March 22, 2020 Worship
Words of Welcome
Call to Worship (from Psalm 24:1-6, adapted)
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and all creatures who live in it;
for God has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
and do not live deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him,
who seek the face of God.
Opening Song “Joyful Joyful, We Adore Thee” UMH # 89
Silence and Centering Prayer
Liturgist: Let us pause for a moment of centering in silence, preparing ourselves to receive the scripture lesson for today.
Now, let us open our hearts and minds to receive these words from the Holy Scriptures.
Scripture Reading Psalm 148
Anthem “The Blue Green Hills of Earth” Wakefield Choral Society
Sermon “The Earth is the Lord’s!” Pastor Craig
“The Dance of Plants”
Liturgist: Let us open our hearts and speak these truths to the One in whom we live, move, and have our being:
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We confess our fascination with our own technological cleverness, but our failure to truly appreciate the complexity, diversity, and amazing wonder of your Creation.
We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We have been wasteful of the earth’s riches, disrespectful of other species, and prone to view ourselves as the pinnacle of creation.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Moment of Reflection
Pardon and Freeing from Bondage (from Psalm 103:8,10-12)
Liturgist: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
All: Free us, O Lord, from the ways of tyranny, power over others, and the use of others for our own personal ends. Speak to our hearts each day, that we may adopt the Ways of Jesus. Amen.
Song “Have thine Own Way”
Prayers for Our World and One Another
Let us enter now into a time of prayer for one another and for our world. We will do what is called a Bidding Prayer. I will open, and then I will bid your prayers based around various categories. During the silence after each category is bid, I invite you to add your own prayers, either aloud or in silence. I will then close with a prayer, then the Lord’s Prayer. Let us be in prayer.
Gracious and Loving Creator, we join our hearts, minds and voices this day to praise you and acknowledge our absolute dependence upon you for weaving together this intricate universe with its billions of galaxies, each filled with billions of stars and planets, infinite in variety, filled with creatures diverse in expression. All of it interconnected with everything else. As John Donne has written, none of us is an island, entire unto ourselves, but we are part of the main. And so, this day, we lift our prayers, hopes, aspirations, and pleas into the vast web of your inter-relating love, mercy, justice, healing, and guidance.
Let us pray now for all who are ill, in hospital or at home, especially those affected by cancer or COVID-19.
Let us pray now for all medical and emergency services personnel who are responding to the best of their abilities with the resources that they have at hand.
Let us pray now for all those who are hungry or food insecure, and for all community and religious efforts to provide food and shelter.
Let us pray for the leaders of nations around the world, not only regarding their response to this pandemic, but also that they may do everything possible to assure the health and welfare of their citizens.
Let us pray for our friends, family, and neighbors for their health and well-being.
Let us also express our thanks to God for the expressions of love and caring that we have witnessed in our families, communities, and world.
Let us express our gratitude for life and the myriad things that gladden our hearts.
These prayers, spoken aloud or in silence, we lift into the universal embrace of the One who is Love, and we make them in the name of the One who showed us what Love looks like in the flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord, and we now join our voices in the prayer he taught us, saying:
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. Amen
Prayer Response “Spirit of the Living God” UMH # 393
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord unbind you and set you free.
May the Lord shine light upon your path,
And illuminate the Way of Christ before you.