SHELTER-IN-PLACE WORSHIP GUIDE
SUNDAY, March 22, 2020
Today is our first Shelter In Place Worship Service. You may worship at a day and time that is convenient for you. Please invite those who are sheltered in place with you to be part of this worship experience. This is a great opportunity for you to evangelize and let others be a part of First Church.
The Call to Worship and Invocation
Give unto the LORD the Glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Morning Hymn – O How I Love Jesus
[Refrain] Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus because He first loved me.
There is a name I love to hear; I love to sing its worth. It sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth.[Refrain]
It tells me of a Saviour's love who died to set me free. It tells me of His precious blood, the sinner's perfect plea. [Refrain]
It tells of one whose loving heart, can feel my deepest woe, who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below. [Refrain]
Scripture Reading (Psalm 100)
1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, Amen.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;
The third day he rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic* Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Altar Call/Pastoral Prayer –
Most Gracious Father,
It is again that Thy servants come before you with Thanksgiving in our hearts. We thank you for your peace in the midst of turmoil and for your saving Grace. We are sorry for our sins against You and beg Your forgiveness.
As we face this test of disease in our land, we pray that you will hear our prayer, O Lord. Incline Thine ear to us and grant us Thy peace.
Father we pray for our families and friends and for all those who have suffered sickness or lost loved ones due to the Coronavirus. We know that you are a physician and that you can deliver us, and we claim the victory in your precious Name.
Please bless First AME Zion Church, our members and leaders as they stand as a witness for You in this time when some unbelievers see no hope. Thank you Lord for all that you have done in our lives and all that you will do. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.
Song of Praise - Hold to God's Unchanging Hand
Tithes and Offerings – Givelify.com (Download Givelify to your Smartphone) or mail your tithes and offerings to First AMEZ Church, 95 S. 20th Street, San Jose CA 95116
Announcements – Please check your text messages and email for further updates on the events and news about the schedule for all local AMEZ services. In accordance with the directives of the City of San Jose, our on-site services will be suspended on March 22 and 29. This includes bible study and choir rehearsals for that period. Our next on-site service will be on the first Sunday, April 5, 2020.
Sermonic Scripture Reading - Matthew 27:46
Hymn of Preparation - Were You There?
This week we will continue with our series on the Seven Last Sayings from the Cross.
On the three Sundays before this message, our text taught us from the first Three Sayings from the Cross that (1) God is the God of Forgiveness, (2) God is the God who gives Salvation, and (3) God is the God of Affection. Today we will see that God hears our cries of Anguish.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Our Topic for Today: ANGUISH
As we approach this scene, we see that Jesus had done all that he could for us and now it was time to turn himself to his ultimate act and that was to die. He was alone and felt abandoned. We can understand Him crying out in Anguish and asking, “My God, my God, Why Hath Thou Forsaken Me?”
Let’s look at what had happened to Jesus before this scene. He had suffered intensive physical pain, he had been whipped on Thursday night, beaten. On Friday morning they placed the cross on his shoulder and forced him to carry it up to Calvary.
Because Jesus had said he was a king, they gave him a crown of thorns and pushed them into his head until he was bleeding. These were three of the darkest hours in history. It was not a cry AGAINST God, but a cry TO God.
“My God, my God, why hath thou forsaken me?” Jesus knew what it was to be deserted. You remember that he had been deserted by his family. Jesus could handle the disciples abandoning him and his brothers and sisters not showing up. He could handle all of the religious folks walking around the cross and making fun of him. But this was the hardest thing to comprehend. He wasn’t sure he could handle being abandoned by God.
On the surface it seems as if Jesus’ faith had failed. Hasn’t your faith failed at times and you believed that God had left you?
Listen to the words carefully, he said, “MY GOD, MY GOD.” The double expression in the words of kinship, “My God, My God,” reveals his undying faith, his unhesitating faith, his unwavering faith in God.
The renowned theologian, Charles Spurgeon puts it this way. “Even if you have forsaken me, I have not forsaken YOU.” Jesus knew that his mission was to die for a sin-sick world, and the hour that he had been living to die for had come and he faced it with certain knowledge.
Jesus had to be forsaken, so we can be forgiven. Again, Jesus had to be forsaken, so we can be forgiven. The bible says in Isaiah 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. “ It tells us in the 5th verse, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” This assures us that we will always know the presence of God and have God’s help.
You don’t believe me, then read Matthew 28:29 – “And I will be with you always.” Matthew who records the extreme loneliness of Jesus ends his Gospel with this promise of eternal companionship – “And I will be with you always.”
Never, ever are we alone in our darkest moment.
Never, ever are we alone in our suffering.
Never, ever are we alone in the mist of our pain.
One song writer put it this way, “I’ve seen the lightning flashing and heard the thunder roll. I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, trying to conquer my soul. I’ve heard the voice of Jesus, telling me still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”
First Church you need to take this Word and hide it in your heart. “God turned against his son at that moment, so that he would not turn against you.” It was all a part of God’s plan – the crown of thorns on Jesus blessed head; the stripes on his bleeding back; the heavy cross on his shoulders, the final hour of his suffering. It was all for you – all for me. Our future and hope depended on this sacrifice.
When you feel alone, abandoned, deserted, afraid – remember Jesus’ example. Cry out in the morning, in the mid-day, in the evening and in the darkest hour – My God, my God.
Make it personal, God is your God. In God you will find Forgiveness. God is the God of your Salvation, God is a God of Affection, and God is your comfort in times of Anguish. Let nothing drive you from your faith in God. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever more. Amen.
Invitation – Decision Time (If you wish to unite with our Church, please call (408) 688-6980.)
Benediction – Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Expect the Best, Pastor Rogers
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Performed by CRC Worship
Performed by Rev. Fleetwood Irving
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Performed by Jessy Dixon