Live Stream 5/15/2022
This week ahead looks to be pretty quiet. But last Saturday was a wonderful blessing. A dozen of us from Streams went to San Juan Bautista Lutheran Church where we all shared and received insights about generosity from our different traditions and generations. What a wonderful day! This was part of The Generosity Project: Holy Exchange.
I want to remind you of two worship changes. Starting last Sunday, May 8, we returned to having Communion by tables at the altar rail by intinction and the prepackaged elements are also available for those who want them. And for the Summer season, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, we have changed our Sunday morning schedule. Bible study will be at 8:30am and Worship at 9:45am. So, mark your calendars!!!
So, on Sunday, May 29, we will have worship at 9:45. And since it is Memorial Day weekend, after worship we will have our annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. The Council will provide hotdogs and hamburgers and everyone else is invited to bring the other items like salads and desserts. And to make the atmosphere more festive, we will have both our worship and the meal in the Large Fellowship Hall.
Later that same day, I will be headed up to Triangle Y camp up at Oracle to prepare for SALCA Bible Camp. Campers will be up there Monday, May 30, through Friday, June 3. What a great opportunity to have a positive impact on these young lives!!
The full weekly calendar is at the bottom of this email.
God bless & keep you safe,
GATHERING SONGS BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL
Chorus Bless the Lord O my soul O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Verse 1 The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes Chorus
Verse 2 You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find Chorus
Verse 3 And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore Chorus
(Ending) Worship Your holy name
Lord I’ll worship Your holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul I’ll worship Your holy name
Worship Your holy name Worship Your holy name
I’LL DO MY BEST
Verse 1 Love I’ll love I’ll love You Lord with pleasure
Love I’ll love I’ll love You Lord forever
Chorus I’ll do my best I’ll do my best I’ll do my best for You
I’ll do my best I’ll do my best I’ll do my best for You
Verse 2 Serve I’ll serve I’ll serve You Lord with pleasure
Serve I’ll serve I’ll serve You Lord forever Chorus
Verse 3 Praise I’ll praise I’ll praise You Lord with pleasure
Praise I’ll praise I’ll praise You Lord forever Chorus
(repeat verse 1 and Chorus )
CCLI License # 1207064
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
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.
THE CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: The power of the Lord is with us this day; let us be glad in it!
People: For God has touched our hearts that we might know life itself
Leader: Almighty God created the universe and all that is within it,
People: Yet God knows every one of us, even the thoughts of our hearts.
Leader: And even though we fall short of God’s will for us, God loves us.
People: Blessed be the name of the Lord!
WELCOME TO WORSHIP
PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Leader: Gracious God,
People: so often we forget that You created the universe. We think of You as we are, small and limited, and we think You are too busy to care about our lives. Either way, we miss the message Jesus came to share of Your love and concern for each one of us. Forgive us, Lord, and give us the courage to trust You and to love one another. In Christ we pray. Amen.
(Silence for reflection and personal confession)
Leader:God has given to all people without distinction the message of repentance that leads to life. God is making all things new and the things that were have passed away. Sisters and Brothers, your sins are forgiven; be at peace.
People: Thanks be to God!
SONG OF PRAISE NO GOD LIKE OUR GOD
Verse 1 There’s no god like our God, No king like our King,
No lord like our Lord, Who rules everything.
There’s no hope like our hope, No way like our way,
No grace like our grace, Made new everyday
Chorus There’s no god like our God.
There’s no god like our God,
Creator and King, He rules everything.
There’s no god like our God, like our God.
Verse 2 There’s no rock like our Rock,
No stone like our stone,
He continues to rule, As the ages roll on.
There’s no life like our life, No song like our song.
Let all of creation Sing it loud and strong. Repeat chorus X3
Like our God, Like our God
TODAY’S BIBLE READING
1Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise God in the heights.
2Praise the Lord, all you angels;
sing praise, all you hosts of heaven.
13Let them praise the name of the Lord,
whose name only is exalted, whose splendor is over earth and heaven.
14The Lord has raised up strength for the people and praise for all faithful servants,
the children of Israel, a people who are near the Lord. Hallelujah!
John’s vision shows us that in the resurrection the new age has dawned; God dwells with us already. Yet we wait for the time when the tears that cloud our vision will be wiped away. Then we will see the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem.
1I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
4he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
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: John 13:31-35
After washing the disciples’ feet, predicting his betrayal, and then revealing his betrayer, Jesus speaks of his glorification on the cross. This deep complicated love of Jesus, even to death on the cross, will be the distinctive mark of Jesus’ community.
31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
SPECIAL MUSIC Joy Choir:
ADULT MESSAGE 5 EASTER—5.15.22—JOHN 13:31-35
A junior high music teacher had just organized a band in her school. The principal was so proud of the music teacher’s efforts that without consulting her he decided that the band should give a concert for the entire school. The music teacher wasn’t so sure her young musicians were ready to give a concert, so she tried to talk the principal out of holding the concert, to no avail. Just before the concert was ready to begin, as the music teacher stood on the podium, she leaned forward and whispered to her nervous musicians, “If you’re not sure of your part, just pretend to play.”
