Bulletin – March 7, 2021
Third Sunday in Lent / Communion
We welcome the congregation of Pinawa Christian Fellowship who are joining us in worship
Lenten Candle Liturgy
On this journey we are going with Jesus as he is moving towards the unknown, but we are also moving towards God. Yet in this moving towards God, along with Jesus we are moving towards Jerusalem, a city, where God dwells. But a city is just a collection of buildings, streets, commerce, schools, and crowds of people. Often we seem to think that in order to find God we need to move outside the city, go out into nature where God truly is found. What Jesus holds fast to is that knowledge that God is found in the needy on the street corner looking for comfort and care. Jesus holds fast to the ideals of God on the margins as he finds God in the hustle and bustle of the city. What do we need to continue to hold onto as we journey with Jesus this year? What do we need to bring along with us on this journey? As the days lengthen, the light lasts longer, we extinguish a candle knowing that on this new path there will be dark days ahead.
You shall be the path that guides us,
You the light that in us burns;
Shining deep within all people,
Yours the love that we must learn,
For our hearts shall wander restless
Till they safe to you return;
Finding you in one another,
We shall all your face discern.
Call to Worship
One: We follow Christ,
All: Who says take up your cross.
One: We follow Christ,
All: Who bids us come and offer our lives.
One: We follow Christ,
All: Who summons us to new life.
One: Come, let us worship our Creator.
All: Come let us worship together Christ whom we follow.
Hymn – “Take Up Your Cross”
Take up your cross, the Saviour said,
If you would my disciple be;
Take up your cross with willing heart,
And humbly follow after me.
Take up your cross; let not its weight
Fill your weak spirit with alarm,
Christ’s strength shall bear your spirit up,
And brace your heart, and nerve your arm.
Take up your cross, heed not the shame,
Nor let your foolish pride rebel;
Your Saviour once accepted death
Upon a cross, on Calvary’s hill.
Take up your cross, and follow Christ,
This not till death to lay it down;
For only those who bear the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.
Prayer of Approach
O God, through your son Jesus you are the gathering one who calls us into community with each other to love and work, to support and heal. You are the gathering one who calls us into community with all people, to bring justice and hope, freedom and truth. You are the gathering one who calls us into community with the whole creation; to live in harmony, to cherish and renew.
But truth be told, Jesus, there are lots of tables that need overturning in our lives, beneath the veneer of respectability the tidy rows and neat regulations hide angry judgments, hungry greeds, and heartless rejections.
We know the pain—and so do those around us—of keeping up the facade, what a relief it would be to have it all upset, smashed, scattered, destroyed. So, perhaps, Jesus, today you could pay us a visit and help us to radically rearrange the furniture of our lives, so that we might live as the community that you desire us to be Amen.
Words of Assurance
How deep the peace, the confidence, of those whose wrongs are forgiven.
How deep the peace, the confidence, of those whose hearts are healed.
Time for All Ages
Hymn – “Everything Will Have Its Season”
Everything will have its season, time to end or to begin.
Time for birth and time for dying, time to plant or gather in;
Time to prune and time for healing, time to tear down or enhance;
Time to weep and time for laughter, time to mourn and time to dance.
Time to scatter or assemble, time to hold or to let go;
Time to seek and time to forfeit, time to tear and time to sew;
Time to keep or to abandon; time to speak, and then to cease;
Time for love and time for anger, time to fight and time for peace.
When we look to past or future, can we see the greater plan?
Taking pleasure in our toil, will our deeds outlast our span?
But God’s swords endure forever and our tasks before us lie.
Then discern what we contribute; God redeems what has gone by.
Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-17
1Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;3 you shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8 Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
Scripture Reading: John 2:13-22
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Thanks be to God!
Meditation – “To Hold Tight to What Matters”
Anthem – “On Christ I Stand”
Sacrament of Communion
One: May the God of the journey be with you.
All: And also with you.
One: Pilgrims of God, lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up to the one who calls us to follow.
One: Sing songs of thanksgiving to the God who is faithful in keeping promises.
All: We offer glad anthems of joy to the One who calls us by name.
One: Out of that barrenness called chaos you called into life all that is good and true, Creating God: your face shining in the starlight, your voice echoing in the crashing waves, your heart, your hopes, your love poured into those created in your image. Showering them with peace and mercy, you began to teach them all they needed in order to live in hope, and in joy, with you. But setting their minds on all the desires which temptation revealed to them, they began to turn away from you, denying your dreams for them, as we thought only of ourselves. You continued to speak of your promises, sending the prophets into all the barren places where we lived and worked and dreamed, but we were ashamed of the words they spoke, and would not listen to the love which formed them. So, you asked the One called Blameless to leave your side and walk before you, coming to share your faith in us.
Therefore, we join our voices with those from every time and in every place, and with the choirs of heaven, who forever sing your praises.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty!
Early in the morning, our song shall rise to thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
One: You are holy, God of Moses and Aaron, Miriam and all whom you have called to follow, who along with Jesus Christ, Love Incarnate, is blessed forever. When he could have stumbled over our distrust, he called us to follow him into your promises; when our rejection could have weakened his faith, he grew strong in his commitment to deny himself; when he could have remained silent, he declared your salvation to all, even to those not yet alive; when he could have hidden his face in fear, he turned towards Jerusalem, going to his death and into the grave, that you might give life to all who had died to sin.
As we come to the Table he has prepared, we declare that in his crucifixion and resurrection we find that mystery we call faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
One: Here, at this Table, where the gifts of the bread and the cup are offered to your children gathered around, pour out your Spirit of healing and hope not only on us but also on those whom we lift up in prayer to you today…
Feed us with the food of heaven which can make us whole once more, so we can go to serve all whom we have treated with contempt. Nourish us with the cup of life which can change us into your faithful people, so we can go to bring healing to those disabled by our prejudices.
On the night the Jesus was given over to the power of the day he met with his friends, sharing a last meal. Jesus broke the bread at the meal, giving it to his friends saying “this is the bread of life, each time that you eat it, remember me.” After eating he took the cup, poured the wine, and gave the cup to his friends saying, “this is the cup of the new covenant, a covenant made with you and with all people, each time you drink from this cup, remember.”
Remembering this meal, remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection we look with hope to you, loving God, that we too might be worthy to receive your gifts in our lives today. Through him, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours God most Holy now and forever. Amen.
All things are now prepared, the feast has been set for all of us. (taking of the elements)
Prayer After Communion
Faithful, generous, abiding God, we give you thanks for the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. May the taste of this meal linger so that we will be strengthened in our Lenten journey. Give us courage to hear what may challenge us, what might seem difficult, so that we can find a deeper relationship with you and live that relationship in our lives each day. Amen.
Hymn – “This is a Day of New Beginnings”
This is a day of new beginning, time to remember and move on,
Time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that’s gone.
For by the life and death of Jesus, love’s mighty Spirit, now as then,
Can make for us a world of difference, as faith and hope are born again.
Then let us, with the Spirit’s daring, step from the past and leave behind
Our disappointment, guilt, and grieving seeking new paths, and sure to find.
In faith we’ve gathered round the table to taste and share what love can do.
This is the day of new beginnings; our God is making all things new.
God’s promises endure from generation to generation. May the God of Moses and Miriam, the God who sent Jesus to redeem us, the God whose covenant is eternal, bless you and keep you, walking with you each and every day of your life. And having been nourished at God’s table, may you bring the gifts of God to the people of God, in everything that you do. Amen.
May the Christ who walks on wounded feet
Travel with you all your journey through.
May you see Christ’s face in all you meet
And may all you meet see Christ’s face in you.