The Celebration of the Gospel
March 18, 2018 — Fifth Sunday in Lent
Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you
_______We Gather as the Body of Christ_______
PRELUDE Beneath The Cross Of Jesus F. C. Maker, arr: Mark Hayes
[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.]
* CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God of all people, you gather us in your Spirit.
All: We worship you with thanksgiving and praise.
Christ, you who loved all people, you gather us in your name.
We join you in the ministry of love and service.
Holy Spirit, you gather us in the power of your grace.
We open our hearts to you. Fill us and use us according to your will. Amen.
* SONG God of the Sparrow Blue hymnal # 122
___________ We Attend to the Word___________
(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME
(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG Agnus Dei Victor Johnson
God of truth, there are many stories of your love. We tell our story, and we long to hear others. Open the ears of our hearts to hear your word, in our familiar and new ways. Open our eyes to see you in all humanity. Open our hearts to serve in the Spirit of love that you give us in Jesus. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT Jeremiah 29.1, 4-7
[The prophet writes a letter to the Israelites who have been taken into exile in Babylon. He urges them not to think they have been helplessly imprisoned, but sent for the purpose of ministry: “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” God commands us to care for the people around us, even if they are foreigners or “enemies.”]
These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Thus says Yahweh Omnipresent, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
GOSPEL Luke 17.11-19
[Jesus heals ten lepers and sends them to show themselves to the priest (to fulfill the law, and perhaps as part of their healing, and a prophetic witness). The only one who stops to give thanks is a Samaritan, a despised enemy,]
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Teacher, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Did none return to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
SERMON Living into the Multifaith World Rev. Cody Nielsen
[Cody is the Executive Director and Director of Campus Ministry for the Wesley Foundation, a Boston area Ministry of Higher Education serving Harvard University, MIT, and Lesley University.]
SONG This Is my Song Blue hymnal # 437
* AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
We trust in you, God, Creator of all, who makes all people in your image, who breathes in all people with your spirit.
We follow Jesus, your Messiah, who embodied your love in teaching and healing. Refusing privilege and exclusion and the lie of “insider” and “outsider,” he reached out to those who were rejected, creating a new community of love that transcended all bounds of nation, language and even religion. For his resistance he was crucified, but you raised him from the dead; and he lives in us, who are the Risen Body of Christ.
We live by the Holy Spirit, your breath that we share with all living beings. By your grace in us we devote ourselves to the unity of all humanity and to joining you in the work of justice, the healing of all peoples and the mending of the world, in the name and the love of Christ. Amen.
* SONG They’ll Know We Are Christian by Our Love Black hymnal #2223 v. 1
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
______We Are Sent in Ministry to the World_____
OFFERING OUR GIFTS Ich Will Dich Lieben Carl Piutti
* OFFERING SONG Doxology Blue hymnal #94
Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. Send us into all the world not with dogma but with the love of Christ in our hearts, for the sake of the healing of the world, in the name of Christ and the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD
* SONG As A Fire Is Meant for Burning Black hymnal #2237
* THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH
RESPONSE We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.
POSTLUDE O For A Thousand Tongues Tune: AZMON, arr: Lowell Mason
[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]