Sunday, February 24, 2019

Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany

Organ Prelude In illo tempore (Gregorian)

Words of Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge

Choral Introit Gently Raise the Sacred Strain (Thomas Griggs)

Gently raise the sacred strain, For the Sabbath’s come again that we may rest.

* Call to Worship

L: Rise above the ways of the world:
P: We are called to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
L: Rise above the ways of the world:
P: We are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
L: Rise above the ways of the world:
P: We are called to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
L: Rise above the ways of the world:
P: We are called to live into the ways of Jesus. Come, let us worship Christ, and follow him.

* Opening Hymn Come, Thou Almighty King UMH 61

1. Come, thou almighty King, help us thy name to sing, help us to praise! Father all glorious, o’er all victorious, come and reign over us, Ancient of Days!
2. Come, thou incarnate Word, gird on thy mighty sword, our prayer attend! Come, and thy people bless, and give thy word success; Spirit of holiness, on us descend!
3. Come, holy Comforter, thy sacred witness bear in this glad hour. Thou who almighty art, now rule in every heart, and ne’er from us depart, Spirit of power!
4. To thee, great One in Three, eternal praises be, hence, evermore. Thy sovereign majesty may we in glory see, and to eternity love and adore!

Prayer of Invocation (All)

Inexhaustible source of love and life, be with us in our time of worship as we seek the love it takes to walk in the ways of your Son. Help us love our enemies and bless those who wrong us, for we cannot do so alone. May our every word and deed make known that we are your beloved children and vessels of your love. Amen.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Remembering John “Jack” Hugg

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Moment

Anthem O How Amiable (Ralph Vaughan Williams)

O how amiable are Thy dwellings: Thou Lord of Hosts! My soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord: My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house, and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young: even Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: They will be alway praising Thee. The glorious majesty of the Lord our God be upon us: prosper Thou the work of our hands upon us. O prosper Thou our handy work.

O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home.

A Reading from the Old Testament – Psalm 37:1-11   Aimee Delaney, Liturgist

Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not be envious of wrongdoers,
for they will soon fade like the grass,
and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make your vindication shine like the light,
and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
over those who carry out evil devices.

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For the wicked shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land,
and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

Prayer of Confession Aimee Delaney, Liturgist

Almighty God, we confess that we wander from the truth, and fashion our own version that suits us. We create our own stories that center our experience, sometimes over the experiences of those who are oppressed and marginalized. We confess that often in our stories we are the heroes, we are the ones who have overcome hardship and struggles.

Forgive us, for You died for us. Forgive us, for we ought to be last of all, servant of all, seeing the humanity in all. Forgive us, for the truth is there, always justice needing to be done. Always peace to be waged. Always love to be shared. Always forgiveness to be given. Forgive us, for the work is not done, and the truth is we are not the hero, but we are at best the ones who support You in the work of love and justice. Call us to Your truth. Amen.

Words of Assurance Aimee Delaney, Liturgist

You are God’s beloved child. You are important to God’s story, and God needs you. You are forgiven and loved. Go now, continue to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Forgive as you are forgiven, love as you are loved, & know that God is with you, always. Amen.

* Hymn of Preparation Christ, Your Words of Love Confound Us (BEACH SPRING 8.7.8.7 D , #581)

1. Christ, your words of love confound us, even as we give you praise,
for the lessons that you teach us seem so far from this world’s ways.
How can we love those who hate us? How can we love enemies?
What of people who abuse us? How can we love even these?
2. Make us mindful: love is action, not a feeling that uplifts.
In each daily situation, love’s the greatest of all gifts.
It’s the wiser, stronger person who will break the chain of hate.
Love can usher in redemption; love can make a people great.
3. Faced with those who seek to hurt us, make us confident and free:
you don’t call us to be helpless but to stand with dignity.
Lord, when others are demanding, may we know they matter more
than our money or possessions. May we share, not keeping score.
4. If we love just those who love us, where’s the giving? Where’s the grace?
Even sinners try to do this; they have friends that they embrace.
May we do, Lord, unto others as we’d have them also do.
You have shown us: Love is action. May we love, and make things new.

A Reading from the Gospel – Luke 6:27-38

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

Sermon – “Struggling to Forgive”   Rev. Debbie Scott

The Offering of Gifts and Tithes

Offertory Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies’ Sake (Richard Farrant)

Lord, for Thy tender mercies’ sake, lay not our sins to our charge, but forgive that is past, and give us grace to amend our sinful lives; to decline from sin, and incline to virtue, that we may walk with a perfect heart before Thee now and ever more.

* Presentation of OfferingPraise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, yet heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Offering Prayer (All)

Lord of Love and Compassion: How easy the road of discipleship would be if all you asked from us were the gifts we bring to your altar. How convenient would it be if we could write a check or swipe a card and leave here to live like so many do, focused exclusively on our own wants, needs, and passions? Remind us again, as we present our tithes and offerings, that the real challenge of discipleship comes when we leave this place, as you send us into the world to respond in radical love to those who would judge us, hurt us, and threaten us. We pray this in the name of Jesus, who loved and forgave, even as he was tortured and nailed to a cross. Amen.

* Closing Hymn Blest Be the Tie That Binds UMH 557

1. Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
2. Before our Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.
3. We share each other’s woes, our mutual burdens bear; and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
4. When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

* Benediction

We leave, our hearts filled with God’s love.
We will go to offer the wonders of laughter
and hope to everyone we will meet.
We leave, following Jesus into the world.
We will serve alongside him in the brokenness
of our neighbors and our communities.
We leave, having heard the whispers of the Spirit.
We will speak justice to those
who would hoard it only for themselves.

* Choral Response New Testament Benediction (Christian Gregor)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with us all, Amen.

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Organ Postlude Allegro giusto (Barnes)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on February 22, 2019

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