Printed Worship Service

Live Stream 2/5/2023

Greetings!

I need to begin this week with a word of caution.  I heard today from Pastor Amalia Vagts at Our Saviour’s.  It seems that an outbreak of Covid has started at their church amongst those who attended the Luther College Nordic Choir concert last Sunday.  If you were at the concert last Sunday, it would be a very good idea to get tested for Covid and watch for symptoms.  I hope and pray that none of you come down with it.

We continue to move forward with a full normal schedule this year here at Streams. This Sunday, February 5, we are expecting visitors from our Lutheran Campus Ministries at U of A who will present a temple talk on what is happening in their ministry this year.

Also this Sunday, February 5, San Juan Bautista will celebrate the Candlemas Mass followed by a tamale dinner.  All are welcome to attend.

On Saturday, February 11, at 8am Streams will be participating in the Lutheran shift at the Feed My Starving Children food pack at Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene.

Then later on February 11 Streams will enjoy its annual Valentine’s Dinner at 5pm put on the Youth Group.  Come and have a wonderful time together!!!

And looking farther out, the season of Lent will begin with our Ash Wednesday Service on February 22 at 7pm.

The full week’s schedule is printed at the bottom of this email.  Or you can check out the calendar and watch any of our worship services or read our newsletter on our website:  https://streamsinthedesert.us

God bless us and keep us safe,

Pastor Tom

Welcome

GATHERING SONGS                 I’M SO GLAD JESUS LIFTED ME

Verse 1  I’m so glad Jesus lifted me
I’m so glad Jesus lifted me
I’m so glad Jesus lifted me
Singing glory hallelujah
Jesus lifted me

Verse 2  I was lost in sin Jesus rescued me
I was lost in sin Jesus rescued me
I was lost in sin Jesus rescued me
Singing glory hallelujah
Jesus lifted me

Verse 3  Now I’m heaven bound Jesus set me free
Now I’m heaven bound Jesus set me free
Now I’m heaven bound Jesus set me free
Singing glory hallelujah
Jesus lifted me

CCLI Song # 3347308

I SAW THE LIGHT

1  I wandered so aimless life filled with sin
I wouldn’t let my dear Savior in
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night
Praise the Lord I saw the light

Chorus  I saw the light I saw the light
No more in darkness no more in night
(And) now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light

2  Just like a blind man I wandered along
Worries and fears I claimed for my own
Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light  
Chorus

3  I was a fool to wander and stray
Straight is the gate and narrow the way
Now I have traded the wrong for the right
Praise the Lord I saw the light  
Chorus

CCLI Song # 45064

 COME, NOW  IS THE TIME TO WORSHIP

Verse  Come, now is the time to worship;

Come, now is the time to give your heart;

Come, just as you are to worship;

Come, just as you are before your God. Come

Chorus

One day every tongue will confess You are God;

One day every knee will bow;

Still the greatest treasure remains;

For those who gladly choose You now

Repeat verse and chorus

Come, now is the time, Come, now is the time, Come.

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THE CALL TO WORSHIP

Pastor:            People of God, let us come into God’s house with humble hearts!

People:          For in Christ God has shown us the foolishness of human wisdom.

Pastor:            Yet God’s love for us is so great Christ calls us into God’s family

People:          Righteous not by our doing but by the cross and the wisdom of God,

Pastor:            Let us be humble, but let us also proclaim loudly the mercy of God.

People:          Blessed be the name of the Lord!

WELCOME TO WORSHIP

Equip

PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

Pastor:            Gracious God,

People:          so often we have allowed ourselves to believe the wisdom and the honors of this world to be more important to us than You are. Too often we may even have known the foolishness of our choices yet we still turned away from You. Forgive us, Lord, and give us the courage to stand alone if need be, in order to be faithful and true to Your will for our lives. In Christ we pray. Amen.

(Silence for reflection and personal confession)

Pastor:Put an end to oppression, to contempt and to evil talk, and God’s favor will shine on you like the morning sun. Your wounds will be quickly healed. God will be with you to save you, and the Spirit’s presence will protect you on every side. Sisters and Brothers, your sins are forgiven; be at peace.

People:          Thanks be to God!

