"Behold! I Am Making All Things New!" What I Believe Are the Most Important Words a Pastor Can Say (Part 1)

Preacher: Pastor Thomas

Theme for the Week beginning Nov. 15, 2020:  “What I Believe Are the Most Important Words a Pastor Can Say (Part 1)”

Solar eclipse

  • 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):

O God of all our days,
we come this morning with eager anticipation.
We seek to know you, to see you, to touch you.

Open our hearts,
that we might experience you anew.

Open our lives,
that we may be faithful witnesses
to your resurrection.

May we, with shouts of joy,
proclaim your steadfast, liberating love
to all people, everywhere. Amen.

We Sing a Song of Praise: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”

(UMH #302; UMC Worldwide Easter Choir, April 10, 2020)

(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.  Based on Psalm 139)

Leader:  Where shattered hearts are made whole,
where wounded souls are healed,
where life is stronger than death:
People:  there, the stone has been rolled away.

Leader:  Where the lonely become our friends,
where a stranger is welcomed home,
where hope is stronger than despair,
People:  there, we find Jesus walking.

Where closed wallets are opened,
where the anxious find serenity,
where love is stronger than hate:
People:  there, Jesus is opening our eyes.

The stone is rolled away!
Jesus walks with us!
Our eyes have been opened!
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Alleluia! Christ is with us!

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
Revelation 21:1-5a (CEB)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!


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

People:  Thanks be to God!

We Testify to God’s Grace:    “A New Creation”

Katherine Briggs (Illinois); The Upper Room, April 23, 2019

On weekends, my husband and I enjoy watching a house-renovation TV show. I am always excited to watch the transformation of an old, broken building into a functional home. Sometimes the foundation is faulty or the roof needs to be replaced, and these repairs are difficult and expensive. The best is when a forgotten beauty is revealed, such as intact hardwood floors hidden under dust and debris. In the end, an eyesore believed to be useless receives a new family.

It is a wonderful process — from abandoned to inhabited, from old to new. In a way, it looks like healing, and that prompts me to wonder, Doesn’t God see our potential in the same way? The Bible teaches that God is making everything, including us, new. Like houses needing renovation, people are damaged. Everyone needs God’s restoration. Ephesians 2 paints a powerful picture of God’s accomplishing total transformation in his children through Jesus’ death on the cross. Our Savior’s resurrection redeems us and enables us to do good works. If that alone isn’t amazing, Ephesians 2:22 proclaims, “In him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (NIV). What a wonderful way to see ourselves and those around us!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the new life you give us in Christ.

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


We  Hear a Song of Devotion: “Easter Song”

(1974; Annie Herring; performed by 2nd Chapter of Acts)

Please play the music video and reflect.


We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas

“Behold! I Am Making All Things New!”

What I Believe Are the Most Important Words a Pastor Can Say (Part 1)

Series:  Confessions of a Church Pastor

(Note:  my PDF sermon manuscript can be downloaded from the link at the top of this page.  It is located right below the recorded sermon above and labeled “Notes.”)

We Pray to the Lord

To receive the prayer email, please reach out to healing@hopefortulsa.com

(If possible, please pray out loud)

 God, today I (we) pray . . .

    • for the people of Hope United Methodist Church, and especially …
      • We pray for Corvan Robison during his hospitalization and recovery.
      • We pray for Jan Colvin during her hospitalization and recovery.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Ron Maggard and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Elinor Bartleson and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Gail Arnold and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Brenda Stage and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Barbara Roderick and we pray for her family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Richard Bachelder and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We remember with thankfulness the life of Jerry Robison and we pray for his family and friends.
      • We pray for the continued recovery of Skip Hurt following surgery.
      • 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, and 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 those who are suffering and those who are responding, and for … 
      • . . . God to stem the uprise in the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations.              
    • 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 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 . . .
    • 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: “He Lives!”

(UMH #310, FUMC Houston)

Benediction (adapted from a 1698 hymn)

(Please read together aloud):

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



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

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