Since we got snowed out of church today, I'm including for you a recap of what we were going to do.
Sunday, November 16, 2014, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Call to Worship
Gather us in, O God,
Your people are here to worship!
Hold us in faith, O God,
We are here to serve.
Send us in hope, O God,
We are here to follow.
Prayer of Adoration
Loving God, you call us to shine a light on you all the time.
And you call us to focus our love and energy on serving you and your will.
Renew us and refresh in our worship this morning.
So our lights can shine!
In Jesus Christ our Lord, Light of the World.
Prayer of Confession
Holy One, we have done what is evil in your sight. We have disobeyed your commandments and failed to trust your wisdom in the way it comes to us. Forgive us our sins, and restore us to right relationship with you. Unstop our ears and open wide our hearts to hear and receive your grace. Let that grace flow freely through our lives, to renew our joy, hope, and service to you. Help us do better. Give us vision, strength and courage to follow wherever your love and leading takes us. (silence) In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
until he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.
14“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all 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.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
1Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 4But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; 5for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 6So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; 7for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
Sermon: The Singing Sermon
In the year 45, the Apostle Paul cautions the Thessalonians, who are anxiously awaiting the coming of the Lord, “Keep awake, be sober, put on the breastplate of faith and love, and a helmet of hope of salvation…Encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.”
It’s hard for even us today to keep up that same hope in these anxious times. We are also charged the same as those early Christians to stay awake, keep alert, and build up one another through our contributions of talents and gifts. In the meantime, we can trust in God’s power to save. And that God’s power is so great it stretches from beyond the grave. Nothing stands in his way.
So the watchwords of Paul’s day were “Keep Awake,” “Stay Alert” “Build up one another…” Our watchwords come so often from the hymns we sing. I once read “It is the hymns, repeated over and over again, which form the container of much of our faith. . . . As such, they have taken the place of our catechisms. . . . Tell me what you sing, and I’ll tell you who you are!”
Hymns reinforce the message of God in our hearts as we go through our week.
So today you’re the preachers, invited to sing.
How do you express the inexpressible mystery of God? How do you describe in words, the one who is beyond all words? Scottish minister Rev. Walter Chalmers Smith used his time and talents as a way to praise God, and as a retreat into peace from his busy day as a pastor. Click play to hear "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise."
Thomas Obadiah Chisolm was a Kentucky native without a formal education. Yet, he became a teacher at the age of 16, and the local newspaper editor. At his retirement, he had written more than 1200 poems, 800 of which were published in the Sunday School Times, Moody Monthly, and Alliance Weekly. Great is Thy Faithfulness emphasizes God’s unchanging nature. Sing along, or click here to listen to “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
A little mouse for want of stairs
ran up a rope to say its prayers.
Extremely smart, probably to a fault. Watts is one of the most prolific hymn writers of his time, ranking with Charles Wesley. “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” (click to listen)
“There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” originally eight verses long, was called “Come to Jesus.” The hymn touches a tender spot, because it encourages us, recognizing the troubles of life, and holds the promise of a final homecoming.” Let’s join in the wideness of God’s mercy by singing it together. “There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy” (click to listen).
We need your Operation Christmas Child boxes back really soon! Please bring them by the church no sooner than Friday/Saturday, November 21st/22nd. The boxes will be shipped on Monday morning from the Methodist Church to Las Vegas.
The Session has received two new members into our congregation: Teresa Gallegos and Troy Brake. They live north of town at 10455 Hwy 104, Tucumcari, NM 88401. Troy is in poor health, so you might not meet them unless you go out and visit. Let’s all send them cards to greet them with gladness.
Mark your calendar for next Sunday after worship. Before we all run off to lunch, please stick around and help us decorate the sanctuary for Christmas!
Also, join us at 11:00AM on Saturday, December 6th to decorate the rest of Fellowship Hall. Presbyterian Women will be there to help, before they have their Christmas Party. Help us deck the halls! The party is potluck.