THIS IS THE DAY
This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made,
We will rejoice, we will rejoice, and be glad in it,
This is the day that the Lord has made,
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made.
Open to us, open to us the gates of God,
We will go in, we will go in, and praise the Lord,
Open to us the gates of God, we will go in and praise the Lord,
Open to us, open to us the gates of God.
You are our God, you are our God, we will praise your name,
We will give thanks, we will give thanks, for your faithfulness,
You are our God, we will praise your name,
We will give thanks for your faithfulness,
You are our God, we will praise your name.
THE GREAT PHYSICIAN NOW IS NEAR
The great physician now is near, the sympathizing Jesus,
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer, of hear the voice of Jesus.
Sweetest note in seraph song, sweetest name on mortal tongue,
Sweetest carol ever sung, Jesus, blessed, Jesus.
And when to that bright world above we rise to be with Jesus,
We’ll sing around the throne of love his name, the name of Jesus......Refrain
REJOICE, THE LORD IS KING
Rejoice, the Lord is King, your sovereign Lord adore,
Give thanks, o mortals, sing and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice; rejoice, again I say, rejoice.
For Christ the Saviour reigns, the God of truth and love,
When Jesus purged our stains, he took his seat above.
Lift up your heart; lift up your voice; rejoice, again I say, rejoice.
Rejoice in glorious hope, for Christ the judge will come
And take the faithful up to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear the archangel’s voice; the trump of God shall sound, rejoice.
August 2, 2020
PRELUDE: Nancy & Norm
PROCESSIONAL: Thy Word
CALL TO WORSHIP: ONE: It is a good day to be gathered together. ALL: This day is a gift from God. ONE: It’s a good day to give thanks.
ALL: This day is a gift from God. ONE: It’s a good day to ask for help. ALL: This day is a gift from God. ONE: It’s a good day to worship God. ALL: This day is a gift from God.
WELCOME & COVID RULES:
OPENING HYMN: #78 This Is The Day
OPENING PRAYER & THE LORD’S PRAYER:
ANNOUNCEMENTS, BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES:
Ezekiel 38:14-16 2
New International Version14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
Peter 3:3-5 2
2 Peter 3:3-5
New International Version3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
New International Version5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
HYMN: #359 The Great Physician Now Is Near
MEDITATION: Broken Training
Have you ever taken time to think about athletes? Whether its a tennis player, a swimmer, a cyclist or a football player, they all have something in common: they need to stay in shape.
Perhaps you've been to dinner with an athlete and when it came to dessert he or she refused to eat any. Why? Because he was in training. Not eating a lot of sweets isn't the only thing a coach wants you to do. He doesn't want you to smoke, drink alcohol or keep late hours. The coach wants his players to keep in shape and he enforces his rules until the end of the season. But if a player refuses to give up these things, he won't be as good a player as he could be. This isn't good for the player, the coach or the team. We always want the best player we can get!
Mark 13:13 says, "Whosoever stands firm to the end will be saved." In sports, the team or individual that plays hard to the end, wins the game. For example, in baseball it's important to hit the ball, run to first base, reach second and then third base. But the most important part of the game, the only thing that finally matters, is to reach home plate. What a disappointment it is for a player to reach third base but the third strike out comes and he never reaches home.
Jesus often used shock therapy to get His followers attention in order to drive home his point. And today, in these continuing difficult times, the signs of the times should shock Christians into re-evaluating their faith. Just think of the terrible disasters that have happened in 2020: the Australian bush fires, the Puerto Rico earthquakes, the Ukraine plane crash, the Canadian military helicopter crash, the Snowbirds crash, the mass shooting in Nova Scotia and of course, the coronavirus pandemic. All these things happened in the first six months of this year. And these are the most catastrophic of events. I haven't even mentioned the hundreds of other terrible things that go on everywhere in the world on a daily basis: murders, rapes, suicides, racism, tornadoes, hurricanes, flood, droughts — the list goes on and on.
Now let's go back to the book of Mark and concentrate on Chapter 13. First, I'd like to ask a question. When you're travelling, especially by plane, how many of you have been mesmerized by a specific landmark on your descent? For example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House, The Great Wall of China or the Statue of Liberty. And, the Twin Towers in New York City until that day in September 2001 when these man-made wonders tragically toppled to the ground after being attacked by terrorists.
