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TCC Live-Stream Service: [Livestream @ 9:30am] | TCC In-Person Worship @ 9:30am [Register Now] | TCC In-Person Worship @ 11:15am [Register Now]
Trinitarian Congregational Church

Pastor’s Note: Batting .250

[Read Isaiah 6:1-13 and Matthew 13:1-23]

Spiritual Self-Examination:

The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23), aka, the four soils, is “the parable of parables” in the Gospels. Jesus provides an honest answer as to why some hearers “understand” the Gospel and why some don’t. There are famously four basic categories of attitudes:

Unreceptive (=the Word of God that is “snatched” and “devoured” by the Evil One because it can’t take root.)

Superficial (=the Word has an immediate effect but doesn’t last. The speed at which the message seems to take root is the same speed at which it disappears.)

Preoccupied/anxious/distracted (=the Word of God takes roots but, sooner or later, is overtaken by other priorities so that it ends up having zero impact in a person’s life.)

On the surface the parable serves as spiritual self-examination: maybe we find ourselves in one of these categories. But by having true “understanding,” going from just seeing to perceiving, we too might be “blessed” like the inner circle of the disciples (Matthew 13:16).  We become  receptive, deep, and focused on the Word of God, bearing much fruit =  category 4.

A Reality Check:

The other dimension of the parable is the “reality check” Jesus puts before his disciples and us. There is a large crowd that listens to Jesus (Matthew 13:1), but he’s under no illusion as to their level of attentiveness (read Matthew 11-12 to get a sense of the push back Jesus receives). Only the fourth soil is attentive and bears considerable fruit. So here is the unvarnished truth of this famous parable: not everyone will endure and not everyone will pay attention to the Gospel. But, Jesus says, if 1 out of 4 responds, the Gospel is spreading and bearing much fruit. So, by way of illustration, batting .250 is actually not bad!

Hope of the Gospel:

Another dimension to the parable of the sower, seldom discussed, is the context of the quote (Matthew 13:14-15) taken from Isaiah 6:1-13. Isaiah himself got his eyes wide open to the Glory of God and reached a level of attentiveness that simply didn’t exist before. “My eyes have seen the king” (Isaiah 6:5) and out of that revelation and forgiveness, he is commissioned (“here am I, send me” Isaiah 6:8). His ministry will include a lot of rejection and push back, (Isaiah 6:9-10 = Matthew 13:14-15) to be sure, but also fruitfulness. So Isaiah’s own witness is providing us with the below-the-surface application of what Jesus is also teaching in this parable: without a revelation from God, all of us remain unresponsive, superficial, distracted and fruitless (see Ephesians 2:1-10).

Reflections:

If we find ourselves realizing we belong to the first three types of soils, it means the Lord is opening our eyes.  It’s a painful realization, (ask Isaiah!) but a great start to this deeper walk with Jesus, bearing much fruit and finding true meaning and fulfillment in life.  Let’s pray this prayer together: “Lord open my eyes that I might understand and apply your Word.”

If discussions with your neighbors go nowhere about the things of God and His Word, be patient and persevere and keep praying from them. God is the One opening eyes that are closed.  However, we also understand that sharing the Gospel always entails a level rejection. Not everyone will respond to His Word of mercy, grace and forgiveness in Christ. If Jesus the Son of God experienced the pain of rejection from the crowds, we should not be surprised that not everyone we meet will be receptive to the Gospel.

Pastor’s Note: Hope Against Hope

[Read Revelation 21:1-8]

The New Order of Things

In the symbolic wilderness we call life on earth (Revelation 12:14), we remember that God is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19-10).  The old order (this age of death) will “pass away” to usher in the “New Heavens and New earth” (Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17; 66:22).   As Richard Bauckham (in Hope against Hope) has observed, the “new” is a qualitative “new” rather than in the sense of another version of the same thing.  What God is doing and will do is an entirely different order.  God is not doing renovations or a “refresh” to an old house. He is building an entirely different house.  A place where “God Himself will dwell with us” (Revelation 21:3).  In the hopelessness of a seemingly interminable pandemic, the constant reality of physical and emotional pain, the loneliness of social isolation, etc., the vision of this new order of things is meant to fill us with hope.  But this hope is not anchored in the here-and-now but truly in the hereafter.

