Worship Service – June 4, 2023

Franklin Hill
A small church with a big heart, full of faith

Trinity Sunday.
Sunday June 4,2023
Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-5, John 1:1-5 and Romans 3:21-26.
Message; “Finding the Meaning of and in Life.”
Genesis 1:1-5
(1) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.(2) Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.(3) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.(4) God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.(5) God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”
John 1:1-5
(1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was with God in the beginning. (3) Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (4) In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (5) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.”
Romans 3:21-26
(21) But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (22) This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (25) God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— (26) he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

This is the word of God. For the people of God. Thanks be to God!

With all that has been happening in our country, with all the protests ,rioting and looting, people searching for meaning in and for life, I found my self asking: Why?
So in my preparation for this weeks message, I prayed to God for the answer, I think so many of us today, if not all of us, are looking for. To find the reason, the purpose, the meaning in and of life.
On my way to the golf course the other day I saw a bumper sticker that read;“Life is one contradiction after another.” And I thought: “No it’s not.” Then, not two minutes later, I saw another and it stated this message: “This life is a test. It is only a test. Had it been an actual test. You would have received further instructions on where to go and what to do!” Well in our scriptures today God supplies us with the answers.
So the ultimate question is; What is the meaning of and in life? I believe our scriptures this morning give us the answers. So I titled this message: “Finding the Meaning of and in Life.”
That search often starts at a young age. I found this illustration I’d like to share with you. The writer states; “I have a friend Susan, whose 9-year-old little girl had recently been listening to her friend talk about going to a funeral. It seemed the preacher talked about the shortness of life and how all of us eventually die. It was obvious she’d been pondering what she’d heard for awhile because out of the clear blue as they were driving to school Susan’s daughter asked: “Mom, if all we’re going to do is die and become worm food, how come God made us?”
Now that’s pretty deep for a nine year old. It’s pretty deep for anyone. The search for the meaning of life and the search for meaning in life is the ultimate search of every human being. Because the meaning of life and meaning in life is the bottom line, so to speak, the spark that drives us. The focus that gives us purpose, peace, hope and ultimately helps us find love, forgiveness and happiness.
So what is the meaning of life? Well that’s not a simple question to answer. But where do you find the answer? If you do a Google search on the question: “What is the meaning of life?” First thing you’ll notice is that there are 97 million + links to answers that question. Third on the list you’ll find a link to Wikipedia an online encyclopedia. And just a brief look shows that there are philosophical, popular, scientific, theological and mystical views on the meaning of life.
The Scientific approach believes if you can understand the mechanics of the universe, then you’ll be able to analyze the information and eventually determine “what the purpose is.”
Philosophical views basically evaluate what has value and what doesn’t. Once you find what is most valuable in life then you can determine what the meaning of life truly is.
Then there are those who believe that life doesn’t have any meaning at all. We’re here, we live and we die. That’s it. Nothing else. Shakespeare said,I’m paraphrasing. “Life is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” A lot of people feel and believe and even experienced life that way.
But from a Christian Biblical perspective, life does have meaning. Life wasn’t accidental. From a Biblical perspective, we didn’t just accidentally evolve from some primordial glop of ooze. Life didn’t just drop out of the sky like the droppings of a bird. Scripture tells us that we were intentionally created which means there is purpose and meaning and direction behind our existence.
In both the Old and New Testament creation stories found in Genesis 1:1-5 and John 1:1-5, we find that there is a Creator behind everything in the world. And that all of creation was created for a purpose.
If you read the first couple of chapters of Genesis, our User’s Manual for life, you come to discover that God created everything that we see so that we could be in a relationship with God. All that there is around us was created for our support and also for us to care for and about.
God created us as objects of God’s love. And that relationship was to be a mutual relationship. God loving us and us loving God. And then, through the experience of God loving us and us loving God, we would love one another. And in that mutual relationship of love with God and each other, like all of nature, like all of creation does everyday, we would bring Glory to God.
If Jesus was speaking here today he might be telling us this parable; A pair of golfers sliced their drives deep into the rough and went in search of their errant golf balls. The grass was high, the trees were thick, and tempers flared as they looked in vain through all the grass and underbrush. A kind elderly woman observed all this from the front porch of her nearby house. After the search had lasted for nearly half an hour, she finally called out to them, “I don’t want to bother you men, but will it be cheating if I tell you where the golf balls are?”
As Christians we know where the golf balls are. We have the answers to life’s questions. We know there’s a problem in that relationship. God created us in God’s image. In Genesis 1:27 we read.“So God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God didn’t make us like robots or little rag dolls, who could only respond in certain ways. God created us with the same creative spirit God has. We call that free will. Which means we have a choice whether to accept the love God offers or reject it. And like children, we try to do both. We want freedom and a relationship. But because of our sin, that relationship was torn and broken. As Paul writes in Romans 3:23.” For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and we couldn’t find a way to mend it.
I think it’s this search to mend our relationship with God that has spawned so many philosophies and theologies concerning the meaning of life. And that’s why we have a New Testament creation story as well.That’s why Jesus came. Not only to mend the brokenness in our relationship with God but also to be the bridge for us to cross the chasm caused by our sin and disobedience.
And with that we realize that true meaning in life is only found when we return to our creator. And the only way we can return to our creator is through His Son, Jesus, as Paul further writes in verse 24-25: “ all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—“. The world needs to know this. They need to know by faith in Christ and His sacrifice only, will they get their answers to; “Finding The Meaning Of and In Life.”
All around us, there are people searching for lost values, for real meaning in life, for purpose, hope, direction and place of connection. There are people looking for peace and happiness, love and forgiveness. And we know where it’s found.
So we as Christians can’t be silent! We can’t keep it to ourselves! You and I don’t just have Good News to share with the world, we have Great News, the kind of news people have been searching for. We have Great News that will give meaning and direction in their lives.
We know where to find the answer to the meaning of life. What we’re called to do is to have faith and tell others that to; FIND MEANING OF AND IN LIFE, they first need to recognize God as our Creator (Genesis 1:1). Accept His gift of salvation “through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”(Romans 3:24). “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Receive, His light, the Holy Spirit. Who guides us through this life, to eternal life. “The light shines in the darkness,”(John 1:5).
Only in the Trinity of GOD can we find, The Meaning Of and In this Life!
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20230604
Listen To Audio: Service 06042023


Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Thursday morning from 11:00 to 1:00. If you would like to meet with him, contact Pastor Joe at 570-267-4570 (cell) or email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com.

There will be a congregational meeting to discuss and vote on having Dr. Al Hickok as Interim Pastor for one year. The meeting will follow the morning worship service. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Social Hour after church TODAY.

The Loose Change offering today goes to Local Missions.

Sunday School begins at 8:30 a.m. Please join us!

Choir practice will resume in September.

Thursday, June 8: PW at Gwenn’s house at 10:30 a.m.

Session Meeting on Saturday June 17th at 9:00.

Wednesday, June 21: Men’s Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month.

Newsletter Deadline Tuesday, June 27


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