Sunday, March 21, 2021 – Fifth Sunday of Lent
“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo
Greeter Chris Verone and Pearl Bodor
Prelude: Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” and “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” Violins: Ursula Merriman, Judith Clemens, and Steve Wysocki Bonnie Banks-Beers, piano.
Welcome No matter who you are or where you are on your journey, you are welcome here!
We are gathered and ready and aware of God’s presence
Merciful God, your steadfast love and desire to forgive give us courage to face the wrongs that we have done. We confess that we have broken our communities; we have turned away the stranger; we have forgotten to love the land. We have pushed your priorities aside and refused to let your commandments question what we do. Forgive us, we pray. Restore us to our rightful minds, that we may walk with you in caring for your world and all its creatures, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Gathering Song “Change My Heart, O God” -led by Juith and Greg Clemens
WE PROCLAIM GOD’S WORD
First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34 Anne Baum
The Judeans in Babylon blamed their exile on their ancestors, who had broken the covenant established at Sinai. Here the prophet looks to a day when God will make a new covenant with the people. There will be no need to teach the law, because God will write it on their hearts.
31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
Reflections on my Journey of Faith Alice Karpa
Gospel: John 12:20-26
Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time to celebrate the Passover festival. Here Jesus’ words about seeds planted in the ground turn the disaster of his death into the promise of a harvest in which everyone will be gathered.
20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
Help us God, as we seek to interpret what this means for our lives.
Message Song “Take My Life, That I May Be” ~ Ferd Piccuirro and Steve Wysocki
“Be Still and Know”
Prayers Angela Drake
Relying on the promises of God, we pray boldly for the church, the world, and all in need. Let us begin with our silent personal prayers. A brief silence.
O God, you wash us through and through and remember our sin no more. Make your church a community of forgiveness throughout the world. Give us the understanding and courage to forgive, and we will show the world new possibilities. Bless all ministries of repentance and reconciliation.
The Fruit of the Spirit is forgiveness
O God, you fill the earth—from tiny grains of wheat to the mighty thunder—with your presence. We will do everything we can to fulfill your will for the health of all creation. Grant weather that prepares the soil for seeds. Bless those that plant the seeds and tend their growth. Protect all from violent storms, flooding, and wildfires. Grant us wisdom and courage to do our part in protecting the environment.
The Fruit of the Spirit is wisdom
O God, you promise to write your law on our hearts. Guide us and all citizens throughout the world to shape communities that reflect your mercy, justice, and peace, We promise to use our knowledge and creativity to work for the welfare of all.
The Fruit of the Spirit is peace
O God, you sustain us with your bountiful Spirit. Restore the joy of all who need to know your presence: those who are lonely or feel unforgivable, those who need healing of mind or body, those who are dying, and all who grieve. Today we pray especially for Mary Ann & Esther, Geoff Baer, Neil McCardle, Diane Voron, Timmy Henn, Jr., Andrea & Jerry, Kyle, Ruth, Rudy, Hugh, Joanne, Sean, Kay, Cathy, Kristen, Larry, Debbie Riegel, Wendy, Gene Heft, Molly, Carol Mitchell, Joe Kupsky, Teri, Patti Ruth, Megan, Kathleen, Theresa Sherwin, Jane Atherholt, Donna Rader, Janet Mills, Dan, Emily, Wesley, Kevin, Lauren, Linda, Leo, Mel, Linda, Kristen, Tim M., Claudia, Pat & Al Apple, Anne Z, Lois Hazel, Janet Z., Maryse, Troy Nesfeder, and Erna & Tony . For Sal Boscia who is in hospice care. and all those who suffer from the COVID-19 virus and those who mourn for those who have succumbed to it, and we pray silently for loved ones we name in our hearts. . A brief silence.
The Fruit of the Spirit is compassion
O God, Jesus calls us to follow him in life and death. Empower every member of this congregation in discipleship. Equip leaders of confirmation and learning ministries. Give us your truth and wisdom, and encourage us as we strive to put into practice the example of Jesus in our lives.
The Fruit of the Spirit is love
O God, in the cross of Christ, your name is glorified. We praise you for those who have given us words, examples, and faith. With all those who have died in Christ, bring us into life everlasting.
The Fruit of the Spirit is service
We entrust ourselves and all our prayers to you, O faithful God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Closing Hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth” -Led by Judy Clemens
Benediction “Bind Us Together” — led by Carolyn Raudenbush
Dismissal: Go in peace. Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God.