February 21, 2021 Worship

1st Sunday in Lent

Download the Worship Bulletin Here

 

We Gather

 

CENTERING WORDS

I offer my life to you, God, for I know that you love me dearly and faithfully. I offer my life to you, God. Teach me your paths. 

PRELUDE 

 

WELCOME and CALL TO WORSHIP 

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, 

he emerged from the waters . . . 

to see the heavens splitting open 

and the Spirit soaring down like a dove. 

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, 

he stood up from the waters and heard: 

“You are my Son, the Beloved; 

with you I am well pleased.” 

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, 

he emerged from the waters . . . 

to walk a new path and to call the world to join him. Here comes God’s kingdom. Teach us your path, brother Jesus. Now is the time! 

 

OPENING HYMN In the Midst of New Dimensions No. 315

 

(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

In the midst of new dimensions, 

in the face of changing ways, 

who will lead the pilgrim peoples 

wandering in their separate ways? 

Refrain: 

God of rainbow, fiery pillar, 

leading where the eagles soar, 

we your people, ours the journey 

now and ever, now and ever, 

now and evermore. 

As we stand, a world divided 

by our own self-seeking schemes, 

grant that we, your global village, 

might envision wider dreams. (Refrain) 

We are man and we are woman, 

all persuasions, old and young, 

each a gift in your creation, 

each a love song to be sung. (Refrain) 

CALL TO PRAYERS

God takes our broken promises and turns them into vows of faithfulness. God takes our biggest failings and shapes lives of service. God listens to our prayers of confession and changes them into songs of mercy. Let us come to the One who pours forgiveness into our lives. 

PRAYERS OF APPROACH & CONFESSION

Creator and Sovereign, our world and our lives are often full of threat. We return to you in this place today to be reminded that you do not abandon us to the hard realities of our lives. 

You are the one who saves us. You are the one who faithfully teaches us your life-giving ways. You are the one who instills courage within us to stand up from the waters of our baptism and to walk your path. Enter our hearts and lives for your powerful purposes, in the name of our baptized brother Jesus and the soaring Spirit. 

Silence 

God of faithful love and powerful purpose, there are times when we are open to your leading— times when we walk the path of Jesus with courage and hope, even when doing so is fearful. At other times, we close ourselves off, 

hoping that you won’t tear open the skies 

and disrupt our lives completely. 

Following Jesus can be pretty risky. 

Your compassion and faithful love claim us forever, as they claimed Jesus when he entered the Jordan and made a bold decision to follow you on a new and uncertain path. Amen. 

ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US

Yes, God’s compassion and love are forever! 

What God said of Jesus at his baptism, God says to us today: You are my dearly loved children, whom I love deeply. God forgives us and loves us dearly, now and forevermore. 

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST 

God calls Jesus “my Child,” “my Son”—beautiful words that get at their cherished relationship of oneness. God is saying to Jesus, “We belong to one another!” Jesus would later call all who follow him his brothers and sisters. That means we belong to one another in Christ Jesus. As cherished members of the family of God, let us greet one another with the peace of Christ. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you! 

And also with you. 

We Reflect 

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION 

Divine Teacher, teach us through the example of your life. Bringer of Good News, call out your good news to us again. Reign of God, break into our lives and our world right now. Amen. 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Genesis 9:8-17 GOSPEL LESSON Mark 1:9-15 

SERMON Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro Wilderness Faith 

We Respond 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Lord in your mercy/in thanksgiving, 

Hear our prayer. 

OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING Invitation 

We can say with Jesus today, “Here comes God’s kingdom! . . . Trust this good news!” Because we trust the power and love of God, and we live into God’s kingdom, let us give the gifts of our lives to God, including the pieces of our lives for God to transform. May our gifts announce God’s in-breaking kingdom, transforming us and our world. 

Thank you for sending your offerings. 

They make a great difference to our church’s work in the world.

Musical Meditation 

Prayer of Dedication 

Because you are the God who saves us, 

we give you these gifts. 

Take our lives and our gifts and use them 

to save our world. We put our hope in you. Amen.

 

We Are Sent 

 

CLOSING HYMN Remember Not No. 515 Brenton Prigge, NewHymn (used by permission) Tune: DOVE OF PEACE (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

To you, O Lord, I lift my soul - 

teach me to know your ways. 

Remember not my sinful deeds, 

and put me not to shame. 

And put me not to shame. 

To you, O Lord, I bare my soul - 

my sins I cannot hide. 

For every one was on that cross 

when my dear Savior died. 

When my dear Savior died. 

I pray, dear Lord, come cleanse my soul, 

and raise me up with Him 

who in the Spirit's holy pow'r, 

has conquered death and sin. 

Has conquered death and sin. 

Remember not my sins, O Lord, 

be merciful I pray. 

As far as east is from the west, 

you cast my sins away.

You cast my sins away. 

BENEDICTION

God continues to tear open the heavens of our world and our lives, calling out with a voice of love: 

“You are my beloved children, whom I love deeply.” God continues to tear open the heavens of our world and our lives, sending us onto new paths and missions. God changes our hearts and lives, 

and the Spirit pushes us in new directions. 

“Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom!” 

We are Jesus people. We are kingdom people. Now is the time! Amen. 

 

POSTLUDE 

All songs not in the public domain are used by permission of CCLI #1124594. 6Ibid, 58.

References

Scifres, Mary; Beu, B. J.. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2021 (p. 54). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

Shuman, Thom, Liturgy w/Communion for February 22, 2015, Lectionary Liturgies, accessed at http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/2015/02/liturgy-wcommunion-for-february-22-2015.html

Scifres, 54-55.

Ibid, 56.

Ibid, 57.

ABOUT US

We believe all persons are MINISTERS: EACH AND EVERY ONE. With God's grace, we seek to be an open and affirming congregation - one that includes all persons.

ADDRESS

57 Sand Hills Road

Kendall Park, NJ 08824

732-297-9182

office@gracepcsb.org