SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY
July 04, 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.
July 4th Independence Day
July 7th Bible Study
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, , 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, Amy Jacobs, Jeff Fish, Cornell Family two deaths in the past week, Bonnie Pillers, Pawlik Family in the loss of an infant, people in Florida effected by the collapse building, and the Wynn family at the loss of Lamette
WORDS OF WORSHIP
LEADER: Our heavenly Father, we worship and adore You.
Response: We are Your children and we come to You this day.
L: You are our guide, our Savior, and our friend.
R: may the grace of our Lord Jesus be the joy of our salvation always.
L: God be merciful to us and bless us.
R: Show us the light of Your countenance and be merciful toward us.
Eternal and ever-blessed God, Lord of heaven and earth; we praise Your glorious majesty. Your wisdom is seen in all Your works. Your grace and truth are revealed in Jesus Christ, your Son. Your power and presence are blessed to us through the holy Spirit. We therefore adore Your holy name, o blessed Trinity, forever and ever. Amen.
HYMN My Country, “Tis of Thee No. 561
CONFESSION AND PARDON.
O most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; who pardons everyone who truly repents of their sin and turns to You; we humbly confess our sins and implore Your mercy. We have not loved You with a pure heart fervently, nor our neighbor as ourselves. We have not done justly, nor loved mercy, nor walked humbly with You, our God. Please have mercy upon us according to Your loving-kindness and blot out our sins. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Almighty God, who freely pardons all who confess their sins and turn to You, now fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace. We pray that You would remit our sins and cleanse us from an evil conscience, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
ANTHEM More Than Just Enough
Hope College Chapel Choir
THE PASSING OF THE PEACE
THE OFFERING AND OFFERTORY
O God, of whose bounty we have all received, we pray that You would accept this offering of Your people and so follow it with Your blessing that it may promote peace and good will among the people of our community, country, and world. May we advance the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Heavenly Master, we have come to the place of the reading of Your Holy Word. May we quiet the concerns of our lives so that we are free to receive the blessings You seek to provide us. On this day of celebration for our land, may we direct our hearts and minds to hear Your instructions for living as a Godly citizen of a Godly country. Amen.
Psalm 33: 12-22
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.13 From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— 15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. 16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine 20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
Mark 6: 1-6
1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Hebrews 11: 8-16
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
SERMON “His Own Country”
Welcome to the Fourth of July Independence Day morning worship service of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Iowa! May you all have a blessed and meaningful holiday and Lord’s Day!
I am Rev. Dr. Dale A. Dykstra and on this past Friday, I celebrated my 49th anniversary of my ordination as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) after graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary. I have served a total of ten different congregations with a parish of four of them being my first call in Pennsylvania. I have also served in Illinois and now Iowa.
I suppose you came today expecting to hear patriotic hymns (you will) and a sermon about how great our country is. Well, one out of two isn’t bad! You WILL hear about how great our country HAS been and how godly our country CAN be.
The Bible lifts up God’s demands for all countries to be blessed –even including Israel – “the chosen people.” God absolutely DOES promise to bless nations who are faithful to Him and obey His commandments. Throughout Scripture there are times where people have been blessed for their faithfulness to God. There are also times where God has sent prophets and preachers to warn wayward peoples of God’s upcoming judgements on the unfaithful.
Our own nation is unique among all the people’s of the world because it was carefully crafted in a brand-new way. There were many patriots who met in Philadelphia for an entire hot and muggy summer to craft the principles and the procedures by which a free and independent people could govern themselves in ways designed to please our holy God.
They were quite group –gentlemen farmers, land owners, merchants, former state politicians, and even one Presbyterian minister whose name was John Witherspoon. I have worshipped and sung in his Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey. It would be a serious mistake –and I have actually heard this said by some authorities who should have known better –that the Continental Congress were all of one mind.
HARDLY! There were Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, Puritans, Anabaptists and even a few Roman Catholics from South Caroline. There were also some pretty famous atheists represented! They came from the thirteen rather weak colonies loosely bound together by the Articles of Incorporation.
Fortunately they kept journals of the proceedings of their deliberations. If you have read the journals, the discussions got very heated at times and positions were held passionately.
Large states vs small states; and how to represent them both in an equitable manner.
Slave owners and those opposed to slavery.
Strong central government vs a loose confederation.
Strong executive vs those who fear that one might return to being a king.
And many other debates.
What unified them then? Their faith in God first and foremost. They were BELIEVERS. They also shared a Christian understanding of morality that was far more strict than ours is today. They also rebelled against Britain’s taxation and control – and eventually their military as well. (Or have you forgotten “redcoats?”) They cherished freedom from coercion and the right to self-determination. They also had an understanding that “we all stand together or we all fall together.” They had to work together just for their survival.
Toward the end of June ---about this time of year -- most of the big choices and decisions ended in
That is something I wish our current politicians would understand. We would get a lot more done!
The Biblical principles undergirded everything they did. They believed and defended the worth of every free man. They upheld the right to keep and bear arms. They established courts to ensure obedience to the laws.
I go through all the American history for you because the faithful foundations of our country are VITAL. I added II Chronicles as a promise of God to Israel and any other country that is faithful to the one true God. “If my people, who are called by my Name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven AND I WILL HEAL THEIR LAND.”
That is God’s promise. It is a covenant and we just had a whole sermon about covenants, didn’t we? It says that God will heal our badly divided LAND.
IF We keep our part of the covenant.
Called by my name- we must claim our name as CHRISTIANS publicly and declare Him Lord and His will as supreme—even over the president or congress!
Humble themselves -not claim our power or wisdom is supreme, but openly seek God’s forgiveness of our sins and His grace.
Pray -how many times have you heard of this from me? We need to talk to God and listen to His answers as HE GUIDES OUR LAND.
Seek God’s face -we need to FACE God –not turn away to our own desires and devices.
Turn from our wicked ways -Repent and STOP the sins against God, then walk in newness of life.
I also took you to Psalm 33. “Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord. Our land is strained and stressed and we all would like it to be a happy place. This is how our country can regain happiness.
Mark 6 shows that we are not the first nation WHO SHOULD HAVE BELIEVED, but did not. Jesus’ own hometown of Nazareth questioned the reality of His ministry. But Jesus still did works of healing there FOR PEOPLE OF FAITH! He will do the same for Christians in our country – even if the country strays away.
We further need to remember that as much as we love, honor, and cherish America – THIS IS NOT OUR HOME!! God has prepared “a place for us”. Hebrews is crystal clear about our heavenly home. Jesus spoke of our “mansion” that awaits us.
Abraham looked forward to a city that had foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Now, Abraham only lived in tents all his life, so we know he was looking forward to heaven!
We need to serve as America’s Christians to make our land as godly as we can, but also prepare ourselves for the home that waits for us on high! Amen.
HYMN God of the Ages No. 262
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.
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 and praise.
O Holy God…we lift our hearts in joyful praise.
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might. Hymnal #581
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the highest.
We praise you…together, we proclaim the mystery of our faith.
Dying, you destroyed our death; rising, you restored our life. Hymnal #582
Gracious God… all glory and honor are yours,
Almighty God, now and forever. Amen.
HYMN O Beautiful for Spacious Skies No. 564
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.