Church Services



April 26, 2020


Third Sunday of Easter

Call to Worship

Leader: Let us come together all who know and love the living Lord!

People: For God so loved each one of us that Christ died on our behalf.

Leader: And Christ lives today and is with us wherever we might be.

People: Let us open our hearts and let the Lord's love reign in us forever!

Leader: And let our voices sing out with praise for God's mercy and grace!

All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!


Opening Prayer: O God, You have always been so faithful in Your promise to walk with us and be our guide in life. Lord, help us have the eyes to know Your presence and the ears to hear Your words of guidance. In Christ we pray. Amen.


Opening Hymn: "When We Walk with the Lord" (Trust and Obey)


"When We Walk with the Lord" played by Kayley Thomas

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.


Refrain:

Trust and obey, for there's no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.


Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,

But His smile quickly drives it away;

Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,

Can abide while we trust and obey.


Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,

But our toil He doth richly repay;

Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,

But is blessed if we trust and obey.


But we never can prove the delights of His love

Until all on the altar we lay;

For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,

Are for them who will trust and obey.


Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,

Or we'll walk by His side in the way;

What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;

Never fear, only trust and obey.


Joys

-For all the birthdays this month especially those over 90 years old; Wanda Haines, Bertha Fridley, and today, Neisel Palmer.

-It looks like things are starting to open up from the virus

-Barbara O'Bryan has finished with her radiation

-Hopewell Congregation seems to be doing well in isolation


Concerns

-Those who are working in Hospitals, doctor's offices, in the prisons, the first responders, maintenance people, and all of those who are going into work.

-Those who have lost jobs and those wondering how they will survive

-Those who are ill, those who have lost loved ones

-Those who are alone and those who cannot find any alone time

-Those in nursing facilities, their families, and the staff of those facilities

-Those of us looking for answers and those of us who believe they have all the answers

-For our leaders and our world

-For those who were served at the food pantries and those who were serving


Gracious God, we give you thanks that You sent Your one and only Son into the world. We thank you for all Jesus taught and teaches us. We thank You, death could not hold Jesus and that Your Son lives and reigns with You forever! We thank You, you reveal Yourself to us in ordinary ways, and through the miraculous ways of nature, healing and life itself.

We pray for the forgiveness of our sins of commission and omission...

We pray for all the concerns mention and the concerns we hold in our thoughts and hearts...

We thank You for giving us joy and ask that we let no one take our joy.

We thank you for the goodness of each day and we pray we show others your love.

Father, open our eyes that we may always see Jesus. Help us to look upward in faith regardless of what happens around us. Keep it fresh in our minds that if we are called to your purpose, we can know that good will come of our circumstances. Amen.


We pray with the confidence of Children Of God, as we pray...


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. Amen.


Hymn: "Where He Leads Me"


"Where He Leads Me" played by Kayley Thomas

I can hear my Savior calling,

I can hear my Savior calling,

I can hear my Savior calling,

"Take thy cross and follow, follow Me."


Refrain:

Where He leads me I will follow,

Where He leads me I will follow,

Where He leads me I will follow,

I'll go with Him, with Him all the way.


I'll go with Him through the waters,

I'll go with Him through the waters,

I'll go with Him through the waters,

I'll go with Him, with Him all the way.


I'll go with Him through the garden,

I'll go with Him through the garden,

I'll go with Him through the garden,

I'll go with Him, with Him all the way.


I'll go with Him to dark Calv'ry,

I'll go with Him to dark Calv'ry,

I'll go with Him to dark Calv'ry,

I'll go with Him, with Him all the way.


I'll go with Him to the judgment,

I'll go with Him to the judgment,

I'll go with Him to the judgment,

I'll go with Him, with Him all the way.


He will give me grace and glory,

He will give me grace and glory,

He will give me grace and glory,

And go with me, with me all the way.


Readings for the Day: Acts 2:14a, 36-41, Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19, 1 Peter 1:17-23,

Luke 24:13-35


On the Road to Emmaus

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?"

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?"

19 "What things?" he asked.

"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus."

25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.


Sermon: "When We Meet The Risen Christ, Our Lives Can Be Changed"


The day of Jesus' resurrection, two disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were walking along, discussing the recent events in Jerusalem when Jesus came beside them. They were kept from recognizing him. What veiled their eyes that they did not know Jesus after years of working with him? Was it disappointment, bitterness, shame or all those feelings combined? Is our vision dimmed when our plans fail? Are we unable to see Jesus when our hopes are dashed?


