Sunday, May 31, 2020


 “The glory has departed”[1]

The events in Israel in the times surrounding the life of the prophet Samuel follow those of the book of Judges in the Old Testament. In fact, Samuel himself is usually considered the last of the judges. During his time, Samuel was the one to whom Israel looked for instruction in the ways of God and for guidance in times of oppression from foreign enemies. He was the last to hold this office before Israel and Judah began to be ruled by kings.
But the days were becoming dark. Even though Samuel himself continued in a strong relationship with God, the spiritual lives of most of the people during these times had lost practically all their meaning. The society had not become secular, necessarily, but the religious life of the people was more like that of the nations around Israel. Theirs had actually become a religion without life and one that was merely ceremonial. It had lost the sense of a true relationship with God.


May 31, 2020

Opening Song
Call to Worship
We seek God’s presence in our lives.
It is not everyone who wants God’s presence with them. They do not want the light of Christ, because their deeds are of the darkness.
But we have come to seek the presence of the Lord today. As the Scripture says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” We have come to draw near to him today and to know his presence in our lives.
Invocation Prayer
Our heavenly Father, we have passed through another week when the darkness of the world has been demonstrated to us with almost unimaginable callousness. We have witnessed hate, we have witnessed violence and destruction, and we have witnessed evil.
You told us that in the world, we should expect nothing other than these things.  But you have also said to us that we should “be of good cheer.” We can be of good cheer because you have overcome the world (John 16:33).  Amen
Selected Reading – Isaiah  2:2-4
In the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
And many peoples will come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in His paths…”
Then He will judge between the nations and arbitrate for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer take up the sword against nation, nor train anymore for war.
Prayer of Confession
Dear God, living in this world can sometimes become so wearisome. We become weary of witnessing so much hatred and violence. Our confession to you this morning is simply this: Help us to know peace!  Amen
Words of Assurance
The reason that it is difficult to know peace in this world is simply because peace is not something that the world has to offer us. Jesus told us plainly that in this world, we will have troubles (John 16:33).
If we want to have peace, we need to seek it from the Prince of Peace who told us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
The Lord’s Prayer
Song of Faith
Scripture Reading:
OT – Isaiah 55:6-7
Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.
Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

NT – 1 Peter 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Responsorial Reading  (From Psalm 16)

Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.
I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.”
Sorrows will multiply to those who chase other gods.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure.
The lines of my boundary have fallen in pleasant places; surely my inheritance is delightful.
I will bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my conscience instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will dwell securely.
You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

Message           Ichabod
Song of Unity 
Offering     (Please place you offering in the basket on the table as you leave. Thank you!)

Prayer Requests and Prayer of Intercession

Our Father in heaven, we look only to you for the answers that we seek. We are thankful for the resources that we have to help in difficult times, but as people of faith, we know that all perfect solutions can only come from you.
We are grateful for how you care for your people. Please give us the faith to understand that you never would allow anything that is eternally harmful to come to us or to those you love. Help us also to take the long view when we consider present circumstances.
We pray for those who are especially experiencing difficulties at this time. It may be the health of their bodies, their emotional or mental health, their finances and employment, family problems, or anything else that is causing them distress in these hours.
We pray for our brothers and sisters of the Log Church of Kenya, and the orphans who hare in the care of the church. Like us, they also are living with adjustments to their lives because of the coronavirus, plus dealing with very high food prices, malaria, almost constant rains, and the locust plagues.
We pray also for the people of our local community who live in need. We pray for those suffering illness or tragedy, and for those who live in sadness because of family situations. Please give them hope and the conviction to follow you.
We pray also for our leaders, both local and national. We live in dark days when terrible things happen. We pray of the horrible situation in the Twin Cities and other cities of our country. We pray for a new awareness in our world of your words and you teachings, and we pray for justice for those who have been wronged. We pray that many people would turn to you for answers.
Thank you for your gracious answer to all of our prayers.
Thank you Father, for listening to the voices of all of your servants. Amen
Closing Song
Benediction and Prayer