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Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost


Words of Welcome and Announcements Dr. Emora Brannan

* Choral IntroitSeek Ye First UMH 405

1. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Alleluia, alleluia!

2. Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. Alleluia, alleluia!

* Call to Worship (Exodus 20:1-17, abridged.)

God spoke from the mountain and said:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of slavery;
you shall have no other gods before me.”
Almighty God, write your law upon our hearts.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.”
Almighty God, write your law upon our hearts.
“Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness.
You shall not covet . . . anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Almighty God, write your law upon our hearts.

* Opening HymnGod of Grace and God of Glory UMH 577

1. God of grace and God of glory, on thy people pour thy power; crown thine ancient church’s story; bring her bud to glorious flower. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour, (of this hour) for the facing of this hour.

2. Lo! the hosts of evil round us scorn thy Christ, assail his ways! Fears and doubts too long have bound us; free our hearts to work and praise. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days, (of these days) for the living of these days.

3. Cure thy children’s warring madness, bend our pride to thy control; shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal, (kingdom’s goal) lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.

4. Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore; let the search for thy salvation be our glory evermore. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving thee whom we adore, (we adore) serving thee whom we adore.

Prayer of Invocation

Merciful God, Just God, Faithful God, God of blessing and God of our most difficult times, we thank you that through your love you have formed us into a community of faith.  We come to you for challenge. We long for the peace of your presence, even when we are afraid of the urgency of your call.  Enter into each of our lives and enliven us; enter into our community and enable us to love and serve you in justice and truth.  Amen.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Moment

First Reading from the Old Testament – 2 Samuel 11:1-15 (NRSV)   Dan Bailey, Liturgist

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?” Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing.” Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”

Prayer of Confession

Renewing God, trusting in your infinite grace,
we confess that we need your healing and your forgiveness.
For all that is broken in our minds and bodies,
we ask your healing.
For all that is amiss in our choices and our relationships,
we ask your forgiveness.
For all that works against life and blessing,
in our hearts, and in the world,
we open ourselves to your transforming grace.
Heal us, forgive us, and make us new.  Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

* HymnThere’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy (stanzas 1-3) UMH 121

1. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea; there’s a kindness in God’s justice, which is more than liberty.

2. There is welcome for the sinner, and more graces for the good! There is mercy with the Savior; there is healing in his blood.

3. For the love of God is broader than the measure of our mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.

Second Reading from the Old Testament – 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13 (NRSV)

When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.

But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.

Sermon – “Double Jeopardy”                                                                                         Rev. Dr. Mary Jo Sims

The Offering of Gifts and Tithes

Offertory He Who Would Valiant Be (Methodist Gallery Hymn, 1803 – words by Paul Bunyan)

He who would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound-his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.

* Presentation of Offering UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, yet heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Offering Prayer

Almighty God, you gave us your commandments and asked us to live according to your holy will.  As part of your design for honorable living, we participate in this simple act of giving.  We dedicate ourselves to loving lives of honesty and justice and peace.  Amen.

* Closing Hymn O Young and Fearless Prophet UMH 444

1. O young and fearless Prophet of ancient Galilee, thy life is still a summons to serve humanity; to make our thoughts and actions less prone to please the crowd, to stand with humble courage for truth with hearts uncowed.

2. We marvel at the purpose that held thee to thy course while ever on the hilltop before thee loomed the cross; thy steadfast face set forward where love and duty shone, while we betray so quickly and leave thee there alone.

3. O help us stand unswerving against war’s bloody way, where hate and lust and falsehood hold back Christ’s holy sway; forbid false love of country that blinds us to his call, who lifts above the nations the unity of all.

4. Stir up in us a protest against our greed for wealth, while others starve and hunger and plead for work and health; where homes with little children cry out for lack of bread, who live their years sore burdened beneath a gloomy dread.

5. O young and fearless Prophet, we need thy presence here, amid our pride and glory to see thy face appear; once more to hear thy challenge above our noisy day, again to lead us forward along God’s holy way.

* Dismissal with Blessing

* Choral ResponseLead Me, Lord UMH 473

Lead me, Lord, lead me in thy righteousness; make thy way plain before my face. [For it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord only, that makest me dwell in safety]. [Optional ending]

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Postlude

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