March 21, 2021 Worship
5th Sunday in Lent
We are changing. You are changing. God is already at work in you, renewing your spirit. Anticipate the new thing that God is doing. Can you feel it?
WELCOME and CALL TO WORSHIP
Have mercy on your people, O God.
Wash us. Cleanse us.
Make us more perfect in your love.
Open the skies and pour down your grace upon your people.
Open our hearts to hear your voice.
Let the thunder of your presence awaken us!
Have mercy on your people, O God.
Restore within us the joy of your salvation.
Draw us nearer to Jesus, our Christ!
OPENING HYMN I’ll Praise My Maker No. 806 (Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.)
I'll praise my Maker while I've breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne'er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.
How happy they whose hopes rely
on Israel's God, who made the sky
and earth and seas with all their train;
whose truth forever stands secure,
who saves the oppressed and feeds the poor, and none shall find God's promise vain.
CALL TO PRAYERS
If we would see Jesus, we must open our eyes to the ways we have not followed him as disciples. If we want God to create new hearts within us, we must examine the old ways in which we continue to live. If we seek God's mercy, we must confess all that keeps us from living as God's children. Let us pray with open and honest hearts.
PRAYERS OF APPROACH & CONFESSION
God of love and mercy, open our hearts to your presence as we worship you this day.
Whether our prayers are filled with celebration or with loud cries and tears,
remind us that you are the source
of our eternal salvation.
Give us the strength to respond faithfully to your transforming love, that the joy of your salvation might shine in and through us all.
Wipe away our wrongdoing, clean our hearts, and make us more perfect. For it is in your perfect love that we are drawn more fully into your image.
God of steadfast love and mercy, we have shielded our eyes from the evil and injustice in the world.
We have turned away from your forgiveness and your compassion, and from your wisdom and your guidance.
We have allowed our voices to be silent.
Cleanse us. Purify us. Remind us that we still have
much to learn, and that you continue to teach us. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that our faith in you might be renewed. In humble confidence, we pray. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US
In the grace of God, through the love of Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are saved from brokenness and sin and are restored to the joy of God’s salvation.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
As people of faith, united in the steadfast love and mercy of God, let us share the peace of Christ, who is glorified for the sake of all. The peace of Christ be with you always!
And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Moving Spirit, come to this place and infuse our hearts with your wisdom. Move among us and inspire us to respond to your Word. Gather us as your people to do the will of Christ. Amen.
SCRIPTURE LESSON Jeremiah 31:31-34 SCRIPTURE LESSON John 12:20-33
SERMON Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro I’m Going With You
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Lord in your mercy/in thanksgiving,
Hear our prayer.
OUR GIFTS OF SACRIFICE and THANKSGIVING Invitation
As we anticipate the transformation already begun within us, as we look toward being made perfect in God’s holy love, let us respond in the joy of our salvation and in the hope of God’s covenant people.
Thank you for sending your offerings.
They make a great difference to our church’s work in the world.
Prayer of Dedication
Generous and all-loving God, grant us the wisdom to know you more completely. Give us the hope to live as your people. Inspire us to give of our spirits more fully, in the faith that your promise is already within us. As we give our gifts and tithes today, we recommit ourselves to your service and to the service of your people. May we do so in response to your unending call that beckons us and leads us home. We pray as followers of the glorified Christ. Amen.
We Are Sent
CLOSING HYMN O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go No. 833 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.)
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
and from the ground there blossoms red
life that shall endless be.
All songs not in the public domain are used by permission of CCLI #1124594.
1 Scifres, Mary; Beu, B. J.. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2021 (p. 73). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.
5 Ibid, 75.