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This Week’s Worship

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Cindy Kissel-Ito has provided this guide for families to worship together at home. Imagine the Lenten candles, beginning with one purple candle & the Christ candle lit. After the reading imagine extinguishing the purple candle.

Lent 6th Sunday

Palm Sunday worship guide from Cindy Kissel-Ito

PALM SUNDAY, APRIL 4TH

PRAYER OF THE DAY     Christine Jerrett, re:Worship

Gracious God, this is the day that you have made:

you have filled it with signs of your presence;

your Spirit’s breath permeates every moment;

your grace fills each experience;

your promises move within event,

pulling us toward hope.

Receive our thanks.

Receive our praise, through Christ our Lord

for in his love we know your deep love

your faithfulness, your grace. Amen

 

SONG of PRAISE # 88 All Glory, Laud, and Honor

All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David’s royal Son,

Who in the Lord’s name comest, The King and blessed One.

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 The people of the Hebrews With palms before Thee went;

Our praise and prayers and anthems Before Thee we present.

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 To Thee, before Thy passion, They sang their hymns of praise;

To Thee, now high exalted, Our melody we raise.

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 Thou didst accept their praises; Accept the prayers we bring,

Who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King!

 All glory, laud, and honor To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To whom the lips of children Made Sweet hosanas ring.

 SCRIPTURE                 Psalm 118:1-2; 19-29

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

 Mark 11:1-11

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Gointo the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!

Hosanna in the Highest heaven!”

Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

 DISCUSSION 

The Apostle Paul, in one of the very oldest Christian documents known to us, writing to the first church he established on Euro­pean soil, said of Christ, “Therefore God has exalted him and given him the name which is above all names, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.” It is a great chorus of praise. It is a resounding affirmation. God has exalted him in the highest and given him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God!

 Paul wrote those words a little more than thirty years after Palm Sunday. Yet they ring and echo with the sentiments of that day. Can’t you hear the echoing of Paul’s words in the words of the crowds on that Palm Sunday when they sang, “Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest. At the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” Do you hear the echoing of the great affirmations, the great energetic celebrations of Christ and Christ’s presence?

This acclamation on Palm Sunday begins Holy Week and Jesus’ journey to the cross. Dr. Carl Schenk shares his perceptions of Holy Week. “Holy Week is a consolidation—a kind of compression in one story, of the great human drama. Holy Week isn’t just a historic event that we look at in the far distant past. Holy Week is my story; Holy Week is our story. Holy Week is the history of humanity and it begins with this crash of cymbals, this resounding cry of “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna.”

On Monday then, according to the stories, Jesus went back again into Jerusalem, but this time there are no crowds or celebrations. He slipped into town and went to the Temple. He discovered the folks who were exchanging the various coins of the realm for the Temple coins and those who were selling the animals for sacrificial worship in the Temple. He started what can only be described as a kind of a riot to chase these people out. The echo of Hosanna grows a little fainter.

By Thursday, the day of the Passover, Jesus gathered his disciples in the upper room to celebrate the Passover with them and he would say to them, “I will not drink the fruit of the vine again with you until I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And then he was betrayed by one of his closest associates- arrested, brought to trial, and executed.

That story sounds like our own lives. We have the Hosannas in us: we sing; we pray and praise. We appreciate the presence of God in everything. Then the week begins to unfold and it is much more difficult to join in the ‘hosannas” in the conflicting, difficult world we live in. COVID-19 has changed our daily lives and our sense of devotion gets distracted with the cares and challenges of each day. One of the great challenges of our faith is the call to struggle with the realities of life, even as we respond with ““Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Reflection

  • Identify times in your life when you have praised God through thoughts, speech and/or action. What prompted this response?
  • When has it been difficult to praise God?
  • What did you find helpful in regaining your appreciation of God’s presence in your life?

FOR CHILDREN     Mark 11:7-9 (Easy-to- Read Version)

“The followers brought the donkey to Jesus. They put their coats on it, and Jesus sat on it. Many people spread their coats on the road for Jesus. Others cut branches in the fields and spread the branches on the road. Some of them were walking ahead of Jesus. Others were walking behind him. Everyone shouted, “‘Praise Him! Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’

This week is called Holy Week in the church calendar. People remember Jesus each day, as he journeyed to the cross.

  • Write the days of the week on a piece of paper. Write or draw a way to praise Jesus on each day. Share your Holy Week calendar with someone in your family on Easter Day.

 PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE– For Health Care Workers

Captain Lyman M. Smith, Director of Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel

Compassionate God,

From the shores of the river Jordan to the steps of the Temple Mount,

you have cared for the well-being of your people.

Your healing teaches us your compassion for our frailty.

Thank you for caring for us no matter our status in this world.

We ask your blessing on those who emulate you

as they provide the ministry of healing to all those in need.

Guide, bless, and encourage your faithful health care servants

who willingly jeopardize their own, and their family’s,

health and safety to confront sickness and disease.

Enable them to relieve suffering and assist in the healing process.

Lord, you loved us enough to walk in our midst

on a disease-filled Earth.

Even now, abide in with us

and surround all engaged in the healing sciences and arts.

Bless them as they labor for you in stressful,

anxious, and sometimes threatening settings.

Keep them close in your loving embrace.

Guide researchers as they seek greater understanding of your universe

and develop vaccines and treatments which will reduce suffering and death.

Enable suppliers who ensure materials and equipment are available as needed using creativity as they sometimes seek to do more with less.

Encourage the families of health care workers

as they support them in their call, knowing that through their loved ones, lives

are saved and your tenderness is known.

Provide your health care servants rest

during wearisome hours of constant demand.

Dispense comfort in moments of loss or setback.

Grant peace that goes beyond human understanding.

In our present surroundings which tempt us to despair,

may we all come together as part of your global community

and embrace the love of Christ for all precious souls.

Help us overcome our fears

and unite across all borders of every type to share,

manufacture, support and supply knowledge, equipment, and resources.

Your kingdom is a place of plenty.

Let us live in your abundance knowing you provide enough for all.

In your mercy Lord, grant health.

Bless those you have called to be your hands and feet in healing and the provision of care.

May they always know how thankful we are for their gifts, service, and sacrifice.

Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.

* SONG OF RESPONSE  # 89 Hosanna, Laud Hosanna

Hosanna, laud hosanna, The little children sang;

Through pillared court and temple The joyful anthem rang;

To Jesus, who had blessed them Close folded to His Breast,

The children sang their praises, The simplest and the best.

 From Olivet they followed ‘Mid an exaultant crowd,

The victor palm branch waving, And chanting clear and laud;

The Lord of earth and heaven Rode on in lowly state,

Nor scored that little children Should on His bidding wait.

 “Hosanna in the highest!” That ancient song we sing,

For Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.

O may we ever praise Him With heart and life and voice,

And in His blissful presence Enternally rejoice.

 

* CHARGE & BLESSING    Romans 15:5-6

 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Lent 5th Sunday


Holy God, Creator of Life, you call us out of our dark places,

PRAYER OF THE DAY     Nancy Johnson, re:Worship

offering us the grace of new life.
When we see nothing but hopelessness,

you surprise us with the breath of your spirit.

Call us out of our complacency and routines,
set us free from our self-imposed bonds,
and fill us with your spirit of life, compassion, and peace,
In the name of Jesus, your anointed one, we pray. Amen.

 

SONG of PRAISE

Forty Days and Forty Nights

Forty days and forty nights You were fasting in the wild;

Forty days and forty nights Tempted, and yet undefined.

Shall not we Your sorrow share And from worldly joys abstain,

Fasting with unceasing prayer, Strong with You to suffer pain?

Then if Satan on us press, Flesh or spirit to assail,

Victor in the wilderness, Grant that we not faint nor fail!

So shall we have peace divine: Holier gladness ours shall be;

Round us, too, shall angels shine, Such as served You faithfully.

Keep, O keep us, Savior dear, Ever constant by Your side;

That with You we may appear At the eternal Eastertide. 

 SCRIPTURE      Psalm 130:1-8

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning,

More than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love,

And with him is great power to redeem.

It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of god may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two does longer in the place where he was.

Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”  Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha & Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said, to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to week there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

DISCUSSION 

The great southern preacher, John Claypool, wrote a memorable sermon that begins with a description of a play by Eugene O’Neill. He writes, “In the play entitled “Lazarus Laughed” (1927), we are given insight into what happened to Lazarus after Jesus had raised him from the dead. In this scripture lesson we are not told much about what happened when Lazarus came out of the tomb, except that his head, hands and feet were covered with strips of cloth. Who knows what was said or how the people reacted? Who knows how Lazarus felt?”

