February 7, 2021 Worship

5th Sunday after the Epiphany

 

Download the Worship Bulletin Here

 

We Gather      

 

CENTERING WORDS

How can we keep silent if we truly know the awesome power, mercy, and love of God?

 

PRELUDE                  My Life Flows On

 

WELCOME and CALL TO WORSHIP

Voice 1: Is anyone here feeling tired? 

Voice 2: YES! I am weary and weighed down with burdens. 

All: Take heart! God gives us strength and energy. 

Voice 1: Is anyone here hurt or grieving? 

Voice 2: YES! I am wounded and in pain. 

All: Take heart! God heals broken hearts.

Voice 1: Is anyone here short on cash, pinched for resources? 

Voice 2: YES! I am overwhelmed with debt and the effort of making ends meet. 

All: Take heart! God’s reward is free for the taking. 

Voice 1: Is anyone here left out, shunned, outcast? 

Voice 2: YES! I have been pushed to the margins, labeled unworthy of inclusion. 

All: Take heart! God is calling your name 

and waiting to gather you close in love!

 

OPENING HYMN       

How Lovely, Lord No. 402

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

 

How lovely, Lord, how lovely

is your abiding place;

my soul is longing, fainting,

to feast upon your grace.

The sparrow finds a shelter,

a place to build her nest;

and so your temple calls us

within its walls to rest.

 

A sun and shield forever

are you, O Lord Most High;

you shower us with blessings;

no good will you deny.

The saints, your grace receiving,

from strength to strength shall go,

and from their life shall rivers

of blessing overflow.

 

CALL TO PRAYERS

We walk through life, confident, strong, boasting of all our achievements.  But God sees the hurts we have inflicted on others, the weariness in our bones from chasing after bad choices, and all the foolishness we trip over in the busyness of life.  Let us come to God, for the One who listens to our faltering words is the One who gives us the Word filled with grace and mercy.  

 

PRAYERS OF APPROACH & CONFESSION

Holy One, with our ancestors and all the people of God, we gather to sing your praises. You are the one who has created the cosmos and the ants. You give food to whales and sparrows, name the stars, and count the hairs on our heads. Compassionate One, we offer you our thanksgiving for your many blessings. 

Powerful One, inspire us this day: to turn our praise into action, to share your good news with those who long to hear a word of hope, to proclaim your message of peace and justice throughout the world. Praise to you!

 

Silence

 

God of Strength, we confess our doubt. We are weary, but we turn to caffeine instead of waiting to be carried effortlessly on your eagle’s wings. 

Forgive us, we pray. 

God of Justice, we confess our lack of trust. We are outraged and angry, but we turn to name-calling, tweeting, and demonizing others instead of waiting for you to lift us up from the pit. 

Forgive us, we pray. 

God of Grace, we confess our reticence. We praise you with enthusiasm on Sunday, but then we turn to safe clichés about separating religion and politics when we could be proclaiming the message of your limitless love. 

Forgive us, we pray. 

 

Silence

Please refer to the Deacons’ prayer list in your bulletin.

 

ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US

Hear God’s promise to all: “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Know that God’s promise of grace and forgiveness is free of charge!

 

SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST

Each one of us has come here today needing to hear words of peace, grace, and love. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

And also with you.

 

We Reflect

 

CHILDREN’S MESSAGE

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

You who formed us, named us, and gathered us, open our ears to hear your message. You who give power to the faint, help us understand your message. You who uplift, strengthen, and heal, inspire us to proclaim your message. We pray in the name of Christ, who is the Message. Amen.

 

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Isaiah 40:21-31

 

SCRIPTURE LESSON

Mark 1:29-39

 

SERMON   Freedom For

Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro

We Respond

 

CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER 

The Invitation 

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving 

May God be with you.

May God be also with you.

People of God, open your hearts.

We open our hearts to God and to each other.

Let us give thanks to the Living God.

With joy and praise, we offer our thanks

to the One who offers abundant life.

 

The Words of Institution

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, 

on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread; 

and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; 

and lead us not into temptation, 

but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom and the power 

and the glory, forever. Amen.

 

The Communion

Musical Meditation  

Prayer following Communion

God of grace, you renew us at your table with the bread of life. May this food strengthen us in love and help us to serve you in each other. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Lord. Amen. 

 

OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING  

Invitation

As actions of grace and love, let us offer our gifts and lives to God.

Thank you for sending your offerings. 

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

First Sunday loose plate offering benefits the Deacons Fund.

  

Musical Meditation 

 

Prayer of Dedication

God, you have created the universe. Everything we see has come into being because of you. Your glory is beyond our comprehension. Yet, you give us the most precious gift imaginable: your everlasting love and faithfulness. With great joy we now offer our own gifts—puny in comparison, but given with grateful hearts which belong to you, now and always. We are thankful for the opportunity to put these gifts to work proclaiming your gospel of love. Amen.

 

We Are Sent 

 

CLOSING HYMN        

My Life Flows On No. 821

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

 

My life flows on in endless song,

above earth’s lamentation.

I hear the clear, though far-off hymn

that hails a new creation.

 

Refrain:

No storm can shake my inmost calm

while to that Rock I’m clinging.

Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,

how can I keep from singing?

 

Through all the tumult and the strife,

I hear that music ringing.

It finds an echo in my soul.

How can I keep from singing? (Refrain)

 

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,

a fountain ever springing!

All things are mine since I am his!

How can I keep from singing? (Refrain)

 

BENEDICTION

 

POSTLUDE        

 

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