The Church Without Walls

Sunday’s Service

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FEBRUARY 28, 2021, 10:30 AM

 

Second Sunday in Lent

 

Via the Internet and Facebook Live

 

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Church office is open.  Cannot just drop by. Must make an appointment.  Wearing a mask taking temperature and social distancing will be practiced.
  2. Hygiene Kit Sunday will happen as soon as we can come up with a process that    will keep all our folks safe.
  3. Bible Study every Monday. 7:30pm Vicar Alyce will be leading the study We will meeting via zoom so watch for an e-mail invitation to join with us. Bible Study this Monday February 29, 2021 I Corinthians Chapter 6 has our attention, please mark your schedule, and join us.
  4. Pastor Paul’s office time Monday-Wednesday 10:00 AM till 3:00 PM The Pastor will be off on Thursday’s.  Friday’s will be a study day and Saturdays the Pastor will be available as needed or by appointment. For now, Dana’s office time or church time has changed to Tuesday through Thursday 10 AM till 3 PM.  She is available via e-mail or text on Monday’s and Friday’s
  1. We thank you for going to the church website to take care of your tithe, gifts, donations and offering.  Just go to www. gentlespirit.org and click on the donate button and follow the instructions.  Or if you are more comfortable with the US mail then send your tithe, gifts, donations and offerings via a check or money order to GSCC 601 West Ponce de Leon Decatur, GA 30030

Welcome

Invocation

Prayers and Praises if you are on Facebook Live, now would be the time to post your prayer request and/or praise

First Reading of ScripturePsalm 22:23-31 (MSG)

Here’s the story I’ll tell my friends when they come to worship,
and punctuate it with Hallelujahs:
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers;
give glory, you sons of Jacob;
adore him, you daughters of Israel.
God has never let you down,
never looked the other way
when you were being kicked around.
God has never wandered off to do God’s own thing;
God has been right there, listening.

 Here in this great gathering for worship
I have discovered this praise-life.
And I’ll do what I promised right here
in front of the God-worshipers.
Down-and-outers sit at God’s table
and eat their fill.
Everyone on the hunt for God
is here, praising God.
“Live it up, from head to toe.
Don’t ever quit!”

 From the four corners of the earth
people are coming to their senses,
are running back to God.
Long-lost families
are falling on their faces before God.
God has taken charge;
from now on God has the last word.

All the power-mongers are before God
—worshiping!
All the poor and powerless, too
—worshiping!
Along with those who never got it together
—worshiping!

 Our children and their children
will get in on this
As the word is passed along
from parent to child.
Babies not yet conceived
will hear the good news—
that God does what God says.

Second Reading from Scripture   Romans 4:13-25(MSG)

That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it

This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and God’s way, and then simply embracing God and what God does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father.

We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said God would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what God had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.

Meditation“An Ordeal”  Vicar Alyce Mark 8:30-38 (MSG)

VS.31    It is necessary that the Son of Humanity proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive.

Jesus warned them to keep it quiet, not to breathe a word of it to anyone. Jesus then began explaining things to them: “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive.” He said this simply and clearly so they couldn’t miss it.

But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. “Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works.”

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

“If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Benediction  

“OWN YOUR FAITH, DON’T RENT IT!

 

An independent, affirming and progressive church serving metro Atlanta. We are open, positive and inclusive.