CCLI license #1913561
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Our worship service for this Sunday, May 3, includes a celebration of Holy Communion. If you wish to partake of elements when appropriate in the service, we invite you to prepare your juice and your bread (or alternative) ahead of time. For those who will access the service through our web site, we will be recording the Communion service as well as the Sermon and Keisha’s music this week. We have always been a congregation of “unity in our diversity,” physical distancing can neither destroy our unity as God’s people nor our hope for the future. Peace, Lois and Russ Lehman More
CALL TO WORSHIP
Followers of Jesus, by his cross we are redeemed from the futility of sin; by his rising we are free from the fear of death. By his love we are made new in the living and enduring Word of God. Alleluia! Thanks be to God!
Living Lord, you meet us in unexpected places and surprise us the abundance of your love. Feed us by your Word and fill us with your Spirit so that we may follow you this day and always; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Savior. Amen
MUSIC Your Way Yahweh by Keisha Prime
CALL TO CONFESSION
If we are honest with ourselves, our hearts condemn us.
But God, who knows everything, is greater than our hearts;
and God’s deep desire for us is mercy, love, and peace.
Therefore, let us confess our sin.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Good and gracious God, we are creatures of dust, ignorant of your revelation, misunderstanding your life, death, and resurrection among us, needing forgiveness. We repent of our failure to give as you have given to us. We beg your mercy for our fallen world. We seek your Word, that we may live with the faith of Jesus. Be our solace in this life and always. We ask this as your own children, holy and incomplete. Forgive us and lead us. Amen
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Do not fear, says the Lord for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. God is doing a new thing; now it springs forth! By the grace of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God
Hymn “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” Henry Williams Baker TPH #175
The king of love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am His, and He is mine forever.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill With Thee dear Lord beside me.
Thy rod and staff my comfort still; Thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spreadest a table in my sight; Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight from Thy pure chalice floweth.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Holy God, by your Spirit reveal your radical, surprising love; come to us through your holy word, and let us hear what you are saying. Amen.
A NEW TESTAMENT READING Revelation 21:1-8 Common English Bible (CEB)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.” He also said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “All is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will freely give water from the life-giving spring. Those who emerge victorious will inherit these things. I will be their God, and they will be my sons and daughters. But for the cowardly, the faithless, the vile, the murderers, those who commit sexual immorality, those who use drugs and cast spells, the idolaters and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.” Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible
Sermon “A New Heaven and a New Earth” Rev. Lois Robinson Lehman
Offering of our gifts
Almighty God, in this time of global pandemic, when patterns of behavior which have been familiar to us are overturned and we face an uncertain future, we realize that we still have the personal gifts you gave us at conception and the skills we have developed over time. Help us to recognize those gifts and realize new ways to use them in service to you through service to others. In Christ’s name. Amen .
Service of Holy Communion
The Lord’s Prayer (sung)
May the grace of Jesus Christ our Risen Lord, the love of God who raised him from the dead and the power of the Holy Spirit who fills the world with new life, bless and keep you! AMEN
Hymn of Reflection
When We Face an Unknown Future
BEACH SPRING 184.108.40.206 D ("God Whose Giving Knows No Ending")
When we face an unknown future that we can’t imagine yet,
when the closeness we have treasured turns from blessing into threat—
As we miss our friends and loved ones, as we crave community,
may we look, God, in this season, for a whole new way to be.
Jesus faced the lonely desert as a time to look within.
There he met such trial and conflict; there he knew you were with him.
In this time of separation when we miss the life we’ve known,
may we hear your voice proclaiming: “I am here! You’re not alone.”
May we cherish those around us as we never have before.
May we think much less of profit; may we learn what matters more.
May we hear our neighbors’ suffering; may we see our neighbors’ pain.
May we learn new ways of offering life and health and hope again.
God, when illness comes to threaten, and when so much here goes wrong,
may we know this thing for certain— that your love is sure and strong.
You’re beside us in our suffering, and when times are surely tough,
we may face an unknown future, but it’s filled, Lord, with your love.
Tune: The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White
Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved. I finished this hymn concerning the pandemic a couple of weeks ago. Sojourners and The Presbyterian Outlook posted it on their web site