Fortune

The Prophet (nogard86 at deviantart.com)

Fortune

Ascend all you augurs and astrologers in agony but not antipathy
Beings banished at the behest of barons and bureaucrats beyond
Chance the chanting of your cadence clear into crystalline caves
Divining the design of destiny; you dabble and daub and deliberate
Echoing Elohim or Eros or the Ennead, earth and energy enervated
Fulfilled filter for future fortunes, fool fount of the fates
Grasping for grace, grappling with gods;griping, grousing gazer
Haruspex of Helen, hold hard the heel of Hermes, ye harbingers of hell
Inspiration or Justification, Karma or Kairos come at last
Magus, medium, medicine man, necromancer, obfuscator, ovate
Plundered prophet promising to prevail in profusely promulgated prayer
Recalling in a rasp revelation released or read rapturously
Scanned in the stars as you stand, stumbled upon softly is the surge of sea
Totem trying to thrive, timing the turning of the tarot or tea leaves
Universal venture of wanting, ye xenophiles yearning for zen

This was a challenge for the Common Language Project: had to be less than thirty lines and use the following thirty words without change to tense or form: agony, ascend, behest, cadence, chance, clear, crystalline, daub, design, destiny, echoing, filter, fool, fulfilled, grace, heel, last, plundered, prevail, rasp, revelation, scanned, stand, stumbled, surge, thrive, timing, totem, trying and venture. An enjoyable afternoon challenge.

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Digital Worship Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday Digital Worship Services, April 5, 2020

Welcome.

Greeting:

L:    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also, with you.

L:         Blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!

L:         Let us pray.

Raise palms for blessing.
                  
We praise you, O God,
for redeeming the world through our Savior Jesus Christ.
Today we recall how he entered the holy city in triumph
and was proclaimed messiah and king
by those who spread garments and branches along his way.
Bless these branches and those who carry them.
Grant us grace to follow our Lord in the way of the cross,
so that, joined to his death and resurrection,
we enter into life with you;
through the same Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Amen.

 

L:        Let us go forth in peace.

In the name of Christ. Amen

Hymn………………………………….……………….………… “All Glory, Laud and Honor”

Opening Prayer

Leader:

Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a

4The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.  5The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.6I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting 7The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. 9It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 31:9-16                                  

9Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.

10For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.

11I am the scorn of all my enemies, a disgrace to my neighbors, a dismay to my acquaintances; when they see me in the street they avoid me.

12Like the dead I am forgotten, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.

13For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.

14But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. I have said, “You are my God.

15My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

16Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.”

 

Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11                                                                                                           

1When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,5“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 Hymn of the Day……………………..…………………. “Christ, the Life of All the Living”

Sermon ………………………….………………….………………………..Pastor Neil

 

 

___________ OUR RESPONSE TO GOD’S WORD AND GRACE__________

 

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Assisting Minister:

Turning our hearts to God who is gracious and merciful, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need. A brief silence.

God of mercy, awaken your church to new proclamations of your faithfulness. By your Spirit, give us bold and joyful words to speak, that we sustain the weary with the message of your redemption. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of mercy, quiet the earth where it trembles and shakes. Protect vulnerable ecosystems, threatened habitats, and endangered species. Prosper the work of scientists, engineers, and researchers who find ways to restore creation to health and wholeness. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of mercy, drive away fear and anger that cause us to turn against one another. Give courage to leaders who seek liberation for the oppressed. Bring peace and hope to those who are in prison and those who face execution. Protect and bless all who sacrifice to guard our freedoms, including: Ben, Cal, Christian, Clayton, Dillan, Haden, Lindsey, Luke, Michael, Robert, Spencer, Steve, Sydney, Tyler B. Tyler G. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of mercy, send your saving help to all who suffer abuse, insult, discrimination, or contempt. Heal the wounded. Comfort the dying. Bring peace to those suffering chronic or terminal illness. Tend to all who cry out for relief. Fill us with compassion and empathy for those who struggle, and keep us faithful in prayer. We lift up before you: Alex, Beverly, Bill, Bob D., Bob S., Carol, Christa, Cliff, Craig, Cole, Darryl, Dave, Ella, Faith, Jerry,  Joe, John, Joyce, Judy, Maija, Marie, Matt, Maureen, Patrick, Paul, Pete, Rebecca, Renee, Robert, Sal, Sandra, Taylor, Travis, Vim and to all the unemployed.    

