July 9, 2023 - Home Worship

For the week of July 9-15 – 6th Sunday after Pentecost

Morning Prayer We give You thanks, O God of compassion, for the salvation You have revealed to the little ones through Christ Jesus, our wisdom and strength. Teach us to take up His gentle yoke and find rest from our burdens and cares. Amen. (Lectionary Prayers)

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. 

Psalm 145:8-14

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

The Lord is good to all, and His compassion is over all that He has made.

All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, and all Your faithful shall bless You.

They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and tell of Your power,

to make known to all people Your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of Your kingdom.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all His words, and gracious in all His deeds.

The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.

Children’s Time Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is He, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Children’s Message

Does this verse remind you of Palm Sunday? Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey? It should, we pair them together each year. What I want you to consider is the donkey. Donkeys aren’t very regal or royal looking, they are stocky creatures and can be known for being quite stubborn. I think Jesus might have looked better coming in on a horse, sitting up high above the crowd, where the people along the road would have to look up to Him.

But that isn’t how Jesus wanted to be seen. He wanted folks to see Him as being beside them and with them, not looking down on them from a high place. The other problem is this, while horses look good, their footing isn’t always good. They have a hard time with steep slopes and uneven terrain, because their legs are so long. Jesus came in on a donkey because it was sure footed, there are few places a donkey can’t travel. This is what makes them ideal transports in places like the Grand Canyon. Jesus wanted the people on the roadside and us to know there isn’t anywhere He wouldn’t go to be with us. We have a sure footed Savior that will go wherever He needs to go to be with 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 spotlight: This is carnival week in Lightstreet.  While Missions offerings support Lightstreet Fire Company, please consider offering both time and money this week.  Go to the carnival July 10-15.  Plunk down some money for your evening meal.  Sign up to assist with the ice cream and cake stand Friday, July 15.  The men and women are volunteers who sacrifice much to be trained and available to aid the community every time there is a need.

Offering prayer: God of compassion and mercy, You claim each one of us as Your children. Like a parent, You are joyful when we find joy and Your heart aches when we fall, fail, or feel less than the beloved heirs to the kingdom You meant us to be. The yoke the Bible describes doesn’t burden us but reminds us that You yearn for us to be a church; a community that supports, steadies, and sustains when life makes us weary. The gifts we give this day we give in gratitude for this yoke that helps us finish the race in faithfulness. Bless our giving and its use, we pray in Christ’s name. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn: #472 Near to the Heart of God

  1. There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God;
    a place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God.

Refrain: O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God,
hold us who wait before Thee near to the heart of God.

  1. There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God;
    a place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God. (Refrain)
  2. There is place a place of full release, near to the heart of God;
    a place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God. (Refrain)

Scripture:  Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. “Come to Me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

Message:              Pastor Becky

Anyone the Son chooses to reveal God to – Jesus chooses to reveal God to us. We are familiar with getting secret information or inside track information. As an 80s kid, I know that I knew a lot more than my parents did about the coming movies, because I spent nearly every Saturday at the movies. The previews were always longer than the TV commercials for new movies, I was rewarded for the time spent sitting through all those coming attraction promotions. I could make a better decision about which movie to go to because of that information.

This is also true about what we know about God through what Jesus has shown us. We get to know God through Jesus, He is our lens. Everything that has been made real to us, all that we have experienced and believe comes through Jesus.

How do we know God as Father? The relationship between God and Jesus and the invitation extended to us to be in that relationship.

How do we know God as forgiving? Jesus’ declaration of forgiveness of sins and the healings that abounded afterwards.

How do we know God as love? Jesus’ death and resurrection put us in right relationship.

Our entire relationship with God is facilitated by Jesus and we can know God intimately. And in this intimacy of relationship, Jesus offers this proposition to us in 2 parts:

1- “COME to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

2-”TAKE my yoke upon you and LEARN from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Come, take, and learn and in return Jesus will give us rest.

This is a new orientation for our lives. See, Jesus knows we are going to take on a yoke – any yoke really and probably more than one. It is how we are wired, we desire belonging and identity – both personal and collective. We will take on nearly anything to fit in and be thought well of or to be popular.

We are wired for worship. We will hold something, anything upon a pedestal and place all our security, loyalty, confidence and peace in this thing or person. For proof, we need only look to the first 2 commandments: 1- You will have no other gods before me and 2- you won’t make idols or graven images. God already knows we will fill that gap or worse than that, we will come half-hearted to God as the object of our worship. This is why Jesus offers us His yoke. The yoke of Jesus is to live singularly for God alongside Jesus. This yoke removes the unfruitful loyalties between ourselves, God, the world, and others. It severs the ties to earthly desires and brings us clarity for justice and grace to abound.

While Jesus describes this yoke as easy and the burden light, there will be difficulty and pain in removing the yokes we have allowed to be placed on us and the ones we have chosen. This new yoke will challenge all we think we know, possibly all we believe and confound the way we currently organize our lives.

Yet, we will be lighter as the burden of Jesus reflects through us as we are transformed in Jesus’ likeness. Amen.

Hymn #261 Lord of the Dance

  1. I danced in the morning when the world was begun,

And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,

And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth.

At Bethlehem I had my birth.

Refrain:  Dance, then, wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance, said He.

And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said He.

  1. I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee,

but they would not dance and they would not follow me;

I danced for the fishermen, for James and John;

they came to Me and the dance went on.

  1. I danced on the Sabbath when I cured the lame, the holy people said it was a shame;

They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high;

and they left Me there on a cross to die.

  1. I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;

it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;

They buried My body and they thought I’d gone, but I am the dance and I still go on.

  1. They cut Me down and I leapt up high, I am the life that’ll never, never die;

I’ll live in you if you’ll live in Me; I am the Lord of the Dance, said He.

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