Sunday, July 4, 2021 Worship Service

Blessings Cooksville Family!

Below is the link to this week’s service:

As always, If you have problems with viewing the video, I have included the full text , of most of the service, below.

And remember, please try to keep in touch with each other, particularly those you know who are forced to spend so much time alone.

And feel free to call or email me personally if you want to connect or if there is anything I can do.

Blessings,

Rev. Brian

Rev. Brian Vickers
Cell – 905-802-4081
Email – b_d_vickers@hotmail.ca


July, 2021
Sunday Worship Service

Prelude: Speak, Lord, in the Stillness – Harold Green, arr. for piano/organ duet by Larry Shackley Played with Eddy Zheng

Opening Video: Amazing King

Welcome & Greeting:

Lighting the Christ Candle

Hymn: “Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above”

Call to Worship and Opening Prayer:

The Lords Prayer

Scripture:

Mark 6:1-13 New International Version (NIV)

6:1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Solo: Prayer for Peace – lyrics by Gertrude Tingley, music by Jean-Baptiste Lully Sung by Sheikh Ali

Message:

Are You Amazed?

He really is amazing – isn’t He? Whether you have just stumbled upon this virtual service – or if you’ve been a part of the Cooksville United family for years – my prayer is that you would be amazed by Jesus every time you hear His name.

The scribes and the skeptics were amazed at his teaching. The hungry and hurting were amazed by his miracles. An adulterer and her accusers were amazed by his love.

But have you ever wondered what amazes Jesus? What might astonish the most astonishing person who ever lived? What could boggle the infinite mind of the God-Man? What could leave the greatest teacher – speechless?

Well – in our reading for today – we heard one time when Jesus was amazed. Jesus had just completed a whirlwind tour across much of northern Israel.

He amazed his disciples by calming the wind and waves on Lake Galilee. He amazed the people by casting a legion of demons into a herd of swine. He amazed a sick woman who was healed the instant she touched his cloak. And His last stop was the home of Jairus – whose daughter had died earlier that day. But death wouldn’t stop Jesus – He took the little girl’s hand and whispered in her ear – Little girl – get up – and she did – she got up and walked – and the Bible says – They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.

Jesus was amazing everyone he encountered. But then we hear that – Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth – his hometown.

Maybe – He was tired from all His travels and just wanted to sit in His favourite spot by the family hearth. Maybe His mom had been nagging Him to come home and visit for a while. Whatever his reasons were – there’s always something special about going home – the comfort – the familiarity of it all.

But a lot’s changed since Jesus left Nazareth. He left alone and a carpenter – He returned a famous rabbi with a whole entourage of disciples. And – His reputation has preceded him because the local rabbi invites Jesus to speak.

So – Jesus now has the opportunity to preach in the church he grew up in. The Bible says – when He began teaching in the synagogue – many who heard him were amazed. They asked – Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?

Here Jesus was – back in his hometown – preaching to the same people who watched him play in the dirt as a child – who saw him struggle through puberty – who witnessed the grief in his eyes when his earthly father died – and they were amazed. Some of them were amazed at His words – His wisdom and the wonders He could perform. It was obvious that there was something special about this home-town hero.

Two thousand years later – and Jesus is no less amazing. The most amazing event in human history was the coming of Jesus into this world. The most amazing words ever spoken were His words. The most amazing deeds ever done were accomplished by His hands. The most amazing gift ever offered was His life on the cross.

More songs have been sung of Him – artwork created of Him – and books written about Him – than anyone who has ever lived. Jesus looms so large over human history that we actually measure time by him – we date our letters – our birth certificates – our checks – everything – from the year of his birth. Jesus stands alone in all of history—the single most amazing person who ever lived

Extraordinary – Astonishing – Amazing – Jesus is all that and more. But no matter how amazing something or someone is – there will always be critics and complainers.

There’s a story that Charles Swindoll tells in his book – Three Steps Forward – Two Steps Back – about a farmer wanted to impress his hunting buddies. So – he bought the smartest – most expensive hunting dog he could find.

He trained this dog to do things no other dog on earth could do – impossible feats that would surely amaze anyone. Then he invited his buddies to go duck hunting with him. After a long patient wait in the boat a group of ducks flew over and the hunters were able to make a few hits.

Several ducks fell in the water. Go get ’em! – shouted the proud owner. The dog leaped out of the boat – but it didn’t splash into the water – it calmly walked on the water – it went directly to each bird – somehow picked them all up – and proudly walked back to the boat.

Beaming with pride, the man turned to his fellow hunters and said – So what do you think? One of them looked at him with a wrinkled brow and said – Boy you sure got ripped off. You spent all that money on a dog that doesn’t even know how to swim!

