Sunday, March 28, 2021

Palm Sunday

O God, who
in Jesus Christ
triumphantly
entered
Jerusalem,
heralding a week of pain and sorrow, be with us now as we
follow the way of the cross. Bless these branches and us,
that their use
this day may
announce in
our time
that Christ
has come
and that
Christ will
come again.
Amen.

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Good morning FCCG family! Our Joys, Concerns and Announcements this week include:

  • Birthdays or anniversaries coming up this week: Bob Gillette (April 1); Avery Vazquez (April 2); May Clancy (April 3); let us know if we missed yours!

Introit ………………… Hosanna Loud Hosanna
by the FCCG Choir

CALL TO WORSHIP       
This is a day of joyous welcome.
Yet joy is tempered by impending doom.
We welcome Christ with waving branches.
We wait with Christ through hours of agony.
Our leader comes humbly, riding a donkey.
Blessed is the one who comes in God’s name.
Jesus rides into the tumult of our times.
People still oppose the way of love.
Yet love prevails in spite of opposition.
Give thanks that God’s steadfast love endures forever.
Open to us the gates of righteousness, And let us enter in.

OPENING HYMN …………………………………………….. #192 All Glory, Laud, and Honor

PRAYER OF INVOCATION
We join the shouts of welcome, “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming!  Hosanna in the highest!”  This is a day of celebration.  There is joy in the air. But there are ominous overtones.  There lurks some dreadful misunderstanding that will soon lead to shouts to crucify.  We cling to our faith that your love overcomes sin and death.  Meet us here, we pray.  Amen.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Will we wave leafy branches today and discard them tomorrow?  Will our own hosannas melt into another chorus?  Let us admit the truth about ourselves, and may God have mercy.
May Christ have mercy.
May God have mercy.
We confess, O God,  that we identify with times of optimism and applause.  We like a religion that makes us feel good.  We prefer safety and security and certainty. Then Jesus comes, riding on a donkey, reaching out to outsiders, proclaiming humble obedience as a virtue, and challenging powerful people to change their ways. We sense danger. When Christ upsets our need for stability, we turn away from the risks. We do not want to be rejected or face a cross. We are not sure we really want to follow. Help us; strengthen us, we pray. Amen.

WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Hear now these words of assurance:
God contends with us in our fears, identifies our rebellion, and transforms our contrition into courage.  Our Creator does not give up on us when we are discouraged or reject us when our pretensions overtake us.  God, who exalted Jesus, is ready to forgive and lift us up. Christ walks with us on the way of faithfulness, empowering us to become the disciples we are called to be!

GLORY PATRI ………………………………………. #35

All readings are from the English Standard Version bible.

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON …………………………………………………II Samuel 1:17-27

Kim Valentine reads the Old Testament Lesson

And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, and he said it should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar. He said: “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

“You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions.

“You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

“How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! “Jonathan lies slain on your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women. “How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!”

PSALTER LESSON …………………………………………………………. Psalm 118

Keith Dobbin reads the Psalter Lesson

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
   his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
   “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
   “His steadfast love endures forever.”
The LORD is my strength and my song;
   he has become my salvation.
Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous:
   “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
   the right hand of the LORD exalts,
   the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
   and recount the deeds of the LORD.
I thank you that you have answered me
   and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
   has become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing;
   it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made;
   let us rejoice and be glad in it.

EPISTLE LESSON ………………………………………………………. Philippians 2:5-11

Lisa Peterson reads the Epistle Lesson

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

HYMN …………………………………………………………… #190 Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

GOSPEL LESSON ……………………………………………………. Matthew 21:1-11 

Pastor Clancy reads the Gospel Lesson

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

SERMON ………………… The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ …………………….. Rev. Rebecca Clancy

The Lord’s Prayer ………………………………………………………performed by Yolanda Adams

LITANY OF THE PASSION
Christ Jesus, in agony in the garden of Olives, troubled by sadness and fear, comforted by an angel:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ Jesus, betrayed by Judas’ kiss, abandoned by your disciples, delivered into the hands of sinners:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ, Jesus, accused by false witnesses, condemned to die on the cross, struck by servants, spat upon:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ Jesus, disowned by Peter, delivered to Pilate and Herod, counted among the likes of Barabbas:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ Jesus, carrying your cross to Calvary, consoled by the daughters of Jerusalem, helped by Simon of Cyrenne:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ Jesus, stripped of your clothes, given vinegar to drink, crucified with thieves:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ Jesus, insulted on the cross, praying for your executioners, pardoning the thief:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ Jesus, entrusting your mother to your beloved disciple, giving up your spirit into the hands of your Father, dying for all us sinners:
O Lord, have mercy on me.
(A moment of silence is observed.)
By your suffering, Lord, heal the wounds in our hearts. Let your tears be the source of joy for us, and let your death give us life.  Amen.

SPECIAL MUSIC …………. To the Table
performed by Zach Williams

TITHES AND OFFERINGS
What shall we give in the name of One who gave everything for us? What shall we give in thanksgiving for the steadfast love proclaimed in Jesus Christ? How will good news be carried to the centers of power in our world today? We give to make a difference.
Our gifts, O God, can never match your goodness toward us. You saving grace, your healing light, your personal sacrifice are far beyond our imaging. W can only offer ourselves, all we have and all we are, in response to the coming of Christ Jesus. Hosanna in the highest! Amen.

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DOXOLOGY

CLOSING HYMN ………………………………………. #191 Ride On, Ride On in Majesty

Benediction
May the Lord watch between me and thee, while we are apart one from the other, Amen.

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Please keep the following individuals in your prayers this week:

  • The family of Marilyn Cuscaden (death of Marilyn);
  • Jodi Holleran’s mom (illness);
  • Mercedes Nuss (illness);
  • Jess Reddy’s friend, Keeley (illness);
  • Sue Cechner’s friend, John (Illness);
  • Barb and Dick Sharp’s nephew’s daughter, Kenzie (illness);
  • Lisa Peterson (illness);
  • Lisa Peterson’s niece-in-law, Wendy (illness);
  • Linda Moran (illness);
  • Faith DiMaria’s brother, Steve, and family (illness);
  • The Connolly Family (lots of prayers);
  • Karen’s Cousin, Dwight, (Illness);
  • Sheree Womack’s dad, Frank (surgery);
  • Those affected by violence as well as those serving in the military;

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