The Liturgy from worship at Church of the Savior, January 19, 2020
Call to Worship - Based on Psalm 19 and 1 Corinthians 1
How does God speak to us?
Not with a voice like mere mortals,
yet God speaks in many ways.
In the bountiful creation around us:
“The midnight skies tell of God’s glory,
the midday sun displays holy handiwork.
Each new day speaks God’s language,
and night after night knows more than it can tell.”
Yet it is the cross of Jesus where God speaks most profoundly:
“The talk of the cross sounds absurd
to those who think they are sophisticated,
but for us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
Let the way we speak and the way we think be acceptable in your sight,
O God our strength and our redeemer.
Opening Song of Praise: There is a Redeemer
Welcome and Greeting
Installation of Office Bearers
Every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jed Fisher, John Haas, Jeremy Dykstra, Jake Schepers and Troy Rhodes served God faithfully in their positions of Elders or Deacons, and are now finished with their terms. Thank you for your service! God is now calling Christina Rhebergen and JoAnn Pamachena to the office of elder, and Molly Riemersma and Anita Blom to the office of Deacon. Chris invites Stephen and new office bearers to come forward. Christina, JoAnn, Molly, and Anita all stand on one side of Stephen and Chris.
In the name of Jesus Christ you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely. As elders and deacons in the Church, you are to study the Holy Scriptures, to seek nourishment from them, and to model your life upon them. You are to provide humble leadership and guidance to the congregation, watching over Christ’s church and helping it fulfill its mission. You are to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship. You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. We ask you now to make your vows of commitment to these offices and to the life of humble leadership to which Christ has called you.
Chris: Will you be faithful in prayer, and in the reading and study of the Holy Scriptures?
Will you look for Christ in others, being ready to heal and serve those in need?
Will you do your best to pattern your life in accordance with the teachings of Christ and the guiding of the Holy Spirit, so that you may be a wholesome example to all people?
Will you in all things seek not your glory but the glory of the Lord?
People of God, do you receive these office bearers as Christ’s gift to the church? Will you hold them in honor, take their counsel seriously, respond to them with obedience and respect, and accept their help with thanks? Will you promise to sustain them with your prayers and support, especially when they feel the burden of their office?
We do, God helping us.
Laying on of Hands
Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, pour out your Holy Spirit on Christina, JoAnn, Molly, and Anita. Fill them with grace and power, to serve in your Church. Make them modest and humble, and strong and constant, to bear the yoke of Christ. Let their life and teaching so reflect your commandments, that through them many may come to know you and love you. As your Son came not to be served but to serve, may they share in Christ's service, and come to the unending glory of him who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Opening Song of Praise: Come, Celebrate the Call of God
Call to Confession
Prayer of Confession
Merciful God, we confess at times we boast.
We boast of our own achievements, rather than what you accomplish through us.
We fall into the trap of thinking we are capable of doing anything by ourselves, without you.
Forgive us when we ignore you and depend on our own strength to do things our own way.
We do not take every thought captive.
We allow our minds to linger over things that do not bring you glory, and do not honor those around us.
Forgive our careless thoughts, help us focus on you.
The Bible tells us about power being made perfect in weakness.
But we do not allow our weaknesses to show, even to you.
Forgive us for our lack of faith that you can use our weaknesses for your glory.
The apostle Paul boasts of his weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in him.
We are afraid of feeling vulnerable, even with our creator.
Forgive us for not allowing Christ into our lives as often as we could.
Jesus says “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
Fill our lives with your grace, Lord, so that we can affirm
that we are content with weaknesses for your sake.
Fill us with the knowledge that it is when we allow ourselves to be empowered by you,
that we are truly strong. Amen. Liturgists should sit on the bench on the platform
Song of Confession: Good to Me
Assurance of Pardon - based on 2 Corinthians 12
Hear again the good news: that Jesus’ grace is sufficient for us all—
sufficient for us to be forgiven in his name.
Receive that grace and rejoice in the power to live in his strength.
Thanks be to God! Amen
Passing the Peace
May the peace of the Lord be with you. And also with you.
Song of Praise: Your Grace is Enough
Offerings of Thanksgiving
First Offering: Church of the Savior General Fund
Second Offering: Church of the Savior Benevolence Fund
Offering of Music
HEARING THE WORD
Children’s Message - Chris Rea
Prayer for Illumination
Oh Lord, open our minds and our hearts that we may hear and receive what You have for us today. Amen
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
I myself, Paul, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold towards you when I am away!— I ask that when I am present I need not show boldness by daring to oppose those who think we are acting according to human standards. Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. We are ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete.
Look at what is before your eyes. If you are confident that you belong to Christ, remind yourself of this, that just as you belong to Christ, so also do we. Now, even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem as though I am trying to frighten you with my letters. For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.’ Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we will also do when present.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense. We, however, will not boast beyond limits, but will keep within the field that God has assigned to us, to reach out even as far as you. For we were not overstepping our limits when we reached you; we were the first to come all the way to you with the good news of Christ. We do not boast beyond limits, that is, in the labours of others; but our hope is that, as your faith increases, our sphere of action among you may be greatly enlarged, so that we may proclaim the good news in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in someone else’s sphere of action. ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ For it is not those who commend themselves that are approved, but those whom the Lord commends.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Those Whom the Lord Commends
Song of Response: Speak, O Lord
Congregational Prayer - Chris Rea
Eternal God and Father,
by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed:
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we may give ourselves to your service,
and live this day in love to one another and to you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen
Closing Song: God, The Father of Your People