Third Sunday of Lent
Updated: Mar 6, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Lent - day 16 of 40, how are you doing? Some are thinking, "this isn't too hard," while others may be really struggling, or have given up their Lenten practice altogether. Perseverance. Like Jesus and the time he spent in the wilderness, this is not supposed to be a walk in the park, so to speak. There are temptations all around us that are either distracting us from God, taking time away from prayer or helping others in need. In the week ahead, reflect on the challenges you have staying focused on the goal - the cross, and of course the resurrection.
If you recall back to the Ash Wednesday video, I mentioned that Lent is like an extended trip and we should pack light because we will be gathering things along the way and pack them in our suitcase or backpack.
To-date we have packed a rainbow as a sign of the covenant that God made with Noah. We have also collected a family tree that depicts just one part of the three-fold covenant (i.e. of land, descendants, and blessing) God made with Abraham and Sarah.
Let us gather in worship,
wherever you are today,
despite whatever doors are locked
to keep you in or out,
we have found a way to be together.
We are not alone, we live in God's world,
and as God's people
we make a sacred commitment
to open our hearts and minds
to what word the Spirit might offer,
and to what nudging, what questions,
what grace might be given in this time.
Hymn: God, Reveal Your Presence
Lighting of the Christ Candle
As I light this candle, please light your candles at home.
May this light be a symbol of Jesus' presence with us as we worship and throughout our Lenten journey. Let us welcome the light of Christ this day and always. Amen.
Let us walk with Christ.
Scripture Reading: Ross reads Exodus 20:1-17 - The Ten Commandments
Hymn: O Jesus, I Have Promised
Scripture Reading: John 2:13-22 - Jesus clears the temple
Sermon: Grace and Truth, by Karen Chandler
A time to reflect on the scripture and the message during a moment of instrumental reflection.
To enable God's work and ministry to continue locally in our church and community as well and throughout the world, let us give generously as we are able.
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: What Does the Lord Require of You
Blessed Lord, we give you thanks for all that you have provided. Receive these our gifts in hope and anticipation that they may do the work of this world according to your will. Amen.
Prayers of the People
God of courage and compassion,
there is no pain that does not echo in your heart,
and so we pray:
for all the grief;
the tears shed,
the mourning without dancing,
the emptiness unfulfilled…;
for all the bereavement,
the death of hope,
the unrealized lives,
the cries unheard…;
for all the pain:
for all the losses,
the half good-byes,
the relationships without resolve,
the truths left unsaid…
Hear these and all our prayers O God,
in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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
We go from here to overturn the care-less attitudes.
We go from here to practice compassion.
We go from here to challenge selfish and racist systems.
We go from here to encourage sharing, equality and justice.
We go from here to share hope in the service of others.
We go from here to create a faith community beyond this time of worship.
May God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, bless us as we go. Amen.
Food for the Journey
For all of you who are "The Voice" fans or Blake Shelton fans, I recently discovered this song that Blake recorded called, "Savior's Shadow". It is a beautiful song in part for its simple arrangement. 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 'Gathering,' a worship resource published by The United Church of Canada. In this service, the Call to Worship was provided by Juanita Austin, and the Commissioning was provided by David Sparks (adapted from) as found in Gathering, Lent/Easter 2021, pages 30 and 38 respectively. Used with permission.
The Prayers of the People is from Celebrate God's Presence: A Book of Services for The United Church of Canada, copyright 2000, The United Church Publishing House, page 66-67. Used with permission.
Thanks to Ross for reading Scripture today, and Max Laumeister for his web script that makes our YouTube videos work.
Thanks as well to the artists of worship music that was used in the service, and the other visual artwork used in this service.