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.
Most of Virginia is now in Phase III of reopening. However, 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. To that end, we are in the midst of putting together a group with the responsibility of creating a plan for reopening such that it is safe, healthy, and faithful. If that is something you are interested in, please let me know.
Until that time, we will continue to offer Sunday worship online, in addition to Wednesday Bible Studies 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, your invisibility vexes us and, yet, by the power of your love you make present the bodies of the invisible, the poor, the weak, the tired, the dead. Assault us with such presence, even today, as through them, the least of these, you promise to give us your presence. Make us then visible; make us real. Make us capable of feeling so we may think. Make us capable of tears so we may laugh. Make us your visible people, your light, your joy…
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 – Matthew 13.31-33:
He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the bird of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
Hymn 451 – Be Thou My Vision:
V1. Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
V2. Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
Great God of heaven, my treasure thou art.
V3. Great God of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
Lord, you have graced us with your breathed Word, Jesus the Christ, so that we might be people capable of recognizing the gift of breath in our own breaths. Through your breath you have taught us that breathing matters. And yet, we live in a world full of hot air, pontificators who believe they know how to make your kingdom come. Make us therefore receivers of your breath, your work, in the world, that we might see your kingdom come and not ones by our own designs. 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.
8 Minutes and 46 Seconds:
We live in a world that revolves so quickly that we quickly move from one thing to the next. This week I’m encouraging all of us to resist that temptation by taking time to sit in silence. How much time? Exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds. You can do so by setting a timer or just watching
the clock, but find a way to sit in silence for 8 minutes and 46 second this week and notice your breath. Does it slow down the longer you sit in silence? Does it speed up? Think about these things for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, because thats how long the officer in Minneapolis pushed his knee into George Floyd’s neck before he died. George Floyd spent the last 8 minutes and 46 seconds of his life struggling to breathe.
Let us never forget that God first breathed life into George Floyd before his life was taken away.
Blessing and Benediction