Liturgy Lesson: June 21, 2020 (Father’s Day)
Morning Service (10:30 a.m. – sanctuary)
Call to Worship: Col. 1:15-19; Rev. 4:11, 5:9-10
Prayer of Invocation
Hymn of Adoration: Fairest Lord Jesus (#170)
Confession of Sin: Col. 3:5-14 and prayer
Assurance of Pardon: 2 Cor. 5:17-21
Hymn of Assurance: The Power of the Cross
Reading of the Word: Luke 17:1-4
Sermon: Consumed by Zeal, Freed by Forgiveness, Rev. Eric Irwin
The Lord’s Supper: My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness; Across the Lands
Evening Service (6:30 p.m. – outdoors)
Call to Worship: Psalm 113:1-3, Psalm 92:1-2
Hymn: From All the Dwell Below the Skies (#7)
Responsive Psalm: Psalm 103 and sung refrain
Scripture Reading: Genesis 11:1-9
Sermon: Identifying Babel Projects, Rev. Shiv Muthukumar
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper: Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched
Hymn: O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
– James 1:17
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
– Col. 1:15-18
This Sunday is a double-double-double blessing for me. It is both Father’s Day and the Summer Solstice (that’s the first double). In addition, it is the first time in over three months that we will be worshiping in the sanctuary with real people (a double blessing in and of itself). And, to top it all off, we are holding in-person worship services for both morning and evening (the final double). Double-double-double. A triple-layer cake of sweet goodness. That’s two to the third power, making this Sunday a bonus basket of eightfold benefits for the church body. Oil poured out and running over. God is good.
In honor of the multiplied merriment of this moment, I am going all-in with the alliteration for this week’s lesson. For some of you, this may be groanworthy news, but this is how my creative brain chooses to celebrate…so deal with it! What follows is a special Fantasia for Father’s Day…a sort of alphabetic alliteration to applaud, acclaim, and adore our awesome God. Enjoy!
The ABC’s of Our Creator God
Almighty, Alpha, Ancient of Days, Author of Faith, Adonai, Announcing “AMEN” to an Astounding Array of Amazing and Awesome Abundance. Antelopes, and Aardvarks. Apples and Artichokes. Aquatic Anemone and Algae. The Australian outback and the Arctic. Assembler of Ant Armies. Architect of Alaska, Arches National Park, and Autumn. The original Abstract Artist.
Bright and Morning Star, Bread of Life, Bearer of Sin, Banner over us, Balm of Gilead, Beginning, Bridegroom. Building and Beholding all Beauty. Boulders and bubbles. Buds and Bodies. Buoyant Butterflies, Buzzing Bees, and the Babies’ Boo-hoos. Brooks Babbling from Barren Buttes. Blanketing it all in his Blessing. And He Beholds the Bold Belting of Believers. So, Bellow on, Bible Banger!
Creator, Counselor, Comforter, the Changeless and Chosen Christ. Composer of the Cosmos. Crafter of Coastal Cliffs, Conifer Forests, and Crater Lake. Constantly Changing the Celestial Canvas. Creator of Color, Cascades, and the Climate. Commander and Celebrator of every Chirp, Chuckle, Chant, and Cheer. Everything that Creeps, and Clucks, and Crawls. Chef who Comprehended Cheese and Coffee! No Composer Can Capture his Ceaseless Creativity. “C’mon! Clap, Celebrate, and Cry out!”
Daystar, Deliverer, Desire of Nations, Defender, Diadem of Beauty; Dwelt among us; Despised. He Determined to Dazzle the Dozen with Dynamite Displays of Dramatic Deliverance from Despair and Death, Duping the Demons and defeating the Devil. He Delights in the Deeply Deliberate, Devotional and Dedicated, Diaphragmatic Descants of the Disciples.
Emmanuel, Eternal God, Everlasting Father, Existing from Eternity, Exhaling Extravagance and Expressing Energy, Empowering Each Electron and Eclipse. Electrifying the Environment with Every Earthquake and Eruption, from Ecuador to Estonia.
Faithful, Fortress, Friend, Finisher of the Faith. Father to the Fatherless. Freeing us with Forgiveness. Flowing from him are Fire, Floods, and Fog. We find his Fairness in the Foxglove, the Finesse of his Fingerprint in Fields of Flowers. He Feeds and Fades the Farmland. Enfolds each Forest with Fire or Freeze. Falcons, Flying Squirrels, Frogs and Ferrets Flourish and Faithfully Fulfill their Foreseen Function.
God is Great, Gracious, Glorious. Generous Giver of every Good Gift in the Garden; Governor of Gravity. He is Glorified by Gorgeous Grasslands and Glaciers, Gorillas and Glow worms, the Growl of the Grizzly, and the Giddy Giggles of Grade-school Girls.
Holy. Our Helper and High Tower. He Heals our Hurts and Hears on Hallelujahs! Hamsters, Hammerheads, Hedgehogs, Hermit Crabs. The Heron, the Horse, and the Hippo. The Hummingbird, Humpback whale, and the Human! All that Habits and Hibernates from Here to Horizon Hails Him as Head Honcho!
Indeed, the I AM. Intercessor. Image of the Invisible. Immortal, Invincible, Infinite, Incredible! Intimately Involved, Inhaling into Individuals. Illuminating and Irradiating Interstellar Ions. Imagined Impressionism. And Ice! Imbues each Insect Infantry with Integrity. Improvisatory, Intelligent, Inventor of Irony, Intimacy, and Instrumental Interplay.
Join that with Juniper trees and Jasmine flowers, Jaguars and Jupiter! And Juice! It’s all the Genius of Jesus. Jehovah Jireh. Judge. And, we are Justified in His Journal. It’s no Joke! We Jump with Jolts of Joy!
