March 07 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.
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 but songs will be played, and no physical contact.
You may read along silently,
The office and the rest of the building remain closed, but you can contact Karla during her office hours.
March 14th will be the annual congregational meeting at 9am
March 21st will be a Session Meeting right after Church
WORDS OF WORSHIP
Leader: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
People: To the temple, to the God of Jacob.
Leader: He will teach us his ways,
People: So that we may walk in his paths.
Leader: Come, descendants of Jacob.
All: Let us walk in the light of the Lord.
O God, we trust in Your power, even as it is often found in weakness; in Your wisdom, even as it is expressed in seeming foolishness; in Your wholeness, even as it comes to us amid brokenness. We do not ask this day for dazzling displays of strength, electric exercises of intellectual prowess, or marvelous manifestations of miracles. We come simply to worship You. Touch us this day, O Lord, that we might become Your saints, Your body, Your children, Your church. For this Temple of Your Spirit is built not upon our own abilities, knowledge, or restorative skill, but upon You, in Jesus Christ. Amen
HYMN My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less 379
CONFESSION AND PARDON –
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The proof of God’s amazing love is this: While we were sinners Christ died for us. Because we have faith in him, we dare to approach God in confidence.
Rom. 5:5, 8; Heb. 4:16
Confident in God’s grace, let us pause for a moment to recall our sins and lay them before God. PAUSE
The assurance of God’s grace is declared in the name of Jesus Christ. We accept God’s forgiveness, confident that in dying to sin, Christ raises us to new life.
"Hear the good news! Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone; a new life has begun." (Rom. 8:34; 2 Cor. 5:17)
Believe the good news of the gospel: In Jesus Christ you are forgiven.
All: Thanks be to God!
OFFERING OF PEACE
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. All: Amen
SCRIPTURE LESSONS 1 Corinthians 1: 22-25
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
SERMON- How is your Temple By Elizabeth Heard
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." Jesus said this in response to the Jews who felt he didn't have the authority to clear out the Temple area. Later in the scripture it says that Jesus was speaking about the "temple of his body."
Have you ever thought this? Your body is the temple of your spirit. This spirit came from God at our conception. We also have within us the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit of God received when you were Baptized into the faith, and reignited when you were confirmed.
Our spirit makes us unique. There is no on who has the same spirit, it is our individuality. Our body as the container of our spirit, combined with the Holy Spirit or advocate that Jesus gave to humanity when the tongues of fire came down from heaven on Pentecost. This makes our bodies temples as well.
Many read this story and get caught up in the actions of Jesus before this comment. They talk about his getting angry. So, lets take a moment to look at that. Think of your home. Now imagine you are going to have a huge family gathering at your home. You have family coming from all over the country and they are going to celebrate some occasion with you. Imagine if you will 25-50 people coming. That is what happens when my family gets together. Some of your relatives are businesspeople who think this would be a great time to put up a table in your yard and sell what they have. Others are wanting to sell some food that they have. Some come to sell ingredients for the food you will be eating during the celebration. All these people are scattered in your front yard and driveway, and maybe some are even along the sidewalk next to the road. There may be an adventurous child that has set up a lemonade stand. How would you feel. How is this crazy activity going to impact you? You would probably become a little upset with these people and as the day goes on and people are making money off their own relatives you may want to stop this in anyway you can. That is a human response, right? Isn't Jesus human? He was born into this world as a human and lived among us. He was seeing all these people cluttering up this sacred space what was his Fathers house. These people should have known better. They should have been able to understand his feelings on this issue.
After he has chased out all the people who were there to capitalize on the event, he was approached by the Jewish people and they asked him for a sign to show them he had the right to do this. Jesus was already upset, and they asked him again for a sign. They always needed signs. They just could not get who he was unless he gave them a direct sign. His answer was the one I started with. If they were smart they would have listened more to his words from that day forward. They would have tried to understand what he was teaching.
Jesus did give them a sign, but that sign was not recognized. The sign was right there in his statement, "Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up again."
If we move on to the understanding of the body as the temple that holds God in us, we can recognize the sign. We can see clearly what the people of his time missed. They didn't listen to him. He gave them a sign, yet they refused to see even when the resurrection happened. They could not see beyond that moment. If the sign was not what they wanted, they would not see. What does that say about their faith?
Faith is believing with out seeing. It is a knowing that is set deep inside of you that no one or nothing can take away from you. The Jewish people of Jesus time need to be stirred up. They needed to be tested and pushed. God knew this. God knew that the people were just following the laws to the letter, or at least the leadership was pushing for that. They have forgotten what the spirit of the Law was. They were in a situation that was not desirable, and they wanted to have a Messiah come who would overthrow the Roman rulers and give them back their "Promised Land".
But what did God give them? What was God's plan? What did God want the people to see and do? He didn't want them to fight, he wanted peace among his people. He wanted them to understand that he would go to the harshest end for them if they would only turn back to him. Not by following and reciting laws and edicts. But by living according to his number one commandment of all: to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and all that is in you." And he wanted them to also uphold the second law: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
God wanted to show his love and to receive love in return. That was what his covenant with Abraham was all about. And when he has destroyed the land with flood waters, he gave Noah a rainbow as a covenant that he would never again treat his creation so harshly. He freed them from slavery by sending Moses to them. He did all these things and they would not be faithful. So, he sent his son and made him a sign to show us, all humanity then and in the generations since then, just how much he loves us. He had created us to be company for him. He doesn't want us to end up away from him. He wants us all to get back to him. This is our charge this is our goal.
To do this you have to look inward, within the temple of your body. How is it doing? Are you feeding it healthy foods? Are you taking care of any ills that come along? Are you moving around and keeping it fit? Are you loving God? Are you loving your neighbor? Is your temple in the need of a little reconstruction?
You have come to the right place. God wants you to take some time between now and Easter to get your temple in order. He wants you to give up the things that are keeping you from being the loving person that he knows you to be. He wants you to share your excess with those who are in need. Just do one thing for someone between now and Easter and you will have fulfilled this. Most of all God wants you to remember that the covenant created by Jesus is one of love and relationship. It doesn't matter which of the three aspects you think of, Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, the important thing is relating and being able to relate to God. We do this through prayer. Take a little time each day to spend with God the Father/Mother, God the son (our brother Jesus), or God the Holy Spirit. Be intentional each day to set this time aside. If you already have a strong prayer life add an extra 15 minutes till Easter. If you are needing to begin, then just start with 15 minutes of quiet time that you dedicate to God.
I want to end with saying that the body as a temple is really a strong image and one that will help you to do more to keep that body healthy. But the most important thing we learn from Jesus is what Paul said in his letter to the church in Corinth: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."
We are blessed to be part of the family of God, washed by the waters of baptism and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. He is our sign that we are to care for our spirit and the body it inhabits. We are to care for and love ourselves so that we can love others.
How is your Temple?
HYMN Now Thank We All Our God 555
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 at 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.
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.
HYMN Just a Closer Walk With Thee 2158
CHARGE & BLESSING-
Finally, brothers and sisters, as we go forth take with you these words from Paul:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."