"Pulling Down the Strongholds:" What I Believe about Confederate Monuments

Speaker: Pastor Thomas

Theme For the Week beginning September 20th, 2020:  “The Christian’s Response to Confederate Monuments”

  • 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):

Sovereign God,

we confess we have given idols power over us,

the idols of power and wealth, fame and security.

We confess we have fallen into the ways of this world

and have forgotten our kindred in Christ.

We have lost sight of the reign of God here on earth,

and instead have allowed the idols of the world to rule over us.

Forgive us.

Call us into Your reign,

to declare You the One who has power over us

because Your power is love.

Call us to love our neighbors as ourselves,

and to work for justice, show mercy, and love one another

in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

We Sing a Song of Praise:
“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

(Martin Luther; additional verses and arrangement by Matt Boswell )

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

 

We Call Each Other to Worship (inspired byExodus 20)

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

The LORD is our light and our salvation; whom shall we fear? 
The LORD is the stronghold of our lives; of whom shall we be afraid?
One thing we ask of the LORD, that will I seek after: 
To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” 
Your face, LORD, do I seek.
O Lord God of our salvation, we worship and adore you,
We will sing your praises for ever and ever. Amen!

 

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:  2 Kings 18:4 (ERV) ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (CEB)

(If possible, read all scriptures out loud)

2 Kings 18:4

Hezekiah destroyed the high places. He broke the memorial stones and cut down the Asherah poles. At that time the Israelites burned incense to the bronze snake made by Moses. . . . Hezekiah broke this bronze snake into pieces.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.

We Testify to God’s Grace:    “No Need for a Monument

(by Kong Peng Sun, Singapore; The Upper Room, March 23, 2017)

In March of 2015, the founding prime minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, passed away. He is considered the father of modern Singapore because he led the growth of the small nation from a low outpost into a developed country. When he died, many people wondered how to honor him. A physical monument or towering edifice for Mr. Lee was considered. But many people commented, “Look around Singapore, and you will see and remember his legacy.” 

As we look around us at the sky, the sea, the land, we see the wonderful creation of our great God. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Our intricate bodies are also a testament to God’s work. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

God needs no monument to declare God’s greatness. Creation and the Lord’s handiwork are there for all to see. From creation, we know God is the Almighty One, who is ever-present and loves and protects us with power and grace.

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

 

We  Sing a Song of Devotion: “Break Every Chain (Live)” 

(Jesus Culture, 2012)

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

 

We Hear the Sermon from Pastor Thomas
“Pulling Down the Strongholds”
“Confessions of a Church Pastor:  What I Believe about Confederate Monuments”

 

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 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 Suzanne Pfeifer, Elinor Bartleson, and Jimmy Hillman.
      • 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: “Monuments”

(Gateway, 2017)

 

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!