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

08.30.20 “The Road to Healing”

Mark 1:35-45, 2:1-12, 3:1-6

In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed… Jesus said, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach [and heal]  there also. For that is why I have come.”  Mark 1: 35, 38

Sunday Worship at Home
Bethel UMC Columbia | Rev. Julie Songer Belman
August 30, 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“Sing Hallelujah, Praise the Lord “
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. 

Blessing of the Backpacks – Pastor Julie invites all those returning to school (in-person, virtual or hybrid) to get out their school bags and join her for a virtual blessing in worship today. Don’t forget to join us in the back parking lot at 4:00 p.m. for a real live blessing and SnoCones!

Offertory:  “He Lifted Me”
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.

Sharing Our Stories:  Carol Burger

Pastoral Prayer:  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: How Firm A Foundation”  Enjoy this lovely anthem sung by our Bethel Choir.

Scripture: Today is Week Five on our year-long journey through the Gospel of Mark.  Today Pastor Julie is preaching on Mark 1:35-45, 2:1-12, and 3:1-6. We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon: The Road to Healing  Rev. Julie Songer Belman

Hymn Meditation:  Love Divine, All Loves Excelling by Charles Wesley
(Thank you to Marian Scullion for providing our weekly Hymn Meditations!)

Love divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heav’n to earth come down:
fix in us thy humble dwelling, all thy faithful mercies crown:
Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation, enter ev’ry trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into ev’ry troubled breast;
let us all in thee inherit, let us find the promised rest:
take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning, set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never, nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be:
let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory, ’til in heav’n we take our place,
’til we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Charles Wesley wrote something like six thousand hymns during his lifetime.  He spent much of his life on horseback traveling from church to church, so you might wonder how he accomplished this.  A part of the answer is found in the fact that he was naturally gifted — poetry welled up in him, allowing him to express his deep faith through hymns.  Another part of the answer is that he organized himself for his task.  He developed a kind of shorthand so that he could quickly jot down ideas as they came to him.  He carried note cards in his pocket so that he could record his thoughts even while riding a horse.  When he reached his destination, he would transform his rough notes into finished verse.

“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” is one of Wesley’s greatest hymns.  The hymn is really a prayer — a prayer to Jesus, who is “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.”  It invites Jesus to make his dwelling in us — to visit us with his salvation — to enter our hearts.  It invites him to take away our love of sinning — to set our hearts at liberty.  It concludes by asking Jesus to finish his new creation (we are his new creation) so that we might be pure and spotless — perfectly restored — ready for heaven.

As you listen to or sing this hymn, keep in mind that it is a prayer — that you are asking God to dwell in you — to visit you with his salvation — to enter your heart.

— Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan from Sermon Writer Hymn Stories (

Read more about this hymn and Charles Wesley on the UMC Discipleship Ministries History of Hymns site (

Benediction:  Say these words aloud:  
Go in peace, feeling the healing presence and power of God with you.
Bring the good news of God’s love to all whom you meet.  AMEN.

Go in Peace:  Check on someone you love today.