MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship Sunday February 7 2021
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Psalm 147:1–11ESV

  • Seek Ye First
  • In The Garden
  • I Need Thee Every Hour
  • Back in my seminary days, sometime in the last millenium, a fellow student shared what he called his “life verse.” To him it was a verse that summed up what his life was about. Then he shared with me Jeremiah 20:9
    Jeremiah 20:9 ESV
    If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
    The one that Jeremiah was being asked not to speak of was our Creator God. And he could not keep it in. He could not help himself, but to speak of God.
    Have you ever known something so amazing that you couldn’t contain yourself, you had to share it with others? Maybe it was to boast about your children or grandchildren. Maybe it was about an incredible deal you knew about. Maybe it was an experience you just had to tell others about.
    If you can relate to that, I think todays message will be something you can relate to.
    Le’s pray:
    Lord God, Creator of all things, we have come here this morning to praise your Holy Name and to hear from Your Holy Word. So Lord we ask you in this moment to help us focus and to hear the words you have for us. Help us to understand your message to us, Lord, and move us to action Lord. Don’t let your Word come back void. We invite you to speak Lord, for your servants are listening. AMEN.

    Knowing

    Our Old Testament reading is one that became familiar to many through its use in the movie Chariots of Fire. It’s from Isaiah chapter 40, here these words:
    Isaiah 40:21–31 ESV
    Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
    Our New Testament reading today, comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23.
    1 Corinthians 9:16–23 ESV
    For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
    Finally, our Gospel Reading from Mark, chapter 1, verses 29-39
    Mark 1:29–39 ESV
    And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
    These are readings from God’s Holy Word.
    Thanks be to God.

    Knowing

    We read from Isaiah the questions:
    Do you not know? Do you not hear?
    Has it not been told to you? Have you not understood from the beginning?
    Have you not known? Have you not heard?
    These questions beg for answers. And how do we answer?
    How do we answer as a greater society?
    How do we answer as a nation?
    How do we answer as a community?
    How do we answer as a church?
    How do we answer in our household?
    How do we answer in our own heart?
    You see until we answer in our own heart, we cannot answer as a household nor a church, etc.
    What is it we are to know and understand?
    Isaiah 40:22–23 ESV
    It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
    It is God who sits above the circle of the earth, he spread out the heavens, he brings princes out nothing and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
    It is God who is control.
    The entire population of the earth is like grasshoppers to God. And God provides us our place to dwell in.

    Do you know?

    One of the great problems in our culture is they give a subtle nod to a mythological, etherial, god out there somewhere; but they do not believe in, nor know, their Creator God.
    People say things like “you’re in my thoughts and prayers” without recognizing their thoughts may be their own, but who receives their prayers?
    They cry out the words, “Oh My God!” without ever recognizing who or what their god is?
    Is it a golden calf or some other idol?
    Is it money?
    Is it success?
    Whatever they might say it is do their lives reflect this belief? How?
    Let’s get back to our selves.
    Do you know?
    Do you know our Creator God as the one who made everything?
    Do you know our God does not tire or grow weary?
    Do you know God as the one who strengthens you in tough times?
    Do you know God as the one who renews you day by day?
    Do you know God as your salvation?
    Do you know God as your healer?

    So what?

    Last week in our Gospel reading we read how the demons cried out and knew exactly who Jesus was. Mark 1:24. We learned of his power over all the dark forces of this world.
    This week we learn of Jesus healing touch and he continues to cast out the demons, v. 34
    Mark 1:34 ESV
    And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
    It’s interesting to note that the demons knew him, but the disciples and the leaders were still trying to figure out who he was.

    So what?

    So what difference does it make for you and I to know God as:
    Creator of all things,
    the one who strengthens us
    the one who renews us
    our salvation
    our healing?
    What difference does it make? It makes all the difference. It makes a difference in the way I treat other people. It makes a difference in how I spend my money. It makes a difference in my daily conversation.
    Remember the words of Paul in our reading this morning?
    1 Corinthians 9:16 ESV
    For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
    It sounds remarkably like Jeremiah’s words:
    Jeremiah 20:9 ESV
    If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
    You may look at yourself and think you’re no different than your neighbor who does not have faith. The truth is, you are. You are different. You were bought with a price. You’ve been given a precious gift, and you have that gift to share.
    As we prepare for Communion I want us to remind ourselves that the gift we’ve been given is not limited. It is not like a box of candy that if we share there is less for us. No. To share it only makes the joy of having this gift that much better.
    John wrote in his first pastoral letter:
    1 John 1:1–4 ESV
    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
    Now in our day and age, we have not seen Jesus, we have not touched him - but we’ve heard from the Holy Word about Him, and read his word recorded. We have believed, and sharing that with others only makes our joy complete.
    As we fill up on the love and grace of God offered to us in Christ Jesus, let’s take it to the world.

    Knowing

    Will you pray with me:
    Holy Father, you have given us the gift of your Only Son to pay the debts of our sins. You demonstrated your love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. He bore our sins, by his stripes we’ve been made whole. He is the lamb that takes away our sin.
    As we receive these holy elements Lord, we ask that you again remind us of your sacrifice and love. Fill us God with love for your Son Jesus, fill us with your Holy Spirit, fill us once again with your strength and renew our spirits that we might share the Good News with others. In Jesus Name, we pray. AMEN
      • Jeremiah 20:9ESV

      • Isaiah 40:21–31ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 9:16–23ESV

      • Mark 1:29–39ESV

      • Isaiah 40:22–23ESV

      • Mark 1:34ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 9:16ESV

      • Jeremiah 20:9ESV

      • 1 John 1:1–4ESV

  • In Remembrance
  • All That I Need
  • Change My Heart, O God

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