March 29, 2020: “Show Us How to Hope”

Ideally, we would gather together in worship, catching up on each other’s lives, being encouraged by each other’s smiles, weeping with each other in our tears, joining our voices in songs of faith and hope and praise, lifting up our prayers to God, hearing God’s voice to us through Scripture and story and thoughtful reflection. However, since we cannot gather in person at this time, let us join together in spirit in this service of worship.

Preparing for Worship

We continue our Lenten journey with Jesus on this Fifth Sunday of Lent. The theme for this Sunday is “Show Us How to Hope in the Depths of Darkness and Death.” It is a timely theme for us. How can we hope in a time of such uncertainty, filled with loneliness and longing, surrounded by stories of sickness and death?

If you are able, consider lighting two candles to begin this service. These represent our Lenten journey with Christ toward the darkness of the cross. At the end of the service you will extinguish one of these candles. We began Lent with six candles lit, and we have extinguished four of them so far.

Call to Worship

Here is the Call to Worship led by Peter H. Please read along below as you listen.

Leader: In ancient times, God asked the prophet,
“Do you believe these dead bones can live again?”

People: The prophet answered, “O God, you know!”

Leader: In the time of Jesus, he asked Martha,
“Do you believe I am the resurrection and the life?”

People: Martha answered, “Yes, Lord, I believe.”’

Leader: Today God asks,
“Do you trust joy can come after the mourning?
That your weary bones can live again?”

People: We answer, “O God, show us!”

Song of Praise

Listen to this song chosen by Joel and Erin K. for us. Joel notes that this song, and our Song of Reflection later, are “songs that we’ve found meaningful over the years.” This is “You Have Redeemed My Soul (Psalm 107)” from Enter the Worship Circle.

Offering

We cannot collect the offering as we normally do, but you can continue this act of worship in support of the church’s ongoing ministries. You can mail a cheque to the church office. You can drop your offering at the church office this week or contact the church office for someone to pick it up. Also, you can give online if you have an Access Credit Union account—please see the information here.

Affirmation of Faith

Here is an Affirmation of Faith led by Dorothy R. Please read along below as you listen.

Leader: The Lenten season calls us to reflection and repentance. Let us confess together.

All: Into the silence of the void our Creator spoke, bringing life.
The Cosmic Christ and the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters—
matter from nothing,
flesh from dust,
life from lifelessness.
We believe Jesus can bring life out of nothing,
but three days is a long time to wait.
Jesus, in our waiting for new life, give us hope.
We look to you, the Resurrection and the Life!

Community Life & Prayer

For announcements related to our church community, please see the eBulletin emailed to those on the church email list.

This week in our prayers we especially remember:

  • Those affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak here and around the world. Pray for the sick and most vulnerable to receive the care and protection they need. Pray for those experiencing secondary effects such as economic hardship, disappointment at canceled plans, lack of child care, loneliness, mental ill health, and more. Pray for wisdom for governments and health authorities as they respond to this outbreak. Pray for our church and community. May God have mercy upon us.
  • Our Christian Education Committee: Larissa P (chair), Erin K, Andrea T, Arlene H, Carri K, Kathy F, and Kristy L H. Pray for our spiritual learning and growth as a church during this time of physical separation. Check out emails from pastors, the church website, and the church Facebook page for ideas.
  • Those facing significant personal challenges, especially those among us who are ill, who are particularly concerned about COVID-19, who are experiencing economic hardship or severe loneliness because of physical distancing measures. May each one experience God’s sufficient grace, and our compassionate care, over the coming days.
  • Those with special reasons to rejoice, even in the midst of difficult times. May they know God’s delight in them. May we all experience bright moments of joy, guilt-free, in these difficult times.
  • Us as a church during Lent, that we would walk into the depths of our darkness, and the world’s darkness, with courage, persistence, and compassion—faith, hope, and love. “We always give thanks to God for all of you, remembering before God your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 1:2-3).

Michael offers this prayer for us today. When Michael says, “With praise on our lips,” respond with “We give you thanks.” When Michael says, “Lord, in your mercy,” respond with “Hear our prayer.”

Prayer Song

Join the Klassen family in singing STJ 53 “O God in Heaven.” You will find the lyrics below.

O God in heaven, grant to your children
mercy and blessing, songs never ceasing,
grace to invite us, peace to unite us –
O God in heaven, author of love.

