November 13-19, 2022 Home Worship

For the week of November 13-20 – Christ the King!

Morning prayer: Almighty God, To You all hearts are open, all desires known, and from You no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.  (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn: #110 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.
  2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
    were not the right man on our side, the man of God's own choosing.
    Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
    Lord Sabaoth, His name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle.
  3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    we will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.
  4. That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
    the Spirit and the gifts are ours, thru Him who with us sideth.
    Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
    the body they may kill; God's truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.

Malachi 4:1-2a

See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere My name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.

Children’s message Isaiah 65:17-25

For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord— and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

Children’s Message

I am so glad you continue to bring in items that tell us more about you. I love to see how your imaginations and creativity create new worlds for you and help you see how God is working in your lives.

God is talking to Israel through the prophet Isaiah and you know that God uses prophets to share God’s thoughts, commandments and prophecies. What God is trying to explain to Israel is all the bad things happening to Israel will one day be turned around to days of prosperity and life. When Isaiah was talking to Israel they were having a rough time of it. There were things going on because of their disloyalty to God and the sin in the world. God wanted them to know, these things would pass away.

Sometimes we go through bad times, too. God wants to encourage us to rely on God especially in the rough times and know that God does see and hear us and that God never leaves us and in the end, all things will be righted and peace will come.

We can also be a part of making things right. Each day we are given opportunities to help others through their rough days and speak God’s messages of love and concern to them and bring them peace. Let’s really look for those opportunities to bring messages of peace, care and love to those in our lives.

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 spotlightGive thanks for Lightstreet United Methodist Church, a large presence here in Lightstreet since 1827!  Give thanks; give gifts; give your presence and input. 

Offering prayer: Holy God who calls us to the journey: it is so easy for us to become distracted so that we wander off the path You have put before us. The chaos of the world around us catches our attention, and we neglect the inner journey that keeps us closer to You. As we set aside this time to bring our gifts to You, may You draw our attention back to the wisdom and guidance that You put before us, and may it lead us to endurance that will carry us to kingdom presence! In Christ, we pray. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn #526 What a Friend We Have in Jesus

1   What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! 

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

     All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

2   Have we trials and temptations?  Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged: take it to the Lord in prayer.

     Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

3   Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? 

Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.

     Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?  Take it to the Lord in prayer! 

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.

Scripture Lesson Luke 21:5-19

When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, He (Jesus) said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked Him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And He said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in My name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of My name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of My name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.

Message: Waiting and looking for signs                    Pastor Becky Cuddeback

Who is good at waiting? Does anyone ever get excited to wait in a long line? I know I don’t. How about the first time you used a microwave? I was in disbelief that a hot dog could be fully cooked in 50 seconds and that first time I did over-cook the thing – I cooked it into carbon. Yet now, 50 seconds seems too long to wait and I know I stare the entire 50 seconds, huffing and puffing and tapping my foot. I do not wait well.

Sometimes as I wait, I look for signs of completion. When I am at the grocery store in a long line, I analyze all the ways the people ahead of me could make this process faster. I organize their bags in my head and shake my head at the mess they are going home with, because frozen peas never go into a bag with crackers and cereal.

We wait for babies to be born and vacations to come, all in the hopes of the joy they bring and the restoration each brings. We make predictions and play games to pass the time: How many sleeps until we leave. Does the mother’s complexion glow? Maybe it’s a girl, maybe it’s a boy. We lean into the old wives’ tales all to pass time. Our guesses keep us busy and sometimes they reveal our wishes and desires. These exercises to mark time in the meantime are relatively harmless.

But what do we do waiting for the completion of the Kingdom of God – the fullness of time? This, my friends, is high stakes waiting and for followers of Jesus Christ it isn’t idle time to be fritted away looking for signs. It is a time of ushering in the Kingdom.

We cannot control the movement of tectonic plates, so earthquakes are out of our control. We can’t hold back hurricanes, floods, fires, or tornados. What we can control is how we respond to those affected. That is how we are to spend our time in the meantime.

Instead of looking for signs, Jesus gave us 2 commandments to follow: Love God and love your neighbor (Matt 22:36-40) and a strategy to live out by way of Jesus’ account of what the final judgment will happen (Matt 25:31-46).

We have to believe Jesus when He says that even He doesn’t know the time the Kingdom will come in its completeness (Matt 24:36). Yet, out of Jesus’s great love for us and His knowing how human we can be in our waiting, He offers us comfort and commands for what we are to be doing, those things we want to be found doing when the Kingdom comes to completion at Jesus’ return.

It is our witness – not our words – our actions which will sustain our hope and cause us to live out our faith and belief. If only we could have back the wasted hours spent looking for signs of the end of times by the generations. Each time they have been wrong and only bring ridicule to us and to the grace and mercy of Jesus. This is why the book of Revelation isn’t a guide and to try and make it one is foolhardy. Revelation speaks truth of who Jesus is and what has happened in the heavens, in the eternal that affirms God’s reign and rule, but was never meant as prophecy of what will come, but an explanation of what God has already done and that we are to live into, the writing is a source of hope and strength; a testament of who Jesus is for us and who Jesus is for God. It is the overcoming and righting of creation that only God can accomplish. God began this good work in each of us in giving us God’s image (Genesis 1:26) to testify to God’s mercy and care, which leads us back to caring for one another, all the one anothers, without regard to how we think they may be right or wrong – saved or unsaved.

The work in the meantime isn’t to be looking for signs, but for us to be signs of God’s Kingdom, by loving God with all that is in us, loving our neighbor with the same love we have for ourselves and building communities where all are fed, safe, encouraged and included. Thanks be to God.

Closing Hymn: #377 It Is Well With My Soul

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll;
    whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain: It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

  1. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    let this blest assurance control,
    that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  2. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole,
    is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  3. And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul.

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