So, does this mean we sit back and wait for the End to come?  Martin Luther has the answer for us: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”  This sort of Spirit-filled hope for the New Order of things (Romans 15:13) is precisely what gives us the courage to go about doing the right things today in the old order of things. For Martin Luther, he knew planting that tree was a statement of his faith in the blessed hope of Christ’s Return (Titus 2:11-14). He was putting a stake in the ground now for a better future yet to come.

Listen to the Sermon


 

Questions for discussion in your family, friends, neighbors and Life Groups:

Are you clinging to the old order of things to muster up a sense of hope in the face of the continued barrage of adversities (what we call life on earth)?  OR do you set your eyes above, by faith, in the Hope of the New Order of things?

What sort of apple tree do you need to plant today, by faith, knowing that this act of faith is your own declaration that you are putting your hope in a city “not built with human hands” (Hebrews 11:8-10)?

The last question is a bit more direct: Have you placed your faith in Jesus for a life spent with God in eternity?  This text doesn’t hold back the reality of the consequences of rejecting God’s gracious offer of salvation in Christ.  To be “faithless” and to be “cowardly” (Revelation 21:8 same word as in 2 Timothy 1:7) is not meant here in the sense of wavering and having doubts in our lives (we all do!).  Instead, the warning is against a continued and deliberate conviction to reject God and His fellowship.  Just as the Lord Jesus has been issuing warnings through every cycle of “sevens” , here in Revelation 21:6, the Lord still is inviting hardened hearts to Himself to receive the free gift (=”without payment” Romans 3:24; Revelation 21: 6) of forgiveness and an eternal inheritance.  Let’s not put it off any longer. Why would you not want to spend eternity with the One who Himself is Love, who will wipe away our tears and remove the sting of death forever?

Virtual Bulletin | Fourth Sunday of Easter (April 25, 2021)

Prelude

Christ is Alive! | TRURO
Charlie Orr, Organist


Gathering Hymn
Oh Worship the King, #10

O worship the King all glorious above
And gratefully sing His power and His love
Our Shield and Defender the Ancient of Days
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise

O tell of His might O sing of His grace
Whose robe is the light whose canopy space
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm

Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite
It breathes in the air it shines in the light
It streams from the hills it descends to the plain
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain

Frail children of dust and feeble as frail
In Thee do we trust nor find Thee to fail
Thy mercies how tender how firm to the end
Our Maker Defender Redeemer and Friend


Call To Worship

Psalm 113

Leader: Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord.
Congregation: Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised. Praise the Lord!


Praise

Rising Sun

Verse 1
Praise Him all you sinners
Sing oh sing you weary
Oh praise Him all you children of God

Verse 2
We lift high His glory
Shown throughout our stories
We praise Him as the children of God

Chorus 1
Our great Redeemer glorious Savior
Your Name is higher than the rising sun
Light of the morning You shine forever
Your Name is higher than the rising sun (oh)
Your Name is higher than the rising sun

Verse 3
Praise His Name forever
Speak it loud and clear now
Oh praise Him all you children of God

Bridge
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Hallelujah name above all
Simply to speak Your Name is praise
Hallelujah now and always
Forever we lift Your Name in praise
Hallelujah our God You reign
Simply to speak Your Name is praise oh
Hallelujah name above all
Hallelujah name above all
Hallelujah
Hallelujah


Praise

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Verse 1
Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of creation
O my soul praise Him
For He is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear now to His temple draw near
Praise Him in glad adoration

Verse 2
Praise to the Lord who o’er all things
So wondrously reigneth
Shelters thee under His wings
Yea so gently sustaineth
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth

Verse 3
Praise to the Lord who doth prosper
Thy work and defend thee
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do
If with His love He befriend thee

Verse 4
Praise to the Lord O let all that is in me adore Him
All that hath life and breath
Come now with praises before Him
Let the Amen sound from His people again
Gladly for all we adore Him


Greeting
Adam Kurihara


Announcements
Adam Kurihara

  • In-Person Worship at 9:30a and at 11:15a (Outdoors). Click HERE for more information.
  • TCC has a new radio channel so you can join in the worship service from your car in our parking lot. Please dial into 97.9FM during our 11:15a service when parked in the small parking lot.

