March 7, 2021 Worship
3rd Sunday in Lent
What if all our words were pleasing to God?
Might we discover wisdom and change the world?
WELCOME and CALL TO WORSHIP
The heavens declare the glory of God.
The earth proclaims God’s handiwork.
In speech without words, their voices are heard.
In praise without language,
their sounds extend throughout creation.
The law of God is perfect, reviving the soul.
The teachings of God are sure,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of God are right, rejoicing the heart.
The ordinances of God are true,
and are righteous altogether.
Come and proclaim with the heavens
the glory and majesty of our God.
OPENING HYMN Morning Has Broken No. 664
(Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.)
Morning has broken like the first morning;
blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning! Praise for them, springing fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain's new fall sunlit from heaven,
like the first dewfall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
sprung in completeness where God's feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning,
born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation; praise every morning,
God's re-creation of the new day!
CALL TO PRAYERS
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In humility and faith let us confess our sin to God.
PRAYERS OF APPROACH & CONFESSION
Loving God, we come to you in worship and thanksgiving. You are greater than we can understand;
open our eyes that we may see the wonderful truths you have shown to us in Jesus.
You are more loving than our hearts can respond to; help us to give ourselves to you in worship
so that we learn what you want us to be.
You are wiser than we can know;
still our minds as we worship you so that
we can understand the things you are saying to us.
Loving God, in Jesus you chose to come to the world in humility. You chose the path the world saw as foolish.
You used what the world considered weak.
We worship and adore you.
Jesus, cleanser of temples and souls, at this mid-point in the Lenten journey, look deep within our hearts and our lives, and clear away all that holds us back.
May our minds, spirits and bodies be a Temple that is open to your presence: and may our words and our actions be transparent to your love and truth.
We pray that this church community will be purified in its life and mission, so that all that we do in and from here may reveal your Gospel to others.
In a moment of silence we sit before you and name those things for which we seek your cleansing and healing, so that we may be more faithful disciples.
ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US
Friends of Jesus, we are made clean by the words he has spoken to us. There is room in our lives and in our community for the Holy One to dwell. Thanks be to God. Amen.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Let us pray.
Loving God, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit that, as the scriptures are read and your word proclaimed,
we may hear with joy what you say to us today. Amen.
SCRIPTURE LESSON Exodus 10:1-17
SCRIPTURE LESSON John 2:13-22
SERMON Rev. Kathryn R. Mustaro
Body of Christ
CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
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.
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
It is easy to offer our money and our gold, but God desires our hearts and our lives. Even as we offer our gifts this day, let us reflect on how we might give our hearts and lives, so that others may know the truth of God’s wisdom and love.
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.
Prayer of Dedication
Let us pray.
May the gifts we bring be gifts of love, O God. May the offerings we share be offerings of our hearts. May each gift be blessed by your grace, that others may know the truth of your wisdom and your love. Amen.
We Are Sent
CLOSING HYMN Christ Be With Us
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, used with permission Sung to HYFRYDOL No. 260
(You are invited to hum or meditate on verses 1 & 4 below.)
Christ be with us, Christ behind us,
Christ before us — all around!
Christ in busy, noisy cities,
Christ where hardly rings a sound.
Jesus, you're our Lord and Savior;
On your love we can depend.
Help us see your presence clearly
In each stranger and each friend.
Christ with all who keep on struggling, Helping others to be free;
Christ with churches working, searching For a greater unity;
Christ, in bread and wine, be with us,
Giving strength for each new day
In this world of daily crosses,
Be our joyful, living Way.
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. 64). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.
2 From The Worship Sourcebook 1.4.42. Posted on the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship website. Siddall, Ann, posted on the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre website.
4 Scifres, 66.
5 Ibid, 66.