and the friends and family of Eileen Bizell & Joel Berry                                                                                   Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for the ministries of the ELCA and the Northern Texas – Northern Louisiana Synod, we also lift in prayer Joy, Rockwall, Central, Dallas, Ecumenical partners. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Leader: In trust and hope, we commend to you, O Lord, all for whom we pray. Amen.

Highlights/Sharing of the Peace

Offering (offering can either be mailed to Rejoice (12000 Independence Pkwy, Frisco TX 75035 or there is the opportunity for electronic giving through Tithe.ly on the website http://www.rejoicefrisco.com or you can use the Tithe.ly app)

 Offering Hymn……………………………………..………. “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”

Communion

Words of Institution

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen

Sending Hymn…………………………………………….…“ Ride On, Ride On in Majesty”

  DISCIPLELIFE

Leader: As God has claimed us as his own in Christ, we seek to follow Christ with these Marks of DiscipleLife:

 People:

— Praying Daily
— Worshipping Weekly
– Studying the Bible
– Serving Others
– Building Spiritual Friendships
– Giving to God and Our Neighbors in Need
– Engaging God’s Mission

Spoken Blessing:

DISMISSAL

Leader: Go in peace, serve the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

 

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Matthew 14: 22-33 Little Faith One

Extract of Herbert Boeckl’s fresco “Saint Peter’s rescue from the Lake Galilee” inside the cathedral of Maria Sall, Carinthia, Austria

Matthew 14: 22-33

Parallels Mark 6: 45-52; John 6: 16-21

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25 And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

28 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

This is the story within Matthew that initiated some of my questions about the way that Matthew’s gospel had been translated and interpreted. This well known story with Matthew’s unique addition of Peter coming to Jesus upon the water is a common image on stained glass windows and paintings in churches, and while it is often an image of hope: of Jesus who rescues those sinking in the stormy waters. Yet, it also is often paired with a condemnation of Peter who doubts in the face of the strong wind. I never anticipated my discomfort with the traditional translation of ‘you of little faith’ in this scene becoming this project which became a much larger examination of the gospel as a whole and its history of interpretation, but often one question leads to many others.

Normally when Matthew takes a story present in Mark (assuming Mark as the first of the gospels written) he shortens it to quickly move us to the instruction by Jesus, which comprises many of the additions in Matthew’s gospel, but here Matthew adds and entire scene of Peter getting out of the boat and coming to Jesus. One of the things to pay attention to when there are parallel narrations of an event is the places where an author introduces new or unique elements because they often give critical insights into what the gospel writer wants to express about who Jesus is and the nature of following him. Matthew has structurally placed this narrative in roughly the middle of the gospel and almost doubled the length that Mark (and John) dedicate to this story. It is also worth remembering that this is the second time Jesus has done the incredible upon the sea and there are unique aspects in both stories in Matthew’s careful narration that invite us to hear this story and the story of Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8: 23-27 together.

Jesus compels the disciples to get into the boat, presumably a boat owned by one of the disciples, and after the feeding of the 5,000 remains to dismiss the crowds. The Greek enagkasen is more forceful than the NRSV’s translation of ‘made’, Jesus compels or forces the disciples to embark on the boat and sends them on their own into the waters to travel to the other side while he dismisses the crowds. Jesus goes up a mountain to be alone in prayer, but in this time the situation of those on the boat changes. The disciples in Matthew 8: 23-27 felt alone in the midst of the storm while Jesus slept, but now they are isolated from Jesus as the wind become hostile towards them and the boat is tormented under the waves. The wind and waves become, in the narration, active entities working against the disciples on the sea and from evening until the fourth watch of night, traditionally 3 am-6 am, the disciples struggle on their own against the elements. I think it is helpful to notice in this narration that there is a significant time of struggle for the disciples and it takes time for Jesus to move from the mountain where he is praying to the shore and across the many stadia (great distance in the NRSV) that the disciples are out upon the sea.

