Sunday, March 1, 2020

First Sunday of Lent

Organ PreludeOro supplex (Gregorian)

Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge

Choral IntroitI Want Jesus to Walk With Me (Spiritual)

I want Jesus to walk with me;
All along my pilgrim journey,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

* Call to Worship

L: Today the journey begins. Are you ready?
P: There is so much I still have to do. I am not sure I’ll ever be ready.
L: Let go of those things that chain you to despair.
P: Lord, help me look and see the ways in which I have abandoned you.
L: Come, let us worship and feel the power of freedom in God.
P: Open our hearts today to receive your freeing love, O Lord. AMEN.

* Opening HymnA Mighty Fortress Is Our God UMH 110

1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth, his name, from age to age the same, and he must win the battle.

3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us. The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.

4. That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth; the Spirit and the gifts are ours, thru him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever.

* Prayer of Invocation (All)

We come before you, O God, in the shadow of the cross, grateful for your great love for us. As you came to us in Jesus to win our love and obedience, reveal yourself among us still. Give us courage to follow Jesus over rocky hills where we carry our crosses and green valleys where you restore our souls. For we pray in the name of the shepherd whose life was laid down for the sheep. Amen.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Children’s Moments

AnthemChief of Sinners Though I Be (Larson)

Chief of sinners though I be,
Christ is all-in-all to me;
All my wants to Him are known,
All my sorrows are His own.
Christ sustains me in my pain;
Grants me hope to live again.

O the heights of Jesus’ love!
Higher than the heavens above,
Deeper than the depths of sea,
Lasting through eternity.
Love that found me, wondrous thought,
Found me when I sought Him not.

Holy Savior, Shepherd, Lord,
Gently lead me by Your word.
When my wayward heart would stray,
Keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply
While I live and when I die.

Old Testament Lesson – Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7   Sasha Bailey, Liturgist
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Prayer of Confession

L: Gracious and merciful God, we confess to you our reluctance to enter the wilderness places where we are confronted with our true selves – where we are tempted to put worldly values before our desire for you. When our hunger for power and wealth is greater than our hunger for seeking and doing your will:
P: Forgive us, O God, and increase our trust in you.
L: When we are tempted to use the gifts you give us to benefit ourselves at the expense of serving others:
P: Forgive us, O God, and increase our trust in you.
L: When we are tempted to use sensational means to increase people’s faith, rather than being guided by the humility of Christ:
P: Forgive us, O God, and increase our trust in you.
L: When we are tempted to use bribery to influence and control people:
P: Forgive us, O God, and increase our trust in you.
L: When we are tempted to manipulate you, O God, to satisfy our own needs:
P: Forgive us, O God, and increase our trust in you.

A time of silence for personal confession

ALL: Merciful God, save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. Forgive us our sins and fill us with the joy and peace of your salvation. So strengthen us with your Spirit during this Lenten season that we put our whole trust in you as confidently as Jesus did. This we pray in his name. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

L: The Psalmist proclaims that when we confess our sins to God, we are forgiven, (Psalm 32:v.5) and the Apostle Paul confirms this by reminding us that just as Adam’s sin led to condemnation for all, so one man’s – Jesus’ -act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. (Romans 5:18) And so I declare to you: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
P: Thanks be to God.

* Hymn of PreparationPass Me Not, O Gentle Savior UMH 351

1. Pass me not, O gentle Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by. Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.

2. Let me at thy throne of mercy find a sweet relief, kneeling there in deep contrition; help my unbelief. Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.

3. Trusting only in thy merit, would I seek thy face; heal my wounded, broken spirit, save me by thy grace. Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.

4. Thou the spring of all my comfort, more than life to me, whom have I on earth beside thee? Whom in heaven but thee? Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.

* Gospel Lesson – Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,

‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,

‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.’”

Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Sermon – “Tested in the Wilderness”   Rev. Debbie Scott

Invitation to Offering

Offertory Set My Heart on Fire (Maywell)

Set my heart on fire with love for You, O Christ, my God, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that keeping Your commandments I may glorify You, the giver of all good gifts.

