The Celebration of the Gospel

March 5, 2017 —First Sunday in Lent

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Matthew 4.1

_____We Gather as the Body of Christ___

Amazing Grace Traditional, arr: J. David Hart

[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.

Leader: God of life, we do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from your mouth
All: Feed us the Bread of Life, O God.
We do not need to test you; we only need to receive.
Help us God, to trust you deeply.
The things of this world and their splendor,
the pride and belonging promised by its kingdoms, are illusions.
We come to be shaped by your Word,
that we may serve you and you alone, in the name of Christ.
We thank you. We trust you. We worship you.

* SONG Jesus, Tempted in the Desert Black hymnal # 2105


________ We Attend to the Word________

O Lord Throughout These Forty Days Walter Peltz

God of love, we are tempted by many things, many urges and voices and powers. Help us listen to you, trust you and serve you. As we hear your Word we return to you. Help us always to return to you, in the Spirit and the company of Christ. Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT Genesis 3.1-7
[Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil—not the tree of life.]

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’“ But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

GOSPEL Matthew 4.1-11
[Jesus, in solitude, faces his temptations. He desires power, security, wealth, belonging, superiority—things we all crave—but he can only receive them from God; any effort to secure these for himself lead him away from God and away from authentic life.]

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.


SONG Return, My Soul Steve G-H

Return, my soul, from all your hungry wandering,
your fearful search for comfort and control.
Let go my grasp of things apart from God,
for God alone can heal and hold my soul.
Return to God, for God alone will love me,
and give me life, and bless and make me whole.

Return, my soul, from all the things that dull me,
that soothe my sense, but leave my sin in place.
My broken heart, return from tricks and bargains;
turn to the One who meets me face to face.
Return to God. Each moment turn again;
receive unending love and life and grace.

Pastor: The grace of God is with you.
Congregation: And also with you.
Trusting in God’s tender mercy, let us confess our sin to God with one another.
God of love, help us to see ourselves with the eyes of love,
to see all that is in us that is loving,
and all that is not loving.
We have failed to love, in what we have done and what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength,
nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves.
By the grace you show us in Christ,
forgive us, heal us, and perfect your love in us.

RESPONSE    Kyrie Black hymnal   #2275


________We Share at Christ’s Table ______

OFFERING OUR GIFTS Thy Righteousness Tune: GERMANY, arr: Dan Forrest

* COMMUNION SONG     Let Us Break Bread Together    Blue hymnal #618, vv. 1, 3

Our loving God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to Yahweh our God.
It is good to give God thanks and praise.

Creator God, you provide abundantly for us:
earth and all living things, food and beauty,
love and forgiveness and life without cost.
You judge the forces of injustice,
set us free from all that oppresses,
and walk with us toward your new world.
Yet we are tempted to go away from you.
Jesus was tempted: “If you are the Son of God,
command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
But he relied on you alone, and proclaimed,
“One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
And so with all Creation we thank you for the Bread of Life.
Holy, Holy, Holy One, God of power and love,
all Creation is radiant with your presence.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in your name.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed are all who come in your name,
and blessed is Jesus, your Christ.
He loved and taught, healed the broken and fed the hungry.
For such love he was opposed, and was tempted to seek security:
“Throw yourself down and angels will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”
But he relied on you alone, and proclaimed,
“Do not put God to the test.”
And so he was crucified for the sake of love;
but on the third day you raised him from the dead.

[The Blessing and Covenant…]

Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
As often as we break this bread and share this cup
we remember his death and resurrection until he comes again.
Remembering these, your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a living and holy sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of food,
that those who receive them may know your love.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us,
that we may be the Body of Christ, dead and raised
for service to you and to the world.
We are tempted to serve ourselves, as Jesus was tempted:
“The kingdoms of the world and their splendor I will give you.”
But he relied on you alone and proclaimed,
“Worship Yahweh your God, and serve only God.”

May this meal strengthen us to resist all temptation,
to repent and return to you, to rely on you alone,
and to proclaim your good news.
Bless us in this meal that we may serve you,
and serve the world for your sake.
All glory and honor is yours, loving and mighty God,
now and forever.

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 HOLY MEAL [Everyone is welcome at the table of Christ’s self-giving love.
The bread is wheat-, soy- and dairy free. We dip the bread in the juice.

Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. May we trust in your abundant grace, and turn aside from every temptation, to serve you and serve the world in the name and Spirit of Christ.

____We Are Sent in Ministry to the World____


* SONG I Want Jesus to Walk with Me Blue hymnal #521

RESPONSE Please stand and sing to your 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 Be Still, My Soul Jean Sibelius, arr: Brian Buda

[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]

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