Worship: March 7, 2021

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

The Third Sunday in Lent

March 7, 2021

9:00 am

Live stream link:  Zion UCC Sunday Service Livestream – March 7 2021

 

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  Because of the continuing concerns for the spread of the covid-19 virus, we have chosen to live stream our worship services, suspending in person worship until we gain a clearer picture of how to gather together in the sanctuary to worship safely.  These are difficult times and even with the hope for a vaccine in the near future, it will be some time before enough people have the vaccine in order to effectively control covid-19.  We ask for your patience and understanding and your faithful support of the church in these days of a new normal for all of us.  Let us continue to pray and to remain faithful, knowing that our God continues to reach out and to embrace us.  We sometimes need to be reminded that our God promises to be near to us in the most difficult days as well as the days when life seems easy for us.

As you follow along in the bulletin during live stream worship, please participate quietly when you come to the bold print.

 

PRELUDE

“Prelude on ‘Bread of Life’”, Gordon Young, ©1972 Lorenz Publishing

 

TIME OF SHARING

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

We come here this morning to continue our Lenten journey,

making time to reflect on our lives in light of God’s love.

We come seeking stillness for our souls,

that we may more clearly know God’s presence.

We come to remember the special relationship with God

that has been offered to us.

We come with hearts open to the giver of life.

We come to hear the promises of God and to remember the covenant

between God and all creation.

We come trusting God will keep those promises,

 and we come living in that hope.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

Almighty and Holy God,

this Sunday hour for worshiping you is not enough;

and so we give you every hour of every day of our lives,

as our living sacrifice offered continuously to you.

We gather in this building dedicated to you,

but the only temple we worship

is the one raised by your Son, Jesus Christ.

We reach up to you

with familiar forms, prayers and songs;

knowing they would all fall short

if it were not for your grace reaching down.

Your house of prayer is not a place,

or a time, or a set ritual.

It is your sheltering embrace

that covers us continuously with your love.

 

GATHERING HYMN “What Wondrous Love is This”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

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 cause the Lord of bliss

To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul

To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

 

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,

When I was sinking down, sinking down,

When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.

 

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,

To God and to the Lamb I will sing;

To God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM,

While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;

While millions join the theme, I will sing.

 

And when from death I’m free I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,

And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;

And through eternity, I’ll sing on.

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

Our souls are revived by God’s perfect law.

We are confronted by that law each day.

At its center is the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.

It is more desirable than all the gold in the world.

Let us confess those things in our lives that keep us from realizing that love.

As we view this livestream of your house of worship, O God,

we recognize that it is your house, not ours. 

We confess that we sometimes forget that both your house

and we ourselves belong to you.   

We forget that all the world belongs to you

as we scramble for all we can claim for ourselves. 

Our actions deny your love, which is at the heart of your perfect law. 

Our minds have justified the bending and breaking of your law that

calls for justice for all people and brings hope to those who are struggling.  

We cry out for forgiveness and the opportunity for a fresh start. 

Clear us of hidden faults and redeem us from those recognized and confessed. 

 

Now let us silently reflect on the personal struggles and fears that keep us from being fully free.

 

SILENT MEDITATION

“Ah, Holy Jesus”, Heerman, Cruger, public domain

 

Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

When our prayers become more than pious words;

when, in awe before God, we truly seek forgiveness;

the Almighty becomes for us a guiding presence.

We are healed, strengthened, and set free from our slavery to sin.

In steadfast love, God claims us, saying:

“You are my people.”

Dare to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

What Is Your Only Comfort, In Life and In Death?

That I am not my own, but belong

– body and soul, in life and in death –

to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood

and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.

    He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair

can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven;

in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit,

assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly

willing and ready from now on to live for him.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

As we give, let us be reminded that God sees not only the amount,

but also the motive and the spirit.

Therefore, let us give both generously and happily.

 

(For the time being we would ask you to mail your offering to Zion United Church of Christ, PO Box 538, Arendtsville, Pennsylvania 17303, or to use the Electronic Funds Transfer option which is available by contacting the church office.  Your ongoing support of the church is deeply appreciated in these days.)

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

As we give, we pray that these gifts may be acceptable in your eyes,

not only in the amount we give, but also in the spirit in which they are given.

 

VOCAL SOLO

“Blessed Quietness”, Ferguson, Marshall, Kirk, public domain

Heather B., soloist

 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Exodus 20: 1-17

20:1 Then God spoke all these words:
20:2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
20:3 you shall have no other gods before me.
20:4 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.
20:5 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,
20:6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
20:7 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.
20:8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.
20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
20:10 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.
20:11 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.
20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
20:13 You shall not murder.
20:14 You shall not commit adultery.
20:15 You shall not steal.
20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

 

EPISTLE LESSON FOR THE MORNING

I Corinthians 1: 18-25

1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through

wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.
1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom,
1:23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1:25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. John 2: 13-22

2:13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2:14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.
2:15 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.
2:16 He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
2:18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”
2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
2:20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?”
2:21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body.
2:22 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.

