Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Sunday, August 21, 2022,
Eleventh Sunday in Pentecost
As you prepare to worship pray for those taking part in leadership roles and for a blessing to be upon those who sit next to you. Ask God, as well, to help you to worship in "spirit and in truth" and to speak a special word to you or touch you in some way. What we ask for and expect in faith almost always will be what happens!
WORDS OF WELCOME AND CALL TO WORSHIP
L The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
P And also with you.
L How lovely is the dwelling place of our God. My soul longs to enter into the holy place of our Lord.
P My heart and my flesh cries for joy to the living God. Happy are those whose rely upon God for strength.
L Truly, a day in the courts of our God is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
P God is our sun and our shield. God bestows grace and honor. No good thing does God withhold from those who put their trust in the Creator.
Pastor: Lord of all: Your glory is a gift to all peoples, and the door to Your realm is open to the last and the least of all. We thank you for this time of worship. By Your Spirit be present in us. Speak to us and touch us and set us free. Lead us in the way you would have us go and save us at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who brings the light of a new day to us, now and forevermore. AMEN.
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
FIRST SCRIPTURE LESSON: Isaiah 58:6-14 (The MSG)
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places
“If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
“If you watch your step on the Sabbath
and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
making money, running here and there—
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.”
Yes! God says so!
SECOND SCRIPTURE LESSON: Hebrews 12:18-29 (MSG)
Unlike your ancestors, you didn’t come to Mount Sinai—all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble—to hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop. When they heard the words—“If an animal touches the Mountain, it’s as good as dead”—they were afraid to move. Even Moses was terrified.
No, that’s not your experience at all. You’ve come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. You’ve come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel’s—a homicide that cried out for vengeance—became a proclamation of grace.
So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—he’s told us this quite plainly—he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.” The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.
Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!
Prayer, Praise and Offering:
TODAY'S MESSAGE: “Frauds, Hypocrites and Liars” – Pastor Paul Luke 13:10-17 (MSG)
Sermon Verse VS 15: “But Jesus shot back, “You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it.”
He was teaching in one of the meeting places on the Sabbath. There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God.
The meeting-place president, furious because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the congregation, “Six days have been defined as workdays. Come on one of the six if you want to be healed, but not on the seventh, the Sabbath.”
But Jesus shot back, “You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it. So why isn’t it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?”
When he put it that way, his critics were left looking quite silly and red-faced. The congregation was delighted and cheered him on.
OWN YOUR FAITH, DON’T RENT IT
- Church office is open. In-person appointments available. Call the church. Dana will set up an in-person meetings or you have the option of Zoom or Facebook Messenger.
- Worship in Candler Park will continue to be live streamed via Facebook messenger each Sunday morning at 10:30 AM.
- Bible Study meeting Monday, September 12, 2022 at 7:30 PM on Zoom. We will be studying the book of Leviticus.
- 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 is Tuesday through Thursday 10 AM till 3 PM. She is available via e-mail or text on Monday’s and Friday’s.
- We thank you for going to the church website to take care of your tithe, gifts, donations and offering. Just go to 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
- Gentle Spirit Christian Church is in search of a musician for Sunday morning services in the park. If you are interested or know someone who is please contact the Church office at 404-604-8124