SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY
May 30, 2021
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.
Please write your prayer request on the Yellow cards. An usher will pick them up during the 1st hymn.
Please join us after service for fellowship in Calvin Hall
Dr Dyke is starting a Bible study on Wednesday June 2nd at 3pm sign-up sheet outside Pastor Study
The office and the rest of the building remain closed, but you can contact Karla during her office hours.
Memorial Day May 31st Office Closed
June 2nd Bible Study at 3pm
June 6th Installation of Elders and Deacons
June 13th Session Meeting
June 17th Pulse Articles due
June 20th Father’s Day
Family of Rose, Family of Chuck Thornton, Gary Iverson, all who are seeking Jesus, Bob Bock, Joan Boyd, Jack Braden, Wanda Hirl, Marilyn Neymeyer, Joan Pinkston, Maxine Wagner, Valerie Jerez, a person seeking a job, Annette Conzett, Jim Roling and family, Sara Feilmeier, Jackie with difficult pregnancy, Lois Seger, Jo Lefleur, Dr Dyke, Clayton Mallory, Jane with upcoming knee surgery, Deb Weller death of father in-law and upcoming surgery, and people of India.
WORDS OF WORSHIP
Leader: We praise you, O God for enabling us to freely worship You.
Response: We thank you for blessing us with heroes in our wars and lives.
L: As we gather, let us solemnly honor the memory of those who died.
R And let us continue to honor those who currently serve.
L: We are grateful for Your supreme sacrifice for Your Church
R. May we continue to serve, to praise, and to love You. Amen.
Lord and Master, we have many thoughts on our mind because it is Memorial Day. Some are less serious, as we look forward to family gatherings and warmer weather. These are good gifts of Yours. Other ideas center on the sacrifice of our wartime heroes and contemporary civilian heroes of the pandemic. They, too, are good to ponder. The best reason for our worship is to praise God for His glorious victory over sin and death that leads us to new life in Christ. Amen.
HYMN God of Grace and God of Glory No. 420
CONFESSION AND PARDON.
O most merciful God, Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, we claim Your promise to pardon all sinners who truly repent of their sin and turn to You. We have not loved You with a pure heart, nor loved our neighbor as ourselves. Have mercy upon us, o Lord, according to Your loving-kindness. Blot out our iniquity and renew a right spirit within us. Restore to us the joy of our salvation.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Almighty God, who freely pardons all who repent and turn to You, please fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace. Forgive our sins and cleanse us from a sinful existence. We pray through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
RECOGNITION OF VETERANS
TABLE OF HONOR LAMP LIGHTING
THE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Jesus, it is time to bring our full attention to the Holy Bible and the messages it brings us for today. Help our attention and our devotion to your Word as it seeks to direct our lives in the week to come. Amen.
Psalm 68: 1-6
1May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. 2 May you blow them away like smoke—as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God.3 But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds[b]; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, [c]he leads out the prisoners with singing but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
John 15: 9-14
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
Hebrews 9: 23-28
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him
Hello. This is the Facebook broadcast from the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Illinois for May 30th. Today we will pay special honor to those who gave their lives in the service of our nation, and to veterans who are among us who have given some of their lives and much of their effort to protect us all. Blessed Memorial Day!
I am the Rev. Dr. Dale Dykstra, the interim minister for this congregation. I have served for two and one half months now, and am getting to know the people and the strengths of this parish. I have served as a minister of the Presbyterian Church, (USA) for the past 48 years. This is my 11th congregation served in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and now Iowa.
This Sunday is special because it precedes Memorial Day tomorrow. There are several reasons to look forward to this holiday. It is seen as the classic opening of the summer season and all its warmth and activity. In this year of the pandemic this has even more significance than usual as people can’t wait to get out and about! It is good to hear that nearly half of our country’s people have had at least one dose of the vaccine that will enable us to gather, to celebrate, and to participate together.
Another reason we look forward to Memorial Day are the gatherings of family and friends that happen over this three-day weekend. We all have missed the close, loving contact that such opportunities offer us. This is particularly true for families who have had loved ones in nursing homes and retirement communities where they could not be visited for up to a year!
Communities, also, have surrendered their traditional parades and celebrations that our veteran’s organizations usually offer at this time. Many of us have gone to our graveyards and honored the dead, as well as hearing inspiring speeches that renew our pride in the land of our birth. This year, I hope you will TAKE the time to attend these ceremonies. They will strengthen your hearts!
