REDEEMER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
October 10, 2021
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Invocation: Good morning and welcome!
We are called to be the Church: to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Call to Worship
Leader: Listen, for the voice of God comes near!
People: Listen, for God’s voice is not obtrusive.
Leader: We come to worship the God who became one of us,
People: Who calls us by name,
Leader: Who is Love Incarnate,
People: Who is!
Leader: Let us gather in joy and hope –
People: Let us worship the God of Love!
Silent meditation and prayer
Prayer Focus: Encouragement
The Lord’s Prayer
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, for ever and ever. Amen.
The New Testament Lesson: Hebrews 4:12-16 (NRSV)
12Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. 14Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The New Testament Gospel Lesson: John 1:1-4, &14
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
The Message “A Mighty Word” Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.
What do we use words for in life? Sometimes we use words for prayer, instructional purposes, guidance, encouragement, lyrics in songs, and during a crisis, we need a word. However, on the flip side words can deflate, harm, discourage, and attack the flesh through the mind. People use words to create biases, division, hinder people from being optimistic, and get in the way of hope. The author of this epistle had a powerful word to share with us. Now focusing Hebrew’s verse 12:
12Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
This is a powerful description of the Word of God. This word of God is living and active. Have you ever wondered what you speak may have an extraordinary impact on people? In many struggles we walk through in life, we need a word to help us through. Pastors must bring a word of comfort during a grieving moment. There are people in hospitals right now hearing words used for diagnosis, people living through brokenness, storms, and life’s complications. Words can hinder, discourage, hurt, and harm. Words can deflate a person’s identity. The Bible gives us a window to understand the Word of God. Hebrews says the Word of God is living and active. Well, let us go back and relate a word to this statement. The Gospel of John chapter 1 has some powerful words:
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
We have a powerful Word with us to guide us, provide that needed encouragement, and lift our bruised identities, and soothe our sorrow. This Word is Jesus who wants the best for us. There is so much negativity in the world that we must be able to see this Word of God. Jesus is the answer. Jesus is alive and lives with us. You are never alone. You can take all things in faith to Jesus. We have a way to get through a bad day. There is shelter from the pain. You must reach out and let the Word speak to your heart. Do you believe God is speaking to you? Jesus, the living Word knows your situation. Sometimes we might want to scream do you hear me? The answer is yes! Amen!
Offertory Prayer: Mighty God, deserving of all honor and praise: we bring our gifts this morning, remembering that the offering you truly seek is the offering of our whole lives. Help us, we pray, to live a life that is worthy in your sight. When we struggle and stumble, help us up and put us on the path.
Doxology: UMH 95
Unison Prayer of Dedication: As we bring these gifts to your altar, give us the eyes to see and the hearts to know that you never desert us and never send us away in need. In the name of your Son who came to remind us of your closeness and to give his life so that ours might be eternal. Amen.
Recessional (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music)