SONG OF PRAISE                      ALLELUIA

1.  Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia

2.  How I love him….

3.  Blessed Jesus….

4.  My Redeemer….

5.  Jesus is Lord….

6.  Lord you saved me….

7.  Alleluia….

 TODAY’S BIBLE READINGS

Psalm  112

1Hallelujah! Happy are they who fear the Lord
  and have great delight in God’s commandments!
2Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
  the generation of the upright will be blessed.

3Wealth and riches will be in their house,
  and their righteousness will last forever.
4Light shines in the darkness for the upright;
  the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.

1 Corinthians 2:1-12

Though people such as the Corinthians are enamored with human philosophy and wisdom, Paul continuously presents God’s hidden wisdom which is Jesus Christ crucified. True spiritual maturity involves judging ourselves and others in light of God’s revelation in the cross.

1When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
  6Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, as it is written,
 “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
  nor the human heart conceived,
 what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION                                              THY WORD

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

And a light unto my path; you’re the light unto my path

GOSPEL: Matthew 5:13-20

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encourages his followers to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, doing good works and keeping God’s commandments.

[Jesus said:] 13“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
  14“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
  17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

SPECIAL MUSIC   Bells Angels — De Colores

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

ADULT MESSAGE     5 EPIPHANY – 2.5.23 – MATTHEW 5:13-20

Does anybody else have a tough time with winter darkness at this time of year? We are still six weeks away from the start of spring, and most of the U.S. is experiencing short days and long nights. Medical studies show that people have less initiative and are more likely to get the blues during the darker winter months. It seems that most of us do not function well in the dark.

We just do not function well without light, do we? A customer service agent for a utility company in Rochester, New York, wrote about working during a horrible storm, when thousands of customers were without power and utility crews were working 16-hour days to repair the damage.

One somewhat clueless customer called to complain about the power outage, then asked, “How will I know when my lights are back on?”

The customer service agent was stumped for a second. How would you answer such an obvious question? Finally, she just said, “Um, they’ll be brighter than they are now.”

The customer hung up on her.

I thought the customer service agent’s answer was pretty good. When you’re in the dark and the lights come on, you’ll know it. Unless you have total vision loss, you’ll know it. Even a tiny sliver of light is noticeable in the darkness. That’s what I think about when I read Matthew 5: 13-16. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

To truly understand this teaching, we need to understand what came before it. Jesus had just finished teaching his followers that in God’s kingdom, the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, the pure of heart, the peacemakers are close to God. And then in verses 10-12 Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

That does not sound like a blessed state, does it? How can someone be happy when they’re being insulted, persecuted, and lied about? And it gets even tougher to understand. That word “Rejoice” in verse 12 literally means “jump for joy.” When was the last time you jumped for joy? And was it because you were being insulted and persecuted?

On April 30, 2022, country superstar Garth Brooks played a concert for more than 100,000 fans at Tiger Stadium on the Louisiana State University campus. His fans’ dancing was so enthusiastic, it registered as a small earthquake on the campus seismograph.

What could possibly get these fans so excited that they caused a small earthquake? Brooks sang, “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” which is the LSU Tigers’ pre-game song.

There are plenty of things that might get us to jump for joy. However, persecution is not usually one of those things. Why would Jesus tell us to do something so strange? I think we can find our answer in our Bible passage this morning: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

The first thing Jesus is teaching us here is that we are the presence of Christ in the world. Do you think about that when you go about your day? You are the presence of Jesus Christ in the world. Jesus, God in the flesh, is the light of the world; now that’s our calling too.

In Genesis 1:3, the first thing God creates to fill the heavens and the earth is light. God did not have to create darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Darkness has no power and no purpose, except to obscure what exists. Light has both power and purpose. Our power comes from Jesus’ Spirit living in us. And our purpose is to do good deeds that will cause others to experience the love of God.

Pastor Joe Wittwer tells the story of a friend named Bob Moffitt. Bob had a neighbor who had a substance abuse problem. This neighbor had made it clear to Bob that he did not like Christians. But when the neighbor neglected his yard, Bob quietly took on the task of mowing and weed-eating his neighbor’s yard. For two straight years he performed that tedious task. After two years of watching Bob take care of his yard, the neighbor walked over and asked Bob to tell him about this Jesus he believed in. Bob gladly shared his faith with the man.

