Order of Worship
Fifth Sunday of Lent – The Journey
March 21, 2021

Organ Prelude
Welcome to the Journey
Today we continue a journey through the season of Lent.  This journey mirrors the journey of life and like life this journey invites us to journey in trust: trust in each other, trust in God, and trust in where we need to be in life.  Along the way there are signposts that mark our path.  Each week we invite you to pause and reflect on the signposts along your journey.  Welcome to Lent! Enjoy the journey!

Call to Worship 
One:   Come and seek God, with your whole heart:
All:      meditate on Christ’s teachings,
                        fix ourselves on the ways of Christ,
                        and delight in God’s Holy word.
One:   Come and worship God.

Opening Prayer 
Loving Jesus,
High Priest of our hearts,
draw us close to you,
so we may glorify you and proclaim your goodness,
in all that we are,
all that we do, and
all that we say. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Have mercy on us, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy,
remove our transgressions,
take away our iniquity, and
smooth the paths that will lead us closer to you.

For we know that the brokenness of the world is all around,
separating us from you, creation, and each other.
We are born into corruption.

You desire all of creation to know the truth that we are one in our inward beings.
Teach us this wisdom in our secret heart,
so we can celebrate with gladness our reconciliation with you and your creation.

Create in us a pure heart, O God, and put a reconciling spirit within us.
Do not cast us away from your creation, and do not take your Holy Spirit from us.
Restore your wonderful creation and sustain your covenant with all Earth.
Amen.

Words of affirmation        
Be assured that God,
lives deep within our hearts.
They will never leave us.
They will forgive our iniquity and no longer remember our sins.

Storytelling                                         “Your Beating Heart”

Sharing of Scripture                         Jeremiah 31:31-34

Message in Music

Message               “A Heart for God”           Rev. Laura McLeod

Journey Song – A Time of Contemplation

Prayer of Dedication
We wish to see the fruits of Jesus’ ministry. We want to experience God’s reign on Earth. The sharing of gifts is one way we can catch a glimpse of the reign of God.

Loving God, open our hearts to a new world. A world where there is no longer least and greatest, rich and poor. A world where there is enough for all, and all treated as beloved children of God. Until that day comes, bless our small contributions of time, talent and treasures and may they work towards the building of your new world. Amen.

A Time of Prayer
Preparation for Prayer
Silent Prayer
Pastoral Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Loving God,
We pray for your church and its ministry around the world…
We pray for your faithful followers, our siblings in Christ…
We pray for this community of believers and for all the joys and sorrows we share with you silently or out loud…
God, may the law of love written on our hearts become our song as we journey.
A song with words that comfort when hardships on the road burden us…
a tune that lingers leaving warm thoughts with those whom we meet on the way,
and with a rhythm that lilts,
buoying our spirits and strengthening our resolve to see the journey through.
You promised to write your law within us,
so that no matter where we are, we will always know, deep in our hearts, you and your ways. In Jesus’ name, we pray, using the words that he taught saying, Our Father…
Amen.

Bless
Go and embody God’s song to the world.
With your words, sing hope.
With your actions, dance peace.
With your being, play love.
Amen.

Organ Postlude

Sharing of Scripture                                 Jeremiah 31:31-34
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.

Your Beating Heart
Based on Jeremiah 31:31–34

Jeremiah was not a popular man. He said a lot of things that people didn’t want to hear; this made them angry. He talked about the destruction of the great temple in Jerusalem – the temple was an important religious place, so people did not want to hear about that! He also said that people would lose their homes and be forced to leave their communities. Well, no one wanted to hear that either! Jeremiah said so many sad things that he was called the “Weeping Prophet.” No one wanted to hear what Jeremiah had to say!

Jeremiah wasn’t just dreaming or imagining that God talked to him about these things. When God talked, Jeremiah listened; and after listening, Jeremiah would share God’s message with anyone who would listen. Sometimes Jeremiah wondered if he should keep quiet, but God’s Spirit in him was too strong to ignore.

Jeremiah was not surprised when he heard God say that people were not following God’s way, that it seemed like they had forgotten God’s promises. Jeremiah had been worried about that because he could see that people were not faithful. God had made promises in the past and kept them, but people had not kept their part of the agreement.

Then, one day, Jeremiah heard a loving message. Jeremiah was surprised when God said people would be given help so that they could remember how to act and speak in ways that were loving and peaceful and just. God gave Jeremiah a message with words full of love and forgiveness, and with a new promise to help people remember.

God’s message was this: “I have a new promise, and it will be part of each of you – not just in your thoughts, but in your feelings and your body – in your beating heart! And not just in you who have money and lots of possessions, but also inside you who have nothing and feel like you don’t matter. Because everyone matters to me, this is the promise I want all of you to keep alive forever: I am God for everyone! Always! Without thinking, experience me, my love, and how I always forgive you. Remembering my promise will be as natural as your beating heart!”

This time, the people wanted to hear what Jeremiah had to say – they wanted to hear him say it over and over again!

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