17 January 2021
Topic: Faith , Fear
Book: John

"Faith Over Fear"

Preacher: Bruce Leonhart

Bible Passage: John 3:16-21

Theme for the Week beginning January 17th, 2021:  “Faith Over Fear”


  • An EXCITING video song and worship 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):

O God who sent to us Jesus Christ, we confess our sadness and our fears.

We feel stuck, trapped inside, overwhelmed, and helpless. Help us to believe that what happens today does not control God’s future, and that we can look through God’s eyes to see a plan for us, and to see hope and a future.

Enable us to find faith instead of fear by bringing YOU into our lives. Open our hearts wide enough to receive every good gift you have for us today, and especially the gifts of love and justice.  Give us the courage to help bring your kingdom into our community right now, even if it’s just by doing one small thing that pleases you. For we know that all of your gifts–and especially your gift of Jesus–will overcome all worldly obstacles. Amen

We Sing a Song of Praise: “This is Amazing Grace”

(First Baptist, Dallas, Palm Sunday 2018)

(Please sing along or just listen to this inspirational song)


We Call Each Other to Worship

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

[Reader #1]:  We gather to worship God,

[Reader #2]:  Who creates us and loves us;

Who gifts us with diversity and makes us for community;

Who gives Jesus Christ to show us how to live;

Who inspires children, youth, young adults, and people of all ages,

To seek justice, share power, and live together in love and equality;

Who invites us to join the struggle for wholeness and wellbeing for all,

and whose presence, grace, and love sustain us in our living.

We gather to worship God.

To God be all glory, honor, and praise!

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
John 3:16-21 (NIV)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Leader:  The word of God for the Children of God:

People:  Thanks be to God!


We Testify to God’s Grace:    “Our Gifts & Our Service”

Grant Showalter (Florida, USA), The Upper Room, March 21, 2019

Jacob prayed, “Save me, I pray, from the hand of 
my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come 
and attack me, and also the mothers 
with their children.” – Genesis 32:11 (NIV)

One time in elementary school I said something mean to a kid in my class. Mike was a tough kid and much bigger than I so I expected that when we went outside for recess, he was going to beat me up. I worried the whole day. When recess came I told Mike, “If you’re going to hit me, please hit my arm so it won’t hurt so much.” He laughed and said that he wasn’t planning on hitting me, that he had forgotten all about it. I had worried over nothing.

Fear does serve a purpose. If not for fear, we would take foolish risks, endangering our lives. But we can’t fear everything. Jacob cheated his brother Esau out of his rightful inheritance twice, and then ran away for years. When God told Jacob to return home, he feared his brother would kill him and his family. Jacob wasted years fearing his brother’s vengeance — for nothing. Esau had long since forgiven his brother.

If we can do something to fix a bad situation, then we should do it. Regardless, we can exercise our faith and turn our worries over to God.

We  Sing a Hymn of Devotion: “Forever Reign”

(Performed by Hillsong, January 17, 2012)


We Hear the Sermon from Bruce Leonhart, Lay Servant

“Faith Over Fear”

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 …
      • We pray for Cyndi McNutt in her recovery from cataract surgeries.
      • We pray for those continuing to recover from procedures.
      • We pray for this who have contracted COVID, asking for a quick and full recovery.
      • 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.
      • We especially pray for President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and their families.  We pray for a smooth and peaceful transition of government.  We pray for all those newly elected into public offices, locally and nationally.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially for both those who are suffering and those who are front-line responders, and for … 
      • . . . the production and worldwide distribution of vaccines; 
      • . . . those who are separated because of the need for isolation;
      • . . . the financial well-being of those impacted by COVID; and,
      • . . . an end to this pandemic.            
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn and for our 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…
      • . . . the Hoffmanns as they resettle in Oklahoma City.
      • . . . Bruce Leonhart as he brings us God’s word each Sunday in January.
      • . . . Elson Hargrove as he provides pastoral care during January.
      • . . . the new pastor soon to be appointed to Hope UMC.
    • 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 . . .
      • . . . all those from the family of Hope that have passed away in 2020.
      • . . . all those who have died from COVID, or have died apart from family and friends.
    • 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


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: “I Still Believe”

(Jeremy Camp, Nov. 17, 2010)

Benediction (from Isaiah 43)

“Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you.

I have called you by name—you are mine!

When you go through deep waters and great trouble,

I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty,

you will not drown!

When you walk through the fire of oppression,

you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.


For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”




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

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