Worship Service – June 26, 2022

Worship can be a place of celebrating the home we create within the body of Christ.  We consider the connection we have, the support we have experienced, and the acceptance that comes from those we call “brother” or “sister” in Christ. Come, let us worship God!

Service in the Park

Scriptures; Psalm 16, Philippians 3:7-11 and Luke 9:51-62

Message; “All In”

Psalm 16

(1) Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.
(2) I said to the Lord , “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
(3) As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.
(4) The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips.
(5) Lord , you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
(6) The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
(7) I will praise the Lord , who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
(8) I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
(9) Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
(10) because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
(11) 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.

Philippians 3:7-11

(7) But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. (8) What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (10) I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (11) and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Luke 9:51-62

Samaritan Opposition

(51) As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. (52) And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; (53) but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. (54) When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?” (55) But Jesus turned and rebuked them, (56) and they went to another village. (57) As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
(58) Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
(59) He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
(60) Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
(61) Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”
(62) Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

How many of you are familiar with the game of poker? If your familiar with what usually takes place in a poker game you know that it can be a risky game. And that at some point during a poker game it comes down to only one winner. And we all like to be winners. Playing poker is risky business, much like the risk involved in living, shall we call it, “The game of life”. In the game of poker, usually at some point during the game each player will either “cash out” or commit all they have invested on one last hand. They will push all their chips in and say “All In”. It requires courage, commitment and a willingness to sacrifice all at that very moment. This very same thing happens to all of us while playing this game we call “Life”. We either “cash out” or go, “All In”.
In our reading in Psalm 16, David has come to a point, in his game of life and to keep it short says, “All In”! Like wise in our epistle reading from Philippians Paul is at that same point in his game of life. Both of these men choose to be “All In”. And both men understood that being, “All In” required courage, commitment and a willingness to sacrifice all.
In our gospel reading today from Luke 9, Luke tells us about the cost of the following Jesus in this game we call life. There are those who “cash out” and those who are “All In”.
Isn’t it interesting to see how Jesus responds in our reading from Luke 9, of these two different mind sets? Those who “cash out” and those who are “All In”.
Our reading from the gospel of Luke began, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Keep that sentence in mind. It’s going to be very important. We’ll get back to it in a minute.
Jesus and his disciples plan to pass through a Samaritan village and they need places to stay, and food to eat. So a few disciples go on ahead to make the arrangements. But when the Samaritans learned that Jesus was heading to Jerusalem for the Passover, they rejected him. They cashed out.
The Samaritans were disturbed about anybody worshiping in Jerusalem. They believe that Mount Gerizim was the place to meet with God. Deep hostilities had existed between the Samaritans and the Jews for centuries because of ethnic as well as religious differences.
Samaritans believed that religious sacrifices should be made on Mt. Gerizim there in Samaria, not in Jerusalem. In John 4:1-26, the account of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well we learned that. Consequently they refused hospitality to Jesus and his followers, cashing out.
Two of Jesus’ disciples, brothers James and John, asked Jesus if they could call down fire from heaven to destroy these Samaritans, because they weren’t “All In”. I think they thought these Samaritan’s were trying to cheat in this game of life. And they wanted to in-force the rules. I can hear them now saying, “Let’s put the fear of God into those Samaritans if they won’t play by the rules!”
I’m almost certain they were feeling desperate, because they had brought nothing for their journey. And maybe they were just a little over zealous in their newly given “power and authority”, that Jesus had given them. Forgetting the purpose for which it was given. But Jesus barely registered the rejection of the Samaritans. In fact, he rebuked his disciples and kept heading toward Jerusalem. Probably reminding them of the purpose for which they were given power and authority.
At the beginning of Luke 9 in verses 1-5 we find that purpose. Let me read it to you. “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:1-5)
Now Jesus, seemingly unconcerned for their accommodations and, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem”, when an unnamed man approaches Jesus and says, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Jesus has got a willing follower, and he’s letting him know to follow him is a risky business. If Jesus were talking to someone today, He might say; “Hold your horses, friend. You don’t want to follow me. I don’t have stable housing or a place to sleep.” Whether this unnamed man “cashes out” or goes “All In” we’re not told. But we do know that Jesus was “All In” because He,“resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” I told you this verse was important.
So as Jesus heads for Jerusalem, He invites another man to join Him by saying, “Follow me.” Which he probably does, for a time. But then after learning the risk involved wants to “cash out” saying, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.
