PLUMSTED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
February 21, 2021— 1st Sunday in Lent
Welcome and Announcements
Call to worship
We have entered the season of Lent,
a time to examine our hearts and our lives
and journey with Christ through the suffering of the world.
Let us lift up our souls to our merciful God
and humble ourselves in God’s service.
God has marked us as beloved dust
and called us together to worship.
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, your Son fasted forty days in the wilderness, and was tempted as we are but did not sin. Give us grace to direct our lives in obedience to your Spirit, that as you know our weakness, so we may know your power to save; through Jesus Christ our redeemers, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Confession and Assurance
In the name of Christ, I urge you: Be reconciled to God. Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.
In the season of Lent, O God, we say lofty words about renewing our spiritual disciplines, journeying with you to the cross, or denying ourselves material wants for the good of the soul.
Forgive us, O God, if our actions are in vain: if we are concerned with the good of the soul rather than the good of your people; if we have twisted this season of penitence into a reason for praise or judgment; if we are so preoccupied with the sins of the world that we cannot recognize and confess the sins of our own lives. Forgive us, O God, and wash us in your mercy. Forgive us, O God, and free us to try again.
Listen, the time has come at last. Look, now is the day of salvation! In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God.
Prayer for illumination
Gracious God, our way in the wilderness, guide us by your Word through these forty days so that we may be reformed, restored, and renewed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture Genesis 9:8-17Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Mark 1:9-15In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Affirmation of Faith Adapted from the Confession of 1967
The reconciling work of Jesus was the supreme crisis in the life of humankind. His cross and resurrection become personal crisis and present hope for women and men when the gospel is proclaimed and believed. In this experience, the Spirit brings God’s forgiveness to all, moves people to respond in faith, repentance, and obedience, and initiates the new life in Christ.
Sharing of joys and concerns
Prayers of Intercession
Holy God, we pray that you would empower us with courage and faithfulness as we embark on this Lenten journey. We seek renewal and restoration during these 40 days. Help us to remember Jesus’ faithfulness in the wilderness, tempted by Satan. Be with us in our temptation. Let your grace follow us and go before us in each step of this journey. Enable us to accept spiritual disciplines for this journey. Let us pray daily and be especially attentive to the needs of others, and to our own needs.
God of the nations, we pray for peace with justice throughout the world, so that all your children may dwell secure, free of war and injustice. Move the hearts of leaders throughout the world to hear the cries of the poor and hungry, and to ensure a rightful share of the resources needed to sustain life.
And as we continue to grapple with overwhelming pandemic challenges, we pray that you would grant special measures of strength and endurance to healthcare workers and other essential workers who labor on the frontlines of this struggle. And we pray for all who are now facilitating vaccination and for those who are providing the vaccines. We pray for your comfort for all who are sick and for all who have lost loved ones. Grant us all wisdom and courage for the living of this hour. We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father...
The Lord’s Prayer
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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Jesus says: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Let us offer our lives to the Lord.
O God, giver of all good gifts, may the gifts we offer here today bear the fruits of peace, love, and justice in our community and our world.
* Charge and Benediction
As we journey in Lent,
let us be empowered to follow in the way of Jesus,
who, though tempted, was steadfast in love and faithful in the way of justice.
So, let us lift up the brokenhearted and stand with the oppressed.
Let us love God with our whole lives and love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.