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.
In keeping with Governor Northam and Bishop Lewis, we will not be gathering in-person so long as there is a risk for those who would come to church.
We will keep everyone updated as to our plans going forward and we will continue to provide online worship until it is safe for us to gather together in person again.
Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our immediate community.
Until we are back together in person, 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.
We’ve been sending out regular emails from the church about opportunities for online Bible Studies, devotionals, prayer requests, and updates on our local community. If you are not receiving those emails, and would like to, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love…
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 13.1-13:
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’”
Hymn 657 – This Is The Day (2x):
This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord hath made, that the Lord hath made.
Let us rejoice, let us rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it.
This is the day that the Lord hath made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day, this is the day that the Lord hath made.
Lord, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, forever and ever. 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.
Prayer As Protest:
Earlier this week I recorded a devotional video here at the church about the power of prayer at a time like this. For, as Karl Barth noted, “To clasp your hands together in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” Some of us no doubt pray with our words, but we can also pray with our feet and with our wallets. I encourage you this week to find ways and spaces that allow you to do the uncomfortable work of seeing the kingdom in a seemingly God- forsaken world. That might mean showing up to a protest march, or donating to a bail fund, or educating yourself in a way you haven’t before. Ultimately find a way for your prayers to move you and other toward the Kingdom.
Blessing and Benediction