Speaking of those cemeteries, we are reminded that even those stones have voices. Many of those from Clinton and the surrounding area who have served in wars from the civil war to the present Middle East hostilities are memorialized in the headstones that surround the flag of the land they defended. Many more of these headstones represents peacetime soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, guardsmen, coast guard, and reserves. I have helped to inter many of these heros over the years, and the sound of taps and the volley of rifle fire still gives me chills. All were willing to serve and sacrifice for the freedom that you and I possess.
I looked it up and it is hard to fathom that OVER 400,000 have given the supreme sacrifice in defense of their country. It is important that churches like ours throughout the land lift up our voices in praise and song to their memory. God bless all of these true heroes of our American homeland!
In the current world, these valiant heroes remind me of other ones. We quite properly call police, firemen, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, essential store and business owners by the same title! I am grateful to see that there are new recognitions and honors being given to these people—especially to those who have given THEIR lives in the fight. Do you realize that the pandemic HAS KILLED AS MANY AMERICANS AS ALL OF THE WARS WE HAVE FOUGHT?
We watched as what happened in World War II –Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor as we were unprepared—has happened again as we have been caught unprepared for the devastation of the COVID-19 virus. The main thing to give glory to God about is to remember how swiftly and strongly we recovered and unified as a country after the conflict began.
Benjamin Franklin said that “the way to be safe is to never become secure. We must never become complacent and assume that we deserve our freedoms and prosperity.” In the years following the 911 attacks, I have witnessed a great renewal of patriotism among the people of the United States. We need to maintain and even increase this loyalty.
Let me bring some of the Biblical witness to the need to be “ON GUARD” as Christians. Psalm 68: 1-6 declares that Almighty God will scatter the enemies of His faithful people. We are to be joyful in God’s protection and praise Him for His protection. God will take care of the needy, the orphans, and widows---the weakest members of our society—but punishes the rebellious.
Another Old Testament reference is I Chronicles 16: 30-36. It declares that God will save us and rescues us from among the nations. Go back a little earlier in time, and II Chronicles 7: 14 says “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves , pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
In the New Testament, I take you to I Peter 5: 10. “ After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.” He speaks of the need to “Discipline yourselves and keep alert” as needs to be fully “ON GUARD” We have much to thank God for all those who have sacrificed from the revolutionary war to the current strife. They have passed on the task of being ON GUARD to us.
If we are to carry the guardianship of our land, how can we accomplish this? Let us follow their example:
1.They were drafted to the defense of their nation or else volunteered for such service. We have many people who enlisted in occupations or departments such as hospitals, rescue, home health, mental health, police, fire, etc.
2.They went through training—basic training is known as grueling- yet countless inductees have not only survived it, but have been strengthened by it. They learned new skills, strengthened their bodies, and kindled their spirit.
3.They were given superiors ---officers or supervisors ---who were experienced leaders to help direct their service into a successfully coordinated attack on the enemy—stated or silent.
4.If you listen to many of today’s heroes, many express their need for prayer to face the danger. An old saying if that “There are no atheists in foxholes”. God has suddenly become ok for the heroes to mention even on prime-time shows.
5.When the “on guard” defenders were successful, they never fail to give God the praise and glory for the victory.
Let us apply these basics of military life to our own efforts:
A.We, as Christians, ARE a volunteer army. We all confessed our sins and were baptized and confirmed into saying Jesus is our Lord. He is our “commander-in-chief” whose Word (the Bible) is our training manual. We are encouraged to MEMORIZE our instructions!—Not a bad idea for us, either!
B.We are constantly going through training. Our pastors and teachers may not be as grueling as basic, but their lessons through Sunday School, Bible Study and sermons can thoroughly train us to face up to our increasingly secular country with Jesus’ truth.
C.Yes, we have leaders –we must be careful in choosing who are Godly influences—media pastors, evangelists, local bishops, and executives. They give guidance to focus our efforts.
D.We must always be on our guard in prayer at all times to serve our Commander capably and victoriously. Prayer for the battle to lead our world to salvation.
E.Lastly, I am sure that God will give us the victory that will lead us back into His service. Keep your faith ON GUARD, and we will be blessed! Amen.
HYMN Eternal Father, Strong To Save No. 562
AFFIRMATION Apostle’s Creed, Ecumenical Version
MORNING PRAYER AND LORD’S PRAYER
HYMN My Country ’Tis of Thee No. 561
CHARGE & BLESSING
And now, may the grace, mercy, and peace which proceeds from God, the Father; through Jesus Christ, the Son; and into the Holy Spirit within us, rest and abide with us this day and forevermore. Amen.