And with that, she stepped back, lifted her baton and with a great flourish brought it down. Lo and behold, nothing happened! The band brought forth a resounding silence.
Sometimes we in the church are like that junior high band, unsure of our parts, tentative in our roles, reluctant to trumpet forth the music of faith that God desires of us. And that’s because we have trouble deciding what’s most important to us.
An incident several summers ago in San Antonio, Texas, illustrates what I’m talking about. It was a hot, 99-degree August day when a ten-month-old baby girl was accidentally locked in a parked car by her aunt. Frantically the mother and the aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. The infant was bawling at the top of its lungs, beginning to turn purple and foam from the mouth, a combination of anxiety and the intense heat inside the car.
It had quickly become a life-and-death situation when Fred Arriola, a tow-truck driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer from his truck and smashed the back side window of the car to free the baby. Was he heralded a hero? Not so. According to an article in the San Antonio Tribune, he is quoted as saying, “The lady was mad at me because I broke the window. I just thought, ‘What’s more important — a baby or a window?’” Most of the choices we make in life are not between what is trivial and what is important. Rather, most of the choices we make are usually between what is important and what is more important.
This morning’s Gospel reading is so timely for us because it shows us what is most important. As we gather in worship today, we affirm that the greatest blessing that God has given us is God’s love for us — God’s love that forgives us our sins and makes us children of God; God’s love that brings us together into a fellowship with one another; God’s love that sends us forth to proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus, our Savior.
As God’s people we gather together in this congregation to affirm to one another what is most important for us — God’s love. As Jesus says this morning, “A new commandment I give to you: that you should love one another, even as I have loved you, you should love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Please note, that most of all, first and foremost, that which God desires of us is that we love one another. We may tithe. We may teach. We may sing or serve or sacrifice. We may visit on behalf of our congregation, preach the Gospel, clean the kitchen, sew the quilts, sponsor the youth, mow the grass. And all of these things are of vital importance to a congregation. They are wonderful and important to our life together. But if we do not do them out of love for God, if we do not love one another, we miss what God desires most of us.
Lucy stands with her arms folded and a resolute expression on her face, while Charlie Brown pleads with her. “Lucy,” he says, “you must be more loving. The world needs love. Make this world a better place, Lucy, by loving someone else.” At that Lucy whirls around angrily and Charlie goes flipping over backwards. “Look, you blockhead,” Lucy screams. “The world I love. It’s people I can’t stand!”
I think that sometimes we can identify with that remark. It’s easy to love in the abstract — the world, people in general. We have no problem with that. It’s people around us that drive us crazy. And yet it is precisely those people around us, people nearest to us, with whom we work and go to school, neighbors next door, and the people we sit next to in church, that Jesus calls us to love.
Love in action — that’s what we are talking about this morning. Love which finds expression in kindness, courtesy, tolerance, and acceptance of those around us. Jesus calls us to love one another and to bring that love to light in the way that we treat those around us. It’s easy to love people in general, to affirm that love is a good thing and something we all need. But it’s another thing altogether to put that love into action, to make love concrete in our attitudes and actions toward others.
Someone once said, “We are judged by our actions, not our intentions. We may have a heart of gold, but then, so does a hard-boiled egg.” Love one another. As a congregation of God’s people, we are called to care for one another, to set aside our preconceived notions of who is and who is not acceptable to God.
For the ground at the foot of the cross is level. We are all sinners. We have all fallen short of the glory that God expects of us, and we are all received into God’s goodness by God’s grace, not by our own doing. It is God’s love that unites us, and it is God’s love that we are called to share with each other. That means that our lives must be characterized by love in action. Jesus says, “As I have loved you, love one another.” Take all the psychology texts written and boil them down to their essential truth and you’d have difficulty coming up with a better rule for life than that. “As I have loved you, love one another.”
Most authorities tell us that love is a learned response. Just as the abused often becomes an abuser, so the one who is loved learns to love. That’s what we are talking about this morning: learning to love one another. Our Christian congregation has the purpose to model love for one another and in doing so to help us learn to love. Look at the foundation of this love laid for us. And just what is our stated purpose as a congregation? To Share God’s Love with Everyone.
We affirm that God has laid a good foundation for us. And in the center of this foundation is Jesus Christ. We might well say with Saint Paul, “I have resolved to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” The source of our love and of our blessing is Christ Jesus. So, we know that the word that Jesus gives us today, this command to love, is not a legalistic requirement laid upon us by Jesus. Rather it is the natural response of our hearts to the love that we have received from God through Jesus.
The love given to us is the unconditional, undeserved, unlimited love of Christ for us — an example of love in action. Jesus says, “As I have loved you, love one another.” The truth is that we love because he first loved us. We enjoy the benefits of this church because others experienced God’s love and decided to share that love with others. They experienced God’s love for them and sacrificed and shared to make God’s love the foundation of this congregation.
And now it is our turn. It is our time to experience God’s love and share it with others. It is our turn to experience God’s love in action in our lives and to sacrifice to make it real for others. We live in a world that is increasingly hostile to the Christian faith, a world that grows more and more self-centered every day, a world that has lost the meaning of the word “sacrifice,” that does not understand the commitment of faith.
