"Jesus for President!" -- What I Believe about Politics

 Theme For the Week beginning August 2nd, 2020:  "The Christian and Politics"

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

(inspired by John 15)

(If possible, please pray out loud):

Jesus, you are the Vine.  In your branches we gather together in worship, taking shelter and strength in the shade of your love.  By your Holy Spirit, guide the praises of your people today.

We pray this in your name.  Amen.

We Sing a Song of Praise: "We Gather Together"  (UMH #131)
(Granite Bay and Sacramento Central Seventh-Day Adventist Churches in California)

(Please sing along or just listen to this beautiful hymn.)

1. We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to his name, he forgets not his own.

2. Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, all glory be thine!

3. We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

 

We Call Each Other to Worship (based on Psalm 136)

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

Blessed be the nation whose God is the Lord.

Happy are the people who serve the Ruler of heaven and earth.

We gather to be thankful for all of God's mercies,

to remember those who have given themselves for the sake of justice and truth.

We pray for God's blessings to be upon us and those who lead us.

We call upon God's name and ask for God's peace to rule our lands.

 

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:  Selections from John 18:33-37; Matthew 6:10 (GOD'S WORD)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

John 18:33-37

33 Pilate went back into the palace, called for Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 Jesus replied, “Did you think of that yourself, or did others tell you about me?”

35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own people and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom doesn’t belong to this world. If my kingdom belonged to this world, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. My kingdom doesn’t have its origin on earth.”

37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?”

Jesus replied, “You’re correct in saying that I’m a king. I have been born and have come into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.”

Matthew 6:10

    Let your kingdom come.
    Let your will be done on earth
        as it is done in heaven.

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

 

We  Sing a Song of Devotion: "O God Our Help in Ages Past" 
(Led by the Westminster Abbey Choir, England)

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

 

1. O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home!

2. Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting, thou art God,
to endless years the same.

3. A thousand ages, in thy sight,
are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night,
before the rising sun.

4. O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come;
be thou our guide while life shall last,
and our eternal home.

 

We Testify to God's Grace:    "Religion, Politics, and the Global Financial Crisis--and Jesus"   
(The Upper Room, July 8, 2017; Richard Mel Caplis, Philippines)

While I was studying as an exchange student in Japan, I was out of my comfort zone. It was difficult. Once, a friend invited me to a birthday dinner where I did not know any of the other three guests. Thankfully, since we were all students at the same university, we had some things in common to talk about while we ate pizza and pasta.

Then one of the women asked me, “What is your religion?” I responded, “I am a Christian.” She and the other woman asked me about the importance of religion, what I believed, and even about politics and the global financial crisis. The other man started asking about the core tenets of my denomination. To cap it all off, he asked about the Holy Trinity! After two hours of conversation I learned that my three new friends all belong to other religions, but they said that they had come to understand Christianity better.

On my way back to the dormitory I asked myself, Did I speak the truth? Did I show that my relationship with Christ is the center of my life? Did I help others to see that love is the focus and the essence of my faith? Today’s verse gave me peace. As long as we keep our relationship with Christ, we can trust God to help us say and do the right things at the right time.

(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
"Confessions of a Church Pastor:  What I Believe about Politics"

(NOTE:  the United Methodist statement on politics can be found at the bottom of this page--click on "Bulletin" to download the PDF document.  There you'll also find a written copy of this message by clicking on "Sermon.")

 

We Pray to the Lord

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially ...
      • To receive the prayer email, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Richard Bachelder and pray for Virgie, Mark, and the family.
      • We pray for Barbara Roderick, Gail Arnold, and Suzanne Pfeifer.
      • 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, 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, 
for ever and ever. 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!

 

Closing Hymn: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"  (UMH #717; Brother Alphonsus Mary, 2011)

1 Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
he hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword;
his truth is marching on.

Refrain:
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

2 I have seen him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps,
they have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read his righteous sentence in the dim and flaring lamps;
his day is marching on. [Refrain]

3 He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
he is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat;
O be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on. [Refrain]

4 In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
as he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
while God is marching on. [Refrain]

5 He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
he is wisdom to the mighty, he is honor to the brave;
so the world shall be his footstool, and the soul of wrong his slave.
Our God is marching on. [Refrain]

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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