Bradenton-Sarasota Congregation Online Service
November 8, 2020
Call to Worship
Listen. Listen to the words of my mouth.
I will speak parables and proverbs,
and the stories handed down from generation to generation.
We will not hide them from our children,
but tell all generations of the glorious deeds and might and wonders done by our God.
It is our story to share and our laws command that we teach our children,
that they, too, will know them so that they are able to share them with their children.
Then they, too, can set their hope in God and not forget the works of God and keep God’s commandments.
—Psalm 78:1-7, adapted
Music: Nearer My God to Thee (for 9 cellos)
Prayer for Peace (Adapted from Community of Christ Worship Resources)
Creator of All,
As we listen to “Nearer My God to Thee” radiating from our technology, we don’t have to hear machine gun fire, the fearful cries of children, or the wailing of death in war torn towns and cities.
As we look around, we see the beauty of the day and the solid structure and protection our homes offer us from the world. But do we see the inequality just outside our doors—the darkness experienced by those who are marginalized in society, because they are “different” to what we have come to see as “normal”?
As we choose the smells that surround us—perhaps freshly picked flowers, a quick spray of perfume or even something cooking on the stove or baking in the oven—may we pause for a moment and think on those living with the smell of poverty. Of skin and clothing that hasn’t been able to be cleaned, or the rotting of garbage or sewage in the streets, as there is nowhere else to call home.
When we’ve finished reading this written service, our minds will already have moved on to the next thing—perhaps our next meal or a simple snack. Yet there are so many others in the world for which there is not enough water and food is scarce.
We are sheltered in our experience. And while we are grateful for this, Lord, challenge us to see that in the welfare of others resides our own welfare. Disrupt our comfort and make us brave that we might fight for others in the same way that Jesus stood for the marginalized and oppressed. This is our prayer, Lord, that we may use everything you gave us to fight for the rights of others, so that together we can exist in harmony and peace. Amen.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:1-13 NIV, The Parable of the Ten Virgins
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bride-groom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Ministry of Music: “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” – The Combined Choirs of FSU
Message by Evangelist Glenn Day
Greetings brothers and sisters I pray that this finds you all well, safe and in good spirits. It is only God’s peace that can calm our anxieties and concerns in these difficult times. I pray for God’s peace to comfort you.
Today’s text is the familiar parable of the bridesmaids and the groom. This is one that would be very familiar to the early Jews. This was and still is today practiced in certain places with the Jewish culture.
We of course read this as a parable of the second coming of Christ. The message and counsel is to prepare yourselves today and every day for His coming. There is a hard fact in this parable that only the faithful will be invited when the Groom / Christ comes. The faithful, who are the faithful? Its important that we know the answer to this question for Jesus states that He will not know everyone and not everyone will be invited to go with him.
I could write a few paragraphs on the faithful but I think it is more personal and involves the relationship that each of us have with our Lord. In this parable Christ says “I know you not” to those who had no relationship with Him.
Verse 13 explains why our relationship with Christ is important : “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the son of man cometh.”
Prepare For The Lord. Back in June I decided to read the Book of Mormon again; it has been awhile since I had read it through. I read it about half-way in the first two weeks, then I remembered I had the message on the first Sunday in July. The theme was “Rest In Jesus” (Matthew 11:16-19). During my preparation for that week I read several chapters in Matthew and some other scriptures in the gospels. When I had finished that message for July 5, I decided instead of continuing in the Book of Mormon I would read the New Testament again.
I started reading and found that my Bible was so marked up that I was only reading the highlighted verses. I got out a fresh Bible that I have had for a long time that had no markings in it, a King James, large print, red letter addition, took out a new marker and I was all set. I was prepared to read God’s word. But I wanted more!
I picked a quiet time each day, and would start with prayer asking that I would not just read God’s word but hear God’s word. I am now about two thirds of the way through. Some days only a chapter and others days more reading and hearing His word.
I, like you, have read and study the New Testament many times and I have found this very refreshing and inspirational. Reading, highlighting, listening and pondering on verses with the true author of the New Testament is more than words can say. It has been a wonderful walk with Jesus, and has taken my relationship with Him to a new plain of understanding.
I know that if I should happen to be in a crowd of people wearing masks when He comes He will recognize me when He invites the faithful to come and be with Him. PREPARE FOR THE LORD!
Disciples Generous Response
Your gifts of money and time are your stewardship of “tangible love” that changes the lives of people around the world who share your hopes and dreams. You can send your tithes and offerings to Dick Kramer or contribute directly via eTithing.
Closing Song: “I Am Yours” by Lauen Daigle
Send us forth, O God, with
every breath a thanksgiving,
every thought wrapped in compassion,
every word filled with kindness, and
every deed a channel of Love.
Through your grace may our lives become a prayer.
– Linda Douty
Praying in the Messiness of Life
This service was prepared by Glenn Day and Sherry Lindgren.