Years passed. Both Bob and his neighbor had moved to different neighborhoods. One day, Bob’s former neighbor invited Bob and his wife to dinner. He said, “Bob, because you cleaned my yard for two years I came to believe in Jesus. I am now an elder at my church and am free from alcohol. On the weekends when I am not working, I find people who have problems and needs like I had and try to help them. This all happened because you loved me with Christ’s love.”

People can sense God’s love in even the smallest act of kindness. We are the presence of Christ in the world.

The second thing Jesus teaches us here is that being Christ’s presence requires a conscious choice. In vs. 15, he refers to those who light a lamp, then hide the light under a bowl. Who does that? We do sometimes. Think about Jesus’ words to his followers who would face rejection and persecution and death for following him. To them, he said, “Rejoice! Jump for joy! Make the conscious effort to be salt and light for everyone. No matter what you face, decide that you will respond with love and good deeds.”

I am so impressed by a news story I read about a teenage girl who took a truly disappointing situation and turned it into an opportunity for good. Eighteen-year-old Avery Sanford’s dad decided to pay his final child support payment in the most spiteful and cruel way: he dumped 80,000 pennies on the front lawn of his ex-wife’s house. Can you imagine such a thing. Think what a mess that made.

However, Avery decided that she would transcend, she would rise above, her father’s hurtful gesture by donating the money, $800 in total, to Safe Harbor, a domestic abuse shelter. Local news outlets spread the story of Avery Sanford’s generous gift, and soon people all over the country were sending donations to Safe Harbor in her honor.

I cannot imagine the pain Avery Sanford experienced when her father acted in such a cruel and petty manner towards her. Instead of focusing on her own hurt, she chose to create good out of his cruelty. And her selfless choice inspired strangers all over the country to do the same. Being Christ’s presence requires a conscious choice.

And the final thing Jesus teaches us here is that when we make a conscious choice to be the presence of Christ–no matter what our circumstances–our light will spread further than we can possibly imagine.

In February 2015, 15-year-old Becca Schofield of New Brunswick, Canada, was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent an intensive course of treatment, but in 2016 Becca’s doctor told her that her cancer was terminal. They gave her 3-6 months to live. Becca had one wish on her bucket list: that the people in her community would perform acts of kindness for one another. And that they would record their acts of kindness on social media, so Becca could experience their joy. She suggested they post their good deeds to the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo.

As Becca said in an interview, “People have a natural need to do good and that is what I am doing, I am being that vessel to do good.” Word spread through her small community at first, and people began performing acts of kindness for their neighbors, for strangers.

As more and more people saw this hashtag, Becca’s story spread. And soon people throughout Canada began doing acts of kindness in their communities and posting them to the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo. And from there, the movement went viral. It spread to the U.S., to Australia, to Japan. Ann Seamans, the mayor of Becca’s hometown of Riverview, New Brunswick, said, “It touched our town, it touched our province, it touched the world.”

Becca’s parents said reading the online posts about people’s good deeds gave her strength and encouragement. She outlived her doctor’s original prognosis, passing away at age 18. Becca’s father, Darren Schofield, posted to Facebook after her death, “You gave her hope that all the good and the bad of the past three years had a meaning, even at times when that was hard to see . . .We pray #Beccatoldmeto will live on. Keep her dream alive, and our beloved Becca will live forever. Be kind.”

Jesus knew that he would not be with his followers for long. And so, he’s telling them in this passage, “Keep my dream alive. I am the light of the world. And now it’s your turn to be the light too. Take my presence with you wherever you go. Make a conscious choice to do good no matter what your circumstances. And if you do these things, my light will spread farther than you can possibly imagine.”   Let’s do it!!  AMEN.

Illustrations and ideas of King Duncan used by permission from

Sermon and Worship Resources @ Sermons.com

SERMON SONG   LET JUSTICE FLOW LIKE STREAMS        ELW #717

1   Let justice flow like streams

of sparkling water, pure,

enabling growth, refreshing life,

abundant, cleansing, sure.

2   Let righteousness roll on

as others’ cares we heed,

an ever-flowing stream of faith

translated into deed.

3   So may God’s plumb line, straight,

define our measure true,

and justice, right, and peace pervade

this world our whole life through.

