Sunday, April 19th 2020
“Worship from Home”
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Brothers and Sisters; Grace and Peace to you! Welcome to worship from home. I am glad you are able to join me this morning as we bring glory, honour and praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. No matter where you are this morning, what you are wearing, how you are feeling, or what you may be dealing with; know that you are welcome here. Let’s prepare our hearts and minds for worship to our Lord.
Call to Worship: (Psalm 63:1-3)
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
Oh Holy Lord, you are worthy of all of our praises. You reign in majesty above us and are our Lord forever. We thank you for allowing us to be graced by your presence today, hallowed be your name. Accept our love and adoration in Jesus’ name. We pray, Father that you will always light our way with your presence. May all people see your glory through us and come to worship you as the living God. This we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen!
Worship in Song:
In whatever way, sitting, standing, listening, meditating or singing, I invite you to join me in some songs of praise this morning. Just click the link and it should bring you to our music this morning. Let’s sing to the Lord.
Prayers of the People
Gracious God, we offer thanks for this day and for the opportunity to worship you, even in this way online. During this time, may we be able to put aside the concerns of our daily lives, let go of all the things that stir up worries and simply be present here to your Spirit and your words. With all the happenings in our communities, may we remember the words of your psalm: “May we be still and know that you are God.” Lord, we bring to you our concerns for peace in our community and the world. We think of those who are still at work and we pray for their safety. May you protect their families. For those affected in nursing homes, I pray that you would be with the residents and all the care workers. Be with those who have experienced a death at this very trying time and I pray that you would bring only a peace that comes from you. May those affected be assured of your presence today and may they feel your comfort. For those who are feeling overwhelmed and impatient during this time, I pray that you would surround them with your love and remind them that there is hope. We can know this because Jesus is alive and is victorious over death. Through your strength and power, teach us to be still yet again and know that you are God. For those in our church family who is suffering through anxiety, depression, uncertainty, facing illness, I pray that you would comfort them. Thank you, Lord, for being the great comforter. Remind them of your love for them. Jesus paid it all for us, and we thank you for that gift! May we always remember what He did for us. We can have hope, because He is living hope. Thank you for this time we can share with our church family over media. It can be a blessing! May you bless each home today. Bless our hearts and open our eyes, ears and heart to your Word. This we offer in Jesus’ name, Amen.
“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.” For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Devotion: “What’s More Important?”
Here we are…the week after Easter. There are many people who assume that Easter is finished for another year. They had their Easter dinner, they observed the meaning of the holiday (in a different way this year), and stated that it is done! I read a post on Facebook recently that said “Easter is over, now what?” The fact is that it has only just begun. Friends, we serve a Risen Saviour! Just because the ‘holiday’ has passed, the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection has not! Last week, someone asked me “What do you suppose is more important? Christmas or Easter?” To be honest, all I could say is that they are both important. They are both the most joyful celebrations of the year for Christians. Most churches focuses a great deal on Advent leading to Christmas and Lent leading to Easter.
I came across a daily bread reflection quite some time ago along the same topic. It said that a woman walked into church on Easter morning and said “Happy Christmas”, and corrected herself by saying “Happy Easter.” Her friend smiled and said “Can’t have one without the other.” At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation (how God took on flesh and came into the world) because the world was in need of a Saviour. John 3:16 explains this is how God loves the world: He gave His Son!
At Easter, we celebrate that Jesus is not here…He is not dead…. He defeated death in our place. He lives! You see, both of these events were part of God’s great plan from the beginning of time. Jesus was born to die on the cross for our sins and to conquer death so that we could live. Which event is more important? Both are essential and it points us to the love of our Father! Easter is not finished just because the stores have stopped selling chocolates and the date of Easter has passed. Easter continues because we serve a Risen Saviour who has suffered on the cross of Calvary so we could have everlasting fellowship with the Father. These events prove how much God loves us.
‘He loves me!’ Say that aloud, believe and trust that promise and spread it to those who are struggling with hope today. Amid the turmoil and storm, know that He lovingly walks beside us and leads us through it all. Jesus is our hope! I read that “Christmas and Easter are two chapters of the same book.” Through both of these celebrations, it points us to His great love for us. Stand firm today knowing that no matter what the world throws at us, Christ is our sure and steady anchor. Not even death could contain Him. In our weakness, rest in His strength. In our hopelessness, rest in His hope. When we are lost, remember His love. He has risen for you and me. Because He lives, we have the hope of eternal life through Jesus’ power over death. Amen.
Let’s lift our voices once more this morning! Brothers and Sisters, remember, no matter what you are going through today, know that Jesus loves you. How Deep is His love, How Vast it is beyond ALL measures, that He would give His only Son, to make a wretch (us) His treasure! Wow…what love.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
***God Bless you! Anytime you would like prayer or if you have a prayer request, I am only a phone call or e-mail away. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a blessed Lord’s day, and stay safe.
– Pastor Stephen Wheaton