Worship at Home for Sunday, October 18, 2020

Prelude and lighting of the candles

Greetings and announcements

Video Opening “There Was Jesus” Performed by Jean Baker

Written by Casey Beathard, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams CCLI SONG #7138043

 

Moment of Silence

 

Opening Prayer (Psalm 96)

God, we sing a new song to you this day. We sing with our hearts filled with hope. We sing in new ways for a new time as we present ourselves before you in worship and praise. For our God is righteous and true in this every changing world. Amen.

 

Passing of the Peace (Smile and wave to those around you.)

 

Children’s Message 

Scripture

Matthew 22:15-22

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. 16 So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. 20 Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" 21 They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake.

6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9 For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sermon: Those We Meet on Our Journey

As we journey through our lives, we meet many people. Some people welcome and help us on our journey with Jesus like the people of Thessalonica welcomed and helped Paul. Other people are not so nice, like the Pharisees and the Herodians who tried to trick Jesus with their question about whether or not to pay taxes. Jesus however remains a true and faithful companion along our way.

Let’s take a moment to look at the text from Matthew. Jesus is in the temple with the disciples. The temple in Jerusalem is a very big place filled with courtyards and places of prayer and worship. Jesus may have been teaching in one of the courtyards. A group of Pharisees and Herodians (Presumably supporters of Herod though they are not mentioned outside the Gospels.) decide to see if they can trap Jesus with a question. Nothing new here. People have been trying to trip up teachers ever since anyone tried to teach anyone else anything. Just think back to your school days.

The question they ask is a dangerous one, “Should people of faith pay taxes to the oppressive Roman empire?” Jesus has a clever answer. Show me the coin that you would use for taxes. Someone pulls out a silver denarius. The coin would have been imprinted with the head of the emperor and the title “Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine August, August”. This coin is blasphemous to those who worship the one true God. The coin probably should not have even been in the temple. Jesus tells them to give the coin back to Caesar. Those who would have tricked Jesus leave in amazed silence.

As we Journey with Jesus, we will learn that some things do not come from God. These things should be given back to their source. Paul gave up those things that separated him from the love of God in Christ. Paul then journeyed with Jesus to spread the Gospel. Paul picked up some travelling companions on his trip to Thessalonica he travels with Luke, Silvanus and Timothy. The story of this trip is told in Acts 17:5-13. I Thessalonians is written in about 51 C.E. and is regarded to be the oldest book in the New Testament. Paul has a great love for the Thessalonians.

He speaks of their work of faith, labor of love and steadfastness of hope in Jesus Christ. This is the first time that Paul uses this combination of faith, love and hope. It is the people of Thessalonica that inspire him to create this special triad. What a lovely way to be imprinted on someone’s heart!

When we think of our own lives, we recall people who approached us with flattery when all the meant was harm and deceit. Jesus did too in his encounter with the Herodians and a few Pharisees who sought to trap him in a dialogue about taxes to Rome. Many of us will have our personal radars triggered when someone approaches us with insincere praise. “What do they really want?” echoes in our thoughts.

Then there are those lovely people who are open and kind, willing to listen, and offer sustenance when we need it. People who have faith in God. Faith which radiates as love. People who stay hopeful in the most difficult situations. When we meet such people on our journey with Jesus they feel like a warm blanket on a cold night. The cold is still there, but the blanket of faith warms us with love. Even in the dark of despair, the world seems to be filled with a spark of hope.

Take a moment to think about the wonderful and caring people that you have met on your Journey with Jesus. Say a prayer of thanks for them and the welcome of love, faith and hope that they gave to you. Amen.

Prayer:
God of faith, love and hope, we give thanks for those wonderful people that you have placed along our paths as we journey with Jesus. We give thanks for the faith that inspires. We give thanks for the love which welcomes us. We give thanks for the hope which gives us the courage to follow you always. Help us to be welcoming people to others in this world. Help us to live lives of faith, hope and love in Your name.

May Your faith, hope and love surround those in most need of your comfort. May the Spirit grant courage and peace in places that need it.

Let us take a moment to lift ourselves and others in prayer. We pray for those on our prayer list. Let us read through the names on our prayer list and imagine that God is surrounding them and us with healing love and strength.

Silent Prayer followed by the 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, Aryanna, 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, Judy, Laura F, Shirley, Butch, Joyce., Macie, Michel, Dorothy L, family of child who donated a heart to Truett, Corey, Lauren, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Bernice, Mike, Gary S., Linda, Pat, Gary, Dave, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Breana, Dean, Corey, Jeff, Nancy, Terry, Bev, Edgar, Angie, Mark, Mamie, Art, special prayers for Dave Mayberry, Anna, Roxanne, Ruth.

Special prayers:

  • Our Nation and our leaders
  • Family of Carol Griffith who passed from this life on October 10, 2020.

Goodwill/Offering

  • As we Journey with Jesus, please consider giving to the Neighbors in Need offering of the United Church of Christ.
  • Give thanks for all who welcome us on our Journey with Jesus.
  • Share what you have whatever it is, it is enough.
  • Donate via PayPal on our website or write a check.

Prayer of Dedication

We give these gifts filled with prayers of love, faith and hope for a world where your will is done, and the love of Jesus is everywhere. Bless these gifts and the givers. Amen.

Benediction

May the love of God surround you today and every day. And my you share that love with the world. Amen.

 

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