Fifth Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 21, 2021
Last week's Old Testament lesson shared with us another covenant between God and the Israelites - a covenant of healing. The parallel in the New Testament lesson was Jesus speaking with Nicodemus, and describing to him that the Son of Man, like the bronze serpent, must be lifted up to save the people. It must be seen and witnessed and experienced. We continue to feel that healing when we pray when we sing God's praises when we develop our relationship with God and God's love pours out of us and to others.
We add to our suitcase a symbol of healing. Does the image remind you of Christ on the cross? In addition to that symbol, we have a rainbow which is a sign of the covenant God made with Noah and a family tree that depicts one part of the three-fold covenant (i.e. of land, descendants, and blessing) God made with Abraham and Sarah. And we also added the Ten Commandments - a set of rules provided to the people on how to live.
Let's see what God has in store for us this week:
God, we come together on this fifth Sunday of Lent
in the midst of this season of change and during
this time of uncertainty.
Decisions in our lives lead us in many different directions,
and we are prone to lose our way.
Bring us together, O Lord,
with a new sense of community and friendship.
This we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Hymn: We Are Pilgrims
Lighting of the Christ Candle
As I light this candle, please light your candles at home.
Sometimes it is easy to hide from our friends and family.
Hide who we are and what we think, but Jesus calls us to him,
to come out of our hiding place and be with him - with us, now.
This flame shines light upon our hidden crevices and corners and
its brightness calls to us - to walk with Christ
Let us welcome the light of Christ this day and always. Amen.
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34 - "I will write my law upon their hearts."
Hymn: Spirit, Open My Heart
Scripture Reading: John 12:20-33 - Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth.
Sermon: Indelible Ink, by Karen Chandler
A time to reflect on the scripture and the message during a moment of instrumental reflection.
Giving is an act of hope - that what we offer so freely will make a difference in the lives of many. Let us give generously in response to God's most beloved gift to us - His Son Jesus Chris, who died that we may live.
Our offering is both a practical and symbolic act of our commitment to serve Christ and build His church. Although we can’t actually pass the plate’ online, you are encouraged to continue your gift to the church, as the work of the St Paul’s and the staff continues:
Drop your envelope (cheque or cash) at the church;
Mail your cheque to the church;
Go on PAR (call the church for details);
Use the Donate button at the top of the page (it will take you to SPUC’s Canada Helps page where you can donate online and get an instant tax receipt).
Offertory Hymn: Now Thank We All Our God
O Lord, bless the gifts we have shared - our time, our talent, and our treasure, that they may be used for the good of all people. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.
Prayers of the People
God of hope and love,
We pray for the whole church, Clergy, lay staff, and all those supporting Christ's ministry who are responding to needs in our community both near and far.
We pray for local, provincial, federal government bodies in Canada as well as other countries across the globe that are experiencing turmoil, violence, and political unrest.
We pray for all who are ill, grieving, broken, or oppressed and are vulnerable.
We pray for our friends, and our family, especially our church family and the community.
Humbly God, we ask you to guide us on the path, heal our ills and provide comfort. Give us strength and peace to support one another, and to follow and serve you the rest of our days.
The Lord's Prayer
And of all the prayers silent and spoken, we pray the one prayer that unites us in Your presence, O Lord (you can sing with the video or recite the words below):
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by 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, the power, and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.
Hymn: Go Now in Peace
May God has written love on our hearts.
Christ has revealed love in our world.
The Spirit sends us forth,
to share this glorious message of love
with everyone we meet. Amen.
Food for the Journey
If anyone watches the TV show "This Is Us," you will recognize Chrissy Metz. In January 2020, Chrissy signed a record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville. You can listen to a few of her songs on YouTube.com. This particular song, "Talking To God" may resonate with you, as you name people in your own prayers. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to extinguish your candle(s).
Please join us today for Zoom Coffee Time starting at 11:30 am.
Meeting ID: 829 432 3094
Dial in: +1 647 558 0588
Note that portions of this service are drawn and adapted from various resources:
o The Opening Prayer was provided by Jordan Myslik & the youth group,
as found in Gathering, Lent/Easter 2018, page 32. Used with permission.
o The Commissioning was from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2018.
Copyright © 2017 by Abingdon Press. Sending Forth, page 64.
Used by permission.”
Thanks to Max Laumeister for his web script that makes our YouTube videos work.
And, thank you to all of the musical artists whose music was used in the service:
o Ebenezer United Church
o Meditation Music Official
o Christian Sermons and Audio Books
o Haewook Kim
o Tina Vanderpol Melodium75
o Chrissy Metz