December 28, 2017 @ 5:36 pm

Christmas Eve worship

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Read along with Luke 2:1-20

 

In this sermon podcast: 

1. Hymn: "Angels We Have Heard on High" (with brass quintet) 

2. Advent candle reading & congregational response: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" 

3. Offertory: "I Wonder as I Wander" Kara Penley (flute), Dr. Stan Workman (organ accompanist) 

4. Anthem of the day: "Angel Tidings" 

5. Sermon 

6. "O Holy Night" soloist, Jonathan Burton (tenor), Dr. Stan Workman (piano accompanist) 

 

Sermon synopsis: 

In this sermon, Pastor Allison resurrects a first-person monologue initially preached by Rev. Wallace Rummel (pastor of Second Pres back in the late 1960s/early 1970s) while giving it her own spin!  

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December 15, 2017 @ 3:29 am

12.10.17 “Strange Messengers”

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Read along with Mark 1:1-8

 

Included in this podcast:

1. Anthem of the day: "Every Valley" (John Ness Beck) 

2. Sermon 

 

Sermon synopsis:  

It's funny how often those who are a little outside of the norm are chosen to be messengers to the rest of the world. Brian Henson made the strange choice of casting Gonzo as Charles Dickens in the movie The Muppets Christmas Carol precisely because he was the least likely character for that role.  

This unlikely decision fits right in with the biblical tradition of God calling strange messengers to bear his words to his people; strange messengers like locust and honey-eating, hairy-pelt wearing John the Baptizer, the voice crying out in the wilderness who warns his listeners to "Prepare" for the way of the Lord. 

What does his message sound like in today's world? 

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December 5, 2017 @ 1:56 am

12.03.17 “It’s A Wonderful Life”

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Read along with Mark 13:24-37

 

In this podcast: 

1. Anthem of the day: "Zion, At Thy Shining Gates" (K. Lee Scott) 

2. Sermon 

 

Sermon excerpt: 

Big-hearted, generous, loving, utterly frustrated George Bailey, from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, loves the good people of Bedford Falls so much that he gives up all of his big dreams of exploring the world and building skyscrapers in order run his father’s Building and Loan so that OTHERS can follow their dreams.

George helps. And he helps and he helps and he helps. Eventually, his compassion, which has burned so brightly, flames out and he reacts badly when his Uncle Billy loses a large deposit of money. And George becomes numb; numb to the people he has helped, numb to his family, numb to his life.

... 

Into the darkness of the places of where our hearts have become numb, Jesus speaks a powerful word about urgency in Mark 13. And his words pierce right through our numbness.

32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.”

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November 30, 2017 @ 5:33 am

11.26.17 Speaking Frankly about Death: The Final Word

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Read along with Ephesians 1:15-23

 

In this podcast: 

1. Anthem of the day: "Let This Mind Be In You" (Craig Courtney)

2. Sermon 

3. BONUS: homework assignment for the week and benediction

 

Sermon excerpt: 

Christ is “our king as we sit in the waiting room, as the test results come back, as we weep over the grave, as we watch the wars escalate and the darkness deepen.

“He is our king when hope seems lost, that voice we will listen to when promises seem shattered, when our lives have no direction, and when we can’t imagine anything tomorrow could bring that might fill this hole within us.”[1]

The work of faith is to believe that Christ, not fear, gets the final word.

The work of faith is to believe that Christ, not chaos, has the final word.

The work of faith is to believe that Christ, not death, has the final word.

The work of faith is to live like we actually believe that Christ really does get the final word.

[1] Erickson, A Presacher’s Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series, p. 80.

 

Here's a link to Dr. Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" mentioned in the sermon:  

https://youtu.be/Wn9L4CxAaQY

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November 21, 2017 @ 5:01 am

11.19.17 Speaking Frankly about Death: Life is Fragile

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Read along with Psalm 90:1-12

 

Sermon #2 in our series on "Speaking Frankly about Death" 

 

In this sermon podcast: 

1. Anthem of the day: "Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care" (Schalk/Baxter) 

2. Sermon 

 

Sermon excerpt: 

Following this line of thought quickly leads to a sense of nihilism and the sense that life is without purpose, that nothing we do matters. Life is fragile and frail and brief. From dust we come and to dust we return. 

But remember, this psalm is a prayer. A prayer of lament, but a prayer nonetheless. That means the psalmist is seeking a remedy or relief from this heaviness; he’s searching for meaning within the lament. By expressing the grief of his people regarding the brevity of their lives, he seeks to discover the significance of the life God chooses to give anyway, however brief it might be.

