Welcome to ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It, and our ICYMI series will give you a brief snapshot of worship each week so that you can worship in your home, on the road, or wherever life takes you.
This week’s readings:
8 God is all mercy and grace—
not quick to anger, is rich in love.
9 God is good to one and all;
everything he does is suffused with grace.
10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
your holy people bless you.
They talk about the glories of your rule,
they exclaim over your splendor,
12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
the lavish splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
you never get voted out of office.
God always does what he says,
and is gracious in everything he does.
18 If I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. 21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? 25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
This week’s Gospel text is from Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.
16-19 “How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents, ‘We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.’ John came fasting and they called him crazy. I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riffraff. Opinion polls don’t count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
25-26 Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”
27 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Pastor Dave’s Sermon Snapshot: Jesus invites worn out, beat up, heavily burdened folks to put down the needlessly oppressive loads they are carrying. Instead, he likens finding rest in him to putting on the yoke of draught animals and beasts of burden, like oxen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of working like a mule or ox, plowing a field or pulling a cart, as being my idea of restfulness. Shoot, I get tired just riding a lawn tractor after a while!
Yet our Lord is calling us into a life of humble service. It is life yoked to Jesus under God’s gracious and merciful reign, free from the weight of guilt and shame, free from the burden of trying to carry our burdens all on our own, free from the pressure we often feel to try to please or persuade or impress everyone, all the time.
We listen afresh to the well known words of Matthew 10 this week. Come, all you who are heavy burdened. Come and find rest.
And now for the musical portion of our service…
Our Gathering song is All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Our Meditation Song is Open the Eyes of My Heart. Lyrics are here, and a downtempo piano version can be viewed below.
Our Musical Offering is Rhythms of Grace
Our Communion song is What A Beautiful Name
Our sending song is God Of Justice
Prayers of the People – 7/9/17
Jesus invites us to lay down our heavy burdens, to come to him, and to find rest for our weary souls. The rest he offers, the peace he gives, comes in trusting and serving him. Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. Of for grace to trust him more.
Precious Jesus, we all know what it feels like to be worn out. We all know what it is to carry a load that seems just too much for us to bear. Some of us are all too aware of the experience of a weary soul. Help us trust in you more and more. Help us believe you when you say you will take our burdens from us, and in exchange, offer us the joy of serving you, walking with you step by step, and day by day.
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
We pray for our nation, and for all nations, for our leaders and all leaders, the liberty and justice would truly be made available to all, that governments would serve their people, and that peace and prosperity would be the pursuit of all who serve. May we do our duty as citizens of the United States for the sake of these causes. May we be grateful for all our blessings, and generous in sharing them with others who have far less.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
We pray for those in need. For those who seek meaningful work, safe shelter, food and water, health and wholeness, community and love; for dear ones whose needs are known to us, who have asked for our public prayers, especially Cheryl Buettemeier, Phyllis Hahn, Claire Huehnerhoff, Mary Mehlum, Matt Pohle, Vernette Rae, and Marilyn Van Brero. Meet their need by your bountiful compassion and through the love and care of this community of faith. Grant faith and peace to all who turn to you.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Him,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend
And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.
We pray for all who worship you today. For faithful stalwarts, founders and builders of this church, who have served you here for many years and decades. For newcomers who bring energy and joy to this faith family. For visitors and guests, whom we are blessed to welcome in your name. For seekers, doubters, those unsure of what they believe, those uncertain about trusting in you, who you love and invite to continue a journey of discovery and faith. For all our brothers and sisters around the world unable to worship you openly and freely, that they be protected and encouraged. For the saints at rest, especially Mary Carter, and all who mourn their loss even as they give thanks to you for the gift of their lives on earth and their lives everlasting in you. Bless you church with greater faith, more joyful service, and generous hospitality and welcome of all.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
All these things, and whatever else you know that we need, we turn over in faith and trust to you, Precious Jesus, our Savior and Lord.
And because there’s always something going on, the Announcements!
WELCOME TO WORSHIP! – We look a familiar and beautiful gospel passage today from a different perspective as we hear Jesus invite us to learn from him the “unforced rhythms of grace.” May our time together be grace-filled! Our Mosaic worship team and band leads us in worship today.
