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The Community Gathers…
Opening Meditation Cole Arthur Riley
“What does it mean that in response to the terrors of the world, God would have us lie down? To eat? To drink from still waters? The most enduring yet undermined sentiment of evangelism: ‘Come to me all you that are weary… and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28).”
Prelude & Passing of the Peace
Call to Worship
One: Kindred of God, a new vision of leadership is called forth and God calls upon the least likely, the unheard of, and the humble of heart to assemble to receive anointing.
Many: In peace, we anoint the forgotten, the youngest, smallest, and unlikeliest of siblings whom God has raised up to serve.
One: Though the call may involve risk and danger, we are called to listen, obey, and live a love unwavering.
Many: In peace, we anoint the disinherited and dismissed.
One: God’s call does not depend on our outward appearance or our earthly achievements.
Many: In peace, we anoint neighbor and kin alike, knowing God looks upon the heart. Let us open our hearts to God this day.
One: Anointed One, your love comes peaceably into our lives if we will but let it. We are so fixated on the gold standard, the familiar, and the safe choice that we often lose sight of what you are raising up right in our very midst. Enliven us with your Spirit this day so that we might get a glimpse of your peace. Take what we might imagine as too small for your kindom and use it to open the world to your overflowing abundance and provision for all that you have created. In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray.
Hymn “God Is My Shepherd” #479
Prayer of Confession
God of surprises, we know that we do not often perceive the world as you do. We look to the flashy fame, the grand gestures, optimal achievements, and unreachable standards. Yet, in spite of our misguided reach towards perfection, you give us glimpses of your grandeur and grace. Surprise us yet again this day, O God, that in our complacency which allows us to drift towards the same old ways of faith that we may be transformed anew. Provide us with a new cup of oil that we may be anointed by your love so that we may set out into your world to bless and anoint others. In the name of the One whose love and peace make all things new we pray. Amen.
Words of Assurance
One: Friends, receive the anointing of God’s tender love and forgiveness this day. For God’s care and compassion for you abides in your heart today and always.
Many: We rise and set out restored and renewed. Amen.
The Message for Younger Disciples
Kids, families, those young at heart, are encouraged to come forward to the steps to spend a few minutes together.
Hymn “Just as I Am” #207
To Share of Ourselves…
Prayers of the People
We grieve with the families of… —Rev. Richard Gordon —Jere Dunkleburger
We pray for… —Maritza DeJesus
—Co-worker who is struggling
—Jason and Joanne, travel to South Africa
—Those dealing with disaster & earthquakes
— LGBTQIA families struggling with discrimination
—Those serving in the armed forces, Linzy
We pray for health and healing with… —Mary Horst, palliative care
—Neal Carson, heart attack
—Bob and Dottie Harpel
—Joe Cimino, recovering from surgery
—Shirley Murphy, liver disease
—Evan, medical issues
—Jean, recovering from back surgery
—Audrey Yeager Baker, healing
—Bryce and family
—Baby Boy R.
The Lord’s Prayer
People: 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.
Announcing Missions and Ministry
Centering on Generosity
One: It is not the outward appearance or size of the gifts we have to share that matters to God. It is the loving generosity of our hearts that is closest to the heart of God. We are invited to give this day out of the abundance of our lives, from our heart, knowing that no matter the size of the gift that God knows our hearts.
Many: We give this day from our hearts and may it be pleasing to God. Amen.
Musical Reflection on our Gifts
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God for all that love has done
Creator, Christ, and Spirit, One.
Prayer of Dedication
Generous God, you remind us that you “anoint our heads with oil” and that our “cup overflows” with your abundance. We do not take for granted all that you provide. Take these gifts and use them for the healing and tender care of your hurting world. May your cup of love overflow and abide with the hurting and heartbroken, forgotten and despised, so that we may all be made whole. Amen.
Hymn “Jesus the Christ Says” #48
To Open to Wisdom…
Hearing the Scriptures John 9:1-11
As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We[a] must work the works of him who sent me[b] while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am he.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.”
Psalm 23 (Inclusive Psalter Project)
YHWH is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. GOD makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. GOD revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for their Name's sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over. Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of YHWH for ever.
1 Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do, and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely his anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”
Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome.
The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him, for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
Sermon “Shepherd’s Choice” Pastor Beth Rogers
To Go Forth in Mission...
Closing Hymn “Amazing Grace” #547
Kindred, set out from this place not to anoint power, prestige, and the outer appearances of grandiosity. Rather, set out from this place to anoint healing, renewal, and raise up those unexpected places and people that God has set apart for the transformation of the world. Open yourselves to the surprising and unexpected movements of the Holy Spirit, for around the corner of every assumption we carry and every community we live in, is a small shepherd among us waiting to lead with God’s help. Go forth in peace to lead, to love, and be renewed by God.
Today in Worship:
Liturgist: Kris Landvater
USHER: Thelma Shumway & Jim Landvater
TECH: John Horn
About today’s reading: First Samuel is part of the Deuteronomic History, located in the bible among the section of former prophets, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. The text has two interlocking themes: the importance of good government, and the complexity of relationships, both between people and God and among people. There are a variety of source materials behind Samuel, but what we have is not a series of separate stories loosely strung together but rather a carefully edited literary work using reiteration and changing point of view to illustrate depth of characters and complexity of actions.
Cover Reflection: Each of our bulletin covers this lent include a heart to remind us of the theme Rend your Heart. This plant is called Shepherd’s purse. Finding the heart in the leaves of the field, we connect to our Psalm of resting in green pastures.
DISCIPLE OF THE MONTH
Shirley Gregory 190 North 61st Street Harrisburg, PA 17111
Mary Horst has changed units at Londonderry Village. Please update your address book, or even better, send a card her way! 1200 Grubb Rd. Palmyra, PA 17078