In Mark’s narration of this story Jesus intends to pass the disciples by, which may be an allusion to God passing by Moses to reveal who he is, but Matthew removes this highlighting the destination of Jesus being these ones on the boat. There are plenty of hints that Matthew shares with Mark, and some unique to Matthew, that point to the identity of Jesus, but Matthew has the boat squarely in Jesus direction of movement as the disciple see him approaching. In the midst of struggling against the wind and waves for hours and seeing what they perceive is a phantom or a ghost (Greek phantasma) their response is to cry out in fear. Jesus’ response to ‘be of good courage, I am, fear not’ is crafted to again alert the reader that more is happening than meets the eye. The initial command to ‘be of good courage’ or ‘take heart’ is a normal response to the cry of fear, but the next two statements are theologically rich. I am (NRSV it is I) is the same language that John’s gospel uses in all the I am sayings (I am the bread of life, I am the good shepherd, I am the way, the truth, and the life, etc.)  and Jesus declaration that ‘I am’ in John 18: 6 causes the soldiers step back and fall to the ground when arresting Jesus. The phrase ‘I am’ recalls the name of God in Exodus 3:14 and while it can simply be the first person pronoun with the being verb in normal speech, in scriptures this frequently causes the hearer to ask about the person’s relationship to the LORD the God of Israel. In addition, this linked with the command ‘Fear not’ or as it is commonly rendered ‘do not be afraid’[1] is also commonly associated with a divine message either from an angel or directly from God.  As we wondered in Matthew 8, ‘what sort of man is this?’ we are now again directed to wonder about the identity of the one approaching his disciples upon the water. The wind and the waves are unable to prevent this one who proclaims ‘I am, fear not’ from approaching.

Matthew is the only gospel who includes the story of Peter approaching Jesus on the water, and this is where Peter begins to stand out among the disciples and be a major actor in the narrative. In the coming chapters Peter will become the one out of the twelve who speaks and acts in answer to Jesus questions and will become the one who represents in many ways the community. Peter moves down from the boat and towards Jesus upon the water, but he sees the strong wind which has been against the boat and he begins to sink. The word translated sink (Greek katapontizesthai) can also mean drown, so Peter in this narrative is experiencing true peril in the midst of his fear as he cries out “Lord, save me.” Just as the disciples in Matthew 8 cried out ‘Lord save us’ as they were in the windstorm on the sea, now Peter echoes this rich phrase with resonance between Israel and the people of God (see comments on 8:25) to Jesus as he finds himself overwhelmed by the wind, waves and water. Immediately Jesus responds by extending his hand and taking hold of him.

This is the third of five uses of oligopistos (NRSV ‘you of little faith’) in Matthew’s gospel, a phrase always used in relation to those following Jesus. Rendering this term ‘you of little faith’ while correct adds a negative connotation that doesn’t need to be there (try saying ‘you of little faith’ without it sounding judgmental) and I do believe that ‘little faith one’ is a better translation. Jesus in this narrative has moved directly toward the boat, told the disciples to be of good courage because of his presence, and told Peter to come to him in the midst of the wind and waves. I know I am pushing against the interpretive tradition of this phrase, but I do believe that Jesus is fond of his ‘little faith ones’ and in this particular story of Peter. Instead of castigating Peter for experiencing doubt, perhaps he is reassuring Peter (and ‘little faith ones’ throughout the ages) that he indeed is ‘God with us’ in the midst of the storm. This is reinforced by the use of the word diatazo here which is only used one other time in Matthew’s gospel, on the mountain in Galilee after the resurrection where the disciples doubt is paired with the encouragement “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”[2] Like the disciples on the mountain, who even in their doubt worship, so the disciples here worship saying “You are the Son of God.” As I mentioned when discussing the Son of’ titles for Jesus the Son of God title has relationship to the identity of Jesus being the Davidic King, but Matthew also pushes the boundaries of that title to include something greater in relation to the God of Israel. For Matthew, Jesus is one who is worthy of worship by the disciples, like the God of Israel.[3] The wind and the waves which threaten the disciples are stopped by his presence and we are invited beyond the wondering of ‘what sort of man is this’ the disciples voiced when Jesus calmed the storm before to the stance of worship this one who meets his little faith ones in their doubts and trouble and saves them.

