Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters

    For the Week beginning June 7, 2020 PEACE WITH JUSTICE SUNDAY

  • 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):

Lord Jesus Christ, giver of God's grace, open our hearts to receive you in faith, to do your work on earth, and to give thanks for every daily opportunity to be your person. AMEN.

 

We Sing a Song of Praise:  "Hope of the World"  UMH#178, by Georgia Harkness

You can sing along with a music video (or just listen) by clicking on the image below.  Lyrics are below.

1 Hope of the world, thou Christ of great compassion,
speak to our fearful hearts by conflict rent.
Save us, thy people, from consuming passion,
who by our own false hopes and aims are spent.

2 Hope of the world, God's gift from highest heaven,
bringing to hungry souls the bread of life,
still let thy spirit unto us be given,
to heal earth's wounds and end all bitter strife.

3 Hope of the world, afoot on dusty highways,
showing to wandering souls the path of light,
walk thou beside us lest the tempting byways
lure us away from thee to endless night.

4 Hope of the world, who by thy cross didst save us
from death and dark despair, from sin and guilt,
we render back the love thy mercy gave us;
take thou our lives, and use them as thou wilt.

5 Hope of the world, O Christ o'er death victorious,
who by this sign didst conquer grief and pain,
we would be faithful to thy gospel glorious;
thou art our Lord! Thou dost forever reign.

We Call Each Other to Worship

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

In the midst of the world’s chaos

come to this place and find peace.

When your mind is overwhelmed with what you see

come to this place and find hope.

If your heart is heavy, with fear, with worry, with sorrow,

come to this place and find strength.

As you long for community in a world that is torn apart,

come to this place and find love.

Come people of God,

and in this place, in this moment,

find peace, hope, strength and love,

as we worship and pray together.

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:  Amos 5:18-27       

The New International Version

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

Amos 5:18-24

18  Woe to you who long
    for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
    That day will be darkness, not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
    only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
    and rested his hand on the wall
    only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—
    pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?

21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
    your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
    I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
    righteousness like a never-failing stream!

25 “Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
    forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
    the pedestal of your idols,
    the star of your god—
    which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”
    says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.

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

 

We  Sing a Song of Devotion:  "For the Healing of the Nations"  UMH #428      First UMC, Houston

Just experience this song or sing along by clicking the image below.
  • For the healing of the nations, Lord, we pray with one accord;

for a just and equal sharing of the things that earth affords.

To a life of love in action help us rise and pledge our word.

  • Lead your people into freedom, from despair your world release,

that, redeemed from war and hatred, all may come and go in peace.

Show us how, through care and goodness, fear will die and hope increase.

  • All that kills abundant living, let it from the earth be banned:

pride of status, race or schooling, dogmas that obscure your plan.

In our common quest for justice may we hallow life's brief span.

  • You, Creator-God, have written your great name on humankind;

for our growing in your likeness, bring the life of Christ to mind;

that by our response and service earth its destiny may find.

 

We Testify to God's Grace

"Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly"

(Micah 6:6-8; from The Upper Room, from April 30, 2020 -- Virginia Jelinek, Georgia, USA)

[God] has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:8 (NRSV)

Recently I turned 73. During the previous year, I had begun to feel life shifting. My body was aging — my strength, energy, and endurance lessening. I had to give up driving at night. I needed hearing aids, and I struggled with arthritis.

Having spent my life seeking to do for others, I resented these limits on my actions and activities. Grieving and embarrassed that I couldn’t do all that I used to do, I wondered, What good am I at this stage of life? What is my mission now?

I discovered answers in Micah 6:8 — words that teach me how to accept aging with humility and grace. They restore to me mission and purpose, telling me that I don’t have to do great deeds to make a difference. So, these days my mission and its impact are clear. Every time I pray for justice to reign, every act of mercy I show, and each time I choose to put another ahead of myself, the world shifts a tiny bit for the good — and God is pleased.

Creator God, when we doubt our purpose, renew our vision. Help us to be faithful, humble servants — doing what we can to make this world a better place. Amen.

(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 the Rev. Dr. David Platt

When 26-year-old David Platt became senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in 2006, he was regarded as one of the youngest megachurch pastors in America. In the years since stepping into the role, Platt has published several books (including bestseller Radical), established a presence both nationally and internationally as a speaker, and founded a discipleship initiative, Multiply, with Francis Chan. For three years he was the head of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board, the largest denominational missions organization in the world.  A Reformed Southern Baptist, Platt challenges audiences to a more intentional, Christ-centered vision of discipleship and belief.

