June 28, 2020 - Home Worship Service

WELCOMING JESUS

MATTHEW 10:40-42

 

JUNE 28, 2020

 

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: Welcome, one and all!

P: Welcome, young and old!

L: Welcome, great and mighty!

P: Welcome, humble and shy!

L: Welcome, big and bold!

P: Welcome, tiny and quiet!

L: Welcome, one and all!

P: Welcome back to the household of God!

 

Song: One Thing Remains by Kristian Stanfill:

[Verse 1]
Higher than the mountains that I face And it's stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change This one thing remains

[Chorus]
And Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me

[Verse 2]
And on and on and on and on it goes. It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid 'Cause this one thing remains

This one thing remains

[Chorus]
And Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
Your love, Your love

 


[Bridge]
And in death, and in life I'm confident and covered by The power of Your great love
My debt is paid. There's nothing that can separate My heart from Your great love

[Chorus]
'Cause Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me Your love

[Verse 2]
And on and on and on and on it goes It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid 'Cause this one thing remains
This one thing, it remains, remains

[Chorus]
Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up It never runs out on me Your love

 

[Bridge]
And in death, and in life I'm confident and covered by The power of Your great love
My debt is paid. There's nothing that can separate My heart from Your great love

 

OPENING PRAYER:

God of loving welcome, embrace us this day. As You welcome us back into this house of worship, so we welcome Your presence into our lives. Live in us; breathe in us; be in us. Let Your warm hospitality flow through us, that others may see Your welcome in our eyes and sense Your love in our presence. Let welcoming love guide our worship, and may it be our way in the world. AMEN

 

Song:  Reckless Love by Cory Asbury

 

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me. You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me. You have been so, so kind to me

 

O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
O, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

 

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me. You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me. You have been so, so kind to me

 

O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
O, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

 

There's no shadow You won't light up, Mountain You won't climb up, Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down, Lie You won't tear down, Coming after me
There's no shadow You won't light up, Mountain You won't climb up, Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down, Lie You won't tear down, Coming after me

 

O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
O, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn't earn it, I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

 

Children’s Moments

Children:  Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God!

That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and we at Lightstreet Church are so lucky that you are here and we are lucky to have you in our church.

 

Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:

Gracious God, thank You for Pastor Jenn and Pastor Ron.  Thank You for our church leaders.  Some of us are worshipping in the Lighthouse and some are worship from home.  We ask Your special blessing on each, and ask for Your protection to keep us safe.  With this in mind, we now pray the prayer of our Lord Jesus:   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. 

 

Invitation to the Offering: In gratitude for the blessings we have received from our Heavenly Father, we offer a portion back, offering our tithes, gifts, and service to be used to build God’s Kingdom.

 

Offering Prayer: 

In tribute and thanks for Your manifold blessings, loving God, we offer You what we have in certain hope of Your abiding love. AMEN

 

Matthew 10:40-42

40“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

 

Pastor Ron’s Message:

 

During the War Between the States, a Union soldier from Ohio was shot in the arm at the battle of Shiloh. His captain saw that he was wounded and barked an order: “Give me you gun, Private, and get to the rear!” The private handed over his rifle and ran toward the north, seeking safety. But after covering only two or three hundred yards, he came upon another skirmish. Then he ran to the east and encountered another part of the battle. Then he ran west, but encountered more fighting there. Finally he ran back to the front lines, shouting “Gimme my gun back, Cap’n. There ain’t no rear to this battle.” Jesus was sending His disciples out to do battle with the forces of death and decay in the world. And there would be no rear to that battle, either.

In today’s Scripture lesson, Jesus is helping the disciples prepare for their mission. He is telling them that some people would be receptive to their mission, others would not. Then He says something to them that is important for us to hear. He says, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me.” (10:40)

So this morning I want to ask you “What does it mean to welcome Jesus?” He is sending out His disciples to spread the good news of His coming. They were going out as those who were personally touched by the impact of the Master’s life. Their task was to communicate to others what they themselves have received. So let’s pretend for a few moments that we are in their audience. We’ve never heard the gospel before. What would it mean to receive their message in such a way that our lives would be radically changed, that we would become followers of Jesus, too?

Sisters and brothers first of all, we would need to realize that there is an emptiness within us. This is a most difficult task for Christians in our affluent society. Many people think they have it all. And because we confuse attainment with contentment, we may feel no need for Christ. Not unless we look deep within our hearts.

Dr. Peter Hirsch suggests that there is one “powerful and profound” question which when asked, reveals our deepest needs and values. And that question is simply, “Are you happy?” Dr. Hirsch says that the fastest way to get to know someone on a deeper level is to ask them this question and to really listen to the answer. Something about this question, “Are you happy?” touches the deepest part of who we are and what we want out of life.

I believe he’s right! So, let’s start here. ARE YOU HAPPY? Now some of you will answer, “Of course I’m happy. Can’t you see everything I have?” Then I would respond, “I didn’t ask if you were successful. I asked if you were happy. Others of you would respond, “Of course I’m happy. Can’t you see my beautiful family? Who wouldn’t be happy with a spouse and children like these? And I would respond, “Having a good family is one of life’s greatest gifts, but are you happy?” Others would say, “Look, I’ve been a Christian all of my life. My parents brought me up to be in the church every time the doors are open. How can you even ask if I’m happy?” I would respond, “I didn’t ask if you were religious. Some of the most miserable people I have known were deeply religious. Are you happy?

