Worship Service – September 27, 2020

Sunday September 27 2020

Please open your bibles and read our scriptures this week in Psalm 34 1-8 and John 4:5-15. Please follow along as I read from Exodus 17:1-7.

Exodus 17:1-7

Water from the Rock

1.The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
2.So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”
3.But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
4.Then Moses cried out to the Lord , “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5.The Lord answered Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
6.I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7.And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Today our message is titled —

WATER . Physical and Spiritual.

Is there anything else as miraculous as water? Search the cosmos for other signs of life. So far, planet Earth is the only blue planet. It is the vast oceans of our world that have made it possible for all the life forms we know to develop on our planet. The first creation story in Genesis begins with its feet wet. Before any other creating can occur, God must gather the waters and separate a heavenly dome out of them. We cannot perceive even the primordial beginnings of life without water. Water is the fluid of life.
Both the Exodus and John texts deal with the human need for water. In the Exodus text, the people are so thirsty, in need of physical water they threaten Moses’ life and wish themselves back in Egypt. What the people don’t realize, however, is that the water they most desperately need is the spiritual water, the living water of faith that God provides. Despite Moses’ warnings, the people seem oblivious to anything but the dust in their throats.
The gospel text for this week recounts Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4:5-15). In response to Jesus’ words about “living water,” “spiritual water “this woman shows great enthusiasm for such a drink. Yet her first response seems to indicate that she looks at this living water as a labor-saving device, as physical water. She will be free from the wearying walk to the well to draw up water for herself and her household. The spiritual water Jesus offers will make her free, but not in the way she imagines.
Both the rebellious Israelites and the woman at the well recognized that water was a resource that living things need every day for health and strength.
Most of us still don’t take in the optimum amount of water for our bodies. It is recommended that we consume at least six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day to keep adequately hydrated. Under conditions of great heat, exertion or stress, that amount increases dramatically. Survival-course teachers warn their students that while they can exist for weeks, even a month, without food, unless they find water in four or five days, they are doomed. We are that dependent on the life-giving fluid we call water. Life without water, is impossible for human beings.
The continued vitality of the church is as dependent upon the constant flow of spiritual water, Christ’s living water as our bodies are on physical water, H2O. We cannot subsist on a sip now and then. Our spiritual health depends on the constant rehydration only this spiritual water can bring to our souls.
Only water can quench our physical thirst and “living water”our spiritual thirst. But every one picks up that water using different containers with different handles. The only way to increase our supply of living water is to invite others in to take a drink.
Living water doesn’t have a very long shelf life. In fact, a new shipment must be received for every new generation. Just as the human body can exist only a few days without water, so the body of Christ can only exist as long as the next generation of believers is being offered its fill of spiritual water.
The Bible says we are to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”(Psalm 34:8) Our job description is to get people to put their mouths to the “living water”, spiritual water that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. After that, it’s the Holy Spirit’s job description.
Trust the water. It alone has the power to heal, to transform, to save. Our job is simply to get people to drink. What happens after that is beyond us. It is up to every Christian, every believer to make sure the spiritual water of God’s redeeming love, through Jesus Christ, is made accessible for the tastes of the next generation to come. As long as we don’t try to tamper with the recipe, “living water”- like plain old H2O – is perfectly adaptable to almost any shape or size of container.
The important point is this: The CONTENT remains the same while the CONTAINER changes. Because everyone needs a shape that fits their own hands, their own souls.
Look at it this way. Every time Bonne and I take a trip together I fix us coffee. I usually make sure that the cup I prepare for myself has a handle that I can fit my fingers into. You see I have what Bonne often calls a “leaky lip”, because I have a tendency to wear what I am drinking. When I prepare Bonne’s,she likes her coffee a little sweeter, than mine so I add some sweet and low. The cup I put it in doesn’t really matter. No “leaky lip”. The point is, the container which holds the coffee and the preparation of the coffee is different for both of us. But the content is the same. It’s coffee and it quenches our thirst.
In these difficult times, during the pandemic, and the elections looming we need to find new or different ways to prepare the water we all need to quench our thirst.