A similar thing happened over 2000 years ago. Then, the people marveled at a man-made wonder of the world only to be shocked by a prediction of the destruction of that great building. This prediction was made by Jesus as He and His disciples made their way to the Mount of Olives during the last week of Jesus' ministry here on earth.
Jesus had been teaching in the temple, and as He and His disciples left the temple, they noticed the foundation stones. They were very large and joined so tightly together that they seemed like living rock. And Jesus said, "Do you see all this? I tell you, not one stone will be left here. They shall all be torn down."
The disciples were silent thinking about this as they climbed the slopes of Mount Olivet. But before they went over the crest, Jesus stopped and sat down with His disciples looking back upon the city. Alone now, with no crowds around them, the disciples asked Jesus: "Tell us when all these things will happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and when will the world come to an end?" It seemed to them that the temple couldn't possibly be destroyed until judgement day.
Jesus knew that His disciples couldn't understand how many hundreds of years it would be before the second coming. Their minds were focused on the prophecy that Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed. So Jesus told them of the destruction of Jerusalem, and made it the sign of the end of the world, when He would come again in glory.
"Let no one deceive you," He said, "for many will come in My name and many will be deceived. You will hear of wars and rumors of war, but don't be alarmed. They have to come, but that isn't the end. All this will just be the start of sorrows. They will persecute you and put you to death and you will be hated because you bear My name. Many will betray and hate one another. And because evil will increase, the love of many will become cold. But he who holds on to the end will be saved."
Thirty eight years later the prophecy was fulfilled when a Roman general captured the city, slaughtering a million people and capturing nearly a hundred thousand more. The temple was burned and in searching for the melted gold and silver in the ruins, the Roman soldiers tore down the remaining walls.
But now, on the Mount of Olives, Jesus continued His prophecy. He looked far into the future saying, "Immediately after the troubles of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will give no light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and all the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man and all the nations of earth shall mourn when they see Him coming in the clouds of heaven in all His power and glory."
But of all the signs of His coming, the greatest Jesus told them was this: "The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations and then the end will come." And then Jesus warned the disciples not to be deceived by people claiming to be the Christ, who were false messiahs.
We've all heard of cult leaders who have deceived large numbers of people by warning them that the end was near. Their followers gathered on a mountain top, a ranch or in some far away jungle, simply because they had been tricked by some fanatic into believing that God had told him to take them into seclusion to await the end. Jesus was so accurate in His prophecy that some so-called preachers would use disasters to proclaim that the end is near. We Christians mustn't get caught up in the panic associated with catastrophes, which have been, and will continue to be, the kind of things that happen in an imperfect world.
As I said earlier, we want the best players we can get. Giving up things is not all that is expected of athletes in training. They have to exercise and work out every day in order to keep their muscles toned. They study the rules and plays of the game so they won't bring a penalty on the team. Then, they sit down with their coach and figure out their strategy so they can reach their goal in spite of the opposition.
There's a lot of work, even in play. Almost any game you think of takes work. The bigger the game, the harder the work. And we need a coach. Take a moment to think about the big game which each one of us has to play, whether we want to or not! It's the great game of life. Some of us are good players and others are not.
Jesus is a wonderful coach in this game of life. He wants the people on His team to train so they will be the best players they can be. Like any coach, there are some things He asks you not to do. He asks you not to be evil minded, not to envy, not to steal or kill. He asks you to exercise every day in purity, in faith, in prayer, so that your spiritual muscles will be strong. And He asks you to study His rule book, the Bible. Don't be the person who loses in the game of life because you didn't train. "Whoever stands firm to the end will be saved."
Let us pray: Dear Lord, we ask Your blessing on the game of life we play every day. Give each one of us the courage to play the game in a way which by our words and actions is pleasing to You. We ask You to bless each one of us. Keep us under the protection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and help us be aware of His presence with us as we participate in the game of life. Amen.
CLOSING HYMN: #267 Rejoice The Lord Is King
BENEDICTION & CHORAL AMEN:
POSTLUDE: Nancy & Norm
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