SUNDAY FEBRUARY 3, 2019
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
The Spirit of God is upon us! This is a holy day and we are a holy people! The joy of God is our strength! All of us, with all our gifts, we are the body of Christ!
PRELUDE Aria Larghetto (Concerto op 6 no 12) by G F Händel
A time to reflect and prepare to hear God as altar candles are lit
CHORAL INTROIT Let Us Rejoice by John Yarrington
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Today is a day of rejoicing!
People: It is a time to celebrate!Leader: Jesus offers us a plan of action!
People: No longer are we trapped, wondering what we should
be doing.Leader: Jesus speaks to us of freedom, release from captivity,
recovery of sight.
People: Jesus outlines the kind of disciples that are needed
in God’s world. Amen.
HYMN OF PRAISEWe Are Called (2172, The Faith We Sing)
SONG The Joy of the Lord (verses 1, 3, and 4)
CHORAL CALL TO PRAYER Hear Our Prayer by John Yarrington
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
SILENT PRAYERS & THE LORD’S PRAYER [slides]
CHORAL ANTHEM Stand Up and Bless the Lord by Mary McDonald
OFFERTORY Processional (Judas Maccabaeus) by G F Händel
PRESENTATION OF OUR GIFTS
We give thee but thine own what e’er The gift may be; all that we have is thine alone a trust, O Lord, from thee. May we thy bounties thus as stewards true receive, and gladly as thou nbessest us, to thee our first-fruits give.
PASSING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
FELLOWSHIP CHORUS Bind Us Together, #2226
Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken; Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, bind us together in love. There is only One God! There is only One King! There is only One Body! That is why we sing! Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken; Bind us together, Lord, bind us together, bind us together in love.
WRITTEN WORD Nehemiah 7:73–8:12
When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam. Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. The Levites-Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah — instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. — NIV
QUESTIONS OF LIFE AND FAITH
• How important is the reading of God’s Word to your spiritual renewal?
• Why is it important to study the Word with others?
• What practices do you engage regularly to learn and grow in your faith?
• Do they fill you with a passion for Christ?
TEACHING The Making of a Revival
OUR COMMON CONFESSION
O God, sometimes we just don’t feel it. We know in our head that we should love you with our whole life, with our entire heart, soul, mind and all our strength, but the passion is missing. Our faith gets caught up in the fabric of everyday life and we grow satisfied with the practices of faith we have adopted to live a “Christian” life, but they do not really satisfy the hunger we know we should have. And our service and witness is limited and obligatory. Rekindle the flame of your Spirit; give us an unquenchable longing for you that drives us to doing whatever it takes to know you and be close to you to feel you near. Inspire our service and witness so we might know you are directing us. Forgive our tepid faith and be our first love. Amen!
CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
As the usher direct you, please come forward through the center aisle to one of our two stations to receive the bread to dip in the chalice. Communion is open to all. Kneel at the altar rail to pray if you like before returning to you seat by the side aisles. Those who cannot come forward will be served in their pews.
CLOSING HYMN Revive Us Again
SENDING Go Now in Peace by Don Besig
POSTLUDE Fugue G 178 (Suite in F Major) by G F Händel