The Giving of Grace (click here)
Welcome to Worship on this Sunday June 27th, 2021.
May this on-line service be a blessing to you, even as you go through the week to come, God Bless.
Lighting of the Christ Candle:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.
Thanks be to God.
- Please remember in prayer this week: Medical Centres and Offices, The Hospital, Doctors, Nurses, and all the employees.
- St. Andrew's continues to meet in person each Sunday morning at 11 am. We would love to have you join us if you are ever in town. The Church is located at: 1981 9th Ave NE in the beautiful city of Salmon Arm BC.
CALL TO WORSHIP:
Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
Make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
PRAYER OF APPROACH:
Almighty God, our Father and Friend, we come before you with praise and thanksgiving. We thank you Lord, that we are able to gather together as your church once again. We are here because you are our Father. We draw aside from all other distractions and concerns to spend this hour with You as a fellowship of believers in your son and our redeemer, Jesus Christ our Lord. We pray for your abiding grace to settle upon us. Hear our prayers, the silent singing of our hearts, and your Word shared among us. Help us Father to be responsive to your will. Our hearts are so full of so many things that all too often crowd out those of real worth. Open our eyes that we may see, our ears that we may hear and our lips that we may speak for you. May your spirit touch a responsiveness in our lives that we may be beacons of your love in our world. Amen.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION:
As we come before you Lord, we unite our hearts in worship and praise; and in so doing we acknowledge that we have fallen short of your will for us. In moments of impatience we speak unkind words, in moments of self-doubt we question your love for us and for others, in moments of judgement we pass sentence upon those whom you love and whom you died to save. In your grace we have received peace, yet we do not rest in your peace and instead try to solve our problems ourselves. In your grace, we have received joy, yet we do not display nor share our joy with family, friends, and strangers. In your grace, we have received love, yet we do not love others as you have asked us to do. So often, Lord you are our last resort. Forgive us we pray, for our unbelief and for our desire to have things our own way. We pray to you for wisdom, understanding, and help in times of need and then will not wait upon your timing, nor often accept your answer to our prayer. In your great mercy we pray, forgive us and empower us to do better, to be kinder, to love more. In Jesus name, Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON:
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1,2
PASSING THE PEACE:
May the peace of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you. And also with you.
Hymn: “What a Friend we have in Jesus”
WE HEAR GOD’S WORD: (click here for video of the readings and the sermon)
A song of ascents.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
Mark 5: 21-43
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
SERMON: The Giving of Grace – Janet Hanna
Ray Stedman was an evangelical Christian pastor and author. He was a long-time pastor of Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, and author of several books, one of which is called Body Life. I participated in a bible study on the book in 1974 and those sessions with former members of this church, to a large part, contributed to my becoming a Christian in September of that year.
Mr. Stedman told a story of a time when he and his wife were driving through Oregon with his little daughter, Susan. She had developed a fever the night before, when they were staying in a motel, but it didn’t seem serious. As they drove along, all of a sudden, the little girl went into convulsions. Her eyes turned up, her body began to jerk, and she obviously was in great danger. Stedman’s heart clutched. He stopped the car, grabbed Susan, and stumbled across the road to a farmhouse that happened to be visible nearby. It was about six in the morning, but the frantic father thundered on the door. When a woman appeared, he cried out, “My daughter is very sick – she’s in convulsions. Do you have a bathtub where we can put her in warm water?”
The lady was so taken aback she hardly knew what to say. She motioned down the hall, and without waiting for any words, Stedman pushed the front door open, went down the hall, and started running water in the tub. Later he called the doctor and arranged to take his daughter to him for an examination.
It all turned out all right, but Stedman never forgot that movement when it looked as though his daughter was going to die. Later he found out this farm family had the only bathtub and the only phone for miles around!
This is the same emotion that drove Jairus, that agonized father, to Jesus – the fear that his little one, who had blessed their home and filled it with sunshine for twelve years, was to be taken from them.
Jairus is described as a ruler of the synagogue. He is not a rabbi, but he is an important man. He was the administrative head of the synagogue and was responsible for the conduct of the services. He allocated the duties and made sure everything was carried out in a timely manner and in good order. He would therefore have been a familiar, and respected man in the community.
