May 10, 2020 — Fifth Sunday of Easter

INRTOIT                                                    Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather                                              TOKYO

1 Here, O Lord, your servants gather,
hand we link with hand;
looking toward our Savior's cross,
joined in love we stand.
As we seek the realm of God, 
we unite to pray:
Jesus, Savior, guide our steps, 
for you are the Way.

 

2 Many are the tongues we speak,
scattered are the lands;
yet our hearts are one in God,
one in love's demands. 
While in darkness hope appears,
calling age and youth:
Jesus, teacher, dwell with us, 
for you are the Truth. 

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled."
We long for abiding peace and friendship that renews our souls. 
Jesus says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life."
We seek wisdom that endures and guidance for our journey.
Jesus says, "Where I am, there you may be also."
We come to encounter Christ. Let us worship our God!

 

HYMN NO. 624                                          I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art                                 TOULON

 

 

THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise. 
O Lord our God, we give you thanks for the new life you raise up in us through the mystery of our baptism — the sorrow of the heavy cross, the surprise of the empty tomb, the love that death could not destroy. By the power of your Holy Spirit, poured out upon us in baptism, fill us with the joy of resurrection, so that we may be a living sign of your new heaven and new earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

 

CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE OF GOD'S GRACE

CALL TO CONFESSION

We are called to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. Therefore, let us step out from the shadow of sin, into God's marvelous light. 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Holy God, in baptism you claim us as beloved children and set us apart as witnesses to your love. At times we forget we bear the mark of your grace and act as if you have no claim on our lives. You call us to the risky work of justice and peace, but we default to what is comfortable and safe. You call us to ministries of generosity and compassion, but we make little room in our busy lives for gestures of mercy beyond moments of spontaneous kindness. Wash us again with your grace and transform us by your Word, that we might proclaim your good news in word and deed. 

SILENT REFLECTION

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. We have been marked as God's own and welcomed into the family of faith! People of God, believe the good news of the gospel: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven! 

 

HYMN NO. 394                                          Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation                   WESTMINSTER ABBEY

1 Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the church in one;
holy Zion's help forever,
and her confidence alone. 

 

2 All that dedicated city,
dearly loved of God on high,
in exultant jubilation
pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
in glad hymns eternally.

 

3 To this temple, where we call thee,
come, O Lord of hosts, today:
with thy wonted loving-kindness
hear thy people as they pray;
and thy fullest benediction
shed within its walls alway.

 

4 Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
what they ask of thee to gain,
what they gain from thee forever
with the blessed to retain,
and hereafter in thy glory
evermore with thee to reign. 

 

5 Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever Three and ever One,
One in might and One in glory,
while unending ages run. 

 

ANTHEM                                                               Calvary's Mountain                                                 K. LEE SCOTT

Jesus died on Calv'ry's mountain, 
long time ago, 
And salvation's rolling fountain
now freely flows.

 

Once his voice in tones of pity
melted in woe,
And he wept o'er Judah's city
long time ago.

 

On his head the dews of midnight
fell, long ago;
Now a crown of dazzling sunlight
sits on his brow.

 

Jesus died yet lives forever,
no more to die.
Bleeding Jesus, blessed Savior, 
now reigns on high. 

 

Children, let your lights be burning
in hope of heav'n,
Waiting for the Lord's returning
at dawn or ev'n. 

 

When he comes, a voice from heaven
shall pierce the tomb,
"Come, ye blessed of my Father:
children, come home,
children, come home." 

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

Living God, with joy we celebrate the presence of your risen Word. Enliven our hearts by your Holy Spirit so that we may proclaim the good news of eternal and abundant life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

SCRIPTURE

Acts 7:55–60 (NRSV)

55But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56"Look," he said, "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" 57But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he knelt down and cried in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he died. 

 

1 Peter 2:2–10 (NRSV)

2Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation — 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and 5like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in scripture: 

"See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." 

7To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, 

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,"

8and

"A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall." 

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 

9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 

10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

 

John 14:1–14 (The Message (MSG))

The Road

1–4"Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I'm taking."

5Thomas said, "Master, we have no idea where you're going. How do you expect us to know the road?"

6–7Jesus said, "I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Live. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You've even seen him!"

8Philip said, "Master, show us the Father; then we'll be content."

9–10"You've been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don't understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, 'Where is the Father?' Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren't mere words. I don't just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act. 

11–14"Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can't believe that, believe what you see — these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I'll do it. That's how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I'll do. 

 

SERMON

 

 

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH

New life in Christ takes shape in a community in which people know that God loves them and accepts them in spite of what they are. They therefore accept themselves and love others, knowing that no one has any ground on which to stand, except God's grace. Adapted from the Confession of 1967, 9.22. 

 

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

We offer our prayers through Christ,
who lives and reigns forever,
and prays for us in heaven.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ we pray for the church...
Be our way, our truth, our live. 
As you have come to us in Christ, 
lead us, through Christ, to come to you. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ we pray for the earth...
Show us how precious your creation is —
from the great wonders of the world
to small things, deemed of little worth. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for all nations...
Protect those who are attacked or persecuted
because of who they are or what they believe.
Provide for the peace and safety of all people.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for this community...
Give shelter to those who have no homes.
Comfort those whose hearts are troubled. 
Help the lost to find their way. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Through Christ, we pray for loved ones...
Be merciful to those who need your mercy;
let them know that they are yours, 
precious, chosen, and beloved. 
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

God of all power and glory, receive these prayers,
and continue your mighty work among us,
through Jesus Christ our living Lord. Amen.
Ephesians 1:15–23

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER

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 sins, as we forgive those who sin 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. 

 

INVITATION TO OFFERING

How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods yet refuses to help a sister or brother in need? Remembering God's great love for the world, let us offer our lives to the Lord. 1 John 3:16–17

 

OFFERING

Your finance committee encourages you to continue your stewardship support by mailing contributions to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 353 E. Pine St, Wooster, OH 44691, Attn: Financial Secretary.

 

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

Great God, to you we give our thanks; your steadfast love endures forever. With gratitude we bring our gifts to you. Bless us and our gifts, that our lives and our resources may be a source of healing and hope, of joy and justice in our world. Amen.

 

HYMN NO. 440                                                      Jesu, Lover of My Soul                                        ABERYSTWYTH

 

BLESSING AND CHARGE

May the love of the holy triune God —
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit —
abide with you forever. Alleluia! 

1 John 4:13–16

 

Now go forth in Jesus' name,
remembering his new commandment
to love one another, just as he has loved us. Amen. 

1 John 3:23

 

POSTLUDE                                         "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" from Messiah                      G F HANDEL

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the Earth

 

And tho' worms destroy this body,
Yet in my flesh shall I see God.

 

For now is Christ risen from the dead,
The first fruits of them that sleep. 

 

 

Thank you to those who participated in the creation of this worship service:

Joel Chupp
Gracie DeLollis 
Josie Drushal
Rich Drushal
Ken Shafer
Rev. Chris Stewart
Katelyn Tackett
Barbara Tartir
Pong Thiemmedh
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