Texts: Sunday, July 6, 2014, Genesis 25:19-34-38, 42-49, 58-67 and Psalm 45:10-17 (or Song of Song 2:8-13; or Zechariah 9:9-12 and Psalm 145:8-14; Romans 7:15-25; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Message: “Come to Me!”
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
When Jesus says , “My yoke is easy,” he means it fits, it’s appropriate, it is right for us. Because the yoke is easy, the burden is light. The point is simply this, that if we are right with him, if we wear his yoke, if we are in fellowship with God, then we can stand almost anything, anything that comes to us in life. Whereas, if we are not at peace with God and in fellowship with him then all of life is too big a burden to bear. Too much. (Bruce Laverman)
Jesus includes an interesting transition in this invitation. First, he invites us to take our
burdens and lay them upon him. Then, when we have gotten rid of our own burdens, he
invites us to accept his. There’s a significant difference: the first burden is a weight, a painful
impediment, while the second is a yoke, an implement that binds us together, a tool of
cooperation and mutual service. (Leroy Koopman)
William Barclay, that great New Testament scholar, tells us that there is a legend that before Jesus began his public ministry he was a carpenter in Nazareth and that he made the best ox yokes in all of Galilee. People came from all over the countryside to buy the yokes that Jesus made for their oxen. And out in front of that carpenter shop there probably was a little sign and on that sign were the words: “My yokes fit well.”
George Frederick Handel makes texts of Scripture come alive for us in the universal language of music. His compositions reflect that first God came to Handel and then Handel came to God and with his coming he brought all of his mental powers, all of his musical abilities and talents, and he laid them at the feet of Jesus Christ. The result is matchless!
Music: “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated,” “What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”
Call to Worship
Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Come, Lord Jesus, walk among us. Fill our darkness with your light, touch our brokenness with your healing touch, address our weariness with your quiet strength, and accompany our gladness with your benediction. Amen
Prayer of Confession
O Lord, all we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way. And it hasn’t worked all that well. Jog our minds and hearts that you must be the director of our lives, and we must follow the leading of your Holy Spirit in everything we say and do. And to God be the glory!
Words of Assurance
In this is the love of God seen, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Thanks be to God! It’s time to really believe this and go forth in the strength of God’s forgiveness and the power of His grace.
Affirmation: The Unity of the Body: Text from the Belhar Confession
We believe in one holy, universal Christian Church, the communion of saints called from the entire human family. We believe that Christ’s work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another. We believe that this unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways: in that we love one another; that we experience, practice, and pursue community with one another; that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another; that we have one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind; have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit, are baptized with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup, confess one name, are obedient to one Lord, work for one cause, and share one hope. That together we come to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ; together are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity; together know and bear one another’s burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness; pray together; together serve God in this world; and together fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity.
It is now our privilege to invest our tithes and offerings in the worldwide effort to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the world.
All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God. (Deut. 16:17)
We are grateful, almighty and merciful God, for this opportunity to invest in eternal souls that will never die, in a cause that will never fail, and in truths that will never go out of date.
Go forth in the comfort of God’s peace.
Go forth in the assurance of God’s presence.
Go forth with the challenge of God’s high calling.
(Prayers and other worship items courtesy of Leroy Koopman @ Liturgical Publications. Subscribers are
permitted to reprint material in non-profit publications only; all other reproduction is prohibited. 2013
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