First Presbyterian Church of Paw Paw
Sunday, February 26, 2023
1st Sunday in Lent
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A Lenten Poem by Ann Weem
Lent is a time to take time to let the power
of our faith story take hold of us,
a time to let the events get up and walk around in us,
a time to intensify our living unto Christ,
a time to hover over the thoughts of our hearts,
a time to place our feet in the streets of Jerusalem or to walk along the sea
and listen to his Word,
a time to touch his robe and feel the healing surge through us,
a time to ponder and a time to wonder….
Lent is a time to allow
a fresh new taste of God!
Perhaps we’re afraid to have time to think,
for thoughts come unbidden.
Perhaps we’re afraid to face our future knowing our past.
Give us courage, O God, to hear your Word and to read our living into it.
Give us the trust to know we’re forgiven and give us the faith
to take up our lives and walk.
Lord, open up to me: light for my darkness, courage for my fear, peace for my turmoil,
joy for my sorrow, strength for my weakness, forgiveness for my sins,
love for my hates, your Self for myself.
Lord, open unto me.
~ adapted from St. Augustine of Hippo
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
PRELUDE Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (I call to thee, Lord Christ) - Johann Sebastian Bach
*CALL TO WORSHIP (responsively)
Lent calls us to journey along the edge, to anticipate that final trip to Jerusalem.
We come seeking the awareness of God’s presence as we travel on this journey.
We come seeking light for our darkness, strength in our weakness.
Shine in our hearts, O God, with the light of your love.
In our vulnerability, make your presence known to us through Jesus the Christ.
Let us worship and learn together as we too journey to the cross.
*HYMN: # 166 Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days
CALL TO CONFESSION:
PRAYER OF CONFESSION: (Unison)
God of Love and Glory, we admit that we are hesitant to walk to Jerusalem and beyond with you. We confess that we have sinned against you, ignoring your direction in our lives.
We have ignored the feast of hope, of joy, of life you offer to us.
We have denied your goodness in each other, in ourselves, and in the world you have created.
In humility and love, may we offer our lives to you and share your grace with others.
In hope, may we wait and recognize you as you come to us in the life and joy of Jesus Christ, who shows us the way to truly live.
A time of silent confession and personal prayer follows.
Prayerful Response #551 Lord, Have Mercy
The water poured into the baptism font is a reminder of our own baptism and that Jesus Christ is the living water who nourishes us and offers us forgiveness and new life.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON:
Receive the good news of the gospel: we are new creations, the old has gone, the new has come!
In Jesus Christ we have forgiveness and new life. Thanks be to God!
*GRATEFUL RESPONSE # #581 Glory Be to the Father
*PASSING OF THE PEACE
The Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
And also with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE LESSONS: Psalm 32: 1-5; Matthew 4: 1-11
MESSAGE: Practicing Lent
Lent is not a time for being miserable, but for taking stock and resetting our aims for following Christ.
Loving God, in you we trust, let us never fool ourselves.
Lent is an opportunity for healthy repentance-
repentance for our indifference in the face of permeating evil of the world,
repentance for personal sins which we have too often glossed over.
According to your loving kindness,
remember me, God of goodness and saving grace.
Lent is a time for joy; the exhilaration that comes-
from defying temptations,
from turning our face to the light that shines on the narrow path of Christ Jesus,
from walking into adverse winds and enjoying small victories day by day.
Prepare me to know your ways, O God, teach me your paths,
for you are the God of my salvation and my true happiness.
*HYMN # 543 vs 1, 3, 4, & 5 God, Be the Love to Search and Keep Me
CALL FOR THE OFFERING
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
THE LORD’S PRAYER
*HYMN #683 Lord of All Hopefulness
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
POSTLUDE I Want Jesus to Walk with Me - arr. Chris Gray
*Stand if you are able
Bold Print, Congregation participates.
Interim Pastor: Rev. Gail E. Monsma firstname.lastname@example.org
Liturgist: Eleda Zygadlo
Music: Chris Gray
Technology: Chuck Williams, Andy Thorburn, Tom Shoemaker, Nathaniel McCloskey
Usher: Laura Wells
CHURCH OFFICE: 120 Pine Street, Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3111 (T,W&T 9-3)