GATHERING AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Bringing in the Light of Christ
“Majesty, Worship His Majesty” UMH#176
CALL TO WORSHIP
L: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
P: Blessing and honor and glory and might be unto the Lamb!
L: Worthy is Christ who has ransomed us by his blood from every
tribe and tongue and nation, and made his people a kingdom,
and priests to our God.
P: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come! Amen.
: "Rejoice, the Lord Is King" UMH#715 STL#276
Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore;
mortals, give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice; again I say, rejoice.
Jesus the Savior reigns, the God of truth and love;
When he had purged our stains, he took his seat above.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice; again, I say rejoice.
His kingdom cannot fail; he rules o’er earth and heaven;
the keys of earth and hell are to our Jesus given.
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice; rejoice; again, I say rejoice.
Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come,
and take his servants up to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear th’archangel’s voice;
the trump of God shall sound, rejoice.
Almighty God, who gave your Son Jesus Christ a realm
where all peoples, nations, and languages should serve
him; make us loyal followers of our living Lord, that
we may always hear his word, follow his teachings,
and live in his Spirit; and hasten the day when every
knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord;
to your eternal glory. Amen.
PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE
Prayer for Illumination
Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy
Spirit Spirit, that, as the Scriptures are read and your
Word Proclaimed we may hear with joy
what you say to us today. Amen.
A Celebration of the Church Year, Part One
Scripture Lesson: Luke 1:46-55 Mary praises God
46 Mary said, “With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
47 In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
48 He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
49 because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name. 50 He shows mercy to everyone, from one
generation to the next, who honors him as God. 51 He has shown
strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant
thoughts and proud inclinations. 52 He has pulled the powerful
down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. 53 He has filled
the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed.
54 He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering
his mercy, 55 just as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham
and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”
“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” UMH#196
Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
free our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a king,
born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
Scripture Lesson: John 1:1-14 Story of the Word
1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and
the Word was God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning.
3 Everything came into being through the Word, and without the
Word nothing came into being. What came into being
4 through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish
the light. 6 A man named John was sent from God. 7 He came as a
witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone
would believe in the light. 8 He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission
was to testify concerning the light. 9 The true light that shines on all
people was coming into the world. 10 The light was in the world, and
the world came into being through the light, but the world didn’t recognize
the light. 11 The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t
welcome him. 12 But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his
name, he authorized to become God’s children, 13 born not from blood nor
from human desire or passion, but born from God. 14 The Word became
flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like
that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
"Good Christian Friends, Rejoice," UMH#224 STL# 182
Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice;
give ye heed to what we say: News, news! Jesus Christ is born today!
Ox and ass before him bow, and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today, Christ is born today!
Scripture Lesson: Isaiah 60:1-6 Jerusalem’s coming radiance
60 Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the LORD’s glory has shone upon
you. 2 Though darkness covers the earth and gloom the nations,
the LORD will shine upon you; God’s glory will appear over you.
3 Nations will come to your light and kings to your dawning radiance.
4 Lift up your eyes and look all around: they are all gathered; they
have come to you. Your sons will come from far away, and your
daughters on caregivers’ hips. 5 Then you will see and be radiant;
your heart will tremble and open wide, because the sea’s abundance
will be turned over to you; the nations’ wealth will come to you.
6 Countless camels will cover your land, young camels from Midian
and Ephah. They will all come from Sheba, carrying gold and incense,
proclaiming the LORD’s praises.
"We Three Kings" UMH#254 STL# 202
We three king of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain, moor and mountain following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding guide us to thy perfect light.
Scripture Lesson Mark 8:31-38
Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One must suffer
many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal
experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.”
32 He said this plainly. But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him,
began to correct him. 33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then
sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s
thoughts but human thoughts.” 34 After calling the crowd together
with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me
must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.
35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their
lives because of me and because of the good news will save them.
36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives?
37 What will people give in exchange for their lives?
38 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful
and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that
person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
"Change My Heart, O God," TFWS#2152
Saturday evening, American Routes is playing on the radio, and
I am relaxed. He's interviewing the Campbell Brothers, a Gospel
band from Rochester, NY. Oftentimes, this program is an
inspiration for the Sunday message. Sometimes, the music they
are playing is the very same music I call for in the bulletin, the
same music that contains the words from the scriptures chosen
for Sunday morning.
There are many scripture readings today. We are revisiting the
church calendar with selected scriptures from throughout the year.
This has been an unusual year, to say the least. We never imagined,
in our wildest nightmares, that we would have to disassociate
ourselves not only from strangers but from our neighbors, our
friends and our families, as well, including our church families.
Who ever imagined the Canadian border being closed to all
nonessential traffic. Airline traffic had become pretty common by
the time I was a kid in the sixties. Jet aircraft flew over our house
in Townsend fairly frequently every day. Laurie and I would set out
on the deck most afternoons watching the sunset while jetliners
streaked by overhead. While doing so one afternoon a couple of
months ago, the silence was disrupted by a single passenger
jet crossing the sky. “First one I've seen for months” I commented.
Today's message is intended to be brief. Until the vaccines
come out to public use, we find ourselves once again asked to
worship remotely. Let today's scriptures remind us from where
we have come and lead us toward the light. Take extra effort to
smile at your neighbors. Wave. Say hello, good morning, good
afternoon or whatever polite, friendly greeting you can muster.
We might not be able to see each other's smiles from behind our
masks but our eyes have a way of lighting up when we do that.
Today is Christ the King Sunday. Revel in all that that entails.
