March 5, 2023
SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
The Ladies Lunch Bunch will gather at Yen Ching’s on March 8. All the women of the church (and guests) are invited. Please RSVP on the sheet outside the Administration Office.
Session meets on March 12th.
Turn your clocks ahead on March 12th.
All PULSE articles are due on March 15th.
PRAYER REQUESTSREQUESTS Please hold the following in your prayers.
· Jon who has been in the hospital.
· 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.
PSALTER Psalm 121, NIV
Leader: I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
People: My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Leader: He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
People: indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Leader: The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
People: the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
Leader: The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
People: the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Gracious God, Almighty Savior, you are our strength and our protection, our guide and our friend. You have been our help, and you have seen us through the night. You watch over us as we sleep and when we rise. May we this day, therefore, serve you, praise you, draw near to you, and adore you, for that is our privilege and our calling.
HYMN Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee #464
CALL TO CONFESSION
We sing and rejoice in God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, and yet we are sometimes guilty of holding back, of wearing blinders, of trying to limit God’s activity, or of refusing to accept the broad magnitude of God’s love and grace. God is and does and loves so much more than we are willing to accept. Let us confess our sometimes narrow-minded faith to our God who is infinitely more than we can imagine.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
We admit to you, O God, the times that we define you as the world around us defines you, and that often means we stuff you in a box that is too small for your awesome wisdom and might. You are the Creator of the universe, yet we try to reduce you to something much smaller, something we can not only understand but control. Yet heavenly Holy One, you are the Divine Mystery. You will not be contained by our humble attempts; still you choose to be intimately involved in our lives if we welcome you. May we learn to be more mindful of your magnificence and still give thanks for your beneficence. May your Spirit guide us toward truth, and by your compassion may we be forgiven for the truth about our own efforts to limit or manipulate you. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE John 3:17, NET
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.
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. But let’s refrain from touch.)
May the peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God of us all, may we hear your Word through scripture and proclamation in a way that gives us new life. Amen.
Genesis 12:1-4a, GNT
12 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. 2 I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
But I will curse those who curse you.
And through you I will bless all the nations.”
4 When Abram was seventy-five years old, he started out from Haran, as the Lord had told him to do; and Lot went with him.
Romans 4:1-5, GNT
What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience? 2 If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about—but not in God's sight. 3 The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 4 A person who works is paid wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that has been earned. 5 But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself.
John 3:1-17, NET
Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, 2 came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?”
5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. 12 If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.
SERMON By Faith
HYMN O For A Thousand Tongues #466
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, now and forever. Amen.
OFFERING OUR LIVES
All powerful God, may we give freely of ourselves to you, as you have so freely given yourself to us. May our passion for your world and our compassion for one another not be limited by our experience or vision, but may we truly hear and see what you would show us and live accordingly. Amen.
DOXOLOGY Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow #592
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH A Brief Statement of Faith inside back of hymnal
HYMN Go With Us Lord (Tallis Canon) #535
CHARGE & BLESSING
We will remain seated throughout the service.
Bold text is to be read together aloud as a congregation.