SEE DOWNLOADED VIDEOS OF MUSIC LINKS APPEARING IN THE ORDER OF SERVICE ON THE GIFT OF MUSIC PAGE!

SUNDAY FEB 21 2021

ANNOUNCMENTS:

  1. Birthdays and anniversaries.   Remember to let Melody know your birthday or anniversary.
  2. ZOOM Bible study –  Monday at 7pm.
  3. ZOOM Coffee time/Bible study  – Last Session:  The Difference Jesus Makes, from Philip Yancey’s “The Jesus I Never Knew”
  4. READ THE BIBLE IN A YEAR: WEEK 13. Starting February 21

Sunday:             1Corinthians 9-10;

Monday:            Genesis 48-50;

Tuesday:            1 Samuel 11-15

Wednesday:        Psalms 36-38;

Thursday:           Job 25-26;

Friday:               Jeremiah 1-6;

Saturday:           Mark 5-6

  1. UPCOMING DATES:   

**Annual Meeting ( ?? ZOOM)  TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 21 TIME TBD

**Feb 26. What do you think about Family games night via ZOOM the last Friday of each month?  Let’s try it this month and see how it goes.  Scattergories will be the game.

MISSION STATEMENT

We are a group of followers of Jesus Christ, worshipping Jesus Christ as Lord, making God’s love known to all ages through joyful, warm worship and compassionate caring for one another, our community, and God’s creation.

GATHERING MOMENT– Psalm 51 https://youtu.be/noUeQQ64Q1I

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

OPENING PRAYER & THE LORD’S  PRAYER

God, walk with me on this Lenten journey, as I dare to take a long, hard look at myself, my life, and my relationships – with You, with others, and with the world around me.  Help me clear a path through the clutter of my life, that distracts and deters me from You. Help me silence all the noise that shuts you out. Help me make room for you – in my life, in my heart, and in my soul, so that you alone are my focus.  Help me know You, even as I am fully known. Help me love you, and know the enormous love you have for me. Change me, and place me on the paths that lead to life, and fill me with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE (Thank you, Brenda!)

READING   Matthew 6:25-34   Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[a] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[b] 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God[c] and his[d] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

SING ALONG :  As a Deer Pants for the Water  Voices United 766

REFLECTION:  “Love So Rich in Provision” In his great love, God richly provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.

(From Concordia Seminary Lenten Sermon Series – O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High- Copyright © 2021, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, and Thomas Egger. Permission granted to the purchaser for congregational use. Any other republication or redistribution requires written permission from Concordia)

This Lenten season, we will be following a sermon series,  called, O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High, which is based on Ephesians 3:18-19, where Paul says: “I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Just how big is God’s love for us?

Think of something big.

An elephant? Too small.

How about a blue whale, 100 feet long? Still way too small!

 A skyscraper? A cruise ship? A mountain? The earth?

The universe?  According to current scientific estimates, the universe is 93 million light years in diameter. That means that if a really bright light were turned on at one far end of the universe, it would take that light 93 million years to reach the other end. And light travels pretty fast; it travels at the speed of light!

God’s love for us is faster than that – and God’s love for us is bigger 93 light years in diameter. 

God’s love for us is bigger than our imagination or our understanding.

Lent could not be better spent than taking time to reflect on just how much God loves us – and the height and depth and breadth and length of that love.  

But, do we ever stop and really think about that? Do we ever really realize it? 

Jesus says, in our passage this morning, that if we did, then we wouldn’t have to worry so much.

How many of you are worriers?

It is hard to tell a worrier not to worry. A worrier will always find things to worry about. 

What do you worry about? 

In the passage today, we hear about a few of our greatest worries –

  1. We worry about tomorrow. About the future. How many of you worry about tomorrow?

The problem worrying about tomorrow is this –  when we spend our today worrying so much about tomorrow,  we can’t fully live our today. We miss today’s opportunities because we are preoccupied with tomorrow’s what ifs . We waste time and energy worrying about things that might never ever happen.   We are less productive and accomplish less.

Worry never climbed a hill,

Worry never paid a bill,

Worry never dried a tear,

Worry never calmed a fear.

Worry never fixed a heal,

Worry never cooked a meal,

Worry never composed a song to sing,

Actually, worry never did a worthwhile thing.

