Worship Resource for May 10, 2020

Come to Christ, the living cornerstone. Come to rest on the foundation of God’s love.

Come to be strengthened and renewed in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

PRELUDE “Here I Am to Worship” arr., C. Tornquist
~©2004 Word Music Publishers

CALL TO WORSHIP – Shelby and Savannah Talley
Once we were not a people,
but now we are God’s people.
Once we were alone,
but together we are the household of God.
Here in this time of worship, and later when we go forth to serve,
Christ is our cornerstone, strengthening us for the journey.
In our living and in our dying,
Christ is our sure foundation, strengthening us along the way.

HYMN OF PRAISE “For the Beauty of the Earth” DIX

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flow’r, sun and moon, and stars of light.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the church that evermore lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore her pure sacrifice of love.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

~©Public Domain

WELCOME TO WORSHIP – Rev. Aho

CELEBRATING OUR NEW BABIES

Hudson Thomas Cash, Parents Geoffrey & Victoria Cash
Evelyn Rae & Owen Gerald Denny, Parents Jake & Erika Denny
Cade Michael Whitehead, Parents Trey & Heather Whitehead
Thomas Currin Wilkins, Parents Christopher & Megan Wilkins
Owen Kyle Yarbrough, Parents Kyle & Katie Yarbrough

CHILDREN’S TIME – Mrs. Susan Satterwhite

SCRIPTURE READINGJohn 14:1-14 Rev. Aho

CALL TO PRAYER – “Open Our Eyes, Lord” – Kadence and Hailey Woodlief
~©1976 Maranatha Music CCLI#1049296

PASTORAL PRAYER – Rev. Aho

Loving God, you are our fortress and our rock, the foundation on which all things are built. You have made us one family and one people ~ precious in your sight.

On this day we lift our prayers for your children as we remember ~
. . . those whose hearts are broken over the loss of loved ones, we pray for strength and comfort to come to them;
. . . for those who are sick and recovering during this time,we pray for strength and healing, and we pray also for those providing their care during this time;
. . . for our friends alone in nursing homes and their own homes, please help them to feel your presence and to be encouraged through the support of family and friends;
. . . for healthcare workers and first responders who have been on the front lines risking their own lives to care for and save others during all these weeks; continue to provide strength and keep them safe in their efforts;
. . . for small business owners who are dealing with struggles and concerns for their businesses, please provide wisdom, guidance, and support;
. . . for teachers who are making every effort to keep their students engaged and learning so they can bring closure to this school year, thank you for their dedication and compassion for their students;
. . . for all of our families as they have turned their homes into schools, offices, and sources of entertainment and recreation,we pray for peace and patience;

We lift all these prayers to you, dear God, and pray that we might be strengthened and renewed through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

MUSIC FOR WORSHIP – “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” – L. Dengler
Young Musicians 2019

Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear. Things I would ask Him to tell me if He were here.
Scenes on the mountain top, tales by the sea, stories of Jesus tell them to me.
Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear.

Oh, let me hear how the children stood round His knee, as I imagine the blessings
He gives to me. Words full of kindness, deeds full of grace, and all the love that shines on His face.
Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear.

I’d take my place with the children as Jesus rode by. Holding a branch of a palm tree waving it high.
One of His messengers, yes I would sing, loudest hosannas to Jesus the King
Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear!

~©2018 Celebrating Grace Pub.
Text by W.H. Parker
CCLI#1049296

 

MESSAGE – Greater Gifts

This morning we begin on the other side of the world with the names “Chernobyl” and “Fukushima.” When those names are mentioned, what do you recall? Both are sites of nuclear power accidents. Chernobyl happened in 1986 in northern Ukraine. Fukushima happened during the 2011 tsunami on the north coast of Japan. Both disasters had a lasting impact on their respective regions. But for us in Oxford, the most significant impact was on the news cycle. As long as we stay away from these contaminated areas, there is little impact on our lives.

Now, let’s consider the difference between those meltdowns and our situation today. The COVID-19 coronavirus started on the other side of the world about five months ago, but since it can spread invisibly, it has reached Granville county to impact us in countless ways. One massive difference between a meltdown and a virus is location. One stays put while the other comes to us. As long as we avoid Chernobyl or Fukushima, we are fine. But from COVID-19, is there anywhere to hide? I hope this makes sense because it is time to take the parallel of these disasters’ impact and consider the ongoing ministry of Jesus in John 14.

John 14 is usually a text for funerals. From this passage, we draw strength and comfort because of Jesus’ promise to prepare a place for us. But do you notice how, after the familiar verses as the beginning of the passage, Jesus flips the conversation? Initially, Jesus addresses the disciples’ uncertainty, but he then shifts to the power his disciples’ will have through the Holy Spirit. A passage that starts as a consolation concerning loss shifts to one about motivation once Jesus moves from discussing his physical presence to the Spirit of God.

In this way (though this may border on heresy), Jesus’ physical presence 2000 years ago is a bit like the meltdown mentioned above. Jesus’ time on earth happened long ago and far away. We know about it as we know about the historical figures of Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. Some historical figures, like Socrates, do shape society, bur events that happen far away often don’t have the power Jesus promises at the end of this passage. Jesus teaches the disciples they will be empowered to spread the ministry far beyond his physical reach, and this is the power of God at work. He lays the groundwork for the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. They will soon find that his ministry is not a localized event for the history books; it is a way of experiencing God that will spread to the ends of the earth. And today, some 2000 years later, we experience the power of God’s presence within us, don’t we?

So for us, will we allow Jesus’ resurrection to be a local problem, or will it’s impact spread like a virus? I hope that as people of faith, we can see that the power of God spreads beyond the physical ministry of Jesus. When we are empowered through the enlivening presence of the Holy Spirit, God’s love spreads to every corner of our lives. And because of that, we can have the wisdom of the Spirit along with the courage and enthusiasm of Jesus’ disciples to face today’s difficulties while carrying on the ministry of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I believe those works and greater works will continue until we arrive at the place Jesus has prepared for us because today, the Lord is at work in us, and through us, for that we all can say, Thanks Be To God!

OUR OFFERINGS

Taking an offering is an act of worship and a part of our service each week. It is important to remember that our offering not only supports the ministry of the church but is an expression of our thankfulness for all God has given us. We give today because God first gave to us.

BENEDICTION

POSTLUDE arr., D. Wagner. “You Shall Go Out with Joy”
©2014 Lorenz Pub.

CCLI#1049296

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