March 22nd Worship 4th Sunday of Lent

psalm 23 art

Music: Craig Sparks, Music Director                             Lay Reader: Queenline Bihsi                                          Pastor: Rev. Jenny Williams, Support Pastor

Join us by calling 605-313-4813, and then entering 9862613 when prompted.

PLEASE DO NOT INTRODUCE YOURSELF WHEN FIRST JOINING THE CALL. PLACE YOUR PHONE ON MUTE AND WE WILL INTRODUCE OURSELVES LATER IN THE SERVICE. THANK YOU!

 

Prelude

Call to Worship

One:   Lord, open our eyes to your presence,

open our ears to your call,

open our hearts to your love;

Many: that we may give ourselves to you

            and walk before you as children of light;

            through him who is the Light of the World,

            Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Almighty and merciful God, we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. O Lord, have mercy upon us. Spare those who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent, according to your promises declared in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O merciful God, for his sake, that we may live a holy, just and humble life to the glory of your holy name. Amen

 Assurance of Pardon

Welcome – Time to introduce ourselves on the call

Joys and Concerns

Prayer of Illumination

Scripture Readings

Psalm 23 (King James Version)

1  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

                                                Time for Reflection with Music

 Ephesians 5:8-14 (NRSV)

8For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

This is the Word of our Lord for us today.

 

Singing God’s Praises               The Lord Is My Light                              Hymn 842

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation: in God I trust; in God I trust.

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation: in God I trust; in God I trust.

 

Reflection and Sharing

All of us have lived in the darkness at one time or another. Darkness is associated with an inability to see well – perhaps lacking insight – and the desire to hide, to cover up. Of course, these understandings are based on the darkness of night as opposed to the brightness of day. Our dark times could come from many experiences and frames of mind. They could come from heartbreak or a crushed spirit, from greed or jealousy, from arrogance or neediness. Paul uses the darkness as a metaphor for ignorance of the Lord and contrasts this with the light of trust and obedience to God. We are called to “rise” from spiritual death and open ourselves to the transforming light of God. In Lent we are asked to explore our darkness and contemplate the areas of our lives that need God’s light.

How do we find light in the darkness?

How do we shine light into the world?

What are the light bringers in our lives?

How do we “expose them (the unfruitful works of darkness)” as Paul puts it.

 

Time for Silent Reflection and Music

Offertory

Friends, please take this time to make an on-line contribution or prepare an offering to mail.

Music

Prayer of Dedication

An Encouraging Message from Pastor Deborah’s blog

The coronavirus is forcing us all into a sabbatical of sorts.  Terms like shelter in place, self-quarantine and social distancing have now become part of our daily vocabulary.
I am unable to travel to Ghana and Kenya right now, but I am planning to continue learning about and experiencing some Ghanaian and Kenyan culture. Tonight, I prepared ground nut stew from Ghana (beef, onions, tomatoes, peanut butter and spices).  Served over rice, we are well nourished.  God is good.

 

Prayers of the People

Let us pray together:

God, creator of light, we thank you for the light you shine into our lives – a beautiful spring, air and water and ground nut stew. We pray that you remember all who walk in darkness, all who do not know your love, all who are unaware of your light. We pray that your church can shine your light in the world – bringing hope and nourishment, speaking truth to power. Remember us, Lord, and help us proclaim and share the love and comfort of the good shepherd in our families and in our communities. Jesus, light of the world, scatter the darkness from our hearts and minds. Today we pray especially for…                       Amen.

Benediction 

Go to celebrate all that God has done as Christ breathes new life into you, sending you out with the spirit of forgiveness and faith for the life of the world. Now may the grace of God, the love of Christ, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit go with us all.

Postlude

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