Sunday LinkUp – 08January2023





WELCOME  … and THANKS for joining us.

  • We trust, as always, that your time with us will be well spent.
  • Today is Baptism of The Lord’s Day … and our focus is still on CHRIST, OUR SAVIOUR AND LORD.
  • The theme for this week is Jesus is our righteousness.



1.   THIS IS YOUR HOUSE … Don Moen …


2.   ARISE … Don Moen …


3.  THANK YOU, LORD … Don Moen …


4.   THRONE OF PRAISE … Don Moen …



FIRST READING (Our Call to Worship) … a part of a Psalm that speaks about the power of God, especially his power to defeat evil (symbolized by the waters or sea) …   



Isaiah 42:1-4,5-9   “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!  I have put My Spirit upon Him;  He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.  He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.  A bruised reed He will not break,  And smoking flax He will not quench;  He will bring forth justice for truth.  He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.” 

Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it:  “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.  am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”  




  • Overview:  Every time we check our favorite news app, scroll through social media, our daily newspaper, or turn on the TV, we are likely to run into some form of bad news that can leave us disheartened. The prophet Isaiah reminds us to lift our eyes to the one who never fails when everything else does. Jesus is always ready to embrace us in his loving arms. He is our one true hope.
  • Title:  Jesus is Our Hope 
  • Presenter:  Cara Garrity


Acts 10:34-38,39-43    Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the [a]children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ — He is Lord of all — 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.   
39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom [b]they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission[c] of sins.”   



  • THE GOODNESS OF GOD … Jenn Johnson …





Righteousness Fulfilled

Matthew 3:13-17


13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and [a]He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”   

What is the passage saying?   

What does it mean?   

What should we take away?   


Matthew 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”  

15 But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allowed Him.

16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and [a]He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”



When it comes to our fate as believers, though, knowing the end of our story is of utmost importance.   As characters in this grand saga, we begin our journey of faith knowing the end of the book.   Some things in life are too important to just be left in tension.

Near the end of the book of Revelation, John is describing for us a vision of what is to come in the next age – a scene revealed by Jesus Christ that holds amazing beauty and hope.  John does three things regarding this vision.  He is first seeing, then he is hearing and finally, he is writing.  We are going to look at how these three actions involve us today regarding this vision.

At the outset, it must be said that the Book of Revelation is what is considered apocalyptic literature.

John is revealing what a future where God has restored everything from destruction and evil will look like.

a vision of a restored creation.

The former things (evil, death, mourning, etc.) were outside of God’s design for mankind.

John is showing that after death and hades have come to an end, all will be made new.

the sea is mentioned as being no more.

This passage is not talking about the literal sea.  This was symbolic for the seat of evil.  The place where the Beast and evil comes from. With the seat of evil being removed, sin and destruction goes with it.

Some feel that the stewardship of our planet isn’t necessary since God will recreate a new world after we have “blown this one to bits.”  John is not describing a world “blown to bits;” he is describing a creation that is no longer under decay.  Remember, Paul told the believers in Rome that “the creation itself will be set free from its enslavement to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21 NRSVUE).

Someone may well bring up the fact that Paul mentioned that our citizenship is in heaven. But he was not referring to a location.  Roman citizens were citizens wherever they went.  In fact, retired Roman soldiers were encouraged to live well outside of Rome.  But they were to bring their Roman citizenship with them wherever they happened to be.

John is seeing that heaven and earth are not in competition with each other, but are made for each otherHe is showing us that all things in heaven and earth are summed up in Christ.

All of creation is caught up in Jesus’ resurrectionHe is not saying everything is being replacedRather, it is being made newGod has not and will not abandon what he has created.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and be their God; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4 NRSVUE)

Notice the difference in inspiration here?  John is now hearing something. And what John hears is just how intimate God is with his creation.

Just as Jesus came to earth and lived among us, so too all of heaven now comes down to usChrist ascended to the Father, but in the fullness of time he will finally make his dwelling with us once again, but this time it will be forever.  

There will only exist the rulership of Christ at that time.  He will reign over us with love and mercy.  We will know his ways and live in harmony one towards another.  All of heaven will come with him.  All will be made right.

We will make our abode with Christ, not back in Eden, but in a city whose maker is God.  A place that is teeming with life and relationship.  We become a holy thriving community with Christ as our loving, just king.

Verse 4 indicates that every tear we have shed will be healed by God.  All that has ever caused us pain will be redeemedImagine never having to grieve again — to never feel pain again, to never be hurt or to suffer.  It is beyond our human comprehension, but this is what John is hearing from the voice of God.

John is hearing about a world where there is no more war or economic systems of oppression.  Where tyrants and evil rulers will no longer have their way.  God’s economy is the only system that can be sustained for eternity.  John wants us to hear that there is a world coming that will finally be made right.

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 21:5-6a NRSVUE)

Up until now John has been passive. He has been seeing.  He has been hearing, but now he is asked to do something.  He is asked to take action.  He is asked to testify, to write down all that has been shown to him, all that he has heard from God.

This new creation of God is happening now in a world that has little understanding of its realityWe are called to act upon what we see and what we hearWe are called to carry forth the working of the new creation.

All that we do through Christ, and by his Spirit, is in concert with the new creation. Every work of reconciliation, of healing others, of sharing God’s love, is participating with heaven coming to earth.  Of removing the old and ushering in the new.

In the midst of our mourning, of seeing all the pain and death, what gives you hope?  Though we are still going through all these things, we have a God who says that he is wiping away all our tears.  That it is a done deal!  Even now, his healing, redeeming power is breaking through.

Are you able to see the old things of your past being shed from you?  In its place, are you seeing the newness that God is bringing into your life?  Have you been listening to the voice of God that tells you about his intimate love for you?  That he makes his dwelling with you?

We can take courage knowing that what we are currently going through is not the end of our story. Far from it. We may not be exempt from the suffering in this life, but we can walk through it knowing that Jesus dwells with us and knowing that the world is being made new and right despite what we might currently see and hear.

Know this, that the former things that have damaged us are being healed.  We have his great promise that he will dwell with us and that we will be his peopleHe will be faithful to do all that he has said.  Even now, he is preparing his church as a bride that he might receive us with joyFrom beginning to end, all of this is being accomplished through Christ.  Behold, he is making all things new!








CLOSING PRAYER  (and Prayer for the Offering)







Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top