 

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

“Lord, Listen to your Children Praying”, Ken Medema,©1973 Crescendo Pub.

 

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING

 

PASTORAL PRAYER AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

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 sins

As we forgive those who sin 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.

 

CLOSING HYMN  “Take My Life”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee;

Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise;

Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

 

Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love;

Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee,

Swift and beautiful for thee.

 

Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my king;

Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee,

Filled with messages from thee.

 

Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold;

Take my intellect and use every power as thou shalt choose,

Every power as thou shalt choose.

 

Take my will and make it thine; it shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne,

It shall be thy royal throne.

 

Take my love; my Lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure store;

Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for thee,

Ever, only, all for thee.

 

COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon,

where there is doubt, faith,

where there is despair, hope,

where there is darkness, light,

where there is sadness, joy.

O, divine Master,

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
 to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

 

CHIME MEDITATION

“You Are Mine”, David Haas, ©1991 GIA Publications Inc.

 

POSTLUDE

“More About Jesus”, Smith, Sweney, ©2012 Lorenz Publishing

 

Office hours are limited; please call the office before stopping by.

 

Coming Up This Week:

Mar. 7                    Live stream Worship                                                 9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                           Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

Mar. 8                    Ballots due

Mar. 11                  Book Club                                 Fellowship Hall       6:30 p.m.

 

Looking Forward:

Mar. 14                  Live stream Worship                                                 9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                           Zoom                     10:30 a.m.

Mar. 15                  Consistory                                 Zoom                       7:00 p.m.

 

We Welcome Kaden T., son of Danielle B. and Zachary T. who was born on March 3rd.  The red rose bud on the altar is in Kaden’s honor!

Happy Anniversary to Tom & Carolyn D. who will celebrate 52 years together on March 8th!

Thank You from Elener S. for all the birthday cards and get-well cards!  I appreciated them all and am feeling much better.

Pastoral Care:  If you would like a visit from George, please contact him and let him know a convenient time.

Ladies Breakfast Group News From Sally:  We are welcoming spring by resuming our monthly breakfast meetings!  Join us outside at The Apple Bin on Monday, April 12th at 9:00 a.m.  Tammy, the owner, has ordered a portable garage canopy to shade the picnic tables, but you may just enjoy the sun!  You are encouraged to wear masks except when eating, and we hope you feel comfortable enough to join us.  Many have had the vaccine; some have had the virus.  And we will remember long-time member Jane T.  I hope to see you there.

A Little History:  The response following the Assurance of Pardon this morning may be vaguely familiar to the older members of Zion.  It is the first question and answer in The Heidelberg Catechism, which was the original study book for those who were preparing for Confirmation in the German Reformed Church.  Commissioned by Elector Frederick III of the Palatinate region of Germany, the catechism was written in 1563 by Zacharius Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus in the city of Heidelberg as a summary of the doctrine and beliefs of the Reformed Church.  Those who are currently in Zion’s Confirmation Class are memorizing this first question and answer as part of their preparation for church membership.  Confirmation will be on Easter Sunday, April 4th, during the 10 am worship service.

Worship Update and Holy Week Schedule:  We intend to begin worship on the parking lot on Sunday, March 21st at 10:00 a.m.  Parking lot services will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.  If weather does not permit us to gather outside, services will be livestreamed at 10:00 a.m. from inside the sanctuary with NO in-person gathering.

Sunday, March 28th, 10 a.m. – Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion – Service on the parking lot (weather permitting, otherwise livestreamed from inside the sanctuary).

Thursday, April 1st, 7 p.m. – Maundy Thursday Service with the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Service will be livestreamed from the sanctuary.

Friday, April 2nd, 7 p.m. – Good Friday Service, livestreamed from the sanctuary.

Sunday, April 4th, 6:30 a.m. – Easter Sunrise Service at Fairview Cemetery with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  This is a shared service with Trinity Lutheran Church.

Sunday, April 4th, 10 a.m. – Easter Service with the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  We will also celebrate the Rite of Confirmation during worship.  Service on the parking lot (weather permitting, otherwise livestreamed from inside the sanctuary).

 

Newsletters via Email:  The March/April newsletter has been sent via email.  Printed copies are available in the wooden mailbox on the wall on Zion House’s back porch or call the church office to request a mailed copy.

 

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Collection:  Scheduled for March 14th, this year’s collection theme is “Let Love Flow”.   By supporting the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, we let love flow into communities worldwide by providing hope in adverse times. When we share our resources, it also gives us a tangible way to be present in the world and to serve beyond local boundaries. OGHS supports sustainable development, disasters, and refugee initiatives.  In 2020, during the devastating fires in Oregon, we were able to be there to help leaders organize and prepare their immediate as well as long-term responses. We were proud to stand with and support these communities in their time of need. Responding to the needs of our neighbors is the primary goal of the offering.  Please be generous as the Spirit moves you.

 

Prayer Requests:  Don’t forget to send your prayer requests via email to the church office by Friday evening to have them included in the Sunday service.