Worship – November 8 – The Weight of Hope

Welcome to Shepherd of the Hill’s online worship! We are thankful that you have come to this corner of the internet for some of God’s Word and time for reflection and worship. As you engage the below worship service, you are encouraged to quiet the world around you. Turn off or silence your phone. Find a quiet spot in your house or outdoors.

The service is approximately 30 minutes in length if you follow all the pieces. Songs have been contributed by our Worship Team and our traditional service pianist. Our lectors have recorded the readings. Pastor Adam has recorded a sermon for viewing. There is also liturgy (litanies, prayers, calls to worship) contained in the service. If you are worshiping with someone, please share the reading of these pieces with them.


Confession
If only we had been more aware
how often we meet the Lord in life!
Let us ask him to forgive us.

(pause)

Lord Jesus, you seem absent
when we struggle with suffering,
but you are there with your strength:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, often we forget you
in the cares of everyday life,
but you are there with us:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, we neglect to care for you
in our sick and neglected brothers and sisters,
but you want us to serve you in them:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Forgive us all our sins, Lord,
and make us look for your presence.
Walk with us and lead us
to the feast of everlasting life.  Amen.


Opening Song – My Lighthouse
Lyrics can be found here.
Performed by SOTH Worship Team


Gathering Prayer – Waiting and Watching
You call me to wait on You, Lord,
but I get tired of waiting.
Your answers to my prayers,
Your call for me to serve You,
the promise of Your coming Kingdom,
they all seem to take so long.

You tell me to watch for Your coming, Lord,
but I’m not sure how to prepare for…
a thief in the night,
an undisclosed time,
and Your disconcerting habit of secrecy and mystery.

Yet, something inside whispers
that You’re not all that hard to find;
That You’re always coming to me,
and that both the waiting and the watching,
are more about being open to You now,
than about trying not to be surprised in the future.

And so, I will keep waiting,
and I’ll try to stay alert,
so that I can catch the glimpses of Your glory
that fill my day, every day. 
Amen.


Scripture Readings

Reading – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The reading can be found here.
Read by Jennifer Hoffmann

Psalm Reading – Psalm 70
Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. Of David, for the memorial offering.

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
    O Lord, make haste to help me!
Let those be put to shame and confusion
    who seek my life.

Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who desire to hurt me.
Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!”
    turn back because of their shame.

Let all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation
    say evermore, “God is great!”

But I am poor and needy;
    hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
    O Lord, do not delay!

Gospel Reading – Matthew 25:1-13
The reading can be found here.
Read by Kathy Ryan


Pastor Adam’s Message – The Weight of Hope

Questions for Reflection:
In your own words, describe, “hope.”

As you think of the future, what things are you carrying?  What burdens your heart?

What are some steps you can take to make yourself better prepared for God’s work in the coming day, week, month, or year?


Centering Song – Take My Life
Lyrics can be found here.
Performed by Norton Hall Band


Prayers
God of Presence and Light,
We like to imagine that we are bold and strong,
that there is nothing that can frighten us
But, we are not strangers to trembling,

Our doubt leaves us feeling alone and afraid,
and our hiding brings much rejection to You and to others.
Forgive us, Lord, and help us.

 Our self-centeredness leaves us feeling deprived and poor,
and our grabbing results in great need.
Forgive us, Lord, and help us.

Our sort-sightedness leaves us uncertain and insecure
and our lack of listening divides and separates.
Forgive us, Lord, and help us.

Somewhere inside of us we do believe,
we do trust and we do love;
The simple gifts of worship and love that we offer now are tokens of this faith;
signs of our thanksgiving

and of our longing to be more bold in following You.
May our gifts and our lives be Your instruments
of healing and comfort;
For the sake of all in our world who grieve, all who despair,
and all who live in want and hatred.

In Jesus’ Name.
Amen. 


Sending Song – Love Divine, All Loves Excelling – ELW 631
Lyrics can be found here.
Performed by Donna Natseway


Blessing for Waiting
Who wait
for the night
to end

bless them.

Who wait
for the night
to begin

bless them.

Who wait
in the hospital room
who wait
in the cell
who wait
in prayer

bless them.

Who wait
for news
who wait
for the phone call
who wait
for a word

who wait
for a job
a house
a child

bless them.

Who wait
for one who
will come home

who wait
for one who
will not come home

bless them.

Who wait with fear
who wait with joy
who wait with peace
who wait with rage

who wait for the end
who wait for the beginning
who wait alone
who wait together

bless them.

Who wait
without knowing
what they wait for
or why

bless them.

Who wait
when they
should not wait
who wait
when they should be
in motion
who wait
when they need
to rise
who wait
when they need
to set out

bless them.

Who wait
for the end
of waiting
who wait
for the fullness
of time
who wait
emptied and
open and
ready

who wait
for you,
o bless.


Giving and Offering
Shepherd of the Hills is very blessed and grateful for your continued financial support during this difficult time of physical distancing required by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your giving allows us to continue to provide worship, support and outreach until it is safe to gather in person again. We realize that the pandemic has caused many financial challenges. As your finances allow, please consider continuing to support our shared ministries.

There are two ways to give:
– Mail your tithe or offering to the church office. The office will remain open for normal business hours.
– Give online! Our online giving is secure and fully operational. It can be found here.

Thank you again for helping us continue to spread God’s Word and help those in need during these challenging times.  


Gathering Prayer – Written by John van de Laar
Prayers – Written by John van de Laar
Blessing – Written by Jan Richardson