How To Be A Healthy Christian

 For the Week beginning July 12th, 2020:  "Learning from the past"

FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • An EXCITING video service just for children (and kids at heart) is found at the end of this service. Just scroll down!  (Thanks, LifeChurch!)  

 

The Prelude:  We Prepare Ourselves to Worship God

 

 We Gather Together
  • If you have family worshipping with you, give everyone a hug. 
  • If you are alone, take a moment and imagine the arms of the Loving Lord wrapped around you.  Send thoughts of love to those most important to you. 
  • Then, find a spot at your chosen place of worship.  Light your candle(s). 
  • Be silent for a moment, asking God to open your hearts to every good gift that God has for you today.

 

We Open with Prayer

(If possible, please pray out loud):

When we fall into the traps of groundless fears, you deliver us.
When an epidemic of worry threatens to overcome us, you protect us.
When harmful words are flung at us, you answer our cries for help.
Gracious God, we worship you.  Amen.

We Sing a Song of Praise: "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah"  (UMH #127) (First UMC, Houston)

Please sing or long or just listen to this beautiful hymn.

1. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more;
feed me till I want no more.

2. Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield;
be thou still my strength and shield.

3. When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death and hell's destruction,
land me safe on Canaan's side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee;
I will ever give to thee.

We Call Each Other to Worship (based on John 21:15-19)

(If possible, read out loud.  If you are not alone, take turns reading the lines)

Leader: In you, O Lord God, we put our trust!
People:  You have always been our refuge, our shelter from the storms of life.
Leader: You protect us from the evils of the day and terrors of the night.
People: You guard and guide our footsteps. Even when we fall, you catch us in your strong hands of love.
Leader: Whenever we call, you are always there for us.
People:  Our lives are in your hands.  What is there to fear?

We Pass the Peace of God to Others

If you are with others in your home, give each other a hug, and pray for those who will not have any human touch today.

If you are alone, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind at least one person who needs a call or email or card.  Commit to following through on this as soon as this worship service ends.  (If you have others in your household, they can do this, too).

 We Read the Bible:  Psalm 91 (GOD'S WORD)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

Whoever lives under the shelter of the Most High
    will remain in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord,
    You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

He is the one who will rescue you from hunters’ traps
    and from deadly plagues.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge.
        His truth is your shield and armor.

You do not need to fear
    terrors of the night,
    arrows that fly during the day,
    plagues that roam the dark,
    epidemics that strike at noon.
        They will not come near you,
            even though a thousand may fall dead beside you
                or ten thousand at your right side.

You only have to look with your eyes
    to see the punishment of wicked people.

You, O Lord, are my refuge!

You have made the Most High your home.
10     No harm will come to you.
    No sickness will come near your house.
11 He will put his angels in charge of you
    to protect you in all your ways.
12         They will carry you in their hands
            so that you never hit your foot against a rock.
13         You will step on lions and cobras.
        You will trample young lions and snakes.

14 Because you love me, I will rescue you.
    I will protect you because you know my name.
15 When you call to me, I will answer you.
    I will be with you when you are in trouble.
    I will save you and honor you.
16     I will satisfy you with a long life.
    I will show you how I will save you.

++This is the word of God for the children of God:  Thanks be to God!

 

We  Sing a Song of Devotion: "On Eagle's Wings" UMH #143

Please play the music video and use the verses to sing along or just reflect.

 

You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
Who abide in His shadow for life,
Say to the Lord, "My Refuge,
My Rock in Whom I trust."

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

The snare of the fowler will never capture you,
And famine will bring you no fear;
Under His Wings your refuge,
His faithfulness your shield.

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

You need not fear the terror of the night,
Nor the arrow that flies by day,
Though thousands fall about you,
Near you it shall not come.

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

For to His angels He's given a command,
To guard you in all of your ways,
Upon their hands they will bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

 

We Testify to God's Grace:    "Should We Flee from the Pandemic?"    (Martin Luther, 1527)

God has created medicines and provided us with intelligence to guard and take good care of the body so that we can live in good health. If one makes no use of intelligence or medicine when he could do so without detriment to his neighbor, such a person injures his body, [dishonoring the life that God has given him]. . . .

You ought to think this way: "Very well, by God's decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others.

If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely . . . ."

