March 29, 2020 Worship

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3/29/2020
A Service of Our Longing for Healing and Togetherness

Words of Welcome

Opening Song            “Come, Now Is the Time to Worship

Call to Worship           (from Psalm 42, adapted)              

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
    the face of the God of Life?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me continually,
  “Where is your God?”

These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
    and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
    a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you.
Deep calls to deep
    at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
    have gone over me.
 
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock,
  “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
    because the enemy oppresses me?”

 As with a deadly wound in my body,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
  “Where is your God?”

 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

Silence and Centering Prayer                                 

Liturgist: Let us pause for a moment of centering in silence, allowing these words sink deeply into the depths of our being.

Silence

Reflection 1                 “For What Do We Long?”               Pastor Craig                           

Song                        “As the Deer”       

Psalm Reading           Psalm 41  

Blessed are those who consider the poor and the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.
The Lord protects them and keeps them alive;
    they are called blessed in the land.
    You do not give them up to the will of their enemies. 

The Lord sustains them on their sickbed;
    in their illness you heal all their infirmities.

As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me;
    heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
My enemies wonder in malice
    when I will die, and my name perish.
And when they come to see me, they utter empty words,
    while their hearts gather mischief;
    when they go out, they tell it abroad.
All who hate me whisper together about me;
    they imagine the worst for me.

They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me,
    that I will not rise again from where I lie.
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,
    who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.
But you, O Lord, be gracious to me,
    and raise me up, that I may repay them.

By this I know that you are pleased with me;
    because my enemy has not triumphed over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
    and set me in your presence forever.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Silence and Centering Prayer                                 

Liturgist: Let us pause for a moment of centering in silence, allowing these words sink deeply into the depths of our being.

Silence

Reflection 2                 “Where Do You Find Blessing?”       Pastor Craig

Anthem   “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”    

Psalm Reading                            Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns. 

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
 
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Silence and Centering Prayer                                 

Liturgist: Let us pause for a moment of centering in silence, allowing these words sink deeply into the depths of our being.

Silence

Reflection 3                 “Taking Refuge”               Pastor Craig

Song “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Let us pray for our friends, family, and neighbors for their health and well-being.

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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.

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Let us express our gratitude for life and the myriad things that gladden our hearts.

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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 “Make Me a Servant” 

Blessing   

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.

Amen.

 (Close to Black)