June 27th, 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 has started a Bible study on Wednesdays 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.
June 30th Bible Study
July 4th Independence Day
July 11th Session
July 18th Congregational Meeting
July 21st Mission and Outreach Meeting
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, Jo Lefleur, Dr Dyke, Jane with upcoming knee surgery, Deb Weller death of father in-law and upcoming surgery, people of India, Tom Kelly facing Surgery, Amy Jacobs, Jeff Fish, Cornell Family two deaths in the past week, Bonnie Pillers, Pawlik Family
WORDS OF WORSHIP
Leader: Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled.”
Response: “You believe in God; believe also in me.”
L: I go to prepare a place for you.”
R: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again!
L: I am the way, the truth, and the life.
R: No one comes to the Father, but by me
.GATHERING PRAYER (Unison)
Jesus said, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. O God, our heavenly Father, who has made known Your love in Jesus Christ and Your presence by Your Holy Spirit,; we praise You, we adore You, and we worship You, world without end. Amen.
*HYMN Precious Lord No. 404
CONFESSION AND PARDON (Unison)
Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, whose face is hidden from us by our sins and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts; cleanse us, we ask You from all our offenses and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires. We seek to draw near to You, confessing our sins, confiding in Your grace forever. Amen
Assurance of Pardon
Almighty God, whose nature is to forgive sinners and ever to have compassion on them that turn to You, grant you perfect remission of all your sins and full assurance of pardon. May He strengthen and confirm you in all good works and bring you to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
*THE PASSING OF THE PEACE
THE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
.O giver of every good and perfect gift, we acknowledge Your bounty in these gifts which we now offer and dedicate unto You. We ask You to accept them and multiply them for the work of Your church and the spread of your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
O Master, in a world with multiple voices always seeking to give direction and purpose to our lives, help us to focus today upon Your timeless voice of Truth in a world of confusion and sin. Amen.
Psalm 130: 1-6
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; 2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. 3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. 5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. 6 I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Matthew 17: 14-21
14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ]
Mark 5: 21-43
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” 35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
SERMON When Things Get Desperate
We come to the close of the first half of the year 2021 today! What a year-full of trouble and distress it has been in our land and in the world! Yet, the people of God gather in this place to thank God for His manifold blessings in the midst of all the struggle we have encountered. This is the Facebook broadcast of the morning worship service of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Iowa.
I am Rev. Dr. Dale Dykstra, the interim minister here for the past 15 weeks. I have been a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for the past nearly 49 years, with July 2 being the anniversary of my ordination by the Presbytery of Chicago. I have served churches in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and now in Iowa.
I have been blessed to be of service to many people over the years who have faced terrible situations and events in their lives. Just this very week I got a phone call from a woman I did not know. She was a distraught great-grandma whose little great-grandson had passed away very soon after his birth. I was priviledged to bring the comforting words of our Savior to her wounded heart. After the call, I recognized that she was one of the people that this sermon is pointed to. I contend that every one of us faces times in our lives that seem desperate; times of hopelessness.
It seems that we all turn to our faith and our Church when we have encountered desperate times that seem totally beyond our control. We are pretty good at managing our lives through normal difficulties and stresses, but there are times beyond our capabilities.
I took you to David once again in his famous Psalm 130. Do you recall much of David’s story? He was the shepherd’s youngest son. He was the smallest and weakest among a family of burly outdoorsmen, One day, the great judge Samuel came to their house because God had sent him there to anoint a new King for Israel.
After looking at all the other men, Samuel chose David. He faced overwhelming odds many times. The first one was a Philistine giant named Goliath—remember? There was NO WAY that a boy armed with a slingshot he used to chase away predators from his sheep should have defeated a huge and strong man with armor, a sword, and a shield! BUT HE DID !! God blessed Israel and David with the victory.
There were several stories about various enemy nations –like the Ammonites, the Edomites, the Philistines, the Moabites, and others—who came up against Israel. They usually had much larger armies than the Hebrews did. In that day and age before sophisticated weaponry and explosives; usually the LARGER army would win the battle. Often times the smaller army captain simply surrendered, rather than sustaining great losses in conflict. Yet David turned to God EVERY TIME and Israel was blessed.