Most of the Jewish religious leaders and teachers were not exactly fans of Jesus, yet for the sake of his daughter Jairus casts aside his prejudices. He might have considered Jesus an outsider, a dangerous heretic, one to whom the synagogue doors were firmly closed and someone who should definitely be avoided. If he didn’t believe these things himself, he would most certainly have heard others branding Jesus as such. But he needed to help his little girl. She was more important than anything else.
Prejudice is “judging beforehand,” and we are all guilty of it. Before we know all the facts, before we have heard the whole story, or understand both sides of a situation or person, we weigh and judge and pass a verdict. And having decided on a course we are loath to examine any additional evidence. Jairus was too frantic to care about the stories and mutterings regarding this itinerate teacher. He would deal with all that stuff later and would make any necessary explanations to his superiors, or friends, or family. For now, Jairus had faith that Jesus could cure his child and that is all he cared about. The Teacher must come, and quickly.
It is good for us that Jesus does not judge beforehand when he looks upon us and our situations. In his grace he looks on us and our sinful state with love and forgiveness. He covers it before God with his blood and makes us pure in His Father’s sight. Jesus’ grace given freely to us should, in turn, prompt us to not ‘judge beforehand’ and be willing to accept others as they are. And it is only in his grace that we are even able to do so.
Jairus came to Jesus while he was surrounded by a large crowd, many of whom would know who he was and about his role at the synagogue. And yet this upright and respected community leader threw himself on the ground at Jesus feet and in a few short words begged him to come to his house. A man who is used to giving orders and directions and having them obeyed humbled himself before his neighbours. His pride was forgotten. His dignity was cast aside. All that mattered was that Jesus come and make his daughter well. He earnestly believed the Lord was capable of doing this. Which is strange really isn’t it? He worked at the synagogue, among those who despised Jesus and were working earnestly to have him renounced and silenced. Where would Jairus have gotten the faith necessary to prostrate himself in public and plead for help? It couldn’t have been easy. None of us like to be beholden to others. We want to run our own lives and make our own decisions. And Jairus was a man who made important decisions every day; a man whose words were obeyed and who was looked up too by others. Even more importantly, what would cause Jairus to believe that Jesus would not only come at his request, but would, and could, cure his daughter? He is not one of those who have been following him from town to town and listening to his teaching. He would not have witnessed the cleansing of the leper, or the driving out of the evil spirits. He would not have heard his parables and discussed their meanings. But God knew Jairus, and God’s Holy Spirit came upon him so as to provide an opportunity for him to come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to give an opportunity for Jesus to display his grace and love and power over even an enemy as strong as death to the glory and honour of God.
But, before Jesus could make his way to Jairus’ house some of his servants came to say the girl has died. “Don’t bother the teacher, anymore. It is too late now anyway.” One would almost think they were ashamed of their master, that he, such an important man would even think to come to Jesus let alone to stoop so low as to beg him to come and, essentially make a miracle happen. Is he not better than Jesus? Is he not more important? He is a ruler at the synagogue for heaven’s sake, what is he thinking to fall at the feet of this wandering nobody who is stirring up the people and threatening not only their religious practices, but the Law of Almighty God and the wrath of the Roman Empire. “Come away, don’t bother him anymore.”
But Jesus steps in and says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” I am sure Jairus would have been unsure what to make of that and would also be uncertain what he should do now. He likely wanted to rush home to be with his grieving wife and to succumb to grief himself. But here he is now, in this crowd of people and Jesus says, ‘just believe.’ Well off they go to Jairus’s house only to be met with the wailing flutes and the crying family members. Amidst all the emotion and noise, Jesus is calm and serene. They were moaning and weeping and tearing their hair and rending their clothes in deep distress and Jesus was calm and quiet and in control. He had the knowledge of God’s love, and the confidence in God’s grace, and the trust in God’s power. The worst of human disaster can be met with courage when we meet it with God on our side.
“Why all this commotion, why all the crying and loud wailing. The child is not dead but asleep,” Jesus said. And they laughed at him in scorn because they thought his hope was groundless and his claim was mistaken. “But the great fact of the Christian life,” says William Barclay, “is that that which looks completely impossible with men is possible with God. That which on human ground is far too good to be true, becomes blessedly true when God is there.”
And a miracle was performed. Jesus, with the mom and dad and Peter, James and John went into the room and the Lord said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” Which she did! Immediately. There was no weakness to overcome, no strength that needed to be restored. As a matter of fact she was so well that Jesus told the parents to get her something to eat. And he didn’t even specify broth or something light and easy on the stomach. “Feed the child, she will be hungry.”
