Worship at Home for Lent 3, Sunday March 7 2021

The Third Sunday in Lent

 

*Call to Turning Towards God (Psalm 19)

One: The law of the God is perfect and revises the soul,
All: The decrees of the God are sure and right.
One: God’s commandments are true and righteous. 
They are more desirable than gold.
All:
In keeping the commandments there is great reward.
One: May we pray that the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you.
All: O Lord my rock and my redeemer.

Passing of the Peace (Smile and wave to those around you.)

Song Change My Heart, O God

Children’s Message

Scripture Lesson: Please read these passages in your Bible at home. If you do not have a Bible, we have many at church and would love to give you one.

Exodus 20:1-17

Psalm 19 

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

John 2:13-22

To listen to the Sermon and Prayer go to our podcast:

 

St. Peter's UCC Owensville Podcast Link
currently offline

 

Sermon: The Commandments and Jesus

For a while it was popular to have yard signs displaying an abbreviated form of the 10 Commandments. I recall walking around my old neighborhood and seeing these signs posted in yards. The signs always seemed to be white with blue writing on them inside an outline designed to resemble the stone tablets which Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. I checked online today and saw that you can order 10 commandment signs in many styles which include brown stone tablets and even the American flag. Having a visible sign of these commandments is an important part of the American religious culture.

God gave these commandments to the Hebrews who had recently freed from slavery. The Hebrews were trying to figure out an identity for themselves as a people. For generations their identity had been that they were slaves. Now that they were free questions abounded. Who were they as a people? How were they supposed to live? What would be their relationship with God and one another? Would Moses become a supreme ruler like Pharaoh?

As a people wandering in the desert, the Hebrews do not have temple for making sacrifices or a place of government. How is their faith going to be lived? The 10 Commandments explain that God is their ruler and that they are to live in daily relationship with God. This relationship with God also extends to how they care and live with each other. Like the creation of the US Constitution which guides our nation, this was a truly new way of being a nation.

In the 10 Commandments, God gives the Hebrew people guidance as to who God is and how they are to be in relationship with God and one another. They are to live in a spirit of worship and thanksgiving to God who saved them from slavery in Egypt. They are to live in right relationship with one another. Worshiping God is not just a moment for festivals, but a part of their daily lives.

God’s salvation came first! God did not wait until the Hebrew people had lived as the law commands before saving them. God saw their suffering and saved them. God now asks the people to live lives that show their gratitude for their salvation. My simple summary of the commandments:

  1. God saves us! So only worship God!
  2. Do not create your own gods or shape God into the image that you want.
  3. Do not misuse God’s name or use God’s name for selfish purposes.
  4. On the seventh day rest and worship God. (What an amazing thing for former slaves!)
  5. Honor your parents.
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Do not harm your marriage by breaking your relationship with each other.
  8. Do not take what does not belong to you.
  9. Do not tell lies about other people.
  10. Do not get envious and spend your time wanting what other people have.

These commandments have to do with living in right relationship with God and each other. Jesus came to restore our broken relationships. Jesus did not wait until we perfectly fulfilled the commandments before he died on the cross. Jesus died on the cross so that we could be forgiven for our weakness in following the law.

Human beings are imperfect creatures. Often, we live lives of regret for things that we have done or not done. God knows this about us. So, God sent Jesus to save us. Jesus did what the world considered foolish and died on a cross

What kind of God would sacrifice his Son? This is not what powerful do for their children. The recent college admissions scandal showed what lengths rich and powerful people will go to see that their sons and daughters go to prestigious universities. God is powerful, but God cares for us. God loves us so much that Jesus died to save us.

Reconciliation and salvation happen even though we do things that we regret. Reconciliation happens when we turn over our regrets to Jesus. We do not need to save ourselves. Jesus offers us love and salvation freely. God’s love is a gift freely given. First God saves us then we worship and obey in spirit of thanksgiving and love.

Prayer

God who saves us and restores us to right relationship help us to live lives worthy of your love. May we worship you with our whole hearts, offering you thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. May we seek to follow you and to live in right relationship with you and each other. We have hurts and pains, joys and concerns. Our world can be a troubling place with disease and violence. Calm are troubled hearts and be with those who need your loving care and strength. Amen.

Take time to lift up the joys and concerns of our hearts in prayer.

Silent Prayer followed by the The Lord's Prayer Luke 11:1-4

Prayer list: I’ve removed some of the names that have been on here quite a while. If I removed someone who I shouldn’t have please let me know.

Ahna, Priscilla, Grandpa David, Virginia, Vic, Liz’s sister in law, Butch, Marcie, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Linda, Pat, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Jeff, Terry, Bev, Angie, Mark, Dave, Peggy, youth struggling with mental health issues, Shawn, Lindsey, Sue, Diann, Danna, Janet, Lisa, Joyce, Cheyenne and Katelyn, Faegen family.

Special Prayers:

  • For the Missouri Mid-South Conference and the Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel as we seek to live in new ways.

Offering of Gifts and Selves

  • Trust in God and share what you can.
  • Consider giving to One Great Hour of Sharing
    our Mission of the Month
  • The offerings will be laid on the altar as we sing: Give Thanks

Prayer of Dedication

May we seek to follow Jesus and turn our hearts to you as we dedicate these gifts and ourselves to your loving service. Amen.

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Take time to gather some bread and juice. Asks God to bless it and remember that this is meal is taken in remembrance of Jesus.

Prayer of Confession

God, we confess that we do not always follow You as we should. There are commandments that we have kept and others which we have not. There are times when we place more importance on the things in our life than following the light of your way. Help us to repair our broken relationships and forgive our wayward ways. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon Be assured that through the power of the Creator, the sacrifice and love of our savior Jesus Christ and the strength of the Holy Spirit that we are forgiven and redeemed. Amen.

Communion Prayer (One Great Hour of Sharing resource written by Rev. Kent Gilbert)

God of earth and stars, you breathed on the waters and brought forth life. Like springs in the desert, you sent forth prophets and teachers filled with wisdom to wash over your people. Beside the rivers they preached. With your word they liberated our hearts and helped us cross the divides to your promise. In the fullness of time you sent Jesus to be our Christ, who offered the water of eternal life to all who would hear. The clear flow of your unending grace washes over us no, and we join in the river of praise and love together with angels and mortals alike:

Holy, holy, holy is the lord God of hosts! Heaven and earth are full of your glory. As the heavens bring rain t the water the earth, may your love water our hearts. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God’s love and mercy. Hosanna in the highest!

Taking of Communion Prayerfully eat your bread and drink your wine.

Prayer of Thanksgiving (UCC Book of Worship)

Almighty God, we give You thanks for the gift of our Savior’s presence in the simplicity and splendor of this holy meal. Unite us with all who are fed by Christ’s body and blood that we may faithfully proclaim the good news of your love and that Your universal church may be a rainbow of hope in an uncertain world; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

Going Forth: “Seek Ye First

Benediction: May you trust in the hope and promises of God all the days of your life. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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