Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for July 5
“Finding Comfort”
Rev. Hardy H. Kim, preaching
Greetings!

This coming weekend includes the observation of the 4th of July. This is a day when we have traditionally celebrated our national heritage and identity. But maybe, like me, you find it a little harder than usual to just celebrate our nation with straightforward happiness.

We are at a moment of national crisis—both because of a pandemic that reveals the ways that we are slow to care for each other, and also because of the clear evidence of persistent racism that harms Black, native, and other Americans of color. There are many collective failures that stand in the way of our joyfully celebrating our country today. 

However, our faith story is one of hope. It’s a story where joy and celebration—or at least some sign of God’s grace that grants comfort—always manages to emerge for God’s people in the midst of suffering. I hope that you will join us in worship as we turn to God’s story again, to find comfort and grace for ourselves during this time.

With hope, 
Hardy

P.S. This Sunday we will be celebrating communion. Be sure to come to service with your communion elements so we can share the Lord's Supper together.


Join us immediately following worship this Sunday for Coffee Hour

After the service is over, log on to our Zoom coffee time at:


Image: “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Stephen Towns, 2015, Acrylic, Metal Leaf, Glitter, Paper Bags on Panel 10” x 10”, De Buck Gallery, New York.

Theme for Sunday
“The immediate popularity of ‘Lift Every Voice,’ and its longevity, attest to the encouragement and renewed faith it brought to a people who, as the old hymn puts it, ‘Been in the Storm So Long.’ There are, then, reasons grounded in respect and recognition to sing ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ with gratitude on this its hundredth anniversary. One would have hoped, though, that is spiritual enrichment as well as our status as outsiders suggested by its adoption as the ‘Negro National Anthem’ would by now be a matter for the archives of memory.”

—Derrick Bell, Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Celebration of the Negro National Anthem
Questions for Reflection
  • Is there something about our collective history that you have learned over the past few weeks that troubles you, or brings you discomfort?
  • When you are in a time of distress, what are some things that you turn to for comfort?
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.’ “I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,” and who will say to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also”—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’ “Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.” And they called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will.” So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “May you, our sister, become thousands of myriads; may your offspring gain possession of the gates of their foes.” Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, “Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
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