A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Online Worship (July 5) Athens First UMC

Welcome to our (July 5) online worship @ Athens First UMC!
2 S. College St., Athens, OH 45701

Greeting From Pastor Robert

Call to Worship (Based on Today’s Gospel Lesson)

L: Jesus says to us, “Come, and I will give you rest.”

P: We long for a deeper relationship with God.

L: Jesus says  to us, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

P: We long for a deeper relationship with God.

L: Come to the waters and be renewed in mind, body, and spirit.

Hymn      Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above 

  1. Welcome & Passing the Peace
[Jordann Schach, who is one of our church members and helps with our youth ministry recently adopted this adorable rescue dog, Lucas. This is Lucas’s favorite spot to watch our online worship! Lucas invites you to greet one another, not by rubbing noses, but by simply barking, “The peace of Christ be with you!”]

Prayer of Confession & Words of Assurance

Gracious and loving King, we come before you today to remember, to rejoice, and to revere you. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords and yet you also call us your friends. Thank you for freeing us from our sins through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Forgive us for those times that we have taken our freedom for granted. Like the Psalmist, may we ever praise you forever and ever. Amen.

L: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

P: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

All: Thanks be to God!

Old Testament Lesson - Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67      
[Abraham has sent his head servant to Haran to find a wife of his own clan for Isaac. God has shown the servant that Rebekah is his choice. The servant has accepted the invitation of her brother to spend the night with her family. But before he will eat, he insists on telling the purpose of his journey.]

Psalter - Psalm 45:10-17           
[Psalm 45 is categorized as a “royal psalm” that extols the king of Israel and anticipates his upcoming wedding celebration.]

Special Music - Come Thou Almighty King
Athens First UMC, Chancel Choir (Recorded April, 2019)
[Like today’s Psalm, this anthem celebrates God’s kingly rule. Come thou almighty King!]

Sermon        A Psummer of Psalms: Psalm 45
                                      Rev. Robert McDowell

Sermon Discussion Questions
In what ways might these royal psalms like Psalm 45 remind us to pray for people who are in positions of power? 

Psalm 45 is used every March 25 (exactly 9 months before Christmas day) on the observance of “The Annunciation” which is a day on the church calendar that celebrates the announcement to Mary that she was pregnant with Jesus. This royal psalm reminds us that the child in her womb will become the long awaited King and Savior of the world.

Even though we are just beginning the month of July, still several months away from Christmas, think of a creative way that you might share the joy of the coming of Christ into the world with someone. How can you brighten their day with God’s love?

Pastor Robert offered three “R” verbs to remember whenever we come across a royal psalm such as Psalm 45 which is our Psalm for this Sunday. These are Remember, Rejoice, & Revere.

Remember - What helps you to remember our biblical faith history?

Rejoice - In what way, can you rejoice in knowing that God is King over all of creation?

Revere - Share some ways that we can revere God as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

[As Pastor Robert mentioned in his sermon, there aren’t a lot of Psalm 45 verses that stand out since it’s about a king and his upcoming royal wedding. Pastor Robert is thinking about getting this mug for Penny to use at the house.]

Hymn                 He Is Lord

Pastoral Prayer & The Lord’s Prayer

Church News
[The following announcement slides below are to help us stay connected as a church especially since we are unable to gather in our church building for weekly worship. Please scroll down through the announcements, and our online service will continue with another video.]

Offering Our Gifts

Thank you for your gifts!!!
“Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all.”  1 Chronicles 29:12

The Sacrament of Holy Communion
[Pastor Robert will invite us to partake of the bread and the juice.]

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Thank you for this holy meal, O God and for leading us into a deeper communion with you. Send us forth from this Sacrament, nourished, renewed, and filled with your love. We pray this in the name of Jesus, our King. Amen.

Closing Hymn    God of the Ages


Join us back here next Sunday (July 12) for our online worship service.

[For previous online worship services, click here.]

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