Welcome, Church! This week, we are looking at the God-imaging work of an optometrist and John is talking about how we can see and know God more fully through the ways we can literally see and perceive the things that God has made. Likewise, the act of helping others see – the act of clarifying vision, bringing things into focus, and decreasing the strain that others feel – is a way of actively participating in God’s work while imaging the God who sees things so uniquely perfect and who is constantly assisting us as we grow closer to a vision that is perfect and God-like. In that light, as we worship with our hearts, our voices, our thoughts, and our eyes, let us focus on God’s amazingly created eyes and God’s amazingly created optometrists.
Be Enthroned – Bethel Worship
Fix My Eyes – Kings Kaleidoscope
“Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank” (Acts 9:1-9, NRSV).
Wonder – Hillsong United
“Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized” (Acts 9:10-18, NRSV).
Take a Moment – United Pursuit
Delta – Mumford & Sons
“After taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah” (Acts 9:19-22, NRSV).
Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on our YouTube channel, our website, and now as a podcast on Spotify, iTunes, and a few other platforms too! If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, don’t forget that all of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. We also have a newsletter that talks about more ways to connect and worship with us as a community in Christ, so if you would like to connect with us in that way there is more information about how you can do that on our website. Thanks, and God bless!