Today our chapel service was blessed in an exercise of flexibility! Things can change quickly around here so we adapted and had a wonderful service.
I welcomed everyone to our service and then asked elder Reajean Grubb to pray our opening prayer.
David Hunt played a lovely prelude which led us to our Call to Worship for the day.
Call to Worship (Based on Psalm 32)
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no
iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Our first hymn in worship today was another popular hymn written by Fanny Crosby, “I Am Thine, Oh Lord.” This was a very familiar hymn and everyone so enjoyed singing it.
Elder Opal Phelps was supposed to read our Old Testament lesson for the day but she forgot her glasses. I jumped in and read for her the story of temptation of Adam and Eve from Genesis 2:15-17 & 3:1-7.
We followed this reading with a time of prayer where everyone had an opportunity to offer prayer requests. We prayed for the lost, for all our friends and families, for everyone in our home, for pastors, and for the world.
Our hymn of fellowship was again a very familiar song for all of us. “Farther Along,” was an old frontier hymn that was written by W.B. Stevens. The first few lines of the song are important to our theme of temptation in chapel today … “tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder, why it should be thus all the day long.” Josh Scott, our guest, and I made our way around to greet elders and encourage them to greet their neighbors. We finished our fellowship time with the final verse.
When we see Jesus, coming in glory
When he comes from his home in the sky;
Then we shall meet him, in that bright mansion
We’ll understand it all by and by.
Our New Testament lesson in chapel today was from Romans 5:12-19 and elder Roger McKenney read this passage of scripture very well! Roger has such a strong and clear voice. He did an excellent job!
Familiar to everyone in the congregation today was the next song we sang, “Amazing Grace!” After we sang I introduced our guest speaker for the day, Josh Scott. Josh is the pastor at Morgantown Community Church and preached a wonderful homily on Matthew 4:1-11. It was so great to hear Josh tell us that ‘God is proud of you,’ and ‘He loves you beyond what you can do.’ Josh took us back a bit before Jesus temptation to his baptism and commented on how Jesus had not yet done anything special or remarkable and yet God said at Jesus baptism ‘this is my son.’ Jesus was able to face temptation because he was grounded in his identity. Josh encouraged us, ‘Don’t live up to a standard, live into your identity.’
Not as familiar to all of us as our other songs in chapel today was our final hymn, “Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days.” It is such an important song for us to sing as we enter into the early days of lent we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing it today.
Lord! Who throughout these forty days,
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins,
And close by Thee to stay.
We thanked Josh for being with us today and then I gave this benediction:
Though we were condemned, we have found pardon.
Though death held dominion over our lives,
God’s grace and gift of righteousness
now lives and reigns within us.
We are free. We are forgiven. We are alive in Christ!
Thank you David Hunt for your wonderful musical accompaniment today and thanks also to Josh Scott for being our guest speaker. You both have a lot of fans here!