Sunday, March 8, 2020

Second Sunday of Lent

Organ PreludeMesto (Gurney)

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: For God so loved the world
P: That God gave us Jesus, the only Son
L: So that everyone who believes
P: May not perish but have eternal life
L: God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world
P: But in order that the world might be saved through him.
L: God so loved the world
P: God loves us all, and God offers us new life in Christ.
Come, let us follow Christ, the only Son, the Messiah. Amen.

* Opening HymnLove Will Be Our Lenten Calling (Tune: ‘Picardy’)   UMH 626

Love will be our Lenten calling,
love to shake and shatter sin,
waking every closed, cold spirit,
stirring new life deep within,
till the quickened heart remembers
what our Easter birth can mean.

Peace will be our Lenten living
as we turn for home again,
longing for the words of pardon,
stripping off old grief and pain,
till we stand, restored and joyful,
with the Church on Easter day.

Truth will be our Lenten learning:
hear the Crucified One call!
Shadowed by the Savior’s passion,
images and idols fall,
and, in Easter’s holy splendor,
God alone is all in all. (E. Smith)

Prayer of Invocation (All)

Gracious and glorious Lord, we come, as did Nicodemus, with questions on our hearts and in our lives. We come hoping someone can help us find answers and healing. But we are also hardened with doubts about self, others, and even you. Grant us healing and openness to your spirit that we may be better servants of your Word, your Will, and your Way. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Moments

AnthemGod So Loved the World (Stainer/Dash)

God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that who so believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.

Old Testament Lesson – Genesis 12:1-4   Cathy Dryden, Liturgist

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Prayer of Confession

L: Abraham obviously had no problem believing that God would help him and his family as they journeyed forth into the unknown; and Jesus was able to journey towards Jerusalem believing that God would be his strong help and guide on the way. We confess, O God, our readiness to affirm our belief in your guidance,
P: Yet we fear to move into the unknown on behalf of the gospel.
L: Abraham ventured forth into a future not of his own making, but in response to your call on his life, O God.
P: We find that it is risky enough trying to shape our own future.
L: Jesus must have been aware that the risks he was taking would lead him into trouble; but he carried on, knowing that your Spirit, O God, was helping him give shape to a future where justice and righteousness reign. We want to experience the new life that the Spirit breathes into us so that we too can give shape to that future.
P: But we don’t really want our present condition disturbed too much.
L: Break through our resistance and our fear O God, with your perfect and all-reaching love; so that we may hear and respond to your call, your promises, your leadership in our lives with heightened enthusiasm and deepened faith.
P: Gracious and loving God, forgive our lack of trust in you;
L: help us when we hesitate, and strengthen us where we are weak.
P: Blow your Spirit afresh into our hearts and minds so that we have courage to follow Jesus wherever he leads us. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

L: “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3: 17) And so I declare to you: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
P: Thanks be to God.

* Hymn of Preparation To God Be the Glory UMH 98

1. To God be the glory, great things he hath done! So loved he the world that he gave us his Son, who yielded his life an atonement for sin, and opened the life-gate that all may go in. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice! O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son, and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

2. O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, to every believer the promise of God; the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice! O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son, and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

3. Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done, and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son; but purer, and higher, and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice! O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son, and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

Gospel Lesson – John 3:1-17

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Sermon – “Late Night Questions”   Rev. Debbie Scott

Invitation to Offering

OffertoryLord, You Give the Great Commission (Taylor)

Lord, You give the great commission:
“Heal the sick and preach the Word.”
Lest the Church neglect its mission,
And the Gospel go unheard,
Help us witness to Your purpose
With renewed integrity,
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
For the work of ministry.

Lord, You make the common holy:
“This My body, this My blood.”
Let us all, for earth’s true glory,
Daily lift life heavenward,
Asking that the world around us
Share your children’s liberty
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
For the work of ministry.

Lord, You bless with words assuring:
“I am with you to the end.”
Faith and hope and love restoring,
May we serve as You intend
And, amid the cares that claim us,
Hold in mind eternity.
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
For the work of ministry.

Presentation of Tithes and Offerings

* 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)

God of grace and truth, we offer these gifts and our lives in response to your great gift of Jesus – sign of your everlasting love for all people. Breathe your Spirit into us and empower us to witness to that great love through all we say and do, and wherever we go, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

* Closing HymnWhat Wondrous Love Is This UMH 292

1. What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul, what wondrous love is this, O my soul! What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

2. What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul, what wondrous love is this, O my soul! What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of life to lay aside his crown for my soul, for my soul, to lay` aside his crown for my soul.

3. To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing, to God and to the Lamb, I will sing; to God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM, while millions join the theme I will sing, I will sing; while millions join the theme I will sing.

4. And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on; and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and through eternity I’ll sing on.

* Benediction

L: Time has now come for us to leave this sacred place. As we do, may we embrace the challenges of our lives and our world . . . Worship need not cease.
P: It can echo in our lives, in our words, in our deeds, in our dreams.
L: Carry worship with you wherever you may go. Be a blessing in your going out and your coming in.

* Choral ResponseSteal Away (Spiritual)

Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus;
Steal away, steal away home, I ain’t got time to stay here.

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Organ PostludeAllegro solenne (Thomson)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on March 5, 2020

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