Here's a link to the song (David M. Bailey's "Love the Time") mentioned in the sermon: 
https://youtu.be/7-JH18v3kAY

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November 20, 2017 @ 9:56 pm

11.19.17 Complete Community Thanksgiving Worship

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This year, Second Presbyterian Church hosted the annual Scioto Country Ministerial Association Community Thanksgiving Worship Service on Sunday, November 19th. 

The audio of the entire service is included in this podcast. 

The anthem of the day, John Rutter's "For the Beauty of the Earth," runs from 20:37 to 24:17

And the sermon portion (preached by Pastor Allison) begins at 24:47. It starts out with a visual demonstrations. The pictures below give you a sense of what was going on! 

 

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November 15, 2017 @ 9:21 pm

11.12.17 Speaking Frankly About Death: The Great Equalizer

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Read along with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

 

In this sermon podcast: 

1. Anthem of the day: "Rejoice, the Lord is King" (Archer/Wesley) 

2. Sermon: "The Great Equalizer" 

 

Sermon excerpt: 

Friends, from the moment we’re born, we’re dying. Maybe it’s time we start embracing that knowledge; not in a macabre or warped way … but honestly, acknowledging that this life is temporary and that something much grander awaits us. Maybe instead of seeing passersby as strangers, we can instead see them as fellow travelers on a pilgrimage. Maybe then we will be willing to enter into and to shed a tear for someone else’s suffering instead of spending all our time being focused on our own.

It turns out, though we fear that which we don’t understand, we can in fact face the depths of death … because we have the words of life, of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ and our own resurrection.

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November 7, 2017 @ 7:50 pm

11.05.17 Delight in Giving

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Read along with 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

 

In this podcast: 

1. Anthem of the day: "For the Fruit of All Creation" (Green/McCullough) 

2. Sermon 

BONUS: "We Give Thee But Thine Own" (because someone forgot to turn the recording off!) 

 

Sermon excerpt: 

The word for “cheerful” Paul uses here is “hilaros” in the Greek, which sounds an awful lot like our word “hilarious.” “Hilaros” is an adjective that means joyous, cheerful, propitious, not grudging.[i]

And it is only used this one time in the New Testament.

God loves it when a gift is given “hilaros-ly” because it is a reflection of the way God gives: lovingly, generously, and open-handedly.

Giving “hilaros-ly” is one way of obeying the second greatest commandment (love thy neighbor) which immediately spills into the greatest commandment of loving God, two commandments which are inseparable.[ii]  Part of the way we worship God is by giving cheerfully as we are able to the needs of others.[iii] And when others see the way we delight in our giving, so Paul reasons in verse 14, they in turn will praise God.

 

[i]  Strong’s Concordance, “hilaros"  

[ii] Best, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Intepretation, p. 86.

[iii] Ibid., p. 87.

 

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November 1, 2017 @ 9:28 pm

10.29.17 “Soli Deo Gloria” (Glory to God Alone)

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Read along with John 12:27-43

 

In this podcast:

1. Anthem of the day: "Built on a Rock the Church Doth Stand" (Lindeman/Grundtvig) 

2. Sermon 

3. All Saints' Day remembrance

4. "Amazing Grace" (Ryan Praskovich, bagpipes)

 

Sermon excerpt:

If only our restless hearts knew that the search is over. That God created us for him. For rest in him.

Once we have that, we don’t need anything else.

When Augustine talks of “rest,” he’s talking about the security and comfort of salvation in Jesus Christ, our only comfort in life and in death. Salvation through grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone as witnessed to by Scripture alone.

Once our hearts find this rest, our only response is gratefulness. Or, as Augustine would say, to delight in praising God. Or, as Martin Luther, father of this Protestant Reformation we’ve been learning about for the last 4 weeks, would put it: to give glory to God alone, which is our 5th of the 5 BIG ideas of the Reformation.

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November 1, 2017 @ 9:28 pm

10.29.17 Reformation Day & All Saints’ Day (complete service)

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Audio of the complete service from Reformation Day & All Saints' Day. 

Special music includes: 

Prelude: "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" and "Highland Cathedral" (Ryan Praskovich, bagpipes)

Hymn: "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" (organ, brass, and timpani) 

Bagpipe Voluntary: "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" (Praskovich) 

Anthem: "Built on a Rock the Church Doth Stand" (Lindeman/Grundtvig) 

Bagpipe mediation: "Amazing Grace" (Praskovich) 

Hymn: "For All the Saints" (organ, brass, and timpani) 

Hymn: "The Church's One Foundation" (organ, brass, timpani) 

Postlude: "Now Thank We All Our God" (J.S. Bach; organ, brass, timpani) 

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