Weekly Online Worship

January 24, 2021

Epiphany 3: “A Way of Looking and a Point of View”



Opening
Prelude “Great Is the Lord” – Michael W. Smith

Epiphany Welcome
Opening Song “Thy Word” – Maranatha Singers
Opening to the Spirit’s Instruction

Scripture Reading John, Chapter 9
As Jesus 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?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor
his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be
revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent
me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long
as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 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, saying to him, “Go, wash in
the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed
and came back able to see. 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?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others
were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I
am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your
eyes opened?” 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.” They said to
him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
The Pharisees Investigate the Healing
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been
blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and
opened his eyes. 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.” 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. 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.”
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 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say
was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents
answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born
blind; 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.” 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. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
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.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner.
One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They
said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your
eyes?” 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?” Then they reviled him, saying,
“You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know
that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know
where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an
astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet
he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners,
but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his
will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone
opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not
from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were
born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they
drove him out.
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found
him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered,
“And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus
said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is
he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 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.” Some of
the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are
not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you
would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin
remains.
May God’s Spirit speak to us today through these words of Scripture,
the music we sing and hear, and the message shared this day.

Song “Open My Eyes, That I May See”
SermonA Way of Looking and a Point of View” – Pastor Craig
Song Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord” – Hillsong

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.


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 all who are still displaced from their homes, and those
who have no home.


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 all school and college governing boards, administrations
and staff, all faculty, and students as they work to offer appropriate and
equitable education in a manner that protects the health and safety of all
persons.


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 “Bind Us Together” – lyric video

Benediction “A Blessing for a New World”
The Lord arise as Light within you,
The Path of Jesus stretch out before you,
The breath of the Spirit renew you.
May justice be at the forefront of your thoughts,
May mercy and kindness be each step you take,
And may love flow as blood in your veins.
Be to the world the Good News they long to see,
The balm of healing for the pain they feel,
And the wisdom that melts away the dross of the foolhardiness that
grips our world so callously.
Be the change the world desires to see. Amen (CSPS)
Closing Song Sent Out in Jesus Name” – Golden Ears United Church
Closing Credits

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