Then still another guy who probably joined the group in their journey to Jerusalem, wants to “cash out” also. He responds to Jesus’ offer by saying, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus says to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” It looks like Jesus is deterring, discouraging a lot of players in this Christian game of life. He’s not listing the benefits of following him.
So what’s going on here? Let’s look back one more time at the sentence that opens our reading today. Remember I said it would be important? It’s Luke 9, verse 51: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” So as the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus knows what’s waiting for him in Jerusalem: arrest, torture, and a lonely, painful, humiliating death. And yet our Bible verse says Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” He’s “All In”. He didn’t protest, procrastinate, or try to protect himself. He headed straight toward the cross, knowing that he was fulfilling God’s purpose by giving his life in our behalf. So that we can have Eternal Life, become the winner in the game of life by being “All In” and in service of the kingdom of God.
Let me ask you, how do people know that your an “All In” follower of Jesus? Is it because you attend church? Maybe you study your Bible, or you pray before meals, or you don’t curse or drink or buy lottery tickets. Is that what it means to follow Jesus? Or does Jesus’ path require a level of commitment, courage and sacrifice that goes beyond just trying to be a better version of him? I hope this biblical account, today will help us understand that Jesus’ path is not easy, but it is the pathway to life and joy and meaning, and that God made us for this very purpose.
It’s important for us to see, first of all, that Jesus walked the path of commitment. He was passionately committed to obeying God in every moment of his life. Through prayer and obedience, he kept his heart, mind and will, constantly aligned with that of God the Father. And this alignment of his whole self with God allowed him to live purposefully, without fear or anxiety or distractions.
Many of you may ask, what does an undistracted, purposeful living look like?
Jesus made it clear that his followers would experience difficulties and discouragement. What did he say to the first person who offered to follow him? “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Jesus isn’t offering earthly security or comfort. He could have protected his followers from these challenges, but he didn’t. Why? In Philippians 3, the apostle Paul says that we know Jesus when we share in his suffering. It is in the difficulties and discouragement of following in Jesus’ path that we understand Jesus’ love for us in a deeper way. And by persevering through the difficulties and discouragement, we show the world how much we love Jesus. Jesus calls us to walk the path of commitment with him. Are you ready?
Jesus also calls us to walk the path of courage. An ancient Chinese philosopher, once said, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
“Loving someone deeply gives you courage.” When you love someone deeply, you are willing to confront your fears and face down challenges unflinchingly for their sake.
That was the source of Jesus’ courage too. Jesus knew he was deeply loved by God and God was the source of his strength. Jesus loved God and us deeply; that was the source of his courage. There was no pain he would not bear to show his love for us. And now he calls his followers to show that same level of courage in loving others in his name.
So the question today isn’t what I’m going to do. The question is what are you going to do?” Jesus calls us to walk the path of courage with him. Are you ready? Are you “All In”?
Finally, if we are going to join our paths with Jesus then Jesus calls us to walk the path of sacrifice. Sacrifice, according to my dictionary is simply an act of giving up some thing valuable for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
Jesus considered our life more valuable that his. He was “All In”! That’s why he headed to Jerusalem. He was giving up His life as a sacrifice, an offering to God, in our place. In his death he took on the weight and the penalty of our sins so that nothing would stand between us and God.
Jesus didn’t “cash out”. He out-loved, out-gave and out-died! Jesus was, “All In”! His love for us motivated him to walk the path of commitment, courage and sacrifice for us. And he invites us to follow him, no matter what the cost. I hope that you will make the choice today to go,”All In”, to accept Christ as your Savior. To walk the path of commitment courage and sacrifice. Living, “All In” for a life in service of the kingdom of God.
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20220626
Call to Worship:L:  God is a God who calls.
P:  We have gathered to worship and to hear that call.
L:  God is a God who equips.
P:  We are here to worship and to be shaped into the body of Christ.

L:  God is a God who sends.
P:  We are here to worship so that we can carry that spirit of worship out into the world where we live


Prayer of Confession:    We struggle to manifest the fruits of the Spirit, but often find ourselves bound by works of the flesh.  We know the whole law is summed up in the single commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Yet we create fences around ourselves to keep neighbors outside and tell ourselves we have no responsibility.
Even in our own back yard we “bite and devour” one another.  We wish it were different.  When Jesus calls us to follow him, we find every excuse to instead go home or to the workplace to finish something more important first.  Yet we yearn to be more centered on You.  Through Christ we pray.   Amen




Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Wednesday Mornings from 9:00 to 11:00.  If you need to speak to him, contact Pastor Joe at 570-267-4570 (cell) or Email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com

Loose change goes to General Fund.

Sunday School starts at 8:30am

Newsletter Deadline will be Tuesday, June 28th

Social Hour following church on July 2nd

Presbyterian Women will meet on Thursday, July 14th at 11 A.M.

Men’s Breakfast Wednesday July 20th at 8:00 A.M.

Please mark your envelope if you are contributing to the air duct cleaning fund.

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month.  Hosting only means setting out what is brought and cleaning up afterward.  It does not mean bringing everything to share.

We are looking for “Message in Music” for the summer months.


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