From the Pastor:         “Please follow the Instructions”  Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.

REDEEMER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

December 26, 2021

 

First Sunday after Christmas

 

Processional

 

Invocation: Good morning and welcome!

God, who walks with each one of us, help us to place our trust in your guiding care for us as we gather to learn the great lessons of living in peaceful community with each other. Prepare us to be witnesses of your love and forgiveness. Make us ready to work for you in your creation; for we ask this in the name of Jesus, your beloved Son. AMEN.

 

Call to Worship

L: How are we to live as God’s beloved children?
P: We are to have attitudes and actions of compassion and justice.
L: How are we to live as neighbors with one another?
P: We are to put on the garments of love and peace.
L: Let us come before the Lord in gratitude for all we have been given.
P: Lord, thank you for all you continue to do in our lives. AMEN.

 

Words of Welcome and Parish News:

 

Gathering song

 

Silent meditation and prayer:

Prayer Focus: Celebrating Jesus

 

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, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Scripture Reading:

 

Colossians 3:12-21

12As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Music

The Message                      “Please follow the Instructions”               Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.

I remember getting certain gifts for Christmas and having lots of joy, excitement, and enthusiasm. But all that joy, enthusiasm, and excitement came to a screeching halt with the realization that I needed to follow the instructions to use the gift. Sometimes in our daily routines, we may try to do things without any guidelines or improvise, eventually making mistakes and spending more time trying to find out what went wrong. Today, the first Sunday after Christmas should have a powerful influence on our actions.

 

How does Jesus influence your decision-making process? Our life experiences have many pathways and uncharted waters that we may have entered overtime. The ways we interact with one another may need observation and reevaluation. People in the workplace often need instructions to approach one another peaceably. Some people get upset when people get too close, point fingers, and raise their voices. Think about bullying, which is not isolated to children. People have different concerns, issues, and problems working on their emotions.

 

Today, Colossians have valuable insight in relation to our humanness and God’s chosen ones. The Word says:

 

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.”

 

Now, this is easier said than done. We don’t always follow the instructions or think they apply in certain instances. We have to be reminded how to act and respond to people. Do you remember being told to be on your best behavior? Presently, we can follow the instructions given to us through the example of the life of Jesus. Yes, in the movements of hostility, we must learn to live with one another through love.

 

Offertory Prayer: God of our salvation, we are still feeling the Christmas glow. Our heads are filled with the sounds and smells and memories of the joy and love and the stable and the baby in the manger. When we read about the twelve-year-old Jesus being left behind, we sometimes wish we didn’t have to head back into the world.

Offertory Music

Doxology:                                                                                                                            UMH 95

 

Unison Prayer of Dedication:

As we make our last gifts of the year to you, Lord help us see the mission you’ve put before us. Bethlehem is just the beginning of our work! We pray it in the holy name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.

 

Closing Music:

 

Sending Forth

People who have been found, loved, and forgiven, go into God’s world bringing messages of peace, love and hope to all you meet. Be prepared for lives of service, helping others in all kinds of needs and situations. Go in peace. AMEN.

Recessional (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music) 

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