Emmanuel United Methodist Church
Palm/Passion Sunday April 5, 2020
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!
~ Psalm 118: 26
Worship at Home Resources: Full Palm/Passion Liturgy (CCLI #1149131)
Gathering to Worship
As we continue this “new normal” in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, I hope that our church family will find these “Worship at Home” Resources helpful. Before using the resources, you may want to create a small worship space in your home by lighting a candle on a table and placing a Bible, and whatever other symbols are available to you at home, where you and your family can gather. It is usually our custom to share in the Lord’s Supper together on the first Sunday of each month, but we will provide services resources for a modified observance for you to use at home for Maudy Thursday.
An accompanying video recording has been posted on our website at www.emmanuelumchurch.org; on our Facebook page at Emmanuel United Methodist Church-Amherst; or at this Youtube link.
Today’s Palm/Passion service begins Holy Week for us. It is a service of Scripture Lessons and hymns that allows the stories recorded for us in Scripture speak to our hearts and minds as we relive some of the stories of Jesus.
Even in these days of uncertainty, this is the day that our Lord has made, and we gather to rejoice in God’s gift of a new day! As Christ was welcomed into the city of Jerusalem with shouts of joy and palms of praise, Jesus soon became the stone that the builders rejected, yet our cornerstone. Christ rides into the tumult of our own days, pointing toward the victory that is to come. Blessed is the One who comes in the Name of Lord. God’s steadfast love endures forever!
~ from Psalm 118
Liturgy of the Palms
HYMN OF PRAISE Hosanna, Loud Hosanna #278
*OPENING PRAYER Almighty God, on this day your Son Jesus Christ entered the holy city of Jerusalem and was proclaimed King by those who spread their garments and palm branches along his way. Let those branches be signs of his victory for us. We ask that we who bear them may forever hail Jesus as our Lord, by walking in the way of his suffering and Cross; that dying and rising with Him, we may enter into your kingdom. Through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
~ UM Book of Worship, p. 340, adapted
PROCLAMATION OF THE ENTRANCE INTO JERUSALEM Matthew 21:1-11
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
RESPONSE: Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
HYMN Tell Me the Stories of Jesus #277
SHARING OUR JOYS AND CONCERNS:
We ask for God’s continued help, healing and protection in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, for those who are ill, for those that have lost loved ones, for medical personnel around the world who are on the frontlines of this battle; for our local, state, national and global leaders that God would grant them wisdom as they make decisions each day in the face of challenging circumstances.
Our homebound friends and those living in care facilities who cannot receive visitors; Families that cannot visit their elderly loved ones or be with those that are at the end of life; parents who are struggling to find adequate childcare while schools are closed or are frustrated in their efforts to teach their kids at home; students who are struggling with being out of school. We think especially of our high school and college seniors who, with their families, are missing out on so many milestones and special moments at this important time in their lives.
Prayer requests specific to our church family are listed in the Sunday Paper weekly announcements.
If you have additional joys or prayer concerns that you would like to have placed on our prayer chain or on the prayer list, please email those to Pastor Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRAYER HYMN Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus #349
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Almighty God, though apart physically, we gather together in our hearts today and in the presence of your Holy Spirit. Even in the midst of difficult and fearful days, we come with joy and confidence, believing that you are with us and knowing that you never forsake us, even in these trying times. Your word reminds us that is we do not offer our praise, then the very stones will cry out to you. So our hearts cry out “Hosanna” as we lift our songs of thanks and praise unto You, for You are great and You are good. Your mercies endure to all generations, and your steadfast, amazing and self-giving love endures forever.
Today opens the gate to Holy Week, so as we enter into these days, days when we walk with your Son and our Savior to the cross, our hearts long to hear the stories of Jesus once again, the story of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the story of betrayal, the story of Christ’s passion, the greatest story, the BEST story, the old, old story that is always new. Make the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection new in our own hearts and minds today.
So often, gracious Lord, we are like the crowds that greeted You in Jerusalem so long ago. When everything is going well, we join the “Hosanna” chorus, but in times of difficulty, in times of weariness, in times of rebellion, our praises can also turn to scoffing. Like your disciples of old, we run. We hide. When there is opportunity to speak a word for Christ, too often we are silent. Your church, your people who claim your name, too often lift an uncertain witness before our world. We need you forgiveness. Forgive our unfaithfulness. Hear our prayers for ourselves, for others and for our world as we offer them before you now in silence: (Pray in silence).
Jesus, You came, and lived and died and rose again that we might have new life. You are always faithful and just to forgive us when we ask. And so we give thanks today that in the name of Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God.
