Call to Worship
ONE: The grace of God be with you
ALL: And also with you
ONE: Bless the One who forgives all our sins
ALL: God’s mercy endures forever
Hymn of Welcome
I heard a sound like massed choirs in Heaven singing,
The salvation and glory and power are God’s—
his judgments true, his judgments just.
He judged the great Whore
who corrupted the earth with her lust.
He avenged on her the blood of his servants.
Then, more singing:
The smoke from her burning billows up
to high Heaven forever and ever and ever.
The Twenty-four Elders and the Four Animals fell to their knees and worshiped God on his Throne, praising,
Amen! Yes! Hallelujah!
From the Throne came a shout, a command:
Praise our God, all you his servants,
All you who fear him, small and great!
Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder:
The Master reigns,
our God, the Sovereign-Strong!
Let us celebrate, let us rejoice,
let us give him the glory!
The Marriage of the Lamb has come;
his Wife has made herself ready.
She was given a bridal gown
of bright and shining linen.
The linen is the righteousness of the saints.
Homily – “My Buried Hallelujah”
The Rev. Dr. J. Terry Todd
“My Hallelujah Belongs to You”
As we sing this hymn, please come forward as you are led, and bury your alleluia under the cloth on the altar.
One: The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
One: Lift up your hearts.
All: We lift them up to the Lord.
One: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth.
You brought all things into being and called them good.
From the dust of the earth you formed us into your image
and breathed into us the breath of life.
When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast.
When rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights, you bore up the ark on the waters, saved Noah and his family, and made covenant with every living creature on earth.
When you led your people to Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights, you gave us your commandments and made us your covenant people.
When your people forsook your covenant, your prophet Elijah fasted for forty days and forty nights; and on your holy mountain, he heard your still small voice.
And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:
“Holy, Holy, Holy”
Holy are you, and blessed is Jesus the Christ. When you gave him to save us from our sin, your Spirit led him into the wilderness, where he fasted forty days and forty nights to prepare for his ministry.
When he suffered and died on a cross, you raised him to life, presented him alive to the apostles during forty days, and exalted him at your right hand.
By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your Church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.
Now, when we your people prepare for the yearly feast of Easter, you lead us to repentance for sin and the cleansing of our hearts, that during these forty days of Lent we may be gifted and graced, to reaffirm the covenant you made with us through Christ.
On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
When the supper was over he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving, as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever. Amen.
Music During Communion
“Wait for the Lord”
“There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”
“I Don’t Believe He Brought Me This Far”
The Rev. Dr. J. Terry Todd
May Jesus lead us, and may we be found faithful to follow. May the Spirit drive us into the wilderness, burning away the chaff of our lives, and rending our hearts.
And may the blessing of God: Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit, Mercy, Master, and Fire, Be with us and remain with us always!
The Great Thanksgiving for Early in Lent, copyright © 1972 The Methodist Publishing House; Copyright © 1980, 1981, 1985 UMPH; Copyright © 1986 by Abingdon Press; Copyright © 1987, 1989, 1992 UMPH. Used by permission.