Worship – October 18 – The Face of God

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.

Gathering Reflection – Based on Matthew 22: 15-22
For many years
we have had the mistaken notion
that all the problems of the world
can be solved with a few dollar bills.

In Jesus’ time
the Pharisees came to ask him if they should
pay taxes,
and Jesus, looking at a silver coin,
asked whose face and name were engraved on it.
“The Emperor’s,” they said.
“Well then, pay to the Emperor what is his” Jesus replied.

Has God’s face
ever been on a coin?
We are the coin
that bears the living likeness of God.
Giving of ourselves
with whatever that may include,
is the only legal currency
of the kingdom of heaven.

Gathering Song – Oceans
Performed by SOTH Worship Team

Gathering Prayer
did you create the stars,
hurl them to the reaches of the universe;
did you issue rules that keep the planets in place?

Can you make blood course through our veins?
Or craft an otter or a moonflower?

Then keep your coins.
They can’t buy what we need.

It is your face we see
in our world, our very selves, our breath and love.

We owe every single thing to you.

Claim it all. Claim us.
Please take us
as your own.

Scripture Readings

Reading – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
The reading can be found here.
Read by Bev Cassady

Gospel Reading – Matthew 22:15-22
The reading can be found here.
Read by Sandy Swaby

Pastor Adam’s Message – The Face of God

Questions for Discussion: BIG Questions this week!
As objectively as possible, how do you see politics and religion intersecting today?

What do you think you “render to Caesar” in this time?

What do you think you “render to God” in this time?

How should we, as Christians, participate in our preferred political arenas and remain faithful to God’s likeness that we bear to the world?

Centering Song – God of Wonders
Performed by For Third Day Worship

Prayer – Seeing Glory – Inspired by Exodus 33:12-23
We seem to have lost the ability to see glory, God;
We look at money, or medals,
last-person-standing triumphs,
and exclusive, only-for-the-privileged-few accolades,
and we call these glorious,
forgetting how they tarnish after just a few moments.

We have forgotten how to recognise the glory that lives
in the sacrifices of a mother
for whom feeding a child takes monumental effort each day;
in the compassion of a stranger
who gives his time and talent to care for sick and dying souls;
in the humility of a well-qualified professional
who uses her connections and skill to ensure the success
of small projects that bring life to the least;
in the courage of a peace-maker
who stands empty-handed against tanks and bombs,
or who chooses to serve and love an enemy;

Open our eyes to the glory all around us,
the glory of crosses and opened graves
in hopeless situations;
the glory of your presence and creativity
in dark and ugly and fearful places;

And teach us to be both heralds and couriers
of this glory,
so that it may be seen to cover the earth
as the waters cover the sea.

Sending Song – A Mighty Fortress
Performed by Fountain View Academy

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
    On earth is not his equal.
  2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
    Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
    Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
    Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
    And He must win the battle.
  3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
    One little word shall fell him.
  4. That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
    The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
    Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
    The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
    His kingdom is forever word shall fell him.

BlessingLove Is the Most Ancient Law
Open to it
and you will know
how love is
its own blessing
and most ancient
of laws.

Pursue it
with everything
in you—
your heart
your soul
your mind

Spend it
this love
so generous
this love
that goes out
to each
it finds
this love
that gives itself
in lavish and
unimagined measure
everywhere and
to all—

not least.

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 Reflection from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
Gathering Prayer – Written by A. Osdieck. Copyright © 2011, The Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
Prayer – Seeing Glory – Written by John van de Laar
Blessing – Written by Jan Richardson