Lord, our God, you know who we are: People with good and bad consciences; satisfied and dissatisfied, sure and unsure people; Christians out of conviction and Christians out of habit; believers, half-believers, and unbelievers. But now we are before you: in all our inequality equal in this, that we are all in the wrong before you and against each other; that we all must die some day; that we all would be lost without your grace; but also in that your grace is promised to and turn toward all of us through your beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The number of COVID19 cases in our immediate area is such that we will continue to only offer worship online until it is reasonably safe for us to reopen.
Until that time, we will continue to offer mid-week prayers, live videos, and email devotionals.
Online giving can be made on our About page on the church website, cokesburyumc.church which will be linked in the video description for live worship as well as checks through the mail.
Hymn 249 – Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.
Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit, that, as the Scriptures are read and your Word proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today…
And as you taught us, so now we pray… 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 forever. Amen.
Scripture – Philippians 1.12-20:
I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear. Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death.
Hymn 156 – I Love to Tell the Story:
V1. I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
V2. I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.
V3. I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
V4. I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
Sermon: The Only Thing That Matters
Lord, we confess that we have no business coming before you – we have no business asking you for anything because you’ve already gone and done for us more than we could ever ask for or imagine. And yet, you beckon us into your presence again and again that you grace might wash over us, setting us free from the expectations of the world and the expectations we place on ourselves. Make us, therefore, free like Paul, to joyfully celebrate the Good News in all times and in all places. Amen.
Offering – Reminder for online giving, through the mail, or the drop slot at the church.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Scripturally Shaped Imaginations Part 2:
The more time we spend in scripture, the more it shapes our imaginations. Therefore, we’re encouraging everyone this week, again, to read through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. If you don’t have a Bible, or if you don’t have the constitution to sit down and read through it, I’ve recorded a video of myself reading the whole letter aloud (you can find it on Facebook and YouTube). The hope is that the themes of Philippians, and therefore the Gospel as a whole, will begin to seep into our imaginations and reshape the way we understand ourselves and the world.
Blessing and Benediction