Worship at Home for Sunday, May 24, 2020

Seventh Sunday of Easter/ Ascension Sunday/ Memorial Day Weekend

 

Scripture Readings

Acts 1:6-14

John 17:1-11

Meditation      Looking to the Heavens

In 1997 while living in Orlando, I had the opportunity to watch a night shuttle launch from the Banana River viewing site at Kennedy Space Center. At party hosted by my sister and her husband, two guests who worked at NASA announced that they had passes available for the upcoming night shuttle launch. Naturally, I grabbed one.

The night launch took place in the early morning hours. For security reasons it was necessary to arrive several hours before launch time. This meant driving over around midnight and parking on the causeway. NASA provided a sound system that broadcast the launch procedures and a giant countdown clock. Across the water we could see the shuttle lit up by the lights of the launch pad. It was a beautiful site. All we needed to do was wait. Since we were tired, attempts were made to nap in the car, but the excitement of the moment made this difficult.

As it drew closer to launch time, we stood on the edge of the causeway by the big clock to listen and watch. The noise across the water increased. Flames lit up the area surrounding the base of the rockets. The shuttle slowly began to rise from the pad increasing in speed as it went higher and higher. We had lift off!

The crowd stood staring upward in the early morning dark at the increasingly smaller flames from the shuttle rockets while listening to the words of launch control telling us when the booster rockets had been released and then that the shuttle had left the atmosphere. Even though it was clearly impossible to see the shuttle and the light of dawn had begun to appear around the edge horizon, I wanted to keep looking upward as though I too was travelling beyond this earth. Yet the slamming of car doors and the slow parade of cars leaving the viewing area signaled that it was time to look back down and return home.

The disciples stood looking skyward as Jesus ascended higher and higher into heaven. Like those of us observing the space shuttle launch, they were inspired to keep gazing upward. Their Messiah, Savior and Friend had left earth to reign from the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus had guided them for years, and now he had departed for heaven. What else was there to do but look upward in amazement and longing?

The men robed in white appeared and questioned their upward gaze. Why are you still looking upward? The disciples were grounded to their time and place in this world. For them the time to gaze upward in awe was over. So, they climbed down the mountain and returned to their friends in the upper room to pray and wait.

We are in a time of prayer and waiting. As much as we cherish the times of looking upward in awe and wonder, we live on earth in the here and now. We are looking for direction about how to live in this Corona virus limbo. It is human nature to want clear and true guidance about what we should be doing. However, in situations like this there is so much that is unknown. So, we wait.

Wait for what we ask? God’s guidance which comes in many forms. Jesus told the disciples to wait for Holy Spirit to empower them to share the Good News to the ends of the earth. We pray and wait for guidance and healing during this disconcerting time of Corona Virus. We need to keep living while living with a sense of uncertainty. Like the followers of Jesus who prayed and waited in the days from the Ascension to Pentecost, we are in an in between time. Like them we must pray to God and wait for God to open our eyes to the next step our lives of faith.

 

Hymn              “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord”

 

 

 

Prayer:
Remember that we are not alone. That God is with us always.
Call to mind those that you miss this Sunday and those who need God’s loving care and presence and ask God  to care for them.

This Memorial Day weekend let us remember all those who serve and have served their country.

God of heaven and earth open the eyes of our heart to see you in this world. Open our hearts to the love that surrounds us and the hope that you instill in us. Give us the patience to wait for your guidance in this time of uncertainty. Grant to us the peace that only you can give. Surround with loving care those we hold in prayer. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Lord’s Prayer

 

Prayer list:

Simon, Howard, Julia, Ahna, Mike, Josh, Priscilla, Duane, Janet, Grandpa David, Dorothy, Jacob, Jenny, Ann, Dale, Gayle, Don, Cheryl, Dustin, Pat, Student with eating disorder, Tate, Patricia, Roland, aryann, Amanda, Virginia, Matthew, Tom, Naomi, Vic, Jennelle, Charlie, James, Rick, Christy, Reagan, Kim, Lee, Kevin, Gaylynn, Liz’s sister in law, Naomi, Nathan, Jason, Cheryl, Daniel, Betty, Dax, Carter, Laurie’s mom, Jock, Nancy, Pat, Malachi and Karen, Carolyn, Ellen, Shirley, Mary, Karen, Paul, Hal, Richard, Crystal, Edie, Paula, Jim, Truett, Brett and Danielle, Judy, Laura F, Shirley, Butch, Joyce., Macie, Michel, Dorothy L, family of child who donated a heart to Truett, Corey, Lauren, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Luis, Bernice, Mike, Clyde, Gary S., Linda, Pat, Gary, Dave, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Breana, Dean, Corey, Jeff, Nancy, Terry, Rev. Cantrell.

Special prayers:

  • Terry N for recovery from his procedure on Tuesday.
  • Prayer request for all the people who have been affected by the Coronavirus.
  • Those members of our church and wider community who have been serving others at this time: Senior Center, Helping Hands, Gasconade R-2 Schools, Nursing Homes, Pharmacies, Medical Offices, Police Department, Volunteer Fire Department, EMS, 911 and more.

Goodwill/Offering

  • Take time to create a box to put food in to give to Helping Hands. Decorate the box with loving messages.
  • Write your troubles on a piece of paper. Place that paper in a box or an envelope. Give that box and your troubles of
  • Paint a prayer/worry rock to place somewhere that someone will find it and be inspired.
  • Donate via PayPal on our website or write a check.
  • Send a loving note to someone.

Prayer of Dedication

May our gifts be signs of our love for you. May our gifts grant hope in this time. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

 

 

Benediction:  

May God of heaven and earth be with you today and always.

May you pray patiently for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and

May you share the good news with those who need it. Amen.

 

Closing Hymn                        “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”  #61
           

 

 

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