March 29, 2020 Worship Service
March 29, 2020, The 5th Sunday in Lent (Generously shared by Pastor Rick Pryce - ELCIC)
" Pastor Rick Pryce." Hello everyone. Again, thank you to Pastor Pryce for this blessed order of service. "May you experience peace in the midst of this current storm, and find ways to serve your neighbour which are appropriate to the day As we are unable to worship together in body we can do so in the Spirit of the Lord. Grace and peace to you all.”
Pastor Laurel: I encourage you to join me on Sunday morning at 10:00 am with this short service. Gather with the loved ones in your home; worship together over the phone with others who have received this service, or maybe more importantly with those without email who won't receive it; or with only you and God in your personal space. Reach out to your brothers and sisters in Christ as we worship together.
Mar 26 Update:Your are encouraged to check out the ELCIC (National Church site) for links to various dail devotions, live streamed services from across the country, and other worship/devotional offerings.
Mar 26 Update re offerings: On Mar 25 congregations have received information from the ELCIC and MNO Synod offices in regards to different options available to send in your offerings. We bring that info to you via website or email. God bless your offering for the work of the Church.
Prayers daily: For the medical researchers seeking a response to the COVID-19 virus; for the world's medical professionals, first responders and volunteers; the world leaders making decisions on our safety; for the clergy who are sharing ideas and possibilities of ministry in a different way through these new circumstances; and the men and women who go into the world every day to serve in grocery stores, pharmacy's and other emergency retailers. Hold fast to God's love, mercy and grace, "Be not afraid for I AM with you." (paraphrased)
Worship Service: March 29, 2020, Lent 5(adapted re Rev. Rick Pryce)
Parts of this service marked with an asterisk (*) may be led by one person.
* We worship as we live, in the name of the Father,
and of the Son (✝), and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God who is love, we come admitting the brokenness in our lives:
the brokenness between ourselves, the brokenness between nations,
the brokenness between humanity and creation.
Give us the courage to acknowledge this truth.
Give us the faith to trust your presence.
Give us the desire to share your healing,
promised and provided in Jesus Christ (✝) our Lord. Amen.
Hymn (Read or sung together) - "What Wondrous Love" ELW 666
(Hymn lyrics printed under OneLicence # 731166-A)
For those of you reading this on line, a choral version of this hymn may be heard by clicking here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsVnvN3EVxY
or YOUTUBE to St. Olaf Choir - "What Wondrous Love" - Southern Harmony, arr. Robert Scholz
1. What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul?
2. When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.
3. To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing,
To God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM,
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
while millions join the theme, I will sing.
4. And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing God’s love for me,
and through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity, I’ll sing on.
Prayer of the Day (Prayer used by permission of Augsburg Fortress)
* God is with us. Let us pray:
** Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ, and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 37:1-14 The dry bones of Israel brought to life
Psalm: Psalm 130
1 Out | of the depths
I cry to | you, O Lord;
2 O Lord, | hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my | supplication.
3 If you were to keep watch | over sins,
O Lord, | who could stand?
4 Yet with you | is forgiveness,
in order that you | may be feared. R
5 I wait for you, O Lord; | my soul waits;
in your word | is my hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord more than those who keep watch | for the morning, more than those who keep watch | for the morning.
7 O Israel, wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is | steadfast love;
with the Lord there is plen- | teous redemption.
