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This Week’s Worship Preview
Everyone loves a great story. It’s Father’s Day, and today, we honor everything fantastic about dads. Father’s Day reconnects us to stories about the best of Dad-ness, whether our dad, our experience as a dad, or about the “dad’ role that someone has had in your life. Do you have a few stories to share about awesome dads? Maybe you have a “dad” to thank especially today!
As a nation, we celebrate June 19, also known as Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, the United States freed hundreds of thousands of enslaved people in Texas. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863. It extended freedom to enslaved people in the Confederate States still under open rebellion. However, making that a reality depended on military victories by the U.S. Army and an ongoing presence to enforce them. It wasn’t until more than two years later, in June of 1865, that U.S. Army troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, to officially tell the freedom story and enforce emancipation. Juneteenth is the longest-observed African American holiday and a reminder that actively supporting racial reconciliation is a calling every disciple of Jesus should undertake. We hear the Apostle Paul’s revolutionary freedom affirmation in our lectionary text today: “There can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal” (Gal. 3:28).
In our Gospel reading today from Luke 8, we will discover how one man’s freedom from physical and spiritual bondage transformed an entire city. Moments after, Jesus arrives by boat on the outskirts of town. He was shockingly interrupted by a man consumed and bounded by evil spirits. By empathizing with his tragic story, we can better realize the transformational turnabout that freedom brings, especially the freedom Jesus brings. When Jesus sets us free, we are free to release others. Whatever binds us, whether injustice, life experiences, medical or emotional struggles, afflictions, or addictions, Jesus’ mighty power and love proclaim freedom to transform spiritual consumption into spiritual production. Here are a few examples of spiritual freedom that our friends, family, and neighbors need to hear today:
- Did God bring you forgiveness and hope? Tell the story.
- Did God remedy a problem or restore a relationship? Tell the story.
- Did God heal you? Tell the story.
- Did God use you in another’s life? Tell the story.
- Did God answer your prayers? Tell the story.
- Did God give you a second chance? Tell the story.
This Sunday, let’s meet Jesus, who proclaims a Creator Father’s love and Redeeming Christ’s proclamation of freedom. We all need to hear the freedom story! But even more, we must also internalize, apply, and share our freedom story. Invite a friend to worship with you. Don’t let any more time pass because everyone needs to hear a freedom story!
When Jesus Called You “Father,” will be sung by the Rev. Larry Moyer, a new hymn by the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. It’s written especially for this Father’s Day Sunday. It celebrates biblical references to God the Father. We understand that God, the great I Am, is also described by many other metaphors, roles, and titles in the Bible such as mother, brother, Lord, counselor, savior, creator, shepherd, rock, and friend.
Our lyric video following the message will be Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. This hymn favorite was written as a loose summary of Psalms 103 and 150 by Joachim Neander in 1680. Neander became a follower of Christ and a Calvinist schoolmaster in his early 20s. Despite living much of his short Christian life under significant adversity, he wrote 60 glorious hymns – mostly praise hymns – and became the first renowned hymn-writer in the German Reformed Church. Many of his stanzas reflect the stunning beauty of the rocky cliffs, verdant slopes, and peaceful river in the Neander Valley. “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” was published in 1680, the same year he died of tuberculosis at the young age of 30.
In Christ, There is No East or West features familiar lyrics we will be singing to an alternate tune as our sending hymn. The musical setting expands and enhances the thematic inclusiveness of an early 20th-century text by adapting the melody of a traditional spiritual to carry words of freedom and equality. This 1940 pairing marked the first use of African American musical materials in a mainline North American hymnal.
“…That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18).
Whatever your religious affiliation, or none at all, we all hear Jesus say, “Come to me all who are overburdened, and find rest for your soul!” Everyone is welcomed at Cold Spring Church. Yes, everyone!
Enjoy sitting with others from greater Cape May as we worship together. We simplified our service and made it even easier to participate, with our Worship Guide and lyric videos displayed on a large screen.
Worship anytime on YouTube Live!
Physical distancing and masks are NOT required!
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Energize your life and discover the amazing love of Jesus! This week is the perfect time to join us in person for worship. Enjoy live music and solo, lyric videos, and a message of hope from God’s word.
We are excited to welcome to worship all who are able and comfortable in our historic Red Brick Church on Sundays at 10:30 AM.