In O’Neill’s play, a crowd has gathered at Lazarus’ house in Bethany to hear the remarkable story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. The person who was telling the story said Lazarus emerged from the tomb and “began to laugh softly like a man in love with God?” Then Lazarus, in serene acceptance of all he saw around him, uttered his first word, “Yes!” As never before, Lazarus affirmed all he saw around him in a way he never had before.

Of course, after the first wave of emotion passed, the expected questions began to be asked. “Well, Lazarus, what was it like to die? What did you see? What did you experience?” Once again, Lazarus began to laugh the laughter of pure joy. Then Lazarus said, “There is only life. There is only laughter, the laughter of God. It soars to the heights; it resounds to the depths. There is no death, really. It is not what it looks like from this side. Death is not an abyss or entrance into nothingness or chaos or punishment. Death is a portal, a passageway into deeper and brighter life, eternal change, everlasting growth. That is what lies out ahead of us in death. We were born of the laughter of God and we move toward the laughter of God. There is only life.

Therefore, we must learn to live, to celebrate, to love, to accept, to affirm. We must learn to participate in God’s love of life—to feel about this existence of ours the way God feels when God looks at creation and God’s own heart is filled with ecstasy. There is only life, my brothers and sisters. This is the challenge, not Death. The grave is not what you think. It is an empty space, a doorway into more, not less.”      

Then, Lazarus goes back to his daily tasks, but there is something different. He is calm and not anxious anymore. He is no longer vulnerable to that fear that diminishes the vitality of life. The house where he lives became known as the “house of laughter” and night after night, you would hear singing and dancing. And the spirit of this one who had come back with this message that there is nothing to fear began to spread throughout the whole little village.  

Questions for Reflection

  • What fears and anxieties diminish your enjoyment of life?
  • What are the things that support love, celebration and affirmation in your life?
  • How might you further experience God’s love of life?

FOR CHILDREN     Psalm 23:1-2; 6 (Easy-to- Read Version)

“The Lord is my shepherd. I will always have everything I need.[a] He gives me green pastures to lie in. He leads me by calm pools of water.
Your goodness and mercy will be with me all my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house[f] a long, long time.

David wrote these words as a way to share his feelings with God. He told God that he knew that God was always with him.

  • Draw a picture that shows ways something that helps you feel calm and safe. How is God with you in those times?

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE    Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri and Cindy Kohmann,   

            Co- Moderators, 223rd General Assembly, PCUSA

Eternal God, sustainer, provider, God of all wisdom and knowledge,
Our spirits are weary, our faith quivers, our minds get clouded by news of sickness and death.
You know our thoughts before we express them, even the fears we dismiss, you know them.
We cannot hide our feelings and worries from you.
So, as we are, we come to You, O God, asking for wisdom, for clear minds and open hearts, for calm and assurance that, through the crisis, You are present.

Knowing that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words,”
We ask for wisdom and protection…
For medical personnel, scientists, doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians.
For those around the world considering current and other health crises.
For health care personnel and caregivers.
We lift them up to You.

We ask for clear minds and open hearts as people navigate daily lives…
As closures, cancellations, and quarantines are enacted.
As families gather in their homes, some caring for those who are sick.
As we encounter neighbors in our neighborhoods, stores, and pharmacies.

We pray for the sick, those who have lost or are at risk of losing jobs in the midst of this crisis, for those whose health or social services will be or have been affected, for those suffering the direct effects of this virus, locally and around the world.
Illumine us, Holy Spirit. Show us in what ways we can be of help as we care for self and others.

We ask for calm, assurance, and strength.
May we all remember that, in the midst of any crisis,
Your grace reaches us,
Your hope enlightens us,
And Your love surrounds us all. Amen.

* SONG OF RESPONSE

Kind Maker of the world, O hear The fervent prayer, with many a tear Poured forth by all the penitent Who keep this holy fast of Lent!

Each heart is manifest to Thee; Thou knowest our infirmity; Now we repent and see Thy face; Grant unto us Thy pardoning grace.

Spare us, O Lord, who now confess Out sins and all our wickedness, And, for the glory of Thy Name, Our weakened souls to health reclaim.

Give us the discipline that springs From abstinence in outward things With inward fasting, so that we In heart and soul may dwell with Thee.

* CHARGE & BLESSING    Philippians 4:4-7

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Insert for March 29th

Worship Guide for March 22nd.