8 For the Lord shall | redeem Israel
from | all their sins. RI
Romans 8:6-11 Life in the Spirit
Gospel- Baptismal image: the raising of Lazarus
The Holy Gospel According to St. John 11:1-45
"Glory to you, O Lord"
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it, he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the [Jewish leaders] were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’ After saying this, he told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.’ Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’ When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many [people] had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’ When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The [those] who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and [those] who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So [they] said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’ Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ
*This is an incredibly powerful story. It is full of real human interactions, real human suffering and pain, and also real human hope. Read this Gospel more than once. Each time you do so, focus on the different people, their responses, the or anything that captures your attention. But it is important for us not to jump too quickly into the so-called “happy ending.” There is much for us to gain by waiting, by lingering, by sitting in the house with Mary and Martha, by gathering outside the tomb with the crowd, by standing and weeping with Jesus. It is crucial for us to hold onto the fact that Jesus did not rush in to “fix” this situation. The way John tells his story, this waiting, this delay, this pause is a central part of this encounter. Yes, there is Good News at the end. Yes, there is hope for all of us. Yet, without the waiting, without the pause, without entering deeply into the pain and abandonment, we will likely miss the whole point. Jesus does not come to “fix” things. Rather, Jesus comes to point us to the presence of the one who is with us even in the middle of our broken, painful, “un-fixed” world. This is pretty important for us right now. We are isolated. We are separated from each other. Sure, we can talk on our phones or computers, and these are important to maintain. But, as you well know, they are no substitute for face-to-face conversation; they are no replacement for chats in the living rooms of friends, or suppers with family in restaurants, or worship together in church. You and I are very much like Mary and Martha right now, craving the presence of Jesus, wondering why he is delaying, wondering why he isn’t coming and “fixing this.” This is a very normal feeling. It is completely understandable. I am feeling this myself. We all are. So let us wait for Jesus together. Let us stay in this silent space for a time with each other. Let us hold to the promise that he is indeed coming, even while we admit that it is, at times, hard to be patient. Let us remain with Mary and Martha, and see what the Lord will bring.
Prayers of the people
* Acknowledging our broken world, we come to God in prayer, asking for faith and healing.
[Short pause to gather ourselves to be present and centrered in God)
* God of love, we are broken; we are isolated; we are sick and we are dying; and, like Martha, we wonder why you do not come. Thank you for listening to our complaint. In your unbounded mercy, Hear our prayer.
* God of love, we are mourning; we are crying; we are in pain, and, like Mary, we wonder why you have not stepped in. Thank you for crying with us. In your unbounded mercy, Hear our prayer.
* God of love, our world is in turmoil; our lives have been turned upside down; we hear conflicting messages, and like Mary and Martha, we wonder why you seem so distant. Thank you for your promise which walks through our confusion with us. In your unbounded mercy, Hear our prayer.
* God of love, your church is cut off; we are unable to gather, and like the crowds, we feel powerless in the face of this overwhelming reality. Thank you for letting us hear your prayer. In your unbounded mercy, Hear our prayer.
* God of love, we are conscious of so much need; we are surrounded by discouragement; we are overwhelmed with the desperation of so many people, so many causes, so much pain, and like Mary, Martha and the crowds, we only seem capable of hearing our own anxiety. Thank you for your silent compassion which provides us a safe place to be. In your unbounded mercy,Hear our prayer.
* God of love, we are aware of those who are sick, those who care for them, those whose work is suddenly dangerous, those who cannot work, those who are attempting keep us safe, and those whom we name before you. [especially we lift up Jack, Fern, Renata, Dorothy B., Deb E., Pete and Ella, and the members of Redeemer who face health issues each day. We lift our loved ones, friends, co-workers whom we name aloud or in the quiet of our hearts....) We thank you, Lord, for your promise that nothing will separate us from your love. In your unbounded mercy, Hear our prayer.
* God of love, we crave your presence; we crave your healing; we crave your life, and like Lazarus, we wait for your call. Thank you for coming. In your unbounded mercy, Hear our prayer.
Trusting the promise of mercy, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who taught us to pray,
Lord’s Prayer (Prayer used by permission of Augsburg Fortress)
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, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are your, now and forever. Amen.
Benediction (Read together)
May almighty God,
The Father who created us to live in love,
The Son (✝) who died and rose to bring us new life,
And the Spirit who gently guides us in all our hard places,
bless us all, now and forever. Amen.
Go in Peace, Christ is with you
Thanks be to God.
Thank you to Pastor Rick Pryce for sharing his service with the greater church.