March 22, 2020
Worship – At Home
Good Morning, Due to file size, those using Windows might not be able to see the video and will only hear audio. Here is the link to download a free media player which should be a workaround to that problem:
Those using a Mac or iPhone – it will take a little while to download the videos.
Next week – new plan! Lots to learn. Thinking of and praying for all of you, Beth
Order of Worship
Call to Worship
When the world is no longer a paradise
and creation shows its power over us still
and we are brought down to size on this small planet of ours,
When the memories linger of the past
and war shapes us beyond our knowing
and conflict becomes a story of life,
When the way is more barren than beautiful,
when the path is more a climb than a stroll,
when the desert expands and the horizon stretches,
because we can.
because we hope.
because we know our vulnerability
when things shift
and we need to hold on,
as it is the only strength we have for the journey, it is the task of Lent, it is our response to a good and loving God. Amen.
(Roddy Hamilton, Church of Scotland website)
Call to confession
Once we were in darkness, but now we walk in the light. As children of the light, we know that when we confess our sin and expose it to the light of Christ, God grants forgiveness and brings healing. With the confidence of the children of God, let us confess our sin to God and before one another.
Prayer of confession
Lord, we are afraid. We cannot hold back our pressing and many worries. We know you tell us not to be anxious, but in this tumultuous time,
our anxiety mounts and our faith waivers. Forgive us for how much
we previously took for granted, the ability to worship in person, the opportunities to embrace one another, the freedom to come and go as we wished. Forgive us, too, for failing to see those all around us who lacked community, longed for touch and were isolated well before this forced social distancing. Hear our heartfelt confession and turn our fears into faithful action for the sake of your beloved world. (Silent prayer) Amen.
Assurance of pardon
Friends, who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Believe the good news, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
Music I Will Sing of my Redeemer
(Played by Kathy Flore)
Prayer for illumination
Scripture reading John 9:1-41
(The color is here because we were going to read it in parts – feel free to try this at home)
1 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, “We see,’ your sin remains.
Affirmation of faith — From the Confession of 1967, Section B, 9.15 (inclusive version)
God’s sovereign love is a mystery beyond the reach of the human mind. Human thought ascribes to God superlatives of power, wisdom, and goodness. But God reveals divine love in Jesus Christ by showing power in the form of a servant, wisdom in the folly of the cross, and goodness in receiving sinful people. The power of God’s love in Christ to transform the world discloses that the Redeemer is the Lord and Creator who made all things to serve the purpose of God’s love.
Call for the offering
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is within it. While we worship in a multitude of places we gather together our respective offerings, knowing that God will take them, bless them and use them for the building up of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.
Prayer of dedication
Gracious God, it is a privilege to partner with you in sharing the good news of the gospel in Word and deed. We ask your blessings on these gifts offered in faith and given with joy. May they be an outward sign of your mercy and grace and a witness to your overflowing goodness toward all of creation.
Music – Listen to the recording of Aligeri’s Misere below.
Prayers of the people and the Lord’s Prayer
(Prayers written by Jill Dufflield, editor of Presbyterian Outlook)
Music Amazing Grace
Charge and benediction
Go out into the world in peace; have courage; hold on to what is good; return no one evil for evil; support the weak; help the suffering; honor all people; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Allegri’s setting of Psalm 51, the Miserere –
This is the Psalmist’s plea for mercy and a clean heart which has been at the heart of communal worship and personal prayer, especially during Lent, for thousands of years. This music written in the late 1630’s was considered so sacred that it was forbidden to transcribe it, and to perform it anywhere except in the Sistine Chapel, under threat of excommunication. The choir sings in nine parts, divided between two choirs and a treble voice that soars above the plainsong to high C. Legend has it that Mozart heard the Miserere performed at age fourteen, and later transcribed it from memory. Mozart’s transcription was published, and he was summoned to Rome by the pope who commended him rather than excommunicating him.
Performed here by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, directed by Timothy Brown.
Have mercy upon me, O God, after Thy great goodness
According to the multitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences.
Wash me throughly from my wickedness: and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults: and my sin is ever before me.
Against Thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:
that Thou mightest be justified in Thy saying, and clear when Thou art judged.
Behold, I was shapen in wickedness: and in sin hath my mother conceived me.
