Sermons

Summary: This sermon has three parts: firstly speaking our feelings of hurt to God; secondly asking God for help; and thirdly is our expression of faith even in pain.

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Blue Christmas 2010: Dec 21, 2010

Prelude:

Welcome:

Welcome to this service, “A Blue Christmas”... a time when we can…

I have chosen Psalm 13 for this service, and the service is structured around that short Psalm. There are three parts to it, as there are to this service. First is the honest expression of pain. The Psalms are very good at this, much better than we are today. We will find in the words of the Psalm permission to hurt, permission to cry out to God and wonder where He is, and permission to speak our feelings. Second is the turning to God, asking Him to help, seeking Him with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. Third, and finally, is the expression of faith even in the pain. We speak, out loud, our conviction that God has been good, God’s love is unfailing, and God will meet us.

The service outline is in the bulletin, which you will need to follow along. Wherever the text is in BOLD, please join in speaking those lines.

Prayer

MOVEMENT #1 – Honest Expression of Pain (Ps 13:1,2)

Psalm 13:1-2

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts

and every day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Song: How Long (Doerksen) vs 1

Waves (vs. 1)

Responsive Reading: Scripture (Is 59:9; Jn 8:12; Is 9:2,4; Ps 22; Ps 121:1-2):

People: Justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.

Leader: Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

People: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, so far from the words of my groaning?

Leader: O my God, they cry by day, but you do not answer.

People: And by night, but I find no rest.

The Blessed Night Of Two Hearts

Weary

Worried and Frazzled

Frustrated, confused and hurting

Two lonely figures made their way into town

A journey they could ill-afford to make

A poor carpenter and his young wife.

Life was not easy

Rumours wounded their reputations

Talk of fanaticism

Broken dreams

Dashed hopes of a groom longing

For a sweet innocent bride

Desperate surrender to their God

Relinquishment and determination

Bowing to the will of God.

A cold desert night

Beyond their strength

Their only place of respite

A hovel

The pain unbearable

Wracking her slight body

No mother near

No comforting hand

Only a nervous, terrified husband.

Lost together

Found in their divine purpose

Bound by hope

Unified by the wonder of the cry of a newborn babe

Human both

God accomplished His purposes

Through two hearts

Surrendered to his will

The immortal became mortal

That blessed night

Psalm 13:1-2

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts

and every day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Time of Silent Reflection on Personal Pain

MOVEMENT #2: Turning to God (Ps 13:3, 4)


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