SUMMER WORSHIP SCHEDULE – Our Summer Schedule runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend with one combined service at 10 am. The service style varies. Sometimes we worship more like our Traditional service offered at 9 am the rest of the year. Other times summer Sundays are more like our Mosaic style, our casual 11 am service – like today. Often there are elements of both, or a blend of the two. And from time to time during the summer we try some “holy experiments” and worship in completely unique and creative ways. That’s part of the fun of summer – being together and worshiping Jesus Christ in all kinds of styles. There are often fellowship and/or learning opportunities following the service as well.
SUMMER ADULT FAITH FORMATION RETURNS TODAY – as we pick back up on our study of 1 Peter, part of our summer series “The Life and Letters of the Apostle Peter”. Today we are considering Chapter 2. Summer Adult Faith Formation meets in the Library from 11:15 am to noon, following our single summer worship service at 10 am, concluding August 27. Please note – we will not meet July 30 due to the special Summer Fellowship Event scheduled for that day following worship.
SUMMERTIME IS CHURCH PICNIC TIME! – Please join us on Sunday, July 30, immediately following the 10 am service for a time of fellowship, fried chicken, and fun. It’s our Summer Church Picnic, and you’re invited! Stay tuned for more details, or contact Linda Capron to learn more.
PLEASE WEAR YOUR NAME TAGS – This summer as we worship together, you’ll do a kindness to other members with whom you might not usually worship by wearing your name tag. It also allows the Communion Assistants to commune you by name. If you need a name tag, please contact Office Administrator Judy Giseburt in the office at 425-746-7300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUMMERTIME IS OUTDOOR PROJECT TIME – A very faithful but small crew gathers at Cross of Christ nearly every Wednesday morning year round to help with outdoor projects, lawn care, and other needed tasks. During the summer, the landscaping needs are greater, and the weather allows us to get to some overdue projects. To paraphrase a well-known Bible verse, “The projects are plentiful, but the workers are few!” Could you help some Wednesdays? The team starts around 9 am, and wraps up by lunchtime. Projects vary from light gardening to lawn mowing to weed whacking to bush and tree trimming. Together we can be even better stewards of our beautiful campus, creating a well-kept and welcoming environment while enjoying the good weather and the good company. Thank you.
EMERGENCY SHELTER FOR FAMILIES – For the first time ever, the overnight shelter will stay open all summer for families! The new location will be at St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown Kirkland (105 State St S.). New Bethlehem Family Day Center and the Emergency Family Shelter are joining forces for the summer to make sure the residents have access to a good meal every night. To sign up to bring a meal email email@example.com. You can also email Andrea Liggett at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
TAKE A RIDE ON THE WILD SIDE! – LARKS is sponsoring an adventure on King County Metro bus starting at 10 am on July 18. Park your car in the SoundTrans park-and-ride area at Cross of Christ – north parking lot. We’ll learn how easy it is to get around on the bus, have the opportunity to purchase an ORCA card, and enjoy lunch near one of the stops downtown. Please bring your driver’s license or passport as proof of eligibility for a Senior Discount card. And the cost? Only $3! Sign up at the Information Desk. If you have any questions, please contact Sharen Stoll or Heidi Fine.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – Will you be traveling this summer or otherwise unable to attend worship? Take a peek at a new feature on our blog: ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It, and it’s a brief roundup of our worship service each week that includes the readings, hymns, Pastor Dave’s Sermon Snapshot, the prayers, and announcements. You can find it linked on our Facebook page or at http://www.crossofchristbellevue.org/category/icymi-worship/.
Being Good Stewards – Pick Up “Announcements” at the Information Desk – We are trying an experiment meant to make better use of our resources this summer. “Announcements” will not be inserted in the Bulletin. Instead, printed copies are available at the Information Desk before and after services as well as during the week. Of course, you can also view them online at www.cofclc.org. We notice each Sunday a majority of “Announcements” are left in the recycle bin. To save paper and printing costs as well as staff time to insert the “Announcements” we’re going to try this method for a while. Please provide feedback or ask questions via email@example.com.
By God’s grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to
Grow in Faith
Share the Gospel
Serve others, and
Thanks be to God!