Text: Jane Parker Huber, b. 1926

Text © 1984 Jane Parker Huber, admin. Westminster John Knox Press

Respond

AFFIRMING OUR FAITH                                                 Apostles Creed

            I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

            I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;  He descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead.

            I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH

P:         Trusting that God hears us, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.

A brief silence.

P:         Holy God, it is your desire that all people might come to know you intimately. Lead our communities into deeper relationship with you. May your church radiate your righteousness to all whom we encounter. Hear us, O God.

C:        Your mercy is great.

P:         God of life, you reveal your saving love to us through the power of your Spirit. Bless those among us who are preparing to encounter your invigorating will in a new way. Hear us, O God.

C:        Your mercy is great.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

P:         Confident that you are able to accomplish more than we even dare to ask, we bring these prayers before you, believing in your saving grace revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.

C:        Amen.

WE WORSHIP GOD THROUGH OUR GIVING

Next, we will receive the gifts of forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation from our Lord Jesus, and respond gratefully with our offerings. Offering plates are in the front next to the aisle for your gifts. You may also donate online on the website, by text (the phone number is on the website), by mail, or personally deliver it to the office. Lives are changed through the ministry enabled by your gifts. Thank you for your continued support and partnership in the Gospel. Let us pray     

PRAYER OF BLESSING

Leader:            O God, open our ears and hearts to hear your call to follow Jesus.  Receive and bless our lives and these gifts – may they be devoted to sharing the love of Christ with all whom we meet.   In Jesus’ name, we pray.

People:             Amen.

HOLY COMMUNION

LORDS PRAYER   Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen

COMMUNION SONG       SING ALLELUIA

1.  Sing alleluia to the Lord, sing alleluia to the Lord        

Sing alleluia, sing alleluia, sing alleluia to the Lord

2.  Jesus is risen from the dead

3.  Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth

4.  He’s coming back to take us home

5.  We give thanks to God our King

6. He died for us, we’ll live for Him

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BENEDICTION SONG       AS YOU GO ON YOUR WAY

As you go on your way may Christ go with you.

May he go before you to show you the way;

May he go behind you to encourage you;

Beside you to befriend you;

Above you to watch over;

Within you to give you peace. 

In the name of the Father, Son and Spirit.  Amen.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STREAMS THEME SONG

See the streams of living waters,

springing from eternal love,

well supply your sons and daughters,

and all fear of want remove. 

Who can faint while such a river

ever will their thirst assuage?

Grace which, like the Lord, the giver,

never fails from age to age.

SENDING BLESSING

Leader:           Greet your worshiping neighbor. Go in peace for

                        God Loves a Cheerful Giver!

 People:         Thanks be to God!!!

Sunday, February 5

Lutheran Campus Ministry temple talk

9:30 – 10:30am   Sunday School & Adult Bible Study

10:45 – 11:45am   Livestream Worship in-person

12:20 – 1:20pm   Worship & Music Com. – Room A

1 – 2pm   Candlemas Mass & Tamale Dinner, Iglesia Luterana San Juan Bautista, 1130 E Bilby Rd,

3 – 4:30pm   Zoom Bible Study

5:30 – 8:30pm   Youth Group

Tuesday, February 7

9 – 11am   Streams Food Pantry

10:30am – 12pm   Bible Study. Room A

6 – 7pm   Communication Committee

Wednesday, February 8

8:30 – 11:30am   Workday

9 – 11:30am   Quilters – Large Fellowship Hall

12 – 2pm   Office Volunteer Meeting — Large Hall

12 – 1pm   Via de Cristo Grouping, Room E

5:30 – 6:30pm   Family & Friends Dinner, Large Hall

Thursday, February 9

9 – 11am   VdC Grouping

12 – 1pm   Kino pastors. Iglesia Luterana San Juan Bautista, 1130 E Bilby Rd

6 – 7pm   Bells Angels practice

7:15 – 8:30pm   Joy Choir Practice

Saturday, February 11

8 – 10am   Feed My Starving Children food pack, Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene

2 – 3pm   Prep for Dinner, Large Hall

5 – 6pm   Valentine’s Dinner by Youth, Large Hall

Sunday, February 12

9:30 – 10:30am   Sunday School & Adult Bible Study

10:45 – 11:45am   Livestream Worship in-person

12 – 1pm   Education Committee

3 – 4:30pm   Zoom Bible Study