Welcome to worship at Christ Lutheran! And if you’re listening on the radio, we’re glad you’re here too!
Today is Father’s Day! And we are so grateful for the crucial role that fathers play in the lives of their children. Fathers and mothers have a God-given calling. The healthy growth of our children depends on parents taking up the partnership that God has called them to. And we’ve got a video clip that shows us the most important thing that fathers and mothers can teach their children.
Video clip—I’m HIS!
The little boy said, “Dad, thanks for showing me that even if I do all these things that they will have the most meaning if I realize my worth in Jesus. You show me that I’m your son. But above all, I’m HIS! (the Lord’s)”
There are so many things we need to teach our children. How to tie their shoes, how to be responsible and trustworthy, how to read a baseball box score. But if we really believe that there is a God who created the universe and us and our children-----if we really believe that God is their heavenly Father who loves them so much that he would die for them, then all our children’s potential human skills and accomplishments can only be understood in their true light if they know that their ultimate worth comes not from their grade point average or trophies and ribbons. Their true worth comes from the fact that they are God’s child, a masterpiece created by the Lord of the universe. As King David wrote in Psalm 139:13, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Our children have been personally and wonderfully created by the Lord and they need to know their creator.
Here at CLC we think of the family and congregation as partners in that Godly task.
Starting this fall there will be a new opportunity to develop that partnership.
Family Faith Night
2nd Wednesday of each month from September to May.
Family Faith Night will happen from 6:30-7:30pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from September to May.
What did the little boy say in the video? “Thanks for teaching me that I am HIS—that I am the Lord’s!” That’s our purpose as families and congregation. That’s the---
Purpose of Family Faith Night
To teach all children about their heavenly Father--that he created them out of love—that he sent His Son Jesus to forgive them—and that he sent His Holy Spirit to be with them always!
Teaching our children that they belong to the Lord. That’s crucial for them to know. Why? Because they need to personally know the one who is always with them and will never fail them.
We parents do fail our children at times. And parents can’t always be there in person for their kids. And as much as we would rather not talk about it, all of us parents will die one day.
Your child needs a close, living connection with the one who will always be with them! Our Lord God—the only one who is always worthy of our worship!
We humans have a natural desire to worship. Where we often get off track is in knowing who or what is worthy of worship. Our culture is quick to worship movie stars, sports heroes, rock stars. But we quickly find out that they, like any humans, are always flawed, even though they have great talent. But that talent only comes as a gift from God. And he alone is the one worthy of being worshipped
I think it’s great when parents are seen as heroes-It’s a part of God’s plan for kids to look up to their parents as heroes. But parents can feel the pressure of that. “I can’t be perfect!” we say.
Human heroes aren’t perfect. We’re not talking about perfect fathers or mothers here---but ones who recognize their constant need for the Lord’s help.
When kids have unrealistic views of their parents, it’s essential for parents to talk with them about that. That’s a learning time to talk about the fact that no people are perfect. No movie stars or ball players or parents are worthy of our worship. When we worship people, sooner or later we will be disappointed.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look up to people who are good role models. As long as we always remember that whatever sin and failures they are guilty of are a reflection of their own sin and self-centeredness. And whatever good or even great things they do are a reflection of the loving God who made them.
We’ve seen some of that already in our series on King David. Saul and David were Israel’s first two kings. Both were chosen by God to be king. Both had great victories and terrible failures. But David overcame his failures, while Saul lost God’s approval as king. What was the difference between Saul and David.
We read in 1 Samuel---
1 Samuel 13:13-14 “You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”
Saul was not a man after God’s own heart. David was.
You see, God could do what we can’t do. He could see into Saul’s heart and God saw that when things got rough, Saul turned inward, followed his own heart, and got trapped in depression. David first came to Saul’s court to play his harp to soothe Saul’s mood swings. But Saul lost sight of God as the true source of his strength.
When David failed, and he failed mightily sometimes, he always came back to the Lord. God could see into David. The Lord know that David was truly a man after God’s own heart. And because of that, David would bring his sin to God, repent of what he had done and rely on the Lord for the strength he needed to deal with the consequences of his sin.
And we can see the depth of David’s faith expressed in the many psalms he wrote. Besides being a shepherd, king, and warrior, David was an inspired musician who wrote more than half of the 150 psalms in the Bible.
His work as a musician shows him to be a man after God’s own heart more than anything else.
He wrote the psalms because of his need for constant connection to God through psalms—which are really prayers put to music.
David teaches us of our need to worship. When we worship, we start to learn who God is and what he is all about. Through worship, we hear of all God has done for his people---the Hebrew people of King David—what he has done for all people through Christ Jesus—and what he wants to do for you and me right now.
All that helps us to grow in our relationship with the Lord. And as we grow we are better equipped for life. A deeper relationship with the Lord, gives us a sense of security and peace that carries over to every area of our lives. And then we start to realize that in every facet of life we need to follow the Lord.
David teaches us that worship isn’t just a once a week kind of thing—but an attitude for life. And David’s psalms express our need for God in every circumstance. And they show that we are free to share our strongest emotions with our heavenly Father.
Let’s look at some examples of David’s gift as a musician and poet.
He expresses sorrow---
Psalm 6:6-7 “I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.”
David knew there are times when God doesn’t seem to hear our prayers---
Psalm 28:1-2 “To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.”
And times when we feel the burden of our sin and guilt---
Psalm 32:1-5 “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
David shows us that it’s OK to express fear---
Psalm 3:1-4 “O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.”
And confidence in the Lord---
Psalm 27:1, 3-4 “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?.....Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”
We hear expressions of awe at the greatness of the Lord---
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
---words of sincere thanks---
Psalm 105:1-4 “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”
---and pure worship and praise---
Psalm 96:1-4 “Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.”
So when you feel sad—turn to the psalms. When you are anxious, turn to the psalms. When you feel thankful—turn to the psalms. David’s psalms and all the others help us see the Lord’s presence with us in the midst of everything that life brings.
David was truly a man after God’s own heart and his psalms have helped future generations to learn how to worship. St Paul knew David’s psalms well and built on David’s legacy of worship when he wrote-----
Colossians 3:16-17 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”