Healing Lord, we have named before you today our friends, our family members, those in our church community, our nation and around our world that need a special measure of your love and grace today. WE know that because of the beautiful wounds of Christ, we can find hearling and rest. Comfort those who are grieving today, bless those who are sick and hurting, those who are fearful and anxious, all those who are on the front lines in battling this pandemic and all of us who are being so greatly impacted by it. We think of those who are far from home, either physically or spiritually, those who are so very tired and discouraged, those who need to see your face.
May your Holy Spirit rest upon us now, as we embrace the cross of Christ once again and cling to the promise of your love for us so powerfully demonstrated to us and to all the world at Calvary. We pray all these things in the strong and healing name of Jesus Christ, our suffering servant, who gave himself up for us and taught us to pray saying…
THE LORD’S PRAYER #895
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
PRESENTING OUR GIFTS TO THE LORD
During this time when regular tithes and offerings cannot be collected in worship, we appreciate all those who are mailing in your gifts to the church and encourage you to continue to do so. If you use the church’s numbered envelopes, the church address is already printed on them. Otherwise, mail your gift to Emmanuel UMC, PO Box 451, Amherst, VA 24521. Thank you for your faithfulness in giving.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION Glorious Lord, as those who spread their garments and branches before you and hailed you as King, so we offer our best gifts to you today. We give these gifts and ourselves in gratitude and thanksgiving unto you. Bless our offerings, so that through them and through us, your love and mercy may reach out to all those for whom Christ lived and died. Amen.
Liturgy of the Passion
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION O Lord, our God, awaken our ears to listen, as those who are eager to hear. Open our hearts and minds, helping us to experience the story of your passion and death, as if we are hearing it for the first time. By your Holy Spirit, illumine our lives with your Word so that we might follow you and do your will. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE OLD TESTAMENT LESSON Isaiah 50:4-9a
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away.
6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. 7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.
THE EPISTLE LESSON Philippians 2:5-11
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
HYMN OF RESPONSE The Old Rugged Cross (v.1-2) #504
v1. On a hill far away, stood an old rugged Cross the emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old Cross where the dearest and best For a world of lost sinners was slain.
CHORUS: So I’ll cherish the old rugged Cross Till my trophies, at last, I lay down.
I will cling to the old rugged Cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.
v. 2 Oh, that old rugged Cross so despised by the world Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God, left His Glory above To bear it to dark Calvary. CHORUS
PROCLAMATION OF THE PASSION STORY: Matthew 26:14-27:66
Matthew 26:14-35 The Last Supper/Peter’s Denial Foretold: 14 …One of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. 17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” 23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” 25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.” 26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[b]
32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Response: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded (v.1) #286
O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown: how pale thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn! How does that visage languish which once was bright as morn!
Matthew 26:36-56 Jesus in Gethsemane”: 36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” 47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” 55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Response: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded (v. 2) #286
v.2 What thou, my Lord, has suffered was all for sinners’ gain; mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain. Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve thy place; look on me with thy favor, vouchsafe to me thy grace.
Matthew 26:57-75 Jesus Before Caiaphas/Peter’s Denial: 57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?” 69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Response: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded (v. 3) #286
v.3 What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end? O make me thine forever; and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee.
Matthew 27:1-26 Jesus is delivered to Pilate/ The release of Barabbas: Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. 2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.” 11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. 15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus[f] Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” 23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Congregational Response: Were You There (v. 1, 2) #288
v. 1 Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
v. 2 Were you there when they nailed him to the tree? Were you there when they nailed him to the tree? Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Matthew 27:27-54 The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus: 27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. 32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. 45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[g] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[i] went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Congregational Response: Were You There (v. 3, 4) #288
Matthew 27:55-66 Joseph receives Jesus’ body; the soldiers seal the tomb: 55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[j] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. 62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Congregational Response: Were You There (v. 5) #288
EXTINGUISHING OF THE SIXTH LENTEN CANDLE
PRAYER OF DISCIPLESHIP Most gracious Lord, the song that we have sung together is truly the prayer of our hearts today: “Were the whole realm of nature mine, that would be an offering far too small because LOVE so amazing, so divine demands my soul, my all. We stand amazed today at your great love for us and for all the world, O Holy Jesus, Lamb of God, a love that led you to the cross. Our words seems so inadequate when we consider your sacrifice, when we recall Golgotha, and gaze upon your suffering. Our minds cannot grasp the wonder of your love for us and for everyone, a never-ending love that changes everything. May the assurance of your love and forgiveness wash over each one of us, strengthening us in our weakness, encouraging us in our doubting and in our fear, and cleansing us from our sin. And may that same love compel us to follow your loving example of giving ourselves for others in your name. Amen.
Going Forth to Serve
HYMN OF DISCIPLESHIP When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (v. 1, 3-4) #298
BLESSING May the love of God surround you, the grace of Christ enfold you and the Spirit of God strengthen you today and every day. In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, all God’s people said, “AMEN!”
We follow Christ, our Light, into the world to serve God and neighbor.