Author Archives: peter tewinkle
The holiday season at St. Croix Reformed Church is typically filled with fun, family-friendly events. We gather for a Thanksgiving feast.
We “Hang the Greens” and enjoy turkey leftovers.
We sing carols, eat, cookies and ride donkeys (who eat palm branches!) at the Live Nativity.
And, we get dressed up and light candles for a Christmas Eve service.
Sadly, we’re going to have to say good-bye to those festivities this year. It’s a hard decision to make, but we believe it is the wise one. And, we trust that it is only temporary.
In the meantime, enjoy the photos and the memories they bring up. We’re going to be exploring the possibility of an online Christmas Eve Service. Stay tuned!
We hope that you’ll join us for worship this Sunday at 9:30am. The doors are open, the chairs are spaced, and there is room at the Lord’s table for you to worship in person. But, if you’re more comfortable joining us online, you can see all the words that we’ll be using in worship below. Or, you can download and print a copy here.
PRELUDE – We Thank Thee
CALL TO WORSHIP –
Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name for ever;
may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
SONG – Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven #571
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Most High & Holy God, we live in a land with laws and leaders. We are told that the governments under which we live are ordained by you as your servants. Yet, we are called to obey your will rather than the ways of men. It is not an easy tension to live in; especially during such divided times. We confess that we contribute to the division. We confess that it’s hard for us to see good in those who disagree. So, we ask for the wisdom of your Spirit to see beyond our own politics to the peace that abounds through your love. Give us new eyes to judge with justice, new voices that defend the cause of the poor, and new hands that deliver those in need. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
SONG – I’m Trading My Sorrows
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
SONG – Amazing Grace #693
SCRIPTURE – Jeremiah 36:1-10, 21-26
In the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that when the house of Judah hears of all the disasters that I intend to do to them, all of them may turn from their evil ways, so that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
Then Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on a scroll at Jeremiah’s dictation all the words of the Lord that he had spoken to him. And Jeremiah ordered Baruch, saying, ‘I am prevented from entering the house of the Lord; so you go yourself, and on a fast day in the hearing of the people in the Lord’s house you shall read the words of the Lord from the scroll that you have written at my dictation. You shall read them also in the hearing of all the people of Judah who come up from their towns. It may be that their plea will come before the Lord, and that all of them will turn from their evil ways, for great is the anger and wrath that the Lord has pronounced against this people.’ And Baruch son of Neriah did all that the prophet Jeremiah ordered him about reading from the scroll the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.
In the fifth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the towns of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the Lord. Then, in the hearing of all the people, Baruch read the words of Jeremiah from the scroll, in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah son of Shaphan the secretary, which was in the upper court, at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house.
Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it from the chamber of Elishama the secretary; and Jehudi read it to the king and all the officials who stood beside the king. Now the king was sitting in his winter apartment (it was the ninth month), and there was a fire burning in the brazier before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a penknife and throw them into the fire in the brazier, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. Yet neither the king, nor any of his servants who heard all these words, was alarmed, nor did they tear their garments. Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son and Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the secretary Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. But the Lord hid them.
SONG – Song of the Prophets #53 vv. 1, 3, 18
OFFERTORY – Thank You
SONG – Give Thanks #358
All the words that we’ll be using for worship this Sunday are below, but you can also download and print a copy here.
PRELUDE – Holy, Holy, Holy
CALL TO WORSHIP – Psalm 89
I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, for ever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established for ever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
great and awesome above all that are around him?
O Lord God of hosts,
who is as mighty as you, O Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
Happy are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;
they exult in your name all day long,
and extol your righteousness.
For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted.
For our shield belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.
