REDEEMER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
July 4, 2021
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Invocation: Good morning and welcome!
Lord of mystery and community, you have called us here this day to remind us of the mission journey you set before us. Help us to pay attention to the words of Jesus as he sent out his disciples on a mission of healing and compassion. Remind us that success is not measured in the cures, but in the striving. Enable us to truly be your disciples in this world. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.
Call to Worship
L: We erect high altars and raise high steeples, but in no one place shall God be found.
P: We sing hymns and preach doctrines, but in no one word shall God be bound.
L: Our God is not bound, but our God shall build:
P: Not temples but truth, not shrines but shalom.
L: Our God is not bound, but our God shall build:
P: Not rituals but rights, not dogmas but dreams.
A: Not a space we call sacred, not a time we call holy, shall confine the works of the almighty Lord! Let us burst our bonds and break into praise, for our God is free: Our God is free! Amen
Words of Welcome and Parish News
Prayers of the people and a time for Silent Prayer
Prayer Focus: Assurance
The New Testament Gospel Lesson:
6He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3Is 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. 4Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13They cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
O God of all, we rest in the knowledge that wherever we are, there shall you be also. But that place where we dwell together — the kingdom of heaven on earth — is not an easy place in which to dwell. Help us to understand that our identity and mission must not depend on the acceptance of those who do not understand; that its success or failure must never be measured in human terms.
The Message “Rejection” Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.
People will celebrate the historical significance of July 4th, but many are seeking independence from the feeling of rejection in many places. Places of rejection can emanate in families, the workplace, the community, marriages, and unfortunately the church. The Gospel of Mark looks at a real-life experience and the challenges of going through this human experience. We read the people took offense at Jesus in his backyard sort of speak. The Message Bible translation:
1-2 He left there and returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He stole the show, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?”
3 But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?” They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further.
Rejection has a place in our beings that can bring forth many emotions. Now some people have a faith that rises to block the ill feelings of not being accepted and disappointment into a group or committee. Conversely, some people suffer various emotions from rejection that take residency in their spirit. These emotions range from failure, low self-esteem, questioning one’s self worth. Then self-worth and purpose can enter the picture. How do salespeople handle rejection? How do students handle rejection in school? How do we handle rejection from people in the church? This scenario in Jesus’s hometown may have swayed the disciples’ emotions to go forth upon seeing the reception Jesus got from the people. But Jesus knew their journey was going to be filled with rejection from some people. But Jesus gives instructions to the disciples in the event they face rejection. These instructions were a way to help them stay focused on the ministry and mission. One could say these instructions had a strategic psychological purpose. We read a couple of weeks ago the disciples were in a boat with Jesus and a windstorm came upon them. Now in this situation Jesus is preparing the disciples for the windstorm of rejection. We must be ready for the same rejection as Christians. But it shouldn’t deter our mission. Verse 13 states: “13They cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” Rejection sets off various emotions in us and we must remember to hold on to Jesus to help us save “Peace! Be Still”. We must remember that Jesus is not going to reject you, Jesus came in the flesh for us and is making a way for us right now! We can’t give up proclaiming the Good News when we face adversity. The blood of Jesus covers us!
Offertory Invitation: Holy God who both calls us and confronts us: the gifts we bring to you are only a small part of multitude we have received from your goodness. In the depth of our being, we know that in calling us, what you really seek is our faith, our belief, our conviction – our very hearts. What you long for from us is not a trip to church but a lifelong journey into the world to follow Jesus with our whole being. Forgive our unbelief, our holding back, and lead us in the way that frees us from the grip of the world – the way of life! In Christ, we pray. Amen.
Doxology: UMH 95
*Unison Prayer of Dedication: Receive these gifts we now bring, God of gifts, and bless them to be gifts for your world. Through our giving, renew others, that they too may know the comfort and rest of living in the arms of your compassion and your love. Amen.
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.
Sending Forth: Gracious God, you have made all of the peoples of the earth for your glory.
You invite us to serve you in freedom and in peace. Give to the people of our nation a zeal for justice and the strength for forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will. We ask this on a day of celebration, a day of hope for a nation made free. We ask this in the name of the one who welcomes all to be free indeed. Inspire us to live and worship in your freedom and for the sake of your kingdom. Amen.
Recessional (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music)