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 (from Psalm 111)
Praise the Lord!
Let us give thanks to the Lord with our whole heart,
in the company of the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honor and majesty is God’s work,
whose righteousness endures forever.
God has gained renown by wonderful deeds;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
Let us worship God.
Holy God, you confound the world’s wisdom by giving your kingdom to the lowly and pure in heart. Give us such a hunger and thirst for justice and a perseverance in striving for peace, that by our words and deeds the world may see the promise of your kingdom, revealed in 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 (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
The Spirit of Jesus comes into our midst with authority — with the vision and power to expose the sin in our lives and in our world. The Spirit of Jesus also assures us that forgiveness and restoration to new life is real and present to us. So, let us make our confession before God and one another.
Please join me in the prayer of confession, followed by a silent personal prayer.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
Merciful God, we confess our complicity in the lies of racism, sexism and classism — whether we have benefited from these lies or been subjected to them. We have been silent when others are disparaged or held in contempt. Forgive us and liberate us from the enslavements of our world. Restore us to a life of mutuality, love and justice for all. Amen.
Moment of silent prayer–people of God, what do you confess this week?
Assurance of Pardon (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
The grace of God is sure for each and for all. Be restored to right standing with God and with one another. Know that we are set free and empowered by God’s Spirit to create loving and just communities in our world. Thanks be to God.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit, so that the Scripture we read will illumine our paths. Amen.
FIRST SCRIPTURE READING
Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are your works, o Lord,
pondered by all who delight in them.
Majesty and splendor mark your deeds,
and your righteousness endures for ever.
You cause your wonders to be remembered;
you are gracious and full of compassion.
You give food to those who fear you;
remembering forever your covenant.
You have shown your people the power of your works,
in giving them the lands of the nations.
The works of your hands are faithfulness and justice;
all of your precepts are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever,
because they are done in truth and equity.
You sent redemption to your people;
and commanded your covenant for ever.
Holy and awesome is your name.
Awe of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who practice this have a good understanding.
God’s praise endures for ever.
SECOND SCRIPTURE READING
Jesus went out again beside the lake; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax-collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax-collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The wedding-guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.
‘No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.’
- What does it mean to follow Jesus
- If the scribes asked you why Jesus sits with such gross people as tax-collectors and sinners, how would you respond?
- What do you think it would be like to eat with Jesus?
You can listen to Pastor Leia’s sermon, “A Dinner Party,” here.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
God of grace, you come into our midst with power and authority to liberate us from anything that keep us from the fullness of life you desire for all of your children and for the earth itself. Help us to be open to your presence even if it means facing difficult circumstances that bind us and keep us from living fully. Help us to name the oppressive realities of our world that deform and deface human life and the life of our planet. Empower us to be agents of love and justice in our communities and world.
Eternal God, we ask your blessing on our nation during these days of transition into a new administration. Bless our new president and vice president and their administration. Give them courage and keep them safe. Help them to honor you by doing what is right, fair and just for all our citizens and to heal the wounds of a troubled nation. We pray for them, and for us all, that we might serve the common good as engaged and faithful citizens, with ears attuned to those in our midst and around our world who are hurting most. We pray for bipartisanship within Congress and among elected officials throughout our nation as they grapple with the serious challenges that bedevil our common life. And grant your church the grace to bear witness in its life to the reconciling power of the gospel and the justice it demands.
God of compassion, we continue to pray for those whose lives have been most adversely affected by a raging pandemic. We pray for healthcare workers who work on overcrowded COVID-19 units throughout our country. We pray for all who are facilitating vaccinations. And we pray that you would comfort all who are sick or who have lost loved ones. Help us to be agents of your love and comfort for those upon whom pandemic challenges have weighed most heavily.
We ask 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 Great is Thy Faithfulness
1 Great is thy faithfulness, O God, Creator;
there is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not; thy compassions they fail not.
As thou hast been thou forever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
2 Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. [Refrain]
3 Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow:
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! [Refrain]
INVITATION TO OFFERING (Roger Gench, Presbyterian Outlook)
We celebrate God’s life-giving presence in our church, our community and our world. Let us now bring our gifts in joyful response to the many gifts that we have been given.
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)
O God, giver of all good gifts, we offer these gifts to you in return, with gratitude for the gifts you have showered upon us, including the gift of our very lives. May they, and we, bear your peace, love and justice into our community and our world.
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH (from A Brief Statement of Faith)
In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace. In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
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.
ANNUAL MEETING TODAY
Today we are holding our annual meeting, which will be done over zoom through the same link that we usually use for coffee hour! Turn on your video camera and join us at 11am 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.