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.
CALL TO WORSHIP (Ann Siddall)
Peoples of God, believe this –
God loved the world,
God loves the world;
we are the beloved!
May the truth of this great love story,
shine through our worship today,
and renew our sense of calling.
So come, with your tiredness,
your frustrations and your discouragements;
come with your doubts, your fears,
and your longings;
come, to discover yet again
how Jesus reveals God’s love and mercy.
Come, in friendship to God
and to each other,
and in friendship to the world,
to listen for God’s Word to us,
to offer our prayers
and to renew our calling.
Peoples of God,
let us worship!
OPENING PRAYER (Book of Common Worship)
Almighty God, you have taught us that all our deeds without love are worth nothing. Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts that most excellent of gift of love, the very bond of peace and of all goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION (adapted from a prayer by Jenny Adams)
God welcomes us as children and in mercy, hears our prayers and knows our hearts. In our weakness, Jesus calls us. In our confusion, Jesus teaches us. In our troubles, Jesus offers us peace. In the beginning, the Holy Spirit breathed life into chaos and darkness, bringing hope and love and good news. It is good news indeed to know that we are forgiven and in that good news we find the strength to confess our sins.
Please join me in the prayer of confession, followed by a silent personal prayer.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Jenny Adams)
God, Loving Creator, Son and Spirit, we come. Yet we know we come with doubts and fears. We know we come in ignorance. We know we have failed you, your creation and your people, in many ways. Trusting in your love, we turn again to you. As we open our hearts to your mercy and forgiveness, grant us your peace. Accept these prayers, accept our worship, accept us, through your love, Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you confess this week?
ASSURANCE OF PARDON (Book of Common Worship)
Hear the good news! Hope does not disappoint us, for God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Believe this good news and give thanks: in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION (Book of Common Worship)
O God, open our hearts by the power of your Holy Spirit so that the words of Scripture that we hear this day may become your Word that empowers our lives in this time and place. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
MARK 1:40-45 (NRSV)
A leper came to Jesus, begging and kneeling. The leper said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’ But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
- In the ancient world, lepers (a general term for people with skin conditions) were considered ritually unclean and shunned from many aspects of society. Who are our modern-day “lepers”?
- From what would you ask Jesus to wash you clean?
- What would you offer up in gratitude?
HYMN Though I May Speak (The Gift of Love)
words and music by Hal H. Hopson
© 1972 Hope Publishing Company
Used by Permission. CCLI License #3456351
1 Though I may speak with bravest fire,
and have the gift to all inspire,
and have not love, my words are vain,
as sounding brass, and hopeless gain.
2 Though I may give all I possess,
and striving so my love profess,
but not be given by love within,
the profit soon turns strangely thin.
3 Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control;
our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed;
by this we worship, and are freed.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NRSV)
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “Love Is an Action, Not a Sentiment,” here.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (from The Presbyterian Church in Canada)
Your love is patient; we give you thanks for all those who have been patient with us and have taught and cared for us; and we pray for the patience to love others as you have loved us.
Your love is kind; give us the courage to be kind to others and to serve those with patience who are so often unkind, rude, difficult to love, or our enemies. They are your children and our sisters and brothers and they were made in your image.
Your love is not pompous; give us insight to speak the truth in love and for the sake of your kingdom and not out of a need to appear clever or right and in all our relationships give us the wisdom to listen far more than we speak.
Your love does not seek its own interests; we thank you and pray for those who serve the poor and those in need, who give tirelessly of themselves and who have much to do and little time for themselves.
Your love is not quick-tempered; we pray for those who are angry and for the violent and their victims;
for children who fear, elders who are abused, and people trapped in relationships that injure and harm.
Your love bears all things; we remember before you those with heavy burdens, many cares, much stress, and too little comfort and help. Open our eyes to those around us and their needs and give us the wisdom to offer help without any prying or sense of superiority.
Your love never fails; even death does not trespass on the breadth and depth of your love. We thank you for those we have loved in this life and who now dwell in the peace and joy of your presence and let your comfort settle on those who are bereaved or who are lonely this day.
In the name of Jesus we pray the prayer Jesus 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 How Awesome Is the Lord Most High
Words and music by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Cary Pierce, and Jon Abel
© 2006 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music/Vamos Publishing (all admin. at EMICMGPublishing.com)/Popular Purple Publishing/45 Degrees Music/Bridge Building Music (all admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.).
Used by Permission. CCLI License #3456351
Great are You, Lord
Mighty in strength
You are faithful
You will ever be
We will praise You
All of our days
It’s for Your glory
We offer everything
Raise your hands, all you nations
Shout to God all creation
How awesome is the Lord most high
Where You send us
God, we will go
You’re the answer
We want the world to know
We will trust You
When You call our name
Where You lead us
We’ll follow all the way
We will praise You together
For now and forever
How awesome is the Lord most high
How awesome is the Lord most high
INVITATION TO OFFERING (ROGER GENCH, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
God is the giver of life and the resources therein. Let us now dedicate our lives and resources to the Holy One in whom we live and move and have our being.
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, there is a link at the top of this page that will take you directly to a secure page where you can make a one-time donation. We appreciate your generosity as we seek to continue our mission and ministry throughout the community during this difficult time.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (ROGER GENCH, PRESBYTERIAN OUTLOOK)
We give you thanks, O God, for the gifts we have received from your good creation. We now ask your blessing upon the gifts we offer here today, so that they might be a sign of our commitment to serve you in all that we are and do. Amen
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (FROM The Confession of Belhar)
We believe in one holy, universal Christian church, the communion of saints called from the entire human family.
- 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 unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; that through the working of God’s Spirit it is a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought: one which the people of God must continually be built up to attain;
- that this unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted;
- 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.
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.
God has loved us from the beginning
and because God’s love will never end, we are called to share that love.
From wherever you are, serve the Lord: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.
VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
If you are using this page to follow along with today’s worship service while it is being live streamed, please join us for virtual coffee hour! Turn on your video camera and join us after the benediction with THIS LINK. You could also join over the telephone by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering the meeting code 146 874 134, followed by the password 075003. You can find other events throughout the week on our CALENDAR.