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July 8, 2018


AS WE GATHER… Our culture is fascinated with rebels.  Characters such as Han Solo, Ferris Bueller, and Katniss Everdeen are not perfect, but we admire how they stand up to authority.  Whether being a rebel is good or bad depends on whom one is rebelling against.  When the authority is God Almighty, rebels are not looked upon so fondly.  Israel rebelled against God, and Ezekiel told them just that.  The people of Nazareth rejected Jesus, rebelling against their own hometown prophet.  Sin is rebellion against God. Yet God forgives our rebellion through Jesus’ death and resurrection, turning our rebellion into reconciliation and rejoicing.  Despite our weaknesses and inclination to rebel, God’s grace comes to us in Jesus, and He is sufficient for us.


OPENING HYMN: “This is the Day” (2x)

This is the day, This is the day

That the Lord hath made, That the Lord hath made.

We will rejoice, We will rejoice

And be glad in it,  And be glad in it,

This is the day that the Lord hath made,

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day, This is the day

That the Lord hath made.


OPENING WORDS                                                        Psalm 143

P:  Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy!

C: In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! 

P:  Enter not into judgment with your servant,

C: For no one living is righteous before you. 

P:  I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done;

C: I ponder the work of your hands.

P:  Answer me quickly, O Lord!  My spirit fails!

C: Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.

P:  Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, FOR IN YOU I TRUST!

C: Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul!                   


P:  God wants us to be certain about our standing before Him.  In today’s passage from Ephesians, we are reminded of God’s good intentions for us personally: “He chose us in him before the foundations of the world.”  This passage, however, does not give us the right to judge others and their standing before God.  During our time of silence today, we reflect on the ways we have fallen short by being too quick to judge others.


P:  We confess…

C: Lord, we confess that we have missed the mark.  Wanting us to claim our position before You…we have instead focused on where other people should be in their standing with You.  Too often we have kept track of the shortcomings of others and their faults.  Too often we have forgotten to keep track of the goodness You daily provide right before us.  Give us a new heart today—one that trusts You to be the judge of all living things.   

P:  God, our heavenly Creator, hears the prayers of all people and answers those prayers.  Our prayer for forgiveness is answered in the person of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who died for our sin that we might have new life.  The distance between God and ourselves has been brought together by love made perfect in the sacrifice of Jesus.  To those who believe God’s word of truth comes the power to be the people of God.  Praise God for the gift of love to us.

C: Amen. 

HYMN OF PRAISE: “To God Be the Glory”

To God be the glory—great things He hath done!

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,

Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,

And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice!

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,

And give Him the glory—great things He hath done!


Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,

And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;

But purer, and higher, and great will be

Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice!

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,

And give Him the glory—great things He hath done!



P:  Let us Pray…Almighty God, Your grace is sufficient for us.  When we are weak and suffering, point us back to You, our source of strength and comfort, that we rejoice in Your power, mercy, and grace, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

C: Amen. 


Old Testament:                                                      Ezekiel 2:1-5

Ezekiel is sent to Israel, a nation of rebels, with God’s Word.

And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.


Epistle:                                                    2 Corinthians 12:1-10 

We rejoice in our weaknesses because they showcase the power, mercy, and grace of Christ.

 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.



GOSPEL:                                                                 Mark 6:1-13

Jesus is rejected in His hometown but sends out the twelve disciples.

    He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

And he went about among the villages teaching.

And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.


SERMON HYMN “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

Come, thou fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.

While the hope of endless glory Fills my heart with joy and love,

Teach me ever to adore thee; May I still thy goodness prove.


Here I raise my Ebenezer, Hither by thy help I’m come;

And I hope, by thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger Wand’ring from the fold of God;

He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed his precious blood.


Oh, to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be;

Let that grace now like a fetter Bind my wand’ring heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; Prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it; Seal it for thy courts above.




C: 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 was born of the virgin Mary. 

           He suffered under Pontius Pilate. 

                  Was crucified, died, and was buried.

           He descended into hell.

           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 Christian Church,

           The communion of saints,

           The forgiveness of sins,

           The resurrection of the body,

           And the life everlasting.  Amen.



We offer our thanksgiving for what God has first given us—our selves, our time, our possessions.





P:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.

For children and infants, that they be raised by faithful parents and guardians, and grow in strength and in knowledge of the Lord, let us pray to the Lord.

C: Lord, have mercy. 

P:  For those in power, especially elected officials, that they would treat those under their power with justice and compassion, let us pray to the Lord.

C: Lord, have mercy. 

P:  For the elderly and homebound, that God would strengthen them through His Word and their friends and family, let us pray to the Lord.

C: Lord, have mercy. 

P:  For the leaders of this congregation, that God would send His guidance and wisdom for the benefit of this congregation and community, let us pray to the Lord.

C: Lord, have mercy. 

P:  For those who are sick and recovering, (especially…), that they rely on the all-sufficient grace of Christ, let us pray to the Lord.

C: Lord, have mercy. 

P:  Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your power, mercy, and grace.

C: Amen. 



P:  The Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.  The Lord look upon you with favor and + give you peace.

C: Amen. 


CLOSING HYMN: “How Firm a Foundation”

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,

is laid for your faith in God’s excellent Word!

What more can be said than to you God hath said,

to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?


“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,

for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.


“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;

the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.


Through out all their life time my people shall prove

My sovereign eternal , unchangeable love;

Amd then, when gray hairs shall their temples adorn,

Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be home.



P:  Go in Peace.  Serve the Lord.

C:  Thanks be to God.