Chapel – March 27, 2014

womanatthewellThe peace of Christ be with you!

This week we had our chapel service on Thursday instead of Tuesday but that did not seem to affect attendance because we had a great crowd!

Earlier in the week elder Bonnie McKinney told me she had a new prayer book that she was enjoying. I asked her if she would like to share one with us in chapel this week and she said, “Certainly!” Here is the prayer that she offered:

Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;
     hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching fall like rain
     and my words descend like dew
     like showers on new grass
     like abundant rain on tender plants.

I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
     Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
     and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
     upright and just is he.

Praise be to you, O Lord,
     God of our father Israel,
     from everlasting to everlasting.
Yours, O Lord,
     is the greatness and the power and the glory
     and the majesty and the splendor,
     for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Or Lord, is the kingdom;
     you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
     you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
     to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God we give you thanks,
     and praise your glorious name.

As usual our accompanist David Hunt performed a wonderful prelude to help us enter into a time of worship. Afterwards I led all of us in the Call to Worship that was based on Psalm 95.

CALL TO WORSHIP (Based on Psalm 95)
O come, let us sing to the Lord;
Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
Let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
The heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
And the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

The first hymn we sang in chapel today was “O Worship the King” which was written by Robert Grant. It’s a meditation on the creation theme of Psalm 104 that parallels the six days of creation. But it’s not just a paraphrase of the psalm or the first two books of the Bible, Grant focused on how creation is a testimony to God’s “measureless might.”

The elder who was going to read our new testament lesson was running late so I read Romans 5:1-11 for the congregation. Then we all sang “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” which is a wonderful parallel to our theme in scripture today. In the song there’s imagery of Christ as the giver of living water and the shepherd gathering his sheep back into the fold. In looking at the story of the woman at the well we just had to sing this song that reminds us of the ever bountiful grace of God. We too are “prone to wander,” perhaps just like the woman at the well.

We had a time of prayer where we prayed for all kinds of things including our families and friends, our home, the lost, people who are hurting, people who need healing, and the whole world. We followed our prayer with our rousing hymn of fellowship “He Keeps Me Singing.”

Elder Joy Hammers read our lesson from the psalter, Psalm 95.

Verses 1 & 2
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.

My homily was titled being “Being a Nobody” and our scripture was John 4:4-42, the story of the woman at the well. 

“This story is good news for anyone who has ever felt the humiliation of stigmatization or the pain of being a nobody, because Jesus does not turn away from this woman.”

“As such she is a model for other women, for people who feel like nobodies, for newcomers to the faith, and for people with a past. Jesus encounters and welcomes many into the household of faith—even the least likely and maybe, even, you and me.”

Our final hymn was “Grace Greater Than Our Sin,” written in 1911 by Julia Johnston, this song also demonstrated our theme of grace for our chapel service.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within,
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

After singing I gave this charge and blessing based on John 4:23, John 4:14, & Rom. 5:5.

The hour is coming and is now here.
Go forth to worship the Lord your God
in spirit and in truth,
in all that you say and do.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
springing up like living water,
fill your heart, and flow through your life.

As we dismissed David Hunt played a beautiful postlude.

Chaplain Derek