In the video, I give a brief introduction to why I chose to share parts of this sermon with you this morning.  His entire 1-hour sermon can be found at https://youtu.be/9o9uHTmnzdY 

"Let Justice Roll Down Like Water"
We Reflect in Silence

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

  • Have I learned about the problems of racial injustice in my town, state, country?
  • Am I willing to honor God by worshipping together in a true, multiethnic community?
  • How well have I listened to the concerns of a person of color?
  • Would I be willing to lay aside my preferences for worship in order for my church to be more welcoming to others not like me?

 

We Pray to the Lord

(The Lord's Prayer is from a Latin-American version attributed to several sources)

(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
      • We especially 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 pray:
      • O God,
        give Your love of justice to those who rule our land.
        Help them to rule with wisdom and compassion,
        so that the poor and powerless may be treated fairly and with justice.
        Open their ears to the cries for help from those caught
        in cycles of poverty, abuse or violence.
        Give them wisdom to know how best to respond,
        and courage to do the right thing, even when it may not be popular.
        Under their rule, may the people flourish;
        may there be lasting peace and plenty for all. Amen.
    • for the battle we are facing with COVID-19, and especially for those in our community who have contracted this disease;                      
    • for the Church universal—its leaders, its members, and its mission. We especially pray for Bishop Nunn, for our District Superintendent Cindy Havlik, and for our new Superintendent coming in just a few weeks, 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 them from harm and disease, and give them 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:

God, who is in us here on earth,
holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song.
Your Kingdom come, which is a land flowing with milk and honey.
Let us do your will, raising our voice when all are silent.
You are giving us our daily bread
in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn.
Forgive us for keeping silent in the face of injustice.
Don't let us fall into the temptation
of taking up the same arms as the enemy.
But deliver us from evil.
Give us the perseverance to look for love, even if we fail;
so we shall have known your Kingdom
which is being built forever 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!

This week also marks "Peace With Justice Sunday." Your gifts help United Methodist efforts across the globe to help with accessible education, support for jobs and unemployment, and advocating for those who are overlooked and marginalized--just to name a few actions.  Just indicate online or in your check notation "PWJ" or something similar and we'll get it to the right place.  And thank you for standing with others!

We Say What We Believe:  The World Methodist Social Affirmation

(If possible, read this out loud):

We believe in God,

       creator of the world and of all people;

 and in Jesus Christ, incarnate among us,

         who died and rose again;

 and in the Holy Spirit,

         present with us to guide, strengthen, and comfort.

We believe; God, help our unbelief.

 

We rejoice in every sign of God's Kingdom;

     in the upholding of human dignity and community;

     in every expression of love, justice and reconciliation;

     in each act of self-giving on behalf of others;

     in the abundance of God's gifts entrusted to us that all may have enough;

     in all responsible use of the earth's resources.

Glory be to God on high; and on earth, be peace.

 

We confess our sin, individual and collective, by silence or action:

     through the violation of human dignity

     based on race, class, age, sex, nation, or faith;

     through the exploitation of people

     because of greed and indifference

     through the misuse of power

     in personal, communal, national, and international life;

     through the search for security

     by those military and economic forces that threaten human existence;

     through the abuse of technology

              which endangers the earth and all life upon it.

Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

 

We commit ourselves individually and as a community

     to the way of Christ:

     to take up the cross;

     to seek abundant life for all humanity;

     to struggle for peace with justice and freedom;

     to risk ourselves in faith, hope, and love,

     praying that God's kingdom may come.

The kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Amen .

 

We Sing about Our Commitment to be Followers of Jesus

Closing Hymn  "Lift Every Voice and Sing"  UMH #519 -- First UMC, Houston

1 Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring,
ring with the harmonies of liberty;
let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us;
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

2 Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet
come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered;
we have come, treading our path thru the blood of the slaughtered,
out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

3 God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
thou who hast by thy might led us into the light,
keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee;
lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee;
shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand,
true to our God, true to our native land.

 

We Pray a Prayer of Blessing

The Benediction
(from the Franciscans; read aloud and together)

May God bless us with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may seek truth boldly and love deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless us with the gift of tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we really can make a difference in this world, so that we are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

Amen.

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

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