Call to Worship – psalm 145:8-14 (NIV)
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
Hymn 187 – O Lord, my God (How great Thou art)
Scripture Sentence – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
you are our refuge and our stronghold,
a timely help in trouble.
We give you praise and thanks
for how you have sustained us during this pandemic,
and that once again in our land church buildings are open for worship.
Lord God, to your name be glory,
for your goodness alone kept and preserved us.
Continue your mercies to us, we pray,
that we may always acknowledge
that you are our Savious
and our mighty deliver;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Reading – Joshua 4:1-9
When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Children’s Talk – The Israelite Cross the Jordan
Children’s Praise – Great Big God
Reading – Hebrews 13:5b-8 (NIV)
God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Sermon – Picking up your Stone
A prayer for creativity as normal gives way to new
you have made all things out of nothing;
out of emptiness and darkness,
fashioned every form of life,
and birthed light for each new day.
In this moment –
the ways we have always done things
seem inadequate and redundant;
we know things have to be different,
but our well-worn routines shackle our thinking;
our range of vision for alternatives
is limited by our struggle to imagine other possibilities.
Help us in this twilight zone,
between what was and what is to come.
Give us a sense of your presence with us in the storm,
speaking to us above howling wind and tossing wave,
calling us to take courage,
not to fear,
inviting us to take those first faltering steps,
in answer to your call out of the familiar,
to exercise fresh faith in you.
Draw our eyes to Jesus,
and fix them there.
Reach out your hand and catch us,
in those times when our faith shrinks,
and our doubts grow.
Expand our thinking,
enlarge our courage,
enable wise choices,
extend your grace,
engage us heart, mind and soul,
equip us for what lies ahead.
For you are making all things new,
and we want to be renewed as your people,
after the image of Christ.
In whose name we pray.
Hymn 104 – Guide me, O my great redeemer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all, evermore.