Cindy Kissel-Ito has provided this guide for families to worship together at home. Imagine the Lenten candles, beginning with three purple candles & the Christ candle lit. After the reading imagine extinguishing one purple candle.

Lent 4th Sunday

PRAYER OF THE DAY     Office of Theology and Worship, PCUSA

Gracious God, giver of all light and vision, by your Word you made the day and night. Let your wondrous work be revealed in us so that your glory might shine like the sun; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen

 

SONG of PRAISE – Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

Jesus walked this lone-some valley, He had to walk it by Him-self;

O, nobody else can walk it for Him, He had to walk it by Himself.

We must walk this lone-some valley, We have to walk it by our-selves;

O, nobody else can walk it for us, We have to walk it by our-selves.

You must go and stand your trial, You have to stand it by your-self.

O, nobody else can stand it for you, You have to stand it by your-self.                

 

SCRIPTURE                

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

 

John 9: 1-12

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go washing in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

 

 

DISCUSSION            What Does it Mean to Be Anointed?

Peter the Great, who ruled Russia from the late 1600’s into the 1700’s was a shy man who valued privacy. To escape official duties, the emperor liked to slip away from his palace and don work clothes and work side-by-side with the carpenters, trying to go unnoticed. But at six feet seven, in a day when the average man was close to 5 feet, it was difficult to remain unknown.

One day, while working with his carpentry tools, he was spotted and a crowd gathered around him, much to his annoyance. One man in particular kept getting in Peter’s way, until in exasperation; the emperor lost his temper, grabbed a plank and hit the man over the head. As the stunned man reeled backwards from the blow, a friend caught him and exclaimed. “Hooray, Ivan! You have been anointed!”

His friend’s humor might have eased some of Ivan’s pain, but his use of the word anointed was far from the dictionary meaning. For ‘anoint’ has a more positive connotation- it means to apply in order to cure- not wound- to make whole, not shatter. The custom of anointing is a religious one- it isn’t practiced much anymore. Some religious groups emphasize divine healing and still anoint the sick with oil. Perhaps you remember hearing that Pope John Paul II was anointed at the end of his life in an act called extreme unction. But other than anointing before death, the custom receives little attention.

The Bible refers to the practice of anointing and the early and medieval Church used the act of anointing as a regular part of church life. There is a familiar reference to anointing in the Psalms- ‘you anoint my head with oil’. We hear of David being anointed in the OT and the Gospel tells of Jesus healing of a man’s blindness by anointing his eyes with clay. Several words are used in Scripture to express the idea of ‘anointing’ but the main one in the NT is ‘Christ”. The word Christ means anoint.

What was the purpose of anointing and how can we apply that purpose today? Back then, anointing oil symbolized the presence of the Lord’s Spirit to give wholeness to the total person. The anointing of David was a sacred and official recognition that he was chosen by God and was a whole or total person for the awesome task of serving as king of Israel. David’s brothers were not chosen because they were not the whole persons needed for the job. Anointing in the Psalm meant that the Lord showed his love and care for the whole person. In the case of Jesus healing the blind man, the anointing was to make the man whole. Anointing the sick, throughout Scripture and the early days of the church was to ‘make whole’ the stricken body and spirit.

While we no longer practice anointing today, we nevertheless have the same need for wholeness. The same ‘spirit of the Lord’ that came upon ancient people through anointing with oil can come upon us today through our recognition of our need for wholeness. This applies to us, both as individuals and as a church community. We can be ‘anointed’ with Christ and have the feeling of completeness that is necessary to fulfill our function as a whole person and/or as a whole community of faith.

What does wholeness look like? The person or community that is whole works to bring tension, friction and conflict together. A person or community cannot experience wholeness when the conceptions they have of themselves reduce or divide. For example: each of us knows at least one person who is unable to reach out to others- that kind of person finds it very difficult to make friends. Their view of themselves limits the possibilities for relationships. The person who strives for wholeness works to experience life in all its fullness. This is not always an easy task. Each of us has areas in our lives that need attention- ways of thinking or acting that block wholeness.

Questions for Reflection

  • What areas in your own life block wholeness?
  • What might wholeness look like for you as an individual?
  • What are ways that our community of faith can reflect wholeness?

FOR CHILDREN     John 13:34-35

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

  • What are ways that you love others?

Make a chain link from paper every time you are kind or help someone else. Use the love chain to decorate for Easter.

