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Mar 07, 2021

Beyond Caricature

Beyond Caricature

Passage: Philippians 1:9

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: We Must Love One Another, or Die - Lent 2021

Love is hard. It’s so often beyond what we naturally choose. One thing far more natural to us is caricaturing: making and acting on distorted images. Not the whimsical ones we get at amusement parks, but those that diminish, dismiss, and defame--and not just of others. But love moves beyond caricature. What are the caricatures we make and how do we move from caricaturing to capturing? Love does that. Love has to.

Order of worship, Readings & Scripture:

PREPARATION: Isaiah 6:1-7
LEADER: 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 

ALL: 3 And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ 

LEADER: 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’ 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’

James 3:6-10 
LEADER: 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 

ALL: 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.


Prayer of Adoration: Jeremiah 9:23-24

ALL: Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”

Prayer of Confession: Psalm 32:1-5

ALL: Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

ALL: 3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. . . .

ALL: 5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Prayer of Petition: Philippians 4:4-7

ALL: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer for Illumination. Luke 8:4-8           

LEADER: And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

MESSAGE: Caricature:

CENTRAL TEXT: Philippians 1:9
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

1 Corinthians 13:4b
Love is not arrogant or rude.




BENEDICTION: Romans 15:5-6
LEADER: 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

ALL: 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 



  • Genesis 3
  • Deuteronomy 32:15
  • 2 Chronicles 26:14-16
  • Matthew 20:25-28
  • 1 Corinthians 8:1-4
  • Philippians 2:6-8
  • Colossians 2:16-19
  • Hebrews 1:1-4




  1. Memorable moment you were treated rudely? Or when you acted rudely? 



  • Thirty years go by of someone layin in your bed
    Thirty years of sayin things you wished you’d never said
    How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead
    I wonder as I stare up at the sky all turnin red
    I’ve had some time to think about it. . . .
    - Patty Griffin, “Long Ride Home
  • You shall love your crooked little neighbor with your crooked little heart. - W.H. Auden, “As I Walked Out One Evening
  • Be curious, not judgemental - Walt Whitman