October 04, 2020
Schedule reminders:October 04 2020
The office is reopened
Church Service 9:30 am
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Let me remind you quickly of our protocols for everyone’s safety.
Attendance was taken by ushers as you entered
Offerings may be placed in the plate by the doors.
The bulletins were placed specifically for social distancing, one household per pew. Please sit exactly where you found your bulletin.
Please keep your masks on and remain seated through the whole service.
There will be no singing, and no physical contact.
You may read along silently,
The office is reopened
Church Service 9:30 am, This is World Communion & Peace & Global Witness you should have gotten an envelope about this and a percentage of the offering stays here in Clinton and is going to the Vinson Jetter Youth Center
WORDS OF WORSHIP
O praise the Lord with me,
Let us exalt God’s name together.
Almighty God, in Jesus Christ you have ordered us to live as loving neighbors. Though we are scattered in different places, speak different words, or descend from different races, give us common concern, so that we may be one people, who share the governing of the world under your guiding purpose. We pray that all people might enter your community of love promised in Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
CONFESSION AND PARDON
Gracious Lord, creator of this universe, in your generosity you have given us a world of abundance and diversity, yet we live guided by greed and selfishness. We confess that we have defaced your creation and poisoned our environment through our consumerist behavior and for personal gain. In Christ, you made us brothers and sisters and intended for us to be united, and yet we have built walls to separate us from those who are different from us. You gave us wisdom and creativity and we have used those to develop of destruction and death. You gave us laws to order our lives and we have abused them to take revenge and punish our enemies. We love war rather than strive for peace. We ignore the poor and the weak and honor the rich and powerful. In all this we have not lived according to your will. Forgive us, Lord, for daring to boast in our human achievements and for failing to recognize that you alone are worthy of praise. In your mercy, forgive us our sins.
Hear the good news: God’s love is everlasting. He doesn’t judge us according to our sins or repay us according to our iniquities. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is God’s love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins from us. In Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven.
The peace of Christ be with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit, that as the Scriptures are read and your Word is proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today. Amen.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Exodus 20: 1-4,
20 1And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
Exodus 20: 7-9,
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning
SERMON “A Hands-On God”
I was watching TV the one day, and a commercial came on about the unfortunate way our children today are addicted to video games.
- A little boy is sitting on the floor in front of the TV holding the control.
- As the camera zooms in on him, he has a crazed look on his face.
- He is totally absorbed in the TV screen, and oblivious to everything else around him.
- The rest of the family is ready to eat dinner, and his mother is calling him to the table, but he’s so wrapped up in his game that he doesn’t even hear or, or chooses to ignore her.
I thought it was going to be one of those service messages encouraging parents to take back their authority and set boundaries for their children.
- I expected the mother or father to go over and turn the game off, take the child by the hand and lead him to the table.
- I was shocked and amazed when instead, a device called the “Power Cop” flashed onto the screen.
- It was a small electronic box that one could plug into the video game or computer game and it would shut the game off after a certain time.
- It seemed ridiculous to me that a family would need to invest $29.99 in the “Power Cop” when the mother and father were both right there in the room, and could just go over and turn the game off themselves.
- But more than seeming ridiculous and unnecessary, it seemed sad – sad that parents would give the privilege and responsibility of guiding their children over to a box.
- Sad that parents would miss out on the chance to nurture a relationship with their child in which he would come to know that they set boundaries for him because they love him, and have his health and happiness in mind.
- Sad for a child to miss out on the firm, yet loving voice and touch of a parent’s leading.
- It seems that setting boundaries and nurturing relationships is just too much for us, anymore.
- It’s just a lot easier to go to “remote control.”
I wonder what would have happened to Israel if God would have purchased a “Power Cop” and decided to deal with them by “remote control.”
- What would have happened if God had looked down upon his children and despaired at them and decided it was just too much for him?
- Imagine it – God looks down upon his children and sees that they are so absorbed in their games that they have time for little else.
- His children have crazed looks on their faces and they’re so riveted to the games that they can’t even come to the table when he calls them.
- Nahor is worshiping idols today, and Milcah is swearing at him using God’s name.
- Zibeon is working 24/7 with no time off.
- Abdeel is defying his parents.
- Eliphaz is into adultery and his wife is furious enough to kill him.
- Timna is stealing and Abimelech is spreading rumors around town.
- Eshban and Ithran are just trying to keep up with the neighbors, who always seem to have more.
God observes the games they’re playing and heaves a sigh.
- “I must invest in a Power Cop,” he says to himself.
- “The children are too unruly, and they have ignored my voice for too long.
- I’ve had it.
- I think I’ll just plug them and their games into a box and forget about them.
- It sure would be a load off of my mind.
- So Nahor and Milcah, Zibeon and Abdeel, Eliphaz and Timna, Abimelech, Eshban and Ithran have thirty minutes more to play before the Power Cop will shut them off by remote control.
- Then they’ll sit there like robots waiting for the next time they get to play.
Fortunately for Israel, God chose not to let a box parent his children.
- He was the parent and he would take active part in their discipline.
- It was he who had made them and given them life.
- It was he who had freed them from the bonds of slavery in Egypt.
- All that they had, all that they were, had come from him, and he alone had the right to speak and to command.
- He would not give up his authority to a box.
- He would not operate by remote control.
- He would take them by the hand and lead them to the table.