[1] Anna Case-Winters notes that this is the fourth of seven significant texts with the message “do not be afraid” (1:20; 8:26; 10: 31; 14: 27; 17: 7; 28:5; 28:10). Note that all of these except 10:31 are in some manner a theophany (angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph in a dream, the two water narratives, the transfiguration and the resurrection. (Case-Winters, 2015, p. 194)

[2] Matthew 21: 21 in the NRSV “if you have faith and do not doubt” is the other place doubt occurs in English in the gospel, but the Greek word behind it is different: diakrino

[3] This is reinforced when you realize that Matthew uses proskuneo (to prostrate, worship) more than Mark and Luke combined and when you look at the thirteen times it is used (The Magi ‘paying homage’ 2:2, 8, 11; the women and disciples at the resurrection worshipping Jesus 28: 9, 17 and the temptation narrative where ultimately instead of worshipping Satan, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13 where one is to worship the Lord only. (Hays, 2016, p. 396 n. 52)

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Wednesday Night Lenten Service April 1 2020

Opening Dialogue:

L: Jesus Christ, Light of life, shine in your people here.

C: Jesus Christ, Light of life, shine in your people here.

L: Stay with us now; put fear to flight as evening ushers in the night.

C: Warm the darkness with your love and light, Jesus Christ.

L: Jesus Christ, C: Jesus Christ, L: Light of life, C: Light of life, shine in your people here

L: Jesus Christ, C: Jesus Christ, L: Light of life, C: Light of life, shine in your people here

Hymn of Light

C: Joyous Light of glory, sacred Word made human story, blessed Jesus Christ, of the Father given, Light to earth from Light of heaven: holy endless source of life.

L: As we come to the setting of the sun, and we look to the gold of evening light,

C: we will raise our songs in the praise of your glory as with all universe unite.

C: Joyous Light of glory, sacred Word made human story, blessed Jesus Christ, of the Father given, Light to earth from Light of heaven: holy endless source of life.

L: As we sing, O holy Three in One, fount of life and love and fire divine

C: we rejoice in you with the pure voice of gladness as we let your light within us shine

C: Joyous Light of glory, sacred Word made human story, blessed Jesus Christ, of the Father given, Light to earth from Light of heaven: holy endless source of life.

Thanksgiving for Light (spoken)

L: The Lord be with you.

C: And also with you.

L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

L: We praise and thank you, O God, through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom you have enlightened us by revealing the light that never fades. Night is falling and day’s allotted span draws to a close. The daylight you created for our pleasure has fully satisfied us, and yet, of your free gift, now the evening lights do not fail us. We praise you and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom be glory, honor and power to you in the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever.

C: Amen.

Psalm and song: Psalm 141 (Sung)

C: We lift our hands in prayer like incense rising and offer our lives to you, O God.

L: God we call for you are near: C: hear us and help us

L: Be now among us here: C: hear us and help us

L: Be thou the loving ear: C: hear us and help us, and all who cry

C: We lift our hands in prayer like incense rising and offer our lives to you, O God.

L: Touch our lips, form every word: C: keep us from evil.

L: Unbind our hearts, O Lord: C: keep us from evil.

L: Remind us we are restored: C: keep us from evil and all its lies

C: We lift our hands in prayer like incense rising and offer our lives to you, O God.

