Knowing, Loving, Serving…
So the World Will Know Christ’s Love

07.26.20 “Faith in Suffering”

Psalm 130

Sunday Worship at Home
Bethel UMC Columbia | Rev. Julie Songer Belman
July 26, 2020

Preparation:  Find a spot in your home for yourself/your family to engage in worship. Include your Bible, a candle and a lighter or matches (or battery operated candle or low wattage table lamp), if possible. You might consider a small cross as well.

Welcome: Thank you for joining us! We pray you will be blessed by your time of worship with us today.

Prelude“To God Be the Glory”
While Bill plays the prelude, we invite you to light or turn on the candle/lamp to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in your worship. Take a deep breath and give thanks for God’s presence. 

Children’s Time: Children of all ages are invited to tune in with Pastor Julie for this special time of talking about how we can stay connected to those we love during this difficult time. 

Offertory:  “Fill the Earth with Music” played by our wonderful organist, Bill Webb.
Your continued support of God’s ongoing work at Bethel UMC is sincerely appreciated. Contributions to the mission of Bethel {Knowing, Loving, Serving: so the world may experience Christ’s Love!} may be made by mailing a check to 4600 Daniel Drive, Columbia SC 29206, or giving online at:  You may also contact your bank to have them draft a check on your behalf.

Prayers of the People:  Please join with Pastor Reggie as he prays today. Pray for yourself, your family, your church community, your city, your state, your country, our world. Pray for the global health situation, particularly for those who are sick, those who are lonely, those who are gripped by fear, those who are facing financial hardship, those without safe shelter, those who are hungry, our healthcare workers, our leaders in every realm. Give thanks, once again, for God’s faithfulness and seek God’s guidance for ways to offer love and grace in the world right now.

The Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

Anthem: “Seek and You Will Find”  
Enjoy this beautiful piece sung by our Bethel Choir.

Scripture:  This week Pastor Julie is preaching on Paslm 130
We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon:  Faith in Suffering”  Rev. Julie Songer Belman
Listen to, watch, or read a sermon. You can find access to all of Bethel’s recent sermons on our website:

Hymn Meditation:  “Because He Lives” 
(thanks to Marian Scullion and

UM Hymnal editor Carlton Young says this gospel hymn “is one of the five most requested… to be included in this hymnal.” Based on John 14:19c—“because I live, you also will live”—the hymn’s theme is effectively supported by a soaring melody in the refrain.  The words were written by two of the longest-lasting performing couples of Christian contemporary music, Gloria (b. 1942) and William J. (b. 1936) Gaither. “Because He Lives” was awarded the recognition of Gospel Song of the Year for 1974 by the Gospel Music Association and the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP).

The following background was provided to Carlton Young in preparation for the Companion to The United Methodist Hymnal (1993):  “‘Because he lives’ [1971] was written in the midst of social upheaval, threats of war, and betrayals of national and personal trust. It was into this world at such a time that we were bringing our third little baby.  Assassinations, drug traffic, and war monopolized the headlines. It was in the midst of this kind of uncertainty that the assurance of the Lordship of the risen Christ blew across our troubled minds like a cooling breeze in the parched desert. Holding our tiny son in our arms we were able to write:
‘How sweet to hold our newborn baby,
And feel the pride, and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance,
this child can face uncertain day because He lives.’”

“Because He Lives” begins with the empty grave on Easter Sunday. Stanza two is about hope, even in uncertain days, because of the singular significance of the Resurrection event. Stanza three takes us to heaven where we will “see the lights of glory and… know [Jesus] reigns.”
And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

This gospel song has undoubtedly offered hope for many people because of its connection between the
Resurrection and a “life… worth the living.”

Benediction:  Say these words aloud:  
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ rest upon you – even unsettle you;
The love of God, Creator, giver of life, embrace you – even challenge you;
And may the presence of the Holy Spirit encourage you – even surprise you, this day and always. AMEN.  

Go in Peace:  Check on someone you love today.