Bedford Presbyterian Church 2020-06-28آ  Bedford Presbyterian Church 105 West Main Street, Bedford,

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  • 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 the recording.

     Please adhere to the re-gathering notes during service to keep yourself and everyone else safe.

     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

    song.

    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

    the night.

    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