And, then to cap off this extraordinary day, He says, “Now don’t tell anyone.” Jairus came to Jesus in a very public manner to ask his help. Jesus walked right through a crowd of mourners at the house, and he has made a dead girl alive again. How on earth is this expected to be kept quiet? And you can be sure it wasn’t. In Matthew’s account of the story he says, “NEWS OF THIS SPREAD THROUGH ALL THE REGION.”
Commentator Matthew Henry wrote of this miracle, “Christ works while he commands, and works by the command, and therefore may command what he pleases, even the dead to rise. Such is the gospel call to those that are by nature dead in sin and trespasses and can no more rise from that death by their own power, than the child could.”
Just as the girl got up from her death bed and walked around alive again, we too rise from the bed of sinfulness and despair when we encounter Jesus and believe his words. Then we can walk around in this world in Christ’s name and strength. Henry also wrote, “Where Christ has given spiritual life, he will provide food for the support and nourishment of it unto eternal life, for he will never forsake, or be wanting to the work of this own hands.”
But there was another incident that day. While Jairus comes openly to beg for a cure for a sick child a woman comes clandestinely to steal a cure for herself.
This poor lady had been sick for 12 years and her condition affected her entire life. She suffered from bleeding and every doctor she had seen, every crazy superstitious cure she may have tried did not work. She was now broke and in a worse condition that when her problem began those many years ago. She was shunned, considered unclean, unable to go to the temple, and required to keep her distance from others. Aside from the physical difficulties of her condition she was forced to face everything all alone. Isolated and unwanted.
She had heard of Jesus, but her problem was an embarrassing thing. To go into a crowd and say aloud what her need was would be unthinkable, so she decided to try touch him in secret, believing even that small a thing could make her well. She said to herself, “IF I JUST TOUCH HIS CLOTHES, I WILL BE HEALED.”
She came to Jesus as a last resort. She had tried everything the world could offer and so at the last, she finally tried Jesus. This is not uncommon. Many, many people try everything – over and over and over – before they acknowledge they are powerless to solve their problems and recognize they need Jesus. She wanted a private cure for an embarrassing and personal problem. But Jesus was aware of his power and whenever he used it to heal someone it took something out of him.
This is a universal truth. We will never produce anything great unless we are prepared to put something of ourselves, or our life, or our soul, into it. The greatness of Jesus was that he was prepared to pay the cost of helping others, and that price was the outgoing of his very life. We only follow in his footsteps when we are prepared to expend our efforts and strength for others.
The disciples took the common sense view when Jesus asked “Who touched me?” and they looked around at all the people jostling about, pushing against them on all sides and thought, ‘How could Jesus avoid being touched in this large crowd?’ They had never recognized or realized that it cost Jesus anything at all to heal others. It was just something he did. Our human minds are so sadly insensitive we often fail to realize, or even attempt to understand, what others are going through. If it is not something we have experienced ourselves we never think what that very thing may be costing another. Sometimes something is quite easy and natural for us so it never occurs to us that another person may struggle and what a huge effort it may be to them; or we discount it. And often, if it is something we have experienced we are more interested in sharing our story than listening to the other person. How many times have you shared a concern or worry and the person to whom you are speaking right away responds with the words “When I …., and goes on to talk about themselves and their situation?
Jesus knows what others are going through and He knows what it costs us sometimes to cope or to overcome or to persevere and He knew when the power to heal this woman was taken from him. In the case of Jairus’s daughter Jesus went to the house and told the girl to rise from her death bed, the woman on the other hand did not talk to the Lord at all, she asked for nothing, she had faith that He would give what she needed even if she took it in secret. And the amazing thing is that is exactly what happened. Jesus’s love and concern for all people is so great that his healing touch can be received by anyone at anytime.
Lawrence Richards in his book, “The Bible Readers’ Companion” wrote on this passage, “Mark emphasizes the role of faith in benefiting from Jesus’ wonder-working powers. This does not mean that faith guarantees healing or that healing cannot take place apart from faith. Note that there is no mention of faith in the story of the deliverance of the demon-possessed man told just before this incident. What faith does do is cause us to appeal to Jesus and to rely on Him. Its faith that brings us to Jesus. It’s Jesus who works wonders in our lives.”