A woman named “Marge” wrote to columnist Ann Landers a number of years ago with a complaint. In her letter she wrote: “I’m 44, husband same age, swell guy. We get along OK, no drinking, no gambling, no skirt chasing. He has a good job and our home is paid for. Our children are healthy and normal. They do well in school and the three older ones, all teenagers, have never caused us any trouble. So why am I writing? Because my life is blah. Something is missing. It’s like stew without salt. I feel a certain emptiness.”

So what I want to ask you is, “Are you willing to admit to a certain emptiness?” If you are I want to suggest to you this morning that welcoming Jesus into your life, I mean really welcoming Jesus into your life, is the key to true happiness.

What does it mean to welcome Jesus? Is it a particular kind of emotional experience? Well, emotions are involved always. But it’s more than a feeling. Because feelings can be misleading.

Welcoming Jesus begins with the mind. Do you have a philosophy of life that is satisfying and responsible? Some people, when it comes to religion, feel that they must park their brains at the door. And in this post-modern world we live in the word philosophy has come into disfavor. But there are some issues you need to settle in your own mind and heart. Issues about the universe and God. Issues like the goodness and steadfastness of God. Even when things are going badly, as things will from time to time, can you turn them over to God with the assurance that in the end everything will turn out all right?

That’s what I mean by getting your mind right. Do you work on a philosophy that all things work for good for those who love the Lord? Mike Riley loved his new silver turbo-charged Porsche. When someone stole the sports car, he was devastated. By the time the police tracked it down, the vehicle had been stripped and gutted. Mike felt terrible, but on the way to the junkyard he got an idea. Instead of just dumping his beloved car there, he had them crush what was left of the Porsche into a two-by-three-foot cube. It now serves as a coffee table in his living room, and he serves drinks from his custom hubcaps. As his friend Steve says, “Mike’s root beer may taste a bit greasy, but he teaches us something important about troubles: Turn them into something else! Turn the car wreck into a coffee table.

So let me remind you that welcoming Jesus is, first of all, a matter of the mind.  But it is also a matter of morals. Welcoming Jesus is about being committed to right actions. I’m not trying to be a spoil-sport here. I don’t want to dampen your party. I just saying that you can’t believe one way and act another and be happy. It just doesn’t work. It has been said that if Moses came down from the mountain today, the tablets he would carry would be pain relievers.

Morality is a serious issue. How fortunate the young person is today who understands the difference between right and wrong. A college freshman was on a first date with a senior class member. The young woman was raised in a Christian home with strict moral standards. Her date was not. Throughout the evening the young man kept hounding her to do things she knew were wrong and contrary to her Christian upbringing. Finally, out of frustration, the young man lamented, “What is wrong with you? No one is going to see you. Who is it going to hurt?” To which the girl responded, “I’m thinking of my father.” The boy asked, “Are you afraid he will hurt you?” “No,” replied the young woman, “I’m afraid I will hurt him.”

Welcoming Jesus is a matter of the mind, it’s a matter of morals, and finally, it’s a matter of mission. The happiest people I know are people determined to spread the joy they’ve found in Christ to others. They are people committed to building better families, better schools, better communities, a better nation, and a better world. They understand why Christ came into the world -- to save people, to bind up their wounds and give them hope once again.

Shortly after World War II, the bombed-out city of Naples, Italy, was filled with a band of young orphans and outcasts. These children lived on the streets begging, pilfering, and sometimes assisting older criminals. These kids were tough, wily, and apparently unreachable. But 25-year-old Father Mario Borrelli wanted to try. He felt it was his responsibility to love the way Christ loved. So, each night right after his regular duties, he became one of them, a street tough. Dressed in a ragged and filthy get-up, he started begging at the Naples railroad terminal. The other young toughs were impressed by his style; just the right mixture of humor and pathetic humility. When a gang leader swaggered up and demanded half his take, Father Mario beat him up. This really impressed the younger guys. The incognito priest slept on the basement gratings covered with old newspapers, just like the others.  Soon he was getting to know his new companions well as they talked around fires, heating up their scrapes of food in old tin cans. He had something to express about God who took on human flesh. And he soon discovered that all of them, even the most bitter and hardened, had a longing for home, affection and security. After winter arrived, Father Mario informed the gang that he had found a place for them to stay, he explained that he was in fact a priest. By this time, the bonds he’d established were strong enough to make them stay; he won their respect. And so the “House of Urchin” was established, where young throwaways could find a home, hope, and the streetwise spiritual guidance of Father Mario Borrelli.

Christ is not asking most of us to make that drastic a change in our lifestyle, but He asking us to be in mission. There is no other path to true happiness. To be in mission in our family, in our community, in our nation, in our world. To have a consciousness that we are the people of God and we are bringing God’s light to the world. Christ sent out those early disciples to redeem the world with this instruction: “Whoever welcomes you welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me.” (40)

Have you welcomed Jesus? Have you welcomed Him in your mind, your morality, your sense of mission to the world? Welcoming Jesus is more than a conversion of the emotions. It is a conversion of everything we are and hope to be. And, wonder of wonders, this is the path to true happiness in this world and in the world to come. So, isn’t it time you welcomed Jesus?

 

Closing Hymn:  Be Still My Soul by Katharina vOn Schlegel

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to your God to order and provide; In every change God faithful will remain.

 

Be still, my soul:  your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

 

Be still, my soul:  your God will undertake To guide the future, as in ages past.

Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

 

Be still my soul:  the waves and winds still know the Christ who ruled them while He dwelt below.

 

Be still, my soul:  the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

 

Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

 

SENDING FORTH:

L: We have been welcomed and loved.

P: We go forth with welcoming love in our hearts.

L: Share this love with the world.

P: We will welcome all whom we meet!

 

 

 
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