This is the world in which we are called to share God’s love, but we also admit that we are part of this world. We are among those who find it difficult to love others. We are among those whose time is limited and who find it difficult to make time for the church. We are among those who often fail to share God’s love with others, whose offerings for the church are often far from “sacrificial.”
As we gather today and hear Jesus’ word to us, our prayer is that God would strengthen us for service and help us to love one another. We pray that God would use the example of Jesus’ love in action to teach us how to love and how to give of ourselves for others, and to lift our vision to heaven above and set us afire with faith. Love for one another is the primary witness of the church in the world today. Jesus made that clear when he said, “By this shall all know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
A number of years ago Henry Drummond wrote a classic sermon titled “The Greatest Thing in the World.” He concluded his sermon by suggesting that if you put a piece of iron in the presence of an electrified field, that piece of iron itself will become electrified. And in the presence of that electrical field, it is changed into a magnet. As long as it remains in contact with that field of power, it will continue to attract other pieces to itself. We are like that piece of iron. In the presence of Christ, we experience his love and take on his likeness. We are changed, electrified by the Holy Spirit, to attract others to the same love of God that we experience.
Our Christian discipleship, living as faithful members of the church, is not just a matter of willpower. It is not just deciding that we will do it, that we will love others. It just does not happen that way. It happens far more simply than that. Sharing God’s love, living God’s love, loving one another happen when we are connected to God’s love, when we allow God’s love to surround us, to shape and mold our lives in Jesus’ image.
Comedian Jerry Clower tells a story about Christian love in action. Two Christian businessmen were having lunch in a downtown restaurant. The waitress serving their table dumped a bowl of hot soup right over one of these businessmen. Everybody gasped and stared. As Clower tells it, “They just couldn’t wait for the manager to run out and fire this lady. They just couldn’t wait for this man, standing there, dripping, with his suit ruined, to cuss this waitress out, but the fellow looked at that waitress and said, `Young lady, I’m so sorry this happened to you. I know it embarrasses you.’” Wow! Could we have handled that situation as well as that? We can when we let Jesus’ love transform us.
In a world all too often filled with people concerned about themselves first, characterized with an impersonal “what’s in it for me” attitude, we are called to witness to something more important — love that gives of itself for others; love that cares about others; love that makes our lives meaningful and significant in giving to others. So, take up your instruments and play! Let the band of faithful strike up a tune, for the musical score, the notes, are laid out before us. Jesus says, “As I have loved you, love one another.” AMEN.
SERMON SONG JESUS LOVES ME! ELW #595
1 Jesus loves me! this I know, for the Bible tells me so;
little ones to him belong, they are weak, but he is strong.
Refrain Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me,
yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.
2 Jesus loves me! he who died heaven’s gates to open wide;
he will wash away my sin, let his little child come in. Refrain
3 Jesus loves me! he will stay close beside me all the way;
when at last I come to die, he will take me home on high. Refrain
Text: Anna B. Warner, 1820-1915, alt.
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: Set free from captivity to sin and death, we pray to the God of resurrection for the church, people in need, and all of creation.
A brief silence.
P: Loving God, lead us to follow your Spirit, rather than our own prejudices or desires, as the church cares for one another. Open us to perceive your gifts in those we least expect. God, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
P: Hasten to dwell among those who are in pain or distress (especially). As Christ enters our deepest suffering, remain with those experiencing despair and great need. God, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
P: Place holy love at the center of all our relationships and communities. By your love heal us, convict us, and renew us. Bring an end to racism in our churches and communities. Let everyone know your goodness by the love we show one another. God, in your mercy,
C: hear our prayer.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
P: In your mercy, O God, respond to these prayers, and renew us by your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
SPECIAL MUSIC by David Hernandez
WE WORSHIP GOD THROUGH OUR GIVING
PRAYER OF BLESSING 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:
P: Living God, you gather the wolf and the lamb to feed together in your peaceable reign, and you welcome us all at your table. Reach out to us through this meal, and show us your wounded and risen body, that we may be nourished and believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
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
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.
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.
Leader: Greet your worshiping neighbor.
Go in peace and be Devoted to Generosity!
People: Thanks be to God!!!
Sunday, May 15
9:30 – 10:30am Bible Study, Room A
10:45 – 11:45am Livestream Worship in-person
3 – 4:30pm Zoom Bible Study
Tuesday, May 17
9 – 11am Streams Food Pantry
10:30am – 12pm Bible Study, Room A
7 – 8:30pm Council Meeting
Wednesday, May 18
8:30 – 11:30am Workday
9 – 11:30am Quilters – Large Fellowship Hall
12 – 1pm Via de Cristo Grouping, Room E
Thursday, May 19
9 – 11am VdC Grouping
6:30 – 7pm Bells Angels practice
7:15 – 8:30pm Joy Choir Practice
Sunday, May 22
9:30 – 10:30am Bible Study, Room A
10:45 – 11:45am Livestream Worship in-person
3 – 4:30pm Zoom Bible Study