Bedford Presbyterian Church
105 West Main Street, Bedford, Virginia
From 1844 to 2020 (176 Years)
Week of June 28th
We will continue sending out this combination of the newsletter and bulletin to keep you
up to date on announcements, prayers, needs and scheduled activities for those that are
uncomfortable to attend service yet.
Included will be the usual newsletter information along with prayers, scripture and a sermon.
We hope that you can utilize this format to keep up to date while being away from actual services,
meetings, activities and watching the online sermon.
Please be in prayer for the end of the coronavirus and healing for those affected by it.
A Biblically Guided Christian Community,
Loving God, Loving Others,
Serving the World & Growing Disciples
If you are watching the online service this Sunday morning,
please have this bulletin ready to follow the service.
The Approach to God
Prelude “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” Bill Rutledge
One: The peace of Christ be with you
All: And Also with you
Welcome and Announcements
Please remember that when the Prelude begins the service is being recorded. We ask that
you please refrain from talking when the service starts, as conversation can be heard on
Please adhere to the re-gathering notes during service to keep yourself and everyone else
Please let the ushers dismiss you at the end of service.
Something More will resume, Tuesday at 4:30 pm, virtual and in-person
Any other announcements are printed at the back of this bulletin.
Call to Worship:
One: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
All: Happy are those who give thanks to God.
One: I was glad when they said to me “Let us go into the house of the Lord!”
All: Happy are those who give praise to God.
One: With joyful hearts who know how gracious God has been to us,
All: Let us adore the ever living God!
Introit “Let Us Adore” Praise Team
Prayer of Confession:
Forgiving God, we confess that we have judged one another, assuming the worst when we have
been granted the opportunity to do our best. We have dismissed the good work of our sisters and
brothers because we feared the challenges of larger ministries. Grant us an open heart and mind
to listen to Your angels, who in human form have called us to serve You better. Open our eyes
daily to the opportunities all around us, to fulfill Your kingdom ministries. These things we pray,
trusting in Your mercy and guidance. Amen
Assurance of Pardon:
The apostle John wrote to us: Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and
action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him
whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
(1 John 3:18)
One: Friends believe the good news
All: Through Christ we have been forgiven and reborn to a new life of service in His name.
Gloria “Glory Be to the Father”
Proclaiming the Word of God
Time for all God’s Children
Solo “How Deep the Father’s Love” Maggie DeWitt
Scripture: Genesis 28: 10-29:1
Sermon: Finding the Stairway to Heaven
Portions adapted from “Too Blessed to See God,” by David Yarbrough @ SermonCentral.Com
One of the most popular images out of the Old Testament which has – by
a multitude of classical paintings – entered western culture’s
subconscious is Jacob’s dream of the Stairway to Heaven. But very few
people know the real story behind the picture.
In 1971, the band Led Zeppelin released “Buying the Stairway to Heaven” which in theory was a
critique on how a wealthy culture thinks that enough money can buy anything. But their most
popular song got away from them, becoming more of an epitaph for the crashing dreams of the
passing 60’s hippie culture amidst the rise of the Me Generation; it is truly a catchy yet depressing
For Jacob, who first saw this vision of a stairway to Heaven and who had his own conversation
with the Creator of the universe, it was a terrifying yet encouraging event that changed his life
thereafter. The Stairway to Heaven tells the story of a man who finally found his own personal
faith in the God of His fathers’ and who was guided and blessed by that relationship for the rest of
his still very tumultuous life.
To pick up Jacob’s story from last week: with mother Rebekah’s instigation and support he
succeeded in stealing the blessing that father Isaac had intended for Esau his elder twin. But now
with the revenge seeking Esau plotting to murder his thieving sibling, Mom and Dad hurriedly send
Jacob far away in the pretense of finding a bride for him from among distant relatives. What
Rebekah had hoped would only be a short absence – until Esau’s anger quieted down – for Jacob
turned into twenty years of exile and he would never see his beloved mother again in this lifetime.
But these events are all ahead of him as Mama’s boy Jacob, now finds himself traveling alone into
a distant and unknown future. Remember that last week we said there was a powerful
overarching message coming out of all these stories of Abraham and his descendants which is
that, God’s sovereign plans and promises will always succeed regardless of any human
opposition or deservedness. As Proverbs would remind us …
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Proverbs 19:21 -NLT
We have already seen this truth played out in the lives of Abraham and Isaac, but we will clearly
see it in the lives of Jacob and his son Joseph. Keeping that in mind, let us now turn to another
lesson which we can take from today’s episode of the Stairway to Heaven which is …. in
accordance with His purposes, that God has promised His presence, protection, and
provision will guard and bless us His children for all our lives regardless of how we may or
may not seem to be getting along in the world. But sometimes we grow too comfortable to
notice this, so it takes a period of hardship to remind us.
Here then is Jacob, the spoiled rich kid who already had more than he ever
needed or wanted, who never really had to work a day in his life and who had
dreamed up all these schemes for his successful future, now done in by his
own trickery. How ironic! Jacob who has succeeded in grabbing both the
firstborn’s right of inheritance and the family blessing, can’t go home to claim
either of these.
For the first time in his life, he is completely alone, with few possessions, not even a comfortable
tent and no servants to meet his needs. Jacob, who preferred the safe easy life, is now traveling
by himself to who knows where. As the sun sets, he’s too afraid to even go into the nearby town,
so instead he crawls into some hidden crevice on a mountainside and lays down for the night with
a rock as his pillow.
Have you ever been there, out in the middle of nowhere? Been that alone? Been that unsure of
the future? That embarrassed with your past? Thinking no one understands you, no one’s been
this way before? Jacob has been there, just lying out there among the rocks, trying to get through
Here also is something else Jacob doesn’t have to help with his journey. Despite all his years
growing up hearing the stories of God from his father Isaac and grandfather, Abraham, apparently
Jacob never caught the family faith. While he might have inherited the family fortune, he never
personally understood the true source of all these blessings. Notice what he says to his father
Isaac while impersonating Esau in order to steal the blessing (Genesis 27:19-20):
Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit
up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing." Isaac asked, "How
did you find it so quickly, my son?" Jacob replied, "The Lord your God gave me success,"
Jacob may have grown up a direct descendant of Abraham, but at this point he seems to share
very little of Abraham’s faith.
All that, however, is about to change.
Jacob may have been wide awake in all his scheming, trying to secure his own fu