Devotional – April 11, 2020

Saturday of Holy Week. Jesus is in the tomb. Not a word about this day in Scripture. Yet. . . A few minutes with 2 Peter 3:8-9, 11-12. God is typically up to quite a bit, even when we think he's forgotten all about us.

Today's Music: Caedmon's Call, 'Valleys Fill First'.

One of the very few songs I've ever heard that reference holy Saturday, Aaron Tate and Ed Cash recognize that when we're waiting for an answer that never seems to come, we're laid low - we're humiliated. There's a great book of Puritan prayers called 'THE VALLEY OF VISION.' The idea is, when we're completely exhausted of our strength, hope, or resources, we're far more likely to catch the vision of God's strength and sufficiency. If you're in that place, (and I think many of us are in this pandemic), let this day remind you that God's ways are different from our ways - they're better! (Isaiah 55:8-13)

Devotional - April 11, 2020

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Devotional – April 10, 2020

'By his wounds we are healed.' (Isaiah 53:5) Jesus taking on our sin is the glorious, mysterious grace of God on Good Friday. Artists and composers have sought to portray the significance and power of this for centuries.

Today's art: The Isenheim Alterpiece, crucifixion panel

Rembrandt, The Raising of the Cross (1633)

Today's music: John Davis, 'The Kind of Heart'

Jars of Clay, 'Liquid'

Knut Nystedt: 'O Crux'

Latin lyrics and translation: O Crux, splendidior cunctis astris, mundo celebris, hominibus multum amabilis, sanctior universis; que sola fuisti digna portare talentum mundi: dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulcia ferens pondera salva presentem catervam, in tuis hodie laudibus congregatam.

O Cross, more radiant than all the stars, honoured throughout the world, beloved of the people, holier than all things, which alone was found worthy to bear the light of the world: blessed wood, blessed nails, blest the weight you bore: save your flock assembled here to praise you.
(Venantius Fortunas 530-606 AD)

African-American spiritual: 'Were You There?', Kathleen Battle

Devotional - April 10, 2020

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Devotional – April 9, 2020

Want to see Jesus leap off the page into your life? Look out for John's use of 'historical present tense' in John 13:3-5. Also: the little book we skip over that was the focus of Maundy Thursday worship for centuries. Painting: Ford Madox Brown 'Jesus Washing the Disciple's Feet'

Music: Robert White, 'Lamentations 5'

Knut Nystedt, 'Peace I Leave With You' (John 14:27)

Devotional - April 9, 2020

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Devotional – April 8, 2020

Why do they call it 'Spy Wednesday?' Perhaps we can use it to sneak up and slay some of our persistent sins. Join me for a look at Matthew 26 and Judas' betrayal of Jesus, as well as some of the ways we are - knowingly or unknowingly - causing grief to the heart of our Savior. Without a recognition of our complicit guilt, it is impossible to appreciate God's offer of imputed grace through Jesus.

Also: how hip-hop, as well as classical music, can be well suited to help us face our 'junk.'

Music today: John Sanders, 'The Reproaches' and Beautiful Eulogy, 'Messiah' Sanders mixes 15th century plainsong, 20th century harmony, and devastating words.

Devotional - April 8, 2020

The Lyrics:

O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you led your Saviour to the cross.

O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us.

For forty years I led you safely through the desert. I fed you with manna from heaven, and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Saviour to the cross.

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us.

What more could I have done for you? I planted you as my fairest vine, but you yielded only bitterness: when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, and you pierced your Saviour's side with a lance.

Holy is God! Holy and strong! Holy immortal One, have mercy on us.

I opened the sea before you, but you opened my side with a spear. I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud, but you led me to Pilate's court.

O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I bore you up with manna in the desert, but you struck me down and scourged me. I gave you saving water from the rock, but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink.

O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I gave you a royal sceptre, but you gave me a crown of thorns. I raised you to the height of majesty, but you have raised me high on a cross.

O my people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

Composer: John Sanders (1933-2003) Beautiful Eulogy, 'Messiah' can be found here:

Finally, I found a clean version of Kendrick Lamar's 'Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst.' Like Sanders, this is over 10 minutes long, but I also find this to be incredibly powerful:

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Cup EPC July 21 COVID-19 Worship Update

Cup EPC July 21 COVID-19 Worship Update (Click to download file as a pdf)


Cup EPC July 21 COVID-19 Worship Update


Dear Cup church family and friends,

Last night our church session met in a virtual meeting to discuss our plans for worship in light of the latest guidance given July 15 from Governor Wolf. The governor specifically exempted churches from his restrictions of no more than 25 people in an indoor facility and has not placed Beaver County (or any other county in Western Pennsylvania) back in a ‘red’ phase.

We also carefully considered all the feedback we received from those of you who have replied over the past month to our questionnaire.

As a result, the Cup church session adopted unanimously the following policy:

We will continue to meet for sanctuary worship at 10:30 on Sunday mornings.

We are requiring masks through the entire worship service unless a medical condition prevents this. If someone desires not to wear a mask for personal reasons, we can provide a location for seating where the service can be heard, but outside of the sanctuary.

We continue to offer the worship service online via our YouTube channel and on the website ( We encourage you to subscribe to our site by clicking here:

On that page, click on ‘subscribe’ and on the bell icon in order to receive a notification when we post the worship service for you to view. We are currently working on ‘live streaming’ the service and have had some technical difficulties in recent weeks, but are working on solving those. Additional subscribers to our YouTube channel will help our processing time in getting the video up, so please subscribe – and tell your friends about us!

We continue to monitor the situation involving COVID-19 and aim at providing the proper balance of spiritual and physical care to our congregation and community. Our policy will be adapted as circumstances warrant.

We are thankful for God’s provision and your support in these challenging times and look forward to the time when all of us will feel comfortable and secure in attending worship together. Until that time, let us ‘fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . .so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ (Hebrews 12:2-3)



Pastor Scott


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