Jesus, redeemer, help us remember
your pain and passion, your resurrection,
your call to follow, your love tomorrow –
Jesus, redeemer, saviour and friend.

Spirit unending, give us your blessing:
strength for the weary, help for the needy,
hope for the scornful, peace for the mournful –
Spirit unending, comfort and guide.

Scripture Reading

Here is the Scripture Reading from John 11:1-45, adapted from The Voice translation. The Scripture is read by Peter H. (narrator), Randy S. (Jesus), Irene S. (a disciple, Mary, a person), and Loretta L. (another disciple, Martha, another person).

Children’s Focus

Erin K. has shared these words from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ book, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing. If you have children, share these words with them. Remind them of these words in the week ahead.

Every morning we enter a new day. Who knows what the day will bring?

God knows.

Which is why he tells us not to be afraid. He has already gone ahead of us into the new day. He knows the way, what will happen, all we’ll need.

In the morning we can put our day in his hands. And let him bring into our day–into our year!–whatever he has for us.

And then, in the evening, we give it back to him. And trust him with all that happened in it.

You can also print this colouring page of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. If your child colours it, we’d like to see it! Take a picture of your child’s coloured page and send it by text or email to Pastor Michael. See the church Facebook page for last week’s contributions from some of our MMC kids.

This colouring page was downloaded from SuperColoring.com.

Meditation

Here is Michael’s meditation on our Scripture texts: “Show Us How to Hope in the Depths of Darkness and Death!”

Moment of Reflection

The Lenten season calls us to reflection and repentance. Spend a few moments in silence, considering these questions:

  • Have you ever experienced deep sadness, even despair? How did you find hope again?
  • Is there someone in your life who needs you to “sit with them” in their darkness, to weep with them like Jesus did at Lazarus’ tomb?
  • What might you do this week to connect with God and affirm God’s presence in your life?

Song of Reflection

Listen to this song chosen by Joel and Erin K. for us. Joel notes that this song, and our Song of Praise earlier, are “songs that we’ve found meaningful over the years.” This is Gungor, “Beautiful Things.”

Extinguishing the Light

During Lent we are extinguishing one candle each Sunday as we follow Jesus toward the cross. Here Peter H. leads us in this. Please read along below as you listen. If you lit two candles at the beginning of the service, you can extinguish one during the pause in Peter’s reading.

Leader: Jesus is the Light of the World!

People: Jesus is the Light of the World!

Leader: You are the light of the world!

People: We are the light of the world!

Leader: During our Lenten journey with Jesus toward the cross, we walk with Jesus into the shadows of this world. It can often seem as if the night is winning, as if evil and injustice will prevail. Each week during Lent we will extinguish a candle to symbolize this journey with Jesus into darkness. (Pause to extinguish a candle)

Leader: “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,’

All: “Even the darkness is not dark to you, O God,
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.”
(Ps 139:11-12)

Benediction

Listen to this Benediction over us, prayed by Peter H.

Sending Song

Join the Klassen family in singing STJ 78 “Sizohamba Naye (We Will Walk with God).” You will find the lyrics below. Let us go into this week ahead, walking with God in faith, rejoicing in hope, until God’s reign has fully come!

We will walk with God, my brothers, we will walk with God.
We will walk with God, my sisters, we will walk with God.
We will go rejoicing till the kingdom has come.
We will go rejoicing till the kingdom has come.

Sizohamba naye, wo wo wo, sizohamba naye.
Sizohamba naye, wo wo wo, sizohamba naye.
Ngomhla wenjabula, sizohamba naye.
Ngomhla wenjabula, sizohamba naye.

In the week ahead feel free to use this prayer guide adapted from the worship material used for this morning’s service. Also, check the church website periodically for resources for staying connected and for spiritual growth during this time. Grace and peace to you this week!

Songs: You Have Redeemed My Soul (from Enter the Worship Circle); O God in Heaven (Text: Elena G. Maquiso; translated by D.T. Niles, alt. Music: Philippines traditional; adapted by Elena G. Maquiso; arr. Cantate Domino, 1980; ©1962 Elena G. Maquiso. Translation ©1964 Christian Conference of Asia. Arrangement ©1980 World Council of Churches) 
CCLI Streaming License 20348932 / One License Streaming License A-714686
This entry was posted in Michael Pahl, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s