Some of Jesus’s neighbors were just as unimpressed with Him. Our story says – Then they scoffed, ‘He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us. They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family’

Nazareth wasn’t known for much. It was a small – insignificant – town on the outskirts of a Roman garrison. Estimates put the population during Jesus’ day at around 80 – Nazareth wasn’t the brightest star in the ancient Near East.

There was even a saying – that was once repeated by Philip – Can anything good come from Nazareth? It seems like this opinion was repeated often enough that the people of Nazareth themselves became convinced the answer was no.

Jesus can’t be anything special – they thought – He’s one of us – He grew up right here – He’s no messiah – He’s just a carpenter.

Some of you may have heard of Leonard Bernstein – he was a brilliant composer – conductor – author – and pianist. Growing up – however – Leonard’s father had not given his son very much encouragement in his musical career. Later in life – a reporter asked his father why he had been so unwilling to encourage his son’s musical talents. The father replied – How was I to know he would grow up to become Leonard Bernstein?

Likewise – how could the people of Nazareth have known that this son of a carpenter would grow up to become Jesus of Nazareth? They thought they knew everything there was to know about this kid – and their familiarity bred contempt.

I wonder sometimes – if we aren’t a little too familiar with Jesus ourselves.

I know we didn’t grow up on the same street. We’ve never shared a meal with Mary and Joseph. You and I never hired Jesus to build a fence or repair our stable. But we’ve grown up with

And I wonder if our culture hasn’t become so saturated with Jesus that we’ve grown desensitized to him. We’ve all heard the story of Jesus. We’ve heard it in Sunday School – in sermons – in songs. We think we know everything there is to know about Jesus. Maybe to the point where none of it amazes us anymore.

We’ve grown up with Jesus as though He lived right here – in our hometown – among us. Unfortunately – like Jesus said – A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown. We are the hometown.

But you know – as much as we fail to be amazed by Jesus – Jesus is amazed by us. The next couple of verses in Mark tell us the rest of the story – And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief”

What amazes the most amazing person to walk the earth? I do – You do – We all do when we don’t believe. Jesus was amazed at their unbelief. He still is – I think.

We are living in an age of increasing unbelief. With each census and poll – we see the number of people who claim – no religious belief – to be rising – I’m amazed at how quickly unbelief has taken root in so many hearts. And if I’m amazed – imagine how amazed Jesus must be. But forget about the atheists and agnostics for a minute – what about you and me – what about people who do claim Christianity to be among their beliefs?

Have you ever wondered why you don’t see more miracles in your life? Let’s read that verse again – because of their unbelief – He couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

Because of their unbelief – Jesus didn’t do any miracles. Do you think He doesn’t do miracles in my life because of my unbelief? Do you think He doesn’t do any miracles in your life because of your unbelief?

That’s not to say that Jesus didn’t have the power to do miracles while he was in Nazareth. He did heal some sick people – but only a few.

Why? I think it’s because only a few believed that he would. If you’ve ever fallen to your knees to ask Jesus to perform a miracle in your life – did you really believe He would do it? Do you really believe in miracles enough to even ask Jesus in the first place?

Personally – I think that I’m a lot like the father who Jesus meets in Mark chapter 9.

Jesus had been on the mountain with Peter – James – and John – that’s when they witness his radiant glory – the event we call the transfiguration.

But when Jesus reaches the bottom of the hills – He hears arguing. A father came to his disciples asking them to heal his son – but they couldn’t do it. After explaining the situation to Jesus – the man pleads – Have mercy on us – and help us – if you can.

What do you mean – If I can? – Jesus asked. Anything is possible if a person believes. The father instantly cried out – I do believe – but help me overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:22-24)

That’s the first miracle that we need to ask Jesus for – that’s the first prayer that should always come from our lips in times of need – Lord Jesus – I believe – help me overcome my unbelief.

I think that’s the kind of prayer Jesus responds to. I think that’s the kind of prayer that brings about a miracle. It did for that desperate father. The Bible says Jesus restored his son’s hearing and speech – and then Jesus took the boy by the hand and helped him to his feet. He can do the same for each one of us – if we believe.

We have been talking about belief – and the lack of it for a few weeks now. We’ve seen how Jesus scolds His disciples because they don’t have enough faith. Jesus saves them from the storm on the Galilean Sea – but they could have saved themselves if they had believed they could.

Miracles happen – for the woman who was bleeding and for Jairus’s dead daughter – simply because they believe that Jesus can help them.

And today – we have heard that Jesus is amazed at people’s lack of faith. He was able to heal some people in His hometown – imagine what He would have been able to do if more people had believed.

We read the stories – and maybe we are amazed by the things Jesus did long ago – but imagine the miracles we could see today – by us – through Jesus – if we would only believe that the amazing is still possible.

Amen.

Hymn: “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Video: These Three Remain

Pastoral Prayer

Hymn: “One More Step Along The World I Go”

Benediction and Commissioning

Postlude: Air from French Suite no. 4 – J.S. Bach

Scroll to top