Missions Moment
Rev. Kyle Smethurst, Pastor of Youth and Outreach

Jesus Film Project Video


Congregational Prayer
Rev. Dr. Thomas Petter


Praise

This I Believe

Verse 1
Our Father everlasting
The all creating One
God Almighty
Through Your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son
Jesus our Saviour

Chorus 1
I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in One
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

Verse 2
Our judge and our defender
Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You
Descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life
Forever seated high

Bridge
I believe in You
I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord

Chorus 2
I believe in life eternal
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints’ communion
And in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection
When Jesus comes again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus


Scripture Reading

Colossians 2:6-15


Sermon
Rev. Kyle Smethurst, Pastor of Youth and Outreach


Song of Response

Build My Life

Verse 1
Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Verse 2
Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Chorus 1
Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

Bridge
I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken


Benediction
Rev. Kyle Smethurst, Pastor of Youth and Outreach


Band this Morning:

  • Acoustic Guitar – Gabe McHugh
  • Drums – Carl Puglisi
  • Piano – Adam Kurihara
  • Bass – Daniel Harling
  • Vocals – Kristin Neprud
  • Electric Guitar -John Marciniec Read More

Virtual Bulletin | Third Sunday of Easter (April 18, 2021)

Prelude
Charlie Orr, Organist


Gathering Hymn

Holy, Holy, Holy

Verse 1
Holy holy holy
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning
Our song shall rise to Thee
Holy holy holy
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons
Blessed Trinity

Verse 2
Holy holy holy
All the saints adore Thee
Casting down their golden crowns
Around the glassy sea
Cherubim and seraphim
Falling down before Thee
Which wert and art
And evermore shalt be

Verse 3
Holy holy holy
Though the darkness hide Thee
Though the eye of sinful man
Thy glory may not see
Only Thou art holy
There is none beside Thee
Perfect in power
In love and purity

Verse 4
Holy holy holy
Lord God Almighty
All Thy works shall praise Thy name
In earth and sky and sea
Holy holy holy
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons
Blessed Trinity


Call To Worship

Revelation 5:11-14

Worship Leader: Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

Congregation: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb 
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.


Praise

How Great is Our God

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the Earth rejoice
All the Earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God


Praise

Only a Holy God

Verse 1
Who else commands all the hosts of heaven
Who else could make every king bow down
Who else can whisper and darkness trembles
Only a Holy God

Verse 2
What other beauty demands such praises
What other splendor outshines the sun
What other majesty rules with justice
Only a Holy God

Chorus 1
Come and behold Him
The One and the Only
Cry out sing holy
Forever a Holy God
Come and worship the Holy God

Verse 3
What other glory consumes like fire
What other power can raise the dead
What other name remains undefeated
Only a Holy God

Verse 4
Who else could rescue me from my failing
Who else would offer His only Son
Who else invites me to call Him Father
Only a Holy God
Only my Holy God


Greeting / Dismissal
Adam Kurihara


Announcements
Adam Kurihara

  • In-Person Worship at 9:30a and at 11:15a (Outdoors). Click HERE for more information.
  • TCC has a new radio channel so you can join in the worship service from your car in our parking lot. Please dial into 97.9FM during our 11:15a service when parked in the small parking lot.

Missions Moment
Kyle Smethurst, Pastor of Students and Outreach

  • Student Ministries Staff Update

–Adrienne Christian, Student Ministries Assistant

Commissioning Prayer
Rev. Dr. Tom Petter


Congregational Prayer
Dave Newman


Praise

Your Glory | Nothing but the Blood

Verse 1
My life is Yours
And my hope is in You only
And my heart You hold
‘Cause You made this sinner holy
And holy holy

Chorus 1
‘Cause Your glory is so beautiful
I fall onto my knees in awe
And the heartbeat of my life
Is to worship in Your light
‘Cause Your glory is so beautiful
‘Cause Your glory is so beautiful (oh)

Bridge
Glory glory hallelujah
Jesus You are good

Ending

What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus


Scripture Reading
Karen Johnson

Revelation 21:1-8


Sermon – The Return: The New Jerusalem
Rev. Dr. Thomas Petter


Praise

O Love that will not Let Me Go

Verse 1
O Love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in Thee
I give Thee back the life I owe
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer fuller be

