Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes


Mystery Worship Series, week 4: RESTORED
October 28, 2018


Calendar Notes

October 31     Reformation Day

November 1      All Saints Day
November 4      All Saints Sunday
                           Daylight Saving Time Ends (USA)
                           A Season of Saints (2018 Resources Forthcoming)
November 11    Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday
                          International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
                          Veterans Day (USA)
                          Extended Advent Begins
November 18   Bible Sunday
November 18-25    National Bible Week (USA)
November 22    Thanksgiving Day (USA)
November 25    Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday
                           United Methodist Student Day (offering)

December 1      World AIDS Day
December 2      Advent-Christmas Series (Year C) Begins (Forthcoming)
December 21    Longest Night/Blue Christmas
December 24    Christmas Eve (evening)
December 25    Christmas Day
December 26    Kwanzaa
December 31    Watch Night/New Year’s Eve

Today is the final week of this series. In this week, we see Job humbled and restored, although he will never be the same as at the beginning of his story. Job’s fortune is restored to him twofold; he has more livestock, and even has another ten children. However, his fortune is not the important thing to have been restored: it is his trust in God, his Creator and Redeemer.

When you plan your worship, consider Taylor Burton-Edward’s notes:

“When you end a series, it’s always important to give attention to three things.

1) Where you have been. Part of concluding a series is recalling the journey that has brought you to this place. You should do this not only in the sermon, but in other ways as well, including, perhaps, music. Consider using music from throughout the previous three weeks, especially from the opening service of this series, to help reinforce the sense of the journey you have taken during these weeks.

2) Where you have arrived. The bulk of the finale of a series needs to focus on this point, both in the sermon and in other ways. Job concludes with God affirming that Job was right to reject any notion that his suffering was deserved because of some sin Job had committed. And he was right to insist that those who promoted such a view were doing more harm than good. Job was wrong wherever he assumed he could begin to understand the mystery of suffering or creation beyond rejecting the false but widely-held understanding that God simply blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked. As we saw last week, God creates and works for the good of the entire creation, not simply for human happiness. The mystery is greater. And those who seek to truncate the mystery into slogan or ideology deceive themselves and others, and are to be pitied, corrected, and prayed for. Then, and only then, when even those who misunderstood are brought into community, does restoration come.

3) Where you are heading next. A finale of a worship series is always also an opportunity for a segue and invitation to the next. Consider how you can help today’s service function as the pre-launch of your next series, and how All Saints will function as at once culmination of A Season of Saints (if you’ve observed that during these weeks) and this series in Job and as the launch event for your next series.”

If you are following the Discipleship Ministries materials, our next series will be “Dwellings,” which uses the Revelation texts on the first and fourth weeks, and the Hebrews texts on the middle two weeks.