May 10, 2020 - Home Worship Service

Worship Service: May 10, 2020


Welcome & Announcements:

Good morning church!


A ZOOM reminder from Pastor Jenn: 

I will offer a ZOOM gathering at 9:00 am Sunday and 6pm Sunday evening. Zoom is a way to be connected via computer or telephone. You can call the phone number listed- it is toll free. This will be time of sharing joys and concerns and having prayer time. If there is a problem, call or text my cell at 570-317-0422 and I will try to assist.

9:00 am Zoom Meeting

Or dial 1 929 436 2866 (toll free)

Meeting ID: 757 496 754

Password: 522345


6pm Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 186 263 314

Password: 525901

Or dial 1 929 436 2866 US (toll free)



Call to Worship:

L: Once we were not a people.

P: Now we are God’s people.

L: Once we lived in darkness.

P: Now we dwell in marvelous light.

L: Taste and see that the Lord is good.

P: We rejoice that God is always there.


Opening Hymn: Happy the Home When God Is There


Happy the home when God is there, and love fills every breast;

when one their wish, and one their prayer, and one their heavenly rest.


Happy the home where Jesus’ name is sweet to every ear;

where children early speak his fame, and parents hold him dear.


Happy the home where prayer is heard, and praise is wont to rise;

Where parents love the sacred Word and all its wisdom prize.


Lord, let us in our homes agree this blessed peace to gain;

unite our hearts in love to thee, and love to all will reign.


Opening Prayer:

God of refuge and strength, open our hearts to the words of Your Son: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me.” During this Easter season, as we abide in the assurance of Your care, help us move beyond the comforting promise of eternal life in Your heavenly dwelling place to embrace a deeper hunger and longing to grow into a spiritual house during our lives on earth. In the name of the Master Builder and the Living Stone, the one who builds us into a spiritual house. AMEN.


Children’s Time: Ben Dodge


First Lesson: John 14:1-14 Tom Dent

14“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.

4And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.

12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. 

Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:

Living God, we love to hear Jesus’ assurance that He has a place for us in Your heavenly kingdom, but we fear the challenge to live our faith if it means, like the Apostle Stephen before us, that we might suffer for our beliefs; we rejoice in the knowledge that we may entrust our spirit to You in certain hope of eternal life, but we shudder at Your call to drink of Your spiritual milk if it means we must really change as we grow into salvation. Give us the courage of Stephen and the confidence of Peter, that we may be a holy priesthood – a people built like living stones into a spiritual house. And now as Christ taught us to pray, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. AMEN.


Offering: We want to thank you for your continued gifts that are helping us do ministry in a very different way during these times. Thank you for the work you do to support the ministries of the church as we continue to reach out in love and concern. Your gifts can be sent to the church, Lightstreet United Methodist Church, 1640 Main Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. The option of electronic transfer of funds is also available. Contact our church treasurer, Amy Dent ( or 570-458-4299. Amy will guide you through the process to authorize your bank to transfer funds into the church account.


Offertory: Sarah Wolfe and Lindsay Pensyl


Offering Prayer: God of overflowing abundance, You have fed us and nourished us with Your heavenly food. When the snares of this world threaten to overwhelm us, You have been our fortress and our rock, saving us from the net that is hidden from us. As people thankful for the mercy we have received, we entrust our lives and our spirits into Your care, offering You our gifts in the hope that they may reflect Your light for all to see. AMEN.


Second Lesson: I Peter 2:4-9 Brooke Ruch

4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” 8and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.


Sermon: Pastor Ron French


I PETER 2:4-9 & JOHN 14:1-14

MAY 10, 2020


A man stopped his car in front of a house that former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn had helped build for Habitat for Humanity. A little boy was standing in the front yard. He was probably 5 or 6 years old. The little lad ran out and put his hands on the side of the car, and said, “Man, you sure got a pretty car.” The man in the car replied, “Well, you sure got a pretty house. Which one of these houses is yours?” The little fellow said proudly, “That one,” as he pointed it out. The man in the car then asked, “Young man, who built your house?”  He thought the boy would say, “President Carter built my house.” But, instead, with a big smile the boy said, “Jesus built my house.” And you know what, sisters and brothers, the little guy was right. And I’m sure that President and Mrs. Carter would gladly testify that they do their good works because Jesus Christ has touched their lives.

I want to talk this morning about building houses. Not Habitat for Humanity houses, though that is a wonderful ministry. But today I want to talk about spiritual houses. I’m sure most of you have seen the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. (If you haven’t seen it, I believe you can catch it on the HGTV network on Sunday evenings at 9:00. I find the show to be a breath of fresh air in the bleak landscape we call television.) A team of construction-and-design Good Samaritans find needy, deserving families and offer them a complete home renovation. These renovations often involve tearing down their current house completely and building a new one. The new houses often incorporate special, nostalgic touches from the old house. Each house has rooms that are especially designed around the personality of the occupant.

