May 17, 2020 - Home Worship serviced

May 17th mailed service

Welcome & Announcements: Good morning church!

Just a few announcements:

I will offer a ZOOM gathering at 9:00 am Sunday and 6pm Sunday evening. Zoom is a way to be connected via computer or telephone. You can call the phone number listed- it is toll free. This will be time of sharing joys and concerns and having prayer time. If there is a problem, call or text my cell at 570-317-0422 and I will try to assist.

9:00 am Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/757496754?pwd=ZUwyam5pYlI5L0tGSVJqRnNFWmlndz09

Or dial 1 929 436 2866 (toll free)

Meeting ID: 757 496 754

Password: 522345

 

6pm Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/186263314?pwd=UFk2MUhrVzJaSnVZTDAzYmQzRFh3dz09

Meeting ID: 186 263 314

Password: 525901

Or dial 1 929 436 2866 US (toll free)

 

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:

PreludePraise God from Whom All Blessings Flow

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xgas-noJXdD27QV8GRDQ9wgrNvZfZPjw/view?usp=sharing

 

Call to Worship:
L: Look for God in this place.
P: We search for God’s love and peace.
L: It is here, given for you out of God’s absolute love for you.
P: Lord, help us receive that love and then to bring it to others.
L: Peace be to you all.
P: And also to you. AMEN.

Opening Song: Only Trust Him by Donna Farver

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/only-trust-him/s-Nw7jZFUEfKR

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.

For Jesus shed His precious blood Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood That washes white as snow.    Refrain

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way, that leads you into rest;
Believe in Him without delay and you are fully blessed.      Refrain

Opening Prayer
Lord of wondrous light and power, we come to You this day to learn of your will for our lives. Heal our wounds; lift our spirits; give us courage and confidence to boldly serve You in all that we do. AMEN.

Children’s Message:

It's our children's time and I want to start with a question I ask you each and every week: Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God!

PJ: That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and I'm so lucky to spend time with you!

When I was younger, I remember traveling with my family to go see my uncle who lived in the state of New York. Now at that age, I was never to New York, and I remember when we drove over the border, and my parents told me we were in New York, I said, “Wow, their sky is more purple than ours in Pennsylvania!”. That’s when my parents explained to me that it was the same sky, it just looked different from where we were.

In our Scripture lesson today, we are told that no matter where we are, God is with us. It’s like the sky. God is with us when we are at home, when we go to school, when we go on vacation. God is with us when we sleep, when we rise, when we eat, when we play. There is never a place that God is not with us. And I hope that brings you comfort like it does me. No matter what I am going through, no matter where I may go, God is with us.

Let’s say a prayer: Thank you God. For always being with us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Pastoral & Lord’s Prayer
Lord of love, You have asked us to keep Your commandments. In Your life You demonstrated the power of love to effect healing, redemption, and hope in the lives of all your people. Yet we are so unsure of the gifts that You have given us for ministry that we wonder if we can really do what You want us to do. We are a strange mixture, Lord. We are arrogant in our demands of Your mercy and timid in our awareness of the blessings and gifts You have given to us. That’s why we’re here today. We really want to sense Your presence and receive courage truly to be Your people in this world that You have loaned to us. Remind us when we bring names and circumstances before Your throne of Grace that we also bring our own needs and concerns. Lay Your healing hand upon our hearts and spirits. We place our lives and our trust in You, O Lord, who taught us to pray... 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:

We are invited to give an accounting of the hope that sustains us, the love and presence of God that upholds all. Out of this sustaining hope, let us give our gifts today for those who also need this hope.

Offering: We want to thank all of you for your continued gifts that are helping us do ministry in different ways during these times. Some of you are experiencing economic hardships related to the pandemic and your offering may be diminished. Our prayers are with you as you struggle to make ends meet. To the rest, if you can send in your offering, we invite you to do so as ministry continues. There are still needs to be met through the services we support such as local food banks, health care ministries, and of course the staff of this congregation who are still working around the clock to check in with members, disinfect buildings, and discern and provide worship possibilities. The option of electronic transfer of funds is available. Contact our church treasurer, Amy Dent (aedent@pa.metrocast.net; 570-458-4299). She will guide you through the process to authorize your bank to transfer funds into the church account.

Offering Song: From this Valley by Andira Dodge & John Megargell

https://soundcloud.com/word-rummager/sunday-07-59-am

Offertory: He is Lord by Donna Farver

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/he-is-lord/s-9k9iYPXDbXV

He is Lord, He is Lord!
He is risen from the dead and he is Lord!
Ev'ry knee shall bow, ev'ry tongue confess That Jesus Christ is Lord.

Offering Prayer: Giver of all gifts, we are grateful for Your every blessing and for Your presence through all of life—in our joys and fears, and in our hopes and dreads. We pray for those who do not know the consolation of Your presence in their lives, asking that You reveal Yourself to them through the gifts we have given and through the lives we live. Reveal Yourself, O God, that all Your children may find their true home in You. Amen.

Song of Preparation: His Eye is on the Sparrow by Lauren Hill & Tanya Blount

https://youtu.be/DiEsgaiLixA

Scripture Lesson: Psalm 139:1-18 Read by Ann Marie Sutton, Pastor Jenn, Andrea Megargell, Lori Smith, Bethany Comstock, Lydia Turner, and Alycia Fairchild

https://youtu.be/mItUBWG_p5g

1 You have searched me, Lord, and You know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and You lay Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.

13 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with You.