First, Jesus lets them and us see life in a whole new way. As they left Jerusalem, all they could think about was the hate and evil that twisted the evidence against an innocent man, the duplicity of the priests who professed to have murdered Jesus for the security of the nation, and the unconcern attitude of the soldiers as they nailed Jesus to the cross. For them, the darkness of evil seemed to cover their entire world. It isn't hard in our own time to see a world that is very similar to the world those disciples saw that Easter evening. Ours is still a world filled with evil, cruelty, injustice, hatred and greed. It is a world where sometimes God seems totally absent! "Ours is a bad news world, but that is precisely where the Risen Christ meets us. In the midst of our despair, Christ comes, not like Superman to right all the wrongs, but rather as a strengthening presence who opens our eyes, and lets us glimpse life from a different perspective. It is the Living Christ who lets us see the possibilities in the midst of our problems, and who reminds us, "though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet." (God's Time And Ours, A. Leonard Griffith, Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 1964, page 117.) Easter is God's reminder to the world ,it is not the forces of evil, but rather the power Lord God who is all-powerful and has the Kingdom with no end. For those two despairing disciples, their whole way of looking at life changed when they realized Jesus was alive! He had risen from the dead! Their Messiah had broken the chains of hell and death!


The second change that the Risen Christ brought to those two anguishing disciples on Easter eve and to us was, and is a new joy. Christianity is by far the most joyous of all the great faiths in this world. That joy is based on the fact of Jesus' resurrection, and the amazing promise that "not even death can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ." In Christ, we are given a glimpse of eternity. We can believe that not even our death is the end of our life's story! We can trust to believe that the same power that raised Jesus from the grave is available to us right now in whatever we are facing! I am always saddened when that note of joy is missing in our lives.


Do you remember the old story of the little boy who was sitting in Sunday worship, smiling at all the people around him? Mind you, he was not making a scene, he was not screaming, nor was he tearing the pages out of the brand new hymnals! He was just smiling with delight and wonder. But apparently his mother thought smiling in church was a sin. So in a stage whisper that could be heard all over the church, she said to the child, "Stop that grinning -- you're in church!" As the tears began to roll down his little cheeks, the mother straightened herself in her seat and murmured, "Now, that's much better."


How sad when even the followers of Jesus have missed the joy of what this day really means! Jesus' resurrection means for us the power to begin living eternal life right now! It means that the Living Christ is saying to our hearts, "My love can cleanse any sin... my power can help you face whatever it is that you are facing... my victory over death can even take away your fear of dying. Because of the resurrection of Christ, death is in kind of birth into a new and even richer life than we can possibly imagine. The joy of Easter is that glimpse into eternity which comes when Jesus is not only risen, but when we see Him and claim Him as our Savior.


There is one other change that the Risen Christ brought to those two disciples in Emmaus on that Easter evening so long ago. When they recognized Jesus, the disciples suddenly had a new task of telling the good news that Christ is alive to all who would listen. Suddenly the disciples with their disappointment and tired feet, which had barely carried them to Emmaus, were invigorated! They ran the seven miles back to Jerusalem with the incredible good news, "We have seen the Lord!" Their experience with the Risen Christ gave them a calling that would motivate them for the rest of their days. It is the Living Christ who calls us now to bring "good news" to our bad news world.


Walking. Talking. Extending an invitation. Sharing a meal. It all sounds so routine, so ordinary!


We would expect the appearances of Jesus to be extraordinary. But then again, how often are our lives extraordinary? Most of the time, the events of our lives are quite ordinary. Jesus meets us in the ordinary, the routine, the every day. In simple acts of walking, talking and sharing meals, Jesus was revealed to the men on the road to Emmaus and can be revealed to us. When we reach beyond ourselves to help others, Jesus, may you be revealed. Dear Jesus, help us to see the signs of your presence in our ordinary lives, in the sharing of the "good news" with others, and especially in the breaking of the bread. Amen.


Closing Hymn: "Open My Eyes, That I May See"


Open my eyes, that I may see

Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;

Place in my hands the wonderful key

That shall unclasp and set me free.


Refrain 1:

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my eyes, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Open my ears, that I may hear

Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;

And while the wave notes fall on my ear,

Everything false will disappear.


Refrain 2:

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my ears, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Open my mind, that I may read

More of Thy love in word and deed;

What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?

Only for light from Thee I plead.


Refrain 3:

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my mind, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Open my mouth, and let me bear,

Gladly the warm truth everywhere;

Open my heart and let me prepare

Love with Thy children thus to share.


Refrain 4:

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my heart, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Benediction: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." (Num. 6:24-26)


Choral Benediction: Go now in peace, go now in peace; may the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go.


"Go Now in Peace" played by Kayley Thomas