You can watch today’s service here.
If you are watching our live stream this morning, you are invited to find a candle, so that we can all light candles at the same time.
OPENING PRAYER LITANY: PSALM 78
Pastor: We declare the wonders of ancient times and the present moment—
Peoples: the miracles that we were taught and that we teach to children,
Pastor: the miracles and wonderful works of God that we will recount for generations to come.
Peoples: The Lord established a law in Israel, that the generations to come might know,
Pastor: so that they might put their trust in God, and not forget the deeds of God, but keep God’s commandments.
Peoples: God worked marvels: splitting open the sea, leading the people, bringing streams out of a rock.
Pastor: God worked marvels: raining down manna for the people to eat and giving them grain from heaven.
Peoples: God still works marvels: offering forgiveness and mercy and steadfast love.
Pastor: God still works marvels: guiding us like a shepherd and saving the lost sheep.
Peoples: God was with us in the wilderness and God is faithful still! Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Before we can hear God’s truth spoken in love, we must free ourselves from all that obstructs us from honestly acknowledging our wrongdoing. Let us examine our hearts and confess our sins to God.
I invite you to join with me in our unison prayer of confession, followed by a time either for silent personal confession.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Nurturing God, like a hen gathers her brood under her wings, you desire to gather your children. But division and disagreement plague us. We cling to rigid certainties, approach each other in arrogance and fail to listen. We walk away from conflict, rather than working through it. Forgive us, Holy God. Help us mature in faith and relationship. Help us build each other up in love. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you need to confess this week?
ASSURANCE OF PARDON (Isaiah 43:1)
Do not fear, says the Lord, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Thanks be to God; we are forgiven and freed. Amen.
PRAYER FOR UNDERSTANDING (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Eternal God, your Word speaks truth into our lives. When we humble ourselves to listen, you mature us with knowledge and strengthened faith. Open us to your Word read and proclaimed today, so we might hear and embrace the message you intend for us. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
The people ask for a sign, even though they have just been present for a miracle. Are we any different?
Do we really want the bread of life? Do we desire a deeper relationship with self, other and God or are well looking for eternal life and possessions?
If Jesus is the bread of life, what kind of bread is he?
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
2 Samuel 11:26-12:13
When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, ‘There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meagre fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveller to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.’ Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.’
Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbour, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’ David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “Speaking Truth to Power,” here.
HYMN “WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU?”
music and lyrics by Jim Strathdee
1986 © 1986 Desert Flower Music
Used with permission under ONE LICENSE # 738214-A
What does the Lord require of you?
To seek justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Loving God, through Jesus Christ you promise to hear us when we pray in his name. Confident in your presence and your attention to us, we lift the needs of the church, our communities and the world to you in prayer.
We pray for the church, set in this world to be a model community, a body knit together in love. Help the church fulfill the calling to which we are all called, to live together in unity, to bear with one another in love. May the church reflect how people belong together and how our gifts are to be shared.
We pray for the communities in which we live and work; for people who are stressed; for the unemployed looking for work; for the elderly who are lonely; for the ill in need of healing; for all who are fearful. May we turn to each other in time of need, O God. May we build each other up so we can share the load of life’s challenges.
We pray for our broken, yet beautiful world. Help us, Holy God, to hear the cries of the hungry and suffering. Help us set us aside human impulses of greed and vain ambition so we might strive for peace and justice. Help us reorder our lives so that all might have their rightful share of food, medical care and shelter, and our planet might thrive with renewed love and care. Inspire in us a love of our earth and all those who call this planet home.
United as a family of faith and as the Body of Christ we lift these prayers up to you, God our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Finally, hear us pray the prayer Christ taught us, saying,…
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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
HYMN Longing for Light, We Wait in Darkness
music and lyrics by Bernadette Farrell, 1993
© 1993 Bernadette Farrell (Published by OCP)
Used with permission under ONE LICENSE # 738214-A
Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in your church gathered today.Longing for light, we wait in darkness.
Longing for truth, we turn to you.
Make us your own, your holy people,
light for the world to see.
Longing for peace, our world is troubled.
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us.
Make us your living voice.
Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.
Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stone.
Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.
MORNING OFFERING (Hebrews 13:16)
Do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
If you are able to, please consider mailing your offerings to the church (210 Smith Street) or dropping them off in the mail slot. Alternatively, if you visit peoples presbyterian dot org, you’ll find a donate button at the top of the page that will link you directly to a secure page where you could make a donation online. We appreciate the generosity of the Peoples family as we live out our faith in MISSION and ministry.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (TERI MCDOWELL OTT, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
Take our hearts, our hands, our gifts, Holy God. Mold us, shape us, send us, so that we might be your body in the world you so love. Amen.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from the Belhar Confession)
We believe that Christ’s work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another; that this unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways: in that we love one another; that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another; that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another; that we share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind; have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit, are baptized with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup, confess one name, are obedient to one Lord, work for one cause, and share one hope; together come to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ; together are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity; together know and bear one another’s burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness; pray together; together serve God in this world; and together fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God’s countenance be lifted upon you and give you peace.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.