L: As we turn our gaze to you: C: Light of creation;

L: and live our days in you: C: Light of creation;

L: and burn and blaze in you: C: Light of creation, open our eyes

C: We lift our hands in prayer like incense rising and offer our lives to you, O God.

Psalm prayer (Spoken)

L: O God, from the rising of the sun to its setting your name is worthy of praise. Let our prayer rise before you as incense, and with the lifting up of our hands may we offer our whole lives to you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

C: Amen

 Psalm 23 <A Psalm of David.>

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;

3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.

Judy Clark’s Message

L: The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.

C: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Prayer and Blessings (Sung)

C: God of love, have mercy, and listen to our prayer

L: For peace born of heaven, and for our salvation we pray to you, O

C: God of love, have mercy, and listen to our prayer

L: For peace in the whole world, and peace among all peoples, we pray to you, O

C: God of love, have mercy, and listen to our prayer

L: For all those who govern: give wisdom and compassion; we pray to you, O

C: God of love, have mercy, and listen to our prayer. God of love, hear our prayer. Amen

Concluding prayer: Spoken

L: God of love, we thank you that you have kept us under your protective care in the day that is past. Bring healing to the wounds of this day, those we have inflicted, those we have felt, those that trouble our world. Cover us this night with the wings of your grace, and raise us to a new day with Christ, our light and our peace.

C: Amen.

L: Lord, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray:

C: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Blessing (Sung)

L: Let us bless the Holy One. C: To God our thanks we raise.

L: May God Almighty bless us, guide us and defend us, and lead us into life.

C: Amen, amen, amen.

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Digital Worship March 29, 2020

Digital Worship Services, March 29,2020

Gathering Hymn 1…………….……………………………..…………..… “Matchless”

 

Son of Man, Great I am, King of heaven Son of God, You hold the measure of my days

Holy Lamb spotless Lamb, You are worthy I am not before Your throne I stand amazed

Every tongue confess and every knee will bow

To Jesus Christ the Lord forever, hear our praises now

 

Your name is matchless, Your name is priceless,

Your name means more than I could know

You’re so far above me, the way that You love me

goes further than any love could go

 

Wonderful Counselor, Root of David morning star You are the way the truth the life

Lion of the tribe of Judah, Mighty God is who You are the only perfect sacrifice

Every tongue confess and every knee will bow

To Jesus Christ the Lord forever, hear our praises now

 

Your name is matchless, Your name is priceless,

Your name means more than I could know

You’re so far above me, the way that You love me

goes further than any love could go

 

In Your name You took the blind man and You gave him back his sight

In Your name You took the dead man and You brought him back to life

In Your name You took this prisoner and You opened up the doors

And I will sing before Your throne forever more

 

Your name is matchless, Your name is priceless,

Your name means more than I could know

You’re so far above me, the way that You love me

goes further than any love could go

 

Your name is matchless, Your name is priceless,

Your name means more than I could know

You’re so far above me, the way that You love me

goes further than any love could go

Your name is matchless,         Your name is matchless                                                              Your name is matchless,         Your name is matchless

 

 

WELCOME

Gathering Hymn 2…………….……..……………… “Everlasting God”

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord

Our God,       You reign for – e – ver,     Our hope,       our Strong De – li – verer

 

You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God

You do not faint, You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need

You lift us up on wings like eagles

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord

Our God,       You reign for – e – ver,     Our hope,       our Strong De – li – verer

 

You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God

You do not faint, You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need

You lift us up on wings like eagles

 

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord

 

You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God

You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God

You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God

You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God

You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God, The everlasting God

Opening Prayer

Leader:

Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14

1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

Gospel: John 11:1-45

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” 11After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” 12The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

 

Hymn of the Day……………………..……………………………………..……. “I Will Rise ”

 

There’s a peace I’ve come to know

Though my heart and flesh may fail

There’s an anchor for my soul

I can say “It is well”

 

Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed

The victory is won He is risen from the dead

 