But there was one time where David got himself into terrible trouble! Remember Bathsheba? You know the story of his adultery- Even worse than taking her in sin—David sent her husband Uriah to his death in battle in order to cover up his own unfaithfulness. David was no longer God’s obedient servant – he became public enemy #1.
That is why I took you to Psalm 130. It was written just after his sins were proclaimed publicly by the prophet Nathan. It answers a critical question that every one of us faces sometimes.
WHAT DO I DO NOW??
David says – and means – “out of the depths I cry to you, o Lord.” “If You should mark sin, who could stand?” David confessed his sin openly, brought the mistakes of his ways to God, and stopped his sin. The Psalm declares that David feels God’s forgiveness as he hopes for grace to continue life in obedience as he starts over.
There are critical lessons here:
Realize your errors and sins
Confess them to God
Hope for grace and mercy from God.
Start fresh walking in newness of life
I also took you to a story of two different people in desperate situations. There was a leader in the synagogue – a man of influence and power in the community – named Jairus. His twelve-year-ole daughter was at the point of death –the physicians could do no more for her. What could her desperate father do?
He had heard about this miracle-worker named Jesus. He had created quite a stir when he cast demons out of a man in the neighboring town of Gergasa. It seemed that the demons went into a big herd of pigs and made them run pell-mell into the sea! Boy were the swineherds mad!! Yet the story caused Jairus to have hope that Jesus might be the only possible solution! He humbled himself (fell at his feet) and BEGGED Jesus to come and heal her.
Here again, coming to Jesus in desperate times was the right answer!
But Jesus wasn’t able to go to Jairus’ house directly. I read you the next story about the woman with a 12-year hemorrage! She done all the right things- gone to every doctor , gotten all their help – but to no avail. Here was a pitiful hopeless woman. She had used up all her resources, and not received a healing. She was desperate, too!
This lady could not address Jesus like Jairus did. She was a common woman without any “clout” like the cantor of the synagogue had. She tried to SNEAK a blessing. If she could just touch Jesus, her faith told her that would be enough to heal her---so she grabbed him as he went on his way to this very important journey to heal the little girl. Now, we all know that was not the right way to seek a rescue from despair!
BUT IT WORKED!!!
She was healed! But she did not get away with stealing the blessing. Jesus felt the touch! His disciples didn’t understand his statement; thinking there was quite a crowd and of course somebody bumped him. Jesus said “No, I felt some healing power leave me- I need to know who touched me, and why! She had to admit her fraud to the Master.
BUT HE SAID: “GO IN PEACE, YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL.”
Back to Jairus. The girl dies!!! Jairus’s helpers come running up, telling him not to bother Jesus, because IT IS TOO LATE. With her dead, there was nothing there for Him to do. But Jesus doesn’t let him give up. Professional mourners at the house certify that, yes, the girl was dead. They had seen a lot of people die AND THEY CERTINLY RECOGNIZED DEAD!
BUT JESUS RAISED HER TO LIFE AGAIN!
Last of my examples of people in desperate situations is the man with the epileptic son. He had done everything he could to keep him safe. He even sought the healing power that Jesus had given to his disciples, but even they could not heal him. Jesus healed the boy by casting out the demon. When asked by his disciples, he said they couldn’t do it because of their “little faith”.
There are many ways of getting into desperate times. Our world has had a huge one in the global pandemic we are all just emerging from. Some of the troubles are our own fault –like those of David. Others are beyond our control, like those of the father of the epileptic boy. Some are physical in nature, like the woman with blood. Other desperate times affect other people that we care for—like those of Jairus.
The key point is that ALL of these examples of truly helpless predicaments were brought to the Lord Jesus Christ and
HE OVERCAME THEM!
Will God in Christ heal every situation? Of course not, but many times when we feel hopeless can be overcome with answered prayer to the Lord our God. Amen.
*Hymn There Is a Balm In Gilead No. 394
*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.
MORNING PRAYER AND LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever. Amen.
*HYMN Great Is Thy Faithfulness No. 276
CHARGE & BLESSING
And now, may the grace, mercy, and peace which proceeds from God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son, and into the Holy Spirit within us, rest and abide within us, now and forever more.
*Stand as you are able.