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“The Character of Christ” (Ephesians 1:3-14) Sunday, March 18, 2018    

Lenten Candle Extinguishing: (4 unlit, 2 purple & Christ candle lit)

 

L1:       Today is the fifth Sunday in Lent. We remember Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. Each week the Light of the World diminishes.

 

L2:       When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

 

P:          On their way he and the disciples enter a Samaritan village, but they do not receive him.

 

L1:        As they are going, someone says to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

 

P:         Jesus replies, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

 

L2:       Jesus invites others along the way, “Follow me.”

 

P:         But instead of following they say, “Let me first go and bury my father” or Let me first go and say farewell.”

 

L1:       Jesus invites a rich young ruler—pious in keeping the commandments and eager to inherit eternal life—to sell his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow him.

 

P:         The man goes away shocked, sad, and grieving. The light of salvation’s invitation is refused, and a shadow darkens that light.

 

L2:       (Leading unison prayer): Let us pray in one voice:

 

U:        God who summons us from death to life, your call invites us to leave our shadowy lives of comfort for life on the road with you. Discipleship is never convenient, nor is the cost of following you cheap. Our possessions and priorities can hinder or prevent our obedience to your invitation, and our shadows darken that light.  (Extinguish candle). Forgive us, O God, in your great mercy. Amen.

 

L:         Let us sing, “Here Hangs a Man Discarded.”

 

Scripture (Ephesians 1:3-14)                        

                                   

Our reading comes from the letter to the Ephesians.    

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.

5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight

9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,

10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,

12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.

13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit;

14this is the pledge of our inheritance towards redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

Here ends our reading. May God bless our understanding.

@Copyrighted by Rev. Dr. Troy Sybrant Sermon:  “The Character of Christ” (Ephesians 1:3-14) Sunday, March 18, 2018  

 

“The Character of Christ”

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“Pursuing Godly Goals” Scriptures (Habakkuk 2:1-3; Proverbs 16:1, 6, 9; Hebrews 12:1-3)  Sunday Sept. 17, 2017

 

Call to Worship   

 

L:  We lift up our eyes unto the hills.

P. But where will we find our help?

L. Our help comes from the Lord,

P. The One who made heaven and earth.

All. The Lord will keep our going out and our coming in from this time on and forevermore.

 

Scriptures

(Habakkuk 2:1-3; Proverbs 16:1, 6, 9; Hebrews 12:1-3)   

                                  

Our first reading comes from the prophet Habakkuk. 

1I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint.
 2Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.
 3For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.

Our second reading comes from the book of Proverbs.

1The plans of the mind belong to mortals, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
6By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.
9The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.

Our third reading comes from the book of Hebrews.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
 3Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

Here ends our readings. May God bless our understanding.

“Pursuing Godly Goals”

@Copyrighted by Rev. Richard Walker Sermon: “Pursuing Godly Goals” Scriptures (Habakkuk 2:1-3; Proverbs 16:1, 6, 9; Hebrews 12:1-3)  Sunday Sept. 17, 2017

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