OPENING PRAYER [1 minute]:
SONG SERVICE [10 minutes]:
Narrator 1: Religious bondage, hopelessness, lack of interest in holiness, a fault finding spirit, spiritual dullness, disobedience, doubt, absence of joy, a stir of emotions can be used to chronicle the feeling of Christine. She was beginning to doubt her faith and was slowly wandering away from God.
Narrator 2: Now before we can look at her adult life let’s take a stroll down memory lane and examine her life as a teen. Nestled in the vibrant village of Bethel a young lady by the name of Christine resides with her family. Now Christine was not your average young adult she was an ardent Sabbath school superintendent and an active church goer.
Narrator 1: She was cheerful and pleasant and always eager to offer a kind word. She understood the importance of a greeting and always maintained a cheerful disposition as she would greet everyone she came into contact with, she would usually say…..
~ Welcome ~ (Welcome the congregation to Sabbath School)
Narrator 2: Her faith was seemingly steadfast and unwavering. This young devout Christian had an unyielding desire to walk with God and to grow old in Him. She understood that there is a great joy in serving Jesus as there is no greater companion to embark on life’s spiritual journey. She would usually recount the words of the famous song writer ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
~Opening Song~ 524 ‘Tis so sweet to Trust in Jesus
Narrator 1: As Christine grew into adulthood her faith was beginning to fade, her hope now seemed glim and her beloved church no longer seemed to be a place of refuge or a light of love. Her daily communion with God was now taking a back seat as her day to day rituals was now of primary importance.
Narrator 2: The curiosity of what the journey would be like on the other side was now increasing since the Christian route was no longer fun, entertaining or exciting. What she didn’t realize was that she was regressing spiritually and her doubt was leading to spiritual dullness. Realizing her spiritual demise she expressed her feelings to the pastor and he gave her solace in the following scripture
~ Scripture Reading ~ Proverbs 3:1-6
Narrator 1: You see at the time what Christine didn’t know was that prayer is the most spiritual weapon in this world and that Christians do not take full advantage of the power of prayer God has given to us. Instead of talking to God and confiding in Him she started talking to all the wrong people. Confidante? She had none, but what she heard was rumors and murmurs from her close Christian friends. Her faith was growing dim and she didn’t seek the Lord in Prayer
~ Prayer ~
Narrator 2: And soon enough her spiritual journey took a detour to a dangerous route. Christine was becoming less involved in God’s word and more involved in the attraction of the world. She starting skipping church services and before you know it she began regressing into spiritual dreariness.
Narrator 1: It was not long before she started going to events where God would not approve. The Christian journey seemed monotonous, but the other route led to apparent fun and enjoyment. In church all she perceived was hatred and backbiting, so she wandered onto the other route and found friends she could confide in and who showed her constant love. What she didn’t realize was that the further she drew from God the closer she got to the devil. She leaned on her own strength and not the strength of the Spirit of the living God.
Narrator 2: One day Christine was invited by a friend to attend a party, however it was on a Friday night and without giving it much thought she agreed. Prior to this she began attending similar events with the same group of friends but never on a Friday night.
Narrator 1: Christine and her friends had a grand Friday evening together, or at least so she thought. They were all dancing, smoking, drinking and having the time of their life. Although she was usually timid to try alcohol that night she delved right in and thought to herself ‘this is what life is really about’. One of her friends was heard saying ‘we are having the best time of our life’ she nodded in agreement while dancing to a hip song.
Narrator 2: The drive back home was spent in boisterous laughter as the group of five reminisced on the evening’s activities, making solemn pledges to do it all again the next week. The driver was joining in on the fun and would frequently look away from the road at the trio in the backseat of the car that were mimicking their previous dance moves.
Narrator 1: As they were approaching a traffic light the green hue reflected on the front of the car, and never wanting to miss the action the driver thought it was safe to glance to the backseat once more. As the driver returned his attention to the front view, it was too late the car plummeted into an approaching vehicle and all that was heard was a long screech and a loud bang.
