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 (Psalm 62:5-8)
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from God.
who alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honour;
my refuge is in God.
Trust in God at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before the Lord;
God is a refuge for us.
Let us worship God.
Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call; 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 (1 John 8-9)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sin, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Let us confess our sin together, trusting God’s promised mercy.
Please join me in the prayer of confession, followed by a silent personal prayer.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
Merciful God, you have called to participate in your reconciling, justice-seeking work in a broken world plagued by pandemics of race, class and political division. Yet we acknowledge that we have fallen short of that calling. To be honest, we are inclined to hate our enemies rather than to love them as you love them. We quickly discern the sins of others, but fail to acknowledge our own. We seek accountability for others, but not for ourselves. We confess these sins, O God. Help us to hear your call to repent, to reorient our lives to your purposes and to believe in the gospel. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you confess this week?
Assurance of Pardon (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
In Christ, all the dividing walls of hostility have come down so that we might live in justice, friendship and peace. Friends, hear the good news of the gospel: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven and restored, and set on right paths!
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
Holy One, pour out your Spirit upon us that we may hear your Word and respond faithfully to it. Tell us what we need to hear and show us what we need to do to follow Jesus Christ our Lord.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
Wisdom praises herself,
and tells of her glory in the midst of her people.
In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth,
and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory:
‘I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
and covered the earth like a mist.
I dwelt in the highest heavens,
and my throne was in a pillar of cloud.
Alone I compassed the vault of heaven
and traversed the depths of the abyss.
Over waves of the sea, over all the earth,
and over every people and nation I have held sway.
Among all these I sought a resting-place;
in whose territory should I abide?
‘Then the Creator of all things gave me a command,
and my Creator chose the place for my tent.
God said, “Make your dwelling in Jacob,
and in Israel receive your inheritance.”
Before the ages, in the beginning, God created me,
and for all the ages I shall not cease to be.
In the holy tent I ministered before the Lord,
and so I was established in Zion.
Thus in the beloved city God gave me a resting-place,
and in Jerusalem was my domain.
I took root in an honored people,
in the portion of the Lord.
HYMN Be Thou My Vision
1 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
2 Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my soul’s shelter, and thou my high tower;
raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
3 Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise;
thou, mine inheritance, now and always;
thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
- What is “the good news”?
- What does it mean to “fish for people”?
- Do you think of “fishing for people” as a task, or do you consider “being fishers of people” as an identity?
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “The Time Is Now and the Kingdom Is Near,” here.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
Eternal God, we praise you that in Jesus Christ your kingdom has drawn near and is present even now in our midst. Help us to live as if it were so and bear witness to its presence among us. Galvanize us, so that we no longer make our peace with the world as it is, but rather lean into the world as it should be. Awaken us, so that we are no longer numb to violence and the suffering of others. Empower us by your Spirit to participate at those points where your reign is struggling toward realization even now.
We acknowledge the skepticism in our world, and sometimes in our own hearts, that your reign is at hand. There have been too many tyrants to name, along with courts and congresses that have enabled them. There have been genocides and slave ships and unimaginable horrors. Forgive us for doubting the reality and power of your kingdom. Help us to believe in the One who proclaimed its presence among us and who lived and died as if it were so. Empower us by the Spirit that raised him from the dead and that enables us to participate in your life-giving work in the world.
Hear our prayers for the world of nations, for a global community that is suffering under a raging pandemic. We pray that you would grant strength and endurance to medical personnel who continue to tend those who are desperately ill; comfort families who are grieving the loss of loved ones. We pray for our own troubled country as we reel from the shock of mob violence at our nation’s Capitol and as we navigate tumultuous transitions. Embolden the leadership of our nation to censure those who have incited and inflicted this violence, holding them accountable. And we pray for wise discernment among our elected leaders as they grapple with enormous challenges, in order to bring health, healing, peace and justice to our land.
We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray 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 Dear Lord, Creator Good and Kind
1 Dear Lord, creator good and kind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.
2 In simple trust like theirs who heard
beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.
3 O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!
INVITATION TO OFFERING (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
God is the giver of life and source of all that is good. We acknowledge the abundance of gifts that have been showered upon us, and now return a portion of them in the hope that they might serve Christ’s purposes in our community and in our world.
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)
Gracious God, we offer our gifts to you that may they be sanctified and dedicated to ministries of reconciliation and justice in our church, our nation and our world. Receive these gifts as a sign of our commitment to follow Jesus as his disciples. Amen.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (adapted from the Confession of Belhar)
We believe …
that God wishes to teach the church
what is good and to seek the right.
We believe …
that the church must therefore
stand by people in any form of suffering and need,
which implies, among other things,
that the church must witness against
and strive against any form of injustice,
so that justice may roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
We believe …
that the church as the possession of God
must stand where the Lord stands,
namely against injustice and with the wronged.
We believe …
that in following Christ
the church must witness against all the powerful and privileged
who selfishly seek their own interests
and thus control and harm others.
we reject any ideology
which would legitimate forms of injustice
and any doctrine which is unwilling
to resist such an ideology in the name of the gospel.
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 called to us before,
and God is calling to us now.
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.