(Do you have a testimonial you'd like to share here during future services?  Send your story to thomas@hopefortulsa.com)

 

We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
"How To Be A Healthy Christian"
We Reflect in Silence

Take several minutes to consider today’s scripture and message.  Here are some questions to help: 

  • How difficult is it for you to have hope during difficult times?  What does give you hope?
  • Think of how generous God is with you.  How generous are you with others?
  • If Christ calls everyone into his healing ministry, how might you be called?
  • What fears are keeping you from fully following Christ in serving your neighbor?
We Pray to the Lord

(The Lord's Prayer is from Matthew ch. 6, GOD'S WORD translation]

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially ...
      • See Barbara’s email prayer list for congregational requests.  To receive the email list, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com
      • Richard, Virgie and Mark Bachelder, for health, mercy, and grace, and for their relocation this next week to Arizona
      • Suzanne Pfeifer and Rita Robison, for recovery from hospitalizations.
      • We pray for our members and friends who are in nursing homes and rehab centers.
    • for those who suffer and those in trouble, and especially...
    • for the concerns of this local community, and especially...
    • for the world, its peoples, and its civic leaders, and for the earth that you have given to our care.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially those who are suffering and those who are responding, and for ...                  
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn and for our new Superintendent, Connie Gibson.  We also pray for those churches that are now opening up and ask that those who gather would be wise and caring for each other.  We ask that you would protect all your congregations from harm and disease, and give us a mighty dose of your Spirit.  We pray for these and for other Christian leaders, including...
    • in communion with the saints, remembering all those who have gone on before us, and now form part of the Great Hall of Faith which encourages those of us who remain on earth.  Today we especially remember . . .
    • For my (our) needs today, which include...

Help us remember, Lord, that you are merciful and good, and quick to act in times of need.  We thank you for all of your many blessings that you graciously give to us and to the world you love.

Therefore, as your children on earth, we pray the prayer that our Brother Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father in heaven,
    let your name be kept holy.
            Let your kingdom come.
    Let your will be done on earth
        as it is done in heaven.
          Give us our daily bread today.
          Forgive us as we forgive others.
          Don’t allow us to be tempted.
    Instead, rescue us from the evil one.
  [The kingdom, the power and the glory is yours.]

Amen.

We Give Gifts to the Lord

Even during COVID-19, the work of Hope United Methodist Church continues!  Please take a moment to remember all the many blessings God has given you, and then go to www.hopefortulsa.com/give to make an online donation.  It's simple to sign up--just have your checkbook, debit card, or credit card ready to provide the requested information.  You just have to do this one time.  You can continue to use this online portal in the weeks ahead to bless your church and your Lord. 

If you'd like to mail a check instead, please make it out to "Hope UMC" and send it to:  Hope UMC, 12424 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK  74146.  All donations are tax-deductible.  And thank you in advance!

 

We Say What We Believe:  An Affirmation adapted from Bruce Prewer

(If possible, read this out loud):

Leader:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness or peril or sword?

People:

No!
In all things we are more than conquerors through the One who loved us.

We are sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thanks be to God! Amen.

Closing Hymn: "In Christ Alone"  (Rachel Scott, 2012)

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! - who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save

Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

 

***Bonus Hymn:  "The Plague Hymn" by Huldrych Zwingli, 1484-1531***

In 1519, the great German Reformer Zwingli contracted the Plague.  He wrote this hymn during the various phases of his sickness and recovery.  Use the instrumental below of "In Christ Alone" (which you just heard) and sing these words of Zwingli (or just read them as you listen) to reflect on how we as Christians are called to respond to disease and adversity.
[Stanzas 1. - 4. were written when the disease first struck]

1. Help me, O Lord, 
My strength and rock; 
Lo, at the door 
I hear death's knock. 

2. Uplift thine arm, 
Once pierced for me, 
That conquered death 
And set me free. 

3. Yet, if thy voice, 
In life's midday 
Recalls my soul, 
Then I obey. 

4. In faith and hope 
Earth I resign. 
Secure of heaven 
For I am Thine. 

[Stanzas 5. - 8. were written when Zwingli's health was deteriorating]

5. My pains increase; 
Haste to console; 
For fear and woe 
Seize body and soul. 

6. Death is at hand. 
My senses fail. 
My tongue is dumb; 
Now, Christ, prevail. 

7. Lo! Satan strains 
To snatch his prey; 
I feel his grasp; 
Must I give way? 

8. He harms me not, 
I fear no loss, 
For here I lie 
Beneath thy cross. 

[Stanzas 9. - 12. were written when Zwingli recovered]

9. My God! My Lord! 
Healed by the hand 
Upon the earth 
Once more I stand. 

10. Let sin no more 
Rule over me; 
My mouth shall sing 
Alone to thee. 

11. Though now delayed, 
My hour will come. 
Involved, perchance. 
In deeper gloom. 

12. But, let it come; 
With joy I'll rise, 
And bear my yoke 
Straight to the skies.
Benediction (adapted from a 1698 hymn)

(Please read together aloud):

Friends,

Through all the changing scenes of life,
in trouble and in joy,
may the praises of your Lord and God
your heart and tongue employ.  Amen.

 

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Enjoy this LOOP Show Worship-at-Home-for-Kids Video from LifeChurch!

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