Grace and Peace to you, siblings in Christ! I look forward to seeing some of you on Ash Wednesday, weather permitting. See below for our plans for Lent.
Peace, Pastor Chris Lee
Ash Wednesday: As we approach Lent, we are planning on 2 separate opportunities for worship on Ash Wednesday. An online worship will be posted as has been our practice, on Facebook, our website and through email. In addition, weather permitting, we will have an abbreviated service in the parking lot on Ash Wednesday, February 17, at 530pm. The parking lot service will include readings, a short homily, prayers, a song or two, and imposition of ashes. At the very end of the service, those who have come to worship will be invited to exit on the 20th Street drive and will receive ashes while in the car as they depart the parking lot. We pray one or both of these services will provide a meaningful opportunity to worship and observe an ancient practice to begin our Lenten journey.
Annual Meeting: Our annual meeting is scheduled for February 28, 2021, at 1030am. Like our budget approval meeting in the fall, this will be held as a combination of in-person outdoors and online via zoom. Annual reports and more information will be made available closer to the date. Mark your calendar now!
Order of Worship for Sunday, February 7, 2021
In Isaiah the one God who sits above the earth and numbers the stars also strengthens the powerless. So in Jesus’ healing work we see the hand of the creator God, lifting up the sick woman to health and service (diakonia). Like Simon’s mother-in-law, we are lifted up and healed to serve. Following Jesus, we strengthen the powerless; like Jesus, we seek to renew our own strength in quiet times of prayer.
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, whose voice is upon the waters, whose mercy is poured out upon all people,
whose goodness cascades over all creation. Amen.
Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.
Holy God, you search us and know us. You are acquainted with all our ways. We confess that our hearts are burdened by sin— our own sins and the broken systems that bind us. We turn inward, failing to follow your outward way of love. We distrust those who are not like us. We exploit the earth and its resources and fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God, for all we have done and left undone. Even before the words are on our tongues, you know them; receive them in your divine mercy.
How vast is God’s grace! Through the power and promise of ☩ Christ Jesus, our sins are washed away and we are claimed as God’s own beloved. Indeed, we are forgiven. In the wake of God’s forgiveness, we are called to be the beloved community living out Christ’s justice and the Spirit’s reconciling peace. Amen.
Opening Hymn: ELW 715- “Christ, Be Our Light,” vs. 1, 2, 4, & 5.
Prayer of the Day
Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
God entrusted Paul with the responsibility of bringing the gospel to diverse people. Hence the focus of Paul’s ministry is not his own rights or privileges as an apostle but the privilege of serving God by freely sharing the good news of Christ with others.
16If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.
19For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law, though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law, so that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
Everywhere Jesus goes, many people expect him to set them free from oppression. Everywhere he goes, he heals people and sets them free. Disease, devils, and death are running for their lives. The forces that diminish human life are rendered powerless by Jesus.
29As soon as Jesus and the disciples left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee
Hymn of the Day: ELW 610- “O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come,” all verses.
Prayers of Intercession
Guided by Christ made known to the nations, let us offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all people in need.
For the church: for ministries of healing and wholeness, for hospital, hospice, and military chaplains, for those serving in prison ministry, for all who proclaim freedom and release in the name of Christ, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For creation: for insects in the grass, clouds on the mountaintops, for cattle and the rainwater they drink, for the humility to take our place among all creatures of the earth, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For the nations: for all who lead in cities and towns, states and countries; for community organizers, school officials, and CEOs; for international health organizations, that in times of trial, fear, or hopelessness, they find freedom in service to those most in need, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For all wearied by life’s burdens: for those who are poor, for those lacking supportive relationships, for those crushed by debt, for those struggling with chronic pain or other sickness, for those exhausted from overwork or stress, and for all who cry out to you especially Tim Anderson; Kayli Bird; Wanda Esping; Wayne Esping; Patrick Esping; Ricky Lindquist; Helen Schubert; Mariah Pearson; and Dan Wolever, and those we name before you now, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
For this congregation: for outreach and social ministries; for parish nurses and visitors; for ministries of companionship and support, for the young people who open us to new understandings, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
In thanksgiving for the faithful departed, who were called by name and now rest from their labors, that their lives serve as witness to the goodness of God, let us pray.
Have mercy, O God.
Merciful God, hear the prayers of your people, spoken or silent, for the sake of the one who dwells among us, your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.
The Great Thanksgiving
The Lord’s Prayer
Communion Anthem: ELW 614- “There Is a Balm in Gilead.”
Prayer after Communion
Christ Jesus, at this table we have feasted on your very life and are strengthened for our journey. Send us forth from this banquet nourished in body and in spirit to proclaim your good news and serve others in your name. Amen.
God the creator strengthen you; Jesus the beloved fill you; and the Holy Spirit the comforter ☩ keep you in peace. Amen.
Sending Hymn: ELW 661- “I Love to Tell the Story,” all verses.
Go in peace. Be the light of Christ in the world.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Facebook link to Worship Service for February 7, 2021:
Image credits: Jesus-Jerycho1960, Pixabay and Parish House backyard, Therese Guise.
Pianist: Pam Edwards
Vocalist: Miriam Anderson
“Christ, Be Our Light.” Text: Bernadette Farrell, b. 1957. Music: Bernadette Farrell. Text and music copyright 1993 Bernadette Farrell, admin. OCP Publications. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“O Christ, the Healer, We Have Come.” Text: Fred Pratt Green, 1903 – 2000. Music: W. Walker, Southern Harmony, 1835. Text copyright 1969 Hope Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.
“There Is a Balm in Gilead.” Text: African-American spiritual. Music: African-American spiritual. Public domain.
“I Love to Tell the Story.” Text: Katherine Hankey, 1834 – 1911. Music: William E. Fischer, 1849 – 1936. Public domain.
Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted/ streamed with permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS006904. Duplication in any form is prohibited without permission or valid license from the copyright administrator.