The Vital Voice

THE PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION-             

The early Christians grew to understand the meaning of Christ’s resurrection as they experienced the Risen Lord. We seek the Holy Spirit to guide us to new understandings of faith as we hear the recorded Word. Join your hearts with mine in prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ, the light of your love shines on, illuminating the places where you are present.  As the bewildered disciples pondered the stories of your appearance, you penetrated the darkness of their fear and doubt with your word of peace. You showed them the appalling marks of evil pierced on your hands and feet. You opened their minds to understand your death and resurrection. Increase our understanding, we pray, and open our minds and hearts to receive you, Lord. Speak your word of peace to us and let your love shine on any dark areas in our lives. Amen.

THE FIRST SCRIPTURE                                          Luke 1:67-75                                                                    Zechariah’s Prophecy

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

May the Lord bless this Holy Word to our understanding.

A TIME WITH GOD’S CHILDREN#106                 (Refrain)                  “Alleluia, Alleluia, give Thanks” 

 SECOND SCRIPTURE READING                                      Revelation 5:11-14                  Worship in Heaven

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,

“To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

THE SERMON           “The Vital Voice”

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – Good News

I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the NBC reality music show “The Voice.” We enjoy watching it although; we don’t see it every week. It is now in its tenth season. It usually presents good music in a genre, we enjoy and stories of the performers touch your heart. Each season begins with blind auditions, where the judges listen with their backs turned to the performer. So they can truly concentrate on hearing the singer’s voice without distractions of their physical appearance or attire. The judges, who want a singer on their team, press a button and turn around to get their first look. If more than one judge turns around before the end of the song, the singer chooses who will be their coach.

As I listened to the Scripture passages this week, I thought about how we listen for the voice of God. I wondered how our schedules, the TV, activities, work, and gets getting through the day distracts us from listening to God. My curiosity of what the Lord God Almighty would need to get our attention to turn around and connect with the spiritual power available to all believers.

The Sunday School explored the promises to Zechariah and Elizabeth. God had promised them a son and in their advances age, a child had not entered their life. When Zechariah served as priest in the temple, in the Holy of Holies, the Word of the Lord came to him, now was the time. Zechariah heard the message and received the vision but did not believe.

He failed to turn whole heartedly to God’s promised gift. So to get his attention, God took away his voice. He     could not talk for the 9 months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Once the promise was fulfilled with the birth of John the Baptist, Zechariah could use his voice again. His first words, filled with the Holy Spirit, were words of praise for God’s faithfulness. He spoke words of prophecy that our faithful God will fulfill the promise made to Abraham,  2000 year before the birth of Jesus. God remembers his covenant with his people. God’s attention span is much longer than ours.

Jesus described himself as the Good Shepherd. The sheep know my voice and follow me. We need to listen for the Lord’s voice to be able to hear it. We need to concentrate on the Word of God to listen to God’s guidance for living. We know God is faithful; we listen for his divine call to provide us direction for today and tomorrow. Listening does not happen without our concentrated effort to find time to be alone with God.  Worship allows us a time once a week to connect to our Creator and hear the spiritual power of the Lord.

In John’s Revelation, the Apostle received a vision from God that includes glimpse of the Lord’s promises for our future. John  heard the vital voice angels, God’s messengers gathering for worship. They gather around the throne of grace and lift their voice in praise with the saints for every time and place.  He describes believers worshiping in heaven as joy filled experience. All living creatures sing in full voice to honor Christ. They are not timid in their expression of faith. They honor the worthy Passover Lamb slain on a cross for the sins of the world.

As we come to the Lord’s Table to remember his sacrifice of love, I invite you to lift your voice in praise. I encourage you to find time this week to listen to the vital voice of Jesus to encourage your walk with Jesus. Take time to listen and believe. TGBTG. Amen

  November 2017  
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