WELCOME TO A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORSHIPPING
March 28, 2021
First, a word on fancy words. In worship we have this phrase we use called liturgy that feels like a formal way of having a worship leader saying stuffy things about God. The word means, “the work of the people” and liturgy is meant to be held, and owned by the worshippers, i.e. you. This service is planned to give you a path, a guide to pray, interact with scripture, wrestle with it – wrestle with God – and in so doing, have a moment of coming face to face with the divine right here, right now.
So, come and lay all the worries of the day aside. Take a deep breath, and we will start with a prayer.
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
O Lord Jesus Christ, on this day you received worship of those who hailed you as their King: Accept our praise and adoration, our worship and love; and grant that we, who now confess you with our lips, may never fail to give you the service of our lives, for the honor of your holy name, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, on God, world without end. Amen.
CALL TO CONFESSION
Like the people who greeted Jesus as he entered Jerusalem and then later pronounced “Crucify Him,” we are fickle people who often deny Christ in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Remembering the events of Jesus’ last week helps us see ourselves for what we are: sinners in need of a Savior, a Savior – praise God – we have in Christ. In honesty and hope, we confess our sins to God.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Jesus, our Lord, we shout hosannas to praise you. With eager hands we place our cloaks and palms on the path before you. Yet, O Lord, we confess that the mouths that seek to praise you often deny or defy you. And we confess that the hands that seek to serve you often become fists. Lord, hear us as we confess.
Consider your own silent and private confessions…
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Say the bold phrases out loud
Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
For Christ came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him should be saved.
Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Hosanna, Amen!
PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Eternal God, whose Word silences the shouts of the mighty: Quiet within us every voice but your own. Speak to us through the suffering and the death of Jesus Christ, that by the power of your Holy Spirit we may receive grace to show Christ’s love in lives given to your service. Amen.
Old Testament Reading – Psalm 134
Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the holy place,
and bless the Lord.
May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth,
bless you from Zion.
Gospel Reading – John 12:12-16
The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—
the King of Israel!’
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.
Look, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!’
His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.
Signs of Hope and Waiting for the Real Thing
Rev. Jeremy Jinkins
Lift High the Cross
SUNDAY SCHOOL AT HOME
Although we can’t be in the same proximity physically, we can be together in spirit. We are happy to be able to provide to you age appropriate Sunday school lessons each week for you to do with your children. Click the Sunday School button to be directed to our weekly lessons.
STAYING CONNECTED FOR ADULTS
Faith Formation is pleased to announce the following adult learning opportunities that are meeting “virtually” while we “shelter in place”. Anyone is welcome to participate. Contact information and more details can be found by clicking the Adult Opportunities button.
RESPONDING TO THE WORD
Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer
God, whose gracious love for us embraced that long and lonely journey to the cross, gather us close to you in these days when again we make that journey in meditation and recollection.
Help us to contemplate again the way taken by our Savior: the false charges against him, the fear and the flight of the disciples, the kiss of betrayal, the crown of thorns, the purple robe—and in such contemplation give us courage to face those times in our own lives when Christ received the same at our hands. Yet, help us also remember that you have gone before us, so we look to you for compassion and forgiveness, knowing your saving grace.
When we are weak, make us strong; when hurt and resentful, make us forgiving; when defeated and discouraged, make us hopeful. Keep us from asking for mercy without giving it ourselves, from praying for your kingdom but never working for it.
In this week, deepen our faith by your matchless grace. Deepen the measure of our gratitude and Christian obedience. Move us, who have so much, to share with others who have so little. Uphold us when we summon our courage to speak out for the alien and stranger within our gates and for those long denied dignity and freedom.
Guard and guide us through these days of meditation and remembrance. Guard and guide us through all our days until we come at last to that day when all our days and journeys will be gathered into your eternity, and we shall be with you forever. Glory be to you, O God. Amen.
You are invited to silently lift the names of particular people or situations that weigh heavily on your soul at this time.
We seal these prayers with the one our Lord, Christ Jesus, taught us, saying together:
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 debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and power and the glory, Amen.
How can we pray for you?
Click the button to send us your prayer concerns and joys and stay connected.
OFFERING OUR GIFTS
Lent is a time of taking stock on our lives, and reassessing who we have been, who we are, and who we want to be, and, more important, who we begin to sense God is calling us to be. It is a time to become an offering to God and to our neighbors, whom God loves so deeply.
We can join in this work by volunteering to help our neighbors, by joining with our ministries to continue making an impact in the lives of our fellow church members – like helping to teach our children. We can also help by pledging to support this church community financially as we make a bigger and bigger impact in our local, regional, and even international communities.
If you have struggled finding a way to help support the work PCW does in our local and broader community in these days of worshipping remotely, remember, you can send checks to 140 Mountain Avenue, Westfield, NJ 07090, or email Tina Barulli at email@example.com if you have that ability.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who calls us to new life; the love of the Father, who calls us back to abundant life; and the communion of the Holy Spirit, who sustains us still with every breath we take, be with you now and always. Amen.
PASSING THE PEACE
Peace be with you
Please pass the peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, to your neighbors.