September 5 2021
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Let me remind you quickly of our protocols for everyone’s safety.
· Attendance was taken by Ushers as you entered.
· The ushers will return to passing the bulletins out as you enter and social distancing is still is required in sanctuary
· 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
Session has voted to open the church during the week once again from
Monday- Thursday; 9:30-1:30 PM.
Sept 8th Bible study
Sept 12 Session
Sept 15th Articles for Pulse Due
Gary Iverson, all who are seeking Jesus, Bob Bock, Joan Boyd, Jack Braden, Wanda Hirl, Marilyn Neymeyer, Joan Pinkston, Maxine Wagner, Valerie Jerez, Annette Conzett, 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, Bonnie Pillers, Pawlik Family in the loss of an infant, Mike Niles, Harlen Marx had a knee replacement Tom Kelly who is recovering from surgery, may we be sincere in taking the time to ask the Lord for His Blessings and thanking Him for everything, and Lois Seger
WORDS OF WORSHIP
Leader: Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer.
Response: From the end of the earth I cry to You
L: Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I,
R: For You are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
L: And let me abide in Your tent forever,
R: and find refuge under the shelter of Your wings.
GATHERING PRAYER (Unison)
O Thou, who are more ready to hear than we are to pray, and who knows our necessities before we ask, hear our prayer. Give us that peace that the world cannot give, nor take away. You have promised that where two or three are gathered in Your name, You will be there in the midst of them. Grant your rest to the weary, Your comfort to the injured and ill, and to all restore Your peace. Amen.
*HYMN Breathe on Me No. 316
CONFESSION AND PARDON (Unison)
We confess to You, O God, that we have sinned against heaven and in
Your sight. We are not worthy to be called Your children and have too often forgotten Your care. We have broken Your holy laws, we have been wayward and disobedient, selfish, and unkind. For the sake of Your dear Son, and our Savior, we ask You to pardon our sins, to clean our hearts within us, and to grant us Your peace. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He Has not dealt with us according to our iniquities. As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As Far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 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 pray that You would 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
May the Lord bless to us the reading of His holy Word. To His name be all glory and praise! Let us quiet the care and concerns of the outside world as we are in God’s sanctuary in such a way as to receive the most from the holy writ. Amen.
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The Lord’s Answer
2 Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald[b] may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; will certainly come and will not delay. 4 “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness[d]— 5 indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples. 6 “Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, “‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them. 9 “Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin!
Mark 7: 24- 37
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.[a] He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. 31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. 33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”).
35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. 36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 7 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” 31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” 33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
SERMON Not Enough Faith ??
Good morning! This is the Facebook broadcast of the morning worship service of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton, Iowa, It is the 5th of September on a Labor Day weekend. I am the Rev. Dr. Dale A. Dykstra, and I am the interim minister here for the past half-year. It is good to return to the pulpit after needing to take the past two weeks off to have my teeth removed and new ones put in. I thank you all for your prayers for my healing.
We are recording this service once again after not being able to for the past month. My Facebook account was hacked and needed to be cancelled to prevent the thief from trying to extort money from my contacts. I have an entirely new account now, and we should be in business to send this to you all.
Before my break, I had been preaching to you about our deep need to retain and grow our faith in God through the salvation of our Lord, Jesus Christ by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us. I also emphasized that we need to TAKE ACTION on our faith to put it into practice.
But I am sure that these encouragements also lead to difficulty on your part. I fear that many of you may think that this kind of faith and action is ok for preachers and Elders, but perhaps not so much for you! Do you ever WORRY that you may not have enough faith? HOW MUCH FAITH IS ENOUGH? And how do we find it? And how do we dare to act out publicly in defense of our Lord and Savior? How do we become one who can inspire faith in others?
Remember little Habakkuk? I told you about him as a prophet a few weeks ago. He was given the heavy task by God of having to tell the King and all of Israel that God
was fed up with their worship of idols, and would allow Babylon to destroy their nation and city and take them all captive. The prophet declared that he was in a watchtower—with a view that was above the current trouble to a day of renewal ---seen by faith.
I gave that sermon about God’s providence – His protection in times that seem hopeless. Jerusalem was to be surrounded by an overpowering enemy –yet he could speak of faith in the future. By hindsight, we know that Habakkuk was absolutely RIGHT as he declared the judgement of God, BUT ALSO absolutely right that they would be restored as a nation again!
How much faith he had! Certainly, we don’t feel that much faith is possible for us. HOW DO we find enough faith to carry us through our own hardest times? His guidance came from the promises of God to Habakkuk in the midst of such grim news. God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. That promise is just as inspirational for us as it was for Habakkuk. He may need to punish us to get us to turn away from sin –but He is still our Father.
I took you to Mark – the smallest and earliest of the Gospels – to his account of the Syrophoenician woman and her daughter. Jesus had left Israel and gone into Syria
(now Lebannon) at Tyre and Sidon. These were port cities on the Mediterranean
Sea (or the Great Sea as they called it) He went there for safety and for rest. He didn’t want any of these Gentiles to know He was there. I am sure that He was seeking quiet personal time and communion with His Father.
The Bible says “His presence could not be hidden.” – this is not hard to imagine. Sure enough, soon after he got there came a Gentile woman and her daughter asking for a healing. At first Jesus tried to put them off- saying that His ministry was to heal the Jews first. The woman, however, inspired by the very presence of Jesus, the Son of God, had faith enough to answer Him back “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs” She had enough faith that He could AND WOULD heal the girl.
She was in the presence of the Son of God and found the faith that led to her daughter’s healing. What a clue for us!In the presence of Jesus --as we read about Him in the Holy Bible is where we find the faith to overcome troubles.
Mark goes to another story of hopelessness in the deaf man who stuttered. As he returned to Israel,“they” –probably his family or friends – brought him to the “healer”. Jesus didn’t make a public spectacle of his healing work -no, he took him “aside”. Jesus’ power can come to an individual—even to you or me!
Please note that this man could not speak, yet he “zealously proclaimed” what Jesus had done for him. We are to share with others to good news of what God has done for us and those we love or are concerned about—to inspire THEIR faith!
Matthew addresses our concern about having enough faith. He tells three stories of Jesus to answer the question. First, he tells of the landowner who has an enemy who sowed weeds among the good grain. His response when his servants wanted to cut them down was “No, let them all grow –I can tell the difference between true faith and unbelief.” And He can!!
Don’t worry about maintaining your faith in this increasingly secular and heathen society –GOD CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EVEN A LITTLE FAITH AND UNBELIEF!
He added the mustard seed parable and the yeast parable to encourage us! The mustard seed is like the believer who is faithful but weak. God will bolster that weak faith if we just start to express it. Both examples don’t just grow a little – but faith in God becomes powerful in the face of unbelief. Is there anything as powerful in a court of law as eyewitness testimony?
Who can oppose someone who says, “This I know. I was weak, or sick, or worried, or afraid or grieving and my faith in God pulled me through.” That is what you really know and it is a powerful testimony of what faith in God can do. Amen.
*Hymn My Faith Looks Up to Thee No. 383
*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.
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 “More Love to Thee No. 359
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, may it rest and abide within us, now and forever more. Amen
*Stand as you are able.