Remember the scriptures, remember the seasons, remember
the passenger planes streaking overhead. When we all emerge
from this most unusual year, remember the lessons we have
learned from this. Despite the deep divisions we have witnessed
as a result of national politics, I have seen the brighter light of
loving each other reveal itself as the primary message we
deliver here each Sunday become the prevailing message being
delivered across the racial divide that we have witnessed in the news.
CELEBRATION AND CONCERNS
The Lord’s Prayer
“Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow” UMH#95
God of mercy and compassion, what is the offering that pleases
you most? Certainly, not the token gift that makes us feel we
done all that is required, but a gift that reminds us that need
is all around us, and compassion and love are needed desperately
and can be given extravagantly. May the gifts we give through your
church help the hungry, thirsty, the imprisoned; but may our
whole being be centered on seeing the opportunities to personally
make your love real to a hurting world. We follow in Christ’s
holy, loving way. Amen.
A Celebration of the Church Year, Part Two
Scripture Lesson: Hebrews 10:16-25
This is the covenant that I will make with them. After these days, says
the Lord, I will place my laws in their hearts and write them on their
minds. 17 And I won’t remember their sins and their lawless behavior
anymore. 18 When there is forgiveness for these things, there is no
longer an offering for sin.
Second summary of the message
19 Brothers and sisters, we have confidence that we can enter the holy
of holies by means of Jesus’ blood, 20 through a new and living way that
he opened up for us through the curtain, which is his body, 21 and we
have a great high priest over God’s house. 22 Therefore, let’s draw near
with a genuine heart with the certainty that our faith gives us, since our
hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies are
washed with pure water. 23 Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope
without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.
24 And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking
love and good deeds. 25 Don’t stop meeting together with other believers,
which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage
each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.
Scripture Lesson Acts 10:34-43
34 Peter said, “I really am learning that God doesn’t show partiality to
one group of people over another. 35 Rather, in every nation, whoever
worships him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 This is the
message of peace he sent to the Israelites by proclaiming the good news
through Jesus Christ: He is Lord of all! 37 You know what happened
throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism John preached.
38 You know about Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy
Spirit and endowed with power. Jesus traveled around doing good and
healing everyone oppressed by the devil because God was with him.
39 We are witnesses of everything he did, both in Judea and in Jerusalem.
They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him up on the
third day and allowed him to be seen, 41 not by everyone but by us.
We are witnesses whom God chose beforehand, who ate and drank with
him after God raised him from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach
to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge
of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that
everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
"Because He Lives," UMH#364 STL#256
Scripture Lesson Acts 2:1-13
When Pentecost Day arrived, they were all together in one place.
2 Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled
the entire house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to
be individual flames of fire alighting on each one of them. 4 They were all
filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the
Spirit enabled them to speak. 5 There were pious Jews from every nation
under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd
gathered. They were mystified because everyone heard them speaking in
their native languages. 7 They were surprised and amazed, saying, “Look,
aren’t all the people who are speaking Galileans, every one of them?
8 How then can each of us hear them speaking in our native language?
9 Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; as well as residents of Mesopotamia,
Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt
and the regions of Libya bordering Cyrene; and visitors from Rome
(both Jews and converts to Judaism), 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them
declaring the mighty works of God in our own languages!” 12 They were
all surprised and bewildered. Some asked each other, “What does this mean?”
13 Others jeered at them, saying, “They’re full of new wine!”
"Spirit of God," TFWS# 2117
Christ the King
Scripture Lesson: Revelation 1:4b-8
4 John, to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace to you
from the one who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits
that are before God’s throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness,
the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood,
6 who made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—
to him be glory and power forever and always. Amen. 7 Look, he is
coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who
pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him.
This is so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“the one who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.”
"Crown Him with Many Crowns," UMH#327 STL# 272 (vv 1,4)
Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon this throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Crown him the Lord of love; behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.
DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING
L: Almighty and everlasting God, it is our will to restore all things to
Christ, whom you have anointed priest forever and ruler of creation.
Grant that all the people of the earth, now divided by the power of sin,
may be united under the glorious and gentle rule of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Congregational Response: “Bind Us Together” TFWS#2226
We are led this morning by Michael Thorpe and Rev. Pat Thompson
you may call/text Pastor Mike at 802-355-9574
"Prayer is not a substitute for action;
it is an action for which there is no substitute."
Mayerling Anderson Sabrena Ducharme Cheri Craig Arthur Hooper
Nathanial McElroy James and DeeDee Clark Angel and Royce Dunn
Janet Lanphear Kelly Maxfield Charles Tinker Eva Lancaster
Emily (a parishioner of a colleague of Rev. Pat’s in northern Maine) –
who is waiting for an available bed so she can have her transplant
Gary Hazard Paul (a friend of Sherry Anderson) Esther Greaves
Mike Hendon and Christine (who has a tumor which has shrunk substantially)
Bill Drumm (who is suffering from cancer) David Becraft (Rev. Pat’s nephew)
who has finished his alcohol rehabilitation program and is back at home
Fawn (Barbara Backus’ niece) who is experiencing a recurrence of her cancer
and her mother, Carol Kim (a friend of Linda Martin’s) who needs a kidney transplant
Howard (a retired clergy friend of Rev. Pat’s) who has been diagnosed with
aggressive pancreatic cancer and his wife, Dee
Linda Martin's sister-in-law who has stage 4 cancer
Jane (Vernon’s sister), who is now waiting to have a hip replacement
Greg McElroy’s daughter’s father-in-law, Joe, who has been having heart issues
Josh Ducharme who continues to recover from a blood marrow transplant
and his wife, who is currently receiving chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Joe and Sarah Backus Chambers, whose niece just died from a drug overdose