maybe it was a choral performance, your ears believe they have heard the angels sing. How about the scent of your favorite pastry, the house filling with the aroma of fresh baked bread or the spicy scent of pumpkin? All incredible events to store in our memories and then there is the flip side.

Have you ever witnessed the most incredibly reckless or unthinkable? I think we can all point to certain events and voice our disbelief that we actually saw or heard what we had just experienced, and for the most part – it is the things that happen boldly in the open that drop our jaw. Jesus talking to His disciples on the plain is one of those events.

Jesus is out walking with the people and they are trying to get right up to Him. They want what He is offering for their need in the moment – to be healed. The scripture says power just came out from Him and healed them all. No questions asked, no inquiries as to how did you get this way, who is your mom? Nope, it was a healing day – if you could touch Jesus, you were going to be healed.

He isn’t traveling alone. He has His newly called apostles with Him, along with His other disciples. Jesus had a following of people. Out of that following, 12 were called to be Jesus’ apostles – those who would be His inner circle, who would be privy to deeper teaching teachings and would share a common life with Jesus, eating, sleeping, traveling along with Him, and teaching. But there were many who followed Jesus. They listened to His teachings, saw the miracles, and the healings. They too had left everything and were with Jesus, and this is who Jesus is first addressing in the blessings. He tells them their decision to follow Him has stripped them of the security and comfort of the world. This is a new orientation. The reliance is now on God and the Kingdom Jesus is ushering in: the Kingdom of God.

This focus on the Kingdom comes with a cost and it is dear. They will be hated. They will be excluded, people will speak not just badly, but falsely about them. Yet, they are not to engage in the same behavior. Jesus doesn’t give them permission to act the same way in return. It is a commission to them, the disclaimer if you will – hey know this coming in:  THEY – the crowd around us, will do this to you. The ones who want to say they are following, the ones that say, “I believe,” the ones wanting what I have to offer, will do and say these things. Your fellow countrymen and women, your family, and your fellow religious folk will do this to you.

Then Jesus turns His attention to the crowd, the blessings of the disciples become the woes to the crowd. Now understand, Jesus doesn’t say these things to try to get the crowd to follow. He is merely stating the truth of the Kingdom of God. This isn’t a pitch to recruit. He wants the crowd to see and the disciples to see the difference between the realms of heaven and earth. And the difference is not belief. (We can believe something in our head, and still be unchanged by the knowledge.) It is in surrender to the belief; aligning our living to the belief. If your only use of Jesus is to believe to get to heaven, but ignore the suffering or worse yet, add to the suffering, I am afraid you have believed in vain. Your salvation is two pronged, you are saved from and saved for – it is having one foot in each realm. We pray it each week together, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus repeatedly says I have brought the Kingdom near. Let us surrender to our belief, live into the Kingdom now and bring it near.

Let us pray: Holy Father, You set before us both blessings and woes, just as You set blessings and woes before the ones that came before us. Move us to surrender to our belief in Jesus, His teachings, His generous love and ultimate sacrifice for us so that we may live in the joy of Your Kingdom brought near and made eternal in the heavens. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Closing Hymn Go Now in Peace

Go now in peace...never be afraid. God will go with you each hour of every day.

Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.  Know He will guide you in all you do.

Go now in love, and show you believe.  Reach out to others so all the world can see.  

God will be there, watching from above.  Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.

Benediction:  Go into this week with the blessings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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