King of Kings. Keeper. Kingpin of His Kaleidoscopic Kingdom, containing Kelp and Kale, Kangaroos and Koalas. And every Knucklehead who plays the Kazoo. What a Kick!
Lord of Lords. Light of the World. Living Bread. Lion of the tribe of Judah. Lover of our souls. Leaping to our Laughter and Lingering when we Languish, the Language of his Libretto Leads us like a Lamp. He Legislates with Liberality and Laments the Lost. He Listens to the Leopard, Lion, Lemur, Lizard, and the Lobster. He Landscapes each Lake and Lagoon to His Liking.
Master and Mighty God. Magnificent Morning Star. Man of Sorrows. Merciful Mediator. Messiah. Making all things new. Manifesting His Majesty through the Mountains and the Meteor. Masterminding and Mobilizing the Moose, the Mouse, the Monarch butterfly. The Manta Ray and the Minke whale. Making Muscle from Mud, Moving Mortals beyond Mere Mumbling. Motivating us with Meaning and Imago Dei. Measures become Music. Mozart, Monet, and Mandela. A Manifestation of His Majesty, Man is His Magnum Opus!
Name above every other Name. The Nazarene whose Nobility could Neutralize the Nations. He is not Numb to the Needy, He draws Near and Nourishes. Nothing in Nature is Neglected. His Nonstop Narrative is in each Nucleus and Neuron. He provides a Nest for the Nightingale.
Omnipotent Omega, Only Wise God. Orchestrator of every Organism, of Orion’s Belt, and the Operatic Orbit of the Oort Cloud. Ordained it all, not with an “Oooops!” but rather “Ooooh, la, la”!! Overcomer. Originality is His alone. Octopus, Ostrich, Osprey, Oyster. Opal, and Orange.
Pre-eminent Prince of Peace, Physician, Potter, Our Portion and Passover. Protector, Provider, Proclaiming Power over Principalities, Princes, and Prideful Politicians. Painter of the Peacock, the Parrot, and the Pink flamingo. Playfully Putting together the Platypus and the Porpoise. We Proclaim His Praises with our Presbyterian Pipes even as his Power Permeates the Perfume of our Prayers and Petitions.
Quickening Spirit. Quintessential. Quiet.
Rabbi, Radical, Redeemer, Refiner, Refuge, and Resting place. Rose of Sharon. Restorer of the Ransomed, Reward of the Righteous, Rock of Ages. Radiant! Ruling over the Rancor of the Reformation, and the Renaissance. Roaring through it all. The Realization of Reality. He Relaxes with the Red panda, and Rollicks with the Rabbit, Refrigerates the Royal Penguin, and Resonates through the Robin.
Savior, Shepherd, Shelter, Son of God, A Stronghold in the Storm, our Strength and Song. Safe in His Serene Shelter. Satisfier of our Souls. Sacrifice for our Sins, Slayer of the Serpent. He Sings into existence the Starfish and the Stingray, the Sperm whale and the Sea Slug. The Solar flare and Supernova are Small Samplings of His symphony. Shaping and Sculpting the Shoreline, Showing himself in Splendid Sunsets, Sonorous Streams, and Silent Snow. His Spirit Speaks and Seeps through our Senses. Sight, Sound, Smell. Shining in the Stunning, Splendid, and Sublime Stars!
The Truth, and our Treasure. Teacher of all Things. He Thoughtfully Tinkers with the Tide pools. Talismanic, he Trumpets in the Thunder. Too terrible for the Tempest, the Tsunami, and the Tomb. Tending to the Tiger and the Tree frog. He talks and Transmits his Thoughts Through the Totality of this Terrestrial Tapestry. It Throbs and Thrills with Transcendence. Even Tiny Toddlers, Though Trapped in Time, Tender Their Thanksgiving.
The Unspeakable and Undefiled gift. The Upright Upholder of the Universe. Underlaying the Underground with Uranium. Ushering in the Ultraviolet, the Umbra, and all that is Unseen. The Ultimate. Unifier. The Unpredictable Umpire who Undertakes to Undo Umbrage and Usher Understanding between you and your Uncle.
The Vine. The Victory. The Versatile and Vivacious one, he brings Verve to the Vulture and the Vampire bat. His Variety is Visible in Vegetables and Vitamins. When we hear a Virtuoso Violinist, his Voltage goes Vroooooom through our Veins! The Voice who invigorates our Variform, yet Vaulted, Vocalizing.
The Way. The Word. Wonderful, Wisdom of God. Worthy. Watching over the Wharp and Whoof of the World. Whispering in the Wind. Waiting to bring Warmth in the Winter. Wonderfully Wasteful. We Worship and Wonder at His Wisdom. The Wacky, and Wild and Weird. The Warthog, Woodpecker, Whale shark, Walrus, Wolf, and Weasel.
All X-cellent, and X-ceedingly great. X-pressing His X-traordinary Xylophonic X-cess in all that X-ists. The X-slaves X-ulted Him after the X-odus. We X-ist to X-tol Him, too, until our X-it. And even then, X-treme, X-uberant, X-ultation X-tends into X-tra time.
It all Yells Yahoo for Yahweh! The Youth, Johann, Yodels. The Yak Yawns. It’s all Yippee and Yeah, God!
All creation Zings with Zeal and Zest! Everything that Zig-Zags and Zooms, from the Zoo to the Zodiac. And the Zenith that we will Zoon join Zechariah, Zadok, Zebedee and Zacchaeus by the Crystal Zee, Zinging our Zongs to the Zavior like never before!