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE    J. Herbert Nelson, II; stated clerk, PCUSA

We pray for healing for those who are infected, in all the places where the virus has spread.

We pray for all who already have lost loved ones to the illness and those who will yet suffer such loss.

We pray for doctors, nurses and aides providing medical care, for insight in their caring, and for their health and well-being.

We pray for wisdom for the medical and scientific experts who are desperately seeking ways to control the spread of the virus.

We pray for public officials who must make the hard decisions about the quarantining of those who may have been exposed to the virus; and we pray for all those for whom those decisions feel like unjust imprisonment.

We lift up the Christian church and our partners as they seek to bring Christ’s healing presence and peace.

We pray for God to keep us alert to the threats posed by such a worldwide crisis, remembering the millions of God’s children who live in places where the availability of medical care is meager or nonexistent.

May God open our hearts, our financial resources, and our political will, so that the vision of a better future can become a reality for all of God’s children.

In the Providence of the God who created us, in the Passion of our Savior Jesus Christ who redeems us, and in the Power of the Holy Spirit through whom God’s will is done. AMEN.

* SONG OF RESPONSE – In the Cross of Christ I Glory

In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o’er the wrecks of time;

All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sub-lime.

When the woes of life o’er-take me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross for sake me: Lo! It glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming Light and love upon my way,

From the cross the radiance streaming Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified;

Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide.

* CHARGE & BLESSING    2 Corinthians 13:13

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Cor. 13:13

Insert March 22, 2020 

WORSHIP GUIDE FOR MARCH 15TH

WELCOME                               Visitors ~ Announcements

5 MINUTES FOR STEWARDSHIP                                Nathan Richards

CALL TO WORSHIP  John 1 “The Light Shines in the Darkness!”                                  

Leader: In Jesus is life, and this life is the light of the world!

PEOPLE: This light shines in the darkness and the darkness of sin

and death cannot overcome God’s light!

*SONG OF PRAISE #469 “Morning Has Broken” verse 1 & 2

*PRAYER OF THE DAY  

    God of light and love, we rejoice that Jesus offers to deliver us from the shadows of sin and the darkness of death.  Forgive us when we prefer darkness, accepting lies and half truths, allowing injustice and hate to grow.  Lead us to more deeply trust Jesus.  So we may walk in your light.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.   

*PASSING THE PEACE

Peace of Christ be with you … and also with you!

SCRIPTURE John 8.12-20 “I am the Light of the world.”

   Jesus again spoke to them saying, “I am the Light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. “Then the Pharisees said to him, “Your claim is not valid because you testify to yourself.”   Jesus replied, my words are true because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not…  My Father and I testify to the same truth”.  They asked, “Who is your Father?”  Jesus replied, “You know neither me nor my Father.  To know me is to know the Father.”

DISCUSSION   “I am the Light of the World.”       Rev. Keith Johnston

I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

 *AFFIRMATION OF FAITH. The Apostles’ Creed (Ecumenical version)

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.  On the tired day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

PRAYERS OF THE GATHERING

        Including SILENT PRAYER and concluding with THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

*SENDING HYMN “Morning Has Broken” #469 verse 1 & 3

* CHARGE & BLESSING         

     “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”                              

 We will gladly receive your gracious offering in the plates near the pulpit                     

HYMN OF PRAISE “Morning Has Broken” verse 1 & 2

  1. Morning has bro-ken Like the first morn-ing, Black-bird has spo-ken Like the first bird.   Praise for the sing- ing!  Praise for the morn-ing!  Praise for them, spring-ing Fresh from the Word!  
  2. Sweet the rain’s new fall. Sun-lit from heav-en, Like the first dew-fall. On the first grass. Praise for the sweet-ness of the wet gar-den, Sprung form compete-ness  Where God’s feet pass.

  SENDING HYMN  “Morning Has Broken” verse 1 & 3

  1. Morning has bro-ken Like the first morn-ing, Black-ird has

    spo-ken Like the first bird.   Praise for the sing- ing!  Praise for the morn-ing!  Praise for them, spring-ing Fresh from the Word!  

 Mine is the sun-light! Mine is the morn-ing, Born of the one

light Eden saw play!  Praises with e-la-tion, Praise every

morn-ing, God’s re-cre-a-tion Of the new day!

 

   

Here is the bulletin for the 11AM Service

Bulletin 3rd Sunday of Lent

Lenten Reading 3rd Sunday

Lent 3rd Sunday (1)