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 (from Psalm 86) Elder Tom Cochrun
Leader: From the beginning, God has been our rock.
People: God is good, but life is hard.
Leader: God gives us sanctuary.
People: We need time in his presence, fed by his word, and safe.
Leader: From our homes we gather now in his sheltering presence.
Unison: We seek guidance. We seek assurance. We seek God’s instruction and love. We come to worship Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
† The Psalm Prayer of Adoration (In unison, from Psalm 13)
Great Lord and God you allow our petitions. We can ask hard questions: Will you forget me forever? Will you hide your face from me? How long must we wrestle with our thoughts with sorrow in our heart? How long will the enemy triumph over me?
We request that you give light to our eyes. But we trust in your unfailing love. We can bring all of life before you and you hear us. Our hearts rejoice in your salvation. You have been good to us and we sing your praise. Amen.
†Hymn of Adoration # 610 O, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Prayer of Confession (In unison, from Romans 6:12-23) Lord, your death set us free from sin, but we are mere mortals, with desires and weakness. We do not want to sin, but we do. We do not want to be instruments of wickedness, but in this world, at this time, we see much that is wrong and sometimes we only lament or worry. We hide in our human limitations, but you expect more. There are things for which we are ashamed. Please hear our silent confessions...
(In unison) Lord, you set us free so we can become servants to righteousness. We pray you let us live holy lives and serve under your grace. In the name of the per-fect one, we pray. Amen.
†=If able, please stand (when in the sanctuary)
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: Genesis 22:1-14
Leader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Going to Moriah Rev. Eugenia Gamble
Hymn of Response # 706 Commit Your Way to God the Lord
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 # 726 Will You Come and Follow
† 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
The Binding and Loosing of Isaac…Genesis 22:1-14…June 28, 2020
Genesis 22:1 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” 6Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. 9When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Background to the story. The story of Abraham’s obedient offering of his son Isaac to be a sacrifice to God is one of the most ancient and difficult stories for modern readers to hear, comprehend or accept. The world and worldview out of which it comes, including the ready acceptance of blood sacrifice as the necessary way to approach God, is so foreign and appalling to us that we can barely stand to read the story at all. Still, the issues that come to us through the fearful veil of this ancient story have spiritual value today. A few of those issue are 1) Faith is serious business, 2) Offerings to God must cost us something, 3) Obedience is not optional, 4) God will provide but God will also test, 5) We can not always hold onto what we love, 6) Everything we have and are belongs to God.
Testing in the Old Testament. Putting people into difficult situations in which they were called upon to demonstrate their loyalty to God was common in the Old Testament. Testing was not so much “tempting to do wrong” as it was the call to demonstrate what was truly important, to trust God in powerless and difficult circumstances and to obey when disobedience would seem more appealing or logical. Testing is not seen as punishment. It is an opportunity to obey.
Sacrifice in the Old Testament. Ancient believers recognized that to be in relationship with a holy and just God meant that some kind of reparation for human
sin was necessary. The faith of Israel grew up in a culture in which sacrifice as a way of reparation for sin and showing honor toward God was common. Sacrifice was a means of religious expression and a way to approach God. The ancients understood that sacrifice was not meaningful unless it was costly. Abraham felt that God was calling him to offer the most costly of all sacrifices in order to prove his obedience to God.
Vs. 1 – tested – see testing above. It is clear from the construction in the Hebrew that God never intends to go through with the sacrifice. So the reader knows from the beginning that Isaac will be spared. Abraham does not know that.
Here I am – this traditional response to being addressed by God indicates a total availability to God for God’s purposes.
Vs. 2 – your only son Isaac whom you love – Ishmael is considered dead after his exile. This phrase points out the extreme nature of the sacrifice. Abraham is being asked to give up both his future and the one he most loves.
Moriah – this is an unknown place. The beginning and ending points of the journey are Beersheba. Perhaps it is symbolic for every place where we are asked to put faith on the line.
Vs. 3 – we are given no clues as to Abraham’s mental or emotional state as we were with the expulsion of Ishmael. We only know that he acts in obedience.
Vs. 4 – on the third day – a sign of Abraham’s obedience. He had ample time to turn back.
Vs. 5 – stay here – Abraham instructs his servants to stay behind. What he has to do must be done alone.
Vs. 6 – laid it on his son – For Christians this reminds us of Jesus’ carrying his own cross. It is touching that Abraham carries the dangerous load (the fire and knife).
Vs. 8 – God himself will provide the lamb – Abraham probably hoped that God would intervene and provide an alternative. This hope was based on Abraham’s intimate relationship with God, but probably also on his unwavering belief that God would fulfill his covenant promise of descendants. Christians are reminded that God did indeed provide the final lamb of sacrifice in Jesus.
Vs. 11 – angel of the Lord – in most Old Testament texts, as in this one, this phrase simply means the form in which God is present to the people. This is God speaking.
Vs. 12 – fear of God – this does not refer to the emotion we now name as fear, or to any strong emotion. It is the result of religious faith. A synonym could be “obedience”.
Vs. 14 – provide – from the Hebrew word “to see”. The word ‘provide’ in English comes from the Latin pro-video ‘to see before’. It refers to God’s providence that both sees and attends to human need.
Questions for Reflection
1. When have you been asked to put everything on the line for your faith? What were your feelings? How did you respond? If you were able to say yes, what made that possible for you?
2. What things are hardest for you to give over to God? What makes your trust easier?