March 21, 2021 Bulletin – 5th Sunday of Lent
Between now and April 11, Pastor Drew will be doing a sermon series on the Gospel of John. We will examine some of the major themes and stories found in John, such as being "born again," the bread of heaven, light and darkness, washing his disciples' feet, and so forth. Today's message reflects the fact that we're getting closer to the reason for Jesus coming to Jerusalem, which was to go to the cross of Calvary. The theme of the sermon is 'suffering,' and addresses how human suffering can be a means of connecting with God.
“It is Well with My Soul”
Call to Worship (with references to Isaiah 32:13ff.)
L: The prophet Isaiah foretold of the fall of Jerusalem and exile of the people of Judah with these words:
P: "Your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers. Your joyful homes and happy towns will be gone. The palace and the city will be deserted, and the busy towns will be empty."
L: But in the same breath, he spoke their restoration by telling them this:
P: "Flocks will graze in the empty forts until at last the Spirit is poured out on us from heaven.
L: Then the wilderness will become a fertile field, and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.
P: My people will live in safety, quietly at home. The Lord will greatly bless his people."
L: As our Lenten journey draws us closer to the Cross of Good Friday, may Isaiah's vision be a reminder that the story of God's people is always one of restoration and life.
"Jesus Shall Reign" #157
1. Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does its successive journeys run;
his kingdom spread from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.
2. To Jesus endless prayer be made,
and endless praises crown his head;
his name like sweet perfume shall rise
with every morning sacrifice.
3. People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song;
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.
4. Blessings abound where'er he reigns;
all prisoners leap and loose their chains;
the weary find eternal rest,
and all who suffer want are blest.
5. Let every creature rise and bring
honors peculiar to our King;
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the loud amen!
Pastoral Prayer and Lord's Prayer
“The Suffering Servant”
By Ruth Elaine Schram
Steve Grattan, Tom Norager,
Cathy Grattan, Ann Jacobs
Jackie Prause, flute
Who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty, nothing that we should desire Him. He had no beauty or majesty; we hid our faces from Him. He was despised and rejected; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Surely He took up our infirmities, and He carried our sorrows. Wounded for all our transgressions, our punishment was upon Him; wounded for all our transgressions, and by His stripes we are healed. Who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? And by His stripes we are healed.
John 15:18-21; 16:1-4, 16, 20-22, 28-33
18 “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. However, I have chosen you out of the world, and you don’t belong to the world. This is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you, ‘Servants aren’t greater than their master.’ If the world harassed me, it will harass you too. If it kept my word, it will also keep yours. 21 The world will do all these things to you on account of my name, because it doesn’t know the one who sent me.
16 1 I have said these things to you so that you won’t fall away. 2 They will expel you from the synagogue. The time is coming when those who kill you will think that they are doing a service to God. 3 They will do these things because they don’t know the Father or me. 4 But I have said these things to you so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them. “I didn’t say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.
16 Soon you won’t be able to see me; soon after that, you will see me.”
20 I assure you that you will cry and lament, and the world will be happy. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman gives birth, she has pain because her time has come. But when the child is born, she no longer remembers her distress because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 In the same way, you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and you will be overjoyed. No one takes away your joy.
28 I left the Father and came into the world. I tell you again: I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.”
29 His disciples said, “See! Now you speak plainly; you aren’t using figures of speech. 30 Now we know that you know everything and you don’t need anyone to ask you. Because of this we believe you have come from God.”
31 Jesus replied, “Now you believe? 32 Look! A time is coming—and is here!—when each of you will be scattered to your own homes and you will leave me alone. I’m not really alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”
“The Really Hard Work Is Already Accomplished”
Invitation to Give and Offertory
“Healer of our Every Ill”
Steve Grattan, Tom Norager,
Cathy Grattan, Ann Jacobs
Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow,
give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.
1. You who know our fears and sadness,
grace us with your peace and gladness;
Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts. [Refrain]
2. In the pain and joy beholding
how your grace is still unfolding,
give us all your vision, God of love. [Refrain]
3. Give us strength to love each other,
every sister, every brother;
Spirit of all kindness, be our guide. [Refrain]
4. You who know each thought and feeling,
teach us all your way of healing;
Spirit of compassion, fill each heart. [Refrain]
"Lift High the Cross" #159
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.
1. Come, Christians, follow this triumphant sign.
The hosts of God in unity combine. [Refrain]
2. Each newborn servant of the Crucified
bears on the brow the seal of him who died. [Refrain]
3. O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw the world to thee. [Refrain]
4. So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory! [Refrain]
*Postlude (ushers will dismiss the congregation by pew beginning from the rear)