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worship for Sunday, March 29, 2020

Introduction

Welcome to Worship!

We gather today, as we did last week, in our homes. With those we love gathered around, we come to the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We lean into His presence and cling to His Word for our hope in these times. It is my prayer that as we gather together apart for worship that you make space for holy conversation and sacred song. Know that I am praying for you and for us. And I invite you to do the same.

Please note that there are songs and hymns included in this weeks worship order. Feel free to select the songs and hymns that most resonate with your worshipful heart.

A final thought. I believe it is helpful to plan accordingly and set aside time to gather for worship. Turn off as many distractions as you can. Light a candle. Provide some fidgets or coloring pages for the little ones. Take turns reading and leading worship together. If your situation warrants it, call or video call a friend or loved one. Let’s Worship the Lord together. The one who raises the dead and breathes life into all of creation.

Order of Worship

We call on the Name of the Triune God: An adult can say: We gather in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

A Song to get us started

There Is a Balm in Gilead

Come Alive

CONFESSION

Today we read Psalm 130. This is a Psalm of Ascent which is one of a series of psalms that were traditionally prayed and sung as Israelites traveled towards Jerusalem. These psalms are those that are lifted up as people draw close to the presence of God. As you read it together, share these words and reflect upon what it means to come into the presence of our almighty God. What does it mean to ascend into His presence–into His holy temple.

Sharing Option: If you are going on a journey that ends up in the presence of the Almighty–you will see Him face to face, what do you need to get rid of? What characteristic? What wrong thinking? What burden? What fear?

As you read Psalm 130, imagine leaving these things in the depths as you ascend into the presence of the Lord.

Read aloud: Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
    O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.

Words of Confession

(read together or on behalf of your family) We confess that we have sinned against you Lord. If it was up to us, we could not stand, Oh Lord, we confess that our soul is in the depths of fear, sadness, and fear. While we long to ascend out of the depths and into your presence, O Jesus, we know we are unworthy.

Sharing Option: Share about a time you waited for something or someone. What was the waiting like? And what was the arrival like?

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we are don’t like to wait. We are not good at waiting. We confess our fears. We confess that we burden our lives and our journeys by carrying the extra weight of our sins; our fears; our broken relationships; our grudges; our regrets; our anger and more. But with you there is forgiveness. With you there is hope. Your burden is easy and your burden is light. Take our burdens, O Lord. Free us from ourselves and restore us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reading God’s Word

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Sharing Option: What speaks to you about this powerful Word from Ezekiel?

Another Song for Worship

Death Was Arrested

It Is Well With My Soul

Today’s Gospel: John 11:1-53

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Today’s Sermon

Here is a Quick Interactive Survey

Have a discussion with those you are worshiping with this morning. Give one group answer for each of the quick questions below. I’ll share the results later this week.

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Prayer

For prayer today, I invite you to participate in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas. (You DON’T need to do all or any of these, but invest some time in prayer together).

  • Draw out your prayers with paper an pen
  • Go back up and read the psalm again as your prayer
  • Rewrite the psalm above as your prayer
  • Verbally pray through the fears that were shared above and give thanks for the ways that God has seen you through tough times.
  • People and professions for inclusion: government leaders; medical professionals; school teachers and administrators; business owners; those who have already been laid off; those separated from loved ones because of isolation; for those that suffer with mental disabilities that limit understanding of our current reality.

I also share this video that took place at our own Piedmont Hospital earlier this week as saints from our area gathered to pray for our medical system workers.

Follow the Button to Worship with your Offering and Tithes

Pray together the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name

Thy kingdom come, they 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

Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil, for they is the kingdom and the power and the glory

Forever and ever. Amen.

A Closing Song

Greater

God Will Take Care of You

A Closing Benediction for your family

May the Peace of Christ uplift you in these days.

May the Hope of Christ Surround you.

May the Light of Christ shine brightly as you See him this day

Here is a powerful Organ Postlude for you today

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Drive In Worship @ Prince of Peace Parking Lot
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Modern Worship–TBD @ Life Center
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Liturgical Worship–TBD @ Sanctuary
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