Who are the people that have received these new houses? Well, they include a woman who donated bone marrow to a dying child; a single father and his children who were grieving the loss of his wife and their mother; an extended family who wanted to live with their ill mother. I feel like this is a reality show that we can all get behind. And this theme, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, fits our lessons from both the Gospel of John and the first letter of Peter.

In our lesson from I Peter this morning we are told to come to Jesus the living stone. He was rejected by the rulers and the people, yet was chosen and precious in the sight of God. Peter then tells us that like living stones we need to let ourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a royal priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. We are to be living stones built into a spiritual house. This is the teaching from Peter. But there is also another house that is prominent in our lessons for today.

In John’s gospel, Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. We are to believe in God and also in Him. Then He goes on to say that in His Father’s house there are many dwelling places. And if this were not so would He have told us that He is preparing a place for each of us. So there is a house that awaits those who belong to Christ. It is in God’s house and in that house there is a room for each of us. But there are a few things we need to take note of.

First of all, note that Jesus is the cornerstone. Peter quotes scripture when he tells the people that God is laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.

And what is the cornerstone, you ask? Any good architect in Jesus’ day could tell you that the cornerstone was the most essential piece of a building’s foundation. It was the beginning of the foundation, and it provided the strength on which to build everything else. So our Extreme Makeover: Home Edition begins with understanding who Jesus is and what He means to our lives.

Secondly, note that we, like living stones, are to be built into a spiritual house. This is a little less obvious, but follow me closely. We know who Jesus is. Our next step is to discover who we are and how we fit into God’s plan for the world. Peter says we are to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. You and I need to claim this identity before God. WE ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD! We are those who have been chosen by God to work at reconciling the world to Him.

Finally, Jesus tells us that He has already prepared a place for us, a room in His Father’s house. Here, brothers and sisters is the wonder of it all. Just as the Extreme Makeover team moves in to build a new home for those in need, so Jesus has built a home for us who are in need. We are needy, but in no way are we deserving. Let me talk for a moment about the house God has prepared for each of us.

Recently on the Internet there appeared a series of children’s thoughts about heaven. For example, when Jenny was four, she asked if heaven had a floor. “Well, Jenny,” her Dad replied, “What do you think heaven is like?” Jenny looked up at the sky and said, “Well, I can’t see a floor, so I guess people are just up there on coat hangers.” A six year old boy was overheard praying, “God, they keep telling me that You love us kids. But I’m wondering: if You know my older brother, do You think he’ll ever get to heaven?” Seven year old Clarisa was not really excited about going to Sunday school, but her little friend talked her into it. After the first class, she told her parents, “I like my teacher, and she said if I come to Sunday school every week, she’ll show me how I can get a free trip to heaven.”

Even adults have questions about heaven. For example, where is heaven? When we first began to launch space satellites, a person proposed that to find heaven all we had to do was to figure out the exact day of the first Easter, add forty days to it to get to Ascension Day, when Jesus ascended to heaven. Then we could calculate the position of the earth on that day, draw an imaginary line out from Jerusalem, with confidence that this line would lead us to heaven. I admire that creativity, but most of us understand that heaven is not a physical place that can be reached with a space ship no matter how powerful. Heaven is a spiritual place that can only be reached through the grace of God.

It would be difficult to talk about heaven to a non-believer. Most of us are too entrapped by this physical world to even imagine a spiritual world. But those of us who have experienced Christ in our lives know the essence of that which is spiritual.

There is an old legend of a swan and a crane. A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the river in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in wonder and then inquired, “Where did you come from?” “I come from heaven,” replied the swan. “And where is heaven?” asked the crane. “Heaven!” said the swan, “Heaven! Have you never heard of heaven?” And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of the Eternal City. She told of streets of gold, and the gates and walls made from precious stone; of the river of life, pure as crystal, upon whose banks is the tree whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane. Finally, the crane asked, “Are there snails there?” “Snails!” repeated the swan. “No! Of course not.” “Then,” said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the river, “you can have your heaven. I want snails.” Sisters and brothers, if all you want is snails, then heaven will not hold much attraction for you.

In his book, When God Whispers Your Name, Max Lucado puts it like this: “We may speak about a place where there are no tears, no death, no fears, no night; but those are just the benefits of heaven. The beauty of heaven is seeing God. Heaven is God’s heart.”

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Jesus is the cornerstone, but each of us is also to be living stones in God’s house, in the church and in the world. Meanwhile, the Master Carpenter has prepared a home for each of us when our pilgrimage is over, and that home is near to the heart of God.


Closing Song: How Great Is Our God  Chris Tomlin


The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the Earth rejoice
All the Earth rejoice

He wraps himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

You're the name above all names
You are worthy of our praise
And my heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

The whole world sings, the whole world sings
How great is our God
How great is our God
How great, how great is our God


Once we were not a people. Now we are a people.

Once we dwelled in darkness. Now we dwell in marvelous light.

Once our hearts were troubled. Now we are secured.



  April 2021  
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