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March 21, 2021 Sunday Worship
Rev. Leslie Searles
Rev. Leslie Searles
Sunday, March 21, 2021
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March 21st, 2021 ~ 10:30 AM ~ 5th Sunday in Lent

Find this service at www.graceunitedthornbury.ca/live

Leading us today in Worship
Minister: Rev. Leslie Searles
Music Director: Dr. Christopher Burton
Lay Leader & Scripture Reader: Heather Dickson
Soloist: Heather Dickson          

PRELUDE 
3 Little Preludes  J.S. Bach    

GREETING (2 Cor 13:13)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.    

WELCOME  

ANNOUNCEMENTS  

A TIME FOR CENTERING      

CALL TO WORSHIP            
When night is endless            
God knows dawn will break.
           
When sorrow is endless            
God knows joy will come.
                          
When love is endless            
God knows healing will begin.
           
When grace is endless            
God knows hope will arise.
 

Opening Prayer
Holy One, as the earth awakens after winter’s sleep, we ask you to awaken us to the fresh possibilities spring will bring us. We have dreams that we have set aside during the winter of our isolation.  Call them forth from our hearts the way you called Lazarus forth from the cave. We have almost forgotten how it feels to risk everything to bring an inner vision to life. Disregard our excuses and our fears, our apathy and our self-doubts, for we know that if we do not act soon, our dreams will slip beyond reach. Grant us the courage to dare to bring to fruition your ancient dreams of abundant life for all creation. Amen.  

Hymn (VU) # 222 Come, Let Us Sing
Come, let us sing to the Lord our song,
we have stood silently too long;
surely the Lord deserves our praise,
so joyfully thank God for our days.  

O thirsty soul, come and drink at the well;
God’s living waters will never fail.
Surely the Lord will help you to stand,
strengthened and comforted by God’s hand.    

You dwell among us and cause us to pray,
and walk with each other following your way;
our precious brothers and sisters will grow
in the fulfilling love they know.  

Deserts shall bloom and mountains shall sing
to the desire of all living things.
Come, all you creatures, high and low,
let your praises endlessly flow.  

PRAYER OF CONFESSION        
Holy One, our Lenten journey is drawing to an end. The story is unfolding as it has year after year and we are content to let it take us in tow. We recall human fickleness, desire for power, fear of losing control, promises betrayed, and justice denied – the familiar litany – and admit we have not changed in the centuries since Christ’s execution on the cross. We confess that we have chosen to repeat the sins of the past in our own personal lives. Forgive us, so that the transformation Easter promises may break forth in our own hearts and be lived through our own lives.  

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
God has said: you are precious in my sight and honoured … and I love you. With endless grace, God redeems our failures and our hurts and offers us the possibility of new life. Although we must face suffering and disappointment and loss in our lives, God has promised for all time through the resurrection of Jesus the Beloved, that new life and joy will come again. Grace and peace to you in the name of the Lord. Amen.    

Jeremiah 31: 31-34 (NRSV)
A New Covenant   
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord”, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.   

Gospel Reading John 12:20-33 (NRSV)
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say: “Father, save me from this hour? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.’” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.  

RESPONSE
The word of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.  

MEDITATION  

MUSICAL INTERLUDE
Variation on a Theme by Handel J. Brahms  

OFFERING 
We  honour all the ways we give as we dedicate our offering.  

INVITATION  

PRAYER OF DEDICATION
We give you thanks with joyful hearts, O God, for opportunities to share with others our material abundance. We do so in gratitude for all we have received and as a sign of our commitment to serve you in the world. Amen.  
Donate online:   www.graceunitedthornbury.ca,  select “Give” or contact the office by email: [email protected]    

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE and THE LORD’S PRAYER  

PASSING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
The Peace of Christ be with you. 
And also with you.
Think of one person with whom you would like to share the peace of Christ.
You can also share the peace by typing in the chat box.
 

MUSIC for PASSING the PEACE 
Sarabande  J.S. Bach     

HYMN  (VU) #703 In the Bulb There is a Flower  
In the bulb there is a flower;
in the seed, an apple tree;            
in cocoons, a hidden promise:
butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter
there’s a spring that waits to be
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.  

There’s a song in every silence,
seeking word and melody;
there’s a dawn in every darkness,
bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future;
what it holds, a mystery,
unrevealed until it’s season,
something God alone can see.  

In our end is our beginning;
in our time, infinity;
in our doubt there is believing;
in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection;
at the last, a victory,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.    

BENEDICTION  

Choral Amen    

POSTLUDE  Theme and Variations   G.F. Handel          

*****

HYMNS and SUNG VERSES:
- “Come Let Us Sing”- Words: Jim Srathdee 1976. Music: Jim Srathdee, piano arr. Jean Strathdee 1976 Words and music copyright ©1977 Desert Flower Music. Used by permission. One License # 608577
- “In The Bulb There Is a Flower”- Words: Natalie Sleeth 1986. Music: Natalie Sleeth 1986. Words and music copyright © 1986 Hope Publishing Company. Used by permission. One License #608577
- “Choral Amen”- Danish. Used by permission. One License #608577  

SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Scripture Passage from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.    

Prelude: “3 Little Preludes”-  Composer: J. S. Bach.
Interlude: “Variation on a Theme by Handel”- J. Brahms
Music for Passing the Peace: “Sarabande.” Composer: J.S. Bach
Postlude: “Theme and Variations.” Composer: G.F. Handel
All in the public domain.