Jesus tells us in verse 34, “Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 

Arthur Rank, an English executive decided to do something about his worrying.  He decided to do all his worrying on one day each week. He chose Wednesdays. When anything happened that gave him anxiety and annoyed his ulcer, he would write it down and put it in his worry box and forget about it until next Wednesday.   The interesting thing was that on the following Wednesday when he opened his worry box, he found that most of the things that had disturbed him the past six days were already settled. It would have been useless to have worried about them.

We worry about tomorrow, like it’s promised. But tomorrow is not promised. None of us know if we will even have a tomorrow.  All we have is today, that is why it is called the present, and we have to get the most out of every today we have.

God loves us so much that we shouldn’t worry so much about tomorrow.

Think of the words of the old hymn:
I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey
I don’t worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I’ll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand

  • We worry about physical things.

Do you ever worry about where the next meal is coming from? Or where a new pair of boots or a new winter coat will come from?  Do you ever worry about how you look and what you wear?

There is a famous Christian cosmologist named Guy Consolmagno. He is the director of the Vatican Observatory. Brother Consolmagno is involved in all kinds of astronomical research, but his particular specialty, for years, has been meteorites. He wrote an essay recently in which he describes the joy that he finds, spiritual joy even, in them. “My meteorites are indeed crying out ‘Glory!’ and beckoning our silent planet to awaken and sing to the Lord once more,” he writes. “I do experiments in my lab just because I love doing the work. I mean, meteorites! What’s not to love? I know now that the love I experience is derived ultimately from the Creator of the rocks that I experiment with, who is also the God of love.” Brother Consolmagno loves learning about creation, because he has come realize that the every part of creation is full of the love of the Creator, of God.

If we want to see how much God loves us, take a look at creation, and see how God’s love is reflected back.  Jesus says – take a look at the bird of the air. They neither sow nor reap. Yet, they are never hungry, because God gives them all the food they need to live and thrive.  God’s love is shown for the birds by how God provides for them, and nurtures and feeds them.

And then there are the lilies of the fields. Jesus says the lilies, too,  neither toil nor spin, yet they are even more beautiful than even Solomon all dressed up in his royal robes. Not because of anything they do – but because God loves them so much that he “dresses” them beautifully. God’s love for the lillies is shown by how God provides for them and makes them beautiful.

You see – If the birds are fed by God and the flowers are dressed by God,  why would we think that God, who loves us so much, will not care for and provide for us?

In verse 25. Jesus says,  “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

Instead, Jesus says, “strive first for the kingdom of God, and all these things will be given to you.”

God is enough.  God will provide. Because God loves us so much.

Can we see that?

The questions we need to be asking ourselves are these:

Do we trust enough in God to worry less ?

Do we truly believe that God loves us enough to provide for us always?

Do we have faith in God whose love for us is wonderfully deep and broad and high, or do we have little faith?

This Lenten season…it is good to think upon God’s enormous and amazing and wonderful love for us. A love that is O so high, so broad, so deep.  Because, when we realize how much God loves us, we might be able to trust more, worry less, and live in the fullness of this moment, and this day.  

VIDEO

May God grant us eyes to recognize God’s enormous love for us. Rest assured that God loves us enough to provide for our every need, today, tomorrow and always. Believe. Have faith. Love is enough.  Amen.

[The quotation at the beginning of the sermon is from Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, “The Stones Cry Glory,” in The Story of the Cosmos: How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God, ed. Paul M. Gould and Daniel Ray (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2019), 37–50.]

MUSICAL INTERLUDE (Thank you, Brenda)

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

VIDEO: How Deep the Father’s Love    https://youtu.be/SKDujmtyAVk

BENEDICTION    Let the witness, and the experience, of the love of God, make you want to live love. Let the peace of Christ be the soothing balm that calms your spirit, in times of challenge and suffering.  Let the Holy Spirit be the beacon of light that points you to God, to wisdom, to hope, and to a fullness of life. Now and always. Amen.   

DISMISSAL Go now in peace, never be afraid. God will go with you each hour of every day.

Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true. Know He will guide you in all you do.

Go now in love and show you believe. Reach out to others so all the world can seeGod will be there, watching from above. Go now in peace, in faith, and in love.  Amen