And I will rise when He calls my name No more sorrow, no more pain

I will rise on eagles’ wings before my God fall on my knees and rise

I will rise

 

There’s a day that’s drawing near

When this darkness breaks to light

And the shadows disappear

And my faith shall be my eyes

 

Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed

The victory is won He is risen from the dead

 

And I will rise when He calls my name No more sorrow, no more pain

I will rise on eagles’ wings before my God fall on my knees and rise

I will rise

 

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, “Worthy is the Lamb”

And I hear the cry of every longing heart, “Worthy is the Lamb”

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, “Worthy is the Lamb”

And I hear the cry of every longing heart, “Worthy is the Lamb”

“Worthy is the Lamb”

 

 

And I will rise when He calls my name No more sorrow, no more pain

I will rise on eagles’ wings before my God fall on my knees and rise

I will rise       I will rise

Sermon ………………………….………………….………………………..Adam Stockton

STATEMENT OF FAITH (we stand)

Leader:                            

We are not alone…we live in God’s world.
People:                            
We believe in God: who has created and is creating, who has come
In Jesus, the
Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new…
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God. We are called to be the church:
to celebrate God’s presence, to love and serve others, to
seek justice and  
resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge 
and our hope.
In life, in death; in life beyond death; God is with us. We are
not alone.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
 

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

In the light of Christ’s Resurrection all things have been made new. We come trusting that we have been freed from the powers of sin, death and the devil. In the light of the new creation we set aside the things that have held us captive.

People:  Gracious God, you have called us to be your people and to live out of your love which has no end. Turn us to love you with our whole heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. By your Spirit enable us to live and serve you in newness of life through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
 

Leader:  People of God, if we have been joined to Christ with a death like his we will certainly be joined to his new life and resurrection. If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. Go and live as people set free to live in God’s grace and mercy.

People:  Thanks be to God!

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

Assisting Minister:

Turning our hearts to God who is gracious and merciful, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

A brief silence.

God of life, bind your faithful people into one body. Enliven the church with your Spirit and bless the work of those who work for its renewal (like Hans Nielsen Hauge, whom we commemorate today). Accomplish your work of salvation in us and through us, for the sake of the world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of life, you love the world you have made and you grieve when creation suffers. Restore polluted lands and waterways. Heal areas of the world ravaged by storms, floods, wildfires, droughts, or other natural disasters (especially). Bring all things to new life. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of life, show redemption to all who watch and wait with eager expectation: those longing for wars to cease, those waiting for immigration paperwork to finalize, those seeking election, and those in dire need of humanitarian relief. Come quickly with your hope. Protect and bless all who sacrifice to guard our freedoms, including: Ben, Cal, Christian, Clayton, Dillan, Haden, Lindsey, Luke, Michael, Robert, Spencer, Steve, Sydney, Tyler B. Tyler G.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of life, you weep with those who grieve. Unbind all who are held captive by anxiety, despair, or pain (especially). Fill us with compassion and empathy for those who struggle, and keep us faithful in prayer. We lift up before you: Alex, Bill, Bob D., Bob S., Carol, Christa, Cliff, Craig, Darryl, Dave, Ella, Faith, Jerry,  Joe, John, Joyce, Judy, Maija, Marie, Matt, Maureen, Patrick, Pete, Rebecca, Renee, Robert, Sal, Sandra, Stephanie, Vim,       

and the friends and family of Eileen Bizell & Joel Berry

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for the ministries of the ELCA and the Northern Texas – Northern Louisiana Synod, we also lift in prayer Christ’s, Odessa, Finnish Chapel, Coppell, Paul Quinn College, Dallas. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Leader: In trust and hope, we commend to you, O Lord, all for whom we pray. Amen.

Highlights/Sharing of the Peace

Offering (offering can either be mailed to Rejoice (12000 Independence Pkwy, Frisco TX 75035 or there is the opportunity for electronic giving on the website http://www.rejoicefrisco.com)

Offering Hymn……………………………………..……………. “Healing Hand of God”

 

I have seen the many faces, of fear and of pain.

