Welcome to Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
Where the love of Christ builds a harbor of acceptance, inspiration,
Fellowship, service and joy.
You enrich our worship with your presence.
"When we say welcome we mean it!"
It is not possible to pass the collection plate at our live home church.
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
c/o Monty Rice
1298 Warren Rd.
Cambria, CA 93428
If this is your first time here, WELCOME.
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church-PCUSA
2700 Eton Rd. • Cambria, CA 93428
Call or text 805.395.1521
Prelude Deborah Farrand
At the tolling of the bell, please quietly prepare your heart for worship.
Meditation Music Deborah Farrand
Welcome and Announcements
† Call to Worship
Leader: We gather in the presence of the Almighty.
People: God is the source of love.
Leader: We are a community of faith.
People: God is the source of grace.
Leader: We live in a broken world.
People: God is the power of repair.
Leader: We live in a world where many hurt and are in need
People: God is the force of care and uplift.
Leader: We are called.
Unison: We come to worship, to give praise, to seek God’s will to learn how we can be of service to Him and all of His world.
† Prayer of the Day The Apostles’ Creed (In unison)
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
†Hymn of Adoration # 175 Seek Ye First
Prayer of Confession (In unison; Inspired by Joshua 24)
Dear God, you spoke through Joshua when he assembled the tribes at Shechem and challenged them to know what God they serve. We wonder if we rebel and sin. Do we serve foreign gods by placing things above our devotion to you? Do we forgive? Do we love all, even our enemy? Do we give generously and joyfully? Are we peacemakers? Do we see you in the homeless, the downtrodden? Do we hold on to anger? Do we put our rationality above the intuition you place in our hearts? Does our behavior suggest there are foreign gods in our lives? Are we witnesses against ourselves? And now we offer our personal confessions...
(In unison) Lord make us to yield our hearts to you so we may say like Joshua,
“We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.”Amen.
Assurance of Pardon New Creations in Christ
†The Sharing of the Peace
Hymn of Preparation #452 Open the Eyes of My Heart
Leader: Listen for the Word of God.
People: Our ears are open and our hearts are ready to receive.
Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13
Leader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Are We Ready? Rev. Eugenia Gamble
Hymn of Response #350 Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning
Call to Prayer: Hymn #466 Come and Fill Our Hearts with Your Peace
Prayers of the People
The Lord’s Prayer
Response to Prayer Hymn #710 We Are an Offering
Prayer of Dedication
† Hymn of Parting #362 Rejoice! Rejoice Believers!
† Charge and Benediction
†=If able, please stand
CURRENT PRAYER LIST
Members of our community that are lonely, hungry and sick.
If you would like to support the work of Safe Harbor Church financially:
Tax deductible checks may be made to Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church.
During our period of isolation, please mail checks to:
Monty Rice 1298 Warren Road Cambria CA 93428
WHEN WE SAY “ WELCOME! ”, WE MEAN IT!
The Rev. Eugenia A. Gamble
Tom and Lana Cochrun
Monty and Julia Rice
Wisdom and Foolishness in the Kingdom of God…..Matthew 25:1-13….11/8/20
Matthew 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2) Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3) When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4) but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5) As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6) But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7) Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8) The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9) But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10) And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11) Later the other bridesmaids came also saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12) But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13) Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Background: Today’s story comes in a section of Matthew’s gospel that deals with the promised coming of the Son of Man (Messiah) in glory at the end of the age. Chapters 24-25 deal with the coming judgement and the ultimate victory of God. These passages are “apocalyptic”, a special type of literature that is highly symbolic and more interested in making theological points than in making logical sense. Jesus is using highly symbolic language to try to help us think of events that are anchored beyond history. Don’t let the details confuse you. Look for the major themes and try to see how they apply to our life now.
Parable as Allegory: Most scholars agree that today’s text is an allegory. An allegory is a literary device in which each major element is a symbol that stands for something else. In this parable Jesus, and later Matthew and his community, were expected to immediately decode the symbols. Today, as cultures and language have changed, we need a little extra help. Note the following:
The Bridesmaids – stand for believers or the church.
The Bridegroom – stands for the Messiah, specifically the Second Coming.
Oil – This is the most important symbol to understand this passage. In Hebrew culture oil was often used as a symbol for good works, acts of righteousness or mercy. It also sometimes symbolized the word of God in Scripture. So, to have enough oil was to be overflowing in good deeds and the Word of God.
The midnight arrival – reminded hearers that the Second Coming will be unexpected. More than that, it will be when least expected.
The wise – stood for those who kept on doing the will of God even when the fulfillment of the kingdom was delayed.
The foolish – stood for those who lacked the commitment to sustain the life of discipleship.
The banquet – stands for the life of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom was understood as the final reign of God over human hearts, lives and the whole created order. People believed that this kingdom of God’s loving and righteous rule could be glimpsed (the kingdom in near at hand), lived (the kingdom is among you) and yet to be made full (the kingdom will come as a thief in the night). They, like we, wanted to know when God would bring the kingdom to fullness on earth and usher in the final victory for believers. That is not knowledge that we can, or ever will, possess. Our job is not to predict. Our job is to be ready.
Wedding Customs in Jesus’ Day: Weddings were community wide celebrations that often lasted for several days. They included processions through the streets in which the bridegroom and neighbors went to fetch the bride. They also included elaborate banquets. In a time when life was often harsh, these celebrations were a wonderful respite and a vote of confidence in the future.
Keep awake: Sleeping was obviously not the sign of being unprepared since both the wise and the foolish slept. Running out of oil was the problem. So why this final phrase “Keep awake”? The phrase really means to keep constantly alert for signs and opportunities. It would be like us saying today, “Heads Up!”
Main Points to Ponder
1. Those who will receive the joyous benefits of the Kingdom of God are those who prepare themselves by good deeds and who are ready to wait for God’s timing.
2. Those whom Jesus recognizes, are those who spend time doing what Jesus did.
3. The Kingdom of God is ultimately about joy and celebration.
4. It is possible to miss the bounty of the Kingdom by being unable to live the faith for the long haul.
5. Whether Jesus comes tonight or 15 millennia from now, believers are to live each moment as if Jesus were coming in it.
Questions for Personal Reflection
1. All of the bridesmaids desired to see the bridegroom and celebrate with him. Some had just not done the work necessary to enter into that joy. What do you see as the most important work for you to take up today to stretch your ‘readiness’ muscles?
2. Good works and perseverance are at the heart of this text. How have you experienced deepening of faith in those ways.
3. When the bridegroom answers the door to the foolish bridesmaids, he says, “I never knew you.” How do you understand that interaction? What are the necessary practices for us to be recognized by Christ as his own?
4. The banquet of kingdom living is joyful and breaks in unexpectedly. How have you experienced that? What are your lamps (enlightenment) and what is your oil (fuel for enlightenment)?