In fact, if the church is to survive, it needs to figure out how to prepare both physical and spiritual water to quench the thirst of all, in ways it has never before even dreamed of.
Let’s look at physical and spiritual water and their properties.
1.Physical water is still until you dip your hands into it. Unless we’re willing to get wet, water can’t do its work. Spiritual water has no healing power unless the water is troubled. Quiet waters are where you go to see yourself, your good features and your imperfections as in a mirror. Troubled waters are where you go to get healed. They reveal to you where you need to change.
2. Physical water can take different forms – it can be liquid, gas or solid. In whatever shape it takes, it’s still the same. The same is true for spiritual waters. We can present the gospel in many different ways,be it through music,preaching or example,via the Internet written audio or visual.
3. In water as in life, it is not true that “anything goes” water doesn’t flow uphill; water obeys certain logic and laws. It is the nature of water to flow downward . The way wisdom is transmitted from higher to lower levels. The same is true in both physical and spiritual water.
4. Think of a fountain, a jet of water. Throughout the history of the Christian church, the fountain has been one of the supreme symbols of perfection, and Jesus is called a “Fountain of Living Water.” A fountain is “something which is simultaneous rest and movement, always changing, always staying the same, ever new and ever old. The fountain expresses power and it contains light. A fountain is the exuberant play of fundamental elements: light and water, issuing without interruption from a single point of divine origin.
5. Flowing water is purifying and cleansing. Like in a river. As the physicalwater flows over the rocks it is purified. The same is true with spiritual water. As it flows over us we become pure and clean as the Holy Spirit does it’s job.
6. As a fluid, water can merge with its medium. As in preparing a meal the physical water we add becomes part of anything we prepare. In the same way in life if we add spiritual water it becomes part of who we are.
So let me tell you one more time. If the church is to survive, it needs to figure out how to prepare both physical and spiritual water to quench the thirst of all, in ways it has never before even dreamed of. For only spiritual water quenches people’s eternal thirst. As long as “The CONTENT”,”THE LIVING WATER”,”THE SPIRITUALLY WATER “remains the same while the “CONTAINER” changes.
Everyone needs a shape that fits their own hands, their own souls. At the same time, the help most people seek from God today is a spiritual, invisible aid ,courage before crisis, comfort in grieving, clarity in decision-making, forgiveness for a battle scarred conscience. God gives this living water, too. And not only is God’s help today both physical and spiritual, but the two natures of that help are still inseparably bound. How can a hungry person be given food without also finding acceptance, love, and hope? What troubled person, calmed and inspired by forgiveness or joy or hope, is not better able to use the resources God has given him?
Often the best way to find one kind of help is to look for the other. God best helps those people with a problem of the spirit, such as depression or loneliness, by prompting them to find a practical way to serve others. They make dinner for a neighbor just home from the hospital, volunteer to drive for Meals on Wheels, become a Big Brother or Big Sister to a parentless child. It’s almost miraculous how helping others with their problems can make our own less painful and more manageable.
Likewise God’s “living waters” can be far more tangible than just a spiritual lift. Get on your knees to ask for a right relationship with him and you may also find him giving healing for an illness, or a sudden job opening when you’re unemployed and frantic with the search. God is not so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good.
One more thing. The inseparableness of God’s physical and spiritual involvement in the world should remind us of how we are to act. There’s more to living as his people than serving others. Our growth as Christians is stunted without prayer and study and worship life. At the same time, calloused knees mean little without calloused hands.
Don’t let your God be too small. And don’t let yourself be too small. The waters he offers can quench every type of thirst we dare have.
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen to Audio: Sermon 20200927
Listen to Audio: Service Sept27


Pastor Joe is available at the church every Thursday 2-4pm if you need to speak with him. Contact Numbers: 570-465-7303 or his cell 570-267-4570

Loose Change Offering, (coins & bills), today goes to General Fund.

Sunday School begins at 8:30 – please join us! Weekly notes about the upcoming lesson will appear on your email.

Messenger deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Meadow View residents were joyful over the banner and mailbox that Gwenn made. The banner was hung over the nurses’ station.  They clapped and cheered when they saw all the cards…..so, please continue to bring cards in for the mail box – when full, they will be delivered.

PLEASE NOTE: We ask that you wear a mask as you ENTER the church and as you EXIT. To EXIT, please use the Front, Side, EXIT DOOR. Thank you. Members of Session.


There is a “Blessing Box”  by the EXIT Door.   Please take what you need and share what you can.


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