SONG – Your Name #3375
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Most High and Holy God, it is your desire to cleanse us; to purify, refresh, and sustain us. Your Spirit’s presence is to cleanse us from hate and violence, from greed and indifference, from addiction and self-indulgence. Your work in our lives is to conform us to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. We confess that we’re not perfect, but we don’t always know what in our lives still needs changing. Give us the courage to face ourselves and to continue to grow in your grace; not with guilty or fear, but with the confidence that you are leading us to eternal life. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
SONG – Holy Is His Name
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’
SONG – Open the Eyes of My Heart #537
SCRIPTURE – Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’
Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’
SONG – Holy, Holy, Holy #538
OFFERTORY – Santo, Santo, Santo (see #814)
SONG – You Are Holy #598
Below you will find the words that we’ll be using in worship this Sunday. You’re welcome to join us in the sanctuary (with a mask) or online. If you’d like to download and print a copy, you can do that here.
PRELUDE – Grace Greater Than Our Sin
CALL TO WORSHIP – Jonah 2
‘I called to the Lord out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
You cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
Then I said, “I am driven away
from your sight;
how shall I look again
upon your holy temple?”
The waters closed in over me;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped around my head
at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me for ever;
yet you brought up my life from the Pit,
O Lord my God.
As my life was ebbing away,
I remembered the Lord;
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Those who worship vain idols
forsake their true loyalty.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Deliverance belongs to the Lord!’
SONG – Song Of the Prophets #53 vv. 1, 10, 18
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Most High and Holy God, you have called us. You have sent us. Yet, we try to run. We try to hide. You have made known your will to us. You have revealed your desires for us. Yet, we have a will of our own. We have our own desires that compete with yours. We confess that we don’t always know the difference between them. We confess that even when we do, we choose our will and our desires over yours. So, we vow once again to genuinely and earnestly seek your will and your desire first. Grateful for your patience, we ask also for your Spirit heal our wounds and guide our steps. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
SONG – God Be Merciful To Me #622
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
But I say to you, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for God makes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have…Do not even the nations do the same? Be complete in love, therefore, as your heavenly Father is complete.
SONG – Ten Thousand Reasons #559
SCRIPTURE – Jonah 3:7-4:8
Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: ‘By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.’ When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city.
The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’
SONG – Will You Come and Follow Me #742
OFFERTORY – Down To the River To Pray
SONG – Hallelujah! Salvation & Glory! #491
We’ll celebrate communion this Sunday as we conclude our series on “When It Feels Like God Is Not Enough.” You can find all the words we’ll be using in worship below or download a copy here.
PRELUDE – All Who Are Thirsty
CALL TO WORSHIP – Psalm 147
Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the broken-hearted,
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
SONG – How Firm a Foundation #427
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Most High and Holy God, we stand on the foundation of your Word. That’s easy to do when life is stable and we have all that we need. But, it’s much harder to do when the world around us is insecure and our way of life feels threatened. We confess that sometimes we put our faith in the things of this world rather than the promises of Christ. We confess that we are not so comfortable allowing our faith to take us to uncomfortable places or connect with uncomfortable people. We know that our witness suffers because we avoid deep waters and fiery trials. So, send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, to help us, and to cause us to stand. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
SONG – Jesus We Are Here #520
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Therefore do not worry saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the nations who strive after all these things; and indeed your heavenly father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Brothers and sisters, believe this good news and live in its peace.
ANTHEM – Give Me Oil In My Lamp
SCRIPTURE – I Kings 17
Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.’ The word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Go from here and turn eastwards, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.’ So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the wadi. But after a while the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’ So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.’ As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’ But she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’ Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.
After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. She then said to Elijah, ‘What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!’ But he said to her, ‘Give me your son.’ He took him from her bosom, carried him up into the upper chamber where he was lodging, and laid him on his own bed. He cried out to the Lord, ‘O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I am staying, by killing her son?’ Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried out to the Lord, ‘O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.’ The Lord listened to the voice of Elijah; the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. Elijah took the child, brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother; then Elijah said, ‘See, your son is alive.’ So the woman said to Elijah, ‘Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.’
SONG – Behold the Lamb #840
CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER – All Who Are Thirsty
OFFERTORY – Days of Elijah (Brian & Nicholai Chase)
SONG – This Little Light of Mine #930