July 31 Worship Bulletin

July 31 Worship Bulletin

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Who’s up for a summer journey? Isn’t that what many do in this season? We pack our things and our families, jump in the car, and we head off. For July and August, our summer worship will be a journey of exploration and learning and ultimately a journey to discover what’s at the heart of our faith. This journey will consist of 5 side-trips, each defined by our traveling companions, who will guide us on this journey of discovery. These companions are called prophets, and they have a propensity to take us to the edge, even when we don’t really want to go. Thus, the title of our series is “Prophet Margins.” Today, our summer journey companion and guide is the prophet Hosea. The worship theme is God’s faithfulness. The main point is that even where we’re at our worst and most rebellious against God, God remains unswerving in his faithfulness toward us while also allowing us to experience the consequences of our rebellion.

Welcome & Announcements

Prelude – “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds” – Arr. by Roger C. Wilson

*Call to Worship (based on Psalm 107)

  • L: Give thanks to the LORD because he is good.
  • P: His faithful love lasts forever!
  • L: Give thanks to God, for his love endures.
  • P: We give thanks that God is at work among all humankind.
  • L: Give thanks to the LORD, for only God can satisfy us.
  • P: We give thanks to God for filling our spiritual hunger with good things.

*Opening Hymn – “God, Whose Love Is Reigning o’er Us” – UMH #100 (vv. 1-4)

  1. God, whose love is reigning o’er us,
    source of all, the ending true;
    Hear the universal chorus
    raised in joyful praise to you:
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    worship ancient, worship new.
  2. Word of God from nature bringing
    springtime green and autumn gold;
    Mountain streams like children singing,
    ocean waves like thunder bold:
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    as creation’s tale is told.
  3. Holy God of ancient glory,
    choosing man and woman too;
    Abram’s faith and Sarah’s story
    formed a people bound to you.
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    to your covenant keep us true.
  4. Covenant, new again in Jesus,
    Starchild born to set us free;
    Sent to heal us, sent to teach us
    how love’s children we might be.
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    risen Christ, our Savior he!

*Prayer of Confession

God of healing, as you spoke to the prophet Hosea, Lead us with bands of human kindness; lead us with cords of love. Yet, what does it mean to be led with bands of human kindness and cords of love? Remind us of the connection our souls have to you, O God. You tug at our cords to remind us that we also need the kindness of other people. You pluck at our heartstrings to remind us of the love you’ve placed within each of us. But we still become distracted. We get lost in our aggravations, disappointments, and deep-seated longings. Sometimes, it seems as though the negativity and sadness will swallow us whole. How are we to turn this pain into love and kindness? God, you know these feelings all too well; oftentimes, as a result of human action or inaction. The story, repeated over and over again in our sacred texts, tells of your incredible love for us. You, O God, choose love, despite the pain. May we do the same, trusting that the Holy One is in our midst. Amen.

*Hymn – “God, Whose Love Is Reigning o’er Us” – UMH #100 (v. 5)

  1. Lift we then our human voices
    in the songs that faith would bring;
    Live we then in human choices
    lives that, like our music sing:
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    joined in love our praises ring!

Time with the Children

Special Music – “Embrace the Cross” – By John G. Elliott

Scripture Reading – Hosea 11:1-12

1When Israel was a child, I loved him,
        and out of Egypt I called my son.
2The more I called them,
        the further they went from me;
    they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
        and they burned incense to idols.
3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
        I took them up in my arms,
        but they did not know that I healed them.
4I led them
        with bands of human kindness,
        with cords of love.
    I treated them like those
        who lift infants to their cheeks;
        I bent down to them and fed them.
5They will return to the land of Egypt,
        and Assyria will be their king,
        because they have refused to return to me.
6The sword will strike wildly in their cities;
        it will consume the bars of their gates
        and will take everything because of their schemes.
7My people are bent on turning away from me;
        and though they cry out to the Most High,
        he will not raise them up.
8How can I give you up, Ephraim?
        How can I hand you over, Israel?
    How can I make you like Admah?
        How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
    My heart winces within me;
        my compassion grows warm and tender.
9I won’t act on the heat of my anger;
        I won’t return to destroy Ephraim;
    for I am God and not a human being,
        the holy one in your midst;
    I won’t come in harsh judgment.
10They will walk after the LORD,
        who roars like a lion.
        When he roars,
        his children will come trembling from the west.
11They will come trembling like a bird,
        and like a dove from the land of Assyria;
        and I will return them to their homes, says the LORD.
12Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
        the house of Israel with faithless acts;
        but Judah still walks with God,
        and is faithful to the holy one.

  • L: The word of God; the word of Life.
  • P: Thanks be to God.

Invitation to Give & Prayer of Dedication

Musical Response of Praise – refrain of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” – UMH #140

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Sermon – “Cords of Kindness” – Rev. Drew Hart

*Hymn – “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” – UMH #121

  1. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
    like the wideness of the sea;
    there’s a kindness in God’s justice,
    which is more than liberty.
  2. There is welcome for the sinner
    and more graces for the good!
    There is mercy with the Savior;
    there is healing in his blood.
  3. For the love of God is broader
    than the measure of our mind;
    and the heart of the Eternal
    is most wonderfully kind.
  4. If our love were but more simple,
    we should rest upon God’s word;
    and our lives would be illumined
    by the presence of our Lord.

Special Music – “The New 23rd” – By Ralph Carmichael

*Closing Hymn – “Let All Things Now Living” – FWS #2008

  1. Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving
    To God the creator triumphantly raise.
    Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us,
    Who guides us and leads to the end of our days.
    God’s banners fly o’er us, God’s light goes before us,
    A pillar of fire shining forth in the night.
    Till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished
    As forward we travel from light into light.
  2. The law God enforces, the stars in their courses
    And sun in its orbit obediently shine;
    The hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains,
    The deeps of the ocean proclaim the Divine.
    We, too, should be voicing our love and rejoicing;
    With glad adoration a song let us raise,
    Till all things now living unite in thanksgiving:
    “To God in the highest, Hosanna and praise!” Amen.

*Benediction

*Postlude – “There’s A Song” – By Handt Hanson

Helping Lead Today’s Worship

  • Liturgist: Bob Beedon
  • Organ/Piano: Kathy Cay
  • Rev. Elisabeth Danielsons, Deacon
  • Rev. Drew Hart