FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT
- LENTEN REFLECTION
- On the Sundays of Lent this year we are engaging “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Desert “Father” and monastic theologian Evagrius of Pontus is credited with first drawing up a list of “offenses and wicked human passions,” but in the late 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great modified the list and ranked them based on the degree to which they “offended against love.” This morning’s “offense” is PRIDE.
- To the ancients, the basic premise of PRIDE is: “I can go it on my own, under my own power and authority. I don’t need others. I am self-made.” Initially this may seem harmless, but PRIDE eventually involves not only a high valuation of self, but also a comparatively low valuation of others. How can there be a “Number One,” if there isn’t a “Number Two?” How can we be “the greatest” if someone else isn’t “the less great?”
- When we convince ourselves of our superiority over others we replace God’s will with our own. Inevitably, PRIDE leads to suffering. We cause others to suffer by treating them as less than fully human. We ourselves suffer, burdened with maintaining a false and unrealistic image of ourselves and our place in creation.
- Use these moments before the ringing of the bell to greet your neighbor and consider: How does this morning’s “offense” negatively affect my life and the life of others?
- THE RINGING OF THE BELL
- A LENTEN WELCOME
- Pastor: We have each gone our own way. You have, and you have, and I have, too. We have each, at least once, failed utterly the sister or brother whom we loved beyond words, who believed in us beyond doubt and fear, and never stopped loving us.
- People: We have each gone our own way. Lord have mercy.
- PRELUDE: “Be Still, My Soul” – arr. Franklin D. Ashdown
- CALL TO WORSHIP
- Leader: People of God, on this wilderness journey, what will you eat?
- People: The word of the Lord is our daily bread.
- Leader: People of God, in this time of temptation, how will you live?
- People: Our faith is in the faithfulness of God.
- Leader: People of God, at this kingdom crossroad, whom will you serve?
- People: We worship the Lord our God alone.
- ALL: NOW, LET US BEGIN …
- OPENING HYMN NO. 87: “The Glory of These Forty Days” – ERHALT UNS, HERR
- CALL TO CONFESSION
- Leader: We come before you, O God, in the shadow of the cross, grateful for your great love for us.
- People: As you came to us in Jesus, reveal yourself among us still.
- ALL: Lord God, you know the ways of good and evil. You know the things that tempt us and the things that give us life. You know our nakedness, and you know our sins. We confess that we have disobeyed your word, denying your providence and care, and relying on our own cleverness. Have mercy on us, we pray; cover us with your grace, feed us with the bread of life, and re-create us in your image once again. Through Jesus Christ our Savior, hear our silent prayers of return … (a time of silence for personal confession)
- KYRIE, Hymn No. 572
- Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.
- ASSURANCE OF PARDON
- Our hearts are washed anew in the healing waters of God’s love.
- For the steadfast love of God endures forever … Through the Holy Spirit, God nourishes us into life.
- For the steadfast love of God endures forever … WHAT WONDROUS LOVE IS THIS?
- CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE, HYMN NO. 85
- 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 heavy cross for my soul, for my soul,
- To bear the heavy cross for my soul!
- MUSICAL OFFERING: “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” – arr. John Carter
- SCRIPTURE LESSON: Philippians 2:1-11
- SERMON: PRIDE: EMPTYING YOURSELF – Reverend Joel Weible, Pastor
- Download the sermon to play on your own device: 031019 SERMON jw
- PROCLAMATION HYMN NO. 282: “If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee” – WER NUR DEN LEIBEN GOTT
- AFFIRMATION OF FAITH – from THE IONA COMMUNITY
- With the whole church … We affirm that we are made in God’s image, befriended by Christ, and empowered by the Spirit.
- With people everywhere … We affirm God’s goodness at the heart of humanity, planted more deeply than all that is wrong.
- With all creation … We affirm and celebrate the miracle and wonder of life and the unfolding purposes of God, forever at work in ourselves and the world. Amen.
- TIME OF GIVING THANKS
- PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
- PRESENTATION OF GIFTS, TITHES, AND OFFERINGS
- OFFERTORY: “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” – R. HOBBY
- PRAYER OF DEDICATION
- God of all true power and glory, we thank you that once again we travel with Jesus toward Jerusalem, not with a sword to challenge the powers of this world, but with Love to transform them. May these gifts be a sign of the offering of our whole selves in this season. Amen.
- CLOSING HYMN NO. 293: “This Is My Father’s World” – TERRA BEATA
- CHARGE AND BENEDICTION – Reverend Joel Weible
- THE RINGING OF THE BELL
- POSTLUDE: “Holy God, We Praise Your Name” – arr. Robert Powell