The group is now stopped in the middle of the street. Jairus is anxiously awaiting Jesus’ response to his plea to come to heal his daughter. The disciples are looking around in skepticism and bafflement at all the people, wondering how on earth they are to find the one person Jesus said touched him. The people at the outside edges of the crowd likely have no idea of what is going on and are wondering why everyone has stopped. The woman, though, has heard the question and realizes she has been caught out. What to do? How can she escape now? But she realized immediately that when she had touched his cloak she had been healed and despite her fear of public ridicule and condemnation she was compelled to step up and reveal what she had done and why. It would have been extremely difficult and humiliating to speak in front of all these strange men and women about such a private feminine problem. Yet, her joy and relief at being healed gave her the strength and courage. Can you fathom for a moment how she must have felt? How frightened, how humiliated, how worried?
But Jesus did not ask her to identify herself to embarrass or criticize her. He did not blame her for her presumption, rather he wanted her to come forward so that he might demonstrate his concern for her, commend her and encourage her in her faith and by his own act and deed might confirm the cure. Jesus said, “DAUGHTER, YOUR FAITH HAS HEALED YOU. GO IN PEACE AND BE FREED FROM YOUR SUFFERING.” With these words her terror and trembling were gone, and a wave of relief must have flooded her whole being. We can learn from this that we can always feel safe to confess our sins and the needs and desires of our heart to Jesus, for he alone understands. His grace is freely given no matter how great or small is our need.
These are two simple little stories with profound lessons for us. Jesus is the giver of grace. He loves each of us and desires the very best for us. He was willing to raise us up – even from death in our own sin – and he is willing to pour out his healing power and forgiveness even to those who have come to him as a last resort. His grace heals, restores, affirms, encourages, and forgives. In Him all things are possible, even the unbelievable or the mundane. As we go out into our world today, let us praise God for the giving of His Grace and may we be givers of Jesus’s love to those we meet. Amen.
We pray, Father, that our offerings be acceptable in your sight, and we ask that through this ministry to which we are committed, you will be served in this church and in our community and throughout your world. We acknowledge, Lord that everything we have given to you has been given to us first by you. Yet, in our gratitude for your grace and provision in our lives we return to you this part of that which you have given us, and, committing it to your glory, we pledge it to your will. May it multiply and flow amidst your people. Amen.
GATHERING PRAYER REQUESTS.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION:
Father God, you care for us. You want us to live in the joyful abundance of your grace and you desire the very best for us each day. We thank you Lord for your world in all its complexity and abundance. We thank you for this new season of crops in the fields that can be used to nourish people around the world. We thank you for the wonders of science and modern medicine and the caring hearts of men and women who work for the betterment of mankind. We praise you Lord for sustaining and protecting this small fellowship of believers during this past year of the global pandemic. We lift our gratitude that you have enabled us to adjust to so many changing situations over the past months and yet remain a church community that cares for one another. In your mercy and grace Lord you have provided for all of our needs.
Add our own prayers:
We need you Lord. We need your wisdom as we travel through each day, that we may be a blessing to those whom we meet along the way. We need your strength for tasks or situations that sometimes loom as high as mountains but still must be overcome or accepted. We need your mercy as we strive to be your servants in a lonely and desolate world. We need the depth of your understanding to make sense of so many hurts and needs and circumstances that swirl constantly around in the world. Help us to be lights of hope and to share words of comfort where needed.
Add our own prayers:
We pray Heavenly Father for those who share our homes and sustain us with their love, for those who stand beside us in our churchly fellowship and seek with us to walk where Jesus walked, for those who live in other lands and by their difference from ourselves proclaim the wideness of your merciful love. But most of all, we praise you for yourself – for the will that brought the world to being and hovers over it day by day, for the gift of your Son and our redemption through his grace, and for your Holy Spirit and its sanctifying power. Accept our praise, we pray, and guide us as we go out into your world this week.
We remember this week medical centers and offices, our local and provincial hospitals, doctors, nurses and all the employees who work in these areas of service. Bless each one Lord as they work for the benefit and care of others. May their hands be hands of healing and may their hearts be hearts of compassion and love in Your Name.
Our Father, who art in heaven.
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
In earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.
Go now, trusting in God our Father for guidance and strength to do the tasks set before us, that we may be his servants and his light in our world. And, “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
SUNG BLESSING: May the peace of Christ go with you, and also with you,
May the peace of Christ go with you in all you do.
– sung by Gloria.
On-line: Take O Take me as I am