Worship at Saint Stephen for Sunday, May 30, 2021

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!”

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name;
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders;
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.

The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice;
the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor. 

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

the Lord makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord
bursts forth in lightning flashes.

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 

The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Lord all are crying, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forevermore.

O Lord, give strength to your people;
give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace. Amen.

Romans 8:12-17

Saint Paul writes – “Brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”

The Word of the Lord.

The Holy Gospel according to Saint John 3:1-17

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

This weekend Julia Davis is sharing with us about a powerful ministry in which her family is involved.

Julia and her family are active participants in the ministry of Compassion International. Compassion International is a Christian charitable organization whose goal is to help children around the world who live in poverty. Compassion International began its work and ministry over 65 years ago in 1952 when a pastor first developed a special program to help support Korean War orphans. In the decades since – Compassion International has grown and expanded their ministry to many more countries around the world.

Compassion International shares the Good News of God’s love and helps with essentials like food, education, mentoring, and medical care while working directly with local churches.

Compassion International offers the opportunity for those who wish to sponsor an individual child on an ongoing monthly basis. When you sponsor a child you are able to exchange letters and send pictures. You can learn about the child you sponsor and hear about their life as you correspond with one another over time.

You may also make a one time gift to support the ministry of Compassion International. You can pay for a baby’s medical care for the first 12 months of her life ($60).   You can give a child living in poverty the opportunity to experience beauty and joy through art classes ($50).   You can give the gift of drought relief – education and seeds ($30). Or there is always the Saint Stephen favorite of chicks ($40)!

Thank you Julia for sharing about your family’s involvement in this inspiring ministry!

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