CCLI license #1913561
Lakeview Presbyterian Church
Service of the Word for September 5, 2021
Questions for Reflection: “Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor” (Jas. 2:5–6a). A UNICEF study reports that the United States has the second-highest child poverty rate in the industrialized world, with more than one in five children living in households that fall below the poverty line[i] What does this mean to you as a person of faith? How might God call the church to respond to this situation?
[i] (http:// www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc10_eng.pdf).
Call to Worship
Here at the feast of God’s holy word and holy meal, eyes and ears are opened so that we may all be made glad and filled with hope.
We come in gratitude for God’s steadfast love which we know through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let us worship God!
Opening Prayer God of love, you show your people how to be truly rich in faith, through the gifts you give when least hoped for or expected. Come to your people today with words of both judgment and mercy, that we may be fed from the bread of life. We pray this in your holy triune name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.
Opening Hymn “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” TPH #464
Call to Confession
With sincere hearts and minds, let us confess our sins before God and the world,
trusting in God’s mercy to forgive.
Prayer of Confession
Holy and all-powerful God, who comforts those in distress and casts out destructive forces, we confess that we are unable to do your will. We protect what is familiar and reject what is unknown. We admire those with courage but excuse ourselves when we falter from the truth. We forget that you are always with us, and that with you all things are possible. Forgive us, lead us, make us new. Remove our desire to heed false prophets, and show us your way;
in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, Lord of all. Amen.
Declaration of Pardon
The God who made you and knows your every thought hears you now and forgives you all your sin. You have been redeemed through Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior, who is Alpha and Omega, all in all.
Prayer for Illumination
Holy God, whose Spirit comes to us in moments of both strength and weakness, come now into our midst that we might be able to hear your Word in fullness and in truth, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture Reading James 2:14-17 NRS Russ Lehman
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting our trespasses against us, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
In Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven. Allelulia!
A Reading from the Psalms Psalm 46:1-3, 7-11
God is our refuge and strength. God is our a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Hymn (please remain seated) “Spirit" TPH #319
Reading from the Gospels (English Standard Version) John 11:25-37
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
Sermon “ Good Grief” The Rev. Lois Lehman
Affirmation of Faith from ‘Foundations,’ pcusa Book of Order
The Church is to be a community of faith, entrusting itself to God alone, even at the risk of losing its life. The Church is to be a community of hope, rejoicing in the sure and certain knowledge that, in Christ, God is making a new creation.
The Church is to be a community of love, where sin is forgiven, reconciliation is accomplished, and the dividing walls of hostility are torn down. The Church is to be a community of witness, pointing beyond itself through word and work to the good news of God’s transforming grace in Christ Jesus its Lord
Statement about Offering our Gifts
Let us give of yourselves, our time, and our possessions out of love for this creation and in thanksgiving for what we have been given.
Donations can be mailed to Lakeview Presbyterian Church at 1310 22 nd Av S, St Petersburg, FL, 33705 or given online through our website lakeviewpresbyterianchurch.org
Prayer of Dedication
Loving God, thank you for your gifts of life—fragrant flowers, fruitful vines, singing creatures, and our own lives, renewed in Christ. Let your grace infuse the gifts we offer with life-giving power for those in need. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
We come again to the Lord’s Table, to celebrate, and to participate in this great feast which has been prepared for us. Once again we confront again the power, the mystery, the wonder, the glory of Christ’s presence with us: the hope, the joy, the love and the peace that comes when God is present and guiding our lives.
God is always with us, supporting and sustaining us, but sometimes the crush of circumstances causes us to forget. So we come to this table, again and again, to rekindle the light of God’s presence so that it touches and changes our lives, and so that we carry that light out into the world with us. Come, for our Lord invites us.
The Words of Institution
The Lord Jesus, on the night of his arrest, took bread, and after giving thanks to God, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way after supper he took the cup, saying: this is the cup of the new covenant, sealed in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the saving death of the risen Lord, until he comes.
The Great Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Holy God, we praise you for your love: bringing order out of chaos, breathing life into dust, leading captives into freedom, calling wandering children home, giving bread to the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, raise the dead to live. In every age you sent prophets to make known your loving will for all humanity. The cry of the poor has become your own cry; our hunger and thirst for justice is your own desire.
In the fullness of time, you sent your chosen servant—your Son, Jesus Christ—to preach good news to the afflicted, to break bread with the outcast and despised, and to ransom those in bondage to prejudice and sin.
Send your Holy Spirit, our advocate, to fill the hearts of all who share this bread and cup with courage and wisdom to pursue love and justice in all the world. Come, Spirit of freedom! And let the church say, Amen. Amen
Join our prayers and praise with your prophets and martyrs of every age that, rejoicing in the hope of the resurrection, we might live in the freedom and hope of your Son. Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty God, now and forever. Amen
Distribution of the Elements
Prayer after Communion
Holy God, we thank you for this feast of grace and life. Send us out to answer the summons of our Lord Jesus Christ to a new life, and to follow him with joy and gladness. Set our feet in his holy way, that our lives may be signs of his life and all we do may show forth his love. AMEN
The Lord’s Prayer (sung)sing along if you wish
Hymn “On Eagles’ Wings”
Sisters and brothers, you have chosen to serve God because God has chosen you in Jesus Christ. Go, therefore, to love and serve as God’s people in the world.
We go in Jesus’ name.
The blessing of God, who delivers us, the grace of Christ, who sustains us, and the communion of the Spirit, who empowers us, be with you always. Amen