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

11.22.20 “Christ the King” Sunday

“Water of Life”

Revelation 7:1-17

Sunday Worship at Home
Bethel UMC Columbia | Rev. Julie Songer Belman
November 22, 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 This Is My Father’s World”
While the prelude is played, 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 Mats made for Homeless: It is our JOY in worship today to bless the 16 new bed mats woven by Marcie Marshall that will be distributed those living without shelter in the Midlands this holiday season. We celebrate the gifts of our hands and hearts here at Bethel UMC!

Offertory: “We Gather Together”
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.

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: “Let All Things Now Living  Enjoy this lovely anthem sung by our Bethel Choir, with accompaniment by Nancy Burkhalter on flute.

Scripture: During the month of November we are taking a short break from our Year of Mark worship series. Today, Pastor Julie is preaching on Revelation 7:1-17. We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon: Water of Life 

Hymn Meditation: Immortal Invisible
Words by Walter Chalmers Smith and Hymn Tune: ST. DENIO

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
thy justice like mountains high soaring above
thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life thou givest, to both great and small;
in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth thee.

Thou reignest in glory; thou dwellest in light;
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
all laud we would render: O help us to see
’tis only the splendor of light hideth thee.

This hymn was written by Walter Chalmers Smith, a pastor of the Free Church of Scotland, in the late 19th century.  It is based on 1 Timothy 1:17, which in the King James Version says:

“Now unto the King
eternal, immortal, invisible,
the only wise God,be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

It tries to express the inexpressible—the nature of God—and so it uses words like this: “In light inaccessible hid from our eyes” — that are mysterious as well as beautiful.  “Light inaccessible”—why would anyone refer to God as “light inaccessible”?  The scriptures, particularly the Psalms, speak of God as light:

“God is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear”
(Psalm 27:1).
“Let the light of your face
shine upon us, O Lord”
(Psalm 4:6).

But why “light inaccessible”?  Perhaps because, if the light of God were to shine upon us full force, it would consume us.  Perhaps because we could not stand to see the full glory of God until we see him face to face in heaven.

There are other interesting phrases—”silent as light.”  I think of light as bright or dim or as expressing a particular color, but I had never thought of it as silent—but, of course, light is silent.  This hymn speaks of God as “Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light.”  How can God be unresting and unhasting on the one hand, but silent on the other?  That line reminds us that God is always at work in our lives—always—but that God’s presence in our lives is often so subtle that we can fail to perceive it.

If you would like to do a thoughtful, quiet meditation, sit quietly for a half hour reading the words of this hymn. 

Hymn Meditation is from the Sermon Writer’s Hymn Story collection (  

Benediction: Say these words aloud:  
Let us drink deeply of the waters of Salvation and quench our thirst for truth.
Now we go in God’s peace to bring Good News to all we meet! AMEN.

Go in Peace: Check on someone you love today.