Therefore I Have Hope
Thank you for joining us for our Digital Worship Gathering! You can use the worship guide below to follow along with songs, prayers and readings.
Twice a year Discovery Church does Coffee & Conversations, a time of small group discussion before regular worship, and we’ve decided to base our new normal of digital worship on that format. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and join us in some thoughtful conversation, this week led by Pastor Heather Stroobosscher.
Call to Worship
God alone is our refuge and hope,
our shelter and protection.
From our very first breath to our last,
God’s love and compassion never fails.
So come, lift your voices in praise to God.
Bear witness to God’s acts of mercy and love.
Proclaim God’s glory to all who will listen.
Let’s worship God together:
Let us pray:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the psalmist declares,
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”
Today our hearts long to join with your people,
to share our burdens,
to see friends,
to care for the lonely,
to join our voices in praise,
to remember together this weekly reminder of your resurrection,
to hear together the amazing echoes of your Word proclaimed,
to be sent on mission into every sphere of human endeavor.
Today the longing of our hearts cannot be filled.
We lament our separation one from another.
We lament that we can’t join our voices in one place to bring glory to you.
We lament our lack of love of worship in the past.
We lament for sisters and brothers who are sick.
We lament a broken world that carries viruses.
We lament for those for whom this virus means dire social isolation.
We cry out to you, redeemer of all things,
for our leaders, who bear a deep burden for your people,
for our leaders, who are struggling and striving to build community in this time of pandemic,
for grace and healing and hope, first for those deeply struggling, and then for us all,
for you to reconcile all things to yourself through the blood of Jesus Christ,
for the day to come soon when we can have our hopes fulfilled
and join together with the community of faith
in the glad weekly remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus.
We pray this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
We welcome Pastor Heather Stroobosscher for this week’s talk. Heather, her husband Chris, and children Zoe, Phoebe, and Nick were members of Discovery Church. Heather is one of the pastors at Calvary CRC in Wyoming.
Feel free to read along with Heather as she begins her talk with this scripture:
1 I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
4 He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
and has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked.
10 Like a bear lying in wait,
like a lion in hiding,
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.
13 He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
and given me gall to drink.
16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Questions for discussion:
2. Is God responsible for what the author is experiencing? Explain why someone could
answer yes and someone else could answer no.
3. Can you relate to what the author is describing in verses 1-20? Why or why not?
4. In verse 21, the author changes his tune. How would you describe his attitude in verses
5. What accounts for this contrast in emotion and attitude? In other words, how did
the author get from A to B?
6. Name several fundamental truths the author claims about God in verses 22-25.
7. What is meant by the Hebrew term “hesed,” captured in the words “great love” in verse
8. Do you experience God’s hesed in your life? Explain.
The Book of Lamentations:
The word lamentation, or lament, is an expression of grief when someone faces a loss or death. The book of Lamentations is a song of sadness over the fall of the Jew’s precious city of Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah, who witnessed firsthand the destruction of his beloved city, wrote it. This book shows us it is okay to be sad about a loss.
It also shows that the messages from all the prophets warning the Israelites to follow only the true God had been true. When they didn’t follow Him, God got their attention by allowing the Babylonians to come and ruin their city and do bad things. Even though this is considered one of the saddest books in the entire Bible, God does not leave us without hope. Jeremiah reminds us that, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great of Your faithfulness!” (3:22-23).
Click here and here to find two pages for you to print and color. While one portrays Jerusalem on fire and the Israelites being taken away, the other reminds us that whatever happens in our lives, we have a God who loves us and is still in control. While you color the first drawing, think about how sad it was for the Jews to live through this time. Is there anything right now that is making you sad? Talk with your parents about it if this is true. While you are coloring the second picture, think of all the blessings you have right now. Tell your parents what you are thankful for. Use lots of great colors!
For financial gifts, use your bank’s online payment option to send a gift to Discovery, or have someone address an envelope (a good opportunity for digital natives) and place the stamp on it. Checks can be mailed to:
7245 Eastern Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Please specify “general fund” or “missions fund” on the memo line.
Or, use this form to give online via the Christian Reformed Church’s site (our denomination). Be sure to choose Michigan- Grand Rapids- Discovery CRC from the drop-down list. You can give via credit card or automatic bank withdrawal. A 3% fee will be charged to Discovery.
For gifts of encouragement, write a note or draw a picture for someone who may need encouragement at this time. Have someone address the envelope and place a stamp on it. Or deliver it in person (keep that six foot social distance) to a neighbor or loved one.
For gifts of art, share a picture or video of your coloring page with us on Instagram (@discoverycrc) (parents permitting).
People of God,
Because of the LORD’s great love for you,
you are not consumed.
His compassions for you never fail.
They are new every morning
Great is his faithfulness.
Go in peace, knowing God’s love goes with you.
Digital Prayer Pad
Prayer requests will be sent to Sara, our administrator, who will compile and distribute them to the congregation via email throughout the week as usual.
Thank you for joining us today! And thanks to Pastor Heather Stroobosscher, Pastor Mary, Kristi Stulp, Ahna Ziegler, Keith Stulp, and Marj Terpstra for creating this week’s service. Watch our Facebook & Instagram feeds for ways to stay connected throughout this self-imposed quarantine, including tips for making delicious coffee at home (so you’re well prepared for Coffee & Conversations) and ways to walk through Holy Week with your family. Social distancing does not mean social isolation!