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 mid-week prayers, 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, direct our attention to the life of Jesus so that we might see what you would have us be. Make us, like him, teachers of your good law. Make us, like him, proclaimers of your kingdom. Make us, like him, loving of the poor, the outcast, the widowed, the orphaned, the last, least, lost, little, and dead. Make us, like him, silent when the world tempts us to respond in the world’s terms. Make us, like him, ready to suffer. We know we cannot be like Jesus except as Jesus was unlike us, being your Son. Make us cherish that unlikeness, that we may grow into the likeness made possible by Jesus’ resurrection.
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 – Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.
Hymn 526 – What A Friend We Have In Jesus:
V1. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
V2. Have we trails and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
V3. Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.
Sermon: God Helps
Lord, grant to us, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will;
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.
The Practice of Humility.
One of the most difficult things in the world, is asking for help. And yet, it need not be. Perhaps it is so difficult because we’ve been conditioned into believing that God helps those who help themselves, and therefore we assume everything is up to us. However, the strange new world of the Bible relentlessly reminds us of the actual truth: God helps those who CAN’T help
This week, in a practice of humility, recognizing there are time when we do need God to help us through other people, I encourage all of us to reach out to someone for help. Perhaps we’ve come into financial hardship because of the pandemic and we need assistance or advice. Maybe we’ve been far too isolated from others because of COVID-19 and we are starved for human
interaction. Or maybe we’ve lost sight of what is good and right and true and we need someone to remind us. Whatever it may be, reach out to someone this week and ask for help.
And, should you be in a position where you don’t need any help at all (a truly rare occurrence), reach out to someone you know needs help and offer it.
We live in a world in which we cannot make it on our own – the church exists to be a cure for that suffering. Let us then live into the reality of Jesus’ body by being helped, or being the help, for and by others.
Blessing and Benediction