Presentation of Tithes and Offerings

* DoxologyPraise 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)

God of grace and truth, we give thanks for Jesus’ witness to the power of your Spirit, guiding and strengthening him in times of testing. Bless and accept the visible evidence of our thanksgiving as we offer these gifts and the service of our lives. As we embark on our Lenten journey, guide and strengthen us with the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus wherever he leads us. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving (By Rev. Thomas Shuman)

May the God of discipleship be with you.
And also with you.
Let us begin our Lenten journey with open hearts.
We offer them to the One who walks with us.
Let our voices resound with thanksgiving to the One who shows us faithful care.
We rejoice in our God of hope and love.
You held nothing back, Gardener of grace, as the Spirit led creation into the hinterlands of nothingness: spreading rich soil in the valleys,
planting seedlings and flower bulbs,
making mountains from river clay,
sprinkling water over everything.
Mornings came in Eden’s beauty, all that wonder and goodness given for your children,
but we listened to evil’s whispers,
believing those lies so easily told.
Like a crew launching in boat to rescue those who are adrift,
prophets came, counseling us to let go of our stubbornness and return to your side,
but with our eyes wide open,
we followed that path which took us away from the middle of the garden.
So you sent Jesus to us, that free gift of grace for all.
With the faithful who have gone before us, with companions through this journey today,
we offer glad songs of deliverance:
Holy, holy, holy are you, God of steadfast love.
Creation sings your praises as on that first morning.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is the One who brings grace to us.

Hosanna in the highest!
You alone are holy, Hope of our lives, and Jesus Christ is your blessed righteousness.
When we got what we wanted in knowing both good and evil,
he came, so we might receive what we need most – your grace.
When we left the garden to enter the deserts of temptation,
he came , to show us the path back to your heart.
When we had given control of our lives to sin and death,
he came, to break their hold on us
as he was resurrected from the grave.
As we begin to follow him to Jerusalem, as we would choose to embrace his suffering,
we speak of that free gift called faith:
Christ died, going into the wilderness of the grave;
Christ was raised, shattering the grip of sin and death;
Christ will come, so we might follow him to the New Jerusalem.
You hold nothing back from us as the Spirit comes to rest
on the gifts of the bread and the cup, so that those gathered might be fed.
Like your heart, the bread is broken, so we might be made whole and,
by our healing, go forth to bring hope to those around us.
Like your Child, the cup is poured out, so we might be filled with your grace, and
go out into the world to empty ourselves for others.
And when our journeys in and out of the wildernesses of the world are ended,
you will gather us around the great Feast of the Lamb,
where we will sing glad songs of joy to you, God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Invitation

Sharing the Bread and Cup

Prayer after Receiving – Lord’s Prayer

* Closing HymnWhen We Are Living UMH 356

1. When we are living, it is in Christ Jesus, and when we’re dying, it is in the Lord. Both in our living and in our dying, we belong to God, we belong to God. We belong to God, we belong to God.

2. Through all our living, we our fruits must give. Good works of service are for offering. When we are giving, or when receiving, we belong to God, we belong to God. We belong to God, we belong to God.

3. ‘Mid times of sorrow and in times of pain, when sensing beauty or in love’s embrace, whether we suffer, or sing rejoicing, we belong to God, we belong to God. We belong to God, we belong to God.

4. Across this wide world, we shall always find those who are crying with no peace of mind, but when we help them, or when we feed them, we belong to God, we belong to God. We belong to God, we belong to God.

* Benediction

May God lead us to all who are afraid.
We will follow God into the barren spots of our world.
May Jesus lead us to all who look for a friend, a companion in this life.
We will follow Jesus into all the places where the lonely live.
May the Spirit lead us to all who are tossed aside by the world.
We will follow the Spirit to the neighborhoods filled with injustice, to bring hope.

* Choral ResponseAmen (Moore)

Amen.

* Ringing the Bicentennial Bell

Organ PostludeFinale in D minor (Jackson)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on February 28, 2020

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