- He would be a “hands-on” God.
After God had delivered the Israelites and they were camped in the wilderness of Sinai, he called to Moses from the mountain and said, “Say to Israel, ‘I am the one who saved you.
- You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
- Now if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples.
- The whole earth is mine, but you are special to me.
- You are a holy nation.
- I’m lifting you up to be a light to all people.
Now this is what is necessary that you do if you are to live out the purpose I’ve created you for:
- ‘You must be loyal only to me.
- No carved gods of any size, shape or form.
- Don’t bow down to them, and don’t serve them, because I am a jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass onto them, but I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
- There are other “gods” out there that will compete for your attention.
- Choose me and only me.
- Don’t curse in my name or invoke my power for things that aren’t about me or for my purpose,
- honor your parents because it is they who will pass the faith to you.
- You have six days to get everything done.
- Keep one day holy just for me.
- Don’t keep working to exhaustion just for more money and more power.
- Have respect for life.
- Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t sleep with other people’s spouses, and don’t envy what other people have.
- This is what you need to do to be healthy and happy, to be in loving relationship with me and with one another.
- God wrote the commandments on two stone tablets.
Even as God was speaking to Moses, giving him the law, the people were down at the foot of the mountain absorbed their games.
- They had gotten tired of waiting for Moses to return and they’d taken all of their earrings off and molded them into a golden calf to worship.
- As Moses came down from the mountain, he saw them with crazed looks on their faces eating and drinking, and rising up to dance around the calf.
- When Moses came near the camp and saw them running wild, he was furious and he threw the tablets from his hands and broke them.
- He took the calf that they had made and burned it in the fire and ground it into fine powder.
- And then he stood in the gate at the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.”
Then making intercession for the people, Moses went the next day on their behalf to ask God for forgiveness.
- And God was good.
- “You are a stiff-necked people,” he said.
- “I want you to take your people and leave this place.
- My presence will go with you.
- Cut two new tablets of stone and I will write on them the same words that were on the old ones.”
- And Moses bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.
- He said, “Oh Lord, I pray, go with us.
- Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our sin, and take us for your own.”
- And the Lord made a covenant to perform marvels, to do an awesome thing among his people.
A hands-on God.
- He refused to give his authority over to a box, to leave them to their games, to let them sit there with crazed looks on their faces, gazing at the calf.
- Instead he took them by the hand and led them out again.
- He was the parent, and he wouldn’t let his children be lost to their games.
- I wonder what would have happened if God had decided to purchase a “Power Cop” and deal with Israel by remote control.
- If he had decided it was just too much.
- It would have brought God pain and sorrow to miss out on nurturing a relationship with his children where they would come to know and understand that he set boundaries for them because he loves them.
- It would have been sad for his children to miss out on the firm, yet loving voice and touch of a parent’s leading.
We live in a permissive society today where it’s not too popular to follow God’s law.
- We don’t want any rules or conventions intruding on our personal freedom.
- We don’t have to look far to see that God’s children are playing games.
- The golden calf is alive and well and we’re running wild, playing at lying, stealing and adultery.
- We’re killing and swearing, working 24/7 to try and keep up with the neighbors.
- God is calling us to the table, and we don’t even hear him, or we choose to ignore him.
- It’s a real pain in the neck to quit what we’re doing to follow a bunch of rules.
- If he wanted to, God could buy a “Power Cop.”
- He could shut us down anytime he wanted and let us sit there unchanged and addicted to our habits, waiting for the next time we get to play.
But the truth is, he loves us too much for that.
- God has made us, and he’s taken us by the hand and led us out of Egypt.
- He has liberated us from slavery, and now he refuses to let us be held captive by our sins, refuses to let us stay in the bondage of our games.
- He takes us by the hand and he teaches us what we need to do to be healthy and happy, how we must be, in relationship with him and with one another.
- His law isn’t a harsh means of restricting us from freedom and fun.
- It is pure grace.
- It is relationship with a God who loves us enough to give us boundaries, who loves us enough to forgive us when we screw up,
- and to continue to walk with us, to never take his presence from us.
- It is a gift of love from a hands-on God.
- He is the God who opened his hands to feed us and laid hands on us to heal us.
- He is the God who turned off our games, took us by the hand and led us to the table and said, “This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
- He’s the God who carried his cross up the hill, who took the nails in his hands, who rose again and appeared to his people alive, who lifted his hands and said, “I am with you always.”
A Hands-On God.
- A God who cares about us so much that he refuses to deal with us by remote control.
- Who loves us enough to give us boundaries for our own health and happiness.
- “Be loyal to me,” he says.
- “Don’t curse in my name.
- Honor your parents, take time for rest.
- Don’t lie, don’t gossip, don’t steal, don’t sleep with other peoples’ spouses, don’t envy what other people have.
- I love you.
- Here – take my hand.
- It’s time to turn off the game and come to the table.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
AFFIRMATION Apostle’s Creed, Ecumenical Version
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
He is seated on the right hand of the Father,
And he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
COMMUNION WITH PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION AND THANKSGIVING AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
Holy Communion Liturgy
INVITATION TO THE LORD’S SUPPER
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks & praise.
O Holy God. . . we lift our hearts in joyful praise
We praise you. . . together, we proclaim the mystery of our faith.
Gracious God,...all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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 debts as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
CHARGE & BLESSING