Hampstead Congregational Church
March 7, 2021
Third Sunday of Lent
No Matter Who You Are or Where You Are on Life’s Journey,
You are Welcome Here!
Order of Worship
Introit "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"
Greetings and Announcements
Passing of the Peace of Christ
Prayer of Invocation Rick Little
Eternal God, help us to look and listen for Your handwriting and Your voice wherever we are this morning. Connect our temporary praise to your timeless rhythms, your ageless melodies, your everlasting joyful noise. Guide us now to focus upon You, knowing that in You,
our distractions become new possibilities for action.
Breathe life into our praying, our speaking, our listening, our singing, that all these activities might become more than they are. In Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Scripture Reading: Exodus 20: 1-17
The Message Translation
God spoke all these words:
I am God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery.
No other gods, only me.
No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. But I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.
Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.
No lies about your neighbor.
No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.
Sermon Rev. Kathy Youzwak
Anthem “More About Jesus Would I Know”
God brought us to
this table, a place safe from human slaveries.
We shall not treat our traditions like gods, or make idols of a particular Bread and Cup.
We will not imply that a sacrament shared at a kitchen table is less real than any other, for that is to misuse God’s name.
We remember that this virtual experience is worship, and keep it holy. Just because we can retrieve laundry to fold, and then fold it, we don’t. Working twenty-four-seven is too like a parable of morning-after the bigger barn project, and there is no beatitude, ‘Blessed are the multitaskers.’
This virtual time is a sabbath to God. This sacrament’s consecration is in the story that stretches back to beyond the light years of light years.
We honor the communion of saints and name the ones precious to each of us personally, and then acknowledge those we do not know who have passed into grace, especially those who do not look like us, speak our language, love as we love, worship as we do – for their heritage is our heritage and the future of their children is our future.
We set down this sacred offering, confessing our complicity in things that kill, that betray, that steal (even if it legal), and committing to a reconciliation as real as this Bread and Cup.
We will not bear false news of our neighbors, or share, re-post, or re-tweet it, nor will we doom scroll God’s Spirit within us.
We will not covet last year’s service or next year’s service. We will not covet a communion hymn in a time when we do not sing. We will not covet another community’s sophisticated technical platform or those who gather in person. We will not covet any other experience of the Body of Christ or the Cup of Blessing than the one we are sharing now.
In Lent we come
to remember that there is a time not to eat the stones
even when it seems useful, and there is a time for a meal scented
with the uneconomical joy of a broken alabaster jar.
We remember that Jesus suggested in Bethany that one bowl with one selection is a good meal, but served a hillside picnic with so many leftovers, their gathered abundance could be shared with others.
We remember that Jesus turned over tables in the Temple and we confess that our church tables, practices, plans and programs, should be overturned, until our house be one of prayer and our table serve compassion to those most vulnerable.
And we remember that Jesus Christ sitting among those whose feet he had washed at the Passover table, anticipated betrayal and desertion, pain and even death, but made a new Covenant of blessed bread and poured wine on a global table, inviting us always to share from our brokenness and grace.
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 the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Let us at many tables receive the gift of God, the Bread of Heaven for
Let us in many places receive the gift of God, the Cup of Blessing, for
Concerns & Celebrations
Call to Offering
Prayer of Dedication
Receive these gifts, Holy One, sanctify them by your Spirit. Drive away any ill motives and accept, we pray, our humble offering. Amen.
Hymn of Going Forth “Lord, Make Me More Holy”
May the holy wisdom of
Guard your ways and guide your paths.
May the living truth of God
Enlighten your hearts and open your minds.
And may the living Spirit of God
Give you life, and life to the full, Amen.
Prayer of Invocation: http://www.myredeemerlives.com/prayers.html Copyright 2020, Faith Education, Innovation and Formation Ministry Team Benediction: Literature & Liturgy. https://jesusscribbles.wordpress.com/ (Faith INFO), United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.
Fuel Assistance Donation-- Despite the pandemic, we still need to heat our church buildings to keep
our church staff and outreach groups warm.
We also need to heat the sanctuary Sunday mornings for our live-streaming
services. Therefore, we graciously ask you to consider a heat donation this
winter. Perhaps you could include a heat donation with your pledge donation
this month. Your Operations Team thanks
NEW! Steeple Lighting Dedication Cards—Our steeple can be lit in honor of a person, occasion, or in memory of a loved one. We now have Steeple Lighting Cards that can be given to the person/family you are honoring! This card makes a great gift and opportunity to let someone know you care. The steeple can be lit for a suggested donation of $5/day or $25/week. For more information, or if you are interested in lighting the steeple, please contact the main office.
Lenten Discussion Groups—You are invited to join a Lenten discussion group! They
meet online on Monday evenings at 6:30pm and Tuesday mornings at 10:30am. The
booklet "Living Well Through Lent 2021" guides our discussions on how
to listen well. If you are interested in joining, please let Pastor Kathy know,
or look at this past Wednesday’s Weekly Word for the links to join.
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