Narrator 2: In the midst of all the confusion and chaos Christine heard a still small voice saying “You are still my child”(Voice of God in the background)
Narrator 2: ‘where’s the defibrillator” the unknown voice shouted “1, 2, 3, clear”
Narrator 1: “wait wait” a strange huskier voice bellowed, “she’s awake”
Narrator 2: “No how could this be she has been out for ten minutes now, the truth of the matter is when a patient comes into the emergency room without a heartbeat they are technically dead” said the guy in the white blood stained scrubs.
Narrator 1: “Well this one is a fighter, she’s back with us”. Dizziness, fatigue, fright, nausea can only be used to capture Christine’s feeling. “who am I? oh yes…. Christine but where am I” (Christine’s voice in the background) she was confused and still in a state of temporary shock.
Narrator 2: What Christine later found out was that she was rescued by the Jaws of Life and all her friends didn’t make it. She was even more depressed to know that there was a family of four in the other vehicle that did not survive the accident either. This rollercoaster ride on the other side did not live up to the hype.
Narrator 1: For the first time since being on the other route she began to see the hurt she was causing others by her actions. Her poor lifestyle choices left her in financial stress, and soon enough she began longing for more, she hoped for the warm feeling she felt when communing with believers of God. She knew where she can get true healing, physical and spiritual restoration.
Narrator 2: Sure enough as soon as she recovered she made her way to church. As she approached the big brown wooden doors, she hesitated, she thought “I should turn back now, how would these people view me……but Lord I’m not worthy” (Christine’s voice in the background) and then she heard another voice saying.
Voice of the Lord: “My child take this journey with me, come back home, there is plenty room so get on board”
Christine: “But Lord I’m not worthy to go on this journey I have plenty baggage”
Voice of the Lord: “Lay it all at the feet of Jesus, get on board”
Narrator 1: Christine was coming to Jesus but she had baggage. The load was a setback; it was making the journey long and tiresome. So she began to take out her load, one by one and as she was taking the load off she got new strength, and energy to persevere.
(Christine walks up the aisle of the church and takes out signs from her baggage: Selfishness, backbiting, jealousy, unfriendliness, hatred, strife, bitterness, anger) “Lord please make me new, help me to be more like you”
Narrator 2: As she knelt at the foot of the altar she heard the words
Voice of the Lord: “Your verdict is NOT GUILTY”
~Special Music~ Not Guilty by Mandisa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc6-roDSpBo
Narrator 1: That day she heard a soul stirring sermon and recommitted her life to Jesus.
Narrator 2: The message brought new meaning to her life and it went a little like this…..
Narrator 1: Have you wondered far away from God? Well now it’s time to come home
Narrator 2: Christine had a heavy load, and lots of baggage and more and more she would wander far away from God. What baggage are you taking on your spiritual journey? Leave it at the altar today. Have you been in church regularly and still you are wandering far away from God? It’s time to come home!
Narrator 1: At times we too feel discouraged and that no one is there and no one cares but no matter how far you are from God you can never be too far where he cannot reach you. Have you wondered away from Him? Then take the Christian journey
Narrator 2: I would like to present to you a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was a nomad and an itinerant preacher.
Narrator 1: He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office, he never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. His only credential was Himself.
Narrator 2: While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him, His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial.
Narrator 1: He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While he was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth- His coat. When he was dead he laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Narrator 2: Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
Narrator 1: I am far within the mark when I say, all the armies that ever marched
Narrator 2: All the cities that were ever built
Narrator 1: All the governments that ever sat
Narrator 2: And all the kings that ever reigned
Narrator 1 & 2: Put together, has not affected the life of a man upon this earth as powerfully as that one solitary life- Jesus Christ.
Narrator 1: Always remember when you have nothing left but God, God is enough
Narrator 2: And when you are down to nothing, God's up to something
Narrator 1 &2: No matter your circumstance He is saying to you today, get on board there’s room!