Worship at Home for Sunday May 9 2021

Dear Friends,

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. So Happy Mother’s Day to all of you. On this Sunday we recognize the care and nurture that mothers give to their children and the whole community. We give thanks for their caring presence daily. The Dorcas will be providing carnations to be given away during worship this Sunday. If you cannot make it to worship, but would still like a carnation, please let me know.

If you need anything, please call me at the church office (437-2779).

Announcements:

  • These Days devotional guides are available.
  • Our Mission of the Month is Strengthen the Church. Please read the insert about this in the mailing.
  • Meetings this week: Church Council on Monday at 6:30pm, Pastoral Relations on Tuesday at 6:30pm

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

For the Order of Worship/Bulletin Click Here.

For Sunday School at Home and the Children's Lesson Video Click Here.

To watch the service on Facebook Click Here.

Scripture Lesson: Please read these passages in your Bible at home. If you do not have a Bible, we have many at church and would love to give you one.

Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

Sermon: Living as Friends

"Bubba was my best good friend. And even I know that ain't something you can find just around the corner." Forest Gump (Winston Groom, author)

What is a friend? The Bible mentions friends many times. King David wrote Psalms about good friends and friends who betrayed him. Proverbs councils about the rich having many friends while the poor have none. When Peter and Paul preach and write, they often refer to their audiences as friends. Luke 23:12 tells us that Pilate and Herod became friends during the trial of Jesus before that they were enemies. Then there are the friends of Job who came to be with him and advise him in his misery.

Who do you call friend? As we think about our lives, we often refer to people as friends. Some of them are simply the people we eat lunch with at school or work. They may be teammates, church members and Facebook friends. But how many of them could you call in the middle of the night when you need a friend? How many of them could call you in the middle of the night when they needed a friend?

In John’s Gospel Jesus is offering a very true version of friendship. The word friend is only used in John three times. All three times are in today’s passage (John 15:9-17). The use of friends shows a serious shift in Jesus’ relationship with his followers as Jesus prepares for his death. “I do not call you servants any longer; because the servant does not know what the master is doing; because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” John 15:15 Jesus is letting the disciples in on the big plan to give up his life in love for his friends.

Jesus is a true friend and letting us into a pretty major relationship. We are to follow Jesus not out of obedient fear, but out of love. Jesus is offering friendship to poor and rich alike. True friendship that differs from the followers of the rich warned about in Proverbs. Jesus will not betray us as did some of David’s friends. Jesus’ friendship is not that of two enemies like Herod and Pilate coming together for political expediency. Jesus is a friend who loves us enough to give up his life.

Jesus commands us to love one another as friends. This can be as simple and as complex as this Agnus Day Carton shows.  We struggle to be friends to one another. Sometimes we are like the friends of Job who do the right thing and show up to be with our friend. Then we want to “help” by offering “solutions” to painful problems. Being a friend is hard work.

Forest Gump and Bubba show us good ways to be friends. They listen to one another. They support one another. They are willing to give up their lives for one another. Forest recognizes that friendship like this doesn’t come along every day.

Neither does a friend like Jesus. So, when you need love and support, do as the song says and take it to the Lord in prayer. Then reach out to your Bubba for support in this world. Or when your Bubba calls be there for him even when he wants to talk endlessly about shrimp or needs you to pick him up beside the road at midnight. Let us love Jesus and love one another as Jesus has commanded us to do. May we be true loving friends.

 

Prayer

Loving God who offers us friendship through our loving savior Jesus, be with us today and listen to us as we pray. On this Mother’s Day we pray for mothers. We pray for those who wish to be mothers but are not. We pray for mothers who struggle to raise their children. We pray for mothers who grieve the loss of their child. We pray for mothers who have stayed home to be with their children during this pandemic. We pray for mothers who are essential workers and left their children at home during the pandemic. We pray for those whose mothers have died. We pray for all who need your love and friendship. We pray that we will live as friends. Amen.

Silent Prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer

Prayer list:

Ahna, Priscilla, Grandpa David, Virginia, Vic, Liz’s sister in law, Butch, Marcie, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Linda, Pat, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Jeff, Terry, Bev, Mark, Dave, Peggy, youth struggling with mental health issues, Shawn, Lindsey, Sue, Diann, Danna, Janet, Lisa, Joyce, Sara, Cheyenne, Katelyn, Michelle, Dawson, Mary, Priscilla, Tricia, Don, Mildred, Lilian, all who grieve, all who struggle with mental health issues.

 

 

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