January 22, 2023 - Home Worship

For the week of January 22-29 – 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

Morning prayer: Heavenly Father, You have called us who are the Body of Your Son Jesus Christ to continue His work of reconciliation and reveal You to the world: forgive us the sins which tear us apart; give us the courage to overcome our fears and to seek that unity which is Your gift and Your will; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn: #77 How Great Thou Art

  1. Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Refrain: Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

  1. When through the woods and forest glades I wander,

and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook,

and feel the gentle breeze; Refrain:

  1. And when I think that God, His Son nor sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin; Refrain:

  1. When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation and take me home,

what joy shall fill my heart.  Then I shall bow in humble adoration,

and there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art! Refrain:

Psalm 27:1, 4-9

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?

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold 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 set me high on a rock.

Now my head is 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!

“Come,” my heart says, “seek His face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.

Do not hide Your face from me. Do not turn Your servant away in anger, You who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!

Children’s message 1 Corinthians 1:10, 17-18

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Children’s Message 

As we have been getting to know each other, we have been sharing our interests and hobbies. You have shared photos, art projects, models, toys and mementos that have significance in your lives and have allowed us to get to know you better and have given us a glimpse into your world. We learn so much from you and you inspire us.

As you have been sharing, patterns have emerged where you are seeing the ways your likes and interests are overlapping – you are in many ways of the same mind, you are unified and connected to each other. Now, that doesn’t mean you agree on everything and think all the same thoughts – like you may all enjoy puzzles and art, but not the same kind of puzzles and art. The best part of this diversity is that you encourage each other in your puzzles and arts.

Our journey with Jesus is the same thing. We all love Jesus and desire to follow His teachings, but we may do it in different ways. The cross of Jesus gives us the power to do that. When Jesus died and was resurrected, He destroyed the sin that separates us. He made us a family. It may confuse people as to how we can all love and encourage each other, but it is what saves us.

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 spotlightToday’s mission highlight is Your Loving Choices and the caring concern they show to women and girls in very upsetting and confusing circumstances.  If you yearn to support them financially, see Cheryl Dent or Angie Klock.    

Offering prayer: Holy God, accept our offering and tithes for the work of Your kingdom. Use them in the care of those in need and point us in ways of offering ourselves – our time, our talents, our labor – for the realization of Your kingdom built here so none would be lost. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn #348 Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling

  1. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me;

See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. 

Chorus:  Come home, (come home), come home, (come home);

you who are weary, come home;

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling, O sinner, come home! 

  1. Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, pleading for you and for me?

Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, mercies for you and for me?

  1. Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, passing from you and from me;

Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, coming for you and for me.

  1. O for the wonderful love He has promised, promised for you and for me!

Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me. 

Scripture Lesson Matthew 4:12-23

Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made His home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

As He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. As He went from there, He saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.

Message:    What Do You Drop and What Do You Take With You? Pastor Becky

When we were together last, I compared the Magi meeting Jesus and being changed to our own testimonies. This moment being the turning point and demarking the hinge point of our lives before meeting Jesus and what are lives are to become after deciding to follow Jesus.

Today’s account in Matthew is that intersecting point for Peter, Andrew, James and John. Here are four fishermen who met Jesus, drop their nets and follow Jesus. Jesus says to them, you will now fish for people instead of fish. He is inviting them into a life of discipleship and part of that discipleship is to invite others into this life of discipleship. But make no mistake, they are still fishermen. They bring with them their vocational skills, but not the physical equipment.

What does it take to be a fisherman when you leave behind your nets? What is it they bring with them intrinsically because of their vocational training? I can name five important ones, but I know we could name so many more. So here is just a working list:

  1. Patience – Is every fishing trip successful or profitable? No, but you continue because you hope to be successful the next time, you have the ability to see success in the future.
  2. Focus – Days and nights can be long, hot, cold, and boring, so you must stay focused in order to be safe and stay on task. You don’t want to fall out of the boat, go over the falls, or be dragged off the shoreline. One injury could keep you from fishing the next day or next week or it could quite possibly keep you from fishing for the rest of your life.
  3. Perseverance – This goes hand and hand with patience, but it is distinguished by learning how to fish better. It is time invested picking up knowledge and tricks of the trade. It involves reaching out to other fishermen for support and encouragement, building a network of equally invested fishermen.
  4. Part of knowledge is Knowing what season you are in. Is it trout or bass, are you deep sea fishing or fresh water? What works best in one season doesn’t always work for another. There will be some universal truths, but wisdom also comes in knowing what season not to fish in.
  5. Adaptive – Being able to be flexible to the conditions you find yourself in. Some days, sunny days turn to rain and vice versa. It is being able to shift to be successful for the elements around you. Ice fishing is different from shoreline fishing and it’s being able to shift when the ice breaks that keeps you out of the water.

Now, like I said this isn’t an exhaustive list. I am sure we could add so many more and if we added our personal experience to what is needed to fish, we could write a primer on discipleship, based solely on the fundamentals of fishing. But what I really want you to see here is this, Jesus never asked Peter, James, John, and Andrew to give up being fishermen. Jesus needed them to be themselves and bring with them the skills they had developed to join Him on this new venture. He chose them based on these very skills. In following Jesus, in proclaiming the good news, they needed to be fishermen. Yes, we know they developed other skills and each had very specialized ministry and mission after the crucifixion and resurrection, but all those skills were based off the fundamentals of being fishermen.

Jesus didn’t ask them to deny who they were or what they did. Jesus didn’t overnight transform them into gospel soldiers or even great speakers. Jesus came along side who they were and shifted their focus from fish to people. They didn’t lose their identity, but fully lived into it.

So, what about us? When Jesus showed up in your life, what was it Jesus saw in you that would further the work of the kingdom? If you dropped your physical equipment of your vocation or dropped your job title, what is it you are bringing to the Kingdom? All of us bring something. No matter what you think, you do. Maybe you haven’t thought about your vocational skills or intrinsic knowledge in a while, or worse yet, you have allowed others to decide which of your traits and talents are needed. You have a skill or talent that is vital to the building of the Kingdom and Jesus chose you to be a part of it and you have accepted, so what are you bringing?

This may take some work on our part, maybe we have to go back to the day we met Jesus and remember who we were and what Jesus saw in order for us to live into this Kingdom building. I encourage you to spend some time reflecting and in prayer as Jesus’ call replays in your mind and you see clearly what it is Jesus needed and you can offer.

Closing Hymn: #344 Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore

  1. Lord, You have come to the lakeshore looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones;

You only asked me to follow humbly.

Refrain: O Lord, with Your eyes You have searched me, and while smiling have spoken my name;

Now my boat’s left on the lakeshore behind me; by Your side I will seek other seas.

  1. You know so well my possessions; my boat carries no gold and no weapons;

You will find there my nets and labor. Refrain:

  1. You need my hands, full of caring through my labors to give others rest,

And constant love that keeps on loving. Refrain:

  1. You, who have fished other oceans, ever longed for by souls who are waiting,

My loving friend, as thus You call me. Refrain:

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