I have watched the tears fall plenty, From heart ache and strain.

So if, life’s journey, Has you weary and afraid.

There’s rest in the shadow of his wings.

 

I have walked through the valleys, The mountains and plains.

I have held the hand of freedom, That washes all my stains.

If you feel the weight of many trials, And burdens from this world.

There’s freedom in the shelter of the Lord.

 

I have seen, The healing hand of God,

Reaching out and mending broken hearts.

Taste and see the fullness of His peace,

And hold on to what’s being held out.

The healing hand of God.

 

I have touched the scars upon His hands, To see if they were real.

He has walked the road before me, He knows just how I feel.

When you feel that there’s not anyone, Who understands your pain,

Just remember all of Jesus’ suffering.

 

I have seen, The healing hand of God,

Reaching out and mending broken hearts.

Taste and see the fullness of His peace,

And hold on to what’s being held out.

 

Cast all your cares on Him, For He cares for you. He’s near to the broken and confused.

By His stripes, Our spirit is renewed. So enter in the joy prepared for you.

 

I have seen, The healing hand of God,

Reaching out and mending broken hearts.

Taste and see the fullness of His peace,

And hold on to what’s being held out.

The healing hand of God

The healing hand of God

The healing hand of God

 

And hold on to what’s being held out, And hold on to what’s being held out

The healing hand of God

 

Communion

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
Lead us away from temptation
And deliver us from evil
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.  Amen

Communion Hymn………………………………“ Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone”

 

Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see

 

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed!

 

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.

My God, My Savior has ransomed me.

And like a flood his mercy reigns.

Un-ending love, amazing grace

 

The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

 

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.

My God, My Savior has ransomed me.

And like a flood his mercy reigns.

Un-ending love, amazing grace

 

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.

My God, My Savior has ransomed me.

And like a flood his mercy reigns.

Un-ending love, amazing grace

 

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine;

But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine.

Will be forever mine     

You are forever mine

 

Sending Hymn……………………………………………………………….…“ We Believe  ”

 

In this time of desperation, When all we know is doubt and fear

There is only One foundation. We believe, We believe

In this broken generation, When all is dark, You help us see

There is only One Salvation, We believe, We believe

 

We believe in God the Father, We believe in Jesus Christ

We believe in the Holy Spirit, And He’s given us new life

We believe in the crucifixion, We believe that He conquered death

We believe in the resurrection

And He’s comin’ back again (We believe)

 

So, let our faith be more than anthems, Greater than the songs we sing

And in our weakness and temptations, We believe, We believe!

 

We believe in God the Father, We believe in Jesus Christ

We believe in the Holy Spirit, And He’s given us new life

We believe in the crucifixion, We believe that He conquered death

We believe in the resurrection

And He’s comin’ back again

 

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!, In the here and now, let love invade!

Let the church live loud, our God we’ll say We believe, We believe!

And the gates of hell will not prevail! For the power of God, has torn the veil!

Now we know Your love will never fail!  We believe, We believe!

 

We believe in God the Father, We believe in Jesus Christ

We believe in the Holy Spirit, And He’s given us new life

We believe in the crucifixion, We believe that He conquered death

We believe in the resurrection, And He’s comin’ back

He’s comin’ back again

He’s comin’ back again

We believe, We believe

 

DISCIPLELIFE

Leader: As God has claimed us as his own in Christ, we seek to follow Christ with these Marks of DiscipleLife:

 People:

-Praying Daily
-Worshipping Weekly
– Studying the Bible
– Serving Others
– Building Spiritual Friendships
– Giving to God and Our Neighbors in Need
– Engaging God’s Mission

Spoken Blessing:

DISMISSAL

Leader: Go in peace, serve the Lord
People: Thanks be to God.

