March 19, 2023
FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT
April 2 we return to the Sanctuary as we begin Holy Week. Pastor Kolleen will lead us
t hrough Palm/Passion Sunday meditations. One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be taken that Sunday supporting disaster relief.
Don’t forget our community Good Friday events; see the back page for details.
Worship with Pastor Joyce on Easter Sunday, April 9!
Pastor Joyce plans to be in Clinton on Tuesday, March 28. Friday April 7 and Monday April 10.
PRAYER REQUESTS: Please hold the following in your prayers.
Betty Farwell and JoAnn Grimm who struggle with health problems
Richard Lewis who broke a hip and is recovering at the Alverno.
Arlene Pawlik who is recovering from a broken leg.
Those who are on hospice: Joan Pinkston & Maxine Wagner.
Jon Harper who is recovering after a recent hospitalization.
The people of Ukraine in their continued war and suffering.
The people of Turkey and Syria and the many aid workers who work to assist.
All who struggle and weep.
CALL TO WORSHIP Psalm 145:8-10, NLT
The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
The Lord is good to everyone and showers compassion on all of creation.
All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will praise you.
Holy God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, as we gather to worship may we sing your praise and offer prayers of thanksgiving. May we know your mercy and compassion even when we have failed. May we be filled to overflowing with your unfailing love, so that going forward we too can be good to others and shower blessings on creation.
HYMN Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies #462
CALL TO CONFESSION Ephesians 5:8-14, NIV
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
When we live in the darkness, Lord forgive us. When we judge others through the eyes of the world rather than your eyes of compassion, Lord forgive us. When we fear the world around us because we lack eyes of faith, Lord forgive us. When we try to hide our flaws and weaknesses rather than bring them to light for healing, Lord forgive us. When we choose to ignore what needs to change, Lord forgive us. Grant us eyes of mercy and faith that we may live in your light and your love. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE Romans 5:1, GNT
Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Christ we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
SONG OF PRAISE Gloria Patri #579
PASSING THE PEACE (Please greet those around you with these words.)
May the peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE LESSONS 1 Samuel 16:1-13, NET
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long do you intend to mourn for Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your horn with olive oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem, for I have selected a king for myself from among his sons.”
2 Samuel replied, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me!” But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you should do. You will anoint for me the one I point out to you.”
4 Samuel did what the Lord told him. When he arrived in Bethlehem, the elders of the city were afraid to meet him. They said, “Do you come in peace?” 5 He replied, “Yes, in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” So he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.6 When they arrived, Samuel noticed Eliab and said to himself, “Surely, here before the Lord stands his chosen king.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t be impressed by his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. God does not view things the way people do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Then Jesse presented Shammah. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Is that all the young men?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest one, but he’s taking care of the flock.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we cannot turn our attention to other things until he comes here.”
12 So Jesse had him brought in. Now he was ruddy, with attractive eyes and a handsome appearance. The Lord said, “Go and anoint him. This is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn full of olive oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day onward. Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah.
John 9:1-41, NLT
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. 7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
8 His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”
But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!”
10 They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?”
11 He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So I went and washed, and now I can see!”
12 “Where is he now?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he replied.
13 Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees, 14 because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him. 15 The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.” Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?” So there was a deep division of opinion among them.
17 Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?”
The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.”
18 The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. 19 They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”
20 His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21 but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”
24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”
25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”
26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”
27 “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
28 Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”
30 “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32 Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”
34 “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue.
35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!”
38 “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.
39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?”
41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
SERMON What Do You See?
HYMN Open My Eyes #324
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. 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.
OFFERING OUR LIVES
Amazing God, we offer ourselves to have our eyes opened that we might learn to see as you see, to follow in your path as you lead us, to be your disciples, and to give you our praise. May we be a blessing to others, even as you have blessed us.
DOXOLOGY Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow #592
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Psalm 23, NJKV
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
HYMN Be Thou My Vision #339
CHARGE & BLESSING
We will remain seated throughout the service.
Bold text is to be read together aloud as a congregation.