Verse 2
O Light that follow’st all my way
I yield my flickering torch to Thee
My heart restores its borrowed ray
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
My brighter fairer be

Verse 3
O Joy that seekest me through pain
I cannot close my heart to Thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be

Verse 4
O Cross that liftest up my head
I dare not ask to fly from thee
I lay in dust life’s glory dead
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be


Benediction
Rev. Dr. Thomas Petter


Band this Morning:

  • Acoustic Guitar and Vocals – Adam Kurihara
  • Drums – Jack Calverley
  • Piano – Eric Andersen
  • Bass – Alex Kouris
  • Vocals – Karen Johnson
  • Electric Guitar -John Marciniec Read More

Virtual Bulletin | Second Sunday of Easter (April 11, 2021)

Prelude

Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain (Bohemian Brethren)

Charlie Orr, Organist


Gathering Hymn

Crown Him With Many Crowns

Verse 1
Crown Him with many crowns
The Lamb upon His throne
Hark how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own
Awake my soul and sing
Of Him who died for Thee
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity

Verse 2
Crown Him the Lord of love
Behold His hands and side
Those wounds yet visible above
In beauty glorified
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight
But downward bend His burning eye
At mysteries so bright

Verse 3
Crown Him the Lord of life
Who triumphed over the grave
And rose victorious to the strife
For those He came to save
His glories now we sing
Who died and rose on high
Who died eternal life to bring
And lives that death may die

Verse 4
Crown Him the Lord of heaven
One with the Father known
One with the Spirit thru Him given
From yonder glorious throne
To Thee be endless praise,
For Thou for us hast died;
Be Thou, O Lord, thru endless days
Adored and magnified.


Call To Worship

-from Psalm 148

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
And he has raised up for his people a horn,
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.


Praise

Christ is Risen

Let no one caught in sin
Remain inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

O death where is your sting
O hell where is your victory
O church come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night
Singing O death where is your sting
O hell where is your victory
O church come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive He’s alive


Praise

The Love of the Father

Verse 1
Lift up your voices and lift up your praise
Join with the heavens declaring
The wonders of His faithfulness
Forever

Verse 2
Sing of the victory the hope of the world
The Saviour has risen
The Spirit has come to bring us into love
Forever

Chorus
Oh we are the people of God
With the freedom of hope in our hearts
How great is the love of the Father

Verse 3
Lifted from darkness and into the light
The sons and the daughters are loved at a price
Our God has made us His
Forever

Bridge
This is the song of the redeemed
The ransomed and the free
Given life at such a price
This is love this is love
And when the Father calls us home
And we see Him on the throne
Hear the voices sing as one
This is love this is love


Greeting / Dismissal


Announcements 

  • In-Person Worship at 9:30a and at 11:15a (Outdoors). Click HERE for more information.

Congregational Prayer

Steve Johnson


Praise

All Creatures of Our God and King

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him alleluia
Thou burning sun with golden beam
Thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, Alleluia

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heav’n along
O praise Him alleluia
Thou rising morn in praise rejoice
Ye lights of evening find a voice
O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia

And all ye friends of tender heart
Forgiving others, take your part
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear
Praise God and on Him cast your care!
O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him alleluia
Praise praise the Father praise the Son
And praise the Spirit three in One
O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia


Doxology

Praise praise the Father praise the Son
And praise the Spirit three in One
O praise Him O praise Him
Alleluia alleluia alleluia


Scripture Reading
Revelation 19:9-16

Ben Morse

 

Sermon – The Return of Jesus Christ
Rev. Dr. Thomas Petter


Communion


Praise

In Christ Alone

Verse 1
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light my strength my song
This Cornerstone this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love what depths of peace
When fears are stilled when strivings cease
My Comforter my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Verse 2
In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

Verse 3
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

Verse 4
No guilt in life no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand


Benediction
Rev. Dr. Thomas Petter


Band this Morning:

  • Acoustic Guitar – Adam Kurihara
  • Piano – Ben Morse
  • Vocals – Elena Lazaridou
  • Electric Guitar -John Marciniec Read More