May 15, 2022 - Home Worship Service

05/15/2022

Morning prayer: Blessed Lord, You have caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant us to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which You have given to us in our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)

Psalm 148

Leader: Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise Him in the heights!

Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His host!

Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you shining stars!

Praise Him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!

People: Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.

He established them forever and ever; He fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Leader: Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps,

fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling His command!

Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!

Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!

People: Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!

Young men and women alike, old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for His people, praise for all His faithful, for the people of Israel who are close to Him. Praise the LORD!

Hymn #92 For the Beauty of the Earth

  1. For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
    for the love which from our birth over and around us lies;
    Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
  2. For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,
    hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light;
    Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
  3. For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind's delight,
    for the mystic harmony, linking sense to sound and sight;
    Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
  4. For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
    friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild;
    Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
  5. For Thy church, that evermore lifteth holy hands above,
    offering up on every shore her pure sacrifice of love;
    Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
  6. For Thyself, best Gift Divine, to the world so freely given,
    for that great, great love of Thine, peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
    Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

Children’s message: 

Children’s time- Revelation 21:1-3

21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

21:2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;

Have you ever been to the ocean? Do you enjoy being there? I’m not exactly a fan of the beach part, sand isn’t as much fun as an adult as it was when I was a kid. But I like the ocean. The first time I heard this scripture from Revelation, I was sad, because I really like the ocean. I find the noise and the smells comforting. It has a rhythm of its own and in some ways, it is very peaceful. But I have also been to the ocean during storms and it is frightening, especially at night when you can’t tell the water from the land and there is the fear that the water will forget where to stop.

Since the earliest of times, the seas have been seen as synonymous with chaos. Psalm 104:25-26 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. The psalmist lifts up all that which we cannot see in the waters, which is still true today. We know more about the moon than we do our oceans. And storms on the Sea of Galilee were known to come out of nowhere and threaten the fisherman there. Remember Jesus calming the sea with the disciples with just the words, Quiet!, Be still! (Mark 4:35-41). For the people, the seas were dangerous and it was where chaos reigned. God’s promise that the seas would be no more, wasn’t to condemn the seas – but to assure the people God would be present and there was no longer anything to fear. God was removing obstacles of fear, in order to grow their faith. Once God fully makes God’s home with us, there will be nothing to fear.

Let us pray: Gracious God, thank You for being with us, especially when we are scared. You are always present with us and in You we can have faith. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession:  Lord we cry to You for help.  You answer in words, in the deeds and acts of kindness, in the people around us.  Hear the cries of our hearts for those we hold dear.  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 spotlightOur speaker this morning is a volunteer with Gideons International, a body of believers dedicated to making the Word of God available to everyone and, together with the local church, reaching souls for Christ.  Let’s spread the Good News, because the Bible matters.  The Missions team has designated $250 toward the work of Gideons.  You are welcome to designate some of your own offering as the Lord leads you. 

Offering prayer: Generous and giving God, we offer gifts this day as those who have received so much more. You gave Yourself to us and asked only for devotion, yet we got distracted by the world. You offered all of creation to meet our needs for food and shelter, yet we decided we wanted more. You offered Your love to all, yet we decided some were more worthy and valuable than others. So, you gave us “the repentance that leads to life,” and all our giving pales by comparison. Dedicate us, we pray, in Christ’s holy name. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn of Preparation #600 Wonderful Words of Life

  1. Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life;
    let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life;
    words of life and beauty teach me faith and duty.

Refrain: Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.
Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.

  1. Christ, the blessed one, gives to all wonderful words of life;
    sinner, list to the loving call, wonderful words of life;
    all so freely given, wooing us to heaven.
    (Refrain)
  2. Sweetly echo the gospel call, wonderful words of life;
    offer pardon and peace to all, wonderful words of life;
    Jesus, only Savior, sanctify forever.
    (Refrain)

The in-person speaker at Lightstreet UM this morning from Gideons International. For those worshipping at home, Pastor Becky encourages you to read the following:

A Reading from a commentary on St. John’s Gospel by Cyril of Alexandria

The Lord calls Himself the vine and those united to Him branches in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him, and how important it is for us to remain in His love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Savior, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.

On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on His part, the union is affected by grace. Because we had good will, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ, and received from Him the dignity of adoption that made us His own kin, according to the words of St. Paul: “Whoever is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him”.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation, because it is upon Him that we as living and spiritual stones are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling Himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of the branches, and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life founded upon our faith in Him and our love of Him. Like branches growing from the vine, we now draw our life from Christ, and we cling to His holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John, then, teach us how we live in Christ and Christ live in us: “The proof we are living in Him and He is living in us is that He has given us a share in His Spirit.” Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God, and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.

Let us pray: Father, thank You for the early writings of the Church. They provide for us a glimpse of the vastness of the Body of Christ and lead us into deeper living with You and enable us to claim Your mighty acts of salvation continuously throughout all of history and the future with You. Amen.

Closing Hymn #569 We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations

  1. We've a story to tell to the nations, that shall turn their hearts to the right,
    a story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light, a story of peace and light.

Refrain: For the darkness shall turn to dawning, and the dawning to noonday bright;
and Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth, the kingdom of love and light.

  1. We've a song to be sung to the nations, that shall lift their hearts to the Lord,
    a song that shall conquer evil and shatter the spear and sword,
    and shatter the spear and sword.
    (Refrain)
  2. We've a message to give to the nations, that the Lord who reigneth above
    hath sent us His Son to save us, and show us that God is love,
    and show us that God is love.
    (Refrain)
  3. We've a Savior to show to the nations, who the path of sorrow hath trod,
    that all of the world's great peoples might come to the truth of God,
    might come to the truth of God.
    (Refrain)

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

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