Welcome to worship on this Fifth Sunday in Lent. Join in Zoom worship on Sunday at 9:30 am by Zoom (christoncapitolhill.com/worship) or watch here anytime.
Again & Again, We Are Reformed
We desire for God to write on our hearts so that God’s law can re-shape and re-form us from the inside out. Reformation is a journey of letting the old fall away for something new to emerge, of returning to God’s words over and over, of being drawn into the heart of God. This is the process of justification and sanctification; transformation must be internal and communal.
Words for Worship – March 21
Prelude – Jazz Ensemble – The Lamp is Low by Peter De Rose
Gathering Song – Lift High the Cross Worship 660
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.
1 Come, Christians, follow where our captain trod,
our king victorious, Christ, the Son of God. Refrain
2 All newborn servants of the Crucified
bear on their brows the seal of him who died. Refrain
3 O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw us all to thee. Refrain
Text: George W. Kitchin, 1827-1912; rev. Michael R. Newbolt, 1874-1956
Text © 1974 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Call to Worship
Every week is a new week, Another chance to say: “Here I am. Use me.” Every day is a new day, Another chance to say: “Thank you for yesterday. Thank you for tomorrow.” Every hour is a new hour, Another chance to say, “Again and again, make us new.” We do not come to this place to stay the same. We come to this place to be changed.So let us worship holy God, Who created yesterday, will create tomorrow, and even now is creating something new. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Lent Lament – – Again & Again by The Many
Call to Confession
In the gospel of John, a group of Greek people approach the disciples and say, “We would like to see Jesus.” It’s a brief, beautiful moment that the text doesn’t spend a lot of time on, And yet, it always catches my eye. It catches my eye, because the phrase, “I want to see Jesus,” Feels like it should be my constant prayer. Help me see Jesus. I’d like to see Jesus. Bring me closer to Jesus. In the prayer of confession, We take a moment to recognize how much space exists between us and those words, Trusting that even when we forget to seek out God, God is seeking us out. So join me in the prayer of confession today as we take one step closer to the Divine . . .
Prayer of Confession
Gracious God, We want to see you. We want to be known as the people who looked for Jesus; But not only that, we want to be people who have your covenant written on our hearts. Why do we feel so far away from that at times? What went wrong? Where did we lose our way? Could you, would you, once again, write on our fragile hearts? We would be so grateful. Amen.
Words of Forgiveness
Family of faith, no matter what we do, where we go, or what we tell ourselves—God is love, and God is loving us. Again and again, we are claimed, held, forgiven, and cared for. In the name of the Lover, the Beloved, and Love itself—thanks be to God. Amen!
Prayer for Illumination
Scripture tells us that your word is written on our hearts,
But we struggle to hear it.
Is it possible that we have covered up your words with our own self-narratives?
Is it possible that we have erased your truth to write our own?
Is it possible that we have forgotten your words entirely?
Take us back to the beginning.
Remove the self-talk that distracts.
Clear away the cobwebs of doubt.
Show us how to look inside ourselves for your truth,
And then write on our hearts once more.
We are listening.
We are hopeful.
We are here.
Reading Jeremiah 31:31-34
A reading from Jeremiah:
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.
Word of God, Word of Life. Thanks be to God.
Gospel Acclamation – Create in Me
Gospel – John 12:20-33
The gospel from John:
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 honor.
“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 judgment 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.
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
Children’s Time – Pastor Joy
Message – Pastor Joy
Song – Eternal Spirit of the Living Christ Worship 402
Eternal Spirit of the living Christ,
I know not how to ask or what to say;
I only know my need, as deep as life,
and only you can teach me how to pray.
Come, pray in me the prayer I need this day;
help me to see your purpose and your will,
where I have failed, what I have done amiss;
held in forgiving love, let me be still.
Come with the vision and the strength I need
to serve my God and all humanity;
fulfillment of my life in love outpoured:
my life in you, O Christ, your love in me.
Text: Frank von Christierson, 1900-1996
Text © 1974 The Hymn Society, admin. Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Affirmation of Faith
We believe that flowers need the rain.
We believe that humans need community.
We believe that bodies need rest.
We believe that hearts need connection.
We believe that mornings need sunrise.
We believe that seasons need change.
We believe that grief needs space.
We believe that change needs time.
We believe that love needs security.
We believe that pain needs art.
We believe that joy needs company.
We believe that our spirits need God.
Again and again, our spirits need God.
Fortunately for us, we trust that God is here.
God is at work in our lives.
God is a lighthouse keeper that never gives up.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Prayers of the People
Relying on the promises of God, we pray boldly for the church, the world, and all in need.
You wash us through and through and remember our sin no more. Make your church a community of forgiveness throughout the world. Give your people courage to forgive; through them show the world new possibilities. Bless ministries of repentance and reconciliation. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You fill the earth—from tiny grains of wheat to the mighty thunder—with your presence, and you call us to attend to your will for all creation. Grant weather that prepares the soil for seeds; protect all from violent storms, flooding, and wildfires (especially). Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You promise to write your law on our hearts. Guide citizens throughout the world to shape communities that reflect your mercy, justice, and peace, and give them creativity to work for the welfare of all. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
You sustain us with your bountiful Spirit. Restore the joy of all who need to know your presence: those who are lonely or feel unforgivable, those who need healing of mind or body, those who are dying, and all who grieve. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
Jesus calls us to follow him in life and death. Empower this congregation in discipleship. Equip children and teachers in Sunday school, confirmation, and learning ministries. Give us your truth and wisdom and teach us to follow Jesus. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
In the cross of Christ, your name is glorified. We praise you for those who have given us words to worship you. With all those who have died in Christ, bring us into life everlasting. Hear us, O God. Your mercy is great.
We entrust ourselves and all our prayers to you, O faithful God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Johm riab sua.
The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.
Offering – Jazz Ensemble – Mahna de Carnaval by Luis Bonfa
Faithful God, you walk beside us in desert places, and you meet us in our hunger with bread from heaven. Accompany us in this meal, that we may pass over from death to life with Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Communion Song– Beautiful Things
Prayer After Communion
God of steadfast love, at this table you gather your people into one body for the sake of the world. Send us in the power of your Spirit, that our lives bear witness to the love that has made us new in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Cambodian Lord’s Prayer
Blessing – Vicar Anne
You are what God made you to be: created in Christ Jesus for good works, chosen as holy and beloved, freed to serve your neighbor.
God bless you ☩ that you may be a blessing, in the name of the holy and life-giving Trinity. Amen.
Sending Song – Seed That in Earth Is Dying Worship 330
1 Seed that in earth is dying
grows into ears of grain.
Grapes that are crushed in the vessel
turn into golden wine.
God, through this mystery grant us
faith in our deepest darkness,
life in our night and death.
2 We were baptized in Jesus,
into his death and grave,
to resurrection’s promise:
praise and eternal life.
Heaven’s own praises begin here
where you yourself are near us,
deep in our night and death.
3 Seed that in earth is dying
rises to bear much fruit.
Christ, as we meet at your table,
give us the bread of life.
Lord, we do thank and adore you!
Unceasing praise of ages
rises from night and death.
Text: Svein Ellingsen, b. 1929; tr. Hedwig T. Durnbaugh, b. 1929
English text © Hedwig T. Durnbaugh, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Go in peace. Share the good news. Thanks be to God
Postlude – Jazz Ensemble – Night Dreamer by Wayne Shorter