But lo, Thou requirest truth in the inward parts: and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness:
that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.
Turn Thy face from my sins: and put out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence: and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
O give me the comfort of Thy help again: and stablish me with Thy free Spirit.
Then shall I teach Thy ways unto the wicked: and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.
Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou that art the God of my health:
and my tongue shall sing of Thy righteousness.
Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord: and my mouth shall shew Thy praise.
For Thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it Thee: but Thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt Thou not despise.
O be favorable and gracious unto Zion: build Thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt Thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness,
with the burnt-offerings and oblations: then shall they offer young bullocks upon Thine altar.
Latin, for those who are following along….
Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hysopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proiicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae: et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Ierusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta:
tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.
March 15, 2020
Worship – At Home
Wellspring of eternal life, we come to you this day having drunk deeply the waters of anxiety and despair. Bring us to your living water. Quench our thirsting souls, for we seek your truth and trust in you. Even though we are not located in the same place may our spirits unite in prayer and praise. Amen.
5 So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. 7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, “I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.” 27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” 30 They left the city and were on their way to him. 31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35 Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36 The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
The thought of Jesus sitting alone by the well is an invitation to be with him. As he looked at the woman, he looks at me: he longs to offer me life; he invites me to see the deeper meaning in what I do; he respects my dignity, asking me to do what I can for him. What is it that I am called to do at this time?
When Jesus says, “If you knew…”, he reveals his desire to draw us into knowing God as he does. His open and generous heart is the heart of God, inviting us to come to the place where we are known and loved, to find enduring life and lasting refreshment. Ponder this hope…
God of mercy, hear the prayers of your thirsting people.
God of all peoples, just as Jesus and his disciples journeyed through Samaria to reach their appointed destination; teach us to how to walk through strange, foreign places, how to meet people different from ourselves— that we might say to them “come and see”. You bypass no one; in this may we follow you.
May we also be like the Samaritan woman: willing to examine our lives in Jesus’ presence that we may grow to be true worshipers of the Father in spirit and in truth, that we may share with those we know what it is like to meet with Jesus. His truth revealed her faults, yet liberated the unnamed woman.
Drink deeply of the waters of Salvation and quench your thirst for truth, for the Lord is with you. Abide in God’s peace. Amen
Leave me alone with God as much as may be. As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore, make me an island, set apart, alone with You, God, holy to You.
Then with the turning of the tide, prepare me to carry Your presence to the busy world beyond, the world that rushes in on me, till the waves come again and fold me back to You.
Prayer for Wisdom During this Time
Let us pray this prayer during this and the coming weeks:
God of all that is seen and unseen, our anxiety rises as the invisible coronavirus spreads. We worry about the impact of this illness on healthcare workers, older adults, those already physically fragile, the vulnerable among us and people whose livelihoods are tied to the regular movement of people and commerce. We recognize in this moment how inextricably connected we are to one another and we hope that this unmistakable realization will shape all our actions in ways that foster the common good, increase compassion and expand communal care.
As people is positions of leadership in religious communities, educational institutions, hospitals, government and local communities face difficult choices about how to address the complex challenges this virus brings, grant them wisdom and courage. Knowing that we are flawed and that our knowledge is incomplete, make us humble in our judgment, patient with one another, and gracious toward those tasked with the burden of making hard decisions in the days ahead.
Bring healing to the sick, strength to the caregivers, comfort to those who mourn, peace to those in quarantine and mercy to all of your beloved creation. Amen.
I was broken until I got to the potter
I was alone no one could help me out
I was empty and dry
Until the rain fell downSo where do we go from here?
Lost in the middle of nowhere close to home
And I can hear your voice so clear
Saying come to where you are
So I’m running
Cause I need living water
I’m coming back to the well where we first met
I need living water, pour yourself in me
Cause you are all I need
Moving fast, through life
Tryin to be the best I can
Outside, while forgetting what I need to last
This time would you lead me and hold my hand?
So where do we go from here?
Caught in the middle of somewhere close to home
And I can hear your voice so clear
Saying come here where you are
So I’m running
Cause I need, living water, I’m going back to the place
Where we first met
I need living water, pour yourself in me
Cause I need, living water, I’m going back to the well
Where we first met
I need living water, pour yourself in me
You are all I need, living water
You’re living water, living water