Webster United Church of Christ – February 28, 2021
Second Sunday in Lent
ORDER OF SERVICE
Prelude “Prelude in F minor” J.S. Bach
People gather around Jesus as his reputation becomes known from town to town. As we gather virtually, we too are yearning for presence, for peace, for help.
Leader: God gathers us as a Beachcomber gathers and marvels at every precious surviving piece of beach glass she finds. We are never alone; we are never lost to the One who seeks humanity’s wholeness. We affirm our commitment to be the Body of Christ that knows we cannot be personally healed until we see the interconnected community as part of the process of healing. Jesus has the power to re-vision the family of God in which false boundaries are overcome. In a year of devastating loss of livelihood, we consider the economic health that reimagines status quo.
Vessels, holy and whole
Broken, needing the One
Open, body and soul
People opened their lives to Jesus. We are drawn to the Healer—opening our hearts with honesty about our lives and finding assurance that offers peace.
Opening Prayer of Confession
Leader: Let us acknowledge our need to restore, repair, renew our Holy Vessels, which include the communities of which we are a part. Let us pray:
People: God of All, You created us for each other. You set in us a yearning for companionship and an empathy that binds us together, protecting each other and delighting in one another. Yet too often we have broken down our relationships instead of building them up. We have been set against one another with the lie of scarcity. We have built systems and economies that widen the gap of resources rather than safeguarding equitable practices. Too many, and growing numbers, are suffering hardship, food insecurity, joblessness. We cannot fathom the proportions of loss and so we look away, sometimes even from the need in our own community. Help us, Healer. Show us our empathy. Forgive our complacence. Move us to move one step at a time toward greater care for one another. In this silence, we sense and acknowledge our yearning for wholeness.
Opening Hymn #314 “Community of Christ” vs. 1-2
People were fortified by Jesus’ words and deeds that revealed care for all—especially those marginalized. We strengthen our belief in the possibility for renewed health and vigor for all.
A Contemporary Word
Musical Proclamation “The Healing of the Nations,” Anne Krentz Organ
An Ancient Word Matthew 8: 5-13
People who were healed by Jesus were not afraid to ask. And so we come before the Holy One, making our petitions and desires known, trusting the work of the Spirit.
Song of Preparation “Make Us Holy, Make Us Whole”
Prayers of the People
Prayer of Jesus
The parting words Jesus gave to those he healed were often as much balm as the healing act itself. We hear words of encouragement from the One who makes beauty from brokenness.
Ritual Action for the Week
Scriptural accounts of healing often end with responses from the “crowd” of witnesses. How will we proceed into the brokenness of this world and respond as the Body of Christ?
Invitation to Give and Share
Sisters and brothers, God’s ancient, steadfast love is not a love that simply waits for us to stop wandering and return home. God’s love comes seeking us, and gives us the gift of Jesus, so that we might have life abundant. Our giving this morning, whether we have been lost and wandering, or secure and safe, expresses our firm conviction that God is with us, no matter what. Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God in gratitude, heartfelt commitment, and praise.
If you would like to make an offering to Webster Church or one of our ministries, we thank you. Webster’s ministries include local and international efforts. You may specify a mission (homeless, international, justice, youth, music, etc.) if you are writing a check; indicate where you would like your donation to go to on the “Memo” line. You can mail your donation to us directly or call us.
Closing Song “The Voice of God is Calling” vs. 1 & 4
Sung Blessing “God Be with You” #809
God be with you, God be with you, God be with you till we meet again. O God be with you, God be with you, God be with you till we meet again.
Now go with confidence that the Holy Beachcomber is gathering us all for “Safe Keeping,” recovering our depth of love for all and our joy of living in this world. May the words of Jesus ring in your ears: “I will come.” And may the Spirit hover, move, and deliver salve to your soul and a spring in your step. Amen.
Threshold into the World
People: Vessels, holy and whole
Broken, needing the One
Open, body and soul
Postlude “Graceful Ghost Rag,” William Bolcom