 

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Matthew 14: 13-21 Bread in the Wilderness

Mosaic at the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha near the Sea of Galilee

Matthew 14: 13-21

Parallels: Mark 6: 32-44; Luke 9: 10b-17; John 6: 1-15

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

The rejection in Nazareth and the death of John the Baptist puts both Jesus and the crowds in motion and they both arrive in the wilderness. Jesus and his disciples get into a boat and come to an uninhabited place along the sea, and the crowds abandon the towns to follow him on foot. Matthew shortened version of this story (if Mark’s narration is the original) continues to invite the followers of Jesus to reflect upon his identity by echoing other portions of both Matthew’s narration of Jesus’ life and scriptures. The feeding of the five thousand men, plus women and children, is unique among the miracle stories of Jesus because it is the only one included in all four gospel accounts.

The wilderness was where John the Baptist began his story, where Jesus was baptized and where Jesus was tempted. People once came into the wilderness to see John the Baptist instead of Herod (see comments on 11: 7-15), but now the come seeking Jesus. Jesus has compassion on this large crowd and begins to heal those who are sick. Matthew drops Mark’s allusion to Ezekiel 34 where the crowd is like sheep without a shepherd, but the contrast with the compassion Jesus shows towards the crowd and the fear Herod Antipas shows highlights the contrast in relations between these ‘kings of Israel.’ Matthew also drops the teaching of the crowds, but since Jesus teaching the crowds in parables comprises the previous chapter this is not necessary to Matthew’s narration. Now in the absence of John the Baptist and instead of Herod Antipas, the large crowd journeys over land to meet Jesus in this wilderness place.

The defining story of the Hebrew people is the Exodus and central to the people’s journey through the wilderness is the provision of bread by God on that journey. In this wilderness the people are now fed by Jesus, he becomes the one who makes an excessive amount of bread in the wilderness. Like the woman who folded the yeast into three measures of flour (13: 33) he prepares a feast to this great crowd. This story also resonates with the final meal that Jesus will share with his disciples where again he will bless and break bread to be distributed (26:26-30). Matthew, following Mark’s structure, will have Jesus do two feedings of large crowds in the wilderness. (15: 32-39) In both feeding stories the disciples of Jesus in addition to distributing the bread are also invited to wonder about the one who can provide an abundant feast where all are satisfied in a wilderness place. Like God providing for the people in the Exodus or promising a great feast on the mountain of the Lord (Isaiah 25: 6-9) we are invited to consider who Jesus is in relation to God. He is more than a prophet like John the Baptist and more than a king like Herod even if those in his homeland cannot recognize it.

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The Air is Heavy

 

The air is heavy as it fills my lungs with its leaden weight
For in this springtime of the year in addition to the pollen,
The heavy perfume of the earth reawakening from its slumber
The emergence of wildflowers and bees and leave on the trees
Comes the weight of our fears over the death of the world we know
While the rest of creation emerges from its wintry hibernation
We confine ourselves to our modern caves repaying sabbaths missed
While the bird songs fill the morning light, we sing a dirge
Like children caught between dance and death we are unsatisfied
And we grieve the world transformed in ways we didn’t forsee

The air is heavy as the alveoli slowly force it back into the sky above
Breathing out the pain and the sadness, the life and the death
As each lobe automatically works to push the moist carbon dioxide
Through the bronchi and trachea to be expelled out of the mouth
Carrying on its respiration a heavy prayer for some lighter air
When we gathered in great numbers to sing and dance and jump
Sitting at the banquet table eating rich food and drinking well aged wine
Eating the marrow of life and drinking the wine strained clear
Never thinking that death could swallow this up so quickly
And the shroud would lie over so many people from so many nations

The air that bears the unweighable virus can seem so heavy
As we try to launch our saline filled cries up into the heavens
Waiting behind the high fortifications of our walls for the day
When we can open the gates in joyous celebration and lightness
For the air is no longer heavy and we can breathe freely again
For the shroud has been removed and death is swallowed up
And prayers are finally answered as tears are wiped away
The city’s life which has been placed in a coma awakens
As our lungs fill with the warm but lighter air of summer

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