1 - The heavens are telling the glory of
2 - and the firmament proclaims his
1 - Day to day pours forth speech,
2 - and night to night declares knowledge.
1 - There is no speech, nor are there words;
2 - their voice is not heard;
1 - yet their voice goes out through all the
2 - and their words to the end of the world.
1 - In the heavens God has set a tent for the
2 - which comes out like a bridegroom from
his wedding canopy,
1 - and like a strong man runs its course
2 - Its rising is from the end of the
1 - and its circuit to the end of them;
2 - and nothing is hid from its heat.
1 - Please rise in body or spirit and let us
2 - “All beautiful the march of days,” #159
in your hymnal.
Psalm 19:1-6 from
Revised Standard Version
copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States
Used by permission. All rights reserved
Grant, O God, that thinking, we may think your thoughts; that
speaking, we may speak your word; that singing, we may sing to
your praise; that hearing, we may hear your truth; and that
willing, we may make your will our own, so that walking forward at
the end of our worship, we may walk in your love and your peace,
and departing from one another, not depart from you. Through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.
by Roy Pearson (adapted)
from Hear Our Prayer
For All Who Minister
©1993 by Brethren Press, p.
Responsive Scripture Reading
The law of the Lord is perfect,
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the
the precepts of the Lord are right,
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of
Moreover by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them
there is great reward.
Celebrating a new year of learning
After a summer off to revive, renew, restore, reflect, refresh,
regroup … to “rest,” we re-start our Sunday School program
today. You are invited to participate, to join in this weekly
school of discipleship, which follows our time of worship. Here we
open up the ancient scriptures and discover something “more
to be desired … than gold,” words that are “sweeter
also than honey.” They are, that is, if we open ourselves to
them, and allow God to refine us through the treasure we discover.
Please note, however, that the way of discipleship is not just a
Sunday morning affair. Don’t expect one hour a week to satisfy. In
Jesus’ school of learning, his 12 disciples met together with him
daily. In fact, theirs was a walking school, not confined to a
classroom. Those three years could be described as one long field
trip, from Galilee to Jerusalem. In our discipleship journey, we
need to connect with our teacher daily. Furthermore, we do not
graduate from this school. Being a disciple is a lifelong
endeavor, even after we shift to being sent out in mission as
The question for this moment of celebration is this, are you
willing to sign up for a new year of learning? Before you say,
“yes,” listen to the Shema from the Old Testament, ancient words
that call us to a daily journey of faith.
then sing -
Please rise in body or spirit and join me
in the words printed in your bulletin,
a “Commitment to
In Jesus’ school of learning, I commit to listen with heart, soul,
and mind, that I might grow as a disciple in loving God with
heart, soul, and mind, and my neighbor as myself. Help me, Holy
Spirit, to listen and learn - and follow Jesus - at all times, not
just in the classroom.
story (a tough lesson)
Warning: Discipleship is not easy. Even the first disciples of
Jesus made mistakes along the way. The following story from the
gospel of Mark tells of a tough lesson learned by Simon Peter, who
thought he became an expert after he “aced” his first quiz. You
know you’re in trouble when you start correcting the teacher. He
went from being at the head of the class to wearing a dunce cap.
Actually, it was worse. This was not to be his last stumble,
either. Roosters would crow when he faced his toughest test
14:66-72). But that’s another gospel story. Listen to
our Tithes and Offerings
It’s very tempting to think that all we have to do, when it comes
to our relationship with God, is put some money in the offering
plate. You and I know, however, that while money can purchase a
lot of “things,” it can’t buy us love. A relationship, with God or
with each other, requires so much more. The good news is that what
we have to share has already been lavished upon us - free of
charge. On the other hand, though, this relationship demands every
aspect of our lives. Even, as James clearly reveals, our “tongue.”
Can you offer God your “tongue” this morning? That is, can you
give to God the will behind the words you speak? Are you willing
to allow your relationship with God to guide what you say and how
you say it? Everyday? Ponder this as the plates are passed.
Cleanse my tongue, O Lord. I offer it to you. May this
relationship with you have dominion over me. Then I shall be able
to speak the truth in love. May the words of my mouth and the
meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my
strength and my Redeemer. Amen.
(based upon Psalm 19:12-14)
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement
grant you to live in harmony with one another,
in accordance with Christ Jesus,
so that together
you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hymnal #774, Romans 15:5-6 adapted