Worship Focus 

Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
March 19, 2017
 
Scripture Passage
   
Questions for
Reflection
  
  When was a time you were a stranger in a strange land, place, job, school?

How did God meet you there?

How did God encourage your transformation in that place?
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What Matters Most :: Worship
The Rev. Dr. Stephanie Lutz Allen, preaching 
  
 
 
With the advent of instant news from around the world, we've become a global community; more aware of the anguish not just outside our front door, but half a world away. We no longer live relating mostly to the circle in our area, but live in awareness of an incredible variety of religions, people, and nations. What an exciting time we live in-filled with potential, fraught with fears.

In our passage for today, we see three Old Testament saints of old, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, experience the great stress and excitement that came from having their world expanded, as they lived in forced exile in Babylon. Wherever we are, the living God calls out to us amidst the tumult and invites us to an authentic relationship.

Won't you join us for worship at 7:50 a.m., 10 a.m., or 5 p.m.?

Blessings,
Stephanie 
 
Theme for the Day
 
 
 "The I of the basic word I-Thou is different from that of the basic word I-It."    --Martin Buber
Scripture Passage
 
King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue whose height was sixty cubits and whose width was six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. The herald proclaimed aloud, "You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, you are to fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire." Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Accordingly, at this time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, shall fall down and worship the golden statue, and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These pay no heed to you, O King. They do not serve your gods and they do not worship the golden statue that you have set up." Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought in; so they brought those men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods and you do not worship the golden statue that I have set up? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up."

Then Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary, and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. The three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up quickly. He said to his counselors, "Was it not three men that we threw bound into the fire?" They answered the king, "True, O king." He replied, "But I see four men unbound, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the fourth has the appearance of a god."