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

 

Sermon: The Inescapable God by Pastor Jenn

 

Recently I was asked to consider a favorite Psalm. I am working through a study on them and while many of you know I tend to rely on: Psalm 19:14 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. That day, I chose another favorite Psalm, Psalm 139. It actually was one of my favorites from years ago, when I began my ministry as a pastor. It was the same time Scott and I were growing our family and the question presented to me from district boards and church councils was “How can you be a pastor and a mother at the same time?” This Psalm was my answer. Because it wasn’t about me choosing to be a pastor, it was about God calling me. A God who is always with us.

 

In fact, in one of my Bibles, this passage is given the title “The Inescapable God”. A definition of that word inescapable is unable to be avoided, ignored, or denied. Don’t you love that? We can’t avoid God. We can’t ignore God. We cannot deny God because God will not avoid, ignore, or deny us. Yes, I know you may be questioning yourself, saying, “Well I sort of have ignored God, been watching too many YouTube videos or Netflix”. Or you may be saying, “Are you sure God isn’t ignoring us? I feel like we are left on our own right now. We’ve been cut off from everything, including our faith.” Today I hope to answer both those questions with the reaffirmation that God is with you and you know this. And this Psalm will remind us of that truth.

 

As I said earlier, I am working through a Psalms study by Professor Denise Dombrowski Hopkins of Wesley Seminary. A few years ago, I used her book Journey through the Psalms when we studied the laments of Psalms during Lent. The laments are the Psalms where we cry to God for help and healing. But in rereading her book, I was reminded about how influential the Psalms are to our faith. One of the ways, she points out, is how the Psalms help us recognize how we see or view God.  For some of us it may be a gentle shepherd, like I preached about a few weeks ago with Psalm 23. One who protects us, feeds us, cares for us. For others the Lord maybe viewed as One to be praised with a joyful noise like in Psalm 100: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. And for others, a Rock and Redeemer like in Psalm 19:14.

 

However, regardless of our views of God, the Psalms also point out a simple truth of our faith, that is, God listens to our prayers. God honors our prayers, both our praises like Psalm 100 and our doubts, like Psalm 22 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? God is inescapable, that means again, God is always there with us, to receive our prayers, our joys and concerns.

Regarding this prayer of Psalm 139, many theologians attribute it to David. David the shepherd, the defeater of Goliath, the 2nd king of Israel, and the second husband to Bathsheba, father of Solomon. When we consider David’s full life, his joys, his blessings, his mistakes, and his pain, through it all David knew of the assurance of God’s presence and help. But in this Psalm, David is claiming a deeper theology of God.

Hear the beginning again, 1 You have searched me, Lord, and You know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue You, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and You lay Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

When I study that first part of this Psalm, I recognize we have a God who offers a personal relationship with each of us. This God knows us, this God is familiar with our ways, God even knows what we will say when we speak. And this isn’t bad, because one of my favorite lines is verse 5, and lay Your hand upon me. God’s hand is upon us, to bless us. Think about when you or someone you knew. were baptized or confirmed, do you remember how the pastor laid their hands upon you to bless you? That’s what I see David claiming. God’s hand of goodness, of grace, of love, is upon us, offering a personal relationship, beautiful, isn’t it?

Next, David writes of God’s ever presence with us. Verse 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
 

No matter where we may be, God is there. So yes, that means even when we can’t physically go to church, God is still with us. And it means when we go out to shop or to the doctors, or even to work with a fair amount of risk, God is with us. And it means when we can’t be with our loved ones, God is with them, too. We can never be apart from God, whether we choose to recognize God or not. God is there.

 

God is there because God had a vital part in creating us.

13 For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

 

We are not an afterthought, David states. God, the creator of all the earth and heavens, has created us too. Created us for a reason: to continue God’s blessings in this world.

 

This is such a powerful passage that challenges us with our recognition of ourselves and each other. Many times, we talk about the beauty of God’s creation when we look at the growing flowers and trees, or travel to the beaches and mountains. But David calls us to see the beauty of Creation in ourselves and others. At the end of this message is a special video, I want to encourage you all to watch. It’s a song various singers in quarantine put together singing the words of blessing from Numbers 6:24-27. It’s a powerful presentation of a lovely blessing. But it’s also a reminder of the beauty of each person, a Creation of our God, to bless this world.

 

David then sums it all up with, 17 How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with You.

 

It is a lovely Psalm isn’t it? And friends, I want to suggest that in those moments you question the nearness of God, in the moments you question your faithfulness to God, you ponder these words of David’s. Because we have a God who creates us, who is always with us, we have a God who blesses us and never lets us go. And even in those times when we feel we are asleep in our faith, when we awake, we will know we are still with God.

 

Closing Song: Come as You Are by LUMC Praise Band

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/come-as-you-are/s-DEqdshN53zd

 

Come out of sadness from wherever you've been
Come broken hearted Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy Oh sinner come kneel

Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal

 

Refrain:

So lay down your burdens Lay down your shame
All who are broken Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home You're not too far
So lay down your hurt Lay down your heart
Come as you are

 

There's hope for the hopeless and all those who've strayed
Come sit at the table Come taste the grace
There's rest for the weary Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't cure    Refrain

 

Fall in His arms Come as you are
There's joy for the morning Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow That heaven can't heal   Refrain

 

Benediction

Wherever we are, we are in God.
Wherever we are, we are in Christ,
and Christ is in us.
Wherever we are, the Spirit abides with us and in us.
We go forth in peace and hope,
upheld by God in every way.
Let us go forth in faithfulness and trust.
May all see the Divine in and through us.

 

Postlude: The Blessing // Virtual Choir (Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Elevation Worship Cover)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH7uUzWs1u4

 

 
  October 2020  
SMTWTFS
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
     
Bible Search
Contents © 2020 Lightstreet United Methodist Church • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy